Why Chicago-Kent

Points of Pride

As the second-oldest law school in Illinois, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has achieved many milestones in its more than 125 year history.  These points of pride highlight some of our finest achievements, including those that reflect Chicago-Kent’s long-standing legacy of equality of opportunity and innovative legal education.

  • The first woman to earn a law degree from the school was Emma Baumann in 1891, only three years after Chicago College of Law was founded.
  • Ida Platt graduated with honors from Chicago College of Law in 1894. Platt soon became the first black woman admitted to the Illinois bar -- and only the second woman of color admitted to practice law in the United States. She later helped establish the Cook County Bar Association, the nation's oldest African-American bar association.
  • The first chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, the world’s largest legal fraternity, was founded at Chicago-Kent in 1902.
  • In 1923, the Chicago-Kent Law Review, one of the nation’s first law reviews, began continuous publication.
  • Chicago-Kent became one of few U.S. law schools to be affiliated with a technology-focused university when the law school merged with Illinois Institute of Technology in 1969.
  • Chicago-Kent’s award-winning Trial Advocacy program began in 1971.
  • The nation’s first in-house, fee-generating law school clinic was established at Chicago-Kent in 1976.
  • Chicago-Kent established the nation’s first three-year program in legal research, analysis and writing, a model now emulated at law schools across the country, in 1978.
  • Chicago-Kent is home to two LL.M. programs that were the first of their kind in the country.  The Graduate Program in Financial Services Law was established in 1981, followed by the LL.M. program in international intellectual property law in 2003.
  • Chicago-Kent established the Center for Law and Computers in 1983, becoming the nation's first law school to make the computer an integral part of the study of law. Many of the applications of technology now taken for granted in the law school classroom were pioneered at Chicago-Kent.
  • Chicago-Kent became the first law school to win the National Trial Competition and the National Moot Court Competition in the same year in 2008.
  • In 2008, Anita Alvarez, Class of 1986, was elected Cook County State’s Attorney. Alvarez is the first woman and first Hispanic to hold the position.
  • Since 2010, Chicago-Kent has been the home of the Oyez Project, a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. The site aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955.
  • Chicago-Kent launched the Institute for Compliance in Financial Markets in 2011. Law students who elect to take at least four of the courses and serve an externship will be awarded a Certificate in Compliance – no other law school in the country boasts such a certificate program.
  • In 2015, the Institute for Compliance launched an online Certificate in Financial Markets Compliance (FMC), the first program in the country to provide entry level and new compliance professionals a deep understanding of the field.
  • Chicago-Kent students won the National Trial Championship in the spring of 2015 for the third time in nine years and fourth time since 1988.
  • In 2015, the Cook County State's Attorney and the Cook County Public Defender are both Chicago-Kent alumnae.