Chicago-Kent College of Law
Harold J. Krent
Faculty with Research Interests
For more information regarding faculty visit the Chicago-Kent College of Law website.
Chicago-Kent College of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and the Order of the Coif. The law school is housed in a state-of-the-art, 10-story facility in the West Loop area of downtown Chicago. The building is a short walk from the Federal Building that houses the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and numerous federal agencies; the Daley Center, where the Illinois state courts sit; and LaSalle Street, the hub of law practice in Chicago. Being located in the heart of one of the major legal centers in the United States enables the law school to supplement its distinguished full-time faculty with outstanding practitioners and jurists who teach courses in their areas of expertise.
Center for Access to Justice and Technology
Chicago-Kent College of Law established the Center for Access to Justice and Technology (CAJT) to make justice more accessible to the public by promoting the use of the Internet in the teaching, practice, and public access to the law. The one focus of CAJT is to help pro se litigants obtain greater access to justice. Many self-represented litigants, even in simple cases, struggle to navigate through an unfamiliar and procedurally complex court system. The center conducts research, builds software tools, teaches classes, and supports faculty, staff, and student projects on access to justice and technology.
Center for Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property
The Center for Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property, the first academic center of its kind in the nation, promotes the application of empirical social science methods, both quantitative and qualitative, to studying important questions about innovation, creativity, and other issues related to intellectual property law.
Center for Information, Society, and Policy
The Center for Information, Society, and Policy is a collaboration among Chicago-Kent public policy experts and Illinois Institute of Technology technology experts. The center promotes interdisciplinary research into privacy and information security issues raised by information technologies and social networks. Experts include computer scientists, psychologists, lawyers, business experts, and theorists in systems design and human/system interfaces. Forming the center’s interdisciplinary task forces, they focus on critical unsolved policy problems to find the appropriate balance of risks and benefits. Emphasis is placed on forging a shared understanding of the problems at hand and a common language with which to discuss and analyze proposed solutions.
Institute for Compliance
The Institute for Compliance promotes careers in financial compliance, trains and prepares students for such careers, increases knowledge of the importance of compliance, and provides various events for the Chicago-based compliance and legal community. It is the first institute of its kind located in a law school.
Institute for Law and the Humanities
The Institute for Law and the Humanities was created to facilitate, support, and encourage symposiums, lectures, scholarship, and faculty discussion on the relationship between law and other humanistic disciplines. It provides opportunities for faculty and students to integrate humanities-based studies with the study of law and explore the increasingly rich and diverse scholarship in areas such as legal philosophy, legal history, law and literature, and law and religion.
Institute for Law and the Workplace
The Institute for Law and the Workplace is a national center for research, training, dialogue, and reflection on the law that governs the workplace. The institute pools the resources of leading scholars and the practicing professional community to train students and professionals, monitor policies and trends, and reflect upon major issues in a neutral setting.
Institute for Science, Law and Technology
The Institute for Science, Law and Technology is a joint venture of the academic units of Illinois Institute of Technology designed to meet the growing need for science- and law-trained professionals capable of addressing the complex issues that arise in a global, technologically driven marketplace of ideas, product standards, and conflicts. The most difficult challenges at the intersection of law and science today arise from new technologies. New possibilities in biotechnology, such as cloning and genetic engineering, raise difficult questions about ethics and challenge traditional legal concepts. Environmental concerns about the generation of greenhouse gases, rain forest devastation, and sustainable development challenge public policy. The Internet and other new information networks escape legal control at national boundaries. The institute serves as a cross-disciplinary forum for lawyers, scientists, ethicists, psychologists, business people, designers, and engineers to confront the challenges presented by new technologies.
Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States
The Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States (ISCOTUS) educates internal and external audiences about the Court and its role in our constitutional system of government. ISCOTUS’s Academic Center is designed to provide new opportunities that showcase the significant intellectual contributions of Chicago-Kent’s faculty and to give students the opportunity to learn from appellate advocates with experience in the Court and from prominent jurists. The other two main components of ISCOTUS are Oyez®, a widely used multi-media database devoted to the Court and its work, and the Civic Education Project, which merges ISCOTUS’s academic and technological dimensions to promote public education about the Court.
Justice John Paul Stevens Jury Center
Chicago-Kent’s Jury Center serves as a clearinghouse for information about the jury to academics, students, judges, lawyers, and members of the press and public. The center’s website provides a centralized resource for jury studies and includes an annotated bibliography with summaries of recent and forthcoming academic articles on capital juries, comparative jury systems, history of juries, jury behavior, jury selection, and public policy; a collected list of law review symposia on the jury; and links to other jury resources. The Jury Center also undertakes special projects, such as an evaluation of state court websites for prospective jurors.
The Law Lab
The Law Lab is an interdisciplinary teaching and research center devoted to legal futurism. The center examines the intersections of law and technology, mathematics, science, and engineering.
Research and Training Facilities
Chicago-Kent College of Law Library
The law library contains approximately 500,000 volumes and countless electronic subscriptions to a wide variety of online material. It supports Chicago-Kent College of Law and other graduate programs taught at the Downtown Campus. Areas of collection strength include law, business, and international relations, and the library is a depository for materials from the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States federal government. The library provides both wired and wireless access to the Internet, seats more than 400 people, and contains 10 group study rooms that may be reserved by Illinois Institute of Technology students. Seating throughout the library provides access to all of the online research systems, both remote (e.g., LexisNexis, Westlaw, and numerous other subscription databases) and internal, such as web-based interactive tutorials, computer-assisted legal instruction, productivity tools, and e-mail.
Chicago-Kent boasts a computer network that is among the most technologically advanced of any law school in the nation. Wireless technology allows complete access to the network and is available throughout much of the building, including the atrium area that spans the concourse, first and second floors; all floors of the library; many classrooms; and the student lounge. Students with laptops can also use network ports available almost everywhere in the building. Every seat in the library and almost every classroom seat has a hardwired computer node with adjacent power connections. Networked workstations are devoted to student use throughout the building in three computer labs as well as in student lounges, the library, and even the cafeteria and atrium. Web-based student resources, including online registration and grading systems, are available 24/7 from anywhere with an Internet connection. Faculty members routinely prepare interactive tutorials that can be accessed by students ahead of class.
The Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Courtroom
The Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Courtroom, named for the late distinguished Chicago-Kent graduate and senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, integrates design features from the best courtrooms and trial advocacy training facilities in the nation. Planned for both law school instruction and actual legal proceedings, the Marovitz Courtroom incorporates advanced computer and audiovisual technology in a traditional setting.
The Bruce M. Kohen Courtroom
The Bruce M. Kohen Courtroom is a 738-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that includes two 90-inch television monitors, a Crestron automated lighting control system, and an audiovisual system with three built-in document cameras and four display monitors. Named for Bruce M. Kohen ’79, a retired partner of Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak, & Kohen Ltd. in Chicago, the Kohen Courtroom provides a realistic courtroom atmosphere for classroom instruction and for competition practice by students on the law school’s trial advocacy and moot court teams.
Research and Clinical Training Areas
Legal Research and Writing
Chicago-Kent has one of the most rigorous and comprehensive legal research and writing programs in the country. The required five-course curriculum introduces students to basic and advanced research techniques; memorandum and brief writing; transactional writing and client representation; and specialized research and writing in such areas as securities, labor and employment, environmental, international, public interest, or intellectual property law. The curriculum culminates in an intensive writing seminar.
The Law Offices of Chicago-Kent, a teaching law office located in the law school, is one of the largest in-house clinical programs in the United States. The center is staffed by more than a dozen full-time attorneys and serves more than 1,000 clients each year. Students who intern in the law offices have the opportunity to work on cases in a wide variety of clinical practice areas—civil practice, criminal law, entrepreneurial law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, mediation, open government/government watchdog law (Center for Open Government), vaccine injury litigation, and tax law—under the supervision of a clinical professor. Other skills training opportunities are available through the Judicial and Legal Externship programs. Students in the Judicial Externship Program are placed with participating judges in the federal district, appellate, and bankruptcy courts, and in Illinois state courts at all levels. Judicial externs work directly with the judge and the judge’s senior law clerk and perform the same duties as the law clerk, including researching, writing memoranda of law, drafting opinions, and generally observing and participating in the day-to-day operation of the court. Those selected for the Legal Externship Program work with teaching attorneys in a wide range of government and private practice settings.
Chicago-Kent offers a two-semester sequence in trial advocacy taught by judges and practitioners with extensive trial experience. In the first semester, students practice jury selection, opening statements, direct examination, cross-examination, and closing arguments, and they conduct at least two full trials. In the second semester, students learn strategic trial techniques and conduct at least four full trials.
An advanced course in litigation technology ensures students are prepared to use computer technology in the courtroom, a critical aspect of contemporary trial practice.
Applicants for admission to Chicago-Kent must have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university prior to beginning classes at the law school. Students are admitted to the law school based on the information contained in their applications, their LSAT scores, undergraduate records, personal statements, and their letters of recommendation.
All candidates must take the LSAT and register with the LSAC Credential Assembly Service. For additional information on admission requirements, potential students should contact the law school admissions office at 312.906.5020 or visit the Chicago-Kent admissions website at kentlaw.iit.edu.
With Stuart School of Business
With University of Illinois at Chicago
The college offers both full-time and part-time divisions. Entrance, scholastic, and graduate requirements are the same for both divisions, and full-time faculty teach in both divisions. Entering classes begin only in the fall, but incoming first-year evening students may take one course during the summer semester before their first year. Three years are normally required for full-time day division students to complete the 87 credit hours needed for the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Evening division and part-time day division students normally take four years, including one summer session, to graduate. A selection of courses is offered each summer, mostly in the evening. First-year courses are required, but full-time students participating in the 1L Your Way program may defer Legislation until the second year in favor of taking an approved elective or special clinical rotation during the spring term. Most courses in the second and third years are elective, although the faculty recommends that all students take certain upper-class courses. In addition to traditional courses, the curriculum offers a wide variety of innovative courses and seminars to enrich the student’s academic experience.
Chicago-Kent offers Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree programs in family law; financial services law; international intellectual property law; taxation; trial advocacy; and U.S., international, and transnational law. Each program requires 24 credit hours. The courses are taught by outstanding practitioners and offer students the opportunity to do advanced research and writing under the direct supervision of a faculty member. A student may pursue these programs on a full-or part-time basis. The LL.M. degree programs in financial services law; international intellectual property law; trial advocacy; and U.S., international, and transnational law are offered to foreign attorneys. Chicago-Kent also offers combined J.D./LL.M. degree programs in taxation, family law, and financial services law, which enable students to earn both degrees after seven semesters of full-time residence, instead of eight.
The J.S.D. degree is Chicago-Kent’s most advanced degree, designed primarily for those who are interested in sustained independent legal research and writing with the ultimate goal of pursuing a career in legal academics. The basic aim of the program is to provide opportunity and encouragement for distinguished scholarship through advanced coursework, seminars, colloquia, and independent research, under the advice and guidance of members of the Chicago-Kent faculty. To earn the degree, candidates are required to submit a dissertation and to pass an oral defense of the dissertation within five years of enrollment in the program.
Chicago-Kent offers a combined J.D./LL.M. program in family law that allows students to gain the broad expertise required of contemporary family law practitioners. The practice-oriented curriculum—the only one of its kind in the United States—encompasses family law and attendant, increasingly complex issues of tax, finance, real estate, business entities, contracts, and child psychology.
Deregulation of financial services, tax reforms, and revolutionary market forces have created an environment in which attorneys and other professionals must broaden their knowledge and sharpen their analytical skills and understanding in these areas. The graduate program in financial services law offers both full- and part-time students a unique opportunity to broaden their understanding of the principles underlying increasingly complex systems and services, deepen their knowledge of particular topics of interest, and enhance their skills as professionals. Courses are offered on weekday evenings and on Saturdays.
The law school offers a combined J.D./LL.M. program in taxation that enables a student to earn both a J.D. and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in taxation in a total of seven semesters of full-time study, instead of eight. A student may take six LL.M. courses (12 credit hours of coursework) while a J.D. candidate. These 12 credit hours will be applied toward both the J.D. and the LL.M.
The student will earn the J.D. in the usual time but will then go on, as a graduate student with advanced standing, to earn the LL.M. in only one additional semester instead of two. A degree of Master of Laws in Taxation is a recognized certification of exceptional knowledge and skill in tax law and tax planning.
A joint-degree J.D./M.B.A. program in conjunction with Stuart School of Business allows students to receive both J.D. and M.B.A. degrees in a reduced time period, depending on undergraduate preparation. The primary objective of the program is to provide law students with a strong academic background in management. This program is particularly valuable for those law students who intend to be involved in activities and commercial transactions within the business community. The M.B.A. program’s focus on professional specialization, combined with business-oriented law courses in the law school curriculum, enhances a lawyer’s ability to work effectively as part of the corporate and business worlds.
The law school, in conjunction with Stuart School of Business, offers a joint-degree J.D./M.S. in Finance. The program is designed for students who wish to specialize in securities and commodities law for a law firm, brokerage firm, commodity exchange or trading company. Students gain a unique perspective on the economics of financial products and markets that are used to advise clients, to propose regulation, or to litigate.
The law school offers a joint J.D./M.S. in Sustainability Management degree program in conjunction with Stuart School of Business. The Sustainability Management Program is a unique multidisciplinary program integrating engineering, law, and business management to answer the increasing demand for management-level personnel who have an understanding of environmental issues. An attorney with environmental training is able to work either as a lawyer or in corporate or governmental management.
The law school offers a joint-degree J.D./M.P.A. in conjunction with Stuart School of Business. This program explores practices and policies in the public sector.
The law school offers a joint-degree J.D./M.P.H. in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Students in the program must independently matriculate into the UIC School of Public Health. The comprehensive curriculum addresses contemporary issues at the intersection of public health, law, and medicine. Students in the joint-degree program acquire legal tools to help solve pressing public health problems, learn how to impact public policymakers, explore and understand the empirical assumptions about public health that drive legal decision-making, and discover how emerging medical technologies and new healthcare delivery mechanisms are likely to be regulated.
Students enrolled in the J.D. program at Chicago-Kent may earn certificates in specialized areas. Certificates indicate that, as part of the required J.D. curriculum, the student has completed an identified subset of elective courses in the area of specialization.
- Business Law
- Criminal Litigation
- Environmental and Energy Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- International and Comparative Law
- Labor and Employment Law
- Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Praxis Program
- Public Interest Law
The Business Law Certificate Program allows students to explore a broad range of business-related topics to build legal careers representing small and large businesses and corporations. Graduates have a solid understanding of the basic principles of business and commercial law and are familiar with the increasingly complex regulatory environment that business lawyers commonly encounter in practice. The curriculum includes traditional subjects such as business organizations, securities regulation, and taxation. It also allows students to focus on individual interests by including an extensive array of elective courses such as E-Commerce, International Capital Markets, Employment Relationships, and Futures Regulation. The program requires a total of 24 credit hours emphasizing both theory and practice. Students must take three required courses, two courses from a list of core courses, additional courses from a list of elective courses, and a specialized legal writing course, and must complete an experiential requirement.
Chicago-Kent’s Program in Criminal Litigation is designed to give students a comprehensive and balanced professional education to prepare them for the practice of criminal law. To earn the certificate, students must complete 25 credit hours of coursework from an approved curriculum. With emphases on both theory and practical skills development, the certificate program represents an opportunity to synthesize the goals of Chicago-Kent’s academic program in criminal law with those of the Trial Advocacy Program and the Chicago-Kent Law Offices.
The Program in Environmental and Energy Law trains students to be environmental and energy professionals, as well as law practitioners. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to the field’s scientific, economic, and ethical aspects, the program immerses students in the statutes and administrative regulations, case decisions, and theoretical underpinnings of environmentalism. The program attracts students from a wide range of professions. A highly regarded faculty teaches a carefully considered curriculum addressing a wide variety of cutting-edge issues.
Students in the program complete 14 credit hours of approved coursework. If students are full-time, these courses are taken during the second and third years; if students are part-time, courses are taken during the second, third, and fourth years.
Intellectual property lawyers work where the law intersects with technology, science, and the arts to protect their clients’ creative products. The field of intellectual property law focuses on issues relating to patents, copyrights, trade secrets, unfair competition, and antitrust. As part of the program’s rigorous practical skills training, students learn how to draft intellectual property documents through specialized legal research and writing courses and develop litigation skills by participating in moot court competitions. The program encourages scholarship and discourse among academics, practitioners, and students with events like the Chicago Intellectual Property Colloquium. Students complete 20 credit hours of approved coursework, including courses in patent law, copyright law, and trademark and unfair competition law.
In a climate of continuous change, Chicago-Kent’s Program in International and Comparative Law addresses the law’s global implications and extensive reach. Students can learn how to conduct an international business transaction, develop the skills to navigate between different legal regimes, and learn about the legal structures of international institutions and organizations. The program offers opportunities to link coursework to externships, foreign law study, and projects in nations across the globe. Students in the program must successfully complete 14 credit hours of course study in international and comparative law, including a 2-credit seminar.
Students can take advantage of the Library of International Relations, which contains a diverse collection of international legal, historical, and business-related reference materials and is a depository library for the United Nations and the European Union.
The Program in Labor and Employment Law is the centerpiece of Chicago-Kent’s Institute for Law and the Workplace. Through a logical, carefully paced sequence of coursework and practical skills training, the program provides comprehensive, rigorous preparation for the field of labor and employment law. To earn a certificate, program participants must complete four core courses, a seminar course, a practicum, and an additional labor/employment elective. The core courses are Labor Law, Employment Relationships, Employment Discrimination, and a specialized advanced legal research and writing course in labor and employment law.
Chicago-Kent’s Program in Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution offers an innovative curriculum that stresses the connection between legal doctrine, skills and values, and the art of lawyering. The program provides comprehensive training in trial skills, negotiation, and mediation, and a rigorous curriculum of clinical education. Students in the program complete a series of courses that includes evidence, pretrial litigation, trial advocacy, a judicial externship, and litigation and ADR clinical offerings. In-house clinical education takes place in the Law Offices of Chicago-Kent, the school’s acclaimed teaching law firm, where students work with clinical professors on cases in criminal, civil rights, employment, family, and tax law, as well as vaccine injury litigation.
The Praxis Program is designed for students who want to fully embrace a practice- or experience-based course of study. The curriculum capitalizes on the law school’s already robust hands-on learning offerings to guide participants through an individualized course of study designed to provide exposure to the core competencies required of successful lawyers. Participating students must complete the course Practice and Professionalism, take 24 credit hours of experiential or skills-based coursework, create a professional online portfolio, and satisfy a list of required core experiences drawn from a list of practice-based competencies. Students enrolled in the Praxis Program may concurrently enroll in an additional, subject-matter certificate program offered by Chicago-Kent.
The Certificate in Public Interest Law builds on Chicago-Kent’s strong public interest tradition and adds a concentrated curriculum to the rich array of activities, courses, and resources that encourage Chicago-Kent students to consider public interest law as a career and prepare students to be effective public interest lawyers. The certificate requires 12 credit hours, including Public Interest Law and Policy and a specialized advanced legal research and writing course concentrating on public interest law. Because the substantive scope of public interest lawyering is so broad, each student meets with the director of the program to plan additional courses that satisfy individual career and interest objectives.
Each student also meets several times with the Career Services Office to complete a personalized Public Interest Career Path Plan.
The Public Interest Law Certificate is distinct from, but coordinated with, the current volunteer program of pro bono activities at the law school. The Chicago-Kent Certificate of Service, which can be obtained by volunteering for pro bono service during law school under the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC), is a requirement for the Certificate in Public Interest Law, but the PIRC certificate remains a distinct credential that any student can obtain.