DePaul Law News

  • Student Spotlight

    DePaul Law student recieves Prettyman Fellowship

    First DePaul Law student to receive honor, Fadya Salem is "beyond excited" to become a Prettyman Fellow 

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  • Faculty Spotlight

    Professor Wendy Epstein named 2016 Health Law Scholar for work-in-progress "Price Transparency and Incomplete Contracts in Health Care"

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  • Alumni Spotlight

    Alumnus Don Schiller and DePaul's Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center featured in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

    Read More


DePaul College of Law Inspired by our 287 Illinois Super Lawyers

Illinois Super Lawyer® magazine recently recognized 287 DePaul University College of Law alumni - continuing the law school’s long-standing tradition of preparing accomplished lawyers and leaders in Chicago and throughout Illinois.  Among the DePaul graduates listed, 11 are in the top 100, four are in the top 50 women lawyers, and two are in the top 10, including one who is ranked as the No. 2 attorney in Illinois.

In response to this recognition of so many alumni, Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea commented that "the accomplishments and leadership of DePaul Law alumni inspire our community every day, and the Super Lawyers ranking gives us a moment to share that inspiration even more broadly."

For 2017, the top 100 list includes the following DePaul alumni:
In addition the four alumnae recognized among the top 50 women lawyers are: 
DePaul University College of Law continues to be recognized as the law school generating the most Super Lawyers in Illinois.  Super Lawyers magazine recognizes lawyers in more than 70 practice areas nationwide.  Their patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.  Only five percent of the state's attorneys are annually selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers. 

DePaul Law alumni support scholarship initiative benefiting incoming students

DePaul University College of Law launched a fundraising initiative through Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 to increase the generosity of the scholarships benefiting incoming students. It is through initiatives like this that DePaul Law continues to strengthen its mission and enhance its reputation. Dean Rosato Perea would like to share important news with our community regarding this effort.

Dear College of Law alumni and friends,

I am thrilled to share some exciting news with you!

Back in September at the College of Law Alumni Reception, I announced a generous contribution from alumnae Younghee Ottley (JD 1982). In making this gift, Younghee challenged her fellow alumni to join her in supporting student scholarships at the College of Law.

Our goal was to raise $150,000 by February 1, 2017 to help provide enhanced scholarship awards to students admitted to the College of Law. I’m pleased to announce that we have surpassed our goal! As of February 9, 2017, we have received more than $175,000 from our generous alumni and friends. I thank you for answering the call to ensure promising students will be able to receive the excellent DePaul College of Law experience, with greater affordability.

If you haven’t had a chance to contribute to this initiative and would still like to do so, we welcome your support. You can make a gift by visiting​ and designating your support for the Law Student Scholarship Fund. If you’d prefer to pay by check, you may also send your gift to:

DePaul University
1 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-2287
Attn: Advancement Gift Processing

Thank you so much for your support of the College of Law and its students; we are deeply grateful to your commitment to building the law school’s future one student at a time.

All my best,

Dean Jenn
Jennifer Rosato Perea
College of Law

The entire DePaul Law community would like to join Dean Rosato Perea in extending its gratitude to everyone who contributed to this initiative to build the future of DePaul Law.

IALI/Chaddick lunch lecture analyzes active shooter situations

Stephen Rudolph, Kathernie Schweit, and Joseph P. Schwieterman
Pictured from left: Stephen Rudolph, executive director of DePaul Law's International Aviation Law Institute; Supervisory Special Agent Katherine Schweit of the FBI's Active Shooter Initiative; and Joseph P. Schwieterman, PhD, director of DePaul College of LAS' Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.

DePaul University's Sixth Annual International Aviation Law Institute and Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development Lunch Lecture explored the importance of planning for active shooter situations, particularly in high-traffic transportation areas such as airports.

Supervisory Special Agent Katherine Schweit of the FBI's Active Shooter Initiative and the senior executive responsible for the agency's planning, policy and training to better prepare, prevent and respond to active shooter and other mass casualty situations, led the talk and answered questions from attendees regarding crucial security issues. A major component of her discussion was the often-ignored financial ramifications of active shooter incidents, and how preparing in advance for potential occurrences can significantly reduce post-situation costs. Other areas she highlighted were the need for enhanced security requirements in the design stage of new infrastructure and her belief that airports will expand their security protocols to lobbies and entryways, instead of focusing primarily on keeping boarding gates safe.

Schweit, an alumna of DePaul Law, thanked DePaul University "for the opportunity to make the business case for why security considerations must be an integral part of the initiation of all airport and urban planning efforts. Inadequately assessing security risks from inception makes a business entity more vulnerable to targeted violence and can result in extraordinary and potentially unnecessary expenses when tragedy strikes." She also appreciated "the opportunity to return to my alma mater and see first-hand how dedicated these institute participants are to tackling cutting-edge topics; topics that often have no simple answers and are fraught with competing interests."

The IALI/Chaddick Lunch Lecture is cosponsored by the College of Law's International Aviation Law Institute and the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences’ Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.

DePaul Law alumna Ritchie named WBAI 2016 top women lawyer

Meredith Ritchie, Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Alliant Credit Union
Meredith Ritchie, vice president, general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer at Alliant Credit Union, is the recipient of a 2016 Top Women Lawyers in Leadership Award from the WBAI.

The Women's Bar Association of Illinois selected DePaul University College of Law alumna Meredith Ritchie as one of 2016's Top Women Lawyers in Leadership. Only five people received the honor, which recognizes the state's most notable female legal professionals. They are recognized for their leadership and the valuable guidance they provide to others. Winners have come from various disciplines, including litigation, academia, entrepreneurship, public service and journalism.

Ritchie currently serves as vice president, general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer at Alliant Credit Union. She also leads the company's legal and compliance department and the ethics program, is a member of its senior leadership team, and oversees the in-house legal team in all matters related to mergers and acquisitions. Among the first in her industry to negotiate for cyber liability insurance, Ritchie has received accolades for combining pragmatic and creative problem solving to aid clients in business, law and risk management.

“I am ecstatic that the Women's Bar Association of Illinois bestowed this amazing award upon me and am grateful that Corinne Heggie, counsel at Scharf Banks Marmor, nominated me!” says Ritchie. “I have been so fortunate in my career to have role models and managers mentor and sponsor me so that I can be a leader. I, in turn, find great satisfaction in helping people, particularly attorneys, make connections that will enrich their careers and lives.” Alliant Credit Union and Scharf Banks Marmor LLC have also specifically recognized Ritchie for this honor.

Meredith Ritchie and Corinne Heggie, Counsel at Scharf Banks Marmor
Corinne Heggie (left), counsel at Scharf Banks Marmor and the nominating attorney, congratulates Ritchie on receiving the WBAI award.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Ritchie regularly speaks to national organizations on matters related to strategic planning and regulatory compliance. Events she has appeared at include the Association of Corporate Counsel's General Counsel Roundtable (September 2014), the National Law Journal's Corporate Compliance Event (November 2014) and the Women, Influence & Power in Law panel "Advisor & Chief: Top Ways to Communicate Your Strategy More Effectively" (October 2015). She also was featured in a 2014 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article "Aligning Alliant."

Before joining Alliant Credit Union, Ritchie was deputy general counsel, central management services and attorney/bureau chief, public aid for the state of Illinois, and state and local government corporate counsel with Accenture LLP. She also studied at the Sorbonne, the Institut d'Etudes politiques de Paris and Hamilton College.

DePaul Law announces 2016 Loan Repayment Assistance Program recipients

DePaul University College of Law is proud to announce its 2016 Loan Repayment Assistance Program award recipients. Started in 2006, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program recognizes graduates who have dedicated their career to the public sector by providing them with financial support towards alleviating their student debt. Over the past decade, more than 60 alumni have benefited from the efforts of the program and its sponsors.

The nine recipients for 2016 are:

DePaul Law 2016 LRAP Recipietns
Pictured from left: Megan Davis; Olivia Villegas; Courtney Kelledes; Brandon Williams; Jarrett Knox; Dean Jennifer Perrea Rosato; Tracy Walsh; and Professor Patty Gerstenblith.

DePaul will host a reception to celebrate the recipients at the College of Law on Thursday, November 3 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. For details, please visit the event calendar

Seven DePaul Law alumni selected for 40 Under Forty

DePaul Law 40 Under 40
Law Bulletin Publishing Company recognized seven DePaul University College of Law alumni in its annual publication featuring 40 of the most talented young attorneys practicing in Illinois. The 2016 “40 Under Forty” publication profiles the following DePaul alumni:
  • Paula S. Kim (JD '15), Polsinelli
  • Heather Becker (JD '03), Laner Muchin
  • Devon J. Eggert (JD '06), Freeborn & Peters
  • Michael L. Gallagher (JD '03), Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny
  • Patrick Giese (JD '11), Tomasik Kotin Kasserman
  • Jaime A. Koziol (JD '11), Levin & Perconti
  • Carolyn Daley Scott (JD '06), Power Rogers & Smith

For more information about the selection process, visit the 40 Under Forty site.

DePaul Law to co-host discussion on airline security

DePaul University College of Law's International Aviation Law Institute and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences' Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development will host their sixth annual lunch lecture, “Targeted Violence & Security Issues: Implications for Airport Planning.” Increase in global terrorism threats have required airports, rail and bus systems across the world to develop new ways to protect travelers, and this has become a matter of increasing importance, particularly with the holiday season approaching.

During the lecture, Katherine W. Schweit, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Active Shooter Initiative and a DePaul law alumna, will discuss the security strategies of public transportation systems. She will also answer questions about how Chicago is responding to these concerns.

This free event will be held on Wednesday, November 2 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the DePaul Center, 1 East Jackson Boulevard, Room 8005. Register to attend by emailing Only people who have registered will be admitted to the event.

Alumna Jochner discusses fee shifting in marital dissolution cases

Michele Jochner
The Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center's October Lunch-N-Learn program focused on fee shifting in marital dissolution cases in Illinois. Alumna Michele Jochner, a partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck and an active member of the center’s advisory board, examined the history of fee shifting in the divorce context.  She discussed the doctrine’s common law origin in 1917 and explained how the doctrine evolved to its current understanding today.

Additionally, Jochner highlighted a split among the Illinois Appellate Courts on this issue. Currently, the appellate courts disagree on which test the lower courts must apply to determine whether fee shifting in a particular case is appropriate: inability to pay or comparison of the parties’ financial standing. In January, Jochner will argue before the Illinois Supreme Court that a party must show an inability to pay in order for fee shifting to apply and that the parties’ financial standings is contrary to Illinois Supreme Court precedent and Illinois’ public policy.

Jochner’s presentation helped students learn that fee shifting is a common practice in family law. The students look forward to learning about the forthcoming Illinois Supreme Court decision on this issue, as it may shape their future work as family law practitioners.

Family law center helps students understand new Illinois Parentage Act

Alumna and Family Law Attorney Colleen Hurley speaks with 2L Candace Watkins about her interest in family law.
Alumna and family law attorney Colleen Hurley (left) speaks with second-year student Candace Watkins about her interest in pursuing a career in family law.
Family law attorney and alumna Colleen Hurley (JD ’14) presented on interpreting the newly revised Illinois Parentage Act during a lunch-and-learn event sponsored by the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center. Hurley explained many of the changes found in the new act’s provisions by contrasting them with the language in the former law. While Hurley acknowledges that there are still uncertainties when deciphering the statute, she has developed a firm understanding of how to utilize the new revisions.

Hurley based her talk on her experiences as an associate at the family law firm of Wakenight & Associates, PC. She covered areas ranging from how one would establish paternity to how a legally recognized parent would construct a parenting plan, and the relevance of attorneys in developing these plans. Along with providing real-world anecdotes about life as an attorney, she helped attendees expand their own understanding of the act by allowing them to review a Cook County order that laid out the formation of a parenting time allocation judgment.

After the presentation, Hurley answered questions about the practice of family law and how to break into the field.

Alumnus Roger White inspires students to make a difference in family law

DePaul Presents Alumnus Roger White To Discuss Family Law
DePaul law alumnus Roger White discusses family law with students.
DePaul’s Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center hosted Roger White from White Scott & White, for an informal discussion on life as a family law attorney. White provided nearly 20 students with practical advice on the best courses to enroll in during law school, tactics when interviewing for family law jobs, and other methods for obtaining success, such as working hard and adapting to new opportunities. White's guidance, which included advice on practicing as an attorney and for working with family clients, was useful for all students, regardless of whether they choose to pursue family law.

White ended his presentation with an anecdote about how a lawyer can go above and beyond to impact his community and client. He talked about how family law attorneys can be essential to their clients' overall well-being as well as the myriad of responsibilities that lawyers have in this role. Students enjoyed the presentation and stayed after to ask him questions about this practice area.

DePaul joins 1871, nation’s largest entrepreneurial technology incubator; College of Law part of collaboration

DePaul University is opening a dedicated space at 1871, Chicago’s prestigious entrepreneurial technology hub. (Photo by Carol Hughes)
With a commitment to innovation, quality education and providing real-world experiences to students, DePaul University is opening a dedicated space at 1871, Chicago’s prestigious entrepreneurial technology hub. The collaboration gives DePaul students, faculty members and alumni access to 1871’s programming, special events, workshops, lectures, and provides networking opportunities with industry thought leaders.

The College of Law is one of four academic units, along with the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in the Driehaus College of Business, the College of Computing and Digital Media, and Academic Affairs, to be part of the collaboration with 1871.

It is important for the College of Law to be a key partner in this collaboration. We recognize that law, business and technology are inextricably intertwined in today's world, and lawyers and law students need to problem solve in contexts—like the ones offered at 1871—where those disciplines all come together,” said Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea of the College of Law. 

As part of University Row, DePaul joins the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University, University of Illinois, DeVry University, and Illinois Institute of Technology at 1871. Each of the universities will participate in Campus 1871, a springtime, weekend-long event that brings together the best and brightest from each of the partner universities to create their own startups with like-minded university students.

“This partnership has been a long time coming and we are thrilled that DePaul is formally joining the 1871 community,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “Our partnerships with universities are one of 1871’s biggest advantages and offerings, and DePaul is a crucial addition to this fold. We look forward to welcoming people from around the DePaul family to 1871.”

Excerpted from DePaul Newsroom press release.

DePaul appoints development director for the College of Law

​Tracy Krauchun (SNL ’05, MS ’10) has been named senior director of development for DePaul’s College of Law. A longtime member of DePaul’s Office of Advancement, she has worked in a variety of roles and with all the university’s schools and colleges, including the College of Law where she began her development career.

Most recently, Krauchun served as senior director of foundation relations at DePaul. She brings more than 10 years of expertise in building strong, long-term relationships with academic partners, external constituents and alumni to support university initiatives. She has a proven track record of exceeding fundraising goals, including for scholarships and programmatic support. As the senior director of development, she will be working with the College of Law and the Office of Advancement to fund strategic priorities in the college that will enhance its reputation and the success of its students.

Krauchun is a board member of Tutoring Chicago and has served in a volunteer capacity for various organizations including the American Heart Association, the Leukemia Research Foundation and Wishing Well NFP. She is a member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the National Council of University Research Administrators and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

She received a BA and an MS in nonprofit administration from DePaul. This fall, she will begin the Master of Jurisprudence program at the College of Law.

Alumna Martha Pagliari named interim director of DePaul’s legal writing program

Martha Pagliari
Martha Pagliari, Interim Director of Legal Analysis, Research & Communication
Martha Pagliari (JD ’84) will lead the Legal Analysis, Research & Communication (LARC) program as interim director at DePaul’s College of Law beginning in July 2016. She has served as the associate director of the program since 2007.

Pagliari was instrumental in the successful development, implementation, and coordination of the upper-level legal writing curriculum. She reformatted the legal drafting courses to focus on particular areas of practice, including civil litigation, health law, family law, business transactions, real estate and intellectual property law, among others. She also advised legal drafting instructors on syllabus and assignment development to ensure courses employ interactive teaching techniques and maximize the benefits of students' skill development in a particular practice area. As interim director, Pagliari will oversee the LARC program and will be joined by associate directors Jody Marcucci (JD ’03) and Anthony Volini.

Prior to joining academia, Pagliari was a partner at Cassiday Shade & Gloor. She has an extensive background in civil litigation, including medical malpractice, products liability and employment law litigation. She also served as professor-reporter by appointment of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts for its Illinois Judicial Conference Study Committee on Complex Litigation. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois and is a member of the Federal Trial Bar.

Pagliari is an active member of several academic and professional organizations and frequently presents on the topic of legal writing. She has served as chair of the legal writing section of the Association of American Law Schools and on several committees within the Association of Legal Writing Directors. At DePaul, Pagliari also serves as faculty advisor to the appellate moot court team.

She received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and her JD from DePaul.


Alumna Shannon Schaab to lead DePaul's Law Career Services team

Shannon Schaab
Shannon Schaab (JD ’98), Assistant Dean and Director of Law Career Services
DePaul University College of Law has named Shannon M. Schaab (JD ’98) assistant dean and director of Law Career Services (LCS). An experienced legal career development professional, she has served for the past two years as associate director at DePaul. Beginning in July 2016, Schaab will lead LCS as it implements initiatives in the College of Law’s new strategic plan. This process will expand the College of Law’s efforts to build and maintain relationships with private and public sector employers and to prepare students for careers in emerging as well as traditional areas of practice.

Schaab is a proud alumna who received her JD, with highest honors, Order of the Coif, from DePaul in 1998 and served as the managing editor of notes and comments for the DePaul Law Review. Prior to becoming a legal career development professional, she practiced law as a staff attorney at The Pampered Chef, Ltd. She also worked as a litigation associate at Ungaretti & Harris LLP (now Nixon Peabody LLP) and Seyfarth Shaw Fairweather & Geraldson LLP (now Seyfarth Shaw LLP). She spent nearly five years as the law clerk to Judge George M. Marovich in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. While a clerk, she also taught legal research and writing to first-year law students. Schaab’s diverse legal background in private practice, in-house roles, and within the judicial branch gives her a unique perspective in her new role as assistant dean and director of LCS.

Schaab is an active member of both the Chicago Area Law School Consortium and the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Her articles have been published frequently in the NALP Bulletin. She also has presented on a number of career services-related topics at NALP’s Annual Education Conference and is currently both a Midwest representative on NALP’s Regional Resource Council and a member of its Law School Employment Outcomes Task Force.

Illinois Bar Foundation awards fellowship to DePaul graduate

Caitlin Duane
DePaul University College of Law alumna Caitlin M. Duane (JD ’16) has received a post graduate fellowship from the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association, to work in DePaul’s Poverty Law Clinic.

In addition, the foundation will fund public interest jobs for new graduates with two other law schools—Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Northern Illinois University College of Law. IBF will contribute $25,000 to each of the three fellowships and the law schools will fund the remainder. The law schools selected the fellowship recipients.

“There is a growing need for public interest lawyers,” said Shawn Kasserman, IBF president. “That fact, combined with the tough job market for new law school graduates, drove the creation of our fellowship program, which will provide on-the-job training for new lawyers, while simultaneously helping fill the gap in legal aid services.”

At DePaul, Duane was a Law Merit Scholar and a member of the Dean’s List. She also held posts as vice president of the Student Bar Association and president of the Women’s Bar Association. Among community service work at DePaul, she was student coordinator of the Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative, a volunteer with the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Program, and participated in a spring break pro bono staycation at the Chicago Legal Clinic in Pilsen. She also received the CALI award for excellence at the school’s Family Law Clinic.

My experiences in the DePaul legal clinics provided me with valuable experience as a law student, said Duane. I look forward to returning as a post graduate fellow and continuing to work with underserved communities on a variety of civil legal matters. ​

Duane received her BA in social welfare and justice from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. in May 2009.

For more information on the legal aid fellowship program, visit the IBF website.

DePaul receives $2.5 million estate gift for law scholarships

DePaul University College of Law recently received a $2.5 million gift from the estate of John O. Tucker (JD ’64). The gift will be used to fund a number of student scholarships, which will be available to students entering law school in fall 2016 and beyond.

“We are so thankful for Mr. Tucker’s generous gift, as it shows his appreciation for the education he received at DePaul Law, and his thoughtfulness in investing in DePaul’s future generation of lawyers,” said Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea.

Tucker, an Ohio native, served as a radar technician in the Air Force during World War II. After his military service, he returned to Ohio, enrolled in the Case Institute of Technology and earned a degree in chemical engineering. He worked for Glidden Paints and then for Cleveland-based Lincoln Electric Co., the company that would bring him to Chicago and, eventually, to DePaul.

While working for Lincoln Electric’s Chicago office, Tucker decided to pursue advanced degrees. He enrolled in DePaul’s College of Law and earned his JD in 1964. He also earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. Tucker continued to work for Lincoln Electric, transferring from Chicago to San Francisco and then to Seattle, where he would finish out a 45-year career with the company.

Though Tucker never formally practiced law, he was grateful for his legal training. He leaves a legacy that will benefit future DePaul law students who seek to advance their training and education as he did.

College of Law graduate lands public interest law ‘dream job’

Sue Lee was motivated to become a public interest lawyer by a desire to help people as much as she could in her community. Now, she is among the 2015-16 graduates of the DePaul University College of Law and the recipient of a prestigious Skadden Foundation fellowship. (DePaul University/Deanna Williams)

A criminal record is like a ball and chain — even after the sentence is served, it can weigh a person down for years. An old conviction can keep a person from getting jobs, loans, and even public housing, and those being crushed beneath this burden rarely have the legal resources to free themselves. Sue Lee finds injustices like these intolerable, and that indignation moved her to pursue a career in public interest law. 

“There’s obviously a huge gap between those who can afford legal services and those who cannot, and the wider the gap, the greater the social injustice that exists in the world,” said Lee.

This May, Lee will graduate from the DePaul University College of Law with a Juris Doctor. “I felt like I wanted to be a part of bridging that gap by providing those legal services,” she said. 

Public interest law as a second career
Lee’s first career was in the ministry, both working in a local church and most recently, at a Christian college where she oversaw the service opportunities of its students. However, she was ready to be more involved. “I was compelled to be more personally engaged in those social issues my students encountered,” said Lee. “As a person of faith, I started praying and asking people who mentored me about how I could do this, and I really felt God calling me to go to law school.”

Lee enrolled at DePaul and was immediately drawn to the Center for Public Interest Law​. Before she even began her classes, Lee reached out to the center’s executive director, Shaye Loughlin, asking how to get involved with the center’s work.

“In that first year, Sue was present for every event, every networking reception and every opportunity to learn,” said Loughlin. 

At these events, Lee began to navigate the wide field of public interest law. The center and Loughlin became a touchstone for Lee and helped her pursue scholarships and internships. “I don’t know how I would have accessed all of these resources without the center,” said Lee.  

She took a position as the center’s student assistant, and Lee brought a “tremendous skillset” from her previous work experience, said Loughlin. Lee helped with every aspect of the center’s programming and improved center communications and outreach to the community. In all that she does, Lee is adamant about advocating for support and resources for underprivileged and marginalized populations.

“I feel that as lawyers, it is our professional responsibility to be involved in some form of pro bono legal services,” said Lee. She assisted with DePaul’s Public Interest Law Association’s annual auction to ensure that her classmates had financial support to pursue unpaid summer positions in public interest law. Faculty and alumni took notice, and for two summers in a row she was awarded DePaul’s Honorable Lawrence X. Pusateri Endowed Fellowship for her summer public interest internship.  

“What I say to students is that you will get out of law school what you put into it, and Sue is a prime example. She put all of herself into being an engaged law student and pursuing public interest law opportunities. Now, as a result of that dedication and hard work, she has been awarded a prestigious fellowship that will allow her to follow her dreams and work for social justice,” said Loughlin.

In her time at DePaul, Lee volunteered for a number of public interest legal organizations, including LAF (formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago), where she worked on juvenile expungement. She also contributed time to the Chicago Legal Clinic and the Center for Disability and Elder Law founded by the Chicago Bar Association. 

A commitment to justice
Recently, the Skadden Foundation awarded Lee with a prestigious Skadden Fellowship. She will work with Cabrini Green Legal Aid and primarily focus on juvenile and adult expungement and the issues young people face surrounding criminal records, which Lee believes is one of the most difficult legal issues facing the underprivileged today. 

“So many people, even after they’ve served their time in prison or completed their community service, and after their case is closed, are still suffering the consequences of having a criminal record for many years. Somehow, an employer lawfully or unlawfully gets ahold of one’s record, and that person may face barriers to employment, housing, or public benefits. It’s all affected, and certain people are unable to move on in their lives, and I feel that that is an injustice,” said Lee.

Lee will begin the two-year fellowship in September as a full-time staff lawyer for Cabrini Green Legal Aid. She is determined and excited to bring justice to those in need.

“I basically get to do my dream job,” she said.

Spirit of service
Reflecting on her education and career thus far, Lee noted that DePaul’s Vincentian mission and values aligned with her own.

“From what I know of St. Vincent de Paul, he modeled his life after the two greatest commandments in the Bible, which are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself,” she said. “And that’s my mission in life as well.”

Story courtesy of the DePaul Newsroom. Article written by Kyle Morrell. 

Kristin Claes Mathews ​

DePaul law students, alumna receive awards for pro bono work

DePaul University College of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) recognized 84 students who collectively reported more than 15,000 service hours during academic year 2015-2016 at an awards reception on April 21.

2016 Pro Bono Alumna Award recipient Kathleen Curtin (JD '07), center, is congratulated by colleagues from the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services.
Alumna Kathleen Curtin (JD ’07) received the 2016 Pro Bono Alumni Award for her deep commitment to pro bono work in the area of family law. Curtin, who currently runs her own law practice, is a dedicated volunteer at the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services and Prairie State Legal Services. She also serves as president of the Association of Women Attorneys of Lake County.

Among the awardees, 30 graduating students received the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award for contributing 200 or more hours of service while at DePaul. The award is named for the late Benjamin L. Hooks (JD ’48), a civil rights activist and former executive director of the NAACP, the first African-American to be named to the Federal Communications Commission, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Recipients of the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award are honored at PBCSI's annual service awards reception in April.
Third-year student Alex Antonacci, a PBCSI student coordinator and Hooks Award recipient who tallied 334.5 service hours while at DePaul, reflected on her pro bono experience.

“I learned the importance of giving back,” she said. “With my law degree comes a responsibility to use it to give back to my community.” Antonacci will be working as an assistant public defender in Palm Beach County, Florida, after graduation.

Following are this year's award recipients.

Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award Recipients
Frank Albi Lucienne Doler Ann Jackson Walter Lincoln Simone Patras Krista Sifuentez
Alexandra Antonacci Sarah Foley Caroline Kane Scott Lucas Guadalupe Perez Alyssa Silva
Molly Bruno James Garfield June Kowalewski Destinee Metoyer Alexandra Perraud Morgan Wilkinson
Katherine Davis Charlie Giger James Kozlowski Maggie Miller Jacqueline Pesenko Natalia Wontorczyk
Santiago DelReal Andrew Hays Sue Lee Marta Mizak Patrick Schweska Caitlin Zusy
President's Award for Service
Elise Blandin Kate Fritzmann Qin Lu Sonam Patel
Erica Boos Jacqueline Kliment Natasha Mangal Holly Sanchez-Perry
Corinne Cundiff Sukhpal Singh Kooner Ritta Merza Brooke Sartin
Alessandra Faso Arben Kurtovic Jaime Ochoa Cecilia Villalvazo
Chancellor's Award for Service
Class of 2016
Danielle DeLeon Spires Xiaoxue Du Caitlin Duane Deirdre McGrory
Class of 2017
Ruth Abarca Abigail Durkin Maria Gimena Puppo Martinez Fei Tan
Amanda Alasauskas Lindsey Gotkin Noora Shubbak
Kathryn Brown Gina Leahy Alexandra Siciliano
Class of 2018
Nolan Downey Lasheda House Marisa Reongpongdit Elizabeth Toth
Dean's Certificate of Service
Class of 2016
Lindsay Brown Bryce Newell
Class of 2017
Natalia Anuszkiewicz Lauren Masching
Natalie Monteil
Evan Compton Kaitlin McKenzie Rebecca Smart
Class of 2018
Belfor Arichavala Sukhmanjit Kaur
Rachel Migliore​
Maria Calderon Anne Marie Knisely​ Edward O'Neill
​Alexandra Cox Morgan Litterly Nicole O'Toole
​Kathryn Green ​Daniel Melfi Erica Tremble​

Immigration advocate Edwin Silverman to address DePaul College of Law graduating class

Immigration advocate Edwin Silverman to address the College of Law's graduating class May 15.
DePaul University College of Law will hold its 118th commencement ceremony May 15 at the Rosemont Theatre where some 250 students will receive their Juris Doctors or Master of Laws degrees. The graduating class will be addressed by Edwin Silverman, a leader in U.S. refugee resettlement policies and programs. 

The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul, will confer the degrees in a ceremony scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

During a career spanning nearly four decades, Silverman led and shaped refugee resettlement and immigrant integration policy on the local, state and federal levels. With Silverman’s guidance, Illinois became a leader and national model for refugee resettlement. He began serving as the Illinois state refugee coordinator in 1976, first under the Governor’s Center for Asian Assistance, which then became the Refugee Resettlement Program under the Illinois Department of Public Aid.

On a wider scale, Silverman worked with lawmakers and policy experts on refugee matters and helped draft the United States Refugee Act of 1980, which established the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program.

From 2003-11, he chaired the Advisory Council for Immigrant and Refugee Affairs for the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. Now retired, Silverman’s long career made it possible for international victims of war, violence and terrorism to make new lives in the United States.

Silverman will be introduced by Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea of the College of Law.

Since its establishment in 1912, the College of Law has graduated more than 19,250 students. DePaul law graduates have gone on to become highly skilled, committed and vigorous leaders of the bar, bench and business industries. Alumni include numerous state and federal judges, three Chicago mayors and managing partners of dozens of major law firms.

Its rich history of quality education, access and diversity has long set the College of Law apart. DePaul was among the first law schools in Illinois to admit historically excluded groups including female and Jewish students.

The college is home to distinguished centers and institutes that are dedicated to teaching, research, advocacy, and public education and engagement across a wide range of disciplines. Distinctive educational opportunities for students include joint degrees, certificate programs and experiential learning taught by 36 full-time faculty members who are all accomplished attorneys.

Areas of concentration for the College of Law include business law and taxation; child and family law; criminal law; health law; intellectual property law and information technology; international and comparative law; and public interest law.

In 2015, the National Law Journal named the College of Law's Clinical Program, Master of Laws (LLM) Program and joint Juris Doctors/Master of Business Administration Program the “Best in Chicago.”

DePaul has had the most alumni recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers for the past seven years. In the 2016 edition, 340 were listed, with 11 in the top 100, two in the top 10 and one ranked the No. 1 attorney in Illinois.

The Rosemont Theater is located at 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Those unable to attend may watch a live stream of the event at Click on the word “webcast” once the ceremony begins.

Commencement ceremonies for DePaul’s nine other colleges and schools are scheduled for June 11 and 12. For additional information, including a list of speakers and honorary degree recipients, visit

Story courtesy of the DePaul Newsroom.

Wendy Smit
312-362-7749 desk | 312-342-6193 cell

Illinois Super Lawyers recognizes 340 DePaul alumni in 2016

Top, from left: Robert A. Clifford (JD ’76), Peter J. Flowers (JD ’92), Keith A. Hebeisen (JD ’83), Shawn Kasserman (JD ’90), Kerry M. Lavelle (JD ’89). Bottom, from left: Christopher T. Miller (JD ’02), Adria East Mossing (JD ’88), John P. Scanlon (JD ’89), Donald C. Schiller (JD ’66), Catherine L. Steege (JD ’82), Joshua G. Vincent (JD ’83).
llinois Super Lawyers® magazine recently recognized 340 DePaul University College of Law alumni —​ representing the law school with the most graduates included in the 2016 edition. Among the DePaul graduates listed, 11 are in the top 100, two are in the top 10 and one is ranked the No. 1 attorney in Illinois. 

DePaul Law has been well-known for its distinguished alumni in Illinois,” said Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea, “and each year the Super Lawyers ranking shines a spotlight on these outstanding attorneys and their accomplishments. I could not be prouder. 

Illinois attorneys who receive the highest point totals through the selection process are recognized in the top lawyer lists. For 2016, the top 100 list includes the following DePaul alumni:

In addition, two alumnae are recognized among the top 50 women lawyers

Each year, Super Lawyers rates lawyers in more than 70 practice areas in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C., through its publications and online listings. Super Lawyers’ patented selection process involves independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Only five percent of the state’s attorneys are annually selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers.

Cultivating Confidence: LARC teaches students skills for success

​​​​​What are the benefits of developing writing skills? Professor Susan Thrower has the short answer: Getting a job and keeping a job. 

“Employers are looking for writing ability and coherent analysis in writing, in addition to good overall grades,” she explained. Most of our DePaul College of Law alumni would agree, along with a number of surveys of lawyers who hire law graduates.

Thrower is the director of DePaul’s Legal Analysis, Research & Communication (LARC) program. An eastcoast native, Thrower taught at American University Washington College of Law and George Washington University Law School before dedicating more than a decade to overseeing DePaul’s legal writing program. At the College of Law, she works alongside Associate Director Martha Pagliari (JD ’84) to help students enrich their communication skills and cultivate confidence.

The LARC experience

The College of Law’s comprehensive four-semester LARC curriculum establishes a set of tools for students to hone legal thought and expression throughout law school. The LARC program recognizes that writing in law school needs to be progressive and practiced regularly, with lots of feedback along the way.

LARC I focuses on the foundational skills of synthesis, analysis, written communication and plain-language drafting during the students’ first semester. LARC II, taken in the second semester of the first year, expands upon this initial instruction and includes research skills and strategy, persuasive writing at the trial court level and reporting orally to a supervising attorney. Both require five major writing projects, as well as a number of smaller assignments. 

The program also aligns with the College of Law’s certificate programs by offering first-year writing sections in several concentrations. The same skills are learned, but in the context of an area in which the student is particularly interested–including intellectual property, family law, and public interest law. 

LARC III prompts students to hone their persuasive writing and oral advocacy skills. Students learn to write for the audience of a judge as opposed to supervising attorney or client, and briefs are developed and revised according to several rounds of feedback. Students present in a series of oral arguments before their professor, the first being a trial level motion.

The last week of LARC III features an argument on an appellate brief, for which instructors assemble a panel to replicate an appellate court argument. “It’s far more formal and it’s a big deal to students—it always has been,” said Thrower.

Third-year student Jennifer James agrees. “The final oral argument created an opportunity for me to develop the critical skill of oral advocacy,” she said. “It gave me a chance to take my culminated work throughout the semester and present my argument in a real simulation, including a panel of expert appellate attorneys.”

Grace Barsanti, also a third-year student, echoes her sentiments. “Had I not done an oral argument in LARC III, I might not have realized that I really love litigation,” she said. “It was really refreshing to be able to see where all the hard work we put into our writing assignments could actually lead, and it put into perspective what we were researching and writing about.”

Not only are students required to take LARC I, II and III, they also must take an upper-level writing requirement, which allows students to dig deeper into different kinds of writing, including legal drafting or judicial or scholarly writing.

Practicing lawyers in a leading role

For LARC III and Legal Drafting, DePaul Law takes advantage of the talents of Chicago lawyers in a wide variety of practice areas. Students can take a course in patent law drafting or matrimonial law, for example, and receive guidance from experienced and practicing attorneys.

We are always looking to have a robust pool of available adjunct professors,” Thrower said. “We like for that pool to be varied with respect to background, because we have a lot of disparate needs, both for LARC III and drafting. Martha also practiced in the city and we draw on the fantastic set of contacts she has.”

Pagliari, who was previously a partner at Cassiday Schade & Gloor in Chicago, has a background in civil litigation, concentrating in medical malpractice, products liability and employment law. From 2008 until 2014, Pagliari was appointed by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, an arm of the Illinois Supreme Court, as professor-reporter for its Illinois Judicial Conference Study Committee on Complex Litigation, which made recommendations to the Illinois Supreme Court with regard to successful practices for managing complex civil and criminal litigation.

The cache of adjuncts—sometimes up to 60—includes practicing lawyers from firms of all sizes, including sole practitioners and government lawyers. Recent hires include Shankar Ramamurthy, the assistant regional counsel for Health and Human Services and Lisa Hugé (MA ’08), a director of the Cook County Forest Preserve. Thrower says this range of practice areas helps accommodate changes and trends in the marketplace.

“We have many voices adding to the conversation on what young lawyers need when they go off to practice.” The adjunct line-up showcases the strength of the DePaul College of Law community. Alumni, including personal injury lawyer Vince Browne (JD ’97), Illinois Appellate Court Clerk Natalie Carlomango (JD ’98), and civil defense litigator Joe Comer (JD ’10) routinely teach these courses.

The LARC experience emphasizes personal feedback. LARC instructors make a point to offer office hours at times when students are not in class. Instructors carry through with mandatory conferences during all three semesters and drafting, meeting with students one-on one to discuss everything from works in progress to technical questions like citations.

“From what I can tell from my national colleagues, DePaul Law offers oodles more teacher access to students, both informally through office hours and through structured time in the conferences,” said Thrower. “This is something we were really intentional about when I came in and restructured the curriculum to make sure that we were embedding these kinds of conferences into every single semester and every LARC course.”

Jennifer Rosato Perea, Dean of the College of Law and long-time proponent of writing across the curriculum, agrees: “the LARC program is distinctive in its comprehensiveness to ensure that students ‘exercise’ their writing muscle throughout law school, in its incremental building of skills to instill confidence, and its variety of offerings by both experienced instructors and skilled attorneys.”

Prepared (and confident) to enter the real world of practice

Thrower says students tend to realize the benefit of the program when they go out into the world. Many students find that firms are incorporating time pressured writing projects as part of the interview, and they are ready for them because of their LARC experiences. Thrower believes they’re also more prepared for the performance piece of the bar exam (the MPT).

“It makes sense to me to let students practice while they’re still in school,” she said.

For example, several years ago, Thrower introduced a short capstone exercise for LARC I that gently removes the training wheels for students to realize their own progress and autonomy in writing and legal analysis. Through this exercise, she witnessed a positive response from students as well as a swell of confidence.

 Much of the gratification for her and other LARC teachers comes over time. “The gratification comes as students practice their skills in the classroom, gain confidence in themselves, and then are able to excel in hands-on experiences like externships and clinics. Students learn a bucket from us and their employers recognize it.” 

DePaul alumna successfully argues 7th Circuit immigration case

DePaul alumna Carla Espinoza (JD ’12) successfully argued a case before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals that would have permitted deportation of the appellant.

Espinoza, an attorney with Chicago Immigration Advocates​represented petitioner Hair Rodriguez-Molinero, a Mexican citizen formerly involved in the methamphetamine trade who has lived in the U.S. for years as a lawful permanent resident. Rodriguez-Molinero remains in custody of the Department of Homeland Security and is subject to removal. He sought a Convention Against Torture (CAT) deferral of removal due to threats from the Zetas Mexican drug cartel and torture from the Mexican police at the behest of the cartel, but was denied protection by an immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

The Rodriguez-Molinero v. Lynch opinion by 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner reversed the immigration judge’s ruling that Rodriguez-Molinero had failed to show that he faced a substantial risk of torture were he to be removed to Mexico, or that the Mexican government would acquiesce in the torture.

report​ from LexisNexis®​ Legal Newsroom praised Espinoza's work on the case.

t DePaul, Espinoza volunteered extensively with DePaul’s Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic​. She was named Sullivan Fellow at the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI)​, where she worked on indigenous human rights cases in association with Mexican nonprofit organizations.​​​ Through this work, Espinoza brought human rights cases before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and presented oral arguments during public hearings. One of these cases resulted in the creation of legal precedent for the Inter-American Human Rights System. 

In addition to her JD, Espinoza earned a Certificate in International & Comparative Law​​.

Four DePaul law alumni selected to 40 Under Forty

Law Bulletin Publishing Company recently recognized four DePaul University College of Law alumni on its annual list of the 40 most talented young attorneys to watch in Illinois. The 2015 “40 Under Forty” publication features alumni:

Jeffrey Becker (JD ’04), Swanson, Martin & Bell;

Andrew Engle (JD ’03), Davis | Friedman;

Sarah King (JD ’11), Clifford Law Offices; and

Matthew Passen (JD ’06) of Passen Law Group.

The DePaul alumni were selected from more than 1,400 attorney nominations submitted for this year’s publication.

Alumnus, Chicago Legal Clinic co-founder receives Justice John Paul Stevens Award

At the 2015 John Paul Stevens Awards luncheon, from left: Chicago Bar Foundation Chair Allegra R. Nethery, Diocese of Springfield Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, honoree Edward I. Grossman, Chicago Bar Association Executive Director Terrence M. Murphy, and Chicago Bar Foundation Executive Director Robert Glaves.

Chicago Legal Clinic Co-Founder Edward I. Grossman (JD '81) is a recipient of the Justice John Paul Stevens Award​ for his commitment to community and public service. Grossman was honored at the 16th annual John Paul Stevens Award Luncheon at the Standard Club in Chicago on October 13. ​Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens was in attendance to help honor this year's eight award recipients. ​​​

​Grossman co-founded the Chicago Legal Clinic in 1981 and has served as its executive director since 1985. The clinic provides legal services in southeast Chicago, Pilsen, Austin and the downtown areas, serving more than 375,000 people. He is active in several bar associations, including the Federal Bar Association, the Chicago Bar, the Illinois Trial Lawyers and the Federal Trial Bar. He is an arbitrator of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and a special commissioner for the Federal Courts, Northern District of Illinois.

Presented by the Chicago Bar Foundation and Chicago Bar Association (CBA), the Justice John Paul Stevens Award honors lawyers and judges who reflect Justice Stevens' lifetime effort to improve the system of justice and his active participation and dedication to the CBA.​ ​

Alumna receives Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship

Alumna Rocio Alcantar (JD '10) was selected by the Chicago Bar Foundation to receive a Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship. There are five fellowships awarded annually to attorneys who have dedicated their careers to public interest, and as a recipient of this fellowship, Alcantar will receive $20,000 in loan repayment assistance over five years to help her continue her career in public interest law. 

Alcantar is the supervising attorney for the Immigrant Children’s Protection Project at the National Immigrant Justice Center​. While a student at DePaul, she received practical training through the Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic​, participated in activities with the International Human Rights Law Institute​, and created the Society for Asylum and Immigration Law (SAIL), student organization.

National Law Journal readers rank DePaul law programs No. 1 in Chicago

DePaul University College of Law received first place in three program categories—clinical programs, joint JD/MBA and Master of Laws (LLM)—in the National Law Journal’s Best of Chicago 2015 Reader Rankings.

“These survey results reflect the breadth of DePaul’s distinctiveness—from experiential learning in the Chicago community, to strong joint programs with a nationally renowned university, to LLM programs in fields where DePaul is well-known,” said Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea. “We continue to define DePaul Law with these excellent programs, and are proud to be recognized by NLJ’s readers.”

This is the second consecutive year that readers rated DePaul’s clinical and LLM programs as No. 1 in Chicago. The JD/MBA program moved up to first place from third in last year’s survey. More than 1,400 readers voted in nearly 80 categories in the 2015 survey.

DePaul’s nine clinical programs provide students with community-based service opportunities and hands-on learning experiences outside the classroom. The clinical program areas include asylum and immigration law, civil rights, criminal appeals, family law, housing law and community development, mediation, misdemeanors, poverty law, and technology and intellectual property.

Offered jointly with DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, the JD/MBA program prepares students to be effective leaders and problem-solvers in the areas of law and business. The College of Law also partners with several other colleges at DePaul to offer joint degree programs in international studies, computer science and public service management.

DePaul’s LLM programs focus on the areas of health law, intellectual property law, international law and taxation. The programs are designed to provide foreign-trained lawyers and graduates of non-U.S. law schools with an understanding of the U.S. legal system, as well as to provide U.S. lawyers and law graduates with expanded knowledge and training.

21st Annual Clifford Symposium on Tort Law and Social Policy: The Supreme Court, Business and Civil Justice

The United State Supreme Court’s rulings on corporate interests and business entities, its resulting influence on matters of corporate law, regulation and a wide array of civil justice issues were addressed at this year’s Clifford Symposium on Tort Law and Social Policy, which was held at DePaul in April. Twenty-two scholars from around the country discussed what the symposium termed “dramatically altered federal civil procedure and the changing tort law landscape.” 

In 1994, Robert A. Clifford (JD ’76) endowed a faculty chair in tort law and social policy at DePaul. In addition to providing support for faculty research and teaching, the endowment makes possible an annual symposium addressing a timely issue in the civil justice area. The purpose of the symposium is to bring the latest scholarship and advances in legal practice to lawyers and scholars who specialize in tort law, civil justice and related fields. Emeritus Professor Stephan Landsman is the current organizer and director of the symposium.

Alumni Spotlight: Justin Gaudio

Justin Gaudio

The New ‘Anti’ Hero

Despite the ubiquity of the Internet, there is oftentimes still a befuddling, gee-whiz quality ascribed to it. Algorithms and SEO-speak are not easily translatable for the average person, and even though coding may be in the skill set of many millennials, that isn’t the case for older generations. What you see isn’t always what you get, especially when it’s exactly what you want.  While the Internet has been tamed since the 1990s, that doesn’t mean everybody plays nice.

Scam artists abound, capitalizing on the anonymity afforded them by the constructs of a location-agnostic digital marketplace. They use a smoke-and-mirrors approach to a sale, hoping to distract potential customers enough that they “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”—or screen—until they give up their credit card information. These websites deal in counterfeit brands, and their significant profits are a pain point for both consumers and the brands they love … and love to buy.

In fiscal year 2013 alone, according to the website of the Washington, D.C.-headquartered International Anticounterfeiting Coalition: “The Department of Homeland Security seized counterfeit goods valued at over $1.7 billion at U.S. borders.” And that’s only the counterfeit goods that were confiscated.

Into this dizzying fray of international fraud and trademark infringement walk attorneys like Justin Gaudio (JD ’08), shareholder with Greer, Burns & Crain (GBC) in Chicago. His legal career has focused on all facets of intellectual property law, including patents and trademarks, with the bulk of his experience on Internet and technology law aimed at combating online counterfeiting and infringement.

Gaudio truly enjoys his work; he’s passionate about using his technical skills to right wrongs. “It’s interesting because it combines a lot of the technical aspects of how the Internet works with my knowledge of those concepts to shut down these mostly Chinese-based counterfeit websites,” Gaudio said of his online anticounterfeiting skills, which he learned in his undergraduate career, honed at DePaul’s College of Law and has been putting into practice at GBC since 2007.

He didn’t enter into law to defend the sensibilities, reputations and wallets of duped brands and consumers from fraudulent infringers, per say. Rather, the University of Cincinnati graduate planned to use his BS in computer engineering and his minor in mathematics to work with patent law. “But,” Gaudio said, “I just fell into this Internet counterfeit enforcement space.” And he has thrived as though it was all planned.

In fact, Gaudio has worked on more than 200 cases during his short tenure at GBC, having helped develop the IP firm’s online enforcement solutions. In just the past three years, Gaudio and his colleagues have seized more than 120,000 counterfeit domains, restrained more than 19,000 PayPal accounts (and frozen more than $26 million in these accounts) and redirected more than 20 million unique visitors away from counterfeit websites.

“The massive volume of online counterfeit websites, along with the covert nature of the individuals behind the sites, usually located in China, creates significant challenges for brand owners,” he explained. “We have success shutting them down by using technology to facilitate large scale enforcement through third-party Internet providers.

“[The anticounterfeiting space] is an area that will continue to grow and will continue to be challenging,” Gaudio predicted. “Many of the people that we help clients shut down are located offshore in China, so it’s challenging to get to them, particularly from the U.S. Having the technical background combined with the legal, I think, is advantageous: It’s a skill set that you need to succeed in this arena.”

Being able to understand the Internet and how it operates—and navigate it as deftly as a fraudulent site operator would—Gaudio added, are all crucial elements to shutting down counterfeit sites. His education choices and his efforts to stay abreast of industry news and trends continue to allow him to thrive in the anticounterfeiting space. He advises that first-year students find their niches and own them. “Become an expert in a certain area; find a niche and focus on that. Don’t try to do everything. And, have an open mind,” Gaudio said.

Lucky for Gaudio’s clients—but unlucky for would-be fraudulent site operators—he is firmly entrenched in the anticounterfeiting space.

Q&A with Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea

Jennifer Rosato Perea joined DePaul on Jul 1, 2015. Rosato Perea comes to DePaul from Northern Illinois University College of Law, where she has been the dean since 2009. Rosato Perea is an active voice in the national dialogue about legal education. She serves on the Illinois State Bar Association Task Force on Legal Education and Student Debt and the Association of American Law Schools Membership Review Committee. She also formerly chaired the Association of American Law Schools New Law Teachers Conference. As one of a small number of Latina law school deans in the country, Rosato Perea strives to enhance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. In recognition of her efforts, she received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Illinois Secretary of State, the Vanguard Award from the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and the National Latino Law Students Association Leadership Award in Education and Advocacy. 

Dialogue sat down with Dean Rosato Perea to discuss her ideals and aspirations for the College of Law. This interview originally appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Dialogue. Read the full interview here​.

Q. What aspects of DePaul most appealed to you in deciding to pursue the deanship?

My interest in DePaul goes way back. I’ve known DePaul for a long time and was always attracted to its reputation – the reputation of its faculty, known locally, but also nationally and internationally. For a regional school, it’s an amazing asset to have a faculty of such breadth and depth in quality. The specialty programs are another strength. Before becoming a dean, I was a health law teacher and scholar, so I knew about the national reputation and the quality of the health law program here at DePaul. I knew many of the professors in that program and I thought it was very reflective of the entire faculty’s excellence. When I started the deanship at NIU and began working among Chicago lawyers, I learned about DePaul’s alumni and their strength and leadership in the community and, even though it was out of one corner of my eye, I saw how much dedication the alumni had to the law school. Those were three things that attracted me to DePaul.

Q. What do you think is most exciting about this opportunity?

I really am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the faculty, the law school administration and the university in helping to plan DePaul law’s future as sustainable and dynamic and to enhance its reputation. I look forward to leading initiatives to achieve those ends. During this critical time in legal education and the legal profession, it’s really important for law schools like DePaul to think about and build on what’s distinctive about the school—to leverage those particular strengths and the uniqueness of the law school and the university.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m really interested in engaging with students and helping them be successful—helping them get jobs, helping to train them for the legal profession as well as other professions in which their law degree can be a wonderful asset. I’m really looking forward to getting them well-placed in their careers and well-mentored before they graduate. 

Q. You mentioned that distinction is important for law schools. What strikes you as distinctive about DePaul? 

I think those distinctions are, in part, determined by us as a community. Some of the bright lights, the spotlights I already see include specializations that are very well known and have wonderful reputations, like intellectual property, health law, international law and aviation law. Another strength that we have is our university. The university is a tremendous resource. I believe we can attain a mutually rewarding partnership, where we can also reflect the Vincentian mission—which is very important—the charity, generosity, the dignity and respect for others. The mission really does infuse all that we do at the university and at the law school. Not only is it distinctive, but I think it is a real guiding principle for a lot of folks that I’ve talked to. More specifically, I think public service—both the public service mission and what we’re already doing in the community—can be deepened and strengthened, especially in light of the university’s mission and current strategic plan. 

I do think that our recently adopted 3YP [Third Year in Practice] and Preparing to Practice (P2P) programs are distinctive ways that we’re really being proactive about helping our students succeed with action, not just encouragement. I think we can do a lot more with our distinctions in strategic ways, such as tapping into our alumni base to get more engaged with the law school, to work with our students, to work with our administration, to really strengthen those relationships.

Q. What will be your priorities in the first year as dean?

First, I’m going to be listening. I’m going to meet with every faculty and staff member in the law school and talk about their hopes and dreams for DePaul Law. At the same time, I will be working on a strategic planning process with the faculty and the university and other constituencies, to build a strong future for DePaul, to build on its foundation, its strengths and to develop a consensual movement toward some of those priorities and some of the ways that DePaul can be distinctive.

I think it’s really important to put students first and to make sure our students are the most marketable, that they have the best opportunities and that our law school is as attractive as it can be in a very competitive market. And all those things of course go together. Last, but certainly not least, I will engage with the community, the outside community, talk to alumni, talk to leaders of the bar, talk to the law firms about how we can engage better with them. I would like to connect with legal service organizations and those that serve the indigent in our community to see how we can maybe partner in strategic ways to help not just our students and DePaul, but also the community and have more impact there. 

Q. What are your hopes for DePaul over the next five years?

It’s hard to be particular at this point, but in more broad and aspirational terms, I would like to enhance DePaul’s reputation, regionally and nationally. And I don’t just mean U.S. News rankings, because that’s only one way of considering reputation. I think it’s really important both to build internally on the quality of our programs and the human resources, and also to make sure that everybody knows all the great work that we’re doing and the impact that we’re having. It’s in part my job, as an ambassador of the law school, to make sure that our reputation is matched more proportionally to the quality that we already have and that we’re building.

I want to admit more smart and engaged students to our community over these next five years. And, as I mentioned before, I’d like to go into the colleges and the high schools to also recruit the next generation of law students. I would like to build on impactful public interest work that will increase access to   justice. We can’t do everything, but I think there are some initiatives that we can probably seed and start to grow in the next five years, to have an even greater impact and footprint in Chicago, and particularly in assisting the indigent and others who need legal services.

I’d like to put the spotlight on—this all continues from what we were talking about earlier—some program areas or points of pride. This means identifying those areas, and also strategically targeting resources (of all kinds) to those points of pride and building on them in the next five years. And my biggest hope and aspiration is a fulfilling job for every graduate who desires one.​


Latina from Chicago’s South Side blazes trail to business law

DePaul law student Amanda Moncada visits Federal Plaza in Chicago, near the courthouse where she served as a judicial extern. Moncada blazed her own trail to the DePaul University College of Law, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to a prestigious position on the DePaul Law Review and a full-time job in business law. She is among the 2014-15 graduates of the College of Law. (Photo by Jamie Moncrief)
It’s rarely good to scream on an airplane. Amanda Moncada was on a flight when she opened an email that made her feel like she could jump out of the window and fly. Moncada had made it through her first year at the DePaul College of Law and had a bold aspiration—she wanted to join the DePaul Law Review, the college’s scholarly law journal. A little voice inside her implored, “Could I make it? Maybe I could.” High above everything, the email confirmed that her hunch was correct. She could barely hold in that scream.

“It was a testament to my hard work, and I thought, ‘Wow, I must be doing something right,’” said Moncada. Her humble hunches and the “fervor to do well” have made Moncada’s successes at DePaul exemplary. She is a 2014-15 graduate of the DePaul College of Law, which will celebrate commencement May 17.

Discovering scholarship

Moncada grew up on the South Side of Chicago, and she was the first in her family to go to college. When she started her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she wasn’t sure what it would take to succeed and her family wasn’t sure how to help. “But it was more than enough to have my family rooting me on,” she said.

So Moncada set out to simply do well in college and soon found everything she needed was within her: intelligence, drive and a passion for scholarship. She studied psychology and Spanish and graduated from U of I with honors. After graduation, Moncada channeled her passion for service into Teach for America and spent two years in Boston teaching second grade. Yet DePaul Law was always on Moncada’s radar. Michael Burns, associate dean for student services, had recruited her as an undergraduate, and Moncada was impressed by the “tremendous support” Burns and others offered throughout her time at DePaul.

“DePaul faculty are so willing to help students when they’re struggling. Each professor provided an open door, and I liked that very much,” she said.

Choosing business law

Moncada didn’t struggle for long. She went on to earn awards for excellence in four of her courses and thrived as the managing editor of Notes & Comments of the Law Review. “It’s funny. In the legal field, when you give good work, you get more work,” she said.

Moncada enjoyed taking lessons from the classroom and applying them when editing and writing with the Law Review. The journal published Moncada’s article on regulation, data breaches and the Federal Trade Commission’s role in protecting consumers.

“In a journal, you’re bringing your own voice to the law and suggesting changes,” she said. “It was an amazing way for me to branch out and expand my writing skills.”

When she started to think about which area of law interested her most, Moncada found her background in psychology had a lot in common with business. She looked for a chance to work with people, solve problems and help entrepreneurs.

“Businesses interact with an end goal in mind, and most of the time they are creating innovative ideas,” Moncada said. “As an attorney, I can be at the forefront with them, thinking things through, helping them bring their ideas to fruition.”

Moncada landed two coveted summer associate positions at top firms and sharpened her business law experience. She worked at Perkins Coie LLP as well as Sidley Austin LLP, where she has accepted a full-time position following graduation.

Trailblazing for other Latino lawyers

Moncada is proud of her Puerto Rican heritage and found support and great networking opportunities within the Latino law community. “Being Latina is a very big part of my identity,” Moncada said. “Latinos are few and far between in the legal profession.”

She joined the Latino Law Student Association and said she felt lucky that two prominent Latino judges, Ruben Castillo and Mark Lopez, both mentored her. Castillo is the first Latino to be chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and Moncada served as his judicial extern. Lopez is an associate judge in the domestic relations division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

“Being coached by other Latinos who’ve been successful in the legal profession invigorates my passion to do the same. I want to trail blaze for aspiring Latino attorneys and let them know I’m a helping hand,” she said.

Dad knew dream would come true

Moncada’s father always told her, “The world is yours. You can do anything you want.” When she first confided in him that she wanted to be an attorney, he told her, “Well, you’re going to do it.” She teased him and said of course he thought that. He was her dad.

When the letter about commencement arrived in Moncada’s mailbox, she looked at it and burst into tears. She told her father, “Dreams do come true. I can’t believe that I’m actually going to graduate and fulfill a dream I told you I had so long ago.”

Moncada said she knows this is just the beginning of a long career and a long journey ahead. “I’m so thankful for everyone who’s helped me along the way, and I think I’m just getting started,” she said.

Her dad has planned a string of events to celebrate. “I think I’m just going to sit back and take it all in.”

Story and photo courtesy of DePaul Newsroom. This is one in a series of stories about DePaul University graduates from the Class of 2015.

Renowned international law scholar and human rights advocate M. Cherif Bassiouni to address DePaul College of Law graduating class

DePaul University College of Law will hold its commencement May 17 at the Rosemont Theatre where some 280 students will receive their Juris Doctors or Master of Laws degrees. The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul, will confer the degrees. M. Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul emeritus professor of law, will address the graduating class. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. 

M. Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul emeritus professor of law, will address the College of Law’s graduating class on May 17 at the Rosemont Theatre where some 280 students will receive their Juris Doctors or Master of Laws degrees. Bassiouni will also receive an honorary degree at the ceremony. (Photo courtesy of M. Cherif Bassiouni)
Bassiouni, who will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony, has spent much of his life’s work advocating for human rights and practicing international criminal law. In his 50 years with DePaul, he co-founded the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences and DePaul’s International Human Rights Law Institute. For decades, the United Nations has chosen Bassiouni to conduct investigations when heinous human rights crimes were suspected. His contributions to the establishment of an International Criminal Court, where those who commit crimes against humanity are now prosecuted, earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 1999. 

Bassiouni will be introduced by Bruce Ottley, interim dean of the College of Law.

Since its establishment in 1912, the College of Law has graduated more than 19,000 students. DePaul law graduates have gone on to become highly skilled, committed and vigorous leaders of the bar, bench and business industries. Alumni include numerous state and federal judges, three Chicago mayors and managing partners of dozens of major law firms.

Its rich history of quality education, access and diversity has long set the College of Law apart. DePaul was among the first law schools in Illinois to admit historically excluded groups such as female and Jewish students.

The college is home to distinguished centers and institutes that are dedicated to teaching, research, advocacy, and public education and engagement across a wide range of disciplines. Distinctive educational opportunities for students include joint degrees, certificate programs and experiential learning taught by 36 full-time faculty members who are all accomplished attorneys. 

Areas of concentration for the College of Law include business law and taxation; child and family law; criminal law; health law; intellectual property law and information technology; international and comparative law; and public interest law.

In 2014, the National Law Journal placed DePaul’s College of Law first for Best LLM Program and Best Law School Clinical Program in Chicago. DePaul has had the largest number of graduates on the Illinois Super Lawyers list for the past six years. 

This July, the College of Law will welcome Jennifer Rosato Perea, a nationally recognized leader in legal education, as dean. Throughout her 25 years in higher education, which includes 11 years as a law school administrator, Rosato Perea has been an active voice in the national dialogue about legal education. At DePaul, Rosato Perea will lead a law school recognized for its world-renowned faculty and innovative academic programs. 

Among the Class of 2015 is Amanda Moncada, an ambitious Latina from Chicago with plans for a career in corporate law. Read her story.

The Rosemont Theater is located at 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Those unable to attend may watch a live stream of the event. Click on the word “webcast” once the ceremony begins.

Commencement ceremonies for DePaul’s nine other colleges and schools are scheduled for June 13 and 14. For additional information, including a list of speakers and honorary degree recipients, visit

117th Commencement

This spring marks the 117th commencement for DePaul University. An estimated 6,700 students will graduate this academic year. DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest, with nearly 24,000 students and about 300 academic programs. 

DePaul was founded in Chicago in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), a Roman Catholic religious community dedicated to following the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th century priest for whom the university is named. DePaul’s tradition of providing a quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds, with particular attention to first-generation students, has resulted in one of the nation’s most diverse student bodies. More information is at

Story courtesy of the DePaul Newsroom.

PBCSI service awards reception and Pro Bono Alumni Award recipient

PBCSI Director Cheryl Price (right) with service awards winners.
The Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) held its annual service awards reception on April 23, 2015, in the DePaul Club. This year 117 law students earned a service award for reporting at least 50 hours of legal or nonlegal volunteer work while at DePaul. Students also earned service awards for reporting 100 and 200 hours of service. 

The College of Law recognized 40 students with the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award, which is given to graduating third- and fourth-year students who report 200 or more service hours. Law students reported over 18,000 hours of service in academic year 2014-2015. 

In addition to law student service awards, PBCSI presented the 2015 Pro Bono Alumni Award to alumnus Dan Sylvester (JD '13). He is currently an associate at the Chicago office of Holland & Knight and a member of the firm’s financial services team. 

Dan Sylvester, recipient of the 2015 Pro Bono Alumni Award.
Sylvester is the national chair of Holland & Knight’s Veterans Affinity Group, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the issues facing military veterans and increasing pro bono activity focused on military veterans. In this role, he has coordinated the training of over 50 attorneys in 16 cities across the country to be trained in the ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network (VCAN). VCAN provides unrepresented veterans who have pending disability benefits claims with the opportunity to work with lawyers who will help the veterans complete their claims packages for expedited review by the VA—at no cost to the veterans. 

The training that Sylvester coordinated at Holland & Knight is now posted on the ABA’s VCAN website as their approved online training for any VCAN attorney applicant. In light of his impressive pro bono record and dedication to serving veterans, PBCSI was delighted to recognize Sylvester with the Pro Bono Alumni Award. 

At the conclusion of the event, PBCSI Director Cheryl Price encouraged students to continue volunteer work while at DePaul and as they go on to practice law.

“We are proud that our students and alumni embrace DePaul’s Vincentian mission of service and social justice and have put those beliefs into action.”

See the complete list of the 2015 service award recipients.

DePaul University names Jennifer Rosato Perea dean for the College of Law

Jennifer Rosato Perea will join DePaul University College of Law as dean on July 1, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Northern Illinois University.)
DePaul University has selected a nationally recognized leader in legal education as dean for the College of Law. Jennifer Rosato Perea, an accomplished scholar in family law, bioethics and civil procedure, will join DePaul July 1.

Throughout her 25 years in higher education, which includes 11 years as a law school administrator, Rosato Perea has been an active voice in the national dialogue about legal education. She currently serves as the dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Law, a post she has held since 2009, and served as the acting dean of the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law during its first year of operation in 2006.

“DePaul is gaining a dynamic and innovative law school administrator with a stellar academic career,” said David Miller, interim provost at DePaul University. “Highly respected by her peers, Jennifer brings extensive administrative experience and a deep understanding of the current challenges faced by law schools and the legal profession.”

Rosato Perea’s legal career began with a passion for working with abused children. She felt she could make the biggest difference by becoming a lawyer. She clerked for the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill Jr. of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania before becoming an associate with Hangley, Connolly, Epstein, Chicco, Foxman & Ewing in Philadelphia. Today, she is a sought-after public speaker and has published extensively on diverse legal issues that affect children and families.

In addition to her legal scholarship and practice, Rosato Perea was associate dean of students at two universities. She spent 14 years on the faculty at Brooklyn Law School, and in her later years was a co-director of the Center for Health, Science and Public Policy and associate dean of students. She also served as associate dean of students at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law from 2007 to 2009. She has held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Villanova University.

“My own academic career started with a love for teaching, and I am thrilled to lead a college with a strong commitment to excellence and innovation in educating law students,” Rosato Perea said. “I look forward to working with DePaul’s distinguished faculty and dedicated staff, and to contribute to the impressive work that is taking place at the college and university. DePaul's social justice mission and long history with public interest law fit perfectly with my personal and professional values."

As one of a small number of Latina law school deans in the country and the first in her family to attend college, Rosato Perea strives to enhance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. She presents extensively on implicit bias and its effects on diversity and inclusion. In recognition of her efforts, she received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Illinois Secretary of State, the Vanguard Award from the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and the National Latino Law Students Association Leadership Award in Education and Advocacy.

Under her leadership at Northern Illinois University, the law school earned national recognition for diversity, value and public service. Rosato Perea doubled opportunities for experiential learning, including launching a clinic in health advocacy and dramatically expanding student externship opportunities, especially in Chicago. She led the development of a mentoring program for first-year students, pairing almost the entire class with alumni and other lawyers, and initiated a first-year professionalism program required for graduation. She also collaborated with areas across the university to create accelerated degree programs, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s and law degree in six years or less.

Rosato Perea earned her bachelor’s from Cornell University and her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She was the editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Business Law and won the Edwin R. Keedy Moot Court Competition. She is a member of the Association of American Law Schools Membership Review Committee and the Illinois State Bar Association Task Force on Legal Education and Student Debt. She formerly served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools New Law Teachers Conference.

At DePaul, Rosato Perea will lead a law school recognized for its world-renowned faculty and innovative academic programs with creative approaches to professional skills training. In 2014, the National Law Journal placed DePaul’s College of Law first for Best LLM Program and Best Law School Clinical Program in Chicago. DePaul has had the largest number of graduates on the Illinois Super Lawyers list for the past six years.

The Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) founded DePaul University in 1898. The university follows the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th century French priest for whom the school is named. With nearly 24,000 students and about 300 academic programs, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest.

DePaul’s tradition of providing a quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds, with particular attention to first-generation students, has resulted in one of the nation’s most diverse student bodies. More information is online at

Media Contact:

Kristin Claes Mathews

(312) 241-9856

Photo and release available at

Jaharis investment supports DePaul College of Law programs in intellectual property and health law

A new endowment at DePaul University College of Law will expand and strengthen scholarly and educational programs in an area where two dynamic legal fields are increasingly intersecting — intellectual property and health law.

The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc., is establishing an endowment in the College of Law to support programs in intellectual property and health law. For decades, DePaul alumnus Michael Jaharis and his wife Mary have generously supported students and programs at the college. In recognition of their support, the Health Law Institute will be re-named the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute.
The $5 million endowment established by the Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc., will create an endowed directorship for the college’s Health Law Institute; fund a faculty fellowship program for scholars to create and disseminate scholarship and curricula at the intersection of intellectual property and health law; and support a competitive internship program for up to 20 student scholars committed to practicing intellectual property and health law.

DePaul’s intellectual property and health law programs are nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The specialty programs are supported by the work of the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology and the Health Law Institute. As discoveries and innovations in fields such as genomics, nanotechnology and pharmaceuticals have accelerated, intellectual property challenges and issues have created a demand for lawyers with credentials and expertise across these areas.

The endowment will support the addition of curricula and research into interdisciplinary issues such as the law and economics of drug development for impoverished groups of afflicted individuals, and the nexus between patent law, pharmaceutical regulation and cross-border importation.

Michael Jaharis, a graduate of DePaul’s College of Law (’58), is the founder of several pharmaceutical companies. For decades, his wife Mary and he have generously supported students and programs at DePaul University’s College of Law. In recognition of their support, the Health Law Institute will be re-named the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute.

Professor Wendy Netter Epstein recently was appointed the College of Law Jaharis Faculty Fellow. Epstein, who is a faculty leader of DePaul’s Health Law Institute, has worked on curricular advances in these important fields for the College of Law and in partnership with Rush University Medical Center and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

She also has developed a health law colloquium to promote discussion between students and scholars on a range of modern issues in health law. Epstein’s research and scholarship focuses on contracts and health care law, using an interdisciplinary approach to bridge the divide between theory and practice. Her work most recently has appeared or is forthcoming in Cardozo University Law Review, American University Law Review and Case Western Reserve Law Review.

“As advances in medicine are brought to market, the interaction of health law and intellectual property will become more and more important to all of us,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul University. “The new endowment will promote academic excellence and leadership in those important and dynamic fields.”

Media Contact:
Carol Hughes,
(312) 362-8592 desk | (312) 608-2206 cell

DePaul takes top spot on law school list in Illinois Super Lawyers

DePaul University College of Law has the largest number of graduates recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers® in 2015. This is the sixth consecutive year that DePaul has maintained its first-place position on the law school list. The latest edition of Illinois Super Lawyers magazine includes 327 DePaul law graduates, with 12 recognized in the top 100 list, three in the top 50 women list, and one—ranked No. 1—in the top 10 list.

DePaul law alumni on the Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers 2015 list.
“DePaul’s placement in the Super Lawyers rankings of law schools in Illinois shows that the College of Law not only produces excellent attorneys, but also that the quality of our graduates is recognized by their peers in the field,” said Interim Dean Bruce L. Ottley.

Illinois lawyers who receive the highest point totals through the selection process are recognized in Illinois Super Lawyers Top Lists. This year, 12 DePaul alumni are included in the top 100 and alumnus Robert Clifford is ranked No. 1 in the top 10 (pictured above, clockwise from top left):
  • Anthony J. Ashley (JD ’92), Vedder Price PC
  • Joseph W. Balesteri (JD ’95), Power Rogers & Smith PC
  • Miles N. Beermann (JD ’58), Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP
  • Robert A. Clifford (JD ’76), Clifford Law Offices, Ranked No. 1 in Top 10
  • Peter J. Flowers (JD ’92), Meyers & Flowers
  • H. Michael Hartmann (JD ’76), Leydig Voit & Mayer Ltd.
  • Mark E. McNabola (JD ’85), McNabola Law Group
  • Adria East Mossing (JD ’88), Mossing & Navarre LLC
  • Robert J. Palmersheim (JD ’96), Schopf & Weiss LLP
  • John P. Scanlon (JD ’89), Healy Scanlon Law Firm
  • Joshua G. Vincent (JD ’83), Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
  • William J. Wortel (JD ’96), Bryan Cave LLP

DePaul alumnae on the Top 50 Women Illinois Super Lawyers 2015 list.

In addition, three DePaul law graduates are recognized among the top 50 women attorneys in Illinois (pictured above, from left):
  • Lori D. Ecker (JD ’82), Law Office of Lori D. Ecker
  • Adria East Mossing (JD ’88), Mossing & Navarre LLC
  • Catherine L. Steege (JD ’82), Jenner & Block LLP

Table courtesy of Super Lawyers.
Each year, Super Lawyers rates lawyers in more than 70 practice areas in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C., through its publications and online listings. Super Lawyers’ patented selection process involves independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The most heavily represented practice areas by DePaul law graduates in Illinois Super Lawyers include Business/Corporate, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction Litigation, Employment & Labor, Family Law, General Litigation, Insurance Coverage, Intellectual Property Litigation, Personal Injury (General, Medical Malpractice, Products) and Real Estate. Only five percent of the state’s attorneys are annually selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers.

View the complete list of the 327 DePaul law alumni included in the 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers.

Georgetown's Paul Butler to address race disparity and the implications of Ferguson

Paul Butler, professor of law at Georgetown University and DePaul's 2015 Enlund Scholar-in-Residence, will discuss issues at the heart of the current tense moment in race relations in the United States at the annual Enlund Lecture on February 19 at 3 p.m. in Lewis Center, Room 805, 25 E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago.

His lecture, "Ferguson 2.0: Violence, Race and Law," will address the mass incarceration and race disparities that exist with regard to incarceration for violent offenses. Butler asks, does the criminal justice system sufficiently capture and punish violence by white Americans, especially violence directed against people of color? Why do African-American men commit more of some kinds of violent crime, and how should the law respond? Is comparing “black on black” crime to police killing of blacks a “false equivalence”?

Professor Butler researches and teaches in the areas of criminal law, race relations law, and critical theory. His scholarship has been published in many leading scholarly journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review (two articles), the Stanford Law Review and the UCLA Law Review (three articles). He is the author of the widely reviewed “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,” which received the Harry Chapin Media Award.

Professor Butler is one of the nation’s most frequently consulted scholars on issues of race and criminal justice. His scholarship has been the subject of much attention in the academic and popular media. His work has been profiled on 60 Minutes, Nightline, and the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news, among other places. Professor Butler has written a column for The Legal Times and has published numerous op-ed articles and book reviews, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Daily Beast. He lectures regularly for the American Bar Association and the NAACP, and at universities and community organizations. Professor Butler has been awarded the Soros Justice Fellowship. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 2003.

Full Bio and Recent Scholarship

The Enlund Lecture is approved for one hour of Illinois MCLE credit. For lecture details and to register, visit the Eventbrite page.

About the Enlund Scholar-in-Residence Program

Established in 1988, thanks to a gift from the late E. Stanley Enlund (’42), the endowed Enlund Scholar-in-Residence Program deepens our understanding of the law and its role in society. The College of Law selects the scholars, jurists and lawyers who serve as Enlund Scholars based on the meaningful contributions they have made to the development of law and legal institutions through their research, advocacy and practice. Attracting the nation’s foremost legal minds, Enlund scholars provide the College of Law community of students, faculty, alumni and friends with differing perspectives on law, lawyers and social justice. They do so by participating in classes, meeting socially with students and faculty, and sharing their ideas through formal presentations.

Alumna Megan Kossiakoff's international legal career

International lawyer Megan Kossiakoff’s (JD ’06) young career has taken her on a whirlwind world tour, from countries in Eastern Europe to sub-Saharan Africa, and soon Central Asia. But her journey began right here in Chicago, with the discovery of a medieval manuscript at a museum exhibition.

Kossiakoff focused her undergraduate and graduate studies in history and the arts, earning a master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While a graduate student, she worked in local museums coordinating exhibitions that involved obtaining copyright permission for images. That’s when she discovered the story of the Sarajevo Haggadah, an illuminated manuscript that tells the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt.

Impressed by the measures museum officials and community members took to protect the manuscript during the 1990s Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict, she focused her master’s thesis on the practical aspects of protecting cultural heritage during the conflict. With a desire to dig deeper into cultural heritage studies, Kossiakoff enrolled at DePaul College of Law.

“In my mind, [DePaul] was the only place to go because of the unique opportunity to focus on this area of law and work with one of the world’s top experts,” Kossiakoff said. She was drawn to DePaul’s strong cultural heritage law program and the work of Professor Patty Gerstenblith through the Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law.

While at DePaul, Kossiakoff served as an editor of the DePaul Journal of Art and Entertainment Law (now the Journal of Art, Technology & Intellectual Property Law), and interned at the Field Museum of Natural History, the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Heritage Center, and the Art Law Department at Herrick Feinstein LLP.

After earning her JD, Kossiakoff took a position as a law clerk with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in the Hague, Netherlands. Following her work with the ICTY, she stayed in the Netherlands and enrolled in an LLM program in public international law at Leiden University. Since then, Kossiakoff’s legal career has taken her from one international post to another.

Kossiakoff’s next stop was Kosovo. There, she served as a legal advisor to the International Civilian Office (ICO), an intergovernmental organization with the mandate to supervise and support Kosovo’s government in its process to become a fully independent state. At the ICO, she worked extensively on drafting legislation to ensure that sites of religious and cultural significance would be protected.

Kossiakoff credits DePaul and the skills learned in cultural heritage law and legal writing programs with impacting her professional success. “In international environments, you are often working in English-language environments with people who are not native English speakers. It is hugely valuable to an organization to have someone who has excellent legal drafting skills, which is something that DePaul taught me.”

By the end of her stretch in Kosovo, Kossiakoff was the head of the ICO’s legal unit and was directly involved in drafting constitutional amendments to help end Kosovo’s supervised independence.

“As part of my position with the ICO in Kosovo, I was able to draft legislation that required government officials and religious leaders from the minority community to work together to protect cultural heritage. It was an important part of the post-conflict reconciliation process.”

After a brief assignment with the World Bank, Kossiakoff moved on to her next post with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in Juba, South Sudan. She supported the constitutional review process in South Sudan by drafting sample text for inclusion in the permanent constitution and advising committees of the National Constitutional Review Commission, a process that stalled in 2013 when South Sudan ultimately descended into civil war.

“I joke that as my career progresses my living conditions get far worse. I spent nearly a year living in a shipping container in South Sudan having very little freedom of movement,” Kossiakoff said. “You have to think creatively to get work done when there are so many unforeseen events and restrictions.” Since leaving South Sudan, Kossiakoff has worked with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as a monitoring officer in Ukraine. But she will soon be relocating again, rejoining the IDLO, the only intergovernmental organization with the mandate to promote the rule of law, as a legal counsel for their program in Afghanistan.

Kossiakoff will be based in Rome and will travel regularly to Kabul. “Going to difficult places like South Sudan or Afghanistan can be incredibly challenging on a professional and personal level,” admitted Kossiakoff. “I originally saw myself as a headquarters person, but found that working in hardship locations is far more rewarding than I ever imagined.”

Alumna teaches public interest legal skills series on working with migrant children

Rocio Alcantar (JD ’10), supervising attorney for the National Immigrant Justice Center’s Access to Counsel Project, a new initiative of the Immigrant Legal Defense Project, taught the first Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) skills series of the 2014-2015 academic year.

The series was titled "Working with Immigrant Children." As the former supervising attorney with the Immigrant Children’s Protection Project and as the lead staff attorney for the Counter-Trafficking Project, Alcantar used her experiences to create a five part legal skills series to teach laws students about how to successfully work with migrant youth.

The series was designed to give students an overview of working with migrant children, assessing the forms of relief that are available and how to serve as an advocate for this community. Alcantar first focused on the overall causes of migration. The series also highlighted the various forms of relief available to migrant children, such as asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), T Visas, U Visas, etc. Students interested in the topic engaged in classroom discussion about the struggles that lawyers face when advocating for migrant children and learned practical and transferable skills.

The series took place on five consecutive Mondays from September 29 to October 27. Students who attended all five sessions received a certificate of completion. CPIL offers three public interest legal skills series each academic year.

Alumni and students collaborate to help seniors during Pro Bono Week

As a way to celebrate Pro Bono Week, the Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) held its annual October Donate-A-Day on Friday, October 24. For the fourth year running, PBCSI and The Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL) paired up to offer a great day of pro bono service for the DePaul community.

Alumni were invited to return to DePaul and participate in this event alongside current students. The Donate-A-Day focused on assisting low-income seniors with advanced directives, such as living wills and powers of attorney for health care and property. The day started with an in-depth training on drafting powers of attorney for property and health care and preparing living will declarations in Illinois. Tom Wendt, CDEL’s Legal Director, conducted the training.

After completing the training, the volunteers headed over to the Evergreen Apartments in Old Town for the workshop with the seniors. Working in pairs, volunteers were given the opportunity to work directly with clients, conducting interviews and drafting the legal paperwork for the seniors. 

Leah Sibbio, a 1L at DePaul, had a very positive experience. "I found working directly with a client for my first time to be a very rewarding experience," she said. "The event allowed me to get a taste of how challenging and yet exciting the client interview process can be." 

Many other volunteers shared this feeling and found the whole day very rewarding. For some alumni, this was their first experience doing pro bono work. They found the pro bono day both educational and enjoyable and hope to continue doing pro bono work. In the end, the seniors received important legal assistance and the volunteers gained valuable legal experience and exposure to public interest and pro bono legal work.     

Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic issues U-visa report

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin discussed the work of students and instructors in DePaul's Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic in the article "Helping family trees plant roots at DePaul clinic."

The story specifically highlights the work of Immigration Advocacy Clinic students Geraldine Arruela, Cordia Perez, Ana Valenzuela and Katerin Zurita, who, along with supervising attorney Sarah Diaz, recently published "Unequal Protection: Disparate Treatment of Immigrant Crime Victims in Cook, the Collar Counties & Beyond." This report identifies discrepancies among certifying agencies in U-visa certification policy and practice and provides recommendations which would better align the policies and practices of those agencies with the purpose and intent of the federal U-visa scheme. The U-Visa provides eligible victims with nonimmigrant status in order to temporarily remain in the United States while assisting law enforcement. 

Download report: "Unequal Protection: Disparate Treatment of Immigrant Crime Victims in Cook, the Collar Counties and Beyond"

Download "Helping family trees plant roots at DePaul", which appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on October 24, 2014.

DePaul's LRAP award honors dedicated public interest alumni

On Thursday, October 2, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) Committee and the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) hosted its eleventh annual LRAP Awards Reception in the College of Law Rinn Law Library Rare Book Room. This year, ten DePaul alumni were recognized for their outstanding contributions to public interest law. The recipients include: 
  • Hallie Bezner (’10) - McLean County Public Defender’s Office, Bloomington, IL 
  • Megan Blatt (’10) - Life Span, Chicago, IL 
  • Chastidy Burns (’12) - Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Chicago, IL 
  • Anita Gupta (’13) - National Immigrant Justice Center, Chicago, IL 
  • Courtney Kelledes (’13) – Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Chicago, IL 
  • Jarrett Knox (’08) - Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, Chicago, IL 
  • Jessica Schneider (’10) - Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc., Chicago, IL 
  • Ashley Shambley (’10) - Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Chicago, IL 
  • Robert Simmons (’06) - Winnebago County Public Defender’s Office, Rockford, IL 
  • Lindsay VanFleet (’10) - Vermillion County Public Defender’s Office, Danville, IL
Following CPIL executive director Shaye Loughlin and LRAP Committee chair Professor Patty Gerstenblith's presentation of the awards, recipients delivered inspiring remarks to students, faculty, staff, alumni, co-workers, community supporters and family. The LRAP celebrates the outstanding DePaul public interest law alumni in the Chicago community and across the country.

Creating a dialogue with Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore (JD ’77) is more than just a successful lawyer. His enthusiastic and dedicated litigation in important civil rights cases is the definition of a social justice advocate, and reminds us there is still much to be done to help people access the justice system. As a law student, Moore advocated for his fellow students while president of the Student Bar Association and for the community while participating in the school’s newly established and cutting-edge legal clinics. Those opportunities inspired Moore to represent people whose voices might otherwise not be heard.

As a dedicated civil rights attorney and partner at Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, Moore gained increasing recognition this past year for his work and leadership in the landmark New York stop-and-frisk case, Floyd, et al v. City of New York. Moore estimates the victory will save nearly 600,000 people from undue harassment and embarrassment by police this year.

The high-profile civil suit filed on behalf of the “Central Park Five” will soon reach settlement. The case involves violent police coercion of five minority youths which lead to false confessions to a brutal crime in which exculpatory evidence was ignored. Moore also recently settled MacNamara v. City of New York, a case filed after the mass false arrests of about 1,800 protestors during the 2004 National Republican Convention.

“We have a gift as lawyers to be the voice for the people,” stated Moore, “and to confront those responsible for the violation of rights under the Constitution.” He sees the law as a tool not only for social change, but for psychological empowerment. “Our clients can’t just walk up to a police officer and grill them about what they did or could have done. Depositions are an opportunity for us to do that.” He continued, “I invite clients [to depositions] because, for them, it feels like someone is finally listening and asking the real questions.”

While clients’ interests come first, Moore recognizes that the matters he litigates arise from social and political dialogue. He noted the importance of community and grassroots organizing, and speaks about change holistically. Representative of that approach, Moore’s cases tend to focus on patterns and policies that discriminate, and target systemic issues that disenfranchise large groups of people.

Moore reflected on the settlement of the three cases, emphasizing that it is not always about the win. “Even if you don’t win, there’s a cathartic effect for clients. That matters.” Going further, he criticized viewing cases as being “good” or “bad,” and stressed that “any case that vindicates the violation of civil rights is a good one.” The impact of Moore’s work extends far beyond New York. On a national and international level, he and others are helping to call attention and much needed reform to how the police and authorities interact with people, especially people of color. Moore suggests that anyone interested in entering the civil rights field should “just do it. Go out there and hang your shingle. There’s something to be said about perseverance and sticking it out.”

He would know.

CPIL expands mentorship programming for students

In a rapidly changing legal market, the role of mentors is all the more critical. With this need in mind, the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) launched several new programs this year, in addition to introducing new changes to the longstanding attorney-to-student Public Interest Mentor Program.

CPIL started the school year by continuing the traditional student-to-student mentoring program. Incoming first-year public interest students are matched with second and third-year public interest students who serve as a resource to learn more about law school and DePaul’s extensive public interest programming. Mentors helped new students prepare for classes, connect with other students, and even shared an outline or two. Maggie Miller connected with many mentors through CPIL and found the program to be particularly useful in making the transition to law school.

“My favorite aspect of the CPIL mentorship program is the collaborative peer-based guidance,” said Miller. “The legal world and the world of legal education are very interesting new frontiers that were very intimidating when I started law school. Forming friendships with people who have been in my shoes and survived was probably the most helpful thing I did this year.”

During February, CPIL connected students and alumni for a professional mentorship program. Students had the opportunity to meet alumni at the Annual Public Interest Mentorship Reception. This year’s reception featured speed networking, students rotated in small groups among several tables of attorneys. They were able to meet every attorney at the event, learn a bit about their respective practice areas, and spend the remainder of the reception continuing conversations on a one-on-one basis.

After the reception, groups of two to three attorneys were matched with six to eight students for the yearlong meeting three times over the course of the year with the mentorship program. The small groups commit to goal of helping students learn more about the legal profession. Assistant Appellate Defender Gil Lenz (JD ’05), who participated in the mentorship program and reception, finds mentoring law students to be mutually beneficial.

“As a practicing attorney, I think the best way you can help students who want to do public interest work is to meet with them face-to-face and really get into the specifics of what these jobs entail,” Lenz said. “I also believe that the program benefits my agency, the State Appellate Defender. I know that we have had many excellent interns from DePaul over the years, some of whom are now my colleagues. Helping students who are interested in this work find the Appellate Defender is a win-win.”

Margaret Kuzma (JD ’12) a Skadden Fellow with LAF who provides general civil legal services to veterans and their families, also found the mentorship program valuable. Kuzma stated, “I think CPIL students give more to me than I can ever impart to them. Seeing their enthusiasm for public interest law is tremendously motivating. Mentoring them is an absolute pleasure.”

In addition to these programs, CPIL continued to host small group lunches to connect students and attorneys in specific practice areas. The practice areas this year included immigration, veterans’ legal service and juvenile law. The lunches are limited to 20 students and allow the students to have informal conversations with practitioners as opposed to the traditional panel presentation. CPIL is committed to strong mentorship programing to help public interest law students on their path to becoming attorneys. 

3YP: Strengthening DePaul's commitment to experiential learning

The College of Law is enriching its JD curriculum with the Third Year in Practice Program. Known as 3YP, the program gives students an opportunity to complete general law school course requirements in two years and spend their third year immersed in the practice of law.

Launching in fall 2014, 3YP will combine clinical, simulation and professional skills courses with an intensive externship program. Participating students will spend a significant part of their third year working in select government agencies, nonprofit organizations, law firms or judicial chambers under the close supervision of a practicing attorney or judge.

The 3YP option enhances DePaul’s experiential learning curriculum by allowing for more out-of classroom credits and a more intensive field placement experience, with an ultimate goal of better preparing students for the realities of the profession.

A call for change

The program responds to the changing demands of the legal field and reflects recent practices by law schools and attorneys aiming to reinvigorate instruction and the profession.

In 2013, the American Bar Association (ABA) Task Force on the Future of Legal Education conducted a review of legal education. Its report—for consideration by institutions, the legal world and the public—called for sweeping changes. Among them, the panel requested increased innovation in law schools and a greater shift from doctrinal instruction toward development of the day-to-day skills and competencies required by lawyers.

“Legal education embraces new forms of pedagogy, but not always along the same timeline as other areas of study,” said Associate Professor Allison Tirres, co-creator of the 3YP program. “Law schools and law professors have for a long time done things that are innovative, including using the Socratic method of question and answer in the classroom— rather than mere lecture—and providing clinical opportunities. I think many law schools are just now moving forward with further pedagogical innovation.”

At a retreat in October 2013, DePaul College of Law faculty members discussed the structure of the law school’s curriculum. The dialogue, Tirres said, was “informed by a growing recognition that experiential learning is an important and valuable part of legal education.”

The 3YP concept originated with Associate Professor Zoë Robinson, who conceived of it as part of a three-track program at DePaul, allowing students to pursue a traditional JD, a joint JD/LLM or a third year in practice. Faculty members acknowledged its benefit for a certain subset of students, as well as for the university in deepening ties with legal practitioners and nonprofits in Chicago.

Tirres took on the responsibility to build the program and enlisted the help of senior faculty member Professor Leonard Cavise, director of the Center for Public Interest Law and Chiapas Human Rights Practicum, to craft the basics and guide it through the faculty approval process. They also convened an informal working group to further hone the proposal.

Clinical Instructor David Rodriguez soon emerged as program director. His experience in nonprofit and for-profit sectors, and enthusiasm for legal education and innovation stood out to Tirres and the 3YP program committee, comprised of faculty, staff and alumni.

Rodriguez took the committee’s momentum even further, researching pedagogical theory and consulting contacts at other law schools and legal clinics. He also reached out to local practitioners to discuss the most promising externships for 3YP students.

The end product allows students to apply following their first year and, if accepted, combine the classroom work for the second and third years. The third year will be open for externships, clinics and professional skills courses.

To create even more time for experiential learning, DePaul is increasing the allotted out-of-classroom credits from 12 to 21, still within ABA regulations. The combination of clinics and externships will give students an unprecedented opportunity to work directly with actual clients and one-on-one faculty mentors.

Clinics and professional skills courses will expose students to litigation and transactional work, focusing on legal drafting, negotiation and client counseling. In addition, the program will include a capstone seminar designed to help students retain the skills learned in 3YP. Rodriguez says that the range of approaches will create a powerful dynamic for program graduates.

Addressing new needs

Advocates of 3YP also see the full-immersion approach as a step toward addressing the national imbalance between market underemployment and unfulfilled legal needs.

“The legal profession needs to serve more people in more places, not just those in big cities and not just those with high incomes,” explained Tirres. “This is increasingly true in recent years, since the big firm model of legal service delivery has pulled most lawyers out of rural areas and out of the price range of most clients. We should be preparing our students to be able to open their own practice and to take that practice wherever there is a need.”

In addition to the market shifts, Rodriguez points out that law students are changing. Institutions are responsible for addressing the developments in communication, professional dynamics and even cognitive processing on account of technological innovations, he says.

Some colleges are adjusting to the change by looking to existing or emerging models. Harvard Business School’s spherical “hive” classrooms help students close the gap between school and career by replicating the crowdsourcing approach of corporate learning circles and allowing students to educate themselves using laptop computers.

Law schools are taking a more conservative approach, looking to models used in professions like teaching and medicine, which require extensive on-the-ground training.

“Medical schools utilize the residency as a way to train students,” said Tirres. “The government funds different programs to ensure that doctors go to areas where there is a high need. We don't have this training structure in law. But we can expand our curriculum to provide intensive fieldwork for students. 3YP is one way to build on our current offerings and provide that kind of training for fledgling lawyers, while also serving the needs of clients in the greater Chicago area.”

The effort to produce great lawyers—and a greater number of practicing lawyers—is gaining momentum beyond the institutional realm. As an article in the March issue of National Jurist pointed out, California’s state bar task force has proposed a competency training requirement en route to law licensure.

Continuing an experiential approach The 3YP opportunity is merely the latest chapter in DePaul’s commitment to skills-based training—an extension of the educational philosophy the school has maintained for decades. The Field Placement Program, established in 1974, still thrives today, offering nearly 200 externship placements with private firms, corporations, and public interest and government agencies.

Experiential education is not new at DePaul,” explained Professor Barbara Bressler, newly named associate dean of experiential education, who has served in leadership roles with the Field Placement Program, the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology, and founded the Technology/Intellectual Property Clinic. In her role as associate dean, Bressler will carefully manage the College of Law’s experiential learning efforts.

“DePaul has consistently expanded experiential opportunities for students over the years. It is because we already have excellent skills, practicum, clinical and field placement offerings, that we can offer the 3YP experience to our students.

“I know that with the support of the university and our wonderful alumni and with the participation and assistance of our dedicated and enthusiastic faculty, the law school will be able to offer innovative experiential programs that will be well received by our students and the practicing bar.”

By all accounts, 3YP is designed to accommodate diverse career paths by providing students with comprehensive, legal training in an organized fashion.

“We’ve had a number of students who, because of the confidence they gained participating in our experiential learning programs, were able to establish their own practices, or immediately contribute to a small or midsize firm,” Bressler added. “The number of our graduates who work in solo, small or midsize practices is likely to increase given the need for lower-cost legal services and the changes in the way that larger firms are operating.”

Recent alumna Renee Gross (JD ’13) says she benefited from the College of Law's experiential approach. At DePaul, she participated in the misdemeanor and poverty law clinics, both of which exposed her to the process of preparing a case, interacting with clients and appearing in court. She also interned with the housing practice group at the Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF).

“At LAF, I researched cases, interviewed clients, and drafted motions and legal memos on different housing law topics,” Gross said. “All of these experiences helped build my confidence and developed my understanding of the legal system. They provided greater insight into the health struggles of some of our society’s most vulnerable populations.”

As coordinator of legal initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, Gross now provides analyses and support for national, state and local public health policy options concerning food marketing. She notes that many of her peers are interested in pursuing careers where they can apply their degrees in a nontraditional manner and says 3YP makes sense for law students in today’s legal environment.

“Every specialization within the legal field requires ample experience,” she said. “The classroom component is essential, but it’s important to balance this traditional aspect of law school with time spent learning from seasoned attorneys and working on solving real legal problems.”

DePaul’s greater mission

Strengthening student career preparation and supporting creativity in teaching are fundamental to the experiential education program at DePaul. The program places faculty in closer contact with students, which Rodriguez hopes will encourage creativity in instruction.

He believes the program could soften transitions not only for students entering the legal market, but for the College of Law and its professors as the larger academic community incorporates new approaches to teaching law.

“[Professors] are able to give virtually instantaneous feedback to the student, but they are also forced to continually assess the efficacy of their own teaching models,” he said.

As an instructor in DePaul’s Poverty Law Clinic, Rodriguez said he makes a conscious effort to impart the fundamentals of good counseling. “In our clinics, we teach students not only how to represent real clients in real cases,” he said, “but also important intangibles, like the unique struggles of clients, and the common humanity with those who come from many different walks of life. In this way, a good teacher is also a good Vincentian teacher."

Rodriguez points out that the 3YP program aligns with DePaul University’s Vision 2018 strategic plan. The first objective calls for curricular innovation and program development to adequately prepare students. While this may seem like a traditional goal, the plan acknowledges a broader institutional commitment to student outcomes.

“Ultimately,” Rodriguez suggested, “we always need to be mindful of our approach so that we can help our students become more mindful of their own.”

Alumni spotlight: Linda Friedman of Stowell & Friedman, Ltd.

A ticket to a Rolling Stones concert led Linda Friedman to a chance taking of the LSAT, which set the stage for her to discover a love of litigation and enthusiasm for civil rights law.

As the story goes, Friedman planned to attend the show with a group of friends who were scheduled to take the test right before the concert. The group had purchased field tickets for the floor of the stadium. In an effort to avoid separation, Friedman decided to sit in on the exam with her friends. She signed up for the LSAT on the day of the exam—and did well.

Oddly enough, she said, none of those friends ended up going to law school.

Friedman, however, embraced her natural legal ability and enrolled at DePaul. She found herself primarily drawn to the students attending evening classes, “because they had careers and lives, and had made a deliberate choice to go back to law school.” She split her time between day and evening classes to accommodate jobs that let her experience different areas of law—a move that, in retrospect, she credits with helping her find her way. “I think it’s what every law school student should do: Use law school as an opportunity to figure out what makes your heart tick, what makes you happy in law.”

Through the College of Law’s externship program, Friedman worked under James B. Parsons, the first African-American federal district court judge in the country, who drew out her fervor for civil rights. That externship continued on a voluntary basis after the semester was over because a law clerk was going on maternity leave. Later, Friedman moved into a federal clerkship of her own under Judge Harry D. Leinenweber.

“Between the extern experience and the clerkship, I watched dozens and dozens of trials, participated in jury instruction conferences, conducted legal research and prepared bench memoranda for the judges: I had a full apprenticeship,” she said.

Through Friedman’s next job, she met Mary Stowell and Richard Leng, both of whom had previously worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Together, they started Leng Stowell & Friedman, Ltd. in 1989, when Friedman was 29 years old. Leng and Stowell, she explained, were both experienced trial lawyers who brought with them corporate and criminal experience, respectively, and Friedman knew civil rights law. Leng left after about 10 years and Stowell just recently retired, so Friedman runs the Chicago-based civil rights law firm, now called Stowell & Friedman, Ltd.

“If you attend DePaul Law you get a wonderful education. There’s no question that the educational experience taught me the skills I needed to think like a lawyer. Because the law school is located in downtown Chicago, I also had the opportunity to spend three years figuring out what I liked and what I didn’t like, and where I could really see myself contributing [as] a lawyer.”

In other words, “I knew what I detested, what I could tolerate and what I loved,” she said.

“I just felt a pull to do something, on a personal level, that would be meaningful,” Friedman said, explaining why she felt passionate about becoming a civil rights lawyer. “I love to be part of change. To learn about it, to study it, to work with the experts who are at the top of their fields trying to understand how to make the world a better and more fair place.”

Friedman credits the practical experiences she pursued while at the College of Law with providing an advantage over her peers. She tries to recreate this for law students, recent grads and lateral hires that apprentice with her, so they not only learn to be effective lawyers but also how to run a law firm. Many have moved on to open up their own firms or become partners at her firm.

For Friedman, success is defined by the amount of change she and her colleagues are able to inspire. “It makes me happy to know that we’ve changed a lot of peoples’ lives. That we’ve taught people how to stand up and change their own life experiences, and teach their children, nieces, nephews and neighbors to do the same.”

Friedman points to McReynolds et al. v. Merrill Lynch as a case she is quite proud to have worked on. It was a nine-year legal battle that ended in an appellate decision, and achieved certification of a nationwide class of approximately 1,400 African-American financial advisors and trainees to determine liability and injunctive relief for claims that the firm’s policies had a racially disparate impact. Friedman’s firm recovered $160 million, the largest common fund ever achieved in a settlement of a race employment discrimination class action.

“Sometimes it isn’t always fun to be chef, cook and bottle wash of a firm,” Friedman said. “But I do [have a sense of] pride when I walk through the door and I know that there are 25 people who come to work every day at a place that I, along with my partners, created.”

Judge Durkin offers tips to new grads at commencement

Judge Thomas M. Durkin (JD '78), commencement keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Durkin)
DePaul College of Law graduated 313 law students at its commencement on May 18, 2014. The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul University, conferred degrees at the ceremony and Larry R. Rogers Sr. (JD '83) inducted the new alumni.

Dean Gregory Mark presented an honorary degree to Northern District of Illinois Judge Thomas M. Durkin (JD '78), who also delivered the keynote address offering his best advice to the new law graduates.

Judge Durkin's 10 Tips for DePaul Law Graduates:

1. Remember the habits you learned at DePaul, among them — concentration and excellency.

2. Keep up your health and happiness.

3. Be nice.

4. Be agile, don't limit yourself, embrace the unexpected.

5. Be thankful. As long as your mind works, you can still be a lawyer.

6. Get over yourself!

7. Don't ever regret the choice you made to go to law school.

8. Run a little scared. Excellence and effort will be rewarded, hard work is rewarded with opportunities.

9. Never give up dreaming about your dream job.

10. Remember why the legal profession exists: to help those in need.

Adapted from Durkin's 2014 commencement address.

Uncle and niece unexpectedly become classmates, finish law school together

Kimberly Rios and Armando Rios (Photo: DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
Armando Rios and his niece Kimberly Rios had no idea they shared a passion for law. But on the afternoon of law school orientation, Kimberly turned around to find her uncle standing behind her.

“I asked him, ‘What are you doing here?’” Kimberly recalled, laughing. “Then I saw his name tag and said, ‘No way!’” Armando was equally surprised to learn that his niece was his classmate. “I saw her across the room, and I knew exactly who that was,” he said.

On May 18, their family will celebrate when both graduate from DePaul University’s College of Law. Throughout their time at DePaul, Kimberly and Armando found ways to support each other, even though they pursued different paths.

Early inspiration drove Kimberly to law school

Kimberly found her calling while studying for the eighth grade U.S. Constitution test. “I loved social studies and learning how the government works. I knew then that I wanted to go to law school,” Kimberly said.

Growing up in Aurora, Illinois, Kimberly was first generation Mexican-American, and her parents placed a strong emphasis on higher education. “I’ve always been into school; my mom never had to pressure me to do my homework. I always felt an obligation to do it on my own,” Kimberly said. In high school, she interned with the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s office and found her niche in criminal law.

She went on to study political science and English at Aurora University and also worked for a criminal defense attorney. “I thought that I wanted to be a prosecutor, but then I saw what it’s like to be on the other side,” Kimberly said. “By defending someone else’s rights, I’m defending my own. And I’m making sure the Constitution is defended,” she said.

As a law student, Kimberly worked for O’Connor Law Group LLC on personal injury cases and found that being fluent in Spanish has helped her connect with clients. “Being able to speak to the clients in their native language allows me to build a relationship with them and establish stronger client-attorney trust,” she said.

Kimberly said her classmates at DePaul brought a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds to class, which enhanced her learning experience.

“It’s always good to have a diverse population to give various perspectives on different issues in a discussion-based class. DePaul’s diverse student body — from socio-economic status, to age and race — was reflected in my classes,” said Kimberly.

Armando combined love for aviation with interest in law

Flying is Armando’s first passion. He holds a private pilot’s license and earned a bachelor’s degree from Lewis University in aviation maintenance management. “There’s nothing like flying in the clouds, the instruments telling you you’re right there on course,” Armando said. However, a difficult time in Armando’s family life took him in an unexpected direction.

“My dad came to America searching for better job opportunities and then later started his own mattress manufacturing business,” he said. “In the beginning, I was planning on going to Florida to finish my commercial pilot’s license,” Armando said. “But then my father got sick, so I had to stay in Aurora to help take care of him.”

When his father became ill, Armando faced legal challenges in managing his father’s end of life care. “Then I knew I wanted a law degree to help other people in the same situation.”

Returning to school several years after completing his undergraduate degree, Armando was drawn to DePaul. “I grew up watching Blue Demon games — the men’s and the women’s — and I have always been really familiar with DePaul.”

Armando took two aviation law courses at DePaul that connected with his real life experience from the field. Armando had interned with the Federal Aviation Administration and assisted in investigating airplane crashes. Being back in the classroom was much different than working on an airplane. “It was hard to get back into the swing of things,” Armando said.

However, Kimberly and Armando were able to be there for each other throughout their studies. “Occasionally we would have lunch together and always made sure we reached out to one another,” said Armando.

“We only took two classes together,” said Kimberly. “We wouldn’t sit together or anything; I like to sit in the very front and my uncle liked to sit in the back. In the classes we took together we would help each other with homework, send each other references and give support to one another in class,” she said.

Armando smiled and laughed as he remembered when two of their professors found out that he and Kimberly were related. “None of our professors really knew that we were related, but a couple did figure it out. After that, one professor used us in hypothetical, which is similar to an in-class scenario. And the other just started to call me ‘uncle’ whenever he saw me.”

Both Kimberly and Armando have high hopes for after graduation. Kimberly will be starting a full-time position with O’Connor Law Group and dreams of one day working for a public defender’s office. Armando is pursuing a position that will incorporate his studies in aviation and his law degree.

One in a series of stories about graduates from the Class of 2014 published by DePaul's Newsroom.

Juvenile law leaders share career advice

Students interested in juvenile law learned about careers in this area during a recent Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) event. Practitioners Betsy Clarke, of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, Peter Newman, of the Cook County Court, and Elizabeth Vastine, of Stone Vastine Group, discussed their work and the range of opportunities available in juvenile law.

Clarke (JD '77) is founder and president of the Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI), which partners with John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Models for Change in Illinois. She explained how JJI works to address jurisdictional right-sizing and reform, reduce detention and incarceration of youth, eliminate racial disparities, develop community-based resources and enhance fairness.

Newman talked about his work as program administrator for the Juvenile Justice & Child Protection Resource Section of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. He assists and supports presiding Judge Sophia Hall in creating initiatives to bring the court into coordination with the community and to better serve children and families within the Juvenile Court's jurisdiction.

Vastine, principal at the Stone Vastine Group, develops curriculum, trains and consults in conflict resolution, mediation and restorative practices in a variety of settings including, group homes, academic institutions, law enforcement agencies and the juvenile justice system. She and Newman also teach Restorative Justice and Juvenile Justice courses at DePaul.

In addition to coursework, Clarke, Newman and Vastine all recommended that students volunteer on a regular basis and pursue internships to explore the area of juvenile law.

PBCSI recognizes record number of students, alumna for service work

At its annual service awards reception on April 22, the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) recognized a record number of law students—more than 140—who reported at least 50 hours of legal or nonlegal volunteer work while at DePaul. In total, law students reported more than 20,000 hours of pro bono and community service in academic year 2013-2014, setting another record for the College of Law. PBCSI also presented 46 students with the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award, which recognizes graduating third- and fourth-year students who have reported 200 or more service hours.
Pro Bono Alumni Award recipient Jean A. Adams with PBCSI Director Cheryl Price.
In addition to law student awards, PBCSI presented the 2014 Pro Bono Alumni Award to Jean A. Adams (JD '80). Her law practice focuses on trusts and estates planning, guardianships and decedent estates. Adams began her pro bono career in 1982, shortly after gaining admission to the bar and has handled hundreds of pro bono cases since then, primarily with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS). CVLS awarded her its Distinguished Service Award in 1995 and 2002 for her “excellent work and commitment to serving Chicago’s poor.” Her pro bono work has focused on guardian ad litem work for disabled adults and minors in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Peter Ashmore, managing attorney for CVLS and adult guardianship program director, nominated Adams for the award.

“Jean’s tenacious commitment to pro bono and community service work and her determination to make the organized bar a force for improving the legal profession and the community make her a superb choice for this award," he said. "Jean Adams, in sum, is an extraordinary attorney: generous, effective, and a fighter for equal access to justice.”
After recognizing the awardees, Price encouraged students to continue their volunteer work at DePaul and as they move on to practice law. “Our students and alumni know that pro bono and community service are integral to the College of Law and have put their beliefs in action as they have headed out into the community to assist the poor and disadvantaged," Price said. "In the words of St. Vincent de Paul, these students have worked ‘with a new love in service of the poor’ and we are very proud of them.”
The 2014 recipients of the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award.

Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award

Rasheda Armstrong

Kyle Brennan

Erin Calandriello

Julie Carrillo

Michelle Cass

Javier Castro

Brandon Clark

Megan Davis

Cathleen Doolan

Hope Dunbar

Stephanie Fuller

Katherine Galbraith

Martisha Garcia

Chelsey Green

Kevin Harpring

Alyson Hau

Roberto Hernandez

Sarah Hunter

Colleen Hurley           

Sydney Hutt

Brian Jant

Emily Jenkinson

Lindsay Jurgensen

Jessica Katlin

Bradley Kaye

Samuel Keen

Maheen Khatoon

Miriam Martinez

Marisa Menendez

Courtney Morso

Caroline O’ Connell

Bianca Pucci

Cortney Redman

Benjamin Rios

Kimberly Rios

Amanda Rizzo

Lee Robbins

Catherine Ryan

Erin Sostock

Forrest Sumlar

Anna Szymczak

Marlena Tonelli

Brooke Tucker

Daniel Watkins

Kevin Wender

Sarah Wilson




President’s Award

Class of December 2014

Emily Morrison

Class of 2015

Adenike Adubifa

Jennifer Chow

Ashley DeVeaux

Alexander Giller

Sergio Gomez

Katlyn Gregg

Angelica Griffin

Jacqueline Horn

Katie Ilijac

Kyle Kamego

Kelly Krauchun

Ryan Leal

Helen Lozano

Dustin Mosier

Genevieve Niemann

Andrea Zambrano Garzon

Class of 2016

Michael Boisso

Melissa Cubria

Jeffrey Moisan

Noah Schmidt


Chancellor’s Award

Class of 2014

Elizabeth Allison

Michelle Booker

Caleb Brown

Richard Halm

Rigid Hinterberger

Joseph-John Homsy

Kinza Khan

Brittany Lee

Jason Markovich

Maria Schletker

Amy Seamann


Class of 2015

Courtney Carroll

Arielle Einhorn

Stephanie Garces

Zachary Greening

Cathryn Hall

Jennifer Holder

Chrstina Kuklinski

Anna Mangia

Elizabeth McErlean

Smantha Mounford

Steve O’ Connor

Anastasia Palivos

Maxwell Qualls

Jessica Robinson

Juan Manual Rodriguez

Hannah Scruton

John Slagle

Max Suchan

Emily Welter


Class of 2016

Katherine Davis

Angel Figueroa

Erasmo Garcia

Meredith Popkes


Dean’s Certificate of Pro Bono Service Award

Class of 2014

Brittany Fraser

Taylor Goulbourn

Rachel Johnson

Jamie Leberis

Megan Natalino

Matthew Novario

Andrea Preisler

Drew Redmond

Melissa Reeks

Rachel Shapiro

Lindsay Vanderford


Class of 2015

Jessica Brito

Thomas Kerper

Natalia Olejarska

Jacqueline Pesenko

Courtney Todt

Rachel Werner



Class of 2016

Frank Albi

Santiago Del Real

Sue Lee

Ryan McGovern

Francis Murray

Guadalupe Perez

Alyssa Silva

Morgan Wilkinson

Yan Zong





Dean’s Certificate of Service Award
Class of 2014

Julia Lisowski

Zara Rashid

Nicole Roman

Michelle Villanueva

Andre Wallace




Class of 2015

John Cooper

Maura Mitchell

Rabia Muqeet

Yesenia Perez

Andrea Sinacola

Class of 2016

Lauren Bailey

Vaughn Bentley

Molly Dugan

Christopher King

Walter Lincoln

Danielle Olson

Amanda Roenius

Krista Sifuentez

Amy Silberstein




First DePaul team competes in Sarin Leiden International Air Law Moot Court

Patrick Jones (JD '99, LLM candidate) and Lindsay Vanderford (JD candidate) were the first students to represent DePaul College of Law and the International Aviation Law Institute (IALI) at the Sarin Leiden International Air Law Moot Court Competition in Bucharest, Romania, in March 2014.

Jones and Vanderford submitted two sets of written memorials and delivered oral arguments four times over two days at the 5th annual competition. Their efforts earned a top-5 score in four of the six scoring categories, including high marks for both sets of their written memorials, as well as overall score when representing the respondent. John Mulligan, the IALI's FedEx/United Airlines Resident Research Fellow, served as the team's coach. 

The Sarin Leiden International Air Law Moot Court is organized by Leiden University and the Sarin Foundation. The 2015 competition will be held in Beijing, China.

DePaul BLSA team takes second in national mock trial

From left, BLSA trial team members Letcher, Sommerman, Watkins and Sumlar.
DePaul's Black Law Student Association (BLSA) mock trial team placed second in the National Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition held in Milwaukee, Wis. on March 15, 2014.

Team members Katherine Letcher, Samantha Sommerman, Daniel Watkins II and Forrest Sumlar vied against the top 18 teams in the country, losing by 7/10 of a point -- one of the narrowest margins in the competition's history -- to Florida State in the final rounds. Alumni Theodore Thomas (JD '09) and Chalet Braziel (JD '09) coached the team to the highest finish in DePaul's history.

NLAP co-founders honored as "Faces of Justice"

Illinois Legal Aid Online recognized Shaye Loughlin (JD '06) and Cheryl Price for their initiative and creativity in co-founding DePaul's Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project (NLAP), a pro bono legal help desk for the homeless. Loughlin, executive director of the Center for Public Interest Law, and Price, director of the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative, discuss the vision for the project in an interview for Illinois Legal Aid Online's "Faces of Justice" video series.

Watch the video here.

“At bottom, NLAP is an access to justice project and one that has inspired and touched the lives of many of our students" said Price. "Hopefully they’ll go on to become future public interest attorneys as well as pro bono attorneys.”

Since its launch in March 2012, NLAP has provided critical legal services to hundreds of homeless individuals in the South Loop.

No. 12 ranked DePaul intellectual property law program continues innovation in legal education

DePaul University College of Law’s intellectual property law program is ranked No. 12 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Law Schools guide. The program has ranked among the best in the nation for more than a decade and continues to thrive under the direction of DePaul’s respected IP faculty and the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology (CIPLIT®). 

Two new initiatives, a first-year lecture series and a mentorship program, introduced by CIPLIT in academic year 2013-2014, build on the strength of DePaul’s IP program and support a tradition of student-focused programming.

The six-week lecture series, “An Introduction to IP Theory and Practice,” is designed to acquaint first-year law students interested in IP law with substantive content and elements of practice. Both full-time faculty members and experienced IP attorneys lecture on various IP subjects, introducing students to the breadth and depth of this area of law.

“It’s really a treat to attend the IP lecture series. The speakers are experts in their respective fields, and each session is informative and engaging,” student Peggy Liu said. “Equipped with this foundational knowledge, I feel well prepared to take on the challenges of higher-level IP courses.”

Through its IP Mentorship Program, CIPLIT pairs students in the first-year IP Legal Writing section with a faculty mentor and an attorney mentor, creating a personalized mentorship experience for the duration of law school. 

First-year student Philipp Ruben entered law school with an engineering background. “Law school was a major transition,” he said. “My faculty mentor provided excellent resources and advice for my course work. My attorney mentor helped define my focus within IP law and opened the door to several networking opportunities.”

The mentorship program aims to enrich DePaul’s unique first-year IP Legal Writing program, through which qualified students learn the required first-year research and writing skills curriculum in the context of intellectual property law. Together, the legal writing and mentorship programs offer students focused practical skills training as well as invaluable connections with IP faculty and the IP legal community at the beginning of law school.

“My attorney mentor has been invaluable during my first year,” said student Brittney Cato. “She has not only introduced me to attorneys working in the IP field, but has also encouraged me to go out and make connections on my own by joining bar associations and attending their lectures.”

The new initiatives fall in line with CIPLIT’s mission “to develop IP professionals of the highest caliber through an all-inclusive learning experience that combines outstanding classroom education, innovative scholarship, first-class training in lawyering skills and an unparalleled range of extracurricular activities.” Keeping this charge in sight, CIPLIT has created curricular and extracurricular programs that not only garner national recognition from legal and academic communities, but also enhance students’ career development.

“Since its inception, CIPLIT has placed dozens of students in IP jobs, in some instances right after the first year of law school,” said Professor Roberta R. Kwall, the founding and current director of CIPLIT. “Many of our early students now occupy prominent positions within their firms and organizations. We find it so gratifying that all of them got their start at DePaul, where they could learn and grow in a supportive yet academically rigorous environment.”

The supportive law school environment that Professor Kwall mentions is a contributing factor to the IP program’s success and expansion. In fact, it has acted as an incubator for many programs over the years.

One such program is the technology and intellectual property clinic that DePaul opened under the guidance of Professor Barbara Bressler in 2000. The TIP ClinicTM, as it is known, was one of the first law school clinical programs to provide transactional services exclusively in the areas of patent, trademark and copyright law to clients who cannot afford to pay private counsel for such services. Following the clinic’s mantra, Protecting the Creative Works of Creative Minds®, students assist a wide range of clients, including entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, authors and inventors.

Today, IP touches nearly every area of the legal curriculum. Students learn first-hand—through traditional classroom theory and practical skills training—from leading scholars and practitioners in areas that include patent law, copyright and trademark law, art and museum law, entertainment law, cyberlaw and more. In addition to the first-year programs and the clinic, DePaul offers four specialized certificate programs, a joint degree and an LLM degree in IP law.

With its broad and innovative coursework, student-centric programs and respected faculty, DePaul is certain to advance IP legal education for years to come.

Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project celebrates two years

Law students Nick Gutierrez and Sam Keen work with NLAP client at a session.
Accessing legal services can be a daunting task, especially if you are low-income or homeless. Although there are 43,000 lawyers in Chicago, only 300 of them are full-time legal aid attorneys charged with meeting the needs of the 1.3 million low-income people that qualify for help.

Recognizing this access to justice gap, the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) and Center for Public Interest Law launched the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project (NLAP), a pro bono legal help desk for the homeless, just over two years ago on March 17, 2012. Since then, NLAP has provided critical legal services to hundreds of homeless individuals in the South Loop. Staffed by a dedicated cadre of law student volunteers and a supervising attorney, NLAP takes place every other Saturday morning at a breakfast program in Printer’s Row. Run by the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, the breakfast program feeds 150 people every Saturday morning.

"A legal help desk for the homeless that actually meets the homeless where they congregate was, at least to me, a completely unheard of proposition."

NLAP's primary focus is sealing and expunging clients' criminal records, which pose a barrier to employment, public benefits and public housing—all are key to climbing out of poverty. NLAP also focuses on obtaining state identification cards, which are essential to everyday life in the city of Chicago. Additionally, NLAP provides brief advice in a wide range of other areas, including housing, public benefits, contracts, wage theft and family law matters. Many of NLAP’s clients live at the Pacific Garden Mission and are not working with social workers.

As such, NLAP has collaborated with the St. Vincent de Paul Center in Lincoln Park to provide referrals for case management assistance with housing, employment and substance abuse assistance among other things. Since its launch in March 2012, NLAP has held more than 50 sessions and assisted more than 250 clients. Damon Ritenhouse, NLAP’s supervising attorney and DePaul alumnus, reflected on his experience with NLAP over the past two years:

“It is difficult to believe how quickly the last two years at NLAP have gone by. In that time, we have been able to help a great many clients with their legal issues. As importantly, the volunteers at NLAP have been there to listen as people share their personal stories. Working with the dedicated law students and attorneys who staff the NLAP desk, as well as the people at DePaul who support the program behind the scenes, has been a great privilege, and certainly one of the highlights of my legal career.”

NLAP is rooted in DePaul's Vincentian mission of social justice and service and outreach to the poor. According to Cheryl Price, director of PBCSI and one of NLAP’s founders, “Many of NLAP’s clients don't know what resources are available to them or how to access them. Without NLAP, they would not have access to legal assistance, as a trip to a legal aid office or the courthouse is often difficult, if not impossible for many of the folks we serve. So, NLAP is an access to justice project that exposes our law students to pro bono work, hopefully instilling a lifelong commitment to pro bono.”

“NLAP volunteers are serving and training to become better lawyers at the same time. It is experiential learning at its best.”

In addition to serving the poor, NLAP provides an important skill-building opportunity for law students. Through NLAP, students get hands-on experience and are able to hone their listening and client interviewing skills. They also get an opportunity to become experts in a substantive area of law. Price said, “NLAP volunteers are serving and training to become better lawyers at the same time. It is experiential learning at its best.”

Third-year student Sam Keen has been heavily involved with NLAP since its inception and currently serves as the NLAP student coordinator. “I’ll never forget how excited I was when I was first asked to be the student site coordinator of the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project. A legal helpdesk for the homeless that actually meets the homeless where they congregate was, at least to me, a completely unheard of proposition," said Keen.

"Two years later and we haven’t skipped a beat. We’ve helped hundreds of people get state identification, dozens file petitions to seal or expunge criminal records, and countless more with a myriad of other legal problems ranging from appealing a denial of social security to revocation of guardianship. Though our accomplishments may seem small to some, I know firsthand the positive impact NLAP has had on the community it serves.”

DePaul alumna Casey shifts from archaeologist to attorney

Emily Casey (JD '12) was featured in a recent article in the Connecticut Law Tribune. Casey, an attorney at Tobin Carberry O'Malley Riley & Selinger in New London, Conn., was interviewed about her transition from an archaeologist to an attorney with a special interest in art and cultural heritage law.

While a DePaul law student, Casey was actively involved with the Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law, serving on both the National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition board and the Art & Cultural Heritage Law Society student board.

Visit the Connecticut Law Tribune website to read the article.

Students learn about careers in veterans' legal services

The Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL)invited alumnae Mary Meixner (JD ’08) and Margaret Kuzma (JD ’12) to discuss legal services for veterans at an informational lunch in March. CPIL regularly hosts lunchtime events to bring together students and practitioners to help students learn about different practice areas and career paths in a small group setting.

CPIL veterans' law informational lunch presenters, from left, Margaret Kuzma and Mary Meixner.
Meixner is an attorney with the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. She accepts case referrals directly from JAGs, and provides these clients with a wide range of legal services. Kuzma is a Skadden Fellow with LAF, formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. Kuzma provides general civil legal services to veterans and their families. 

Meixner and Kuzma discussed the extra legal protections for veterans in many different areas of law, and how they use these protections when advocating for their clients. As an example, they highlighted the Military Lending Act. Military members were highly targeted by predatory lenders, and this act was passed to allow service members to void any contract if they were charged more than 36 percent interest. Meixner and Kuzma both emphasized that students can work in practically any area of law with veterans, because the needs of veterans are vast and diverse.

Professor Havel addresses CBA aviation committee on passenger rights

Professor Brian F. Havel, academic director of the International Aviation Law Institute, addressed the Chicago Bar Association's Aviation Law Committee on the subject of “Passenger Rights: Where the Airlines Failed” on March 5. The event, which was simulcast live on the CBA’s website, was chaired by DePaul law alumnus and prominent private aviation law attorney Alex Herran (JD '91).

In his address, Professor Havel explained how the airline industry became complacent about the alleged exclusivity of the delay provisions in the Warsaw and Montreal liability conventions, and was surprised by the speed with which governments across the globe chose to adopt passenger rights legislation that now co-exists with the conventions. Professor Havel concluded that passenger rights are politically popular, and the industry needs to coordinate its response through organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA)

DePaul celebrates the 2014 Law Alumni Awards honorees

DePaul College of Law honored five outstanding alumni at the 2014 Law Alumni Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 6, at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower. The annual awards celebration, now in its 20th year, honors alumni who have given back to DePaul and to the community. Proceeds from the dinner benefit DePaul's Center for Public Interest Law. 

This year's Law Alumni Awards honorees are:

Distinguished Alumnus
The Honorable William J. Bauer (JD ’52, LLD ’93, LLD ’05), senior circuit judge, United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit

Outstanding Service to the Profession
Margaret H. McCormick(’77), principal partner, Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan PC

Outstanding Service to DePaul University
Joseph G. Bisceglia (’73), partner, Jenner & Block 
Virginia Martinez (’75), senior policy analyst, Illinois Latino Family Commission

Outstanding Young Alumnus
Dennis A. Kass (’06), teacher, Infinity Math, Science & Technology High School

The Honorable William J. Bauer is a senior circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Judge Bauer has held the circuit position since January 1975, and achieved senior status in 1994. Prior to that, he served on the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois, and state’s attorney of DuPage County, Illinois. Judge Bauer practiced law with the firm of Erlenborn and Bauer in Elmhurst, Ill., and was an adjunct professor at the DePaul University College of Law. He is a frequent lecturer on trial and appellate practice and co-author of a book on criminal procedure. Judge Bauer currently serves on the College of Law’s Dean’s Advisory Council and is a life trustee for DePaul University. 

Margaret H. (“Peggy”) McCormick is a principal of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, practicing exclusively in immigration and nationality law. She is the current president of the Chicago Chapter Federal Bar Association and past national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (1997-98). From 1999 until 2003, she was the president of the American Immigration Law Foundation in Washington, D.C., where she established the Immigration Policy Center and was named an honorary fellow. She serves on the Center for Public Interest Advisory Board at the College of Law. She has been listed in Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers in America since it was first published, and the publication also named her the 2013 Chicago Immigration Lawyer of the Year. 

Joseph G. Bisceglia is a partner at Jenner & Block and has extensive experience in a wide variety of complex civil and criminal litigation in both federal and state trial and appellate courts, including business and corporate litigation of virtually every type. He is also chair of the firm’s Real Estate and Construction Litigation Practice. He has taught, lectured and published extensively in the areas of federal and state civil practice and procedure, real estate and construction law, trial practice and alternative dispute resolution. A member of the College of Law’s Dean’s Advisory Council, Bisceglia has been influential in starting and soliciting funds for the Class of 1973 Endowed Scholarship Fund. He has been co-chair of DePaul’s Class of 1973 reunion event committee since graduation. In addition to his service as president of the Illinois State Bar Association (2007-08), he has served in numerous other capacities in the ISBA and other bar groups.

Virginia Martinez is a senior policy analyst for the Illinois Latino Family Commission. Martinez focuses on legislation, policy analysis, program development, research and advocacy to promote the social and economic well-being of Latino families and the equitable representation of Latinos in decision making, employment, contracting and resource allocation across the state. Martinez has spent most of her career working in nonprofit organizations and has been a strong advocate for Latinos, women and children. In 1980, she helped establish the Chicago Office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and served as the first Midwest regional counsel. She currently serves on the Center for Public Interest Law Advisory Board, Cook County Justice Advisory Council and Gads Hill Center in Pilsen. Martinez was a founding mother of the DePaul University Latino Law Student Association, the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition (now EverThrive Illinois) and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

Dennis A. Kass is a teacher and social studies department chair at Infinity Math, Science & Technology High School in Chicago. In addition to teaching, Kass is the founder and director of the Chicago Law and Education Foundation, a nonprofit legal services agency providing free legal services and programs in 15 Chicago public high schools. Through the Chicago Law and Education Foundation, Kass runs the Juvenile Criminal Record Expungement Division to provide second-chance opportunities to graduating seniors with qualifying criminal records. Kass’ work in legal aid has been featured in the New York Times, the National Center for Poverty Law Journal, the ABA Journal and on National Public Radio. In 2013, he was selected to DePaul University’s 14 Under 40, which recognizes distinguished alumni younger than 40. 

PBCSI brings legal lessons to Pritzker Elementary School

Alumni, students and College of Law Dean Mark visited Chicago Public School's Pritzker Elementary on January 29 to teach law-related lessons to sixth and seventh grade classrooms.

Dean Mark and law student Christina Kuklinski work on a jury selection activity with Pritzker students.
The event was organized by the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) and Chicago Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Lawyers in the Classroom program. Lawyers in the Classroom partners attorneys with elementary and middle school classrooms to help students understand the U.S. Constitution and our legal system. 

Drawing fom lessons outlined by Lawyers in the Classroom, Dean Gregory Mark, alumnus Aaron Dozeman (JD '12) and student Christina Kuklinski (JD '15) led the seventh graders through a discussion on jury selection. The students examined the process by which a jury is selected and discussed the importance of selecting a fair and impartial jury. They were able to debate whether a list of hypothetical jurors would be likely to judge a trial impartially. 

“I enjoyed engaging the students in discussion, and I appreciated their honest and creative responses to the difficult issues raised in the lesson," said Dozeman. "Lawyers in the Classroom allowed me to contribute in a way that doesn’t involve giving legal advice; volunteering as a lawyer doesn’t always require providing legal services. It was refreshing to step outside of the courtroom and into the classroom.”

Dean Mark and alumnus Aaron Dozeman facilitate a debate with Pritzker students.
Students were also asked to mediate a conflict between two “goods”—the right to practice religion and the right to be safe at school. The lesson involved a student who wanted to wear small knife or “kirpan” in observance of his religion, which was Sikhisim. The school, however, had a “no weapons allowed” policy. The students were asked to consider whether he should be allowed to wear the kirpan to school and thought about the issue from various perspectives; including the school principal, the parents of the student and his classmates' parents.

“The students enjoyed this fact pattern and engaged in a lively and thoughtful discussion," observed Cheryl Price, PBCSI director. "I was impressed with their ability to weigh this problem from differing viewpoints.”        

For more information about the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative or how to get involved with DePaul’s Lawyers in the Classroom volunteer team, contact Cheryl Price at

CPIL hosts second public interest legal skills series on U-Visas

The Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) held the first session of the five-part immigration skills series on Jan. 27. The series is taught by Olivia Villegas (JD '10), immigration attorney at Life Span’s Center for Legal Services. Villegas provides civil legal services to victims of domestic violence who do not have legal status in the United States. The series is designed to give students an overview of the U-Visa process and to learn from Villegas’ expertise in assisting immigrant women who have been victims of abuse or crimes in obtaining orders of protection and in self-petitioning to remain in the United States.

Villegas’ first session focused on an overview of the legal framework and the process of obtaining a U-Visa, including the legal basis for U-Visas, along with the evidentiary standard and the burden of proof. Later sessions will build on this knowledge to give students skills in: obtaining the U-Visa certification from the appropriate law enforcement agency; gathering the documents necessary to prove each of the requirements; drafting a sufficiently detailed but succinct statement from the applicant; identifying inadmissibility issues and properly preparing a waiver; and drafting a cover letter and responding to potential Requests for Evidence.

The skills series takes place on five consecutive Mondays (through February 24). Students who attend all sessions receive a certificate of completion. The Center for Public Interest Law offers three public interest legal skills series during the academic year. 

DePaul tops law school list in Illinois Super Lawyers, five years running

DePaul University College of Law is ranked first on the law school list for the largest number of graduates recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers® in 2014. This is the fifth consecutive year that DePaul has topped the list. The new edition of Illinois Super Lawyers magazine includes 320 DePaul law graduates, with 13 recognized in the top 100 and one in the top 10. Only 5 percent of the state’s lawyers annually are selected for inclusion.

DePaul law alumni on the Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers 2014 list.

“The college, its faculty and alumni are thrilled at the news that, once again, DePaul has topped this year’s Illinois Super Lawyers law school list,” Dean Gregory Mark said. “This peer evaluation verifies what we all know, that we produce talented, innovative lawyers who lead the practice of law in one of the nation’s most important jurisdictions.” Illinois lawyers who receive the highest point totals through the selection process also are recognized in Illinois Super Lawyers Top Lists. This year, DePaul alumni filled 13 spots on the top 100 list (pictured above, from top left, clockwise):

  • Anthony J. Ashley (JD ’92), shareholder, Vedder Price
  • Miles N. Beermann (JD ’58), partner, Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove
  • Joseph G. Bisceglia (JD ’73), partner, Jenner & Block
  • Stephan D. Blandin (JD ’86), principal and partner, Romanucci & Blandin
  • Robert A. Clifford (JD ’76), partner, Clifford Law Offices
  • Philip Harnett Corboy Jr. (JD ’77), partner, Corboy & Demetrio
  • Steven B. Towbin (JD ’75), member, Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin
  • John P. Scanlon (JD ’89), member, The Healy Law Firm
  • Robert J. Palmersheim (JD ’96), partner, Schopf & Weiss
  • Shawn S. Kasserman (JD ’90), partner, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman
  • Keith A. Hebeisen (JD ’83), partner, Clifford Law Offices
  • H. Michael Hartmann (JD ’76), partner, Leydig Voit & Mayer
  • Kevin P. Durkin (JD ’80), partner, Clifford Law Offices

In addition, alumnus Robert Clifford is No. 1 on this year’s top 10 list for Illinois Super Lawyers. Three DePaul law graduates also were recognized on the top 50 list for women attorneys in Illinois:

  • Adria East Mossing (JD ’88), partner, Mossing & Navarre
  • Catherine L. Steege (JD ’82), partner, Jenner & Block
  • Anita M. Ventrelli (JD ’89), partner, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck

Each year, Super Lawyers rates lawyers in more than 70 practice areas in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C., through its publications and online listings. Super Lawyers’ patented selection process involves independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The most heavily represented practice areas by DePaul law graduates in Illinois Super Lawyers include Business/Corporate, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Employment & Labor, Family Law, Insurance Coverage, Personal Injury and Real Estate. 

To view profiles of DePaul alumni selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers, visit For the top law school lists published in Super Lawyers from 2010 to 2014, visit
This story also appears in DePaul's Newsline publication.

Alumna spreading the word about Croak Student Legal Services

Sarah Baum has joined DePaul as the new director of Croak Student Legal Services. It is a homecoming of sorts, as Baum graduated from the College of Law in 2008.

Prior to joining CSLS, Baum worked in Chicago at LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation), which provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and other vulnerable groups. Through her experience there, Baum brings a substantive knowledge in a wide variety of legal issues to CSLS.

Since it was founded in 2006, CSLS has served more than 2,250 DePaul students by advising them of their legal rights and responsibilities. “The mission of CSLS is to help students resolve their legal problems with as little disruption as possible to their educational endeavors,” Baum said.

The office focuses on preventative law with the goal of enabling students to make educated choices. Other services include advice on tenant-landlord issues, leases, misdemeanor criminal offenses and referral services. CSLS cannot offer advice or help on any issues that would be adverse to the university.

“One of my top priorities as CSLS director is raising students’ awareness of this valuable resource,” she said. “We are increasing our marketing and outreach efforts by building a social media presence and by presenting directly to student groups about the services we offer.”

Baum plans to continue working with various DePaul offices and student services to integrate CSLS into the continuum of care offered to DePaul students. She hopes faculty and staff will encourage students experiencing legal difficulties to contact CSLS.

In addition to providing direct legal services to individual students, CSLS is also available to give presentations on topics that commonly concern students, such as landlord-tenant law, drug and alcohol laws, and police encounters.

This article originally appeared in DePaul's Newsline publication.

Center for Legal Justice: Building a new model

Rose Rivera (JD ’09) built the Center for Legal Justice from a model she’d been quietly hatching for years.

Rivera entered law school intending to eventually join a well-established nonprofit in Chicago, such as LAF (formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago), and settle into the city.

When that didn’t pan out, she turned to a world of possibilities. She took the opportunity to move to Indiana and pursue her LL.M. in International Human Rights at Notre Dame. Rivera also tested the waters abroad, completing an internship at the International Criminal Court in Holland, but concluded that she wanted to work in the United States.

Deciding to stay in the area, at least temporarily, Rivera applied for a job as an immigration attorney at the Just Help: Elkhart County Legal Advocacy Center in Goshen, Indiana. She was hired in August 2010 and eventually promoted to executive director and lead attorney, inheriting 200 cases relating to family law. She spent three years with the organization at its Goshen location, during which she says she got a crash course in family law. When the center uprooted to Elkhart, Indiana, it served as the first legal immigration service in the South Bend area, aside from Catholic Charities. In Elkhart, a factory town with a large immigrant demographic, Rivera recognized a serious need for local immigration attorneys.

She revisited an old idea she had quietly considered while in college: opening up her own business. She began actively researching information, consulting friends and mentors on the topic until, in February 2013, the center unexpectedly announced its closure. Rivera took it as a sign to branch out on her own. “I was already thinking about the 200 clients they were going to drop,” she said. She met with other attorneys in the area who also agreed there was a need for nonprofit legal services in addition to what already existed.

“It just sort of came together,” Rivera said. She revised the bylaws and nonprofit application she’d developed while at Notre Dame and began scouting spaces to rent for her immigration-focused bilingual organization called Center for Legal Justice. Rivera received nonprofit status in March. “For the most part, the position felt like stepping into old boots,” Rivera said. The center focuses on family and immigration law, such as family-based applications for legal permanent residence, naturalization and citizenship, and works by providing services on a reduced fee scale. While some things changed, such as her professional liability insurance and bank, others remained.

The center’s board includes former Just Help staffers like paralegal Cynthia Murphy-Wardlow and Rivera’s former colleague Lindsay Davenport. Rivera said she still calls upon the mentors and friends who helped her through the process, such as Center for Public Interest Law Faculty Director Len Cavise, former Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic staff attorney Linus Chan, Allegra Cira Fischer (’09), Susan DeCostanza (’08) and Jenny Grobelski (’10). “I couldn’t handle half the cases I do without their input.” Aside from her entrepreneurial spirit, another thing that sets Rivera apart from her peers is her decision to work in a small, rural area.

“A lot of things about Elkhart are special,” said Rivera of the diverse town with a population around 50,000. “It’s a neat little place where everyone knows each other.” Taking her urban education to a smaller town gave her an edge that she recommends to other young graduates.

“It’s a great experience for a young attorney who wants to get their feet wet,” Rivera said. “You become very recognizable very quickly. Relationships mean a lot here, with colleagues, and with referrals from judges. On the one hand you have to work to solidify those relationships, but now I go into a local courthouse and everyone knows who I am and what the Center for Legal Justice is. In Chicago relationships can only take you so far.”

Rivera said her biggest challenge is balancing the need to give every client the attention they deserve, while earning enough income to keep the center running. “Once in a great while, clients run out of money, and we’ll take them on pro bono,” she said. “To be frank, I wasn’t sure that it would work out when we started. [However], the need is there, and people have enough income to pay something for the services and invest in some way financially.”

“We make it with a little more and more to spare,” she said. “It’s very rewarding.”

Article from the fall 2013 issue of Dialogue magazine.

Legal service representatives highlight benefits of pro bono work

The Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative, joined by the Center for Public Interest Law, the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center, the Asian Pacific-American Law Student Association, and the Public Interest Law Association, closed out Pro Bono Week in November with a lunchtime panel discussion on the benefits of pro bono work. Panelists included representatives from the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS), LAF and the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) –- all organizations that assist low-income clients in the Chicago area.
The panelists presented unique perspectives on pro bono work and discussed how each of their organizations provides services in a slightly different manner. Phil Mohr (JD '91), deputy director of CVLS, began the discussion with insight into the various ways legal aid organizations are organized. CVLS, for example, largely relies on volunteer attorneys to represent clients, as they only have seven or so staff attorneys in the office. Mara Block, the pro bono project staff attorney from LAF, explained that LAF is a large office that serves its clients mostly through staff attorneys. Samira Nazem, staff attorney and pro bono coordinator at LCBH, explained that LCBH focuses solely on housing and engages in broader advocacy and lobbying than other legal aid organizations because they do not rely on traditional legal aid grants for funding.

In addition to explaining the ins and outs of a legal aid organization, the panel speakers emphasized the need for pro bono attorneys and law students to sustain their legal aid efforts. Grace Newgard, staff attorney and director of the pro bono program at the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, relayed a few shocking statistics about Chicago and the increasing access to justice problem. Despite the dedication of these legal aid attorneys and their organizations, the number of low-income Chicago residents in need of affordable legal services far outweighs the availability of said services. The panel was unanimous in saying that volunteers, both attorneys and law students, were an integral part of bridging this gap and aiding in increased access to justice for all individuals.

Each of the organizations represented at the panel encouraged law students of all class levels to volunteer, apply for internships, and/or coordinate externships and talked about how pro bono can help law students hone their legal skills while helping others in need.

Alumna Jennifer Cassel featured in DePaul's 14 Under 40

DePaul Magazine recently showcased 14 distinguished DePaul alumni who are making the difference in the lives of others in its eighth annual edition of 14 Under 40.

Included on the list is DePaul law alumni Jennifer Cassell (JD ’08), assistant regional counsel for the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She reflects upon how her DePaul experiences, including hands-on efforts to help residents of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, influenced her career. Read her story.

Alumna named interim director of Meadowlands Museum

Heather Hope Kuruvilla (JD '11) was recently named the new interim director of the Meadowlands Museum in Rutherford, New Jersey. Kuruvilla, who graduated from DePaul with a certificate in Arts & Museum Law, hopes to restablish the Meadowlands Museum as an integral part of the broader regional community. 

Read more in her interview with the's South Bergenite.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Burke offers students tips on oral arguments

Justice Burke speaks to Criminal Appeals Clinic students at the Illinois Supreme Court's current location in Chicago.
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke (SNL '76, DHL '05) offered advice to students in DePaul's Criminal Appeals Clinic on October 30, 2013, at the court's temporary residence in Chicago:

“State the rule of law. If the law is with you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. You could be arguing for a change in the law,” said Justice Burke.

Justice Burke shared her insights on making oral arguments and fielded student questions. She also discussed unique aspects of the court’s work and showed some historic photos of the Supreme Court. Clinical Instructor Laura Weiler, an attorney with the Office of the State Appellate Defender, arranged for the students to hear from Justice Burke.

Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative kicks off Pro Bono Week by serving seniors

The Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) started Pro Bono Week with a bang, offering students and alumni an opportunity to help low-income seniors at a Senior Center Initiative Workshop with the Center for Disability & Elder Law, one of PBCSI’s community partners. The workshop took place on Friday, October 18, 2013, at the Jacob Blake Apartments in Evanston, Ill. Students and alumni assisted seniors with advanced directives, such as powers of attorney and living wills.

Cheryl Price, director of PBCSI, says the workshop was a success: “We helped numerous seniors with an incredibly important legal service and also gave our students and young alumni an opportunity to work with two to three clients, which is fantastic for building practical legal skills.  I think this workshop embodies the spirit and intent of Pro Bono Week.  We are excited that we have been able to offer it to the DePaul community for several years now.”

Student and alumni volunteers also found the workshop meaningful and beneficial. Law student Sarah Hunter explained: "The volunteer day with CDEL was an invaluable learning opportunity. I came away with a broader understanding of an area of law that I had not yet been able to explore as a student. Seeing the immediate impact of providing simple but essential legal assistance to vulnerable individuals was a rewarding way to strengthen and diversify skills that I hope to translate into my legal practice."

Alumnus Jake Kanyusik (JD '13) also enjoyed learning a new area of law while helping others: “Volunteering at the Donate-A-Day with the Center for Disability & Elder Law was an excellent experience. Prior to this Donate-A-Day I had no experience with powers of attorney or any sort of advanced directives. By the end of the day I felt confident in this new area of law. I was able to get practical relevant to the current legal market while at the same time helping people who are in need of services.”

In light of the positive feedback about the pro bono day, Price is considering offering a similar workshop in spring 2014 and recruiting students to participate in a Wills for Heroes workshop, which provides legal assistance with advanced directives to first responders, such as firefighters and police officers.

DePaul supports dedicated public interest alumni

The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) committee and the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) hosted its 10th annual LRAP awards reception in DePaul University College of Law’s Rare Book Room on Thursday, October 17, 2013. This year, 10 DePaul alumni were recognized for their outstanding contributions to public interest law, the recipients include:

  • Rocio Alcantar (’10), National Immigrant Justice Center, Chicago, IL
  • Megan Blatt (’10), LifeSpan Center for Legal Services, Chicago, IL
  • Ana Dominguez (’12), The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Program, Chicago, ILv
  • Marissa LaVette (’10), Legal Advocacy Center of the Jewish Federation, Chicago, IL
  • Maria Macias (’11), Justice for Our Neighbors DFW, Grapevine, TX
  • Nickole Miller (’12), Immigrant Center for Women and Children, Los Angeles, CA
  • Yesenia Sandoval (’11), World Relief Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Robert Simmons (’06), Winnebago County Public Defender’s Office, Rockford, IL
  • Olivia Villegas (’10), LifeSpan Center for Legal Services, Chicago, IL
  • Brandon Williams (’01), Chicago Legal Clinic, Chicago, IL

Following Professor Len Cavise’s presentation of the awards, the recipients delivered inspiring remarks to a room packed with students, faculty, staff, alumni, co-workers, community supporters and family. The event was a celebration of the outstanding DePaul public interest law alumni in the Chicago community and across the country.

Seven DePaul grads named to Law Bulletin's "40 Under 40"

DePaul University College of Law congratulates its seven alumni selected for inclusion in Law Bulletin Publishing Company's list of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch" for 2013 — Robert Adelman, Michael Bergmann, Jennifer Dunn, Ray KoenigKathy Karaboyas Malamis, Thomas Skallas and Matthew Williams

Law Bulletin Publishing Company conducts the annual survey to determine who Illinois attorneys believe are the “up and comers” of law in the state. This year, Law Bulletin reviewed more than 1,300 nominations submitted from lawyers around the state to identify the "40 Under 40."

40 Under 40" DePaul Law Alumni Honorees

Robert J. Adelman, Class of 1999, Partner, Levin Riback Law Group

Adelman joined Levin Riback Law Group in August 2001 and was named a partner in July 2007. His primary areas of concentration are construction negligence, automobile accidents and premises liability. Since 2004, Adelman has served as an adjunct professor at The John Marshall Law School teaching a course on trial advocacy and advanced trial advocacy. 

Michael G. Bergmann, Class of 2002, Executive Director, Public Interest Law Initiative

Bergmann joined PILI in 2006 as pro bono initiative director and more recently served as PILI’s director of programs prior to being named executive director in 2010. He is an adjunct professor at DePaul College of Law, where he also serves on the advisory board for the Center for Public Interest Law. In 2007, he received DePaul College of Law's Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

Jennifer A. Dunn, Class of 1999, Partner, Franczek Radelet

Dunn represents private and public sector management clients in all areas of labor and employment law, and has extensive experience advising clients in traditional labor matters. She also is an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law, where she teaches Labor Relations in the Public Sector. 

Ray J. Koenig III, Class of 1999, Member, Clark Hill

Koenig is a member in Clark Hill’s litigation and personal legal services practice groups and serves in the leadership role as the managing member of Clark Hill’s Chicago office. He is an adjunct professor at The John Marshall Law School, where he teaches an elder law course.

Kathy Karaboyas Malamis, Class of 2001, Partner, Tressler

Malamis concentrates her practice in insurance coverage counseling and litigation, bad faith and reinsurance. She is former co-chair and continuing advisor to Tressler’s Women’s Initiative and volunteers as an instructor for the Lawyers in the Classroom program organized by the Constitutional Rights Foundation on behalf of the Chicago Public Schools. While in law school, she was the notes and comments editor of the DePaul Law Review. 

A. Thomas Skallas, Class of 2002, Partner, Thompson Coburn

Skallas advises privately held businesses and their owners on a variety of business, tax and private wealth issues. He primarily counsels privately held international and domestic businesses from their inception to their final disposition, enabling growth, expansion and change across numerous industries. Active in the Greek-American community both in Chicago and the United States, he currently serves as first vice president of the Hellenic Bar Association.

Matthew L. Williams, Class of 1998, Partner, Salvi Schostok & Pritchard

Williams concentrates his practice in the areas of automobile accidents, medical malpractice, construction negligence, premises liability and product liability. He volunteers his time as an investigator for the Judicial Evaluation Committee for the Chicago Bar Association and currently serves on the board of managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. While in law school, he served as staff writer for the DePaul Law Review.​

Justice Breyer to speak at 2014 Clifford Symposium exploring federal Judge Jack Weinstein's work

Scholars and members of the judiciary will explore Judge Jack B. Weinstein’s impact on a wide range of topics in civil justice at the 20th Annual Clifford Symposium on April 24 and 25, 2014, at DePaul University. Speakers will discuss torts, civil procedure and the law of evidence, as well as broader notions about what it means to be a judge and to seek justice in America’s courts. The symposium will also feature a special address by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

Judge Weinstein serves the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in January 1967. He served as chief judge from 1980 to 1988, and assumed senior status in 1993. As a federal judge, he has worked with a number of mass tort cases including those relating to Agent Orange, asbestos, tobacco, breast implants, diethylstilbestrol (DES), olanzapine and handguns.

The annual symposium and a named faculty chair are supported through an endowment established in 1994 by alumnus Robert A. Clifford ('76), principal and founder of Clifford Law Offices in Chicago. The chair and symposium give meaningful expression to his belief that the civil justice system serves a number of vital interests in American society, and provides a vehicle for exploration of the civil justice system in an intellectually rigorous fashion.

"I am excited about celebrating 20 years of presenting stimulating discussion and scholarship in American tort law," Clifford says. "Throughout his entire career, Judge Jack Weinstein has been a central figure in that dialogue. We are proud and grateful that he would honor us on this special anniversary by presenting and allowing us to dissect his lifelong work. We also are extraordinarily gratified that Justice Stephen Breyer will be joining us to deliver a special address. His commitment to the profession in all of the work that he does on the bench and off is to be particularly recognized by the legal community throughout the country."

Professor Stephan Landsman, the Robert A. Clifford Chair in Tort Law & Social Policy, is organizer and moderator of the symposium. 

For a complete schedule and to register, please visit the eventbrite page. 

Georgetown's Victoria Nourse to address legal education and civic illiteracy

Victoria F. Nourse, professor of law at Georgetown University and DePaul's 2013 Enlund Scholar-in-Residence, will discuss legal education and civic illiteracy at the annual Enlund Lecture on October 10 at 3 p.m. in the DePaul Center, 1 E Jackson Blvd, Chicago.  

Her lecture, "The Democratic Paradox: Legal Education and Civic Illiteracy," will address how law students spend years reading cases, but may never be required to spend even a semester reading statutes, as well as how law schools fail to teach congressional or presidential procedure. She notes that students leave law school having contempt for democratic institutions, believing in a government of courts, not people. 

Professor Nourse teaches classes on Congress and the Constitution and is director of Georgetown University Law Center's first Center on Congressional Studies. She has published widely on Congress, constitutional history and criminal law. Prior to entering the academy, she served in various capacities in the government, as an appellate lawyer for the Department of Justice and as senior counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is widely credited for her work drafting the original Violence Against Women Act for then-Senator, now-Vice President Biden. 

The Enlund Lecture is approved for one hour of Illinois MCLE credit. For lecture details and to register, visit the eventbrite page.

About the Enlund Scholar-in-Residence Program

Established in 1988, thanks to a gift from the late E. Stanley Enlund (’42), the endowed Enlund Scholar-in-Residence Program deepens our understanding of the law and its role in society. The College of Law selects the scholars, jurists and lawyers who serve as Enlund Scholars based on the meaningful contributions they have made to the development of law and legal institutions through their research, advocacy and practice. Attracting the nation’s foremost legal minds, Enlund scholars provide the College of Law community of students, faculty, alumni and friends with differing perspectives on law, lawyers and social justice. They do so by participating in classes, meeting socially with students and faculty, and sharing their ideas through formal presentations.

Judge Wolfson honored with CBA's Stevens Award

The Chicago Bar Association (CBA) has selected Judge Warren D. Wolfson as one of four Chicago attorneys to be honored at the 14th annual John Paul Stevens Award Luncheon on September 26, 2013.

The Stevens Award is presented to “attorneys who best exemplify the justice's commitment to integrity and public service in the practice of law.” Judge Wolfson shares the 2013 award with recipients Judge William Hooks (BA ’75), Judge Diane P. Wood and William F. Conlon, Sidley Austin LLP.

Judge Warren D. Wolfson joined the DePaul University College of Law faculty in July 2011, after serving as interim dean of the College of Law for two years. While dean, he worked with the faculty to help establish DePaul's Institute of Advocacy & Dispute Resolution, which guides curricular areas including dispute resolution and mediation, litigation skills and trial advocacy, field placement and moot court.

He brings a wealth of expertise garnered through a legal career that includes nearly 34 years on the bench and extensive academic experience. He was appointed to the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1975, elected to a full term in 1976, and was retained in that position for five consecutive terms. In 1994, he was assigned to the Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, where he served until joining DePaul. Prior to his career on the bench, he spent 18 years in criminal defense practice

Co-author of Trial Evidence (5th ed., Aspen Publishers 2012) and Materials in Trial Advocacy (7th ed., Aspen Publishers 2011), Judge Wolfson also established and directed the highly respected trial advocacy program at Chicago-Kent College of Law from 1971 to 2009. During that time, he taught evidence and an advanced evidence seminar. Before joining Chicago-Kent, Judge Wolfson taught trial advocacy for 15 years at the University of Chicago and lectured for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He has also been very involved in judicial training programs for many years.

Please visit the CBA's website for more information and to reserve tickets for the awards ceremony.

DePaul's Phi Alpha Delta chapter earns top awards from international fraternity

The Phi Alpha Delta Story Chapter at DePaul University College of Law earned two awards and one scholarship through the 300,000 member law fraternity's annual awards program. DePaul received the Stanley H. Kohn Outstanding Chapter Award and the Outstanding Professional Program Award for its ‘Speed Networking’ event. In addition, member Kelly Parry (JD '13) won the Frank E. Gray Outstanding Clerk Award. The chapter was also recognized in several other award categories.

Phi Alpha Delta offers prestigious recognition through 19 law chapter awards and the opportunity for members to win five scholarships annually. Awards and scholarships recognize members and chapters of the fraternity for their work maintaining and promoting Phi Alpha Delta’s mission, vision and values by advancing integrity, compassion and courage through service to the student, the school, the profession and the community.

Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International is the largest professional law fraternity in the world. Established in 1902, Phi Alpha Delta was the first law fraternity to open membership to all genders, races, creeds and national origins and, the first to establish a pre-law program to assist undergraduate students interested in the law. Our mission is to advance integrity, compassion and courage through service to the student, the school, the legal profession and the community.

Alumni unwind at post-bar exam gathering

Amir Akbar breaks to enjoy a calm moment following the bar exam.
Relaxation and good cheer were palpable at a gathering to celebrate DePaul law alumni who completed the bar exam on July 31.

Organized by the Law Career Services Office, the casual event reunited recent graduates with their law school peers, advisors, professors, staff and Dean Gregory Mark.

Q&A with Bob Clifford

Dean Gregory Mark at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, with principal and founder, Bob Clifford.
Chicago trial lawyer and principal at Clifford Law Offices 
Robert Clifford (BA ’73, JD ’76) is a familiar figure within the DePaul community. Clifford endowed the first chair on tort law and social policy at the College of Law in 1994, which provides support for faculty research and teaching and makes possible the celebrated annual Clifford Symposium. He also serves on the DePaul University Board of Trustees and on the advisory board to the International Aviation Law Institute. In December, Chicago Lawyer magazine named Clifford its Person of the Year.

Dialogue magazine and Dean Gregory Mark recently met with Clifford and discussed the value of intellectually open debate, the future of the legal profession, and Clifford’s tireless efforts to parse ethical challenges in the field.

Read the Clifford Q&A from Dialogue Spring 2013.

Alumna named 2013 pro bono service award recipient

Colby Anne Kingsbury is the 2013 recipient of the Edward J. Lewis II Pro Bono Service Award, the Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation's highest pro bono honor for attorneys in private practice.

Kingsbury was recognized for her legal work with immigrants, youth and incarcerated individuals and for "[improving] the system for countless others through her innovative and visionary systemic work." She is a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP where she focuses on commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation and employment litigation.

Throughout her career, Kingsbury has successfully represented various inmates of Cook County Jail in civil rights actions seeking relief from excessive force and inadequate protection from other inmates. For more than a decade, she has served as co-counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union representing a class of all detained youth at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center seeking improved confinement conditions. She has also represented several immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. and serves on the NIJC's Litigation Steering Committee.

Kingsbury sits on Faegre Baker Daniels' Pro Bono Advisory Committee and is the central force behind the firm’s Africa Project, a pro bono collaboration with Advocates for Human Rights to advance the rule of law in Africa. In addition, Kingsbury serves as the board president of the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy and on the Litigation Steering Committee for the National Immigrant Justice Center.

"Colby truly embodies the spirit of pro bono service," said Kathleen Lyons, executive director of the center. "She is passionate about access to justice for all in the legal, educational and community systems that can be nearly impossible for the unrepresented to navigate."

The Chicago Bar Foundation presented Kingsbury with the Lewis Award at the Annual Pro Bono & Public Service Award Luncheon on July 16, 2013, at The Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. As part of the recognition, Kingsbury was invited to direct a $2,500 award to a grantee organization of the Chicago Bar Foundation.

Last year, Kingsbury participated in the College of Law's oral history series, a part of the DePaul centennial celebration. See footage of Kingsbury discussing her DePaul experience and expounding upon the merits of a law degree.

DePaul Law Black Alumni Foundation honors legacy through scholarships

The College of Law was pleased to honor Forrest Sumlar and Tejonne Vinson with the second annual DePaul Law Black Alumni Foundation Endowed Scholarship. This prestigious scholarship, named for prominent African American law alumni, recognizes law students who show potential as future role models and leaders in the legal community. 

The DePaul Law Black Alumni Foundation (DLBAF) endowed the scholarship in 2011 with a $100,000 gift to the College of Law, which the university then matched. 

“Essentially, we’ve spent the last 10 years raising funds,” said Francine Soliunas (CSH ’70, JD ’73), DLBAF’s president. “We had a specific and urgent desire to provide scholarships to our young students.”

While the endowment formalizes DLBAF’s relationship with DePaul, the foundation has been a strong presence at the College of Law for more than a decade. The group was conceived in 2000 by alumnus Ed Williams (JD ’67), who wanted to establish a lasting legacy for past, present and future DePaul law students of color. Initially, Williams appointed several students to gather stories and memories from renowned law alumni. The students interviewed a select group of 10 African American graduates, videotaping and recording their conversations for archival purposes. These interviews are now housed at the Rinn Law Library, and the interview subjects joined DLBAF as life members.

With the group in place, DLBAF began actively soliciting donations and spreading the word about the foundation. For Soliunas, who is dean for strategic and community alliances at the College of Law, her role as president of the foundation represents “a continuation of the more than 40-year love affair I’ve had with this institution.” Soliunas emphasizes that both her undergraduate and graduate experiences at DePaul helped shape her commitment to giving back.

“My life has been informed very much by Vincentian ethics and values,” she noted. In creating the endowed scholarship, DLBAF joins a long line of generous alumni supporters who affirm DePaul’s Vincentian mission.

“It’s encouraging to know that there are people out there who are willing to support my aspirations without knowing me on a personal level,” said 2013 scholar Sumlar. While he doesn’t yet know exactly where his degree will lead him, his experiences at the College of Law have already been formative. “The legal profession is so much more than I ever envisioned it to be,” he said. “I spent last summer working in the public sector at the Cook County Public Defender’s office in Maywood, and I plan to spend next summer at a law firm.”

In addition to his studies, Sumlar also participates on the DePaul Black Law Student Association’s mock trial team and volunteers regularly with the Chicago Debate Commission. Sumlar’s dedication and leadership underscore the foundation’s mandate that each award “goes to a deserving student who we sense would carry forth the legacy of the foundation and be a wonderful role model in terms of what DLBAF stands for,” said Soliunas. Knowing that those who came before him support his ambitions and dreams, Sumlar is determined to excel. “I promise not to let the donors down,” he vowed. Someday, Sumlar and his fellow scholarship recipients may even join the ranks of DLBAF. In the meantime, the foundation will continue to support exceptional students, foster relationships across generations and perpetuate a legacy of success.

Jaharis Scholar Kelli Fennel praises DePaul's constant community

What makes DePaul special for Kelli Fennell is the powerful experience she has gained.

As part of classes through the College of Law’s Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic, she represented a client in a complicated immigration case and presented arguments before the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

“There aren’t too many people coming out of law school who can say they had a chance to argue a full case before they even graduated,” Fennell said.

She acquired an early interest in different cultures and in issues of community, and asylum and immigration. Fennell, who is fluent in Spanish, was raised by a family that moved often, and grew up in locales ranging from Mexico City to the Quad Cities.

As an undergraduate at Butler University, she had an opportunity to work with refugees and people seeking asylum. “That made a big impression on me,” she said. “DePaul’s location in Chicago and its active involvement in matters of human rights and immigration law is part of what drew me to the law school.”

DePaul’s extensive clinical opportunities were especially appealing to Fennell. “I knew it was an excellent law school with a great tradition of opening up the field, and that it has many alumni who are leaders in Chicago’s legal community,” she said. “The opportunities to apply what I am learning in real cases did not seem nearly as extensive at other law schools.”

As a DePaul student, Fennell spent a summer in Chiapas, Mexico, as part of the Chiapas Human Rights Practicum, in which students travel to Chiapas to meet with major human rights and indigenous organizations in the community. Students are based in San Cristobal, where local human rights lawyers, activists and community leaders teach students about the local legal and political situation.

As a Spanish-speaking student, Fennell received a stipend to work the entire summer in a human rights office. Fennell says that the Jaharis Scholarship “felt like a vote of confidence in my abilities and it has really been a help, allowing me to take full advantage of clinical opportunities.” And, as someone who moved around a lot as a child, she found a home at DePaul.

“The College of Law is a wonderful community. We are competitive, but we use that competitive impulse to excel individually and be supportive of each other. I have had some great mentors among the faculty, and the alumni network is terrific—very strong and active. The alumni are very faithful to the school and younger alumni. The community is constant.”

Service defines DePaul law grad

Alexandra Hochhauser, the 2013 DePaul College of Law student commencement speaker and Student Bar Association (SBA) president, could write the book on how to best serve your classmates and school.

“I feel if you are going to law school without a purpose, then why even go?” she said. “I knew before I started law school that I wanted to be involved in student government. That was one of the reasons I chose DePaul. It has a commitment to service.”

Along with SBA vice president Pete Chambers, Hochhauser helped establish an advising program for students and re-launched the college’s student newspaper. Hochhauser said they also found a way to give student organizations more funding for the year.

“She led the student body and was a great advocate for them” said William Chamberlain, dean of Law Career Services who worked with Hochhauser. “She’s very thoughtful and has a very positive attitude. She’s been a very effective leader and has really helped the law school.”

Read more about Hochhauser's time at the College of Law in this DePaul Newsroom feature.

Volunteers coach Legal Prep students to victory at mock trial competition

This past year, a team of DePaul College of Law volunteers worked with Legal Prep Charter Academy ninth graders to prepare them for their end of the year mock trial competition, which took place on Tuesday, May 13, 2013 at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse Building. 

DePaul worked with two groups of Legal Prep students and both groups won their competitions. The case was a civil matter involving an allegation that a police officer used excessive force when arresting a teenage boy, who was the plaintiff. The DePaul teams represented the defense.

Several DePaul volunteers also served as judges for other teams, including College of Law Dean Greg Mark, alumna Linda Bryceland (JD '86), and Pro Bono Director Cheryl Price. Professor Mark Moller, alumna Jessica Schneider (JD '10), College of Law staff member Elizabeth Boe, and law student Beckee Birger coached the DePaul teams during the competition. Dean Mark was the only law school dean who volunteered to assist at the competition.     

DePaul College of Law Dean Mark serves as Legal Prep Charter School mock trial judge.
For many of the students, the mock trial program was their first in-depth study of our legal system and the components of a trial. The Legal Prep students prepared and delivered both opening and closing statements and called witnesses for direct and cross examination. DePaul volunteers, who have been working with Legal Prep students since September 2012, first taught lessons on these topics and then helped students prepare their parts for the mock trial.

DePaul’s volunteer team was comprised of law students, faculty, staff, and alumni. They included Dean Gregory Mark, Professor Mark Moller, Elizabeth Boe, Associate Director of Recruiting, Law Career Services, Cheryl Price, Director of the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative, Alumni Linda Bryceland, Jessica Schneider, Andrea McKenna, and Michelle Miller, and law students Rebecca Birger, Sarah Gorham, Taylor Goulborn, Will Guardia, and Jacquita Richardson.   

DePaul alumna Jessica Schneider watches student perform after coaching her on trial techniques.
The volunteers really enjoyed working with and getting to know the students. According to alumna Jessica Schneider "Working with the students was really rewarding, especially as you saw them grasp new concepts and get excited about being part of a trial. It was hard for me to get away from work, but every time I began a teaching session with the students I was always happy to be there and it would truly brighten my day. We taught challenging concepts, but usually found a way to help the students relate to them in a way they would understand.

Despite the challenges it was great to see it all come together in the mock trial at the end of the school year. I was very proud of them!"  DePaul’s Pro Bono Director, Cheryl Price, agrees, “The Legal Prep students were really fun to work with. They were excited and interested about the legal process and worked hard to prepare for the mock trial. We look forward to working with them next year.”  

Alumni selected for inaugural class of the Chicago Bar Foundation Justice Entrepreneurs Project

DePaul law alumni Eleanor Endzel ('12), Neil Kelley ('11) and Trevor Clarke ('11) were accepted to the Chicago Bar Foundation's recently launched Justice Entrepreneurs Project.  

The Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) supports recent law graduates who are building their law practices with the goal of serving clients of modest means. The project also addresses two trends in the legal community: a surplus of law graduates and an increase in need for legal aid. This model is designed to serve the legal needs of populations who may not meet the criteria for traditional legal aid organizations, but also may not be able to afford private legal services.

The JEP will not only teach participants new skills to run a successful law practice, but also will provide a physical workspace, opportunities for peer collaboration, mentoring and business coaching. By participating in the JEP, DePaul alumni will continue to be at the forefront of effectuating change for underserved communities.

College of Law alumni make mentoring work for new attorneys

Mentoring has a natural place in today’s connected culture. Global organizations like IBM are implementing e-mentoring programs for young employees, and emerging online exchanges like PivotPlanet connect career changers to accomplished industry professionals. Increasingly, social networking platforms are used to maintain career connections outside of the office.

As the professional world becomes more socialized—and accessible— the new work force is benefitting from direct interaction with higherups. Protégés can easily initiate contact with experts in a field of interest, becoming active learners who direct the mentoring process.

Yet, modern mentorships don’t easily produce results. Mentees might not know what questions to ask. Shared ground also plays a big role, with research showing that the more a mentor and protégé have in common, the more they will invest in the relationship. And the benefit of face to-face meetings is almost essential in establishing rapport.

Responding to the need for effective mentorships, the College of Law recently integrated a program that takes great measures to ensure time well spent. In 2012, DePaul’s Institute for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution (IADR) launched the Lawyer-to-Lawyer (L2L) Mentoring Program, which operates under the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. It wrapped up its first year this past January.

Led by IADR Assistant Director Natalie Taylor, DePaul’s L2L program furthers the court’s efforts to change the legal culture in Illinois “one-on-one.” The program works by pairing new attorneys with seasoned professionals through careful recruiting, orientation and training, a highly structured outline and incentive for both parties to complete the program. 

“Overall, the response has been very positive,” said Taylor. “This year we have four repeat mentors. Additionally, two of the 2012 mentors have asked me to reach out to them for 2014.” Though mentorship positions aren’t restricted to DePaul alumni, Taylor said all but one of the current mentors is an alumnus. 

To participate in the program, mentees must be certified and practicing, or intending to practice law in Illinois. Among many other requirements, attorney mentors must be registered and in good standing, with a spotless record. Taylor also teamed up with Law Career Services (LCS) staff and Assistant Director Bonnie Tunick to invite specific graduates they felt could benefit from the program as mentees. This year, 24 attorneys signed up for L2L.

The program outline is divided into five areas of study to reflect the prongs of CLE rule. Each area contains talking points, which allow the pairs to review and structure their meetings ahead of time. Often, participants use these talking points as a springboard to approach additional areas they might not otherwise consider. 

"That was nice—it’s as if you have a curriculum,” said 2012 L2L mentor George Pearce (JD ‘79). “But, then, when you’ve worked for 33 years as a lawyer you have a lot of stories, so it’s easy to take a concept and apply it to what you’re doing every day.”

Pearce is a partner at Holland & Knight and focuses on estate planning and representing family owned businesses. He said mentoring comes naturally for him. Pearce formerly oversaw the hiring of new attorneys at Holland & Knight as well as running their summer program for several years. He also serves on the College of Law Dean's Council. When Tunick reached out to him, he signed up.

Under the professionalism area of the L2L outline, mentors and mentees have the opportunity to cover basics of law office management. For Pearce’s mentee Maryam Fakouri (JD ’10), a librarian at Columbia College who recently graduated from the part-time evening program at the College of Law, this was one of the program highlights. “It gives you a more grounded view of what their day is like,” she explained, “and who they interact with.”

Once a month, Pearce invited her to meet at his office and address the topic of the day. Fakouri enjoyed the opportunity to experience an office environment and learn more about the day-to-day management of a law firm. “I was interested in routine aspects such as billing, keeping track of time,” she laughed, “and even organizing email.”  

Though Fakouri had marked wills and trusts as a practice area of interest, she was also interested in discovering more about the world of legal issues connected with libraries. “George connected me with people who might have knowled ge there,” she said. In addition, “the program exposed me to practice areas outside of higher education.” Ultimately, Pearce put her in touch with five additional contacts, including his spouse Mary Sinclair Pearce (JD ‘79) who works at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of General Counsel, and an attorney at Holland & Knight who practices intellectual property law. Fakouri now counts IP as a focal point of her career pursuit. With its overlap in library issues, it’s a natural fit. “I would absolutely recommend this to other graduates,” she said.

"Law matters," Richard M. Daley to DePaul University law graduates

Richard M. Daley, who served as mayor of Chicago for 22 years, delivered the commencement speech May 19 at DePaul University’s College of Law. Daley earned his law degree from DePaul in 1968 as well as a bachelor’s degree in 1964. He cited his DePaul education as “the foundation on which my career has been built.” (Photo by Thomas Vangel)
In remarks to graduates from DePaul University’s 100-year-old College of Law, Richard M. Daley described the law as “the rulebook for society.”

The former Chicago mayor, who earned a law degree from DePaul in 1968, told graduates “When you change the rulebook, you can literally change how the world works.”

He noted that the law “is more than statutes and rules and regulations and proceedings. It is the architecture that determines how we interact with one another. Like any other kind of architecture, if you change the design, you change the outcome. Do you want to change the world? Then you change the law.”

Citing his 22 years of experience as Chicago’s mayor and nearly 10 years as the Cook County State’s Attorney, Daley used the issue of gun violence to illustrate that there are “intriguing legal questions” at the core of some of today’s social challenges.

“In the time since I received my DePaul law degree, over 100,000 children and teenagers have been killed by guns in the United States of America…. I’m not going to tell you that there are easy answers to the problem of gun violence. There are not. But I will ask you some legal questions.

“Should it be easier to buy a gun than it is to buy a car? Why is the gun industry shielded from liability when no other industry enjoys such protection? If some other product were killing thousands of children every year, would Congress and its citizens issue the manufacturers of that product blanket immunity? If a gun shop repeatedly sells guns that end up in the hands of criminals, should that be a criminal offense?” Daley posed.

“These are obviously difficult and divisive questions,” Daley said. “My message today is simple: How you answer these legal questions will affect who gets killed on our streets. The law matters.”

He continued, “Those of us who study law — including all of our new graduates here today — must recognize that laws have consequences. They shape society. They determine how we interact with each other and with the rest of the world.

“You graduate today as our nation is facing a new set of challenges…. You will leave here today with more than a graduate degree. You will leave here with an understanding of the most powerful lever that we have for improving America and the world,” Daley said. “And that is the law.”

Conferring law degrees on 314 graduates was the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, president of DePaul University. Introducing Daley was Gregory Mark, dean of the College of Law, which is celebrating its centennial.


Article reprinted from DePaul Newsroom. 

Click here for photos of the 2013 College of Law Commencement Ceremony, or view a webcast of Sunday's event.

Justice Ginsburg speaks at DePaul's tricentennial celebration

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in Chicago May 10 to help DePaul celebrate the centennials of three of its schools -- law, business and music -- at an evening event featuring live opera selections and discussion about how law is portrayed in them.

Ginsburg, an opera aficionado who has appeared onstage in cameo opera roles and studied the intersection of opera and the law, provided commentary for the event at the Chicago History Museum.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Ginsburg's presentation in its coverage of the centennial event. 

From left: Interim Provost Patricia O'Donoghue, Dean Donald Casey (Music), Justice Ginsburg, Dean Ray Whittington (Business), Dean Gregory Mark (Law).

Alumna named Lawyer of the Year by DuPage County Bar Association

Wendy Musielak (BUS '99, JD '03) was named DuPage County Bar Association's Lawyer of the Year in recognition of her long-standing commitment to the DuPage County Bar Association (DCBA) and DuPage Association of Women Lawyers.

Musielak is a partner at Esp Kreuzer Cores LLP where she concentrates her practice in family law.

Musielak received the award at the 2013 President's Ball at Danada House in Wheaton. "Wendy has been invaluable to the DCBA," said outgoing DCBA President Sharon Mulyk. "When it came time to make a decision for Lawyer of the Year, the choice was an obvious one."

She also serves as chair of the membership committee and a member of the planning committee for the DCBA. Musielak is a director for the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers and a fellow with the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois.

DePaul alumna Natalie Long receives ASIL international law fellowship

The American Society of International Law (ASIL) recently announced 11 student and young professional winners of its 2013 Helton Fellowships for projects in international law. Selected from more than 70 applicants from throughout the world, DePaul alumna Natalie Long (JD '12) is one of the 11 recipients. She will receive a micro-grant of $2,000 to provide legal services through Servicios de Apoyo Intercultural, A.C., to three indigenous Mayan communities located in the Lacandon Jungle in the state of Chiapas, Mexico.

ASIL established the Helton Fellowship Program in 2004 in honor of Arthur C. Helton, an internationally renowned lawyer and advocate for the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons. Helton died in the August 19, 2003, bombing of the United Nations (UN) mission in Baghdad.

Helton Fellows undertake fieldwork and research in association with established educational institutions, international organizations or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). They pursue fieldwork in or research on issues involving human rights, international criminal law, humanitarian affairs and other international law areas. The 2013 Helton Fellows include students and professionals from King's College of London, Harvard Law School, University of Ottawa, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Australian National University, among others.

The Helton Fellowship Program is administered by ASIL through its Career Development Program, and is funded by a grant from the Planethood Foundation and generous contributions from ASIL members.

In September 2012, the Next Gen Committee of the National Lawyers' Guild invited Long to discuss her human rights work in Chiapas with DePaul law students. She highlighted five cases handled by Servicios de Apoyo Intercultural, focusing on human rights violations in Chiapas.

Clifford Symposium "A Brave New World" focuses on litigation finance

The 19th annual Clifford Symposium on Tort Law & Social Policy will examine the issues of financing litigation. Twenty-two scholars including legal academics, social scientists and economists from the U.S. and Canada will present on topics ranging from the financial challenge of class relief to ethical issues in litigation finance.

The symposium, "A Brave New World: The Changing Face of Litigation and Law Firm Finance," was organized by Professor Stephan Landsman, the Robert A. Clifford Chair in Tort Law & Social Policy. The faculty chair and annual symposium are supported through an endowment established by Robert A. Clifford (JD '76) in 1994.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but space is limited. It will be held on April 18 and 19 at the DePaul Center, Room 8005, 1 E Jackson Blvd, Chicago. For more information and a complete schedule, please visit the event page.

Jaharis Scholar Zach Garmisa's inspiration to give back

Jaharis Scholar Zach Garmisa majored in psychology at the University of Illinois because he wanted to help people. He is becoming a lawyer for the same reason. “I can’t think of a better law school for me, because of its mission of service, and balance between theory and practice,” Garmisa said.

"The school is very supportive and collegial—they push you toward achievement and support you on the road in so many ways,” he says.

Garmisa says that his most memorable DePaul experience was the camaraderie he felt at orientation, when all first-year students take an oath to uphold proper ethics from that day in law school into their careers.

“I found the experience powerful and inspiring. Every student in law school said it with me as we prepared to embark on the law school experience.”

The law school’s balance between theory and practice has provided Garmisa with a number of opportunities to work with and assist others. He works part time for a civil litigation law firm and a criminal defense law firm. He has worked as a team leader with the Just the Beginning Foundation, an organization seeking to encourage diverse students to enter law school.

He has been a member of DePaul’s Decalogue Society for Jewish lawyers, worked with the Office of Admissions in recruitment-related activities ranging from tours to events, and served as a representative on the Dean's Advisory Council and Student Bar Association. He also values the personal guidance he’s received through the legal writing program. “These are the faculty members that really spend a lot of time with you, week in and week out, to make sure you are the best legal writer you can be. It’s very important, because the law really is about clear communication.”

All of his involvement and range of experience might not have been possible if not for financial aid such as the Jaharis Scholarship. “I’m extremely appreciative and grateful for the opportunity that the Jaharis family has given me. I aspire to use the opportunity as a springboard to develop my skills, continue my legal education, and be able to work in areas that directly impact the lives and well-being of others. That is why I went to law school in the first place.

“The Jaharis Scholarship inspires me to one day give back to DePaul and provide individuals with the same opportunities given to me.”

Alumna named one of Houston's 50 most influential women

Law alumna Crystal E. Ashby (JD ’86) was named one of Houston’s 50 most influential women of 2012 by Houston Woman magazine.

Ashby serves as executive vice president for government and public affairs at BP America, where she manages a team of 70 government, regulatory and public affairs experts. The team supports BP’s business activities by working with state and local stakeholders, including government officials and business and community leaders.

“Ashby has a long and distinguished career with BP and its heritage company, Amoco,” said Houston Woman, which also praised her ability to create “a culture of courageous leadership founded upon ethical behavior and inclusion.”

Ashby’s time in Chicago is one that she remembers fondly now that she resides in Houston. “I moved to Chicago to go to law school and I stayed. DePaul opened up a world of opportunities for me. It expected me to be ‘more.’ My law school education and training is still being used daily in my role at BP. The value of a legal education, beyond practicing law, should never be underestimated.”

After receiving her JD from DePaul, Ashby served as a law clerk to Judge Odas Nicholson in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. She also worked as an attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson and Jones Ware & Grenard, both in Chicago. Ashby considers herself lucky to have had Judge Odas Nicholson as a mentor. “I clerked for her right out of law school, when she was a motion court judge. She was a trailblazer and it was incredible to basically sit at her knee every day and listen to her discuss the pleadings that had been filed, the firms and the oral arguments that we had heard—to simply learn from her! For those of us who had that privilege, she is remembered fondly and missed.”

Her 20-year tenure with BP began as attorney in its commercial legal team based in Chicago. She subsequently migrated back to the litigation group. From 2004 to 2005, Ashby worked in London as the senior advisor to the group compliance and ethics officer. Following this appointment, she held several positions in the legal function, including managing attorney for U.S. retail operations and head of change management.

Ashby is the executive sponsor for the BP Houston Women’s Network and for BPAAN, BP’s African American Business Resource Group. In addition, she is the executive sponsor for BP to her alma mater, the University of Michigan. She also serves as trustee for the National Urban League and is a member of the Chicago United’s CEO Council, Greater Houston Partnership’s Executive Women’s Partnership Committee, and the Executive Leadership Council.

Donate-A-Day volunteers "recharge" at Cicero's Our Lady of Charity

Freezing temperatures and gray skies did not stop a dedicated group of DePaul students from volunteering at DePaul College of Law’s January 2013 Donate-A-Day.

Organized by the College of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI), the Donate-A-Day took place on January 26, 2013 at the Our Lady of Charity School in Cicero, IL. University Ministry (UMIN) in the Loop co-sponsored the event, along with two College of Law student groups: the Latino Law Student Association and the Society for Asylum & Immigration Law.

Nearly forty Loop students participated, including law, international, and business students. Law School Chaplain Tom Judge and PBCSI Student Coordinator Desalina Williams were the site leaders for the service day.

The volunteers arrived at the school shortly after 10:00 a.m. and quickly got to work on a wide range of projects. Some volunteers headed over to the rectory to clean and organize a large storage closet full of donated items for people in need. Another group of volunteers worked on creating an inventory of donations that would be sold at a garage sale fundraiser.

Students cleaned the kitchen and cafeteria and others painted a room that will serve as the new teachers’ lounge. Sorting toys in the day care, cleaning and organizing gym equipment in storage closets, and general scrubbing and cleaning (washing windows and vacuuming the chapel) were also on the to-do list for the day.

During the lunch break, the volunteers got to know each other and Our Lady of Charity better.

Our Lady of Charity Principal Katie Olson talked about the history of the school and its students. She explained that most students are Hispanic and African-American and qualify for free or reduced lunch. For many of the students, English is a second language. She also explained that, although the school is growing, it is still struggling financially. Olsen also shared her background, history and reasoning as to why she chose education as her vocation.

As part of the discussion, DePaul volunteers debated the “education pipeline.” They shared ideas about how to shape student expectations so that finishing high school and attending college is a priority, even if no other family member has done so. The volunteers found the discussion and overall experience meaningful.

When asked to comment about the service day, first year law student Angelica Griffin stated: “In response to my personal experience I would have to say one of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering was the opportunity to meet, connect, and make friends with people throughout the university as a whole. Everyone shared an interest of being a part of the solution.”

Alana de Leon ('14), Allen Thomas ('14), and Icia de Lorenzo (LLM Student) break out of the classroom for a day of hands-on pro bono work.
First year student Alana De Leon was also energized by her day of service. “Getting out and serving others really makes you realize what an impact you want to make and can make if you have the passion and the drive to do so," she said. "The programs [at Our Lady of Charity] to help their students celebrate the diversity of the community and promote education were powerful and inspiring. The school's emphasis on faith, service, and education as the foundational elements for success really struck home for the law students who so easily lose touch with such simple principles in the face of endless deadlines, reading assignments and legal concepts. It was nice to refocus on the basics and recharge while serving others.”

PBCSI hosts three Donate-A-Day service projects per semester. For more information about PBCSI and its Donate-A-Day service projects, please contact Cheryl Price at​

Aviation law institute showcases student and faculty research in action

Thomas Wangard knew he wanted to combine his love for aviation with his passion for the law when he considered taking the law school plunge.

That is why it was an easy decision to choose DePaul’s College of Law when he discovered its International Aviation Law Institute (IALI).

“I realized studying with the institute was the perfect route for me,” says Wangard, who is now a third-year law student. “The institute has exposed me to substantive aviation law, government policy and some of the individuals who were instrumental in enacting both. I have had the great opportunity to learn directly from the aviation industry’s titans.”

IALI is just a single example of the College of Law’s investment in experiential learning and faculty enrichment through clinics and institutes.

The law school boasts 15 centers and institutes focusing on a range of issues from criminal defense and family law to intellectual property and cultural heritage law. Each has helped students parlay classroom learning into hands-on experience, while offering faculty a forum to spotlight their academic acumen.

Established in 2004 by distinguished research professor of law and international aviation scholar Brian F. Havel, IALI is the only international aviation law institute in the United States. IALI quickly embraced its mission of educating the next generation of aviation law and policy experts, and has become a valuable resource to help students gain practical experience in international law. The institute also is a sought-after source of information for academics and policymakers around the world, and has given faculty and students the opportunity to consider cutting-edge aviation law issues as they come to the fore.

“The institute allows students to put their legal skills to work in real-life settings that enrich them beyond the typical law school classroom experience,” says Steve Rudolph, executive director.

“Working with the institute equips students to hit the ground running upon graduation, and [to] thrive in the legal profession.”

Some of the ways the institute has expanded opportunities for students and faculty is by becoming a leader in the aviation legal arena. Fifteen to 25 students are involved with the institute each semester. They not only take classes in aviation law and policy, but some also work with practicing attorneys in government service and private practice through paid clerkships and unpaid externships.

They also assist law faculty as research assistants and help edit the institute’s scholarly journal, “Issues in Aviation Law and Policy.” With a global reputation, the institute often helps impact policy decisions. Faculty and students work with partners in such locations as Europe and China. For example, Havel coauthored a major paper that focused on the many unsettled legal questions that remained after the European Union Court of Justice issued a ruling validating the inclusion of non-European airlines in the Emissions Trading Scheme. The institute’s strong alliance with China made possible a visiting scholar and academic exchange program with Beihang University. “The institute has helped to foster more collegial dialogue and better understanding between the United States and Chinese governments on matters pertaining to international civil aviation,” says Rudolph. “A few years ago, the institute hosted Li Jiaxiang, administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and an honorary member of the institute’s faculty. When he spoke at DePaul’s law school, he emphasized the importance of our good relationship in his remarks.”

The clinic and institute experience can launch careers. “I have had the opportunity to talk to high-level representatives from law firms, the government, aviation trade groups, aircraft manufacturing and airlines,” says Wangard. “Through these interactions, I was able to set up an internship with the Federal Aviation Administration. My work at the FAA led to a Law Review article and opened the door to my current job at a law firm that specializes in aviation-related litigation.”


This article first appeared in DePaul University's VISION twenty12 Final Report.