Diversity at Chicago-Kent College of Law
Chicago-Kent is committed to maintaining the diverse community that has been one of its strengths since its founding more than a century ago. The first female student was a graduate of the class of 1891, and Ida Platt, the first African-American woman admitted to the bar in Illinois and the second black woman admitted to practice law in the United States, was a graduate of the class of 1894.
In 2002, Chicago-Kent was awarded the 2002 Diversity Award by the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) for the law schools continuing commitment to diversifying the legal profession. In 2003, Chicago-Kent alums headed up the Cook County Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, National Hispanic Prosecutors Association, Women's Bar Association of Illinois, Illinois Judges Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and Chicago Bar Association.
Today, students of color make up 19 percent of the student body, and 46 percent of the students are women. The law school attracts students with diverse backgrounds and interests, which is reflected in the approximately 40 student organizations that are active on campus each year.
Composition of enrollment:
During the 2009-2010 year, 5.2% of law students are African-American, 9.2% are Asian, 4.6% are Hispanic and .3% are Native American.
Student Career Opportunity Highlights
Chicago-Kent students are selected annually for prestigious scholarships and summer opportunities with firms, corporate counsel, and Judges:
- Lalania Gilkey-Johnson ('08), was part of the team that won the 58th annual National Moot Court Competition, the nation's largest appellate advocacy tournament. She was also President of the Moot Court Honor Society, and has begun her career at Schiff Hardin
- Joshua Jones ('08), was part of the teams that won both the 32nd and 33rd annual National Trial Competition, the premier trial advocacy tournament in the United States. In 2008 he won the competitions "Best Advocate Award." He has begun his career with the Federal Defenders Association in San Diego
- Cynthia Lovering ('09) was selected through the Association of Corporate Counsel Minority Law Student Summer Internship Program to spend her 1L summer at Accenture, and by DLA Piper to spend her second summer as a summer associate.
- Theresa Williams ('09), received the SmithAmundsen Excellence in Legal Writing Award, was an Ida Platt Achievement Award Recipient, participated in the Judicial Internship Opportunity Program, and spent her second summer at Schiff Hardin, where she is now an associate.
- Melanie Davis ('10), Past-President of the Black Law Students Association ('08-'09), was selected by the Association of Corporate Counsel Minority Law Student Summer Internship Program to spend her 1L summer at Verizon Wireless and by JIOP.
- Anna Lusero ('10), Past-President of the Hispanic Latino Law Student Association ('08-'09) was the 2008 Jenner & Block Diversity Scholarship recipient. She was selected as a PILI Intern by the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago during her 1L summer.
- Michelle Holbert ('11), the Secretary of the Black Law Students Association ('09-'10) was selected through the Association of Corporate Counsel Minority Law Student Summer Internship Program to spend her 1L summer at Danaher as the sole legal intern in its Product Identification Division.
- Crystal Correa ('12), President of the Hispanic Law Students Association ('09-'10) was selected for the Judicial Internship Opportunity Program during her 1L summer and was in the elite eight in the National Latina/o Law Students Association Moot Court Competition (fall 2009).
During the summers of 2006-2009, 52 students were selected by the American Bar Association Litigation Division's Judicial Internship Opportunity Program (JIOP) where they have had the opportunity to extern with a Judge during the summer.
The Career Services Office promotes scholarship opportunities, summer association positions, receptions, and other programs sponsored by firms throughout the year.
Annual Diversity Events at Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program: undergraduate college students from disadvantaged groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession are invited to learn about law school through this annual summer session.
- Students of Color and Cultural Diversity Open House for Admitted Students
- Students of Color and Cultural Diversity Welcome for New Students
- Diversity Networking Reception: in fall and/or spring semesters
- Student Bar Association Diversity Day: during spring semester
- Multi-Cultural Graduation Celebration: during spring semester
Diverse Student Organizations
- Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)
- Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
- Chicago-Kent Lambdas
- Hispanic-Latino Law Students Association (HLLSA)
- Muslim Law Student Association (MLSA)
- Society of Women in Law (WIL)
- South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA)
Diversity Partnerships with Law Firms
Jenner & Block Diversity Scholarship
Jenner & Block has partnered with the law school to support this annual diversity scholarship for a first year law student.
Smith Amundsen Excellence in Legal Writing Award
The writing award is part of a $50,000 gift from Smith Amundsen LLC to support the law school's diversity initiatives over the next five years. The award will be given annually to a first-year student, selected by Chicago-Kent's legal writing faculty and law firm representatives, who has written the best brief and who "adds to the diversity of the legal community."
DLA Piper and Accenture Legal Externship
This externship will allow 2L or 3L the opportunity to work as an extern for school credit at DLA Piper and Accenture.