1L Welcome Picnic

Meet your new classmates and enjoy free food at the 1L Welcome Picnic!

Sunday, August 21 @ 2:00-5:00 pm Hessel Park (just west of Neil on Kirby)


Sponsored by: Student Bar Association, Corporate & Business Law Association, Criminal Law Society, Illinois State Bar Association Student Division, Latino/Latina Law Students Association, Muslim Law Students Association, Outlaw, Prisoners’ Rights Research Project


Spring Mentorship Social Event

On March 3, 2011, WLS mentors and mentees gathered at Seven Saints in downtown Champaign for the spring mentorship social event.

WLS provides a program for its 1L members where it matches them up with 2L or 3L members who serve as their mentors for the year. Mentors and mentees generally get together a few times per semester to discuss classes, outlining, and anything else that comes up during the whirlwind that is law school.

In addition to these informal meetings, the WLS 1L Committee plans two social events for its mentors and mentees, one in the fall and one in the spring. These events encourage students to venture off campus and take a break from studying to meet other members of WLS over dinner and drinks.


Dean Stories

Interested in learning more about our amazing deans at the College of Law? Then come to the Dean Stories for a Q&A with Dean Smith, Dean Vermillion, Dean Columbo, and Dean Ribstein.

Event Details

What: Dean Stories

When: Tuesday, April 26th at noon

Where: Room D

The event is open to all College of Law students. Come prepared with any questions you may have for the deans. We hope to see you there!

1L Course Panel

Last week WLS held its annual 1L Course Panel. Panelists advised 1L WLS members on what classes to take their 2L year, as well as answer questions about Journals, Clinics, Moot Court, and other student organization involvement.  Panelist also talk about On Campus Interviewing (OCI), which takes place the fall of 2L year.

Here are a few takeaways from the event:

  • Don’t forget about summer classes. If you are working in Champaign this is a great opportunity to take Evidence with Professor Beckett. This is especially helpful if you are looking to participate in trial team.
  • If you are interested in transactional work – BA I is a must. Panel members also encouraged taking bankruptcy given our faculty’s knowledge on the subject.
  • For the writing competition – watch out for emails from various organizations. Student groups tend to host events about how to succeed in the note writing competition.
  • Plan ahead for your first semester of 2L year. It is extremely busy especially during interview season. A majority of students like to take a lighter course load in the Fall.
  • Best tip for OCI – find a mentor. A majority of the panelist had professor mentors who they spoke with before/after interviews.

Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Event

The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ Young Lawyers’ Committee Presents

“For Your Summer, For Your Career:

Making the Most of Your Law Degree”

Keynote Speaker: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams

Panel Discussion (Auditorium): 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Panel discussion to provide law students and young lawyers

with advice for starting their legal career.  Panelists include:

Aurora Austriaco, Austriaco & Associates, Ltd.
Josie Gough, Director of Experiential Learning, Loyola Chicago School of Law
The Honorable Rosemary Higgins, Cook County Circuit Court, Criminal Division
The Honorable Angela Petrone, Cook County Circuit Court, Criminal Division
Amy Rubenstein, Schiff Hardin LLP
Diana White, Executive Director of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago

Reception (Lobby): 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Hosted cocktail reception open to law students and attorneys.



WLS Symposium

Join Women’s Law Society for the

21st Annual Symposium



February 23 and 24, 2011 at the College of Law

February 23

Keynote Speaker: Emma Ketteringham

Gender Equality

Auditorium at Noon, Lunch provided

Jeffrey Leving

Father’s Rights

Auditorium at 5:00 p.m.

February 24

Elizabeth Walder


Room D at Noon, Kosher Lunch Provided

Sponsored by JLSA and LLSA

Professor Menah Pratt-Clark

Racial Equality

Auditorium at 3:00 p.m.

Sponsored by BLSA

Lindsay Charles

Why Women Should Embrace Firearm Ownership by Law-abiding Adults: Feminism and the Second Amendment Rights

Auditorium at 4:20 p.m.

Sponsored by the Federalist Society

Judge Blockman & Alumni Panel

Gender Equality

Auditorium  at 6:00 p.m.

Please join us for a reception to follow.

Speaker Information:

Ms. Emma Ketteringham, JD, is Director of Legal Advocacy for National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Before working in this position, she worked at The Bronx Defenders as a criminal defense attorney and later became the Deputy Managing Attorney of the family law practice.  At The Bronx Defenders, Ms. Ketteringham trained and supervised attorneys who represented parents in abuse, neglect and termination of parental rights proceedings.  She also participated in numerous court-based and independent coalitions to develop pro-family policies and practices in New York City Family Court. Previously, Ms. Ketteringham was a litigation associate at Lansner and Kubitschek where she represented parents and children in state and federal court and at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where she worked on complex civil litigation.  Ms. Ketteringham clerked for two federal judges, first in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, then at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She has also worked as a Legal Assistant at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and as a law clerk at the American Civil Liberties Union for Southern California. She is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, where she was a Teaching Assistant for First Year Legal Practice and Writing and a Court Advocate for survivors of domestic violence. Emma holds a B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College.

Jeffery M. Leving, author of Fathers Rights and Divorce Wars and publisher of Levings Divorce Magazine, is also the founding partner of the Law Offices of Jeffery Leving where he focuses on issues pertaining to family law.  After receiving his Juris Doctor from IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law, Mr. Leving helped co-author several Illinois laws regarding topics ranging from Virtual Visitation and Joint Custody Law. He is also the recipient of several awards recognizing his contributions and holds the appointment as the Chairman of the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood.

Elizabeth Walder, a graduate of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, has established and developed Immigration Law Associates, P.C. into one of the largest law firms in the Chicagoland area dedicated exclusively to the practice of immigration law.  She has advised companies on numerous immigration issues, including advising companies on the international business advantages of obtaining J-1 designation.  She has also been featured on Russian and Korean television programs, as a recognized authority in the field of immigration law and as a supporter of ethnic communities in the U.S.  In addition, Ms. Walder maintains an active involvement in governmental affairs, conducting immigration seminars in conjunction with Illinois Senator Durbin’s office on the prospective impact of pending immigration legislation.

Adjunct Professor Menah Pratt-Clark teaches at the College of Law and serves as the assistant provost and associate director in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. She received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in literary study from the University of Iowa, and received her J.D. and Ph.D. in sociology from Vanderbilt University. Professor Pratt-Clarke has clerked for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as worked as an associate attorney in private practice areas such as real estate, public finance, and commercial lending. Furthermore, she has serves as university counsel at Vanderbilt University in real estate, regulatory law, and construction law and also as the university compliance officer and assistant secretary at Vanderbilt University. She currently teaches Critical Race Feminism at the College of Law.

Lindsay Charles is an associate at Goodwin Procter and a member of the American and Boston Bar Associations as well as a member of The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. Prior to joining Goodwin Procter, Ms. Charles was a legal fellow in the Office of General Counsel at the National Rifle Association of America. Ms. Charles will be addressing issues concerning firearms and women. Specifically, she will present arguments from her recent article, suggesting relaxed regulations on gun ownership and possession for women. In addition, Ms. Charles was also the author of an op-ed article entitled “Protect Private Funerals from Protect” in the Bangor Daily News in October of 2010.

Alumni Panel: Erin O’Boyle (Class of 2009, Assistant Attorney General of Illinois), Ruth Wyman (Class of 2004, Family Law Attorney at the Robert G. Kirchner Law Offices), Nanette Fosen (Class of 1996, Counsel at State Farm), and Betsy Wong (Class of 1974, Betsy Pendleton Wong Law Office)

Law School or Work…

By Vanessa

If you are a college senior interested in attending law school you may be torn over whether you should go to law school right way or take a break to pursue other opportunities. My senior year of college I decided to find full-time employment instead of applying to a graduate degree; in hindsight I believe I made the right decision.

My first piece of advice to college seniors torn over this decision is to take time off if they are not confident that law school, or any graduate program for that matter, is the appropriate path for them. I actually was not planning to pursue a legal degree after my senior year of college. I was a business economics major, and I thought a doctorate program may be the next step in my education. I did not apply because I had no extensive experience in academic research, and I wanted to explore what would be in store for me if I did pursue a graduate degree in economics.

This brings me to my second piece of advice; before you decide what graduate program to enter, have a true sense of the nature of the employment opportunities that may be available to you when you graduate. It is entirely possible for you to like a subject and not be happy as a practitioner in that field.  I came to understand this when I joined the research associate program at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York the summer after I graduated from college. In this program research associates have the opportunity to assist economists with their research and policy analysis. I quickly realized that I did not want my job objective to be the publication of journal articles, which is how I ruled out the prospect of pursuing a graduate degree in economics.

My third piece of advice is to align your strengths with the skills required by the profession you decide to enter. From working at the Federal Reserve, I realized I was interested in policy work and regulation related to the financial sector. I want to pursue opportunities that entail public speaking or interfacing with others regularly. Lastly, I enjoy qualitative analysis more than quantitative analysis; law school allows me to utilize these skills and pursue these interests.

If I had not taken time off I do not think I would have attended law school. I probably would have started a graduate program that I was not well suited for. My work experience allowed me to come to law school with a narrow interest in the areas of law I want to explore and an awareness of alternative employment opportunities for lawyers in the public sector.

My last word of advice is if you know law school is for you then go for it, but if you are hesitant there is not much lost in taking some time off and the sense of clarity and direction you can gain in that time could be worthwhile. If you have any questions regarding this topic please email wls@law.illinois.edu and we would be happy to assist you.