Zoe Arthurson-McColl ’20 and Karen Maxwell ’19 receive 2019 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

 Zoe Arthurson-McColl ’20 and Karen Maxwell ’19 are the recipients of the 2019 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic at Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology.

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 Clinic 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.

“The award is important because it recognizes work far above and beyond the minimal clinic requirements,” says Clinical Professor Richard Kling, who supervised Arthurson-McColl and Maxwell in the Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic. “It recognizes that when many law students are on the beaches for their semester breaks, the awardees are in the library, on the computer, or out in the streets looking for witnesses.”

Zoe Arthurson-McColl ’20
Zoe Arthurson-McColl ’20 is one of two recipients of the 2019 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic.

Arthurson-McColl, who will graduate from Chicago-Kent in December 2019, earned a Ph.D. in criminology, law, and society from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Calgary in Canada. During law school she worked in the Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic first as an intern and then as a Public Interest Criminal Defense Litigation fellow. While working at the clinic, she got her 711 license, which allows law students to represent clients in court under the supervision of licensed attorneys.

“I think that I am as prepared as I could possibly be to become a criminal defense lawyer after graduation because of my time working in the Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic with Professor Kling,” says Arthurson-McColl. “Beyond benefitting from Professor Kling's professional knowledge and experience, he’s taught me that I need to have things outside of work in order to be truly effective as an advocate.”

Additionally, Arthurson-McColl was a legal intern with Illinois’s Office of the State Appellate Defender. As a fellow for Chicago-Kent’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, she wrote posts for the ISCOTUSnow blog about Supreme Court arguments and opinions. 

Karen Maxwell ’19
Karen Maxwell ’19 is one of two recipients of the 2019 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic.

Maxwell graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and spent several years working in communications for various organizations, including the YMCA of the USA, Foley and Lardner LLP, CNA Financial Corporation, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. 

Maxwell was an extern for Kling in the Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic and got her 711 license. “A student, especially one interested in criminal law, would be hard-pressed to find a mentor with more knowledge, experience, or humor than Professor Kling,” she says. “I learned more about client interaction, defense strategies, courtroom procedures, and applying the rules of evidence by working with Professor Kling than I could have anticipated.”

During law school Maxwell was a legal intern for the Federal Defender Program and a judicial extern for the Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She contributed a chapter titled “Relieving the Hardships of Joblessness: An Unemployment Compensation Law Primer” to the 2019 Employment Law Update (Wolters Kluwer), edited by Professor Henry H. Perritt Jr. Additionally Maxwell was a teaching assistant for Professor Stephanie Stern and a student editor for the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal. Maxwell has been appointed as a public defender in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

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, Florida, and West Palm Beach, Florida.