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SmithAmundsen gift to Chicago-Kent will help fund diversity initiatives
CHICAGO–January 31, 2007–SmithAmundsen LLC has committed $50,000 to support diversity initiatives at Chicago-Kent College of Law. The gift will be used to create a writing award and to support the law school’s trial advocacy program.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Chicago-Kent to facilitate important changes taking place in the legal community,” says Larry Schechtman, SmithAmundsen’s managing partner. “We value the talent being nurtured at Chicago-Kent and want to support the law school’s efforts in a significant way.”
Over the next five years, SmithAmundsen will fund an annual writing award that will be given to the author of a brief selected by Chicago-Kent’s legal writing faculty and firm representatives. First-year students who add to the diversity of the legal community are eligible for the award. In addition, the SmithAmundsen gift will provide support to the team that represents Chicago-Kent at the Thurgood Marshall National Mock Trial Competition.
The gift to Chicago-Kent evolved from the firm’s Diversity Task Force, a group of representatives from all areas of the firm charged with upholding and advancing firm-wide diversity initiatives. “We looked closely at factors that would result in a more diverse pool of talented lawyers to consider when hiring,” says Schechtman. “And we decided that providing support to students who are excellent writers or are involved in trial advocacy is the best way to do this. We also hope to raise SmithAmundsen’s profile among the most talented new lawyers coming out of Chicago-Kent.”
With approximately 20 Chicago-Kent alumni among its ranks, SmithAmundsen and Chicago-Kent have been building a productive relationship in recent years. “We’re very fortunate to have lawyers from SmithAmundsen among our volunteers and adjunct faculty,” says Harold J. Krent, dean of Chicago-Kent. “Our students benefit greatly from practitioners who visit the law school. SmithAmundsen executives lead by example in this regard.”
Since its inception in 1997, SmithAmundsen has grown to approximately 120 attorneys and has earned a reputation as one of Chicago’s premier litigation firms. Based in Chicago, the firm has offices in Rockford, St. Charles, Waukegan, and Woodstock, Illinois, as well as in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.