Legal Trek 2008 Workshops
Chicago LegalTrek Launches First Session at Northwestern Law School
On June 11th, Chicago LegalTrek, a collaboration between Scholarship Chicago and the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, launched its first session at Northwestern Law School led by Professor Sheila Maloney. Twenty five scholars are enrolled in this year's program ranging from rising college freshmen to first year law students. The goal of the program is to help scholars learn about the field of law and to provide those that are interested in legal careers the mentoring, programming and support they need to succeed. The program builds on a 3-year history of lunch and learn sessions sponsored by our High 5 legal partners: Chapman & Cutler, Goldberg Kohn, Jenner & Block, Kirkland & Ellis, Reed Smith, and Winston and Strawn.
Chicago LegalTrek Visits the United States 7th District Court of Appeals
On Wednesday, July 16 Undergraduate and Graduate members of the Chicago LegalTrek program, a collaboration between Scholarship Chicago and The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, were given the unique opportunity to spend a day at the United States Court of Appeals 7th District. The program was hosted by Justice Ann Williams and members of her staff.
The day started with the students sitting in on three different hearings. Following the rulings the presiding Justice lectured on each individual case. Students were encouraged to ask questions regarding why the judge ruled the way that they did. Following the hearings the students participated in a question and answer format panel discussion involving three United States Justices, including Justice Williams. The topics covered included law school advice, tips on what paths to take in order to become a U.S. Justice, personal stories, and any other information the Justices thought to be useful for college students looking to practice law in the future.
The day ended with another panel discussion, this time with Justice William's Law Clerks, and a tour of the Judge's chambers. The Clerks were very helpful in giving the students a good idea of what to expect during, and directly after law school. What to study, what to do to help your chances of becoming a Clerk, and what responsibilities Clerk's have were all topics covered. The final stop before students went on their way was a visit to Justice Williams' private chambers. Students got to tour her office and well as the office of her Clerks in order to get a better idea of the daily working conditions of one who chooses to take this route in the legal profession.
The day was regarded as being very positive and the students found it quite educational. Thanks go out to Justice Williams and her staff, as well as the members of The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms for helping make this event such a success.
Commission on Professionalism of the Illinois Supreme Court - July 17, 2008
Scholars participating in the LegalTrek collaboration between Scholarship Chicago and the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms had the opportunity to visit the Commission on Professionalism of the Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday, July 17. The work of the Commission includes, programming for the continuing legal education for lawyers in Illinois and the promotion of the principles of integrity, professionalism and civility among judges and lawyers. Our hosts for the session were Deputy Director, Jayne Reardon, and Director of Programs, Audrey Lee.
The topic for the afternoon was ETHICS, in particular, the code of ethics around attorney-client privilege and the responsibility of attorneys to maintain confidentiality even under the most extreme cases. A provocative discussion followed a brief video about the wrongful conviction of Alton Logan who was sentenced to life in prison for a crime to which another man confessed. Attorney - client privilege prohibited the attorneys for the man who confessed to the crime to clear Alton Logan of the charge.
The imperfections within the legal system where also a point of discussion following a brief video on The Innocence Project - an organization dedicated to the reopening of cases in light of DNA testing and the exoneration of those wrongfully convicted with the use of this new technology. This important LegalTrek session gave students some insight to the challenges that exist for attorneys as they work to serve both their client, preserve the integrity of the legal system, and uphold the laws that govern.
LegalTrek Students Partake in Mock Trial at Northerwestern University Law School
On Tuesday, July 22 members of the Chicago LegalTrek participated in a Mock Trail and Northerwstern School of Law. Students were broken up into five groups of four. One group for each "trial." Within the groups of four, two students were assigned to be State Attorneys and two were the defense counsol. The partners were given time before the trial to work together to create opening and closing statements, as well as work on questions for their direct and cross examinations. During this prepatory time, lawyers, who were also Northwestern Alums, acted as coachs, to help the students with their tasks.
The trials themselves lasted from 2:45 to 4:30pm. Afterwards the "Judges," who were actually the lawyer coaches from before, gave feedback on the four students performances and if they desired, rendered a verdict.
Being able to pracitice in a courtroom setting, as well as receive professional feedback was something that the student found to be very valuable. Thank you to Northwestern School of Law and all who participated in this great event.
Kirkland and Ellis Provides Excellent Opportunity for LegalTrek Scholars
On July 24 member of the Chicago LegalTrek program traveled to Kirkland and Ellis LLP to attend a luncheon focused on complex litigation law. Students listend as Kirkland partners spoke about practing as a part of this international firm and how a young under-graduate student might break into this competetive profession.
After a wonderful catered lunch students were broken into groups of four and given a Kirkland associate to work with. Groups were given the assignment of negotiating a large scale business transaction as either the legal representation of the buyer or seller. Kirkland employees looked on as the teams worked out property issues, lump sum payments, and employment packages.
Students enjoyed the experience and insight gained from the workshop. Thank you to Kirkland and Ellis for making it possible.
Scholars Learn About Leadership at Northern Trust - July 28
On July 28, Scholarship Chicago summer students participated in an informative session on Leadership hosted by Northern Trust. The students enjoyed an informal lunch with members of the panel which gave them an opportunity to meet one panelist on a personal level. Following lunch a formal introduction by each of the panelist was made to the group at large. The panel was comprised of a wide range of professionals; Cheryl Rucker-Whittaker M.D., Rush Hospitals; Mark Richman, a partner at Deloitte; Fred Snow, General Counsel for American National Bank; Kathryn Stell, Director of Diversity at Sidely Austin; and Gregg Lunceford, Vice President Northern Trust.
The panel spoke about the qualities of a good leader, the importance of listening skills, seeking out mentors at all points in your career, networking, and how to present yourself to make a good first impression and establish yourself as a leader. Scholars shared some of their own experiences as leaders at campus organizations, and asked for advice on how to handle situations that leaders face.
Thank you to Gregg Lunceford and the Northern Trust for an informative and inspiring session on Leaderships!
Scholarship Chicago and the Anatomy of a Contract at Jenner & Block LLP - August 1, 2008
Jenner & Block hosted Scholarship Chicago students on Friday, August 1, for a session on Anatomy of a Contract. Jenner & Block associate Mercedes Davis and former associate Chris-Tia Donaldson, dissected a basic contract and explained each of the components that are essential to an effective document. Representations, warranties, covenants, pre & post closing, closing conditions and terminations were just a few of the new legal vocabulary words that scholars learned at the session. Students learned that careful reading of any contract they enter into is important and will help them avoid risk in the future. The session ended with engaging questions and answers about life as a lawyer from our two presenters.
Thank you to Jenner & Block and Courtney Jones, Diversity Coordinator for a great session!
Scholars Visit PepsiCo and Practice the 4 P's of Marketing - August 7, 2008
On Thursday, August 7 Scholarship Chicago Lunch & Learn participants were welcomed at PepsiCo by Yael Hernandez, of the Tropicana Marketing Division. The students learned about the wide range of components that marketing encompasses such as research & development, distribution, sales, and manufacturing. This session gave scholars the opportunity to see how many of the skills they have been learning about in the legal field are also necessary for other career paths. Lola Bakare of PepsiCo, shared some of her experience of working at PepsiCo, highlighting the great opportunity for creative thinking that her work allows her. The students participated in a fun exercise in which they were grouped and given the task of creating a new product that would be attractive to consumers at specific outlets. They had to employ what they had learned about marketing - the 4Ps - Product, Promotion, Price, Placement. Always the creative thinkers, they managed to come up with very ingenious products! One group even went as far as creating a commercial for their product that included a jingle!
Our thanks to PepsiCo, Lola Bakera, Kira Zumergard, and especially to Yael Hernandez for a great afternoon!
Nation City Pathways to Banking for Scholarship Chicago Students - August 13, 2008
National City Bank offered students a look at the variety of careers available in the banking industry. They learned that in the world of banking there are opportunities for people in marketing, accounting, law and sales. In particular, they learned about the role of a Credit Analyst and how it is fundamental in banking. Our hosts at National City, Brad Kireschen, Amanda Sigg and Kaylee Keeley, shared their experience of working within a large financial institution and the many opportunities for growth and exposure to different banking paths that are available. They also highlighted the importance of good communication skills and networking. Scholars asked questions of the panel both as students interested in the banking field and as consumers who frequent ATMs!
Thank you to our host National City Bank, and to Brad Kreischen, Amand Sigg and Kaylee Keeley for an insightful look at the world of banking!