Chicago Bar Association Feb. 4, 2014
Justice Joy Cunningham (J.D. '82) will be honored with the Chicago Bar Association's Earl Burrus Dickerson Award on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.
Twitter is the latest technology being employed by The John Marshall Law School to reach students, alumni and supporters. John Marshall has one of the most active Twitter accounts among Chicago law schools.
Intellectual Property Today Feb. 4, 2014
Matthew J. May (J.D. '09) was elected to shareholder at Banner & Witcoff, Ltd., a national intellectual property law firm that procures, enforces and litigates intellectual property rights throughout the world. He clerked at the firm before joining the practice in 2009.
4 Traders Feb. 6, 2014
Jeffrey D. Smith (J.D. '80) joins Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP as partner. He is in the firm's Kalamazoo, Mich., office. As a litigator he focuses on defending product liability, warranty and admiralty claims and on handling complex litigation matters.
Review Seeker Feb. 5, 2014
On Feb. 7, the International Human Rights Clinic will be presenting its report on U.S. solitary confinement practices of immigrant detainees researched by John Marshall students.
That Sarah Hess found a passion for bettering the lives of children wasn’t particularly new or surprising. After all, the Chicago native mentored the city’s foster children as their ballet instructor for years.
But through a series of legal internships she secured as a student at The John Marshall Law School, she found a new way to be a children’s advocate – and found herself listed among colleagues who study at Ivy League schools while doing it.
After graduating in May 2014, Hess will dedicate two years working to improve children’s health through a specially designed program that won her a prestigious 2014 Skadden Fellowship.
She will help establish a medical-legal partnership with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the public interest law consortium of Chicago’s key law firms. The project is “really about obstructing the cycle of poverty,” Hess said. She will provide legal services, be an advocate, look at policy issues and possibly work on new legislation or legislative changes.
Her inspiration for the project came when Hess worked as a 2012 legal extern at Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, focusing on early learning for residents 0-5 years old at Altgeld Gardens, a public housing project.
Through her internship, Hess researched programs that can give children relief from the stress of poverty. While the burden of poverty falls on the parent, children feel the weight of problems when, for example, they have no permanent address, a parent may be out of work or threatened with deportation, or there is violence in the home.
“Those kinds of issues took me to child well-being and took me into the realm of social sciences that are showing the effect of poverty on children,” Hess said. “The long-term health effects and the developmental effects of growing up in a low-income household, an extremely low-income household, and those that live below the poverty line, the kind of impact that has on a child’s health is really what became the basis for my project.”
John Marshall faculty and staff encouraged Hess’ dedication to public interest law as she applied for the Skadden Fellowship, a highly selective program underwritten by the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. The award allows recipients to design their own public interest project and provides them a two-year salary and partial law school debt repayment.
She became the first John Marshall student to receive the fellowship, which historically has largely been awarded to students from Ivy League law schools. She was stunned. She said she was excited and grateful to get the news, and believes her project will be a life-changing opportunity for her, and, she hopes for some needy Chicago children.
A former professional ballerina, Hess spent countless hours teaching some of those same needy children to pointe and pirouette.
As a faculty member of the School of Ballet Chicago, she taught children ages 3 through 14 ballet skills, through the Statewide Opportunities for Art and Recreation (SOAR) program. She saw how young children in Illinois’ foster care system were “far more grounded, they had better self-esteem and their academics improved because their focus improved” through the SOAR program. “This program gave these marginalized children an opportunity they otherwise rarely would get,” she said.
Those interactions with children gave Hess insights into what was possible, and how change could improve a child’s life.
“I was really interested in education law and improving education opportunities and education equity based on race,” Hess said, but she found that was too limiting when she began doing social science research on the effects of poverty on children. “The teacher can’t fix problems of the child outside school,” she said. “Children cannot learn unless they have a secure home environment.”
Attending John Marshall allowed her to pursue her enthusiasm for public service, a key point she made when applying for her fellowship.
“I chose John Marshall because I knew I wanted to pursue public interest law,” she told the Skadden selection committee. “What I got from John Marshall was an investment in my dedication to public interest law,” she said. “I felt like John Marshall was choosing me as much as I was choosing John Marshall, and it has been a wonderful experience.”
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (column) Jan. 30, 2014
In his latest column, Professor Timothy O'Neill shares insights into the Reid interrogation method used by police for confessions. While many courts have denied the right to counter that method with statistics on fall confessions, a Utah Supreme Court decision may set a new pattern in which courts allow juries to learn scientific findings of how false confessions can be coerced from defendants.
BizWire Express Jan. 31, 2014
Professor Mark Wojcik will be serving on an American Bar Association panel Feb. 7 discussing Russia's legal limits on its gay citizens, and will discuss responses to that law, including effects on corporate sponsors of the Olympic Games, and what efforts can be made to improve the human rights situation for LGBT persons in Russia.
Lake County News Sun Jan. 31, 2014
Be cognizant of the benefits of restorative justice urge Professor Michael Seng and Adjunct Professor Sheila Murphy, directors of John Marshall's Restorative Justice Project. They believe a 14-year-old charged with murdering her sister deserves special consideration and they think restorative justice can be a benefit in this case.
AARP Magazine January/February Issue
The elderly are finding a helping hand thanks to Barry Kozak, director of Elder Law Programs at The John Marshall Law School, and students who are assisting clients at the Circuit Court of Cook County's new Elder Justice Center.