Diversity Outreach and Community Partnerships
The IIT Chicago-Kent community participates in a variety of partnerships and outreach and development programs designed to raise awareness of legal careers among students from underrepresented groups, as well as to help students prepare for law school.
Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program
The Chicago-Kent Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program offers a unique and unforgettable experience for college students who are interested in the legal profession. This rigorous three-week program is designed to provide students with a "taste" of the law school experience.
The PLUS Program is primarily directed at undergraduate college students from groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession.
DiscoverLaw Programming with the Chicago Public Schools
Each year, Chicago-Kent partners with the Chicago Public Schools to sponsor outreach programming for high school students who may be considering careers in law. Participants are introduced to the law school admissions process, first-year curriculum, and career opportunities in law. Support for this initiative is provided through the LSAC DiscoverLaw program.
- 2017–18 "So You Think You Want to Be a Lawyer" Project: This exciting two program series will be held on Saturday, March 3, and Saturday, March 17. Both events are free. Participants will discuss strategies they can use to prepare for law school while in high school and in college; learn what it means to be a law student; get a glimpse into a day in the life of lawyers who practice law in a variety of ways; and experience "a day in court" by participating in a mock trial. All of the programs will be interactive, allowing participants to engage in hands on activities and meet current law students and practicing attorneys.
The three-day JumpStart Program is designed to prepare incoming law students to tackle the challenges they will face in the first year of law school, as well as to expose them to the intricacies of the legal profession. The JumpStart Program continues beyond the summer preview through its mentorship and supplemental academic programs during participants' first year in law school, including but not limited to support with case briefing, outlining and exam preparation. There is no tuition cost to participate.
JumpStart is sponsored and organized by the Chicago Consortium of Legal Diversity Professionals (of which Chicago-Kent is a member), in partnership with Just The Beginning Foundation (JTBF), the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms (CCM), and Minority Legal Education Resources Inc. (MLER).
Chicago Consortium of Legal Diversity Professionals
The Chicago Consortium of Legal Diversity Professionals is a collaboration between diversity leaders from the six Chicago-area law schools. In conjunction with its partners, the consortium works to provide a broader network of resources to Chicago-area law students.
Future Ties Partnership
This past year, Chicago-Kent partnered with Future Ties to educate a group of high school students from Parkway Gardens Apartments, a low-income housing complex on Chicago's South Side. The sessions, designed to enhance high school students’ understanding of law and the legal profession, were planned through the Discover Law program coordinated by Chicago-Kent’s Marsha Ross-Jackson, senior lecturer and assistant dean, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Michelle Vodenik, senior director and public interest/diversity adviser in the Career Services Office.