Council on Legal Education Opportunity honors IIT Chicago-Kent for its commitment to diversity in the legal profession

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is one of 45 law schools that were recognized for supporting the Council on Legal Education (CLEO) at the organization's 45th anniversary reception—"45 for 45"—held September 26 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

IIT Chicago-Kent was also named a member of the "William A. Blakey Diversity Pipeline Architects," a newly formed group named in honor of CLEO's late chairman/chairman emeritus William "Buddy" Blakey. The entire group of 135 comprises 45 individuals, 45 law schools, and 45 law firms, corporations and associations.

According to CLEO representatives, "Mr. Blakey dedicated the majority of his professional life to ensuring that the educational ‘pipeline' was readily accessible to all students who exhibited ‘the aptitude, fortitude, and passion' to successfully pursue a quality education. By supporting CLEO and organizations like it, IIT Chicago-Kent and the other ‘architects' were cited for doing their part to help ensure that the legacy Mr. Blakey worked diligently to establish is carried on in perpetuity."

"CLEO is very proud of our 45 years of helping to ‘change the face' of the legal profession," said CLEO executive director Cassandra Sneed Ogden. "We are truly excited about acknowledging our inaugural group of ‘William A. Blakey Diversity Pipeline Architects' in the nation's capital. Without their ongoing support, it would have been difficult to carry out the important work the organization has done since 1968."

"We also take great joy in knowing that Buddy would be extremely pleased to see his legacy carried on in this fashion. This is a major milestone in CLEO's long and storied existence," she said.

"I am proud of this recognition of our school's extensive pipeline efforts," said IIT Chicago-Kent Dean Harold J. Krent. "We have worked hard to ensure that law school can become a reality for students from groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession."

Established in 1968 to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity is the oldest national pipeline organization committed to diversifying the legal profession. More than 8,500 students have participated in CLEO's pre-law, law school academic, and professional development programs. Persons interested in learning more about CLEO are encouraged to visit the organization's websites at (pre-law) and (law students, alumni and legal professionals).

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is celebrating "125 years of distinctive legal education." IIT Chicago-Kent 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 committed to maintaining the diverse community that has been one of its strengths since its founding more than a century ago. Emma Baumann, the first female student, was a graduate of the class of 1891. 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.