Monica Pechous Wins the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education 2020 Willis R. Tribler Law Student Writing Competition

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Monica Pechous has won the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) 2020 Willis R. Tribler Law Student Writing Competition for her article “The Impact of Technology on Home Rule Power in Illinois.” This is her third writing competition win over the past year.

Monica Pechous
Monica Pechous

In the paper, Pechous examines home rule power in Illinois and its relationship to emerging technology. Since new technology such as streaming services and cloud-based service platforms have no physical location where transactions occur, there is some confusion about the scope of home rule power for municipalities. Pechous covers existing law in the paper and offers specific tips and guidelines to practicing attorneys on how they can adapt as home rule power changes and shifts over time.

“Monica Pechous’s writing competition winning streak is an outstanding and rare achievement,” says Chicago-Kent Dean Anita K. Krug. “She is a talented writer, and we are so proud of her accomplishments.”

Home rule and constitutional law have become key research interests for Pechous. In a previous article, “Do Illinois Municipalities Have Their Heads in the ‘Cloud?’: Home Rule as Applied to Online Platforms,” she argues that Illinois municipalities should be able to tax and regulate cloud-based platforms operating in their jurisdictions. The article won the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association 2020 Franklin W. Klein Law Student Writing Competition.

Last December, Pechous won first place in the American Kennel Club’s 2019 Companion Animal Law Writing Contest. Her article, “A Leash Too Tight: A Case for a ‘Pet-Integrative’ Society,” focused on laws regarding fraudulent service animals and advocated for greater public accommodation for well-behaved pets in public spaces to address discrimination against people with legitimate service animals.

Pechous says she owes a special thanks to Chicago-Kent Visiting Assistant Professor Alexandra Franco, who has mentored her through all of her writing competitions and has constantly encouraged her to publish her work. As a research assistant for University Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Institute for Science, Law and Technology Director Lori Andrews, she says that Andrews’s “guidance has taught her so much about the research component of writing any paper.” Pechous says that being on this winning streak for writing competitions is unbelievable.

 “I truly love to write and almost think of it like a hobby, so it’s an amazing feeling to be recognized for something that I genuinely enjoy doing,” she says. “It has also been great to see how many people support me in these endeavors—it makes me feel like all the effort and hard work that goes into writing these articles is worth it.”

Pechous worked remotely as an intellectual property litigation clerk for Tucker Ellis LLP in St. Louis this past summer and has accepted an offer to work as an associate attorney at the firm upon bar passage. She is graduating early and will receive her degree this December.

Born in Chicago, Pechous grew up in Las Vegas and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a B.S. in business administration and marketing and a B.A. in communication studies. At Chicago-Kent she is a Moot Court Honor Society competitor and a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review. Along with her research assistant position with ISLAT, Pechous has worked in C-K Law Offices criminal defense litigation clinic.

The IICLE® award is named after the late Willis R. Tribler, a former chairman and member of the IICLE® Board of Directors and a founding member and senior partner of Tribler Orpett & Meyer. IICLE® is the premier provider of continuing legal education in the State of Illinois. Pechous’s article was published in IICLE’s e-newsletter Flashpoints. She will receive her award at a future IICLE® event.