Jeffrey Michalik and Jenna Kim receive the 2017 Marc Grinker Student Commitment Award

Friday, March 2, 2018

Jenna Kim and Jeffrey Michalik, both May 2017 graduates of Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech, are the recipients of the 2017 Marc Grinker Student Commitment Award.

The award was created in memory of Professor Marc A. Grinker, a member of the Chicago-Kent faculty from 1990 until his death in 1996, who served as the first director of the law school's Appellate Advocacy Program. Under his leadership, the program won local, regional and national individual and interscholastic honors. The Grinker Award honors students who embody Professor Grinker’s dedication to the program and to the law school.

Jenna Kim '17
Jenna Kim '17

Jenna Kim earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Along with her teammates Maxwell Eichenberger and Kathleen Karnig, she won the 2016 William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition—a third consecutive title in that competition for Chicago-Kent—and the competition's best brief award. In 2017, Kim, Karnig and Eichenberger placed second and earned the second-best brief in the 2017 Andrews Kurth Moot Court Competition. In 2015-16, she served as president of Chicago-Kent's Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. Kim is currently working as an associate in the Chicago office of Littler Mendelson P.C., practicing labor and employment law. 

"Jenna has had a wonderful competitive career in moot court at Chicago-Kent, but that's not why she's winning the Grinker Award," said Professor Kent Streseman, current director of the appellate advocacy program. "She has been instrumental in inspiring first-year students to take a shot at joining the Moot Court Honor Society and to develop the skills necessary to make it. She has been an outstanding mentor and coach to our new members. And she has worked tirelessly behind the scenes as a member of our executive board to keep the society running smoothly and to make it a better organization. Her impact will be lasting."

Jeffrey Michalik '17
Jeffrey Michalik '17

Jeffrey Michalik graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with a bachelor's degree in psychology. He and his teammates Alyssa Jutovsky '17 and Emily Linehan '17 were semi-finalists in the 2016 National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition. Michalik and his teammates Maxwell Eichenberger '17, Jeffrey Goldberg '17 and Stephanie Wolf '17 were the top-ranked U.S. team in the inaugural Ian Fletcher International Insolvency Law Moot. In spring 2017, Michalik and Eichenberger traveled to Sydney, Australia, to compete in that tournament’s international finals, where they placed in the top four overall. Michalik is currently working as an associate in the Restructuring Group in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. 

"Jeff has been a great competitor, coach, mentor, and ambassador for the program," said Professor Streseman. "He is an outstanding practice judge, and he is supremely generous with his time and his intellect. As one nominator said, everyone has a story (me included) about a coaching session with Jeff because he has given time to every one of our teams and, it seems, most of the last two 1L classes. And he does so in a way that embodies what works about our program: he asks challenging, on-point questions that get to the heart of things, then follows up with thoughtful, kind, constructive advice. He does all of this despite a mind-boggling array of demands on his time."

Chicago-Kent's Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy, the umbrella program for many of the law school’s moot court activities, was established in 1992. Since then, Chicago-Kent students have won numerous individual honors and regional and national competitions, including consecutive titles in the New York City Bar Association’s National Moot Court Competition.