IIT Chicago-Kent to participate in the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law will send two teams to participate in the 27th annual William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition February 23 to 25 at the University of Minnesota Law School. The competition is designed to give law students an opportunity to develop the oral advocacy and writing skills essential to be successful appellate lawyers, and to promote interest in civil rights law.
Second-year students Max Barack, Ramsin Canon and Amir Missaghi will compete on one of IIT Chicago-Kent's teams. The second IIT Chicago-Kent team will comprise second-year students Rachel Brady, Matthew Cogan and Alexandra Grace. (IIT Chicago-Kent won third-place honors in last year's competition.)
The students will argue a federal appellate case, Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of the University of Michigan. At issue is an amendment to the Michigan state constitution that prohibits affirmative action in college admissions. (In the actual court case, decided in July 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down the law.)
The competition is named for University of Minnesota Law School alumnus William E. McGee '80, the first African American to be appointed chief public defender in the State of Minnesota. Mr. McGee also served as a public defender and prosecutor for Hennepin County. During his career, he worked as a staff attorney and then as executive director at the Legal Rights Center, a non-profit, community-based organization that represents low-income people of color. Mr. McGee worked with numerous community and legal organizations, including the NAACP, the Legal Redress Committee, the Minnesota Criminal Rules Committee and the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, of which he was a founding member and a past president. He died in 2000 at the age of 47.
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. IIT Chicago-Kent is the only law school ever to win the National Trial Competition and the National Moot Court Competition in the same year (2008), and the first school in more than 30 years to win the National Moot Court Competition in two consecutive years (2008 and 2009).