Dalia Labrador and Lydia Ness receive 2016 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Dalia Labrador '17 (left) and Lydia Ness '16 are the recipients of Chicago-Kent's 2016 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic.
Dalia Labrador '17 (left) and Lydia Ness '16 are the recipients of Chicago-Kent's 2016 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic.

Dalia Labrador '17 and Lydia Ness '16 are the recipients of the 2016 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic at Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech.

The awards, which include a cash stipend, are made at the end of the academic year to Chicago-Kent students who have demonstrated dedication to the criminal defense litigation program and who have provided "zealous advocacy" on behalf of the program's clients. Recipients are selected by Chicago-Kent faculty who teach in the law school's Certificate Program in Criminal Litigation.

Third-year student Dalia Labrador graduated with a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of South Florida. In 2014, she earned an M.B.A. degree from the University of San Pablo CEU in Madrid, Spain.

At Chicago-Kent, Labrador is a cases and controversies editor for the Journal of International and Comparative Law, a teaching assistant for Contract Law, and a member of the law school's nationally ranked trial advocacy team. Labrador completed a semester in Chicago-Kent's Judicial Externship Program with the Honorable Sidney Schenkier of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Since September 2015, Labrador has served as a legal intern in Chicago-Kent's Criminal Defense Clinic under the supervision of Professor Richard S. Kling.

Lydia Ness '16 graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in theology from Biola University in California. Starting in September 2016, Ness will spend two years as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Equip for Equality, an advocacy group for people with disabilities, providing legal services and outreach to protect people with disabilities from sexual abuse and sex trafficking.

During law school, Ness completed two semesters of Chicago-Kent's Legal Externship Program with Equip for Equality and was an intern at the Reparations Clinic in the Law Offices of Chicago-Kent and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. She was the executive cases and controversies editor for the Journal of International and Comparative Law. In 2015, Ness received a Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship to support her summer public interest work at Cabrini Green Legal Aid in Chicago. From January to May 2016, Ness was a legal fellow in the Chicago-Kent Criminal Defense Clinic, under the supervision of Professor Daniel T. Coyne.

The Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic were established by Chicago-Kent alumni and criminal defense attorneys Jack and Sidney Z. Fleischman in 2008 to recognize outstanding students in the criminal defense section of the Chicago-Kent Law Offices. In establishing the award, the Fleischmans also pay tribute to the contributions made to Chicago's legal community by their late grandfather, former Cook County Circuit Court judge Philip A. Fleischman, and their father, attorney Marshall A. Fleischman.

Jack and Sidney Fleischman are identical twins who participated in Chicago-Kent's criminal law clinic before they earned their law degrees in 1987. The Fleischman brothers currently are partners in their own criminal defense law firm, Fleischman & Fleischman PA, located in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, Florida.

Founded in 1888, 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.

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