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The Washington Independent
Chicago-Kent College of Law Media Advisory

Chicago-Kent College of Law Media Advisory

Last updated: Mar 15, 2021 08:50 | Jul 08, 2017 22:11
Rian Mcconnell

Table of Contents

Then and Now

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has experts available to discuss current issues. To reach experts, please call Gwen Osborne, director of public affairs, (312) 906-5251. Press releases are available on their website.

"IIT Chicago-Kent boasts a unique blend of traditional academic firepower and innovative skills programs," says Dean Harold J. Krent. "No other school offers six clinics based on an in-house law firm experience. Our advocacy teams are repeat national champions; our legal writing program is one of the most comprehensive in the nation; and our students benefit immensely from our outstanding programs in intellectual property, labor and employment, and compliance." Click on the link to watch "What makes a law school great?," a short video about the law school. Dean Krent is available for interviews about the law school, its faculty and programs.

Then and Now

"Women volunteers and social workers had long ago created a robust system of free legal aid that sought substantive justice for the poor," says IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Felice Batlan, the author of Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863–1945 (Cambridge University Press). Upper- and middle-class women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and other cities provided free legal aid for the poor. They did the day-to-day work interviewing clients, giving legal advice, investigating the case and negotiating settlements at a time when law schools and state bars excluded women. First-generation legal aid organizations created by women specialized in poor women's claims against employers and husbands. By the turn of the century, as women began graduating from law schools in small numbers, some of these new lawyers joined second-generation legal aid societies where they represented and advised both men and women. Professor Batlan is available for media comment.

A2J Author® software—developed by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and CALI®, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction—is the first court form automation software designed to help legal aid attorneys and court staff create court forms for people without lawyers. A2J Guided Interviews® ask questions in plain language and process the information provided by users to be assembled into savable and printable documents. A2J Author is completely free for any nonprofit organization to use for noncommercial purposes. The award-winning software has been used by more than 2.5 million users to create 1.5 million forms in 41 states, Australia, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Professor Ronald W. Staudt, director of IIT Chicago-Kent's Center for Access to Justice and Technology, is available for interviews about A2J Author.

The Smithsonian Institution recently launched a "Reboot the Suit" campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds to restore the historic Apollo 11 space suit astronaut Neil Armstrong wore to the moon. "This innovative style of public crowdfunding has exciting implications for the future of charities, and it could even be applied to democratize tax policy and local government affairs," says IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Seth Oranburg, whose research interests include crowdfunding laws. Professor Oranburg may be reached for media comment.

Rian Mcconnell | Rian is a Villanova University graduate who was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia with a medical degree. His residency was at Thomas Jefferson and its associated Wills Eye Hospital, and he finished his education with fellowships in cataract and corneal surgery at the University of Connecticut. He has a vast experience in ophthalmic surgery, with a focus on cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, and laser refractive procedures. He serves on the board of Vision Health International, an agency that provides eye care and surgery to indigent patients in Central and South America, in addition to his surgical practice.


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