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September 2004

Professor Ronald Staudt named a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management

Chicago-Kent is proud to announce the induction of Professor Ronald W. Staudt, IIT associate vice president for law business and technology, as a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management (www.colpm.org). Staudt was elected to the college in recognition of his dedication to using technology to enhance the practice of law and create a more accessible legal system.

Since joining the Chicago-Kent faculty in 1978, Staudt has championed the law school's emphasis on integrating technology into the study and practice of law. In 1999, he helped found the Illinois Technology Center for Law and the Public Interest (ITC), a statewide collaboration, based at Chicago-Kent, to increase access to the legal system for Illinois residents--especially members of underserved populations who represent themselves in court--and to provide training and information for pro bono attorneys, legal aid advocates and legal service organizations.

The ITC represents one facet of the law school's broader Access to Justice initiatives led by Staudt, all of which involve Chicago-Kent students. Such initiatives have included the creation of a Web-based forum for judges to share information and ideas among their peers, and the development of recommendations about how to eliminate or reduce procedural barriers faced by self-represented litigants in accessing courts. Based on an examination of court processes in several states, the latter recommendations were the foundation for the design of a new conceptual model for redesigned court systems as well as an Internet-based prototype for implementation in the courts.

Staudt has long been committed both to public interest work--early in his legal career he worked as assistant director of the Pima County, Arizona, Legal Aid Society and then as a clinical fellow and lecturer at the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School--and to the application of technology in legal education and practice. In 1983, he founded Chicago-Kent's Center for Law and Computers to promote the use of computers and other electronic technologies in the teaching and study of law while also advocating the benefits of technology to practicing attorneys.

More details about Staudt's initiatives can be found on the Web at www.itcweb.org and a2j.kentlaw.edu.

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