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

    Director of Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic Professor Sioban Albiol shares her passion for Immigration Law.

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  • Alumni Spotlight

    Annual law alumni awards highlight three who lead by example.

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Entrepreneurship, innovation, & the law at 1871

DePaul Law Entrepreneurship, innovation, & the law at 1871 Class
This summer, a number of CIPLIT students are taking a newly created course “Entrepreneurship, innovation, & the law at 1871.” The course was conceived by Professor Anthony Volini in collaboration with CIPLIT and is proving to be very successful. Students are doing legal research in connection with 1871 presentations they have attended, addressing the business, technology, and legal issues facing innovators. It’s exciting to have them engaged in the holistic learning experience that is highly relevant to innovative businesses in the marketplace and will provide them helpful insights for future interactions with clients in their legal careers. Professor Volini is also teaches the IP Legal Writing course (a long time favorite established by CIPLIT) where first-year students learn their required first year research and writing skills in the context of intellectual property issues.​

Announcing our Illinois Bar Foundation 2017 Fellow

Illinois Bar Foundation 2017 Fellow
DePaul University College of Law alumna Mallory Morgan (JD ‘17) will be joining the law school’s Civil Litigation Clinic​ as a staff attorney through the post-graduate fellowship she received from the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Illinois State Bar Association.

In an effort to help recent graduates gain on-the-job experience and increase access to justice in our communities of most need, the post-graduate legal fellowship program was created through a partnership between the IBF and selected law schools. The law schools and the IBF pay each fellow’s salary to work in each law school’s legal clinic for a year post-graduation.

Ms. Morgan acknowledged the need for public interest attorneys and her desire to serve through the IBF fellowship: “There is such a need for public interest attorneys but it is difficult to graduate from law school and immediately gain employment. I look forward to being one of the individuals in Chicago helping others attain the legal justice everyone deserves.”

Civil Litigation Clinic Director David Rodriguez is looking forward to Ms. Morgan joining the clinic staff later this summer. In his view, “the DePaul Clinic’s ability to serve underrepresented clients will continue to grow with the arrival of the second Illinois Bar Foundation fellow, Mallory Morgan, who will begin her one-year fellowship in August of 2017. Ms. Morgan will begin her fellowship after Caitlin Duane, the clinic’s 2016 IBF fellow, concludes her fellowship. Ms. Duane represented clients in consumer, employment, and housing matters, and the clinic expects Ms. Morgan to continue to represent clients in these and additional areas as the clinic continues to branch out into new areas of practice.”

Ms. Morgan graduated cum laude from Villanova University with a BA in History and Spanish Language Literature, and while there engaged in community service. After graduation, she joined DePaul University College of Law, in which she achieved numerous accolades, among those being a Public Interest Honors Scholar; receiving the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center Scholarship as well as the DePaul University College of Law’s Chancellor’s Award for Service. Ms. Morgan also served as the associate editor of the DePaul Law Review and was a member of the Committee for the Center for Public Interest Law.

The Illinois Bar Foundaton is also sharing the cost of two public interest fellowships this year for new graduates at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Northern Illinois University College of Law. For more information concerning this fellowship program, visit the Illinois Bar Fo​undation​ website.​​​​

DePaul Law announces new partnership with MLER

DePaul Law announces partnership with MLER
DePaul University College of Law is excited to announce its new partnership with Minority Legal Education Resources, Inc.​ (“MLER”). After 40 years at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, MLER starts its next chapter with DePaul Law in Summer 2017. This strategic partnership between DePaul Law and MLER emphasizes DePaul's commitment to diversity, inclusion and community-building, as well as its holistic, supportive environment for students and recent alumni.

MLER was co-founded in 1977 by Northwestern Law professor Ronald Kennedy and attorney Ann Claire Williams (now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit). Its mission is to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession by maintaining its tradition of excellence through its supplemental bar process management program. Open to everyone, but specifically targeted towards minority and underrepresented groups, its bi-annual program aims to provide students with the tool box and encouragement necessary to pass the Illinois bar exam.

MLER is considered a companion program to commercial bar preparation courses, such as BARBRI and Kaplan. Professor Ben Alba, DePaul College of Law’s Director of Academic Success and Bar Passage, describes the distinct contribution of MLER: “While commercial review courses focus on the black-letter law, MLER teaches how to navigate the daunting bar review process and use study time effectively.” He recognizes MLER as a valuable resource for all bar-takers, noting that “half of effective bar exam preparation is psychological, meaning that if students develop a constructive attitude toward the bar prep grind, they will put in the time and effort and do all the things needed to ensure their success.” MLER provides students with the guidance and inspiration necessary to achieve this “professional and personal milestone.”

Joi Thomas, president of MLER, and alum of DePaul College of Law, first joined the organization as a student and has since been active within the program. She considers her achievements in this group to be one of the “more meaningful aspects of being an advocate” because she is “part of the doing.” Like Ben Alba, she wants students to leave with the confidence to be successful throughout the bar exam, and their careers.

Thomas recognizes the diligent effort of all MLER members in making the group a success. She remains impressed with the dedication shown by its current, nine-person Board of Directors, which consists of legal practitioners from across all sectors. She also acknowledges Jerome Taylor, MLER’s program coordinator and DePaul College of Law adjunct, whose energy and enthusiasm “keeps students in their chairs,” and tutor coordinator Candice Smith, whose countless efforts ensures each MLER volunteer is prepared to lead their classes and student groups towards success.

The move to DePaul is not the only major milestone for MLER in 2017. This year marks the first time MLER is expanding out of Illinois with a new program in California, partnership with the California Bar Foundation.

To learn more about MLER, please visit​. ​​​​​​​

DePaul student receives 2017 Scandaglia Ryan Intellectual Property Legal Writing Award

2017 Scandaglia and Ryan winner Nolan Leuthauser
2017 Scandaglia Ryan Intellectual Property Legal Writing Award Nolan Leuthauser (fourth from left). Also pictured (from left to right): William J. Ryan, Michael S. Shapiro, DePaul Law Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea, and Gregory J. Scandaglia.
For the fifteenth consecutive year, Scandaglia Ryan LLP presented the Scandaglia Ryan Intellectual Property Legal Writing Award to Nolan Leuthauser. The honor is given annually during the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Information Technology (CPLIT®) ceremony to the 2L who receives the highest grade in the first-year IP Legal Writing Program. 

Although Leuthauser came to law school with an interest in intellectual property, he has since discovered a fascination in all areas of the law. Set to be a summer associate at Kirkland & Ellis, he hopes to gain experience in substantive areas within its litigation department. This award is a particularly important honor for him because “I try to do all that I can every day to make myself a better future lawyer, and I know that the most important thing I can do is improve my writing skills.”

Scandaglia Ryan LLP founded and has sponsored the IP Legal Writing Award since its inception in 2002. Past recipients include Jonathan M. Crowley, Kyle Dickinson, Stephen C. Jarvis, Nicholas C. Thompson, Emily Monteith, Justin Piper, Jonathan Schildt, Nicholas J. Angelocci, Jamey A. Orchik, Lee James, Jeremy Bridge, Hillary A. Mann, Philipp Ruben and Lauren Bursey.

DePaul Law student wins National Law Review writing competition

DePaul University College of Law 3L Sherry H. Joseph
DePaul University College of Law student Sherry H. Joseph, winner of the 2016 National Law Review student writing contest.

Sherry H. Joseph, a DePaul Law student, was recently awarded the National Law Review's 2016 Law Student Writing Competition for her article titled, "Chicago Plastic Bag Ordinance: Incentivizing Consumers to Change Their Plastic Consumption Behavior". Josephs's writings were based on the original Checkout Bag Tax that was first proposed in 2015 with a reworked version going into effect on February 1, 2017. Although skeptical on the original 2015 plastic bag ban proposal, she ultimately wanted to research how effective the ban would be in hopes of creating awareness. 

Joseph considers the National Law Review award an important milestone that helped her find a deeper meaning to one of her favorite inspirational quotes: "I learned that people fall down, winners get up, and gold medal winners just get up faster." (Bonnie St. John, first African-American woman medalist in the Paralympics). Relating her achievement to the inspirational quote, Joseph says she "may have fallen, even when I was down, I still succeeded. Now I am back up and standing steady on my feet, and I am fulfilling the promise that I made to my father years prior. I am carrying his name as far as I possibly can."

While finishing her final year of law school, Joseph serves as a judicial extern, a student representative for the Illinois State Bar Association and is the managing editor of the Notes and Comments section for the DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal. She would like to give credit to the staff and faculty at DePaul Law for their encouragement and guidance throughout this experience.​

DePaul Law student recieves Prettyman Fellowship

DePaul Law's Fadya Suleman, receipient of the Prettyman Fellowship
DePaul Law student Fadya Salem, recipient of the Prettyman Fellowship

DePaul University College of Law student Fadya Salem (3L) was recently accepted into the E. Barrett Prettyman and Stuart Stiller Fellowship Program at Georgetown University Law Center, which selects three fellows annually. The Prettyman Fellowship was established in 1960 for recent law school graduates to represent indigent clients in Washington, DC. During the two-year program, participants obtain practical training as defense attorneys while gaining a greater understanding of the court system.

The first DePaul Law student to receive this honor, Salem is “beyond excited“ to become a Prettyman Fellow and to work “with indigent clients who are marginalized in society and among the most deserving people needing help.” She first learned about the Fellowship while spending a summer as a law clerk with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, which was funded by DePaul College of Law's Judge Richard D. Cudahy Fellowship.

Salem was further inspired to apply for the Prettyman Fellowship due to its mentorship opportunities. Having learned first hand the value of receiving guidance from professionals with similar passions, she would like to also counsel aspiring attorneys and recognizes this program as an important way to reach out to others. Salem credits two DePaul Law alumni in particular for guiding her on this path: Chalet Braziel (JD '09) and Theodore Thomas (JD '09), both of whom are Cook County Public Defenders. As her mock trial coaches over the past two years, Braziel and Thomas promoted extensive preparation and practice as keys to success, and their “unwavering support” drove her towards excellence.

After completing the Prettyman Fellowship, Salem hopes to continue her work as a public defender and positively impact the lives of others. ​​

DePaul Law congratulates its three Unity Award winners

DePaul Law Unity Awards Dinner
The DePaul Law table at the 2016 Unity Awards Dinner. (standing, left to right) Mahmud Suwwan, Fadya Salem (3L), Emily Steinert (2L), Kary Moyer, Terry Smith; (seated, left to right) Bryanna Jenkins (1L), Lark Mulligan (3L), Lubna S. El-Gendi, Ben Alba.
DePaul University College of Law congratulates three students, Lark Mulligan, Fadya Salem and Emily Steinert, on winning scholarships at the 2016 Unity Award Dinner & 14th Swearing-In of Bar Presidents Ceremony. Both Mulligan and Steinert received the Jerold S. Solovy Diversity Scholarship Award, which honors students who promote diversity within the legal field and improve their communities as a whole through pro bono work and advocacy. Salem earned a Bar Exam Preparation Scholarship, which goes to third-year students with proven academic success, plus the need for financial aid.

All three students engage in public interest law through different areas. Mulligan, who also recently won the Women's Bar Foundation scholarship, provides extensive assistance to the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois and focuses on LGBTQ issues, namely offering pro bono legal aid to transgender people. Steinert helps refugees and other underrepresented people by working for nonprofit organizations, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, United Nations Population Fund and the Cape Town Refugee Center in South Africa. Salem educates others on their constitutional rights through her association with the First Defense Legal Aid Street Law Program and Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project.

The Unity Award Dinner is hosted by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation, NFP. It celebrates legal professionals across three states who are dedicated to enhancing diversification within the legal community, and has become one of the region's biggest professional diversity events. Along with honoring students, the ceremony recognized others who have chosen careers in public service, such as Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who was this year's Unity Award Recipient; Chasity Boyce, Tiffany Harper and Cecilia Horan, who were among the Advocates for Diversity Awards recipients and the Honorable Laura C. Liu who posthumously won the Access to Justice Award. The dinner also features the symbolic swearing-in of more than 50 bar presidents who pledge their commitment to diversity, unity and friendship among their fellow professionals; Judge Timothy Evans officiated 2016's Oath of Unity.

Lubna S. El-Gendi, director of student affairs and diversity, hosted the DePaul Law table and spoke highly of the students and their "inspiring, amazing work for communities," as well as of the numerous alumni who supported the event. She further complimented the organizers for the night and the entertainment, which featured Secretary White's tumbling group. El-Gendi also noted that following the heated rhetoric surrounding this year's presidential election, it was encouraging to see people who recognize the importance of diversity and of bettering their communities. ​

DePaul Law announces 2016-2017 Appellate Moot Court Society members

2016 moot court team
Members of DePaul's 2016-2017 Appellate Moot Court Society.
DePaul University College of Law is pleased to announce the members of the 2016-2017 Appellate Moot Court Society: (back row, left to right) Blaire Theuerkauf, Collin Fernandez, Mike Maienza, Evan Finneke, Michael Bishop; (second row, left to right) Alessandra Faso, Sierra Hagl, Corinne Cundiff, Cristina Mares, Deba Alam, Jessica Rodriguez, James Phillips, Ted Leonas; (front row, left to right) Stephanie Cueman, Samantha Grund-Wickramasekera, Cindy Medina-Cervantes, Betty Murcia, Natasha Mangal; (not pictured) Erica Gibbons, Lindsey Gotkin and Jessica Torres.

In spring 2017, members will comprise nine teams and compete in events throughout the country, including the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition, the Whittier National Juvenile Law Moot Court Competition, the George Washington National Security Law Moot Court Competition, the UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law Moot Court Competition, the University of Wisconsin Evans Moot Court Competition and the New York Law School Wagner Competition.

Appellate Moot Court Society President Cristina Mares said, "The 11 competing 3Ls and six 2Ls hope to have another successful year ahead." She also thanks the faculty, alumni and other moot court team members for their guidance in helping prepare the teams for the upcoming competitions.

DePaul Law student Mulligan receives Women's Bar Foundation scholarship

DePaul Law student Lark Mulligan is honored at a Women's Bar Foundation Scholarship Reception
Pictured from left: Shaye Loughlin, executive director of DePaul's Center for Public Interest Law; Jennifer Rosato Perea, dean of DePaul University College of Law; Lark Mulligan, recipient of the Women's Bar Foundation scholarship; Sue (Lee) Pak, JD '16; and Terrie Sullivan, JD candidate '17.

DePaul University College of Law student Lark Mulligan is one of nine recipients this year to receive the Women's Bar Foundation scholarship award. For over a half century, the Women's Bar Foundation has provided scholarships to exceptional female Illinois law students for their outstanding educational and professional accomplishments, as well as their dedication to aiding their communities. Winners were celebrated at a luncheon in October, which also honored Andrea Zopp, deputy mayor of the city of Chicago, for her professional and philanthropic achievements.

I feel honored to receive this award as a queer transgender woman, as a feminist and as a prison abolition activist,” said Mulligan. I want to be a lawyer because the U.S. is experiencing an urgent crisis of hyperpolicing and mass incarceration of poor people of color. 

As a prison abolitionist, Mulligan advocates on behalf of “dismantling systems of incarceration, surveillance and policing” and creating “a world that has no need for prisons or police by addressing the root causes of violence, inequality and oppression in our communities.” She promotes alternative solutions such as community-building and empowerment, reparations, healing and restorative practices, open dialogue, accessible and affordable healthcare and food justice.

Mulligan also performs as a collective member and board member with the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois. Founded in 2008, this group provides legal services to low-income transgender and gender nonconforming people. With this organization, she drafted Transgender 101 for Judges in the Civil Division,” which has educated judges about gender identity and the importance of allowing transgender persons to change their names as a crucial step in claiming their true identity. Since 2010, its Name Change Mobilization project has enabled more than 500 transgender people to change their name. She has filed grievances with Cook County Jail on behalf of transgender individuals who face rampant abuse at its institutions and cocreated a re-entry support program for transgender women following their released from prison. She also publishes the 'zine Hidden Expressions,' which features the writing, artwork and guidance of transgender prisoners. Along with her responsibilities at the Transformative Law Project of Illinois, she interns at Cabrini Green Legal Aid where she handles criminal records relief, such as expungement and clemency, and performs criminal defense.

After law school, Mulligan plans to continue providing holistic legal guidance to criminalized transgender people in Chicago. Other accolades Mulligan has earned include winning the Pro Bono Publico Award in 2015 and being named one of the Windy City Times' 30 Under 30 in 2013.

DePaul student receives Chicago Bar Foundation Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship

Marovitz Insalaco Loughlin
Pictured from left: Andrew Marovitz, chair of the CBF Marovitz Scholarship selection committee; Amanda Insalaco, recipient of the 2016 Marovitz Scholarship; and Shaye Loughlin, executive director of DePaul's Center for Public Interest Law.
From a young age, DePaul first-year law student Amanda Insalaco has aspired to a career in public service. As the first in her family to attend college, she graduated with honors and determined she wanted to pursue that dream as a public service lawyer. On October 17, she became one big step closer to realizing that dream after she received the 2016 Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship.

The CBF Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship has been awarded annually since 2004 to an incoming first-year law student attending one of the nine Illinois law schools. The scholarship was made possible through the generous financial contribution of the late Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz. Throughout his distinguished life and career, Judge Marovitz was a firm believer that financial need should not be a bar to dedicated young students who want to pursue careers in public service. For nearly a century, Judge Marovitz consistently demonstrated his commitment to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through a variety of charitable activities. Prior to his death in 2001, Judge Marovitz ensured that this legacy would continue by establishing funding for a number of charitable initiatives, including the CBF Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship.

The CBF’s scholarship award to Insalaco includes $40,000 in financial assistance payable over her law school career, which will help ease the financial burden of law school and enable her to pursue a career in public service.

Insalaco receives award
Andrew Marovitz presents an award in recognition of the 2016 CBF Marovitz Public Interest Law Scholarship to DePaul first-year student Amanda Insalaco.
“Amanda is a great choice and she will be a real credit to the Marovitz Scholarship and the CBF,” said Andrew Marovitz, chair of the CBF Marovitz scholarship selection committee. “The selection committee was impressed by all of her public service work and her academic achievements. Her strong commitment to dedicate her legal career to making our justice system work better for everyone made her stand out from a competitive and talented pool of applicants. We look forward to seeing all that she accomplishes in her legal career.”

Upon receiving the scholarship, Insalaco said, “The Marovitz Scholarship will enable me to better focus on law school without the distraction and stress that often accompany years of financial hardship due to student loans. I am confident that I’m now much better positioned to pursue a legal aid career in Chicago to help the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Story and photos courtesy of the Chicago Bar Foundation.

DePaul Law and Chicago Committee collaborate to launch law school pipeline program

The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms and DePaul University College of Law are proud to announce their collaboration on LegalTrek 2017.

The Chicago Committee is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote racial and ethnic diversity in large Chicago law firms and in the Chicago community through programming, business development and networking opportunities, LegalTrek is an original Chicago Committee pipeline program that ran successfully from 2008 to 2012. Under the leadership of legal diversity champion Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea, LegalTrek will continue to inspire and empower minority students interested in joining the legal profession. LegalTrek’s mission is to diversify the Chicago legal community by encouraging and supporting college students from historically underrepresented groups to attend law school.

LegalTrek scholars will attend summer classes at DePaul Law, where they will increase their understanding of the role of the law in society, the different kinds of lawyers and legal career options, and successful strategies for applying to law school. LegalTrek scholars will be linked with mentors and coaches from the Chicago Committee (some of who are now LegalTrek alumni themselves). LegalTrek 2017 is designed to showcase Chicago’s legal community to diverse college students wishing to enter the profession and providing them with a clear roadmap to success.

Applications for LegalTrek 2017 will be available in January.

DePaul's inaugural Third Year in Practice class ready for real-world experience

Members of the first class of students in DePaul’s innovative Third Year in Practice (3YP) program will begin their intensive legal field placements at government agencies, nonprofit organizations and corporations in fall 2016.

Following is an excerpt from a recent article about the 3YP program that appeared in Distinctions.

“3YP is the reason I came to DePaul,” says Clint Pierce. Rebekah Gonzalez agrees: “I learned about 3YP when I was researching law schools, and it’s why I decided to come here. I did not see anything like it at other schools in the area.”
The Third Year in Practice (3YP) program allows law students to complete general course requirements in two years and then spend their third year immersed in the simulated and actual practice of law. 3YP students learn and practice professional litigation and corporate skills, while working under close supervision, at a law firm, government agency, corporation, nonprofit organization, or any one of DePaul’s legal clinics.
“3YP is a way to attract students, for sure, but it’s also just the right thing to do,” says David Rodriguez, the program’s director and a clinical instructor for the Poverty Law Clinic. "The first year out of law school is baptism by fire, as new lawyers struggle to do the work. It’s one thing to learn theory in the classroom, quite another to apply it on-the-job, with real-world pressures, deadlines, and expectations. Students who’ve done 3YP can hit the ground running after graduation—they’ll be confident and competitive.”
Read the full story.​​​​​

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.

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 ​

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

DePaul team wins best oral presentation honors at international air law competition

From left, assistant coach Sarah Beaujour, Hendrik du Toit, Brent Buyse, Christopher Andrews and coach Patrick Jones.
DePaul law students took best oral presentation (applicant) and runner-up best oral presentation (respondent) honors at the Leiden Sarin International Air Law Moot Court Competition, held April 7 to 10 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The student air law moot court team of Christopher Andrews, Hendrik du Toit and Brent Buyse submitted memorials and delivered oral arguments at the seventh annual event. In addition to bringing home the oral presentation honors, the team also scored top 10 finishes for their applicant and respondent side memorials. Patrick Jones (JD ’99) and Sarah Beaujour, a member of DePaul's 2015 air law moot court team, coached the team. 

The Leiden Sarin Moot Court is organized by Leiden University and the Sarin Foundation. Twenty-six teams from 21 countries participated in this year’s competition. 

Attorney panel offers advice on career path in family law

Family law attorneys shared career experiences, advice on practicing family law and tips on leveraging legal education during a panel discussion for students at DePaul's College of Law in April. 

Panelists included attorneys from both the private and public sectors: Michael Alvarado, partner, Davis Friedman; Michelle Cass, associate, O’Connor Family Law; Stacy Freeman, partner, Rinella & Rinella; and James Champlin, staff attorney, Domestic Violence Legal ClinicAlexandra Perraud, president of the Child & Family Law Association, moderated the event.

Perraud asked panelists about their day-to-day tasks, career paths and advice for students hoping to become family law attorneys. Panelists encouraged students to get as much practical experience as possible during law school and emphasized networking. They encouraged students to enroll in DePaul's Family Law Clinic and to take Evidence, Trial Advocacy and Federal Income Tax. They also emphasized the financial aspects of divorce and encouraged students to gain as much familiarity with this aspect of divorce as possible. Though panelists agreed that the practice of family law can be stressful, they acknowledged it as a rewarding career path. 

The Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center and the Child & Family Law Association partnered to present this event.

DePaul takes second at Maryland health law compliance competition

JHLI moot court team members Anthony Lopez, Lana Smith and Lauren Masching.
DePaul University College of Law's Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute (JHLI) moot court team placed second in the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Health Law Regulatory & Compliance Competition. Team members included third-year student Lana Smith and second-year students Lauren Masching and Anthony Lopez, who are all health law fellows at JHLI.

"We are extremely proud of our moot court team who placed second at the University of Maryland competition," said moot court team supervisor and health law institute executive director Katherine Schostok. "They gained invaluable experience and knowledge in the compliance and regulatory field."

At the competition, the team analyzed a hypothetical problem for potential compliance and regulatory issues. The students worked together to answer a variety of issues facing a hospital system that included the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law, the False Claims Act, employment matters and corporate structuring of a hospital system. After a brief research period, teams presented two 20-minute presentations, one as counsel for the Food and Drug Administration and the other as outside counsel for the hospital system. This was the second time the Jaharis Health Law Institute has competed at the regulatory and compliance competition. 

"We were nervous leading up to the distribution of the problem, but once we evaluated the issues we gained our confidence back," said Lana Smith. "The health law classes we've taken at DePaul, especially Professor Schostok's Healthcare Fraud and Abuse course, gave us the research skills and knowledge to tackle the problem, as well as the ability to comfortably discuss our recommendations.

"After the presentations, we received positive feedback, but it was a wonderful surprise to hear we placed second out of the teams who competed. It was an incredible feeling to be able to represent the Jaharis Health Law Institute and DePaul." 

Law students teach restorative justice at Jones College Prep

Students setting up the interactive restorative justice activity for the students at Jones Prep.
DePaul University College of Law student volunteers visited neighboring high school Jones Prep to teach freshman and sophomores about restorative justice and the use of restorative justice circles in high schools. The Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative and the Student Bar Association partnered with Umoja Corporation to facilitate the lessons as part of the law school's Donate-a-Day program in March.

Students engaged in small group discussions after reading about hypothetical situations and discussing how they would play out in the traditional justice system versus a restorative justice system. Law students were also able to work with junior and senior students who are currently enrolled in pre-law classes and are exploring legal career opportunities. The law students spoke about their undergraduate and law school experiences, and answered questions the Jones' students had about this education path. 

"It was inspiring to speak with teens about restorative justice," said first-year student Raven Lewis. "I loved discussing and seeing how the students valued restorative justice in our society and education system. The teens reaffirmed my belief that lawyers must work with the system and the community to provide justice. I would urge all students to participate in a Donate-A-Day because you can learn so much and continue to be inspired."

For more information about community service opportunities, please contact Alex Antonacci at

34 law students study in Cuba with DePaul Law

Professors Alberto Coll​ and Cary Martin Shelby​ accompanied 34 law students on a nine-day study abroad trip to Cuba in March. The program offered students an opportunity to learn about the Cuban legal and economic framework regulating foreign investment, trade and international business transactions. During the program, students also met with a supreme court justice and department chairs and deans at the University of Havana, and visited the Cuban Bar Association, a major Havana law firm and the Capitol building. 

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin recently published a story on the program. "We always hear so much about Cuba in the media and everywhere, so this seemed like a good opportunity to see it for ourselves and form our own opinions of it from the ground," DePaul third-year law student Jessica Watkins told the publication.

Read the article.

BLSA mock trial team secures national championship

From left, Chalet Braziel (JD '09), coach; Fadya Salem; Stacey Berdejo; Nicholas Simpson; Brittney Cato and Theodore Thomas (JD '09), coach.
DePaul University College of Law's Black Law Students Association (BLSA) mock trial team members are the 2016 national champions of the NBLSA Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition. 

Team members Stacey Berdejo, Brittney Cato, Fadya Salem and Nicholas Simpson were coached to victory by alumni Chalet Braziel (JD '09) and Theo Thomas (JD '09). The students met each Saturday and Sunday during the academic year, practicing up to six hours a day in order to prepare themselves for the competition. 

As a dean, I could not be prouder of DePaul Law and the accomplishments of these students with the great mentorship of their coaches, said Dean Rosato Perea. They show the skills, the grit, the hard work and the devotion of our alumni that are the best of DePaul.

Stacey Berdejo said that coaching played a large role in the preparation process. Our coaches are passionate and dedicated. They're invested not only in the team and in our competition but also in us, as individuals. Our coaches are our professors, our mentors, our supporters. I think the most essential part of our preparation was that we were prepared by Chalet and Theo. 

Nicholas Simpson said he and the team set their sights on the national championship after placing second during the March 2013-2014 academic year—missing first place by .7 of a point. 

Through our hard work, dedication and exceptional coaching, I can now say that our goals have been fulfilled. This is only the beginning of what this program and our school can accomplish and I am happy to say that I will forever be linked to a team of such great people, great coaches and even better friends. We are proud to be the 2016 national champions.

Law Review symposium brings daily fantasy sports to light

Moderator Scott Rochelle and panelists for "Daily Fantasy Sports—General Discussion and the New York Case," Daniel Wallach, Todd Heyden, Peter Schoenke, Marc Edelman and Gabe Feldman.
DePaul Law Review held its 26th annual symposium on daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sports gambling, bringing together leading experts in both areas of this burgeoning industry. Speakers addressed a variety of issues regarding DFS, including the legality, the economic impact, the stances taken in New York and Illinois, as well as what the future holds for the industry. Topics also included issues in sports gambling, such as the potential economic impact of legality, and New Jersey’s attempt to legalize.

“We’re talking about a niche industry almost 75 million Americans will use next year,” said Todd Heyden, co-founder of Chicago-based fantasy sports app maker SportsLock and panelist for “Daily Fantasy Sports—General Discussion and the New York Case.” For this preliminary panel, a roster of lawyers and DFS industry representatives provided a basic overview of daily fantasy sports, its history and the current business models. Discussion included pertinent regulations such as the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 and centered on the potential impact of the decision in the case of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against DraftKings and FanDuel on the DFS space. 

“The crux of the New York lawsuit is, what is the future contingent event, the sporting event or DFS?” argued Daniel Wallach, attorney and shareholder at Becker & Poliakoff. Panelists sounded off on the skill versus chance ratio of DFS, and touched on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and the broader effect of the New York case on the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA).

"I thought the symposium went fantastically," said DePaul Law Review symposium editor Sean Hennessy. "We had a wide variety of speakers who were all knowledgable on the topics. Professor Feldman's opening address was insightful, humorous and really set the tone for the entire event. I enjoyed the give-and-take we had on each panel. Panelists were not afraid to disagree with each other, which allowed for more insightful conversation. All of our moderators: Scott Rochelle, Danny Ecker and Christopher Grohman did a terrific job of facilitating conversation amongst the panelists. Finally, I enjoyed Dan Wallach's closing address. It had a personal touch to it that I don't think happens at a lot of symposiums.​"

Video footage of the symposium will be available for viewing at a later date.

PBCSI volunteers join Marillac Social Center at MLK Peace Fair

Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) volunteers participated in the Marillac Social Center's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Fair on 
January 16 on Chicago's West Side. 

As part of PBCSI's Donate-a-Day program, volunteers helped Marillac students and their families with arts and crafts, playing bingo, dancing, decorating cookies and reading short stories. Before the fair ended, volunteers, students, family and staff gathered together to discuss the importance of MLK's legacy and its relation to community and, in particular, gun violence in Chicago. After the group discussion, DePaul volunteers heard from Marillac staff members and young women who had attended Marillac's after school program for a number of years and continue to volunteer or work there. 

“It was honestly one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at DePaul,” said first-year student Katy Green. “More than the actual Donate-a-Day was the opportunity we had to sit down with several girls, who were all around the same age as us, and hear their stories about gun violence and the struggles they face on a daily basis just walking around their neighborhood. Our discussion highlighted the importance of having places like the Marillac Center for kids to go to in order to just be kids. You could tell that the families and staff were appreciative of us being there. It was a really great experience.”

BCSI's next Donate-a-Day event will be held Saturday, February 20, at Deborah's Place, which provides housing and services to homeless women in Chicago.

Student receives MLK Scholarship for essay on nonviolent direct action

Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea, scholarship winner Grace Allen and scholarship committee chair Ben Alba.
Third-year law student Grace Allen is the recipient of the DePaul University College of Law 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship. She received $2,000 for her winning essay.

The essay contest was held in coordination with the College of Law's annual MLK Programming. This year’s contest prompt was the Martin Luther King Jr. quote, We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.” 

Allen’s essay drew from the words of civil rights activists and protest lyrics to modern mantras of social activists in an effort to highlight the legacy of nonviolent direct action: ​ 
“​Though the mode of the movement is evolving, the driving force behind the movement remains the same, a burning desire for substantial change. [...] The key to a successful civil rights movement is the passing of the torch from the older generation to the younger generation. One must pass on to others that which they gained from their predecessors. This ensures that the legacy will continue to grow stronger from generation to generation. Modern day activists must begin to look to the past to gain inspiration and guidance as to how previous methods and theories can be applied to current movements. It is through conducting a close reading of past trials and triumphs that one can learn the pathway to success in the future. The struggles currently faced by African-American communities were foreshadowed by events that occurred in the past. As young activists begin to study the methods and theories behind the movements and protests conducted in the 1960s -1980s they will be better able to understand the direction in which the current movement must be steered.

In addition to her essay, Allen was chosen for her involvement with the College of Law. Allen is the former president of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), a Dean’s Scholarship recipient and member of the BLSA mock trial team. She has participated in DePaul’s international moot court team and is a member of Phi Alpha Delta fraternity.

In fall 2015, Allen was one of seven law students selected to work in the advanced mediation clinic primarily focusing on legal issues relating to real estate. The following year, she was one of eight law students selected to work in the criminal appeals clinic under the supervision of the Office of the Illinois State Appellate Defender.​

The MLK Scholarship committee consisted of Student Advising & Bar Passage​ Director of Academic Support Ben Alba, Director of Student Affairs & Diversity​ Lubna El-Gendi, Center for Public Interest Law​ Executive Director Shaye Loughlin and Associate Dean for Information Technology and Library Services Allen Moye.

Student receives Skadden Fellowship to provide legal services to young adults

DePaul third-year law student Sue Lee is the recipient of a 2016 Skadden Fellowship​ to support her work in public service following law school. Lee is one of 28 graduating law students and judicial clerks from across the country who received this prestigious two-year fellowship established by law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom​. ​​​

In collaboration with sponsoring organization Cabrini Green Legal Aid​ (CGLA), Lee’s project will target at-risk, emerging adults, ages 15 to 24, in Chicago, with legal services in the areas of criminal record expungement, housing law and family law. Through these efforts, she hopes to remove the legal barriers to employment and lessen the impact of collateral consequences of having a juvenile or criminal record.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do the exact kind of legal work that I’ve dreamed of right after I graduate,” Lee said, “working with an organization and staff attorneys that I respect and can learn from, alongside social service organizations that have already been serving the inner-city youth in Chicago for decades.” ​

The Skadden Fellowships, which provide a salary and benefits, were established in 1988 in recognition of the need for greater funding for graduating law students who want to devote their careers to helping the poor, elderly, homeless and disabled, as well as those deprived of their civil or human rights. 

Students explore courtroom firsthand with Shadow-a-Judge series

​​​​​As part of the College of Law’s Institute for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution​ and Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic​, students shadowed judges at several events during fall 2015. 

This year's annual Shadow-a-Judge series included a tour of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center at the Juvenile Justice Courthouse, a visit to the Chicago Immigration Court for a Q&A with an immigration judge and the chance to witness a sentencing hearing. Students had the opportunity to network, interact with judges and observe the crucial operations of the courtroom. 

On September 23, students attended the sentencing hearing of Bryant Brewer at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Brewer was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder in the 2010 shooting death of Chicago Police Officer Thor Soderberg. 

The [Shadow-a-Judge] experience puts law students face-to-face with the realities of life in the judicial system,” said Renita Ward, a second-year student who attended the Criminal Division event. “I had the opportunity to walk through the same entrance lawyers and court officials use at the courthouse, meet staff attorneys and clerks in chambers, witness court proceedings involving all parties (defense counsel, prosecutor, jurors, suspected offenders/inmates and the fact finder) and to ask questions of a sitting judge during lunch. The visit allows the machinations of rules of evidence and matters of law to be examined and questioned in real time.” 

I liked the overall experience of not feeling lost in a huge courtroom,” added first-year student Mary Johnson. “We had several guides and we were truly treated with respect and able to engage law clerks and judges in conversation. I honestly and sincerely thank you for the opportunity. It was great and super informative.” 

On October 28, students toured the Juvenile Justice Courthouse, including the school and living quarters for youth ages 10 to 16. The center houses juveniles who are awaiting adjudication of their cases by the Juvenile Division of the Cook County Courts and provides care for youth who have been transferred from juvenile court jurisdiction to criminal court. These youth would otherwise be incarcerated in the county jail. 

“The detention center is not normally open to the public,” explained Field Placement Program​ (FPP) Director Natalie Wolfe, “so getting to tour it is a unique experience, even though we do not get to interact with the juveniles themselves.” 

First-year student Candace Watkins found that the visit provided some clarity. “I am unsure about what area I want to focus on and this gave me a better perspective,” she said. “I especially enjoyed the small panel that allowed us to talk with members of each side of the legal system. I also enjoyed the tour of the juvenile facility.” 

As a new addition to the series, the immigration court Q&A gave students a chance to meet directly with immigration Judge James R. Fujimoto. The event took place on November 17 at the Chicago Immigration Court, also known as the Executive Office of Immigration Review. Asylum & Immigration Law Clinical Instructor and Director Sioban Albiol organized the Q&A, vetting students’ questions in advance before the group met informally with Judge Fujimoto and his clerks. In addition to Albiol’s yearlong clinical students, FPP Director Wolfe brought in four nonclinical law students. 

Shadow-a-Judge events take place every spring and fall semester. Please contact Natalie Wolfe at or (312) 362-8312 if you are interested in participating in the spring 2016 program.

Carving out a niche: Phil Ruben

In today’s consumer marketplace, many people pay as much attention to how an object looks as they do to its purpose or function. While some might see this trend as strange, even frustrating, third-year student Phil Ruben sees opportunity. 

For the past two summers, Ruben has worked as a summer associate at the Chicago-based intellectual property law firm McAndrews Held & Malloy. His special area of interest: design patents.

“This is a rapidly growing area of patent law, with companies specializing in everything from technology to furniture seeking to protect their designs,” Ruben explained. “It’s a fascinating space to be in, and one that’s filled with opportunity.” Following graduation, Ruben will be working in the patent law sector full time, an achievement he attributes to his DePaul education and his experiences as a summer associate.

A mechanical engineering major at the University of Cincinnati, Ruben said he was attracted to the firm because of its highly technical bent and depth of experience. He began working his first summer in law school following an introduction from the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology’s (CIPLIT®)​ Executive Director Ellen Gutiontov. 

McAndrews is widely recognized in the intellectual property field and boasts one of the most highly regarded teams of IP attorneys, patent agents and technology specialists in the United States. Every attorney in the firm holds a degree in science or engineering and many have also worked in technology and IP-focused industries, a combination that dovetails nicely with Ruben’s background and experience. “My engineering degree program at Cincinnati was a mandatory five years and included a total of six co-op placements in the field, so I had worked at BMW Manufacturing and Dow Chemical before entering law school,” he explained.

Ruben spent his first summer at the firm conducting a variety of research projects, document reviews and prior art searches and enjoyed the work so much that he continued on with the firm part time through his second year of law school. His responsibilities expanded as his knowledge and experience grew. “I was assigned more writing projects and had the opportunity to draft a couple of motions and prepare several design patents,” he noted.

Ruben remained with McAndrews through his second summer in Chicago and was given the opportunity to work on a state-of-the-law memo for a big client’s inhouse counsel. “It was incredibly rewarding to have my work make its way into the client’s hands.”

Ruben said that his time at DePaul Law, as well as his summer associate work, has been invaluable in preparing him for a successful career in law. Although he’ll be continuing in a full-time position with McAndrews following graduation, he asserts that even if he hadn’t stayed with that particular firm, his summer associate experience would prove beneficial. 

“Being able to speak the lingo of your specialty and gaining hands-on experience while still in school makes you so much more marketable as a new attorney,” he observed. “Working on cases in a law firm introduces you to things that would never come up in the classroom, and you’re exposed to much more material than you could ever cover in a semester.

“I chose to attend DePaul because it offers an IP specialty,” Ruben noted. “The faculty is top-notch and the alumni network is tremendous. The school is well-known in the greater Chicago area, which is where I wanted to stay, and 
DePaul alumni have a reputation for being very supportive of one another and welcoming to recent graduates. From the first time I stepped onto campus, I really liked the culture I encountered, and that initial impression was borne out. I’ve had a great experience.”

A new lens on human rights work: Annie Simunek

For her first law school summer, Annie Simunek pursued an even greater challenge—a new legal system.

Simunek spent the summer in India, interning with the International Justice Mission (IJM). The human rights organization works in 20 communities around the world, partnering with local justice systems to help victims of violence. Highly selective, IJM accepted just 13 of more than 400 applicants to its 10-week summer internship program.

In college, Simunek worked with Indian families in the U.S. and abroad, teaching and working at children’s homes in South and North India. She studied theology and international studies online through Ecclesia College, originally based in Arkansas. Inspired to volunteer, she chose to work for a year and a half in India because of its high population of orphans and street children. At DePaul Law, she gravitated toward the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI)​ and received guidance from Executive Director Elisabeth Ward. She also began working with Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center​ Executive Director Cheryl Price and Center for Public Interest Law​ Executive Director Shaye Loughlin.

“I started leaning toward public interest law near the end of my last spring semester and just wanted the summer to determine if that was the best direction for me,” Simunek said. She was honored with a Child and Family Law Fellowship and an International Human Rights Law Fellowship, both of which fully sponsored her work in India this summer. 

Simunek said she identified and chose IJM for their antihuman trafficking mission as well as their distinctive Justice System Transformation Model. “Essentially, they aim to work themselves out of a job so that the local government will adopt the process,” she explained. “And they’re seeing that happen in communities such as Cambodia.” 
Training began at IJM’s Washington, D.C., home office the first week of June. Simunek, who knows some Hindi, braved a heat index of 130 degrees her first week in India. At the IJM office, she provided direct support to the head of legal and staff attorneys in researching and supporting trial briefs as well as assisting with training programs for field workers in relieving victims of sex trafficking and bringing perpetrators to justice.

Simunek said she was struck by the differences in the legal systems of the United States and India and how injustice manifests itself in both countries, yet in opposite ways. “Often the United States is quick to prosecute and hand out long prison sentences for smaller offenses. In India, it was often very difficult to get convictions. Convictions could take up to 10 to 15 years and, even then, those convicted may apply for bail at any time.”

She explained that her experience in India allowed her to view U.S. current events through a new lens. “My work overseas really gave me time to see human rights issues here in the U.S. I came back from India at the end of the summer inspired to face legal issues here and to aim to enact policy changes and system reform in my home country.”

Simunek plans to pursue criminal law and juvenile defense litigation or public interest clinical work, working with clients who cannot afford representation and continuing her focus on anti-human trafficking.

“One of the things I like about DePaul is that a lot of my professors are adjuncts,” she said. She cites Cook County Public Defender Richard Hutt and Jay Readey, executivedirector at Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, as examples.

“They’re working in the places I’m interested in. They have really valuable real-world experience that they bring to class.” For the time being, Simunek is bolstering her commitment to justice on a local level with an externship at the Chicago Legal Clinic’s Pilsen office, providing community-based legal services to the underserved and disadvantaged in the Chicago area.

Navigating a path to health law: Samantha Grund-Wickramasekera

The daughter of a Chicago nurse, second-year law student Samantha Grund-Wickramasekera (BA ’14) has always had the public interest at the back of her mind.

As an undergrad at DePaul University, she double-majored in political science and women’s & gender studies, with a minor in LGBTQ studies. She also worked as a legal intern for Chicago’s Domestic Violence Legal Clinic. Although Grund-Wickramasekera enrolled in law school with a focus on public interest law, her work at Ohio Northern University’s Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars Program indicated a natural grasp of intellectual property law (her exam scores were the highest in the class). 

As someone with many interests, Grund-Wickramasekera spent her last two years of undergraduate school, as well as her first year of law school, working at real estate, business law and estate planning firm, Spencer & Rozwadowski. At DePaul she gravitated to both the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology (CIPLIT®) and the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute (JHLI)​With three years' experience in real estate and  nearly a year of legal coursework behind her, she decided to pinpoint her passion beyond the classroom. This past summer, Grund-Wickramasekera secured an internship at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History’s Office of General Counsel and an externship as a law clerk at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Bureau of Administrative Hearings.

As she navigated her path through her work experiences, Grund-Wickramasekera felt the constant and strong support of the faculty. She credits CIPLIT for the Field Museum internship tip: “CIPLIT Director Ellen Gutiontov was active the entire year making sure we had something lined up for the summer.” Grund-Wickramasekera also found a fellow Double Demon in her supervisor, Office of General Counsel attorney Sarah Ebel (JD ’14, BA ’05). 

Grund-Wickramasekera’s role at the Field Museum involved contract reviewing, copyright issues and work with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which she found particularly captivating. “I was interested in the way museums are fulfilling the objectives and regulations stipulated in that law,” she detailed, “but also spearheading the way toward total inclusivity at museums, given that their academic missions are to open education to as many people as possible.”

Grund-Wickramasekera said her interest in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) led her to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the government agency that oversees the distribution of Medicaid benefits, as well as child support.

“When the agencies underneath the Department of Healthcare and Family Services make decisions, such as denying requests for additional funding for children with disabilities, the family has the opportunity to appeal the denial all the way up to our agency, where the agency reviews whether a lower agency made the proper determination in light of the evidence available,” she explained. At the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, she worked under various hearing officers and administrative law judges who oversaw these hearings. She also wrote numerous final administrative decisions (FADs) and was able to further educate herself on the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid through lectures and attendance at the Chicago Bar Association events.

Ultimately, she reached her own verdict. “I realized I loved government and healthcare-related work and decided this was the field I wanted to pursue,” she said. “There is a huge human element to the practice of health law that makes it less abstract than other areas of law and makes me feel as if my work can still make a difference in someone’s life.” She cites JHLI Faculty Director Wendy Netter Epstein as a sounding board for jobs and direction in health law. Following Netter Epstein’s promotion of the Health Law Institute, Grund-Wickramasekera joined as a Health Law Fellow.

“The Health Law Institute really fuses together things I’ve learned from my undergrad—public policy issues, minority access to healthcare—but combines it in a way that brings together my first-year law courses, such as contracts, civil procedure and constitutional law, all classes which I excelled at during the first year.”

Though offered a continuing externship position with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services throughout the fall, Grund-Wickramasekera is choosing to invest her time as a member of DePaul’s Journal of Health Care Law and the Appellate Moot Court Society. More recently, Grund-Wickramasekera secured a judicial externship position with the Honorable Sara L. Ellis, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois.

She aims to use the skills learned from these activities in pursuit of a healthcare litigation-based career. As for her hectic summer schedule, she accepts it as the nature of the field. “The law is constantly a learning profession—there were changes and updates that my supervisors were also learning,” she commented. “If you have a grasp of the foundational principles, that’s good; but even then, those skills are put to the task in the summer. I’d say there’s still obviously a lot left to learn, but I am so excited to keep learning and following my passions in my field of choice at the same time.”

Crafting a career in health law: Tobin Klusty

F​​irsthand experience never hurts, especially when it comes to crafting your legal career.

Just ask second-year student Tobin Klusty. Fresh from an American Medical Association Ethics Department Scholar position this past summer, the promising second-year student is embracing the intersection of health care and civil rights.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Klusty came to DePaul University College of Law for its location and deep alumni network. “Chicago is full of practicing attorneys, and has a very large professional network. DePaul’s large group of alumni enhances my ability to make important connections, which will aid my career search,” he said.

Klusty credits Legal Writing Instructor Allison Ortlieb, Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute​ (JHLI) Executive Director Katherine Schostok and JHLI Faculty Director Wendy Netter Epstein with guiding his journey at DePaul. His specific academic journey focuses on litigation, but he is also interested in pursuing policy and trial advocacy.

“I am attracted to litigation due to its competitive atmosphere and complex argumentative nature. I am also attracted to policy because of its wide impact on the 
community,” he said. “Within litigation and policy,” he added, “I am most interested in health law and civil rights, specifically how health law impacts civil rights.”

“Professor Ortlieb has been an outstanding role model, being a reliable source of professional advice and helping me craft my legal writing skills. Professor Schostok has guided me through my quest as a fellow of the Jaharis Health Law Institute, and recommended me for the [American Medical Association] Ethics Scholar position.

Lastly, but certainly not least,” he continued, “Professor Epstein has been an exceptional mentor, and has expanded my knowledge of the U.S. health care system through my research assistant position for her upcoming literature-review manuscript on health care compensation models.”

Health law is a very interesting and expanding field that has a high demand for competent young attorneys,” Klusty said. “The application of health law also has strong influence on civil rights, namely the opportunity for minority groups to access affordable and adequate health care.” Klusty added that his dream job would be a litigator for the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services, and he seems to have found his footing along the right path.

As the AMA’s Ethics Department Scholar this past summer, Klusty said he was able to see how a self-regulating organization conducts itself in practice and he learned the importance of wording when it comes to policy. As such, Klusty developed a strong interest in working with policy.

Among the projects Klusty contributed to as an AMA Ethics Department Scholar include researching legal implications of the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics; drafting the Reference Committee on Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws Report during the AMA’s annual policy meeting; coproducing the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Report in conjunction with Ethics Policy staff; preparing detailed summaries about the legal and ethical issues of “responsible physician prescribing, the relationship between pregnancy and advance directives, and informed consent regarding medical research”; and authoring and coauthoring several articles on pivotal cases in health law and topics at the intersection of health law, medicine and bioethics for the AMA Journal of Ethics.

Klusty’s time spent with the AMA helped him develop his ability to write for a publication under a short deadline while focusing on conducting thorough research. He also was able to observe the judicial function of the AMA’s Office of General Counsel and the Council of Ethical and Judicial Affairs. This experience helped refine his career vision, giving him a much clearer understanding of what he wants his career path to be and how he will achieve his professional goals with the support of DePaul Law’s faculty, staff and alumni along the way.

Student honored with 2015 PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award

Lark Mulligan (second from left) with the Pro Bono Publico Award and Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea (left); Shaye Loughlin, director of the Center for Public Interest Law; and Christina Jackson from PSJD.
Lark Mulligan, a second-year law student at DePaul University College of Law, received the 2015 Pro Bono Publico Award from the National Association of Legal Professionals Public Service Jobs Directory (PSJD). 

For the last five years, Mulligan has volunteered with the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois​, a volunteer-run organization that provides free legal services to impoverished and low-income transgender people who are criminalized. ​In addition to the work she does overseeing the growth and maintenance of Transformative Justice, she is involved with the Name Change Mobilization​ project and its publication Hidden Expressions​

Mulligan is the first DePaul student to receive this national award. ​​​The award honors second- or third-year law students at PSJD Subscriber Schools who have made a significant contribution to underserved populations, legal education and the public interest community through pro bono work. The selection committee considers the student’s work toward law-related public service projects or organizations and the impact of that service on the community, fellow students and the school. 

DePaul announces 2015 LRAP award recipients

DePaul University College of Law presented its annual Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) awards to eight DePaul alumni currently working in public interest positions across the country on November 5.
 The Loan Repayment Assistance Program is designed to assist DePaul law graduates with lower-paying public sector jobs to manage their educational debt. The program started in 2006 and has helped 54 alumni since its inception. Recipients shared remarks about their passion for the work in public interest law and expressed their gratitude for DePaul's financial support to make these career paths possible.

This year’s LRAP recipients are: 

  • Rocio Alcantar ‘10, National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Samuel Keen ‘14, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands
  • Courtney Kelledes ‘13, Cabrini Green Legal Aid
  • Natalie Lilavois ‘13, The Legal Aid Society, Bronx, New York
  • Maria Macias ‘11, Justice For Our Neighbors – Dallas Fort Worth
  • Ryann Moran ‘07, Cabrini Green Legal Aid
  • Olivia Villegas ‘10, Life Span Center for Legal Services & Advocacy
  • Lindsay Van Fleet ‘10, Vermilion County Public Defender’s Office

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.

Law Review symposium discusses the UAS dilemma

​​​The DePaul Law Review held its 25th annual symposium, “The UAS Dilemma: Unlimited Potential, Unresolved Concerns,” in March. The symposium built on the February 15, 2015 proposed rule by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which established a framework to allow routine use of certain small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The final rule is anticipated next year. Third-year student, licensed pilot and Law Review Symposium Editor Daniel Ross organized the event in coordination with the International Institute for Aviation Law (IALI). 

The College of Law was represented by IALI Director Brian F. Havel, who brought an international focus to the discussion, and Douglas M. Marshall, who discussed possible legislation for larger UAS. Marshall will teach DePaul’s new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Law course in fall 2015, the first of its kind in the country. A representative from the FAA provided an overview of the legal background and enforcement of UAS. 

“The bottom line is we’re not able to roll out new regulations at the speed with which technology has developed,” commented IALI Executive Director Steve Rudolph. “The symposium brought a lot of these issues to the fore. It enabled DePaul to present myriad issues related to the use of UAS: from First Amendment privacy rights to the very raw technical issues of collision with other aircraft and every issue in-between.”​​​​

Health law symposium explores "designer genes"

In March more than 75 people attended the DePaul Journal of Health Care Law and the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute’s symposium, “Designer Genes: The Cost of Genetic Information.”

Professors Wendy Epstein and Joshua Sarnoff moderated the discussion on governmental and private collection of genetic material and the legal implications surrounding the topic. Speakers represented the fields of medicine, economics, ethics and the law, with panelists focusing their talks on the intersection of intellectual property, economics, and the collection of genetic information. Participants weighed the benefits of new genetic-gathering capabilities against patients’ rights and ethical concerns surrounding commercial uses of the information. 

Speakers discussed the state of gene patenting in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Myriad, where the Supreme Court found that products of nature, such as a naturally occurring DNA segment, are not patent eligible merely because they have been isolated. The symposium also shed light on the fair trade and patent issues that typically attach to medical devices and the ethical concerns surrounding personalized medicine.​

Innovation in legal studies: $5 million endowment supports health law and intellectual property programs

A new endowment at DePaul University College of Law will expand and strengthen scholarly and educational programs at a dynamic intersection of legal studies— intellectual property and health law. 

The $5 million endowment established by the Jaharis Family Foundation Inc. will create an endowed directorship for the college’s Health Law Institute; support a competitive internship program for up to 20 students committed to practicing intellectual property and health law; and fund a faculty fellowship program for scholars to create and disseminate research and curricula in these areas.

Michael Jaharis (JD ’58) is the founder of several pharmaceutical companies. For decades, he and his wife Mary have generously supported students and programs at the College of Law. In recognition of their support, the Health Law Institute has been renamed the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute (JHLI). DePaul’s intellectual property and health law programs are nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report. 

As discoveries and innovations in fields such as genomics, nanotechnology and pharmaceuticals have accelerated, intellectual property challenges 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 of patent law, pharmaceutical regulation and international importation.

Assistant Professor Wendy Netter Epstein was appointed the first Jaharis Faculty Fellow and recently was named faculty director of the JHLI. Epstein, whose work has appeared in Cardozo University Law Review, American University Law Review and Case Western Reserve Law Review, has worked on curricular advances in intellectual property and health law for the College of Law and in partnership with Rush University Medical Center and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

“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.”

Jaharis Health Law Institute: Facts & Figures

Mission: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute (JHLI), first established as the Health Law Institute in 1984, responds to contemporary ethical, legal and moral challenges in the health care field through systematic, innovate approaches that influence policy development.
Leadership: The JHLI is managed by a faculty director and an executive director, and receives guidance and support from a 15-member advisory board and a 10-member student board.

Wendy Netter Epstein, Faculty Director
Katherine V. Schostok, Executive Director

Health Law Summer Scholars: In summer 2015, eight students will serve as summer scholars in prestigious health law placements throughout the Chicago area. 

Gloria Crawford, Rush University Medical Center
Luci Doler, Baxter International
Tobin Klusty, American Medical Association, Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs
Nesko Radovic, Presence Health
Lacey Rogers, Walgreens Co.
Asik Shaa, American Medical Association, Office of the General Counsel
Leah Sibbio, Husch Blackwell
Andrea Torgrimson, Accretive Health

Student Competitions: The JHLI annually sponsors two teams to compete in the L. Edward Bryant Jr. National Health Law Transactional Moot Court Competition at Loyola University Chicago. It also sponsors a team for the Health Law Regulatory & Compliance Competition at the University of Maryland.

Lectures and Symposia: The JHLI hosts an annual symposium, bringing together leaders in academia and legal and health care fields. The 2015 symposium topic was “Designer Genes: The Cost of Genetic Information.”

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.

CPIL concludes third successful skills series

​​​The Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) concluded its third legal skills series of the academic year on April 27.  Candace Wayne, College of Law alumna and principal of Wayne and Jemilo, taught the series, Basics in Family Law. 

The series aimed to give students a basic introduction to family law, but also to introduce students to concepts such as child custody and visitation issues, child support and maintenance, and property settlements in a divorce. A practical skill the students learned was how to evaluate different assets in a marriage to start identifying the distribution of those assets during a contested divorce. It concluded with a discussion on how to manage a work-life balance in family law. 

Basics in Family Law took place on five consecutive Mondays from March 30 to April 27. Students who attended all sessions received a certificate of completion.  The series was co-sponsored by the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Law Center. 

The conclusion of this series caps a third successful year for CPIL in hosting this program. Each series gives students the opportunity to explore different areas of public interest law while gaining practical and transferable legal skills. Topics selected each year are based on student participants’ interests and suggestions. 

CPIL started this year’s program with the Immigration Skills Series, taught by Rocio Alcántar (JD ’10), staff attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center. This series offered a brief overview and understanding of the causes of migration for children. This series was offered in the fall. The second skills series, offered in the beginning of the spring semester, focused on criminal law, specifically, on the collateral consequences of a criminal record and examining legal routes to mitigating those effects for employment purposes. Courtney Kelledes (JD ’13), staff attorney at Cabrini Green Legal Aid, taught the second series. The series then highlighted the various types of convictions that can be sealed or expunged and the intricacies associated with taking steps to start those processes. It also addressed other avenues to mitigating a criminal record, such as petitioning for executive clemency, a health care worker waiver, or a certificate of rehabilitation.   

The CPIL Public Interest Legal Skills Series is driven by student interest and by CPIL dedication to providing extracurricular learning opportunities for students. ​

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

Law students volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul Center’s Homeless Outreach Luncheon

On November 23, PBCSI hosted the final Donate-A-Day of the fall semester. Volunteers gathered on Friday evening at the St. Vincent de Paul Center in Lincoln Park to assist with the set up for their annual homeless outreach luncheon that would take place the following day.

At the luncheon, homeless people and families walk around the St. Vincent de Paul Center and visit various stations to receive winter clothing and coats, medical assistance, backpacks, toiletries and toys for the children. Everyone who attended the luncheon enjoyed a home-cooked turkey meal. Donate-A-Day volunteers were assigned various tasks to help set up for the luncheon, including sorting clothing and organizing the different stations to ensure the next day would run smoothly. 

“Volunteering at this month’s Donate-A-Day was a wonderful experience," said Byron Munro, a 1L at DePaul. "Everyone worked well with each other and we knew our part would go a long way in helping the luncheon run effectively the next day.” 

DePaul students worked with other volunteers to ensure that the set up was complete on Friday evening. This was the first time that PBCSI participated in the set up portion of the event, but students enjoyed joining together on a Friday evening to help out in the community.

First-year law student Sierra Hagl said, “From this Donate-A-Day experience I learned that giving just a tiny bit of your time can mean the world to a large amount of people. Every moment of your time counts for something and this time, my moments of time meant that someone was provided with clothing to shelter them from the cold.” Students sorted through large amounts of donations organizing winter coats and other clothing by size. 

There will be three more Donate-A-Day events during the spring semester. The first Donate-A-Day event will be held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 19, as classes are not held on this day. For more information, please contact PBCSI Coordinator Caitlin Duane.

CPIL hosts session on disability law and elder law

On Thursday, November 20, the Center for Public Interest Law hosted the second session of its practice series focused on areas of disability and elder law. Attorneys Deanne Medina from LAF (formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago) and Barry Taylor from Equip for Equality lead the discussion. 

The practice series allows students in a small group setting to not only hear the attorneys discuss their career paths and dispense advice for students interested in pursuing work in this field, but also to ask questions and speak individually with the attorneys. 

Both Medina and Taylor discussed the experiences they had in the private sector before starting their work in public interest and shared their personal reasons for going into disability and elder law. While working at a private firm, Taylor was dedicated to providing pro bono services, which eventually motivated him to change his career. Similarly, Medina volunteered at a help desk working with the underprivileged and, because her experience was so positive, decided to go into public interest. Taylor discussed two cases of his that he is working on regarding treatment of prisoners with disability and Medina shared new initiatives at LAF.​

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.

Center for Animal Law co-hosts 2014 ALDF/SALDF networking reception

Attendees of the ALDF/SALDF Networking Reception, co-hosted by DePaul Center for Animal Law.
On November 5, the DePaul Center for Animal Law joined with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and various chapters of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) to kick off the holiday season by celebrating Chicago's animal law community.

Attorneys, faculty members and law students from throughout Chicago joined together for a two-hour networking reception held in the Student Lounge. The reception featured refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, including donated barbecue seitan from Original Soul Vegetarian Cafe. Chelsea McFadden, Chicago Regional Representative with ALDF and a 3L at John Marshall Law School, and Brett Harrison Davinger, associate director of the Center for Animal Law, helped organize the event.

The reception offered multiple areas of interest for attendees. Pamela Hart, the director of the Animal Law Program at ALDF, spoke on behalf of her organization.

Donors to ALDF entered into a raffle to win prizes such as a gift card to Chicago Diner, a gift card to Upton's Breakroom, a copy of "The New Chicago Diner Cookbook," a shirt from Mercy For Animals, and a copy of the Mercy For Animals documentary film "Fowl Play,” as well as honey badger key holders and fans from ALDF. Guests also got to meet with like-minded colleagues and learn about the myriad of animal welfare possibilities throughout the city, including vegan restaurants and volunteer opportunities.

To read about upcoming animal law events at DePaul University, visit the Center for Animal Law. Log onto to learn about ALDF's initiatives throughout Chicago and the rest of the country.

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.     

DePaul and Loyola launch Chicago Health Law Colloquium

DePaul University College of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law will sponsor the first annual Chicago Health Law Colloquium beginning in the spring 2015 semester. DePaul and Loyola have invited six nationally renowned health law scholars to Chicago to present and discuss their current research projects. Colloquium participants will include health law faculty from Chicago-area schools and prominent health law practitioners, as well as DePaul and Loyola students selected as Chicago Health Law Colloquium Fellows.

The colloquium offers students an opportunity to advance their understanding of cutting-edge topics in the areas of health law and bioethics in a forum that goes beyond traditional classroom-based learning, bringing together Chicago’s educational and professional communities.

Spring 2015 Chicago Health Law Colloqium Scholars and Topics:

  • Michael Frakes
    Associate Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
    “The Surprising Relevance of Medical Malpractice Law” 
  • Ralph Hall
    Professor of the Practice, University of Minnesota School of Law
    “Role and Regulation of Registries and Big Data”
  • Diana Hyman Winter
    Associate Professor and Dean’s Fellow, Indiana University McKinney School of Law
    “Primary Jurisdiction and the FDA”
  • Thaddeus Pope
    Associate Professor, Director of Health Law Institute, Hamline University School of Law
    “Titrating Due Process for the Most Vulnerable: Medical Decision Making for ​Incapacitated Patients without Surrogates”
  • Valerie Gutmann Koch
    Visiting Assistant Professor, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
    “A Private Right of Action for Informed Consent in Research”
  • I. Glenn Cohen
    Assistant Professor, Co-Director of Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, Harvard Law School
    “Are All Abortions Equal? Rape, Incest, and Abortion”

DePaul Professor Wendy Netter Epstein and Loyola Visiting Professor Eleanor D. Kinney are the lead faculty for the colloquium. Up to eights students will be chosen for Colloqium Fellowships. Students interested in applying must submit a Chicago Health Law Colloquium Application by November 10.

PBCSI hosts New Americans Initiative training

On Friday, September 26, the Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative welcomed World Relief Chicago to the College of Law for a New Americans Initiative Citizenship Workshop volunteer training for students.

The New Americans Initiative is a non-profit partnership between the State of Illinois and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to provide free assistance to legal permanent residents who are trying to become U.S. Citizens. World Relief Chicago partners with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights to provide Citizenship Workshops as part of the New Americans Initiative. Two student groups, the Latino Law Student Association and the Society for Asylum & Immigration Law, co-sponsored the training. 

The training was led by Leanor Garcia, staff attorney and citizenship program coordinator with World Relief Chicago. The training prepared students to volunteer at any monthly Citizenship Workshop and work with clients one-on-one to inform them of the benefits and requirements of becoming a citizen. Students were also trained to assist clients with completing their N-400 citizenship application. The training was truly a valuable experience for all. As Jessica Gutierrez (JD '16) said, “Attending this workshop broadened my perspective of the simple and practical ways a law student interested in pursuing immigration law can begin to help those who are undergoing the process of legalization.”

In light of students’ positive response to Citizenship Workshop training, PBCSI hopes to offer training again during the spring semester and is exploring additional ways students can volunteer in the area of immigration law.

DePaul team semi-finalist in regional IP LawMeet

DePaul law students Jeff Moisan and Eric Langston competed with 12 teams, advancing to the semi-finals, in the fourth annual East Regional IP LawMeet held at the University of Pennsylvania on October 17. 

In this regional transactional law competition, the students represented a hypothetical movie studio seeking to secure the necessary rights to produce, market and distribute a movie based on the story and characters of a video game owned by a gaming company. The team was judged on its ability to draft, mark-up and negotiate, as well as its knowledge of contract, corporate and IP law. Teams also were evaluated based on their business knowledge and ability to structure innovative or creative solutions.

The 2014 IP LawMeet was sponsored by Bloomberg BNA, Practical Law and Rembrandt IP Management. LawMeets was founded in 2011 by Drexel University School of Law professor Karl Okamoto as a way to deliver practical skills and exercises to law students interested in transactional law.

Lawyers in the Classroom program resumes at Pritzker

Each year the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative partners each year with the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago and A.N. Pritzker Elementary School to run Lawyers in the Classroom.

The week-long program brings law student, alumni and faculty volunteers to Pritzker to teach 6th, 7th and 8th graders a one-hour lesson on the U.S. Constitution and other legal principles.

One of the day's lessons, “No Electronics Allowed,” helped the middle school students discern the difference between the “spirit of the law” and the “black letter law.” After that, students worked through several hypotheticals to apply what they learned. For every lesson, the middle school students get the chance to learn a basic constitutional law concept and an opportunity to apply the concept to different fact scenarios.

The volunteer experience is a very fulfilling one for both the middle school and law school students. As Deirdre McGrory (JD '16) put it, “It was so fun to see the intelligent and very creative ways students would respond to the hypotheticals. I don’t know who had more fun – me or the students!”   

DePaul will return to Pritzker during the spring semester to teach additional lessons and build on some of the legal principles discussed in classrooms this fall.

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.

DePaul Appellate Moot Court Society adds new talent

After the closing gavel of DePaul’s fifth annual Hon. William J. Bauer Moot Court Competition, the Appellate Moot Court Society announced its newest members for the upcoming spring moot court competition season.

The competition was held at the Everett M. Dirksen Federal Courthouse, which houses the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois as well as the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Open only to DePaul’s upper-level students, the intramural competition functions as an audition for membership in DePaul’s Appellate Moot Court Society. This academic honor allows students to represent the law school in national competitions throughout the country.

“Not only is the competition a great tradition made possible by one of our most accomplished alumni, but it also allows participants to put their skills to work and exhibit their talents when it comes to written and oral advocacy at the appellate level,” said John O’Donnell, the society’s vice president in charge of recruitment and the administrator of this year’s competition. “We were really impressed with everyone’s performance, and we are excited to have been able to add a diverse and talented group of individuals to our team, which should help make for a successful spring.”

The society’s newest second- and third-year student members are:

  • Tim Bingham
  • John Dark
  • Rachel Dickson
  • Evan Finneke
  • Timothy Furman
  • Brad Jarka
  • Elizabeth Kiggins
  • Peggy Liu
  • Jaclyn McCaffery
  • Zachary Peasall
  • Philipp Ruben
  • James Snodgrass
  • Catherine Van Duys
  • Margaret Walsh
  • Cherrisse Woods 
  • Matthew Zuziak 

Cherrise Woods and Zachary Peasall emerged victorious over John Dark and James Snodgrass in the final round, which was paneled by Judge William J. Bauer (LLB '52), Judge Warren Wolfson and Interim Dean Bruce Ottley. Best Brief and Best Oralist awards were given to Brad Jarka and Tim Bingham respectively.

"We were able to add some fantastic talent to our team this year, and none of that would have been possible without John’s [O'Donnell] hard work," said Kevin Sheehan, the society’s 2014-15 president. "Carrying on this tradition is a huge responsibility, and he did an amazing job."

DePaul law clinic aids Chicago immigrants

A young mother from Mexico, hoping to improve her life in Chicago, sought help from the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic​ at DePaul University. She was looking for advice on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — the federal process known as DACA, which was recently renewed.

In the news these past few months, DACA outlines the process for those who came to the United States as children without legal status and want to remain in the country. The law clinic guided the young mother through the application process and helped organize her documents so she could achieve deferred action and gain legal employment. The clinic's team of lawyers and law students worked to ensure their client would have the opportunity to help her family.

"The clinic has successfully advocated in a number of cases including ultimately obtaining citizenship and lawful permanent residence for immigrants who were initially wrongfully denied," said attorney Sioban Albiol, an instructor at the clinic who also directs its Legal Resources Project.

"We think that our resources, and we, DePaul, can make a difference," Albiol said. She noted that the young mother from Mexico was able to find a job, go to school and give her children a better life. "She has been able to come out of the shadows and more fully participate in her own life and her community."

The Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, which provides experiential learning for students in DePaul’s College of Law, serves a variety of clients.

"In addition to helping represent immigrants, the clinic's goal is to help future lawyers work on their skills by taking what they learn in the classroom and applying it to real life situations," Albiol explained. "And, at the same time, it provides the community with representation to vulnerable populations or low-income populations such as immigrants and asylum seekers.

"The common thread for our cases is that they all present a particular challenge, and they are all compelling," said Albiol. "The young mother from Mexico was able to get her driver’s license, a legal job and told us the process of working with us was life changing."

There are potentially drastic consequences for those who make a mistake in the deferred action application process, and legal representation can help ensure family reunification and protect clients from harm, said Albiol. The clinic helps immigrants and refugees by preparing defenses in deportation cases, filling out legal applications and gathering necessary documentation.

The clinic provides low-income clients with high-quality legal representation free of charge. Clients receive legal resources and advice as well as information and referrals for professional development and other services through a coordinated network of community-based organizations and their partners.

"The Legal Resources Project is unique in terms of leveraging university resources to improve legal services for immigrants across northern Illinois. Our special partnership and collaboration with community-based organizations gives us insight into the needs of immigrants and those seeking legal status, which allows us to better serve them," Albiol said.

The clinic trains law students by giving those who are interested in immigration law the opportunity to work in the clinic during the academic year and legally represent asylum seekers and immigrants.

"The asylum and immigration work is meaningful for our students; offering them the opportunity to improve their writing, research and oral advocacy skills," Albiol said.

Students have the opportunity to positively impact an immigrant's life and gain experience working with other professionals and organizations, including the Marjorie Kovler Center for treatment of survivors of torture in the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park. It is an opportunity for young lawyers to work with doctors, psychologists and torture survivors, Albiol said.

One recent case concerning torture involved a student activist from Togo who was arrested and detained by his government. He was represented by law students from the clinic and eventually was granted asylum by an immigration judge. Despite suffering from torture and having his studies interrupted, the student was allowed to come to the United States and live safely with his family members, Albiol said. “He now has the opportunity to pursue his dreams of completing the university education that he had started.”

This news release was produced by DePaul Media Relations. For more information, visit

PBCSI service fair attracts record numbers

On the heels of an exciting and thought-provoking 1L Service Day, the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative’s Fall Service Fair drew record numbers of students interested in learning more about pro bono and community service opportunities at the College of Law.

The fair took place on September 11 in Room 241, which was filled to capacity. 

“It was impressive to see so many students interested in our service programs here at the College of Law," enthused PBCSI Director Cheryl Price. "The incoming 1Ls seem ready to start volunteering and are very enthusiastic about DePaul’s Vincentian mission and giving back to their communities. They seem like a great class!”

All of PBCSI’s partners were represented at the fair. They include Cabrini Green Legal Aid, the Center for Disability & Elder Law, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, Lawyers in the Classroom, A.N. Pritzker Elementary School and Croak Student Legal Services.

PBCSI also works closely with DePaul’s Domestic Violence Courthouse Project and Illinois Legal Aid Online and both programs were at the fair and talked about what they do and how students can get involved. Students learned about UMIN’s winter break Service Immersion Trips, PBCSI’s Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project and Donate-A-Day service projects, and DePaul’s Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic’s pro bono offerings. 

Many of the above organizations and projects have upcoming trainings for students to get involved immediately. PBCSI will host a similar fair at the start of the spring semester and will feature pro bono opportunities available for students over spring break.   

IALI hosts welcome exhibit, discuss aviation regulation at World Routes 2014

DePaul's International Aviation Law Institute welcomed 3,000 delegates to the 20th World Route Development Forum with an exhibit on civil aviation's landmark Chicago Convention treaty, a high-level panel discussion on the future of airline regulation, and an address predicting the look of aviation in 2044.

Held September 20 to 23, 2014, at Chicago's McCormick Place, the event brought together the largest range of airlines, airports, tourism authorities, civil aviation authorities and other stakeholders worldwide. This year's forum was held in Chicago to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Chicago Convention, the treaty that established the International Civil Aviation Organization and governs the conduct of international civil aviation.

To commemorate the Chicago Convention's 70th anniversary, visitors to the exhibit hall were greeted by IALI's welcome pod, containing historic film and video of the conference that created the Convention in 1944. At the pod's center was an original signed Chicago Convention, which was donated to one of our professors by the U.S. Department of State. Staffing the pod and greeting visitors is IALI Founding Director and Professor Brian Havel, IALI Executive Director Steve Rudolph, FedEx/United Airlines Resident Research Fellow John Mulligan, and third-year law student Dan Ross, symposium editor of the DePaul Law Review.

On Sunday, September 21, Professor Havel moderated "Getting 'Smart' About Regulation: The Regions Have Their Say," a panel discussion centered on the viability of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in an age of regionalism. Primary topics included whether the era of multilaterial regulation via ICAO is fading and if future civil aviation regulation should take place at the regional level. The panel members were Vijay Poonoosamy, vice president of international and public affairs, Etihad Airways; IALI advisory board member Sandra Chiu, president, Centre for Aviation Policy and Economics; Sebastian Mikosz, CEO, LOT; and Jeremy Robinson, legal director, Hill Dickinson LLP (London).

Following the panel discussion, John Byerly, IALI advisory board member and former deputy assistant secretary of state, presented "Aviation in 2044 -- 100 Years After the Chicago Convention," a look 30 years into the future of civil aviation. Byerly offered his insights from the perspective of a long career as a U.S. diplomat, during which he became the architect of many of the world's Open Skies air transport agreements.

DePaul's Phi Alpha Delta receives "outstanding" chapter award, second year running

DePaul University College of Law's Joseph Story Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta received the Stanley H. Kohn Outstanding Chapter Award for the second year in a row.

Story Chapter is one of only five law school chapters in the fraternity's 112-year history to win the Outstanding Chapter Award twice consecutively. One of the largest and most active chapters in the fraternity, Story Chapter has consistently earned awards for individual officers and recruiting efforts.

The chapter also won a third place Outstanding Professional Program Award for the lunch lecture series "Pop Law."

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.

CPIL hosts panel on police brutality "From Ferguson to Chicago"

In September, the Center for Public Interest Law and the DePaul chapter of National Lawyers Guild co-sponsored a lunch panel on police violence and misconduct in the wake of the mass protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson. 

Moderated by alumna Sarah Gelsomino from the Peoples Law Office, the panel emphasized the role of lawyers, law students and legal workers in supporting communities resisting police violence. The panel emphasized that civil litigation is but one avenue for attempting to hold police accountable and it is most effective when done in conjunction with grassroots community activism.

DePaul law student Max Suchan (JD '15) shared his experience after spending a week in Ferguson at the end of August as a legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild. Suchan described a "disproportionate and heavily militarized" police presence. He also described community organizing that took place on the south and west sides of Chicago in response to the deaths of DeSean Pittman and Roshad McIntosh, on August 2014. 

As partner at the Peoples Law Office, Gelsomino has sued the Chicago police department for verbal and physical misconduct using § 1983. Gelsomino described this endeavor, underscoring that she believes there are “whole areas of the city where police disregard the Constitution,” and that those areas tend to be neighborhoods of color or low income communities. 

Alumnus Elliot Slosar from Loevy and Loevy also shared his experiences bringing § 1983 lawsuits against the police. Slosar told the audience that police accountability work does not have to begin with a law degree, and he encouraged students to get involved now to learn from and support communities engaged in struggle against police violence.​

Students reflect on Vincentian mission at 1L Service Day

The College of Law held its third annual 1L Service Day on Friday, August 22. This year’s service day brought in just under 70 volunteers, a record number of participants. The College of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) and University Ministry in the Loop organized the 1L Service Day, with support from the Center for Public Interest Law.

Interim Dean Bruce Ottley and PBCSI Director Cheryl Price welcomed the 1L volunteers, many of whom congregated not just for the chance to participate in works of service, but also to make new friends, meet faculty members and explore Chicago.

College of Law Chaplain Tom Judge started by asking staff, faculty and student site leaders to stand and discuss what motivates them to give service. Answers ranged from "a sense of gratitude" to simply, "it's the right thing to do." Shaye Loughlin, executive director of the Center for Public Interest Law, defined service as a family value handed down from the Greatest Generation.

Students then departed for one of six service sites: Pacific Garden Mission, Cornerstone Community Outreach, Marillac House, Legal Prep Charter Academy, Catholic Charities Bishop Conway Residence and Little Brothers/ Friends of the Elderly. 

At homeless shelters Pacific Garden Mission and Cornerstone Community Outreach, students helped make beds, organize clothing donations and serve meals. Marillac House, a site with countless social services, gave students the opportunity to play with preschoolers and clean out a closet in preparation for a move.

Student volunteers at Legal Prep Charter Academy got to work painting classrooms and organizing the library. The students at Catholic Charities Bishop Conway Residence visited with seniors. Lastly, the students at Little Brothers/Friends of the Elderly worked in a food pantry, prepared holiday ornaments, and decorated Thanksgiving food bags for the seniors. It was a day of varied and valuable work.

During the lunch break, service day site leaders readdressed the importance of service and discussed its impact on all parties involved. The site leaders were second- and third-year law students, as well as law staff and faculty. Many 1L students said they found the day to be extremely meaningful.

As Chelsea Geiger (JD ‘17) said, “The service day meant connecting with other students and faculty, the community, and the opportunities available to me as a DePaul student. I got to know a few of my classmates on a more personal level than just at orientation. I learned of an organization I had no prior knowledge of and who are doing great things around Chicago. I also discovered what DePaul could provide for me besides a legal education and how, combined, we could make a difference."

Alyssa Bisanz (JD ‘17) added that the 1L Service Day “captured the essence of community spirit. Between collaboration and compassion, we were able to leave a positive footprint, as we upheld the DePaul brand, and served alongside with and for the neighbors of our community. This activity was the perfect way for me to start off my school year.”

Public interest networking program ‘First 10’ supports alumni in early practice

Center for Public Interest Law committee alumnae Caroline Manley (‘11), Jenny Ansay (‘10) and Aya Barnea (‘10) are making great strides not only in their public interest law careers, but also in building the Chicago public interest law community.

All three have dedicated their legal careers to increasing access to justice: Caroline Manley is an attorney working on elder law issues at the Center for Disability and Elder Law; Jenny Ansay is the regional attorney for Justice for Our Neighbors, a nonprofit immigration organization; and Aya Barnea is a staff attorney at the Illinois Appellate Court for Cook County. As young attorneys, they also have dedicated a great deal of time to organizing and attending events sponsored by the public interest lawyers network First 10.

First 10 is a peer-led organization that supports attorneys in their first 10 years of public interest practice as well as the communities in which they serve. They provide this support through networking, professional development and continuing legal education opportunities that are tailored to public interest work. One such event held on January 29 at DePaul focused on immigration law and policy, featuring speakers Fred Tsao, policy director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), and immigration practitioner Michael Jarecki. First 10 members also regularly gather for community building events, including volunteer projects, happy hour and potluck events. A wide variety of practice areas are represented at each event. As Manley explained, “Anyone who is interested in public interest work is welcome.”

Similarly, public service-oriented law students have a home base in DePaul’s Center for Public Interest Law. From this home base they can build skills, network, exchange resources, and cultivate friendships with likeminded students and faculty. First 10 serves as an extension of that community atmosphere, according to Manley. Jenny Ansay and Aya Barnea both echoed the importance of being involved with other attorneys who are starting out in their legal careers. Ansay credits this community atmosphere as a key reason to get involved, and stay involved, with First 10. “Sometimes doing the kind of work that I do is a little overwhelming and intense,” says Ansay. “Knowing you have a support system out there with other people who understand you and who do what you do makes First 10 a valuable resource for young attorneys.”

Barnea encourages law students to join First 10 upon graduation. “You’ll see how valuable it is to meet other people in your professional peer group and how nice that peer group is to have,” she remarked. “The city is big and it can feel hard to navigate. Having this resource is a very nice feeling.”

Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic DACA PSAs debut

An Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) public service announcement video recently debuted on American Spanish language broadcast television network Telemundo. The 31-second spot "Window Washing," aired on July 9 and continued for a two-week period.

The PSA is one of four recently developed and produced by students and faculty of DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media, in coordination with clinic students and under the direction of Clinical Instructor Sioban Albiol.

Three additional public service announcement videos—one in English and two Spanish—encourage undocumented immigrants who may qualify for DACA to find out more from reliable sources.

Introduced in August 2012, DACA provides eligibility for work authorization and a valid social security number for certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. While the benefits of the program are “tremendous,” Albiol said, “the announcement created significant issues and demand for services.” 

Getting the message out

In coordination with clinic community partner Marcy Gonzalez of Latinos Progresando (LP), Albiol identified a need for reliable information on the specifics of DACA. Gonzalez, director of the Immigration Legal Services Program at LP, told Albiol that she often heard clients repeat inaccurate information gleaned from radio or TV.

Albiol approached College of Computing & Digital Media Visiting Associate Professor Jose Soto about directing a series of public information commercials for DACA to present clear and accurate information and establish the clinic as a source for information. Soto and his TV production students pitched ideas to Albiol and Gonzalez and developed scripts for the videos. 

The project's DACA specialist, Michael Santomauro (JD ’13), now in private practice at Santomauro Law, contributed script feedback and maintained project momentum. Helen Albrecht, a senior majoring in digital media, took on the role of producer of the videos.

"Taking on the challenge of producing the PSAs was an amazing experience," said Albrecht. "I along with others in the crew have never had the opportunity to work on a production of this scale. Being Hispanic it was not only important for me to produce these PSAs as a Digital Cinema student, but also to get the message of DACA across for any immigrants who might be looking for more information. 

"We struggled and we struggled and we finally got everything organized and put it together," she said. "We have very fond memories."

An online resource

A link at the end of the videos refers viewers to the Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic resource website, which Legal Clinic Clerk Lorena Hernandez and Paralegal Esmeralda Villela developed with the College of Law's Office of Communications. 

"It's our hope that our page becomes a reliable resource for the public to access information on immigration," said Albiol. She hopes the site will not only correct misunderstandings but also continue to direct people to reliable sources. The clinic will measure impact through website traffic and click-through-rates and invite clinic partners to post information sessions and workshops on a public calendar.

"We hope to soon have the PSAs distributed to CANTV and a couple of other networks," said Hernandez.

Ultimately, the DACA PSA project coincided with the end of the DePaul quarter and the announcement of DACA renewal. Albiol called it “an opportune time to get the PSAs out to the public.”

The videos were possible thanks to the support of DePaul's Vincentian Endowment Fund. 

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. 

Students bring legal literacy program to Mercy Housing

On an early morning in April, third-year students Arielle Einhorn and Courtney Redman previewed a new legal literacy training program for employees at Mercy Housing Lakefront, a nonprofit affordable housing development and management company in Chicago’s South Loop. The Legal Literacy Program provides Mercy’s more than 3,900 residents with an overview of housing-related laws.

A training video filmed and presented by law students offers in-depth descriptions of federal and local housing topics such as the Fair Housing Act, Resident Landlord Tenant Ordinance, security deposits, abandonment, habitability, and utilities and leases. For example, the "Understanding Your Credit" module presents information on the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act. Once residents complete the video, they assess their knowledge through an online quiz and reinforce this information in a group game of Jeopardy.

“The training program is designed to provide residents with a platform to gain skills and obtain and maintain self-sufficiency to eventually move to the private market,” said Assistant Professor Julie Lawton, director of the College of Law’s Housing & Community Development Legal Clinic. Under her direction, the clinic partnered with Mercy Housing to develop the Legal Literacy Program.

The project was created by students who participate in the clinic, in addition to their regular course load. The template took about a year to develop, Lawton said, and an additional year to refine. Clinic students Taylor Goulbourn (JD ’14) and Victor Price (JD ’13) drafted the Legal Literacy Program curriculum with guidance from Professor Lawton and Mercy Housing. The following year, Einhorn and Redman refined it, directed the video and presented the final product to educators, staff and residents of Mercy Housing. Lawton said the concept was conceived in her consultation with former president of Mercy Housing Lakefront, Cindy Holler. Holler had shared some of the challenges residents were having during their transition to facilities operated by Mercy. Residents arrived with diverse housing backgrounds; some were homeless and some were moving from other public housing facilities. New residents sometimes found the lifestyle at Mercy more regimented than what they had previously experienced.

Lawton said that Mercy Housing sought an environment that was “more proactive than punitive,” with the idea that helping residents understand their rights and obligations from the start might make the transition a little easier. “I applaud Mercy for trying to create a program that will be helpful to their residents,” she remarked. As part of the development of the video training, senior management at Mercy requested that DePaul include Mercy Housing property managers and case managers in the review and editing process. Overall, employees were pleased with the program and offered a few minor suggestions, such as making the language easier to understand and more reader-friendly for residents.

“We want to make sure the information is accessible to the residents, helpful and, as an educator, I want to make sure the process is a valuable educational experience for students.”

In a session later that month, Einhorn and Redman presented the program to Mercy Housing residents. The program will be rolled out to all residents this summer.

DePaul students organize “La 72” fundraiser to support migrant shelter in Mexico

My time spent at The 72 Shelter for Migrants (La 72 Hogar Refugio Para Personas Migrantes) in Tenosique, Tabasco was life-changing. As part of last summer’s Chiapas Human Rights Practicum, classmate Jordan Malka and I interned at a human rights organization and lived in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. With the help of Chiapas program creator and director Professor Leonard Cavise and past Chiapas program participant Katherine Faydash, we were able to visit the migrant house.
Jordan Malka ('15) and Marie Silver ('15) pose with a volunteer during a visit to La 72 Shelter for Migrants in Tabasco, Mexico.

Faydash, who now resides in Mexico, introduced us to local human rights activist and artist Saul Kak, a volunteer at The 72. Jordan and I arranged a visit to the shelter with Kak’s help and were struck by the work of the people at The 72 and the hardships faced by the migrants staying there. We were inspired to help.

Upon return to Chicago, we organized a fundraiser to support the shelter. On February 28, we held an event at Bottom Lounge in Chicago, in coordination with DePaul’s Society for Asylum and Immigration Law, International Law Society, National Lawyers Guild, Latino Law Students Association, Journal for Social Justice and Center for Public Interest Law. The event was a great success, raising $2,000 to send to the house to help provide food, clothes, medical supplies and other necessities.

At the fundraiser, we spoke about the shelter and the dangers migrants face journeying through Mexico to the United States. Jordan explained that many migrants travel atop a large freight train known as La Bestia, or “The Beast,” which runs from the south of Mexico all the way north to the United States. As its name suggests, the train is extremely perilous: numerous train accidents occur, causing migrants to fall and get injured or sometimes killed. Additionally, many migrants fall victim to organized crime groups who brutally kidnap, attack or sexually assault those traveling on top of the train. In fact, The 72 Shelter is named after the 2010 massacre of a group of 72 migrants who were kidnapped by members of Los Zetas, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels, in the state of Tamaulipas.

I discussed the services the shelter provides to migrants at the outset of their journey. Fray (Brother) Tomás González Castillo, of the Franciscan Province San Felipe de Jesús in the southeast of Mexico, is the director of The 72 Shelter. He and others from his order, in collaboration with another human rights organization, opened the shelter in 2011. In addition to providing for the basic necessities of more than 300 migrants daily, Fray Tomás, a few other Franciscan brothers, and a group of volunteers work day and night to provide medical attention, psychological services and group counseling to prepare migrants for the dangerous trip ahead. They also organize culture-sharing and solidarity activities. Finally, the shelter provides legal orientation for migrants seeking available legal remedies.

Following the presentation, various items were raffled, including an iPod Touch and a three-month membership at Wicker Park Fitness. The event culminated in a live auction for a weeklong vacation at a luxury resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. All of the students who helped make the fundraiser possible were pleased with the turnout. Fray Tomás was very grateful for the donation as well, saying, “I thank you all a lot for your efforts and everything you do for The 72 and the people who stay with us.”

“The event was a chance to both get informed and take action for migrants in Mexico,” said ILS board member Katie Filous. “We often hear about immigration issues once people arrive in the U.S., but we don’t hear about the trials they faced getting here.”

Third-year law student Andréa Sinacola was also enthusiastic. “This event really opened my eyes to the situation in Mexico and what DePaul students are doing to fight for migrants on a very dangerous journey to the United States,” she said. “This event was a great way to showcase the talents of DePaul law students and give information and fundraise for a worthy cause.”

For more information, or if interested in donating to The 72 Shelter, please contact Marie Silver at, or visit the shelter’s English-language website.

Insecure Communities: addressing immigration issues in Illinois

This spring, the theme for the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) annual symposium came from the work of students in Clinical Instructor Sarah Diaz’s new Immigration Advocacy Clinic.

CPIL student assistant and clinic participant Ana Valenzuela said the idea for the immigration forum was generated by student discussions and Professor Diaz’s work with community based organizations. The forum, “Insecure Communities: Addressing Immigration Issues in Illinois,” began with a group of clinical students, including Valenzuela, Geraldine Arruela, Katerin Zurita and Cordia Perez (JD ’14), who provided a brief overview of their clinical project before the panel discussion.

The group’s project focused on investigating and addressing the discrepancies in policies between local law enforcement agencies in the manner in which they choose to certify, or not certify, Form I-918B. This form is required for all U Visa applicants to confirm that they were helpful in the investigation or prosecution of their qualifying crime.

There is no waiver of this form and without it the victim cannot apply for the U Visa. Refusal by law enforcement agencies to issue this certification undermines the dual purpose of the U Visa statute: to serve as a form of humanitarian relief for undocumented victims of crimes and as a law enforcement tool.

Symposium panelists included Fred Tsao, policy director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Mark Fleming, national litigation coordinator at the National Immigrant Justice Center; Andrew Kang, legal director at Asian American Advancing Justice-Chicago and Viviana Martinez, assistant special legal counsel to Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. The moderator was Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC).

McCarthy started the discussion by providing an overview of the Secure Communities program, which seeks to increase cooperation between local and state authorities with the federal immigration authorities. This voluntary program essentially allows for the sharing of information between local and federal authorities. As a result, undocumented immigrants are being placed into immigration detainers, which are requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to local law enforcement to detain persons for an additional 48 hours so that ICE can pick them up for immigration violations.

The program is designed to identify aliens convicted of serious criminal offenses, but the real outcome has been the separation of thousands of families without regard for ICE’s stated priority of deporting “criminal aliens,” which has resulted in a lack of trust in law enforcement. Tsao discussed the statistical effects that the Secure Communities program has had on immigrant communities. According to Tsao, ICE has issued more than 8,000 detainers in Illinois alone. Sixty-nine percent of these, however, are issued against individuals who have no criminal convictions. As a result, the program that was meant to target criminal offenders has also been used to target harmless individuals.

Fleming presented on the lawfulness—or rather, the unlawfulness—of ICE detainers. He provided a summary of NIJC’s class action lawsuit, which is sure to have a large impact on detainers and Secured Communities. The lawsuit is a challenge to ICE’s presumed authority when instructing law enforcement agencies to hold an individual in detention during a check on the individual’s immigration status, when there is no other reason to keep that individual in custody.

Fleming commented on how ICE’s detainers lack enforcement authority and oversight. Fleming then spoke of the unconstitutionality of Secure Communities and how the key arguments were addressed in the litigation. Next, Kang discussed his work with the activists in California responsible for the passage of the California Trust Act. The California Trust Act is meant to limit the state’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities regarding Secure Communities. This action aims to put pressure on Congress, which has stalled on immigration reform.

Kang further stressed that because undocumented immigrants are often afraid of contacting law enforcement for fear of consequences, the Secure Communities program ironically creates an “insecure” community. For example, an undocumented immigrant who is a victim of crime may himself or herself be too afraid to report the crime for fear that the police will contact ICE against him or her.

Finally, Viviana Martinez was asked to share her work under Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in the passage of the Cook County ordinance refusing to comply with the Secure Communities program. As a result, Martinez said, Cook County has become a sanctuary for immigrants. She explained how Cook County’s refusal to take part in Secure Communities has led the way for other jurisdictions to follow suit and build resistance against this policy.

Martinez concluded by reiterating the need for sound policy and consistency within the immigration legal community to protect immigrants, especially those without criminal backgrounds, from costly detention. The panel not only identified the weaknesses in Secure Communities, but served as a stepping stone for those wishing to learn more about issues affecting immigrant communities.

Cindy Bedrosian (JD ’14) remarked, “With comprehensive immigration reform pending, it was so helpful to learn more about issues in immigrant rights that are specific to Illinois.”

According to Valenzuela, the panel put into perspective the fact that “although 287(g) (Secure Communities) policies were heralded as ‘protecting’ American neighborhoods from criminals, what they have really done is instill a fear of reprisal in undocumented individuals who seek to report a crime” and the program “is not targeting those it was meant to target. As a consequence, innocent and hardworking individuals are torn away from their families under these misguided policies.”

During the panel discussion, Tsao ended his comments with a quote by political activist Mario Savio: “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part . . . And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”

Pro Bono Staycation gives spring breakers the option to learn and help others

A group of College of Law students chose an alternate spring break experience this year by donating their time to the Pro Bono Staycation from Monday, March 24 to Thursday, March 27.

The event gave six participating students four full days of hands-on pro bono work at their respective volunteer sites, including the Chicago Legal Clinic, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and the Center for Disability & Elder Law. Students worked on a range of projects and subject areas, including preparing advanced directives for the elderly, helping to track data relating to mortgage foreclosure clients, conducting legal research on housing issues, observing in court, and interviewing and assisting clients in need of help with immigration issues.

First-year law student Caitlin Duane gained insight through her experience. “My staycation experience at the Chicago Legal Clinic was a great opportunity to network and start becoming familiar with public interest agencies in Chicago," Duane said. "I was able to begin learning about immigration law, which is incredibly complicated but also fascinating. The attorneys that I worked with were both DePaul alums who were excited to share their knowledge and passion for the law."  

The Pro Bono Staycation is a joint project of the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) and the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI). Both CPIL and PBCSI hope to expand this pro bono project to get more students involved at a wider range of sites. Cheryl Price, Director of PBCSI explains: “This is the second year that we have offered the pro bono staycation to students and we hope to do so again next year. It is a great experiential learning opportunity for students who want to immerse themselves in a particular area of law while helping others.”    

For more information about DePaul’s Pro Bono Staycation, please contact Cheryl Price at  

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.

DePaul’s Legal Prep volunteer team coaches high school students to success

Law student Alex Sparhawk discusses a negotiation hypothetical with Legal Prep students.
DePaul College of Law volunteers worked closely with high school students from Legal Prep Charter Academy to teach litigation and negotiation skills in a yearlong program developed by the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative. Law students coached Legal Prep teams for a negotiations competition among classmates and sent qualifiers to a final round event at law firm Kirkland & Ellis. Two Legal Prep students advanced to the final round, earning second place overall.

This is the second consectutive year DePaul has worked with the Legal Prep Charter Academy, the first legal-themed charter high school in Chicago. Located in West Garfield Park, it also serves the surrounding Austin, Lawndale and Humboldt Park communities. Students are exposed to the legal profession while developing skills in communication, critical thinking and advocacy.

DePaul welcomed the opportunity to work directly with these students and pique their interest in the law and legal profession. This year's volunteer team, comprised of students as well as alumni, faculty and staff, met with Legal Prep students monthly to teach a skills lesson and to assist students in working through hypotheticals and practicing for the competition.

Alumna Jessica Schneider (JD '10) facilitates a mock negotiation to prepare Legal Prep students for their upcoming competition.
“Working with students from Legal Prep reminded me why I value education," said second-year student Amanda Moncada, who participated as a volunteer. "Education is a medium through which lives can be transformed. And I saw many of these young scholars transform into well-spoken, intellectually creative, critical thinkers. This observation made my volunteering experience with Legal Prep one certainly worth repeating.” 

Second-year law student Alex Sparkhawk agreed.

“Volunteering for Legal Prep was a truly rewarding experience," he said. "Working with these students and future lawyers really cannot be expressed in words. I was part of a mock trial program in high school which eventually led me to law school. I only hoped that I could spark a light in these students similar to the fire inside me that eventually guided me into the legal career path.”

For more information about DePaul’s Legal Prep Charter Academy volunteer team, please contact Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative Director Cheryl Price at

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.

Professor explains why DePaul is "the right place" to study cultural heritage law

Above and Beyond

In a recent profile for DePaul’s online magazine, Distinctions, Professor Patty Gerstenblith talks about art and cultural heritage law and why DePaul’s program is a leader in the field. 

The discipline of art and cultural heritage law itself is a relatively new field. I have been teaching at DePaul for 30 years and have benefitted from being in the right place, at the right time: The field and I grew up together.

Perhaps the aspect I like most about the field is its interdisciplinary nature: Teaching it requires some knowledge of art history, archaeology, anthropology, history, international relations and other academic fields. One thing we do well at DePaul College of Law is to look at the big picture. Here, art and cultural heritage law is affiliated with two other areas: intellectual property and international law. Both of these programs at DePaul are nationally recognized. As a result, our students graduate with a broad set of practical skills.

"When I say DePaul is 'the right place' for exploring cultural heritage, I mean that literally. Here, we appreciate and respect different cultures set against a global environment."

I have been fortunate to serve twice on the President’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the Department of State, currently as the committee’s chair. The committee makes recommendations to the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs as to whether the United States should enter into bilateral agreements with other nations to restrict the import into the U.S. of undocumented archaeological and ethnological materials.

The legislation under which the committee operates is part of the United States’ adherence to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. When this legislation was adopted in 1983, the United States was, and probably still is, the single largest end-destination country for looted antiquities and stolen artifacts. The work of the committee is, therefore, important in establishing good relations with other countries and in helping to preserve the world’s cultural heritage.

When I say DePaul is “the right place” for exploring cultural heritage, I mean that literally. Here, we appreciate and respect different cultures set against a global environment. I think this is what our mission is all about, and that is what this specialty is all about, too.  

DePaul’s commitment to art and cultural heritage law is apparent in many ways. For one thing, I am one of the few professors in the country with this specialty who is a full-time faculty member. Also, we are continually enhancing our program. For example, we are introducing two new courses next year—one on customs law, which will address the legal interactions surrounding international trade, and one on art market transactions, which will deal with the commercial law surrounding the business of buying and selling art. Again, our students will gain skills that can be applied in several contexts. 

"Our students get a richer, fuller educational experience in this field than they would at any other law school."

Our conferences attract scholars and practitioners from all over the country—faculty and students from other law schools, lawyers who work for museums, government agencies and auction houses, art dealers and collectors. Our National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition is the only one of its kind. This year, the competition hosted 19 teams from around the country and featured more than 75 volunteer attorney judges, including many nationally renowned cultural property experts. These events build our prestige, while providing great networking and educational opportunities for our students.

We educate our students in other ways as well. Our Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law offers them opportunities for extern/intern placements at The Field Museum, Chicago History Museum, and other nonprofit and government agencies. Students have been publishing our Journal of Art, Technology and Intellectual Property Law for more than 20 years, and they contribute research to my work and to our events.

For reasons like these, I think—in fact, there’s no doubt in my mind—that DePaul’s program is the best in the country. Our students get a richer, fuller educational experience in this field than they would at any other law school. I am really proud of that.


Patty Gerstenblith is a distinguished research professor of law and director of the Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law. She is founding president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (2005-2011), a director of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield (a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of cultural property worldwide during armed conflict) and immediate past co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Art and Cultural Heritage Law Committee. In 2011, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the President’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the Department of State; during the Clinton administration, she served as a public representative.

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




CPS sixth-graders visit DePaul College of Law, study cyberbullying case

DePaul law students, staff and faculty worked with sixth-grade students from Chicago Public Schools' A.N. Pritzker Elementary School for the final 2013-2014 Donate-A-Day on April 4. Organized by the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) and student group Phi Alpha Delta, the service day offered Pritzker students a chance to learn about the law school environment, see a mock trial and study a cyberbulling case. 

Law students Jim Boland and Michelle Cass help Pritzker students work through questions in a cyberbullying case.
On arrival, 13 law student volunteers greeted the sixth-graders and offered a tour of the College of Law. The students met with Dean of Admissions & Student Administration Michael Burns and Professor Zoe Robinson to learn more about the law school environment and to hear their reasons for attending law school. The students also had the opportunity to participate as judges and jury members during a demonstration by the Phi Alpha Delta mock trial team.

The sixth-graders continued to learn about the court system by analyzing a cyberbullying case, Weber v. Chase, which is part of the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Lawyers in the Classroom curriculum. During the lesson, law student volunteers facilitated discussion questions, helping students understand various legal terms and concepts being used in the case.

“Pritzker students are very enthusiastic about the law. They love to volunteer and demonstrate their knowledge," said law student volunteer Desalina Williams, who helped facilitate the cyberbullying lesson. "This is my second year working with the students and I am always impressed at how well they grasp the various fact patterns presented to them. This is a great group of students.” 

PBCSI has worked with Pritzker Elementary on several service projects over that past few years, including school beautification and organization, supply drives for homeless students and law students volunteering as tutors.

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.

Student chosen for Stanford University Hoover IP² Summer Teaching Institute

Fayez Butt (JD '14) was selected to participate in the 2014 Stanford University Hoover IP² Summer Teaching Institute on the Economics and Politics of Regulation. Butt is one of just 25 students and young professionals invited to Stanford University this August.

Stanford University's Hoover IP² Summer Teaching Institute educates students and young professionals on how to think systematically about regulatory systems and their consequences, equipping attendees with analytic tools that are basic to good policymaking. The institute follows the business school model of executive education programs. It is an intensive, two-week program taught by experts in fields as diverse as patents, antitrust, innovation and finance, and energy and the environment. 

“This experience will take me beyond classroom study and into the broader world of patent law policy-making,” said Butt. “I intend to learn about how patent policy is made, what factors affect policy, and what outcomes patent policy is designed to facilitate. I hope that this experience will put me on the path toward becoming an effective patent attorney who understands the larger picture of patent law practice and policy."

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.

IP students selected to report on ABA conference

Rachael Dickson (JD '15) and Matthew Zuziak (JD '16, BS/MS '10) are two of 12 students recently selected to participate in the Annual Law Student Reporters Program of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL). As participants in this program, they will attend the 29th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference in Arlington, Virginia, from April 2 to 4, 2014 to report on legal programming via Twitter and blog entries. DePaul is the only school with two representatives selected to participate and the only Chicago school represented in the Student Reporters Program.

"This honor is one that recognizes the students' abilities and potential for future leadership in the ABA-IPL and offers opportunities for growth in the substantive practice of IP law," said Krystle Brown, chair of the ABA-IPL Law Student Action Group.

Zuziak, who majored in biochemistry at DePaul, currently works in the department of chemistry as a lab manager and adjunct professor. He will be live tweeting from @matt_zuziak. Read more about Zuziak on his ABA-IPL profile page

Dickson is a former journalist with a BA in History from George Mason University who has served on the boards for Phi Alpha Delta and OUTlaws at DePaul. She externs in the Mortgage and Foreclosure section of the Chancery Court of Cook County. She will be live tweeting from @LegallySparkly. Find out more about Dickson on her ABA-IPL profile page.

Students work to end hunger for February Donate-A-Day

DePaul law students volunteered their time for the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative’s Donate-A-Day event at the Greater Chicago Food Depository on February 28. The event was co-sponsored by LLSA, SAIL and BLSA.

aw student volunteers gather before starting their volunteer work at the Chicago Food Depository.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a nonprofit food distribution and training center that provides food to soup kitchens, shelters, pantries, mobile and children’s programs, as well as other programs serving low-income individuals and families.The Food Depository also supports the community through programs like Chicago’s Community Kitchens, which enrolls the unemployed in a free 12-week culinary course. 

Eric Langston (JD '14) commented, "I was so glad to volunteer with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The scale of the organization is very impressive, the staff is friendly and professional, and the impact of our work was clearly articulated. I would gladly volunteer with them again."

Law student volunteers packed boxes with 21,000 pounds of carrots to be distributed by the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Law student volunteers pack boxes with 21,000 pounds of carrots to be distributed by the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
The students were impressed by the friendly and helpful staff at the Chicago Food Depository, as well as the size of the warehouse and its operations. 

Third-year law student Zara Rashid also enjoyed her experience: "Going to the Chicago Food Depository was an extremely rewarding experience. It was nice to take a couple of hours out of the day to do something that helped others. Plus, it was interesting to see the process of packaging and distributing food to soup kitchens. It is definitely something I would love to do again."

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

Public interest attorneys mentor students through speed networking

On Feb. 5, more than 40 DePaul University College of Law students took advantage of a unique opportunity to network with Chicago-area public interest attorneys at the Center for Public Interest Law's speed networking event. The event was designed to ease the nerves that many students feel when networking by arranging short, informal conversations with many attorneys.

Students were able to speed network with more than 20 attorneys. After introducing themselves, they learned a little bit about the attorneys' jobs and backgrounds. Following the meetings, students from all three classes mingled with attorneys from local legal aid agency staff attorneys and executive directors and government agencies. Several attorneys who attended the event (and some who were unable to make it) volunteered to mentor groups of College of Law students regularly over the course of this year.

Moot court competition focuses on Cultural Property Implementation Act

The fifth annual National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition will run this Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22 at the Everett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse.  

DePaul University College of Law welcomes 19 teams to the competition, including students from local schools Chicago-Kent, John Marshall, Northwestern and Southern Illinois. This year’s competition addresses questions concerning the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, which establishes a framework for imposing import restrictions on undocumented archaeological and ethnological materials.

The competition provides students with an opportunity to advocate in the nuanced landscape of cultural heritage law, a dynamic and growing legal field. 

The annual event is cosponsored by the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, which conceived of the idea six years ago. Now, firmly established, the competition attracts teams from law schools with top ranked appellate advocacy programs as well as those with art law programs. 

"One of the goals of LCCHP is to increase awareness of cultural heritage law, both within law schools and among the general public. This competition is an integral part of that growth and development," said Distinguished Research Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Art, Museum, & Cultural Heritage Law Patty Gerstenblith.

Third Year in Practice (3YP) program featured in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin featured DePaul's new Third Year in Practice program (3YP) in an article titled "No more pencils, no more books" on Feb. 7.

Director of 3YP David Rodriguez and Professor Allison Tirres provided interviews for the article. Rodriguez explained that 3YP will “‘demystify the practice of law’ by putting students through a practice-based third year.” He continued:

“That’s our approach with this program,” Rodriguez said. “If you immerse yourself for an entire year doing skills-oriented (work), you’re going to already have the mindset (upon graduation) of an attorney who has already been practicing for a few years.”

Launching in fall 2014, the 3YP program will offer qualified students the opportunity to complete their general law school course requirements in two years and spend the third year of law school in practice. The 3YP program is a part of the College of Law’s response to the changing needs of the legal profession and the shifting landscape of legal education.

Download a copy of the article.

DePaul students volunteer at Our Lady of Charity School on MLK Day

In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative, University Ministry in the Loop and the Black Law Student Association teamed up to sponsor a Donate-A-Day at Our Lady of Charity elementary school in Cicero, Ill. on Jan. 25. Twenty-two dedicated volunteers gathered at the DePaul Center for a light breakfast before boarding the bus to head over to the school. Law and international business students participated in the service day and worked together to revitalize the elementary school.

Law student volunteers work together to enter books into school's library system.
Our Lady of Charity is a large three-story building with one maintenance person to manage repairs and upkeep and to handle the cleaning duties. As a result, teachers clean their own classrooms and the school’s classrooms and hallways rarely get a fresh coat of paint. DePaul volunteers helped address these issues and divided to scrub and brighten classrooms and paint trim.

Thanks to the volunteers’ work, Our Lady of Charity’s teachers and students returned on Monday to find clean classrooms and newly painted trim. The volunteers also updated the library by inserting barcodes into books and logging the books into the computer system. For the lunch break, a parent from the school prepared and delivered a hot, home-cooked meal for the volunteers. School Principal Katie Olson then explained the demographics and mission of the school, allowing volunteers to better understand why their service to the community was so valuable.

Desalina Williams, third-year law student and PBCSI student coordinator, described her experience: “Our Lady of Charity is a great school with a great faculty and parents. When we arrived, we saw teachers and parents dedicating their Saturday to educate the children. Their dedication motivated me to continue volunteering. I hope we continue volunteering at this site because it is so uplifting to see the community support for this school.”

This was the second year that DePaul has volunteered at Our Lady of Charity School.

For more information about the College of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative or how to get involved with its Donate-A-Day service projects, 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 Center for Animal Law to host discussion on Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and whaling

Over the past several years, whaling has emerged one of the hottest topics in animal law. The 2013 release of the popular documentary “Blackfish” called into question the treatment of these mammals in captivity at waterparks such as SeaWorld. Since 2008, Animal Planet has also covered this issue through its reality series “Whale Wars.” The program follows the efforts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, under founder Paul Watson, to stop Japanese whaling vessels near Antarctica.

As part of the DePaul Center for Animal Law's continuing mission to provide unique insights into important issues concerning animal welfare, the center will be hosting the lunchtime discussion "Pirates or Protesters?: The Institute of Cetacean Research v. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society" on February 5, 2014 at Lewis Center, Room 903, 25 E. Jackson Blvd.

The methods of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has embroiled the organization and its founder in numerous controversies, as well as lawsuits. In late 2013, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in The Institute of Cetacean Research v. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The plaintiff purports to be a Japanese whaling research foundation while the defendant claims that the organization actually hunts whales. Due to Sea Shepherd's tactics such as “glass containers of acid,” “metal-reinforced ropes... to damage propellers and rudders” and “smoke bombs,” the court found in favor of the Institute and labeled them “pirates.” Sea Shepherd has been enjoined from interfering with whaling vessels, but the case continues.

This decision has met with significant controversy from all sides of the issue. "Pirates or Protesters?: The Institute of Cetacean Research v. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society" will provide an in-depth look at the case with a panel featuring Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's attorneys Daniel P. Harris and Rebecca Millican of Harris & Moure, PLLC. They will analyze how the ruling may affect international maritime law, the future of the group, and the actions of other ecological-focused protesters. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson is scheduled to appear via Skype.

DePaul University College of Law offers students 3rd Year in Practice option

Program creates links from legal education to legal profession

DePaul University College of Law has created a Third Year in Practice program, known as 3YP, which offers students the opportunity to complete their general law school course requirements in two years and spend the third year of law school in practice. The 3YP program is a part of the College of Law’s response to the changing needs of the legal profession and the shifting landscape of legal education. The program will be available to qualified students entering law school this fall.

“The Third Year in Practice option enhances the College of Law’s robust experiential learning curriculum,” said Gregory Mark, dean. “The primary goal of the program is to provide students with opportunities to prepare better for the realities of the legal profession and to assist them in developing the fundamental lawyering skills that today’s employers demand.”

The 3YP program combines 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. Participating students also can take advantage of special seminars focused on essential litigation, transactional and professional development skills. In addition to receiving mentorship from an assigned DePaul faculty member, each student will have the opportunity to make connections with prospective employers prior to graduation. The College of Law will continue to offer experiential learning opportunities, including a full selection of externships, to all law students.

David A. Rodriguez, Third Year in Practice Director
David Anthony Rodriguez, who leads DePaul’s Poverty Law Clinic, will direct the 3YP program. Rodriguez has experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors, having practiced with Sidley Austin LLP and the Legal Assistance Foundation.

An advisory board comprised of faculty, student and alumni representatives also will guide the program.

“The Third Year in Practice program places DePaul at the forefront of innovation in legal education, allowing students to effectively experience the practice of law a full year before many of their future colleagues, while under the guidance of DePaul’s experienced and dedicated faculty,” said Rodriguez.

Located in the heart of Chicago’s Downtown Loop, blocks from the business and financial district, the DePaul University College of Law is situated to provide exceptional opportunities for experiential learning. The College of Law offers nearly 200 externship placements with private firms, corporations, and public interest and government agencies. In addition, the DePaul Legal Clinic — recently named one of the best in Chicago by the National Law Journal — provides students with more than 10 litigation, transactional and policy clinical options. The 3YP program will deepen connections between the law school and the city of Chicago while enhancing academic excellence and student learning experiences.


About DePaul University College of Law

DePaul University College of Law has a long-standing tradition of challenging and enlightening students by placing the highest priority on innovative programs of instruction that include both traditional classroom theory and professional skills training. Led by a diverse and widely respected and consulted faculty, the College of Law is recognized for its highly successful centers, institutes and clinics that emphasize collaborative learning among students and faculty in advancing the law and serving justice. Since 2010, DePaul has ranked first every year among Illinois law schools for producing the most graduates recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers. The College of Law also has been recognized regularly for its diversity by national publications such as Hispanic Outlook Magazine. As part of a vibrant urban environment, the College of Law brings together students, faculty, staff and alumni committed to serving the public and the legal profession in ways that enhance the social, economic, cultural and ethical values of the broader community.

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.

Student "immersionaries" featured in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

When students organized a service mission to aid Hurricane Katrina victims in 2006, they launched the first of many DePaul Law/UMIN’s service immersion trips. Nearly a decade later, the tradition endures under Chaplain Tom Judge's leadership. This year's immersion trips ran to New Orleans and Washington, D.C., from January 4-11.

"The nature of these trips is to try to bring us closer together," Judge told the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in a recent feature on the program. "You throw 10 or 12 law students together in vans as they drive for hours and hours across the country and they stay in homeless shelters and then they go out and meet people and serve people and listen to people for a week. That really brings them closer, we hope."

Read more in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article, "Immersionaries: DePaul law students lead service trips."

Students connect with Illinois judges through IADR's Shadow-a-Judge

As part of the College of Law’s Institute for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution, students shadowed judges at several events during fall 2013.

From back left: Ewa Wieslaw, 1L; Precious Allen, 1L; Miriam Martinez, 3L; Mike McGivney, 1L; Judge Kathleen Marie Burke; Lana Smith, 1L; Haley Guion, 2L; attorney and court administrator Colleen Glass and IADR Assistant Director Natalie Wolfe.
The Shadow-a-Judge series included a tour of the Child Detention Center at the Juvenile Justice Courthouse, a visit to the Fifth Municipal Court in Bridgeview and a chance to witness Chicago criminal defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. defend in a jury trial at the Second Municipal District Courthouse in Skokie.

Students enjoyed the opportunity to network, interact with judges and witness the crucial operations of the courtroom. “It was great to see so many different types of cases and then be able to talk to the judges themselves about what they thought,” said first-year student Ewa Wieslaw. 

“I particularly liked the fact that people greeted us with open arms and that the judges took time out of their busy schedule to meet with us," said 3L Miriam Martinez, who attended the Fifth Municipal event in Bridgeview on October 18.

First-year student Alex Antonacci used the opportunity to take a closer look at the daily operations of criminal defense practice, “It was a perfect way to see what a typical day would look like, not only for the judges, but also for APDs or ASAs."

Aside from the chance to interact with the judges, students found the immersion valuable for bringing law school courses to life. "I enjoyed getting to sit in on a live jury trial," said 2L Francie Ekwerekwu. "The defense lawyer [Sam Adam Jr.] was a great, savvy lawyer and very fun to watch. Everything we learn in law school criminal law classes makes more sense now after watching that jury trial.”

"It was interesting to see how one of the cases I sat in on hinged on a vital piece of discovery that was overlooked by the defense," said first-year student Kaitlin Fitzsimons. "My Civil Procedures Professor, Professor [Steven] Greenberger, said we wouldn’t fully understand discovery until we were in the courtroom, and now I see why."

Shadow-a-Judge events take place every spring and fall semester. Please contact Natalie Wolfe at or (312) 362-8312 if you are interested in participating in the fall 2014 program.

ABA and CBA pro bono directors discuss access to justice issues

Cheryl Zalenski, director of the American Bar Association Center for Pro Bono, and Kelly Tautges, director of Pro Bono & Court Advocacy at the Chicago Bar Foundation, discussed federal and state efforts to increase Access to Justice initiatives with law students at DePaul University College of Law in late October. 

Over one million residents in Illinois live under the poverty level and cannot pay for legal assistance, but there are only approximately 300 attorneys who provide legal aid pro bono service in Illinois. The Access to Justice movement strives to connect all interested parties in coordinated efforts to bring legal aid to those communities in need of legal representation. 

Zalenski described the national Access to Justice efforts, such as encouraging legal communities to form Access to Justice Commissions and undertake certain model rule amendments. There are approximately 30 Access to Justice Commissions across the nation. The priorities vary at each commission. Examples of projects include standardizing legal forms across counties and affecting policy changes to allow retired attorneys to volunteer their free time doing pro bono work.

According to Tautges, the Access to Justice Commission in Illinois, established last year, has formed nine separate committees to increase and facilitate access to justice efforts in the state. Some of their efforts include working with the Illinois Supreme Court to allow law students to obtain their 711 license after earning half, rather than two-thirds, of their law school credits, effectively allowing students to start serving clients in need sooner.  The Illinois Commission recently sponsored a conference to highlight growth in court based pro bono programs. 

The panel discussion was hosted by the Pro Bono Community Service Initiative and the Center for Public Interest Law, and co-sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild, Outlaws, and the Journal for Women and Gender Law.

DePaul students help homeless prepare for winter, share in Thanksgiving luncheon at St. Vincent de Paul Center

In mid-November, DePaul law students and the Pro Bono Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) joined nearly 1,000 other regional volunteers to serve approximately 600 of Chicago’s homeless at the St. Vincent de Paul Center’s Homeless Outreach Luncheon in Lincoln Park. The service day was one of PBCSI’s monthly Donate-A-Day community service projects for law students. College of Law Chaplain Tom Judge and other DePaul Loop Campus students also participated.

College of Law Chaplain Tom Judge (front) and DePaul student volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul Center's Homeless Outreach Luncheon.
Volunteers were busy with a range of duties, some working worked at various stations to distribute items such as winter clothing, shoes and backpacks to the guests. Some of the stations also provided free dental, legal, podiatry and manicure services. Other volunteers accompanied the guests to each station, held their chosen items, and ate Thanksgiving lunch with them.

Desalina Williams, one of PBCSI’s student coordinators and a volunteer at the Homeless Outreach Luncheon, shared her thoughts about the volunteer day:

"The luncheon was a very unique experience that I greatly enjoyed. I accompanied a veteran who waited outside, in line, for two hours before entering the center. When I met him, he immediately talked about retrieving a coat and a backpack. Before reaching these stations, we collected toiletries, eye glasses, scarves, gloves, hats, sleeping bags and blankets at other stations. As each item dropped into the bag, he became happier and happier. However, once we got to the coat his eyes just lit up. Unfortunately, the center ran out of backpacks before we reached the backpack station. Instead of expressing disappointment or anger, he told me that ‘the day was a successful day.’ He was so happy about the coat and the other items that leaving without a backpack did not ruin his mood (even though he'd come for a backpack). He insisted that he received more than he ever thought he would receive. After receiving more compliments on his coat, he left the center with a smile.
As I finished the day, the main thought that ran through my mind was his smile when he wore his coat for the first time. Thinking about that moment made me smile to myself because he was right: the day was a successful day."

For more information about PBCSI or its monthly Donate-A-Day service projects, please contact PBCSI Director, Cheryl Price at

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.

Law school staff and students contribute to annual school supply drive for Pritzker Elementary School

The Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) recently concluded its annual school supply drive for homeless and low-income students at A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, a Chicago Public School located in Wicker Park. PBCSI Director Cheryl Price delivered the supplies to the school where they were warmly received by Pritzker staff, including Assistant Principal Mrs. Barbara Abdullah-Smith, School Counselor Amanda Szaraz, and 6-8th grade teacher Jerry Weissbuch. Although Pritzker is located in Wicker Park its students live in a variety of neighborhoods across the city. According to Ms. Szaraz, approximately 50% of Pritzker students are considered low-income, and approximately 30 of them are considered homeless.  As such, the school supplies are sorely needed to ensure that these students have the supplies they need to learn and thrive in the school setting.

PBCSI was pleased with this year’s donations. According to PBCSI Director Cheryl Price: “I was so impressed with the DePaul community’s generosity and thoughtfulness, especially staff members, who contributed the lion’s share of school supplies and money for this drive.” Price was also thankful for the generous donation of pens and flash drives from Lexis/Nexis. Price explained: “All of these supplies go directly to the students to help them succeed at school.  We are happy to contribute to this worthy cause and feel strongly that it is an important part of our Vincentian mission.  We look forward to running the school supply drive again next fall.”

DePaul law student selected as finalist for PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award

Third-year law student Sam Keen was selected as a finalist for the PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors one law student nationwide for his or her pro bono contributions to society. The award aims to recognize the significant contributions that law students make to underserved populations, the public interest community and legal education by performing pro bono work. Keen was nominated for the award because of his continued dedication to the Chicago community, both through his volunteer work with DePaul’s Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project (NLAP) and his public interest internships he has completed during law school.

Keen’s dedication to NLAP has gone above and beyond a typical student volunteer commitment. The first of its kind at DePaul, NLAP is a law student pro bono help desk for the homeless. NLAP takes place twice a month on Saturday mornings at a breakfast program for the homeless run by a local church. NLAP assists guests with sealing and expunging their criminal records and obtaining state IDs. NLAP also provides clients with brief advice about housing and family law, as well as public benefits and available social service resources. NLAP is staffed with a supervising attorney and four to six law student volunteers per session.

As NLAP’s volunteer coordinator, Keen recruits and schedules students to staff the program. In addition to coordinating volunteers for NLAP, he is also the intake coordinator. In this role, he conducts the initial interview with clients to assess their reasons for seeking NLAP's assistance. He answers their questions, helps them to feel comfortable, and explains NLAP's procedures and policies, before discussing the options available to them. As a NLAP volunteer, he works directly with clients to help them resolve whatever problem they present. 

In addition to his pro bono work, Keen has completed internships that have allowed him to have a direct, positive impact on Chicago’s most vulnerable populations. One of his internships was with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, where he advocated for homeless youth in the Chicago Public Schools. After completing the internship requirements, he continued to work at the Coalition, logging 40 hours of pro bono work. Keen also spent last summer as an intern at the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) where he represented low-income clients facing homelessness in eviction court. Again, Sam continued to work at LCBH even after his internship was over, completing more than 50 hours of pro bono work. He has also volunteered with the Lawyers in the Classroom program and has served as a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild.

“I went to law school because l knew that a JD would allow me to make a career out of being a force for positive change in my community,” said Keen. While he has yet to embark on a law career, Keen has already made a positive impact on many people in Chicago as a law student.

Law students roll up their sleeves to help Chicago public school

DePaul’s Pro Bono Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) hosted its first Donate-A-Day service project for the 2013-2014 academic year at A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, a pre-K through 8th grade Chicago Public School in Wicker Park, in September. Throughout the day, law student volunteers worked hard to beautify the school by painting hallways and the cafeteria, planting bulbs and flowers, and cleaning and organizing classrooms.

Law students work on gardening project at Pritzker.
DePaul’s Student Bar Association and Phi Alpha Delta co-sponsored the event. Many of the volunteers developed an appreciation for gardening; other volunteers impressed the school administrators with their painting abilities. During the lunch break, the volunteers had an opportunity to meet several Pritzker parents and students, who personally thanked them for their hard work on behalf of the school. The parents talked with the students about Pritzker and distributed cookies. "Meeting a few of Pritzker's parents and students was a nice surprise. They were very happy to have us at their school and we were happy to be there," explained Desalina Williams, PBCSI’s Donate-A-Day student coordinator.

DePaul students prepare to paint Pritzker cafeteria.
PBCSI is very involved with Pritzker Elementary School. For several years, PBCSI has devoted one of its Donate-A-Day service projects to the school. In addition, each spring PBCSI hosts Pritzker’s 6th graders for a field trip, where the students observe a mock trial and participate in mock law classes taught by DePaul professors. The annual field trip is an opportunity to introduce Pritzker students to the legal profession and attending law school. PBCSI also coordinates a school supply drive for Pritzker’s homeless students and sends law students to the school on a weekly basis to tutor students. Many of the law students participate in more than one volunteer activity, allowing them to connect with the Wicker Park community through their service. Ultimately, the community service work benefits law students and the elementary school students in unique and meaningful ways. 

Law student organizes classroom materials for Pritzker teachers.

Summer Public Interest Jobs and Funding Information Session Gives Students a Head Start on Summer Jobs

On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, the Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL), the Public Interest Law Association (PILA) and Law Career Services (LCS) hosted a lunchtime information session on how to find a summer public interest law job and secure funding.  During the presentation, Elizabeth Boe, assistant director of recruiting, LCS, Shaye Loughlin, CPIL director and Robin Wagner, a third year student and PILA president offered advice to students seeking summer internships with public interest organizations.

All of the presenters advised students to begin the internship search early, as public interest internships are competitive.  To help students find positions, Elizabeth Boe introduced students to the primary job posting sites: Vincent, PSJD, PILI, and the Government Honors/Internship Handbook.  Upper-level students also gave their perspectives on ways to maximize the summer externship experience, including Robin Wagner’s tip of diversifying internships in order to build skills.  Hannah Scruton, a 2L, discussed her internship at the Office of the Public Guardian, which she got in part through her CPIL mentor.  The information session also gave first-year law students an overview of the possible funding sources available to public interest interns, and gave them a timeline for beginning to apply for summer positions.

The presentation was videotaped and can be accessed via iTunes U; look for Law Career Services under “On Campus.”

Service fair helps law students learn about volunteer opportunities

DePaul law students are known for their commitment to service and public interest work so it was no surprise that the Fall Student Service Fair drew a large crowd of students who were excited and ready to start volunteering. The fair, held September 10 and organized by the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI), is one example of the many ways PBCSI works to engage law students in service work.

The fair started with presentations from PBCSI’s six partner organizations, which include Cabrini Green Legal Aid, the Center for Disability & Elder Law, Croak Student Legal Services, the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, and A.N. Pritzker Elementary School. Students also learned about volunteer opportunities with Illinois Legal Aid Online, DePaul’s Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic and the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse Project, which is a project of DePaul’s Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center. University Ministry informed students about their winter break Service Immersion Trips to New Orleans and Washington D.C.

PBCSI Director Cheryl Price was pleased with the turnout and student interest. “Several students approached me to say how excited and impressed they were with the wide-range of service opportunities presented at the fair. It was so heartening to see so many students ready to volunteer. Our partners seemed happy too, as they were able to speak with a large number of students and recruit new volunteers.”

PBCSI will hold another service fair at the beginning of the spring semester in hopes of attracting even more students to volunteerism. Like the fall fair, the spring fair will feature PBCSI’s six partners but will also focus on opportunities that are available during spring break, such as PBCSI’s Pro Bono Staycation and the Family Law Center’s Juvenile Detention Center Spring Break Project.

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.

First-year law students embrace Vincentian tradition of service

The Vincentian tradition of service and social justice was alive and well recently, with more than 60 first-year law students spanned out across the city of Chicago to serve the poor and reflect upon the issues facing impoverished communities.

The student volunteers participated in the College of Law’s second annual 1L Service Day, which was organized by the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative and co-sponsored by the Center for Public Interest Law, Office of Law Admissions and University Ministry. Students were accompanied by a team of dedicated site leaders, which included second- and third-year law students, as well as law staff and faculty. 

1L Service Day volunteers organize a 9th grade classroom library at Legal Prep Charter Academy in West Garfield Park.
Site leader and College of Law Chaplain Tom Judge praised the service day as “DePaul at its best; as a community going out into the city to serve. But, not just serve, we tried to engage with people, share a little of ourselves with them, and learn about the issues they face.”       

The student volunteers worked hard at five different sites including Pacific Garden Mission, Legal Prep Charter Academy, Cornerstone Community Outreach, Catholic Charities Nutritious Food Program Warehouse, and West Communities YMCA. Among other things, their jobs included making beds and preparing and serving meals at a homeless shelter, organizing books for a classroom library, sorting clothing donations, packing nutritious food boxes for low-income seniors and children, and cleaning locker rooms and a child care space. 

In addition to providing the students a chance to engage in hands-on volunteer work, the service day was an opportunity for incoming first-year students to build community and relax before diving into classes. First-year law student Guadalupe Perez found a respite through volunteering: “After two hectic days of orientation, the 1L Service Day provided an informal and fulfilling way to meet other law students who place the same importance on community involvement as I do. Not only did I meet new students, but I also learned about a neighborhood and an organization that I would not have necessarily gone out of my way to see or learn about. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the event.”

Michelle Cass, a 3L Site leader who was assigned to the Catholic Charities Warehouse, felt similarly: “It was fantastic to work as a team of law students and be reminded of how wonderful the experience of service is both intrinsically and for the good of others. We had moments of reflection, laughter, and community. I was inspired by the turnout of the 1L class, and it made me feel proud and confident in our DePaul community, and excited for what may come from the future stewards of the legal profession.”

1L Service Day volunteers take a lunch break while volunteering at Pacific Garden Mission.
The service day was also a way to introduce students to the array of pro bono and community service opportunities at DePaul in hopes that students will continue to engage in service while law students and beyond.  According to 1L Tim Bingham, the service day accomplished this goal: “I really appreciated the dedication to service that the DePaul staff showed while working with us 1Ls. It made me feel like they cared about the community DePaul was a part of and now I want to continue working with the law school on service and pro bono projects for the next three years.”

The service day was also an important learning experience for the volunteer site leaders, many of whom gained insights about nearby communities and the agencies that serve them.   Haley Guion, a 2L who was assigned to Legal Prep Charter Academy, enjoyed working with books to help promote literacy for high school students:  “Volunteering as a Site Leader for the 1L Service Day at the Legal Academy brought perspective to the hectic law school routine.  That day, I stepped into another person's shoes.  I was able to see a day in the life of an English teacher and of a student at the Legal Academy.  It was very grounding.  The most rewarding part of volunteering was that I left knowing I had set in motion a path for a student to take (reading a book found in the Classics section) that they otherwise would not have taken.”  Allen Moye, Director of the Law Library, gained new knowledge about Pacific Garden Mission, a homeless shelter in the South Loop.  He noted that: “My experience volunteering at PGM was very enlightening and rewarding. It is a very well-run organization, providing nutritional and spiritual nourishment to men, women, and children who have fallen on difficult times.”

The 1L Service Day was an inspirational and thought-provoking day for all who participated and was just the beginning of a long and meaningful journey of service for the Class of 2016. 

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.

Poverty Law Clinic saves families from losing housing

The Poverty Law Clinic team takes a moment to celebrate a successful outcome with their client. From left: Visiting Assistant Professor David Rodriguez, student Erin Grotheer (JD '13), clinic client Marie P. holding her section 8 voucher, and student Sarah Hunter (JD '14).
Marie P. came to the DePaul Poverty Law Clinic in January 2013 seeking help in connection with the Chicago Housing Authority’s decision to terminate her from the Chicago Housing Choice Voucher Program (the “Section 8” program) because her landlord accused Marie of having an unauthorized person and dog living with her.

The Poverty Law Clinic interviewed Marie, Marie’s sisters and Marie’s close friend, and learned that the person who was temporarily staying with Marie was her ailing mother who had come to Chicago from Florida in order to be closer to her children and to have her children help take care of her as she had recently suffered the loss of her leg. The dog, it was learned, was her mother’s dog which stayed at Marie’s apartment for a week before Marie relocated the dog to her daughter’s home. After conducting its due diligence, the clinic accepted the case for representation and three students, Sarah Hunter, Richard Halm and Erin Grotheer, were assigned to work with Visiting Assistant Professor David Rodriguez on the case.

The team went to work identifying the legal issues that the administrative law judge would focus on and then developed a plan to secure supportive evidence, including documents from the hospitals that treated Marie’s mother before she passed away in June 2012 and interviews with family members and friends who could credibly corroborate Marie’s account of who was staying with her and why. At the hearing in May 2013, Marie and her legal team discredited the CHA’s allegations by discrediting the landlord, who under cross examination admitted that he had no personal knowledge that anyone was living with Marie and admitted that it was possible that the person who he believed was living with Marie was in fact only visiting her. Marie testified on direct examination that her mother had stayed with her temporarily, but that she had not stayed 30 continuous days or more than 90 days in a calendar year, which would have made Marie’s mother a “resident” under HUD regulations and CHA rules. The team supported this testimony with documentation from the hospitals showing that Marie’s mother spent so many days at local hospitals before passing away that it was impossible for her to have been a resident under the applicable laws. The team then elicited testimony from Marie admitting to the presence of her mother’s dog, but credibly testifying that the dog was only present for a few days, thus allowing her team to argue that while she had technically violated her lease by having a dog in her unit, that the violation was not material and that she had cured any such problem within 10 days as allowed under the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance.

The team concluded its case with an important theme: family members should be allowed, and encouraged, to care for one another in times of need, and that a landlord, like the landlord here, should engage in considerably more due diligence before making unsubstantiated allegations that jeopardize a person’s housing subsidy. The CHA administrative law judge agreed with Marie, concluding that the CHA failed to prove that Marie had materially violated her lease and the rules of the Section 8 program. The judge reinstated Marie to the Chicago Housing Choice Voucher Program and on July 25, 2013, Marie picked up her new voucher from the Chicago Housing Authority, which she intends to use to rent a home near her sisters. Marie thanked everyone at the DePaul Legal Clinic and DePaul College of Law for providing valuable services to people like her facing not only the loss of housing, but also the trickle down chaos that can ensue when a family member suddenly loses a home. 

In the first half of 2013, the Poverty Law Clinic helped five other families avoid this chaos by saving their housing subsidies from wrongful termination. The clinic looks forward to keeping this pace in the second half of 2013.

DePaul hosts Smart Growth conference for immigration service providers

In light of proposed changes to immigration law, DePaul College of Law’s Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic hosted a conference focused on building the capacity of Illinois community-based organizations to provide legal information and legal representation to low-income immigrants and refugees.

The "Smart Growth/Capacity Building" conference on July 22 and 23 garnered the interest of more than 100 attendees from 21 Illinois community-based immigration service providers, along with representatives from 15 nationally recognized immigrant advocate organizations. Attendees also included representatives from the City of Chicago’s New Americans Office, Office of Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Mexican and Guatemalan Consulates. The conference provided participants with updates on legislation, tools and strategies for increasing capacity and improving efficiencies in providing legal services, and workshop opportunities for community-based organization staff to examine their preparedness for responding to client and caseload demands.

Interagency cooperation panel discusses steps to meet unprecedented legal service demands. Panelists, from left: Rebecca Carson, Formerly Chief of Staff, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Abdelnasser Rashid, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Refugee Rights; Adolfo Hernandez, City of Chicago; Amy Stern, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Amalia Rioja, Office of Governor Pat Quinn; and Jorge L. Hidalgo, Consulate General of Mexico.
Response to the conference—from foundations, to public servants to legal advocates—was overwhelmingly positive. Conference participants cited the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic as a reliable resource for training, support and information dissemination among immigrant legal service providers.

Following the conference, the clinic continues to respond to consultation requests from community-based organizations prioritizing improvements to internal structures in order to better serve the needs of low-income immigrants, and the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic continues to provide opportunities for collaboration and mentoring.

The conference was made possible thanks to generous funding from the MacArthur Foundation.

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.”

DePaul law school earns Diversity Matters Award

DePaul University College of Law has been recognized for its diversity outreach efforts with a 2013 Diversity Matters Award from the Law School Admission Council. LSAC acknowledged DePaul first among 10 law schools nationwide that it identified as demonstrating “the highest level of outreach to racially and ethnically diverse students.”

“This award is an affirmation of the College of Law’s longstanding commitment to building and sustaining a diverse student population,” said Gregory Mark. “The College of Law’s diversity outreach encompasses not only ethnic and racial diversity, but includes socio-economic status, experiences and interest, among many other things. We know that an environment of diverse thought and background enriches learning, as well as our community.”

LSAC is a nonprofit organization of 218 law schools in the United States, Canada, and Australia that is best known for administering the Law School Admissions Test. It created the Diversity Matters Award to support its campaign, which encourages racially and ethnically diverse students to consider legal careers. The site offers tips, resources and tools to help diverse students become more competitive law school applicants. Recipients of Diversity Matters Awards helped support the campaign’s goals.

One of the College of Law’s most visible diversity outreach efforts this academic year was its work with Legal Prep Charter Academy, Chicago’s first and only legal-themed public high school. DePaul faculty, alumni, staff and students volunteered to help design and conduct a mock trial proceeding, using Legal Prep students as participants, so that they could gain firsthand, the knowledge and skills required to be an effective advocate.

For more information about the Diversity Matters Award visit

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.

Journal for Social Justice hosts affordable housing-focused symposium

The DePaul Journal for Social Justice hosted its annual symposium on April 17, 2013, which focused on housing issues as they affect low-income populations in Chicago. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Center for Public Interest Law and supported by the Vincentian Endowment Fund. Take Shelter: Keep Shelter, the theme of the event, provided information and discussion on the mortgage foreclosure crisis, the creation of affordable housing, and the Chicago Housing Authority’s one-strike eviction policy to more than 70 attorneys, law students and community members.

During the first panel, speakers discussed the mortgage foreclosure crisis, including its history, lasting effects and proposed solutions for working with clients who have been hardest hit by the crisis. Daniel Lindsey, supervisory attorney for the consumer practice group at Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, started the panel with an apt comparison of the mortgage bubble to the creation and ultimate demise of the infamous Titanic.

Alumna Cecilia Abundis (’04), an assistant attorney general, highlighted the investigations and meaningful litigation the Illinois Attorney General’s office has been engaging in for more than a decade to combat fraudulent mortgage-related activity and to hold lenders accountable for their actions. Finally, Liz Caton, housing counselor for Northwest Side Housing Center, encouraged attorneys and law students to work directly with housing counselors to provide a more holistic service for clients undergoing foreclosure. Caton emphasized the need to truly counsel clients on financial planning, working with banks, and how to survive and carry on post-foreclosure.

The symposium’s keynote speaker, Nicholas Brunick, partner at Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen, gave an impassioned speech on creating sustainable development and affordable housing in struggling communities, and encouraged attendees to find and commit their life to their passion. The fundamental message was that at the core of all development or private investment is a community: when you have an organized community that is committed to growth and fostering safe, productive neighborhoods, you are more likely to have successful community development projects.

The second panel of the day addressed the Chicago Housing Authority’s (CHA) one-strike eviction policy, which removes an individual and his or her entire family from a site-based housing program or from the Section 8 voucher program for any criminal conduct. Alan Mills, attorney at Uptown People’s Law Center, explained how the policy, designed to reduce criminal activity in public housing, serves as a blanket policy of mandatory eviction for any arrest-more often than not, for possession of a negligible amount of marijuana.

Lawrence Wood, director of the housing legal group at Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, expanded on the CHA policy by explaining how one simple arrest, regardless of conviction, can mean termination from the housing program for the entire family living with the arrested individual. Wood also provided the defenses that attorneys representing tenants often use to prevent one-strike policy evictions. Tenants often claim the “innocent tenant” defense or have the individual barred from the premises as a show of amelioration, even when that individual is a teenager.

At the close of the CHA one-strike policy panel, Professor Michael Seng of the John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center illustrated how the policy is actually racially discriminatory because the incarceration rate affects a disproportionate amount of African Americans. He proposed using the Fair Housing Act to show that the one-strike policy has a disparate impact on certain races considering the concentration of police power and criminal prosecutions on predominantly African American neighborhoods.

“I knew that the collateral consequences of a criminal record were far-reaching, but CHA’s one-strike policies are even more deplorable than I realized before this panel,” said Courtney Kelledes (’13). “I was grateful to hear Professor Seng’s exciting proposals for the use of existing laws to overcome the barriers faced by individuals with criminal records in both the public and private housing sectors.”

“Take Shelter: Keep Shelter” was a forum for scholars and practitioners in various areas of housing law to educate on substantive issues and proposed policy changes, but also a place to create dialogue about the current state of housing in Chicago. One attorney in attendance stated after the symposium, “These issues of inadequate housing in Chicago are why I went to law school. This symposium brought me back to my roots.”

Students take a glimpse inside Cook County's criminal justice system

As part of the College of Law’s Institute for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution, six students shadowed judges at the Criminal Division of the Cook County Circuit Court on Thursday, April 11.

Students spent the morning session on individual assignments in judges' courtrooms. They also had the opportunity to meet and ask questions of acting presiding Judge Clay, and to hear Judge Fox talk about the specialty courts over lunch.

“I thought the shadow a judge event provided an excellent insight into the criminal justice system here in Chicago,” said Aidan Forde, an Irish exchange student. The students also observed a variety of evidentiary and status hearings, 402 conferences, and several felony jury trials, including one with a double jury.

“There is so much going on at that courthouse,” said Sarah Gorham (’13). “It's hard to believe that, during my time at DePaul, I had never been there.”

Events take place every spring and fall semester. Please contact Natalie Taylor at or (312) 362-8312 if you are interested in participating in the fall 2013 program.

"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).

CPIL works with restorative justice leaders for final skills series

The Center for Public Interest Law concluded the yearlong Public Interest Legal Skills Series with a three session restorative justice series. Adjunct Professors Elizabeth Vastine and Peter Newman taught the series this April during the lunch hour. Vastine and Newman held each session in a restoratve justice circle, to help students gain a basic understanding of the practice, as well as how it is implemented in Cook County Juvenile Justice system.

Student participants praised the opportunity to collaborate with one another and learn more about this increasingly popular method of alternative dispute resolution, which is fast becoming a critical practice in juvenile justice system. "I was so grateful to have the chance to gain restorative justice skills," said Cindy Bedrosian ('14). "We learned about restorative justice by actually participating in a restorative justice circle each week. It was wonderful to have this opportunity to learn about an innovative practice by experiencing it, instead of merely attending a lecture."

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.”

Jaharis Scholar Jeffrey Boucher appreciates DePaul's global perspective, local impact

Jaharis Scholar Jeffrey Boucher recalls a moment when the importance of carefully applying the law really hit home.

Fresh from law school study-abroad experiences in Europe and China, he took a position in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in the felony courts at 26th and California. Witnessing, firsthand, the ability to affect another’s fate put things in perspective.

"You realize how important it is to conduct the legal process with integrity and consistency and while faithfully applying rules of evidence,” Boucher said.

“Someone’s freedom is at stake.”

A graduate of Vernon Hills High School in suburban Chicago and Wittenberg University in Ohio, Boucher says he came to DePaul because its law school has a “great academic reputation, and because it balances a global perspective with a strong presence in the Chicago legal community.”

Entering law school, he was interested in the way law and business were evolving to become more global in nature, and he notes that the law school provided opportunities for him to study abroad in China, Spain and Belgium.

“I’ve been able to have wide-ranging experiences that I might not have been able to pursue without the scholarship.”

“These experiences helped me to see that the law is constantly evolving and subject to new circumstances and situations,” he said. “They also helped me gain confidence in dealing with communication and cultural barriers—the law is really, above anything, about clear and credible communication between human beings.”

For Boucher, receiving the Jaharis Scholarship has made it possible to focus on his studies and clinical and internship opportunities without having to worry excessively about financing his legal studies. “DePaul offers a rigorous legal education, and so many avenues for gaining practical application and exposure to the law,” he said. “I’ve been able to have wide-ranging experiences that I might not have been able to pursue without the scholarship.”

Boucher says he has found a sense of community that he thinks will last throughout his career and beyond. He has been involved with the Student Bar Association (SBA), served as a Dean’s Advisory Council representative, and is currently SBA secretary.

“The people here make DePaul a great law school. The students and faculty are down to earth. They are competitive but not cutthroat. We push each other to be better.” Boucher recalls another formative moment at DePaul. “On my first day of orientation, the leader asked us to look at the people on our right and left. I thought he was going to say ‘next year, they might not be here,’” he laughed. “But what he said was, ‘These people will very likely become lifelong friends.’ Three years later, I have no doubt about that.”

Center for Public Interest Law hosts criminal defense attorneys

On March 6, the Center for Public Interest Law invited four criminal defense attorneys to meet with students and share their experiences working in the field. Students received a great opportunity to gain career advice from successful practicing attorneys.

Criminal defense attorneys Molly Armour, Carol Brook, Jessica Hunter and Elizabeth Schroeder spoke to a packed room of students about the rewards and challenges of this line of work. Samantha Silverstein, a third year student and panel moderator, was particularly enthused by this year's discussion.

"This year's criminal defense panel was populated by strong women who each provided a unique perspective on the field. From a fearless private defender who suggested having a network of criminal defense comrades, to a Lake County Public Defender who touted the benefits of working at a smaller office--such as more likely employment and closer supervision--the panel was not to be missed."

CPIL Mentorship Committee discusses elements of starting a practice

On February 28, the Center for Public Interest Law held the first of its returning series of brown bag lunches. Put together by CPIL's Mentorship Committee, these small speaker events aim to bring students and local practitioners together in a relaxed atmosphere so students can not only learn about attorney's experiences, but also build meaningful relationships through communication and interaction.

The first lunch kicked off with a how-to theme, focusing on what steps students should take if they want to start their own practice. Speaking at the event were DePaul alumni Amanda Graham ('12), Katie Kizer ('12), and Damon Ritenhouse ('11). Amanda and Katie successfully started their own criminal defense practice after graduation, and Damon joined a small civil litigation firm right at its start-up.

The speakers discussed topics such as business plans and marketing, the importance of having mentors, how to get clientele, and the timeframe students should take into account while planning for the future. Students who attended learned the ins and outs of the attorneys' lives at present, and received invaluable insider advice on how to get there.

CPIL plans on hosting two more brown bag lunches this semester, focused on non-traditional lawyering and different areas of local and governmental policy work. Emails and announcements can be found at CPIL's Facebook page.

DePaul’s Women’s Bar Association and Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative Join Forces to Assist Residents of Deborah’s Place

In February 2013, the women of DePaul’s Women’s Bar Association (“WBA”) joined the College of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (“PBCSI”) to provide an afternoon of lunch and entertainment for the women of Deborah’s Place, Chicago's largest provider of supportive housing exclusively for women. The service day was PBCSI’s February 2013 Donate-A-Day event. DePaul law students gathered at the Rebecca Johnson Apartments, one of five supportive and interim housing accommodations run by Deborah’s Place, located on Chicago’s near West Side. The Rebecca Johnson Apartments provide supportive housing for 90 women, each of whom have their own apartment and pay 30% of their income as rent. Deborah’s Place offers case management and many structured activities, but the women live independently and are expected to provide their own meals and cover other living expenses.

Student volunteers prepared a lunch buffet consisting of sandwiches, snacks, cookies, and refreshments and served lunch to around forty of the women residing at the apartments. Serving and eating lunch with the women provided some quality time for everyone to visit and learn a little bit more about each other. All of the guests expressed excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to gather for a carefree afternoon of lunch and games. Samantha Sommerman, Social Chair of DePaul’s WBA, reflected on her experience at Deborah’s Place: “It was refreshing to step outside the bubble of law school and connect with people. I had a lot of fun eating sandwiches and playing Bingo with these ladies. They seemed genuinely interested in hearing about law school, and I know I was interested to hear about their lives.”

After lunch was served the fun really got started! Theresa Dollinger, President of DePaul’s WBA, started up a high-energy game of BINGO. The volunteers soon learned that Bingo is a house favorite among the women at the Rebecca Johnson Apartments. The women stayed focused and competitive hoping to win one of the prizes provided by the WBA, which included candy, body wash, shampoo, jewelry, and a number of gifts. The bingo game continued until every guest “GOT BINGO” and was able to choose from the assortment of prizes. Both the student volunteers and the women of Deborah’s Place seemed to really enjoy the day. It was an experience that benefited all who participated. The women of DePaul’s WBA look forward to organizing future events with PBCSI and Deborah’s place in order to help them continue to fulfill their mission of breaking the cycle of homelessness through compassion and innovation.

DePaul Law Death Penalty Practicum students take on military tribunal case

The 15 DePaul University College of Law students enrolled in the Death Penalty Practicum have taken on the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, whom military prosecutors are seeking to execute for his role as the alleged mastermind of Al-Qaeda’s bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen’s Aden harbor on October 12, 2000.

Seventeen American sailors were killed and 39 were injured after two suicide bombers in a small boat pulled alongside the Navy’s guided missile destroyer and detonated 400 to 700 pounds of explosives. Other charges against al-Nashiri result from an earlier unsuccessful attempt to bomb the USS The Sullivans in January 2000 and the suicide bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg, killing one civilian sailor, in October 2002.

Al-Nashiri became a detainee at the U.S. Military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006 after four years in CIA black sites in Afghanistan, Thailand, Poland, Morocco and Romania. According to a 2004 report by the CIA Inspector General, U.S. interrogators waterboarded al-Nashiri; racked a semi-automatic handgun next to his head in a mock execution; threatened him with a power drill while he was naked and hooded; and suggested that his mother or another family member would be brought to the secret site and raped.

Al-Nashiri is the first Guantanamo prisoner being prosecuted on death penalty charges. Current issues before the military commission hearing the case are whether he is mentally competent to participate in his defense, given his years of harsh treatment and torture; whether the CIA has been eavesdropping on privileged conversations; and whether the legal proceeding is in essence a show trial, given that prosecutors have stated that there is no possibility of release in the event of an acquittal.

In addition, al-Nashiri’s defense team has an appeal pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the authority of the military commission adjudicating al-Nashiri’s case. A group of retired U.S. admirals and brigadier generals has filed an amicus brief in that case, arguing that the commissions are a departure from the constitutional use of military tribunals and that they endanger American troops and government representatives abroad who could face similar extra-judicial proceedings. Physicians for human rights also filed an amicus brief, arguing that justice cannot be accomplished in a military prison environment where a torture victim is still controlled by the same authorities who tortured him.

Professor Andrea Lyon, Death Penalty Practicum director and associate dean of Clinical Programs, and her students will work alongside military attorneys Lieutenant Commander Stephen Reyes and Major Allison Danels, as well as civilian attorney Richard Kammen, a renowned death penalty lawyer based in Indianapolis.

Students reach semi-finals at National Security Law Moot Court Competition

On February 8 and 9, Palak Shah (JD candidate ’13) and Ben Ruffcorn (JD candidate ’14) attended the George Washington University Law School National Security Law Moot Court Competition, where 21 law schools from across the nation competed, including NYU, Virginia, Michigan, Duke and Georgetown.

This was the first time DePaul Law participated in the event. The Shah-Ruffcorn team made it to the semi-finals in the competition and received 2nd runner-up for best brief. Shah was awarded 2nd runner-up best overall competitor. Professor Alberto R. Coll coached the team through several practice rounds of oral argument and Professor Barry Kellman provided advice on the brief.

Following the proceedings, Professor Coll said, "Our students deserve our warmest congratulations for the impressive effort they put into the competition!"

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​

Public interest legal skills series, racial discrimination

The Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) is starting off the semester with its second Legal Skill Series of the year. This six-part legal skills series will focus on racial discrimination in employment and will be lead by plaintiff's attorney Mike Persoon, Despres Schwartz & Geoghegan Ltd.

The series is structured to give students a basic undertsanding of how to litigate an individual disparate treatment employment discrimination case arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By the end of the series, CPIL and Mr. Persoon hope that students will have the following skills:

  1. Identifying good cases while avoiding bad ones
  2. Navigating the EEOC process
  3. Drafting a complaint
  4. Conducting discovery
  5. Defeating summary judgment

While the six-part series is not an exhaustive survey of Title VII, the skills used in proving intentional race discrimination are also highly transferable.

The skills series will take place at 25 E Jackson Blvd, Lewis 904, from 11:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. over six consecutive Mondays (January 28 to March 4). Attendance at all six sessions is preferred, but not required. Those who attend all six sessions will be recognized with a certificate of completion.

The series is open to all students who RSVP. If you would like to attend, please email

Service fair briefs students on extensive volunteer opportunities

More than 50 law students attended the student service fair in an effort to learn more about volunteering with the College of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI). Organized by PBCSI Director Cheryl Price, the fair introduced students to the various service opportunities at the College of Law and beyond.

Price started the event with general information about PBCSI, including the college's recommendation that students commit to at least 50 hours of service while at DePaul. Students learned the basics of volunteering, such as how to report their hours to earn a service award.

Students heard from PBCSI student coordinators Jeffrey Boucher (JD '13), Rebecca Birger (JD '13), Sam Keen (JD '14), and Desalina Williams (JD '14), who discussed volunteer opportunities at PBCSI’s six partner agencies, including A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Center for Disability & Elder Law, Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Croak Student Legal Services, and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights.

Students also learned about DePaul’s Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project, a pro bono legal help desk for the homeless and indigent in the South Loop, and PBCSI’s Donate-A-Days, day-long service opportunities for students who may not be ready to make a long-term volunteer commitment. PBCSI’s January 2013 Donate-A-Day took place at Our Lady of Charity School in Cicero, IL. Student volunteers painted and cleaned at the school. The Donate-A-Day was co-sponsored by UMIN in the Loop, and two student groups, the Society for Asylum & Immigration Law and the Latino Law Student Association.

DePaul’s Schiller Ducanto & Fleck Family Law Center’s Domestic Violence Courthouse Project and Spring Break Juvenile Detention Center project, DePaul’s Immigration and Asylum Law Clinic’s Spring Break Border Project, Illinois Legal Aid Online’s LiveHelp Operator training, the National Immigrant Justice Center’s upcoming U-Visa workshops, and summer internships with BENNU Legal Services.

PBCSI recommends the student service fair for students looking to gather information, or for first-year students who may be ready to start volunteering, but are not sure how or where to start. As Price explained, "PBCSI ensures that students get connected to service opportunities that fit their interests and schedules. It is wonderful to see so many law students ready to go out and help others. They truly make an impact while gaining hands-on legal skills.”

If you are interested in learning more about PBCSI, please contact PBCSI Director, 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.