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LSC and SJI honor IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Ronald W. Staudt for projects that improve access to justice

May 10, 2007

The Honorable Tommy Jewell (left) of the State Justice Institute's board of directors presents the 10th annual Howell Heflin Award to Professor Ronald Staudt at the 2007 Equal Justice Conference in Denver. (Photo courtesy of J. Ribadeneyra/NLADA.)Ronald W. Staudt, IIT Chicago-Kent professor and Illinois Institute of Technology associate vice president for law, business and technology, has been honored by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and the State Justice Institute (SJI). The awards were presented at the 2007 Equal Justice Conference, an annual event cosponsored by the American Bar Association and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. This year's conference was held in Denver, Colorado, March 22–24, 2007.

Professor Staudt received separate awards from each organization for innovative programming that makes the legal system more accessible to low-income individuals. Professor Staudt oversees the Access to Justice project (A2J), a legal services resource that uses technology to provide low-income individuals who are not represented by attorneys the tools to defend themselves in court in certain legal matters. A2J receives LSC and SJI funding.

The Legal Services Corporation presented Professor Staudt with the first-of-its-kind award for "outstanding contributions" to LSC's six-year-old Technology Initiative Grants program. In presenting the award, LSC president Helaine M. Barnett said, "From the start, our Technology Initiative Grants program has had no better friend, no stronger supporter, and no more generous contributor than Ron Staudt."

Professor Staudt was also named as the recipient of SJI's 10th annual Howell Heflin Award. The award, which recognizes an SJI-funded project likely to "significantly improve the quality of justice in state courts nationwide," is named for the late Howell T. Heflin, former U.S. senator (D-Ala.), former Alabama chief justice, and staunch SJI supporter.

A member of the Chicago-Kent faculty since 1978, Professor Staudt teaches Copyright Law, Intellectual Property Strategies, Internet Law, Public Interest Law and Policy, and Access to Justice and Technology. In 1983, he founded Chicago-Kent's Center for Law and Computers to promote the use of computers and other electronic technologies in the teaching, study and practice of law. In 1998, he was appointed Illinois Institute of Technology's associate vice president for law, business and technology.

Professor Staudt currently serves as director of Chicago-Kent's Center for Access to Justice and Technology, which develops Internet resources to support self-represented litigants and the attorneys who assist them. Professor Staudt also directs Chicago-Kent's J.D. certificate program in public interest law.

Professor Staudt received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and philosophy from St. Joseph's College. He earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the law review.

Prior to joining Chicago-Kent, Professor Staudt practiced with the firm of Hubacheck, Kelly, Rauch & Kirby. He also served as staff attorney and assistant director of the Pima County (Arizona) Legal Aid Society, and as a clinical fellow and lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School's Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic.

Professor Staudt is a member of the College of Law Practice Management board of trustees, the ABA Law Practice Management Section's E-Lawyering Task Force, the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services Advisory Council, and the ABA TechShow 2006 Planning Board.

More details about Staudt's initiatives can be found at www.a2jauthor.org.

For More Information:

Susan O'Brien
Assistant Dean for Public Affairs
(312) 906-5250