Loyola Offers a JD/MEd in Law & Education Policy

Loyola’s School of Law and School of Education are now offering a dual JD/MEd in Law and Education Policy.  This dual degree program provides students with skills and training in both the law and domestic education policy issues.  The program brings together Loyola’s expertise in education policy studies with its specialized expertise in education law and the legal rights of children. More information on the JD/MEd is available here

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School of Law Faculty Blogs – Cynthia Ho

Professor Cynthia Ho’s blog “Inside Views: TRIPS Flexibilities Under Threat From Investment Disputes: A Closer Look At Canada’s “Win” Against Eli Lilly” was posted last week on Intellectual Property Watch. It was reposted this week on TechDirt and has made quite an impact on social media.

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Student Spotlight: Tagen Vaughn, Weekend JD


Tagen Vaughn
Sheboygan Falls, WI

BA in Communications
University of Colorado at Boulder

Sr. Manager of Contracts and Legal Operations at Sargento Foods Inc.

Why did you decide to attend Loyola’s Weekend JD program?
I have wanted to pursue a JD in order to grow in my career, but working full time and being a wife and a mom to two young children made it seem almost impossible.  When I found the Weekend JD program at Loyola, I was thrilled.  The program is manageable with my busy schedule, and Loyola is a highly respected university with a very good reputation.

What do you like best about the program?
Honestly, it is hard to say.  I have had such an amazing experience so far.  It is obvious that a lot of time and effort went into the development of this program.  It is extremely organized and the professors are top notch.  The classes are long, but they keep me interested; I actually find myself looking forward to the next class.

What do you plan to do with your law degree?
My goal is to be a general counsel for an organization.

What advice can you give prospective students interested in applying to Loyola’s Weekend JD program?
Be brave and go for it!  There is a tremendous amount of support at Loyola.  From the deans to the professors, to my classmates—I feel like there is a strong community here that will help me achieve my goal in spite of all of the other things I am juggling in life!

In five words or less, describe Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Academic excellence surrounded by community

Additional information
I love spending time with my family.  My husband and I and our two boys (ages 4 and 6) are always on the go trying new things.  I thoroughly enjoy cooking and photography, and I hope someday to publish a children’s book for my boys.



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1L Student Highlight: Adrienne Chanelle Turner-McGowan

AMT 1Adrienne is one of the first friends I made at Loyola.  We met prior to starting our 1L year at a reception for students.  As a woman of color, I was automatically drawn to her – we chatted about our assigned sections, exchanged phone numbers and (voila!) she has been part of my support system ever since. Adrienne agreed to sit down for an interview to talk about her background, law school experience, as well as some advice for incoming students.  – Liz Rodriguez

Where are you from? I grew up in the Beverly neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.


Where did you receive your undergraduate degree? 

I received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois in Champaign- Urbana with a double major in Communication and African American Studies.

Why and when did you decide to attend law school?

I learned that I wanted to represent children when I was in 8th grade.  I was sitting on the couch with my stepmom watching a news story about a mother who had set her children on fire. I become extremely affected when I hear stories like this, or a situation where a child is being abused by someone who is supposed to love and care for them.  My need to advocate for children is something I cannot ignore.

Why Loyola University Chicago School of Law?

I applied to Loyola once I realized Loyola’s Child and Family Law Program is one of the best.

Is there anything that surprised you once you got to Loyola?

I was pleasantly surprised by how open and non-intimidating my professors were.  I did not have prior experience with law school and did not know what to expect once I arrived.  The faculty has an open-door policy and really appreciate when students come talk with them.  For example, last semester, when I began freaking out about my Civil Procedure final, a few 2Ls recommended I go speak to Professor Josie Gough. I had never met her before my finals freak out, but Professor Gough took me in with open arms and gave me invaluable advice. I was a lot less anxious when I left her office.

Is there anything you wish you would have known coming into law school?

The importance of time management. There’s not enough time in the day for everything I want to get done.  I need to balance my social life, boyfriend, school, and family. Honestly, I’m still working on it.


Do you have any advice for other women of color (WOC) in law school?

It’s okay to branch out. Women of color shouldn’t feel obligated to just interact with other women and people of color. But, it is important to know that our experience is not going to be like most students’ experiences here. It’s a blessing and a curse to be a woman of color in today’s society so it’s important to connect with students/faculty who share your similar life experiences. And always, always remember that you are just as capable and deserving of being in that classroom as everyone around you.

Do you have any advice for incoming students? First, find a good group of friends as early as you can.  Your law school friends will be your sanity. Second, form relationships with your professors (especially those who have practiced in your legal field of interest). Third, NETWORK(!!!) – get to know as many people as possible in the profession. Finally, remember that your mental and physical health is important.  While law school tends to be intense, you must make yourself a priority. It’s easy to get buried in all the work and forget you are a human being outside of law school. Remember things you did before law school that made you happy and make time for them.

Liz Rodriguez is a 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  She is blogging about the journey of her first year of law school. To search all posts written by her search the Liz R. category on the right hand side. Questions for Liz? Email law-admissions@luc.edu with the subject “Ask Liz” and she will make sure to answer them.

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Applicants for Fall 2017- Special Scholarship and Fellowship Deadline is March 1

corbyOur special scholarships and fellowships have a March 1 deadline. Why? We are hoping that we can provide decisions before our April 15 seat deposit deadline and in most cases before April 1, so you have time to consider all options available to you. Take a moment to review these special scholarships and fellowships and apply!


  • Child and Family Law Fellowship: Eight to ten fellowships are awarded annually to full-time entering JD students through a competitive selection process.
  • Health Law Fellowship: The Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy at Loyola University Chicago School of Law offers fellowships to entering students who are interested in health law.
  • Intellectual Property Fellowship: In addition to a monetary scholarship received as IP fellows, recipients are admitted to the specialized IP Legal Writing Section; this provides students with the unusual opportunity to learn about IP during their first year of law school.

Special Scholarships

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Student Spotlight: Eric Liu, Intellectual Property

EricLiu_003 (002)

Eric Liu, 1L IP Fellow

My decision to leave engineering for law school was not a simple one, and making sure that I went to the right law school for me was just as important as my decision to make the transition. Having worked as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent Office and as an intellectual property (IP) law clerk at Cardinal Health, I was familiar with the schools that offered great IP programs, but I knew that I wanted to attend a school where I could distinguish myself in the IP field. When I applied to schools, it was important for me to find schools that not only had a good location and a good IP program, but also a strong alumni network and supportive community that could give me the best chance of finding employment upon graduation. Having just finished my first semester at Loyola, I can confidently say that Loyola was the right choice for me and that the school is a great place for students hoping to become patent attorneys.

Alumni and Community

When I was deciding between schools, it was very important to me to go to a program where I could get personal attention from the professors and alumni. Having just completed my first semester here, this has been the most valuable part of my experience so far. I first met Professor Cynthia Ho, the Director of IP program, when she invited me to an IP reception at Loyola to meet IP students and alumni as a prospective student. Everybody I met was eager to tell me about their experiences at Loyola and several even offered to grab lunch with me to tell me more. It was immediately clear to me that the Loyola community was very supportive and that it was a place where I could see myself fitting in.

Professor Ho’s dedication and support to her students have been tremendously invaluable. She readily makes the time to get to know her students over lunches, and forwards opportunities that interest each student. Beyond the classroom, she has also been willing to give me advice with my resume and with networking, and has helped to open doors to events that I otherwise would not have known about. Because of this, I have been able to network with many IP attorneys this past semester and even secure several interviews that resulted in offers for summer associate positions at IP firms. Professor Ho’s dedication embodies that of the Loyola professors and alumni and is something that I believe can help students excel through law school and truly stand out in the IP market.

Intellectual Property Program

In addition to the strong community at Loyola, I chose Loyola for its specialized IP legal writing class and curriculum. As an IP Fellow, I had a seat in the IP legal writing class of ten students. The class is similar to the required legal writing course that the other law students take, except that issues assigned relate to patents, trademarks, and copyrights. This class has given us the opportunity to get early exposure to IP while giving us the chance to prepare writing samples that can be used in applications and interviews for summer internships. This is especially helpful for the upcoming Patent Interview Program which is uniquely hosted by Loyola every summer. In addition to the IP legal writing class, Loyola offers a wide variety of classes that complement the IP curriculum to make its students well-rounded patent attorneys. Furthermore, Loyola offers various resources for its students through career services as well as through IP lunch and learns hosted by the IP Law Society.

For those looking to pursue a career in IP, Loyola has many avenues and resources to help its students succeed. I am grateful for my mentors at school and for all of the guidance I have received to get me to where I am now. Given my experiences so far, I am confident that attending Loyola was the right choice for me and that here, I will have the support and resources necessary to prepare me to become a successful patent attorney.

If you have any questions, please email me at eliu1@luc.edu

-Eric Liu, 1L IP Fellow

Interested in applying to be an Intellectual Property Fellow for Fall 2017? The application deadline is March 1.

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Liz R: 1L of a Schedule

A lot of incoming students have asked me what a typical day as a 1L looks like. I thought it would be helpful to show you my schedule for this week.

While every student’s daily routine is different, the class blocks are about the same.  A student’s schedule varies based on how they balance studying with their social life.  In general, most students have time to spend at least one evening off a week to relax.

Chicago is truly a great city and there’s no reason to stay locked in the library all day – go to a comedy show, barcade, or just a fun dinner with friends.  While studying is always a priority, you can make time to enjoy the city.

My Schedule

My calendar is color coded – purple for classes, grey for office hours, yellow for social events, blue for study dates, red for “to-do’s” and green for when I’m at the admissions office.

While my calendar may look busy,  it does not feel as hectic as it looks.

Liz Calendar

The second semester of 1L year, students take five courses – four of which are chosen for you (Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Legal Writing II) and one perspective elective. I chose an Interdisciplinary Seminar on Domestic Violence because the professor is amazing but there is a long list of courses available (visit Loyola’s website for full curriculum guidelines).

I am typically at school from 8:30 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. during the week (not including Tuesdays when I have night class).  I spend about 3 hours preparing for each class period.  On weekdays, I read on my commute to school, in between classes, during meals (unless I am eating with a friend) and a little after dinner.  Reading consumes my life but I balance it out with the occasional Romeo Santos Pandora station and/or podcasts (My podcast favorites: The Axe Files, NPR, or This American Life).

We do not have class on Fridays, which make it the perfect day to prepare for the next week of classes or attend symposiums on your topics of interest.  It’s also a great day to sleep in and meet with a friend for brunch before heading to the library.

Each 1L course has assigned Academic Tutors, which are 2L or 3L students who have previously had the same professor and excelled in the course. The Academic Tutors attend each class session and hold weekly office hours (in addition to the professor’s weekly office hours).  Tutors also provide us with practice questions, prepare us for the final and comment on our outlines throughout the semester.

As you can see from my calendar, I am pretty busy but there is still time for a social life. I hope it brings you comfort to know that even on my busiest days I know that the long hours are worth it.  Choosing to go to law school, and choosing Loyola, is a decision I would not change.

Hopefully this was helpful and gives you a better idea of what to expect once you start law school! Please continue to send any questions you may have about anything you may want to know about Loyola and my experience.

Liz Rodriguez is a 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  She is blogging about the journey of her first year of law school. To search all posts written by her search the Liz R. category on the right hand side. Questions for Liz? Email law-admissions@luc.edu with the subject “Ask Liz” and she will make sure to answer them.

Related Post: Kelly’s week as a 1L

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Weekend Warriors: New JD program offers classes on alternate Saturdays and Sundays


Every other Friday evening, Shemario Winfrey ends his workday as director of rail projects for the Phillips 66 Company in Houston, hops a plane, and travels to Chicago. Here, he settles in at Loyola’s School of Law for a packed weekend of classes, study, and a little socializing. On Sunday afternoon, he flies back home in time for a new workweek.

It’s an intense, challenging way to spend two weekends a month. But at the end of three or four years, Winfrey will have earned a Loyola JD degree. Winfrey is one of 43 students in the first cohort of Loyola’s Weekend JD program, launched in fall 2016. This innovative offering, a mix of in-class and online learning, enables today’s busy professionals to pursue a Loyola law degree regardless of their weekday schedules or geographic locations.

Evolution of a mission

For more than a century, Loyola has offered a part-time, evening JD program. “It’s the way our law school began, and a vital part of our commitment to accommodating employed students who want to earn a JD,” says Interim Dean and Professor Michael Kaufman. Like other law schools, Loyola has recently seen enrollment in its evening program decline, a reflection of many students’ heightened work and family demands coupled with an uncertain economy. Kaufman and his colleagues thought a weekend-centered program building on the School of Law’s proven expertise in online learning might answer those challenges. Market analysis confirmed their instinct. The team began constructing a program that blends two-thirds face-to-face learning on alternate weekends with one-third online study completed on students’ own schedules.

“Best practices in pedagogy tell us this kind of blended learning is actually stronger than either fully online or fully in-person learning,” says Kaufman. “Learning is not just about delivery of information, but also about the building of relationships with other students, faculty, and administrators. The on-campus time is really important, but we decided to have it every other weekend so the program could attract students from all over the country.”

The American Bar Association agreed with that approach, noting that the program is a model for future part-time legal education. Professor Nadia Sawicki, who taught for years in the part-time evening program, says adjusting the traditional curriculum for the Weekend JD program involved making decisions about what easily fit online and what was best experienced in person. The result, she says, is a stronger approach that encourages students to learn more actively.

Kechia Lewis says the Weekend JD offers flexibility for school-work-life balance.

“I use recorded lectures to give students the basics and arguments,” she says, “then we spend a lot of time in class practicing what they’re learning. It’s not passive learning; it’s very interactive.”

Diversity and dedication

According to Sawicki, the variety of professional experiences Weekend JD students bring to the classroom enriches and enlivens discussion “whether the topic is medical malpractice, car insurance, boating, or bar fights.”

“These are phenomenal students from all walks of life, experienced professionals who bring an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience,” Kaufman adds. Students in the first cohort include a doctor, dentists, state legislators, a NASA engineer, a farmer, university administrators, insurance professionals, a CPA, a former editor, and stay-at-home parents, among others. The inaugural group of students is diverse in age, too, with students ranging from their 20s to their 60s.

Winfrey completed Loyola’s MJ program in 2015, “and that was a springboard to deciding I was committed to getting a JD,” he says. At Phillips 66, Winfrey manages regulatory compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration and works on business development projects; for the future, he plans a career in admiralty and transportation law.

“Weekend JD students come from different industries, but we have similar backgrounds in terms of our interest in law,” he says. “We probably do a better job of relating to each other than traditional students do; we know we’re going to be battling this together for several years.”

“Knowing what everybody is doing professionally definitely enhances classroom time,” says another student, Kechia Lewis. “I love that we’re learning not just about the law, but also about how it’s applied in different professional settings.” A chemistry lab manager for the City Colleges of Chicago, Lewis originally thought she’d like to marry her interests in science and law with a career in patent law, but now says she’s open to considering other practice options.

Tagen Vaughn, who lives in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, manages contracts and legal operations at Sargento Foods Inc. and hopes eventually to become an organization’s general counsel. “I’ve wanted to pursue a JD to grow in my career, but it seemed almost impossible working full time and being a wife and mom of two young children,” she says.

“When I found the Weekend JD program, I was thrilled. Not only was it manageable with my busy schedule, but it was at a well-known, highly credited university with a very good reputation.”

Close-knit community

One of the School of Law’s strengths, a supportive community, is especially essential when students only see each other every two weeks. Weekend JD administrators and faculty designed the program to ensure that participants have access to career services, student organizations, and other extracurricular offerings available to traditional students.

The program provides breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and programming—for example, a professionalism presentation or a meet-and-greet with the University president—continues during meal periods. When students need extra academic help, they have access to peer tutors just as traditional students do.

“The goal is to make sure Weekend JD students have the same community experience every JD student has,” Kaufman says. “It may be different in the way it’s delivered, but the quality is the same.”

Beyond the program’s official community-building efforts, students are forging their own connections. Some touch base regularly with classmates during the days between Loyola weekends; others go out on Saturday nights for “bar review” and bonding. One group even carpools from the Madison, Wisconsin, area, using the commute time for informal group study.

Comments Vaughn, “There’s a tremendous amount of support at Loyola. From the deans to the professors to my classmates, I feel like there’s a strong community here that will help me achieve this goal in spite of all the other things I’m juggling.”

“There’s a tremendous amount of support at Loyola,” says Tagen Vaughn.


Making the most of time

Although students have complete flexibility during the two weeks between in-class weekends, the Weekend JD coursework is as rigorous as the traditional program’s. Exceptional time management skills are key.

“You really can’t procrastinate. You have to treat this like you’re going to class every day,” Winfrey says. “I spend the same amount of time on readings and lectures as I would in an evening program, but the flexibility allows me to do things on my schedule and at my own pace.”

Lewis reviews the material she needs to cover over the coming fortnight, divides her workload, and, in case she has questions for her professors, attacks her assignments first, readings second. She’s so organized that she even plans her week’s wardrobe on Sunday nights and cooks the week’s meals on Monday evenings.

“With this program, you can keep your job and time with your family and still obtain a JD, but you have to give up something, usually your social life and some sleep,” she says, laughing.

Kudos from inaugural group

The Weekend JD is off to an even better start than its creators anticipated, and feedback from students is very positive. “For the most part, it’s been wildly successful,” Kaufman says. “We have many more highly qualified and diverse students from around the country seeking admission than we imagined. Our hope is that with ample outreach and a track record of success, it’ll build on itself.”

“So far, the biggest complaints we’ve received have been about lunch options on Sunday or issues with the transportation pass students receive,” Sawicki says. “So clearly we’re doing something right.”

She adds, “We keep hearing from students, ‘This program is the only way I could have gone to law school.’ Students really want to be here and are valuing this experience. That enthusiasm is really gratifying for me as a faculty member.”

Learn more about our Weekend JD Program here and sign up for our online information session on Wednesday, February 15  at 12:30 PM central time. 

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Introducing Liz Rodriguez, 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law

E1Welcome! My name is Elizabeth Rodriguez (Liz) and I am in my first year (1L) at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  My purpose for blogging is to show you what my 1L year looks like and hopefully help you shape what your 1L year will look like.  I will be writing about my experiences both in the classroom and in the real world.  I am interested in public interest law and litigation but will be interviewing classmates who specialize in other fields so you can see a holistic perspective of what Loyola can offer you.  I look forward to going on this journey with you! If you see me around, please say hi and introduce yourself!

 Where I am from:  I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago (specifically – the Pilsen, Brighton Park, and Midway area).  Both of my parents, Octavio and Mayola, were born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States.  I have a huge extended family and three wonderfully crazy sisters. e2The majority of my family lives in or near Chicago so I used to spend a lot of my time laughing, dancing and hanging out with family members.  That had to change once I started law school (which I plan on discussing in a future blog for you lovely people with big families).

 Where I went to school:  I received my BA from Northern Illinois University (NIU).  I majored in Political Science, with an emphasis in International Studies, and minored in Women’s Studies and Psychology. In the summer of 2009, I studied abroad in Tanzania to assist in the building of a girl’s dormitory and to complete an independent study on the barriers rural Tanzanian girls face when seeking an education.  In addition to that trip, I worked in a Women’s Studies Department and completed an internship at a safe house for domestic violence victims.

e3What I have been up to: Since graduating from NIU, I took a few years off to confirm whether I wanted to work in the non-profit sector and/or attend law school.  After a variety of non-profit positions, I worked at a law firm to confirm the legal path was right for me.  I took a position as a legal assistant in a law firm’s worker’s compensation department and I automatically fell in love.  I loved working on behalf of underrepresented and/or injured people.  I found that public interest law could allow me to balance my need to be an advocate, while simultaneously practicing law.  Once I learned I did not have to choose between the two (nonprofit and legal sector), I was hooked.

I chose Loyola University Chicago School of Law because of its dedication to advocacy and, frankly, because every Loyola law student I met before starting law school was super cool. They are the perfect combination of hardworking, humble, and intelligent that I strive to be.

Everything else:  I am a cat mom. I love Mexican food and drink at least 2 cups of coffee a day.  After college, some of my friends moved across the country and I try to visit them as often as I can.  I love getting work done at local coffee shops and regularly try new and popular spots around the city.  I am also a big fan of live music and attending outdoor concerts (summertime in Chicago is the best). e4It should also be noted that I currently commute from the south suburbs.  While it is a bit of a hassle at times, the Metra trains are quiet and it gives me ample time to read or prepare for my classes.

My approach to life: I always try to better myself.  I approach life with a happy, optimistic and really hardworking perspective.  Since my family emigrated from a different country for a better life, I believe it is important to take chances and continuously challenge my limits. I also believe in surrounding myself with people who allow me to grow – whether it be by questioning why I believe certain things or who, by example, inspires me to do more.

Thank you for reading my (not so) little introduction and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you!

Liz Rodriguez is a 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  She is blogging about the journey of her first year of law school. To search all posts written by her search the Liz R. category on the right hand side. Questions for Liz? Email law-admissions@luc.edu with the subject “Ask Liz” and she will make sure to answer them.

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On the Road Again || The Law Admission Staff

Star Provision in Atlanta, GA

Star Provision in Atlanta, GA

Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Admission staff will be heading to Atlanta, Auburn and Tuscaloosa in a couple weeks. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our law school, the curriculum, the student population, the city of Chicago, specialty areas, etc., as well as questions about the admission process.

Emory Law School Fair
January 23, 2017
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Cox Hall Ballroom
569 Asbury Cir, Atlanta, GA 30322

Auburn University Law School Fair
January 25, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Haley Center, 1st Floor Lobby
351 W Thach Concourse, Auburn, AL 36849

University of Alabama Law Fair
January 26, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Ferguson Student Center, 3rd Floor Ballroom
751 Campus Dr W, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

We look forward to meeting you!

The Law Admission Staff

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