Chicago-Kent Assistant Professor Greg Reilly Honored with Illinois Tech’s 2020 John W. Rowe University Excellence in Teaching Award

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Chicago-Kent College of Law Assistant Professor Greg Reilly is the recipient of Illinois Tech’s 2020 John W. Rowe University Excellence in Teaching Award.

Greg Reilly
Greg Reilly

Established in 2014, the award recognizes faculty who have made notable contributions to their profession and to the university. It is named for John W. Rowe, past chairman of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees and chairman emeritus of Exelon Corporation, for his commitment to leadership, education, and service.

A member of the faculty since 2016, Reilly is co-director of the Program in Intellectual Property Law. He teaches Patent Law and Civil Procedure. Reilly’s research focuses on how institutions and decision makers resolve patent disputes, often addressing the intersection of intellectual property and procedure/federal courts. Student evaluations of his courses are consistently some of the highest in the law school.

“I’m honored to receive the John W. Rowe Teaching Award. The enthusiastic and hardworking students at Chicago-Kent make my job very rewarding,” Reilly said. “I especially appreciate them always laughing at my jokes, no matter how bad.”

In his nomination, fellow colleagues and students say that Reilly has a dynamic teaching style that engages students with difficult material in a way that is intellectually rigorous and accessible. Reilly’s passion for intellectual property law comes across in his teaching, and students appreciate that he brings real, modern-day patent issues into classroom conversations. He is a master of using creative PowerPoint slides, which he blends with a constructive, problem-solving approach to the Socratic method that empowers students to solve problems, rather than stump or mislead them.

One of the courses he teaches, a required Civil Procedure course for first-year students, can have up to 70 students. Reilly calls on them by their first names and preferred pronouns, and students say that the small-group discussions and the detailed feedback he provides on assignments makes it feel like an intimate 10-person class. He also regularly holds “Reilly’s Roundtables,” informal brownbag lunch get-togethers for students to connect with him and other students outside of the classroom.

“I am so happy that the university has recognized Greg for his excellence in teaching. His classes are well-framed, relevant, and lively, and he has an amazing ability to make the most difficult and challenging concepts easier to understand,” said Chicago-Kent Dean Anita K. Krug. “We are tremendously fortunate to have Greg on our faculty.”

Reilly earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and taught 7th grade with Teach for America in eastern North Carolina before attending Harvard Law School. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Timothy B. Dyk of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Reilly spent five years as an associate in the San Diego office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, where he had extensive appellate and district court experience litigating patent, trademark, complex commercial, and products liability cases.

Prior to joining the Chicago-Kent faculty, Reilly held a tenure-track appointment at California Western School of Law and was a Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellow and lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Reilly will receive the award at a faculty recognition and awards reception this fall.

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