Ones to Watch at Chicago-Kent

SPC Insider Report 2013/2014

283 new JD students started school on Monday. The students hail from 12 countries and 125 undergraduate schools. Twenty-nine have received advanced degrees, including four PhDs. Six students in the class received perfect GPAs of 4.0.  During orientation week, Dean Krent welcomed the diverse class of 1Ls with a recitation of some unique accomplishments: 

In terms of experience, you can learn from a commodities trader, an operations engineer in Saudi Arabia, a music critic, a music video director, a skating instructor, a U.S. Navel Commander, and police officers. And, for relaxation, among your midst are experts in Thai kickboxing, accomplished track stars, swimmers, soccer players, roller derby skaters, and a gourmet chef - try to get that person in your study group, and actors, which should come in handy.

Here are just a handful of some of the students who represent the diversity of the 1L class, from varying educational and career backgrounds, to vastly different future goals. 

Mohini Lal '16

Mohini is the first-ever student to enroll at Chicago-Kent through Shimer College's 3 + 3 program, making her an undergraduate and a first-year law student simultaneously. She was required to complete all her undergraduate courses before enrolling at Chicago-Kent, where the legal education she receives will inform her undergraduate thesis on duty to rescue. 

Hometown: Houston, TX

Educational Background: Shimer Liberal Arts College in Chicago, IL

Why Chicago-Kent: Chicago-Kent offers the 3 + 3 program in conjunction with Shimer, allowing Mohini to write her undergraduate thesis during her first year of law school. She also says that “Chicago-Kent is a lot like Shimer in that the professors are close by and they care about you.

Greatest Achievement: Receiving a $2,000 grant during her freshman year at Shimer to organize a 2-day faith-based service event with over 100 volunteers, in conjunction with IIT’s Office of Spiritual Life and Service Learning

Career Interests: Criminal Law, Certificate in Public Interest Law

Fun Fact: Mohini has been an activist for race-based, faith-based, and feminist issues since high school.

Read more about Mohini here.

Nicholas Leonard '17

Educational Background: Illinois Wesleyan University, Chemistry; University of California, Irvine, Ph.D. in Chemistry

Career Background: Patent Agent at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff

Why a Law Degree: “I want to obtain a law degree so I can provide services beyond the scope of a patent agent, such as legal opinions, freedom to operate analyses, patent portfolio management, and trademarks.”

Why Chicago-Kent: “Reputation. When surveying the part-time law programs in Chicago, Kent stands head and shoulders above the rest. Many of my current colleagues graduated from Kent and speak highly of the quality education they received.”

Most Excited About: Courses in IP that help him at his existing job, but also exploring other areas of the law that are new to him: “I took Prof. Sowle's Criminal Law class this summer, and he made me realize that every judicial decision has implications that reach far beyond the issue at hand. I found the underlying policy issues that have to be considered with each judicial decision very intriguing.”

Elizabeth Hernandez '16

Elizabeth won the Honorable Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Scholarship, a full-tuition law scholarship awarded every three to four years to one incoming student exhibiting financial need and a strong dedication to public service. She hails from Chicago’s Pilsen area.

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Educational Background: Loyola University of Chicago, Political Science

Why a Law Degree:My mom remembers me saying that I wanted to be an animal rights lawyer when I was little. I’ve always wanted to become a lawyer to help people.”

Most Excited About: Becoming involved with the Center for Access to Justice and Technology and exploring the Public Interest Certificate

Career Interests: Labor and Employment Law, Public Interest Law

Lucy Paul '17

After studying at Piven Theatre from ages 14 to 18, Lucy began her educational journey as a theatre major at Illinois Wesleyan. Her whole family has an art background, so when she changed her major to accounting, her family was shocked. 

Educational Background: Illinois Wesleyan, Accounting and Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MS Tax

Career Background: Tax Accounting and Compliance in industry, then as a consultant

Why a Law Degree: “I want to inspire more confidence in my clients. I need full circle knowledge of tax.”

Why Chicago-Kent: “Chicago-Kent’s reputation in the business community and their legal writing program is really what drew me here. I want to work on my writing skills, and most schools require 3 semesters of legal writing instead of 5. I really thought about where my weaknesses are and finding a school that aligns with being able to improve them.”

Most Excited About: Torts, Property, Legal Writing, and exploring Moot Court

Career Interest: Tax Law

Peter Cheun '16

Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana

Educational Background: Indiana University Bloomington, History, Political Science, French, Mathematics

Career Background: Several years in practice management at an Immigration Law firm

Why a Law Degree: “I probably knew I wanted to become a lawyer at age 6. History is a great passion of mine, and when I was young I read a lot of political biographies. I admire people who achieve positive things for society and leave their mark on their communities, and a lot of those people happen to be lawyers.

Why Chicago-Kent: “I started considering Chicago-Kent after visiting the Oyez Project for years. I’ve always taken a great interest in the Supreme Court, and then one day I noticed Oyez had the Chicago-Kent label on it, and that Prof. Goldman had come to Kent, and I thought “wow,” they’re really doing stuff at Chicago-Kent.” Kent has this reputation of being the technology school—the school that is forward-looking.

Most Excited About: Working at the Center for Access to Justice and Technology's Self-Help Web Center, learning more about the Oyez Project, and exploring Moot Court

Career Interest: “Immigration law will always be a passion of mine, but I would love to be a judge one day, and this is my chance to take a shot at that.”

August 27, 2013