Star line-up of legal innovators teach professional practice course at Chicago-Kent

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has assembled a line-up of leading industry experts to teach its Practice and Professionalism course, offered this fall to students in the law school's Praxis experiential learning program.

"This is a course with a roster that rivals, maybe even exceeds, the speakers at top-drawer legal industry conferences," said Andrew Baker '07, who helped recruit the experts. Baker is a director at Janders Dean and leads the firm's Legal Transformation Practice Group.

The course—led by Professor Ronald Staudt, director of Chicago-Kent's Center for Access to Justice & Technology, and Adjunct Professor William Hornsby—draws on regional and national experts to explain how technological change affects law firm operations and how the legal community can anticipate the next steps in the ethical delivery of legal services.

The elite group of experts includes leaders from Fortune Global 500 companies, large and midsize law firms, and legal aid organizations from around the country. Each guest teacher makes a unique contribution to one of the three segments of the course: small firm practice, corporate law practice and legal aid/public interest practice.

For example, to kick off the corporate law practice segment, corporate legal executives Carla Goldstein, Monica Weed and Joe Otterstetter presented on a panel called "More for Less, Alternative Fee Arrangements and the Great Disruption" on October 6. The panel discussion was organized by Andrew Baker and Maureen Aidasani, director of experiential learning at Chicago-Kent, who also moderated the class.

Chicago-Kent professor Daniel Martin Katz, director of the Law Lab, also teaches in the corporate law practice segment of the course. All the students will attend Professor Katz's keynote address at the College of Law Practice Futures Conference on Thursday, October 8.

On September 29 and October 1, Kevin Chern and Mary Andreoni joined Nancy Roberts Linder as judges of student business plans and funding pitches that concluded the first third of the course on personal plight practice and small law firms. In the last third of the class, legal aid directors from across the country will serve as institutional clients for student teams assigned to write a grant proposal for innovative pro bono funding.

Fall 2015 Course Leaders and Experts

  • Mary Andreoni, Ethics Education Counsel, Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
  • Andrew Baker '07, Director and Legal Transformation Practice Group Leader, Janders Dean
  • David Bonebrake '07, Program Counsel, Legal Services Corporation
  • Kevin Chern, Managing Partner, UpRight Law
  • Vince Cordo Jr., Global Sourcing Officer, Shell
  • Lisa Damon, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Susan Garcia Nofi, Executive Director, New Haven Legal Assistance Association Inc.
  • Carla Goldstein, Associate General Counsel and Director of Strategic Initiatives, BMO Financial Group
  • Kyle Hoover, Legal Project Manager, SeyfarthLean Consulting
  • William Hornsby, Staff Counsel, American Bar Association, and Adjunct Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Nancy Roberts Linder, Director of Marketing, Chapman & Cutler LLP
  • Ed Marks, Executive Director, New Mexico Legal Aid
  • Andrew Medeiros '12, Legal Solutions Architect, SeyfarthLean Consulting
  • Joe Otterstetter, Managing Counsel and Associate General Counsel, 3M
  • C. Kenneth Perri, Executive Director, Legal Assistance of Western New York Inc.
  • Joyce Raby, Interim Executive Director, Florida Justice Technology Center
  • Angela Tripp, Project Manager, Michigan Legal Help Program
  • Monica Weed, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Navigant Consulting
  • Diana White, Executive Director, Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF)

"It's exciting to provide our students with insights from such a spectacular group of experts," said Professor Staudt. "We are beyond grateful to our contributors for their time and involvement."

Practice and Professionalism, open to all Chicago-Kent students, is a required course for students enrolled in the law school's Praxis Program. In addition to completing required academic and clinical coursework, Praxis students learn about core competencies of successful practicing attorneys, engage in regular assessment of their development in these areas, and receive special instruction in topics ranging from law practice management to networking and client development.

"Economic pressures and rapid technological innovation have utterly transformed how legal services are delivered today," said Professor Aidasani, who also coordinates the Praxis Program. "The Practice and Professionalism course meets fundamental goals of Chicago-Kent's Praxis Certificate by providing students with insight into the realities of 21st Century law practice and perhaps more important by providing those insights through the voices of real clients."

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law.