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Student Organization Headlines

Headlines for the Week of February 24, 2014

Black Law Students Association

February 27: Third annual State of Black Chicago

Segregation. Gun control. Impoverished neighborhoods. These are just a few of the topics that will be delved into during the third annual State of Black Chicago, produced by the Chicago-Kent Black Law Students Association and held on February 27 at 6 p.m. in the 10th floor event room.

Seventh Ward Alderman Natashia L. Holmes, Circuit Court Judge Freddrenna Lyle and attorney Blake Sercye are scheduled as panelists for the event, which will be filmed as footage for an upcoming documentary produced by the student group.

While crime has decreased in Chicago during 2013, Alderman Natashia L. Holmes is still interested in hearing from the community, stakeholders and legal institutions for ways the community can overcome obstacles. "I am definitely looking forward to discussing solutions to the problems impacting the Black community here in Chicago. I am an advocate for good ideas as long as we are also making strides in turning those ideas into a reality," says Alderman Holmes, who is not only an alumna of the law school but also an alumna of the student organization.

Judge Freddrenna Lyle has a slightly different perspective. Over the course of 30 years of practice trying civil and criminal cases and now as a circuit court judge and candidate for Illinois appellate court justice, Judge Lyle has seen great changes in the vitality of the African-American community. "Not only am I concerned with how we move our community forward, but I want us to fully understand the mistakes we made in the past. A societal mistake will remain a problem if we refuse to acknowledge it as a mistake, fail to analyze why it happened and let bad habits allow us to repeat the same mistake in our future."

Rounding out the panel is Blake Sercye, who has received a firestorm of recent media attention after a juggernaut of endorsements in his bid for 1st District Cook County Commissioner from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Oak Park Mayor Abu-Taleb to name just a few. Mr. Sercye is a litigation attorney with Jenner & Block and serves on various boards of nonprofit organizations, including the chair of the legal redress committee of the West Side Branch of the NAACP. Mr. Sercye offers the perspective of involvement, indicating that "any solution to be potentially implemented has to involve the community, which is why this annual event by the Chicago-Kent Black Law Students is such a good one."

For more information, contact Grace Akinlemibola at


Child and Family Law Society

February 25: Family Law Panel

The Child and Family Law Society will be hosting its annual Family Law Panel on February 25 at 1 p.m. in room 305. There will be both family law attorneys as well as a family law judge in attendance to talk about the various jobs and opportunities in the field of family law.

Everyone is welcome to attend, and it will be a great networking event! Along with this great opportunity to meet people in the field, there will also be food provided! We hope to see you all there.

March 12: Networking meet-and-greet

The Child and Family Law Society will be hosting a networking meet-and-greet event on Wednesday, March 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the lobby. Meet Chicago-Kent alumni who work in the field of child and family law. This will be a great opportunity to network with current students and attorneys in the field!

Food and drinks will be provided. In order to attend the event, you will need to RSVP by emailing Jinal Patel at This will be a great opportunity for anyone who has an interest in family law, so we hope to see you all there!


Decalogue Society/Jewish Law Student Association

March 4: Career panel

The Decalogue Society/Jewish Law Student Association will be hosting a career panel on Tuesday, March 4, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in room 580. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the legal profession from lawyers in various areas of practice. Lunch will be provided. Please email if you have any questions!


Real Estate Law Society

February 25: RELS panel "Real Estate from Start to Finish"

Our panel will discuss careers in practice areas in different stages in the real estate process, including construction law, real estate finance and development, and zoning/land use law. Come learn about these practice areas and get your questions answered!

The panel will be held on Tuesday, February 25, from noon to 1 p.m. in room 570. Lunch will be served.

Panelist Information

Jason Friedman's expertise includes development, finance, real estate law and leasing. Before joining Friedman Properties, Mr. Friedman practiced commercial real estate law in the real estate group at internationally renowned law firm Kirkland and Ellis LLP. Jason has also served as an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School.

Heidi Rowe focuses her practice on construction law. She represents owners, developers, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and lenders in a variety of construction-related matters on both public and private projects. Click through for Ms. Rowe's complete bio.

Thomas M. Pikarski focuses his practice on land use, zoning and condemnation law throughout the state of Illinois. Mr. Pikarski has successfully represented clients in seeking all forms of zoning relief, including administrative adjustments, variations, conditional uses, special uses, amendments, and planned developments. He has negotiated complex redevelopment agreements with municipalities for uses ranging from residential to heavy manufacturing. Mr. Pikarski has served as lead attorney on over 500 cases before various municipal administrative bodies and the Illinois Circuit Court.


South Asian Law Student Association

February 27: SALSA samosa sale

SALSA will be hosting a samosa sale on Thursday, February 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the front lobby.

March 5: Diversity Week Event: Bollywood Movie Night

SALSA will hold a viewing of a Bollywood film for Diversity Week on Wednesday, March 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. in room 370. The movie will be announced at a later date, and lots of Indian food will be provided!


Sports & Entertainment Law Society

February 26: SELS hosts Andy Shiffman, NBA sports agent and director of basketball operations at Priority Sports & Entertainment

Please join us Wednesday, February 26, from 3 to 4 p.m. in room 370 for our first event of the semester. Andy Shiffman is director of basketball operations and a certified NBA agent at Priority Sports & Entertainment.


Priority Sports & Entertainment is a very reputable sports agency, based here in Chicago with an office in LA as well. Over the past three years, the agency has negotiated more than a billion dollars in contracts on behalf of their clients.

Andy is a rather recent graduate of Marquette University Law School, so his perspective of the industry, in general, and his thoughts/advice with regard to opportunities for current students, in particular, should be very pertinent.

Food and drinks will be provided!




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