Loyola law: A next step for many educators

In a list of emerging authorities in education law, Loyola University Chicago’s Education Law and Policy Institute—a component of the law school’s nationally regarded Civitas ChildLaw Center—would be front and center.

“I think there’s increasing recognition that we’re a go-to place for curriculum and resources on education law,” says Miranda Johnson, the institute’s director.

Olive Collins

That’s true for Olive Collins, a first-year student who pursued law school after teaching elementary school students for nine years, starting in the Los Angeles area and then in Oak Park, Illinois. She left teaching because the administrative and testing burdens were making her and her students fall out of love with school.

“I looked at several Chicago law schools, as well as some schools in California,” explains Collins, who plans a new career in education law or policy. “Instantly, I had this feeling Loyola was the right place.

“Few schools have a focus on child law, and then there was this education law component,” Collins continues. “When I was introduced to Miranda Johnson and Michael Kaufman, now dean of the School of Law, things came into focus. The faculty is so well connected that I thought they’d be really helpful when I was looking for a job. Those two things together made it a no-brainer.”

A recognized leader

The School of Law has long been at the forefront of programs related to children’s law and policy. “The ChildLaw Center goes back nearly 25 years, and addressing the legal needs of children in poverty is central to its mission,” says Johnson. “The center’s work has focused on child welfare, juvenile justice, and family law, and over the past 10 years, there’s been a recognition that children’s educational needs should also be part of the overall emphasis.”

The Education Law and Policy Institute was launched in 2006 to address those needs. “The institute provides a means to connect the ChildLaw Center’s work on education with its other initiatives involving direct representation of children and policy reforms that benefit children,” says Johnson.

Since it opened, the institute has drawn more and more attention from students and the broader education law community. “Students’ interest in working on education issues stems in part from the increased visibility of education law within the center’s programming,” says Johnson.

The most visible programming event may be Loyola’s “Education Law: A Year in Review,” which was held for the fourth straight year in June. The half-day symposium on education law draws about 125 students, practitioners, and other stakeholders in the field.

Three years ago, the institute also supported law students’ creation of a project focused on reducing school suspensions and expulsions—and their adverse impacts on vulnerable students. The ChildLaw Clinic had already been providing representation to students and parents in school expulsion and special education cases.

“But there were no attorneys in Chicago consistently representing students who had been suspended,” says Johnson. “When a student is suspended, it’s a time to address concerns proactively, before the student faces expulsion. Our law students recognized that gap, and they’ve now served more than 40 families with children who’ve been suspended.”

Educators are responding

Loyola has a track record of attracting former teachers with an interest in studying law. “Many former teachers pursue child law and education law coursework,” Johnson says, “with the aim of having careers in education law or working on education policy when they leave.”

John Anders

That’s true not just for Collins but for many other students as well. John Anders, a second-year, part-time student, chose Loyola because it’s the only school in the area that offers extensive courses in education law—and it allows him to continue teaching in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood while he pursues his law degree.

Cassandra Black has been the director of student services at Mount Prospect District 57 for the past five years and previously was a middle school assistant principal and school psychologist. In her current role, she oversees the district’s special education services, social emotional learning, and health services and works as the district’s homeless liaison.

“When I worked in high schools, I started to see that not all students loved school the way I did; they didn’t feel academically or socially successful,” says Black. “I became very interested in making school a place where students felt successful and connected. I also started looking at how I could make systematic change in our schools. By focusing on education law, I’ll have an even greater opportunity to work with school districts on policies and procedures that support best practices.”

These educators can help significantly shape children’s futures, Johnson says. “Teachers and other educators have a unique insight into issues related to children, poverty, and educational policy,” she says. “I think they’re attracted to Loyola because of its commitment to social justice and its outstanding national reputation in children’s law and policy. Loyola’s niche in education law and policy is quite distinct from what other institutions are able to offer.”

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Loyola grad lands prestigious fellowship

After sitting for the Illinois bar exam in July, Loyola University Chicago law graduate Louis Gomes (BA ’14, JD ’17) will travel to Africa and Europe to spend time with family and celebrate the completion of law school before he embarks on a new journey—the practice of law. In late August, Gomes, who came to Loyola as an undergraduate from Paris, France, will return to Chicago to begin a prestigious legal fellowship with GE Transportation, a division of the General Electric Company.

Each year the GE Transportation Diversity & Inclusion Legal Fellowship Program offers a 3L from a Chicago-area law school a unique, one-year paid post-graduation position that involves learning from and working with the GE Transportation legal team, which is comprised of approximately 40 attorneys globally.  Work opportunities include training from both GE and the five major Chicago law firms that have partnered with GE Transportation to support the Program, as well as substantive legal work for a global business in a variety of areas including commercial transactions, software, litigation, labor & employment, and compliance. If the fellow performs successfully, he or she has the opportunity to interview with the five partner firms for an associate position that commences after the fellowship ends.

“We are thrilled that the fellowship is providing meaningful opportunities to diverse law students, while also providing advantages to both the GE Transportation legal team and the law firm pipeline.  We are very excited to have Louis join us at the end of the summer,” says Linda L. Miller (JD ’91), Global Chief Litigation & Product Safety Counsel for GE Transportation, who will work closely with Gomes.

Gomes is the third Chicago law graduate, and the first from Loyola, to receive the highly competitive GE Transportation fellowship. The first two post-graduate fellows received multiple offers for permanent placement at top Chicago law firms. The first fellow joined Sidley & Austin as an associate, and the second will begin at Jones Day this fall.

“I am very excited to start working with GE Transportation in the fall. The fellowship appropriately reflects GE’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive global work environment—the perfect place to begin my legal career,” says Gomes.

The program is open to current third-year law students in Chicago who are in good academic standing. Strong consideration will be given to applicants who can add to the diversity of thought within the GE Transportation legal department. For more information, contact Loyola’s Office of Career Services.

Posted in Career Services, Careers in Law, Life at Loyola, Student Life, Student Spotlight | 1 Comment

Student Spotlight: Andrea Calvert, Intellectual Property

I entered Loyola in the Fall of 2015 with one goal: pursue IP law to protect companies in the fashion and luxury goods industry. At the time, I was aware that I was hardly the cookie cutter law student. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I studied English and Art History, and I channeled my energy into gaining practical work experience. I wrote press releases and marketing material for companies in the luxury bridal industry, assuming that upon graduation, I would continue to shape my career around these particular experiences.

However, two months following graduation from the University of Michigan, I re-examined my passions, strengths, and options. While I continued to be fascinated by the fashion and luxury goods industry, I wanted a more comprehensive understanding of the industry, and I craved a solution-based position. With the rise in gray market and counterfeit goods, along with “legal” copies of designs, I saw many talented designers struggle to protect the fruit of their labor. I didn’t just want to write about it – I wanted to change it. Writing helped shape brand identity and brought awareness to certain issues, but I shifted gears and sought protection of the industry instead. I applied and was hired as a legal assistant for a metro-Detroit based Intellectual Property law firm. My work there introduced me to the strategic world of brand protection. Everything seemed to click, as I discovered how copyrights, trademarks, and design patents were essential to protect brand images I helped to create in my previous positions.

While I could have targeted the heart of the fashion industry in New York or Los Angeles, or selected a school whose sole purpose was to churn out IP attorneys, I focused my sights on Chicago. I chose Loyola for the unique offering of courses and experiences tailored to develop practical skills, the passionate professors who are willing to help each student develop their own unique story, and the impressive network of alumni whose enthusiasm is fueled by the drive and success of current students.

Loyola offers three exceptionally invaluable IP courses – the IP legal writing course (1L), Professor Ho’s IP Survey course (2L), and the IP Colloquium (2L or 3L). 1L schedules are, for the most part, identical to that of the students sitting to your left and to your right. In applying for post-1L summer jobs, the IP legal writing course provided me with a writing sample that was unique; it was tailored to issues relevant to IP practitioners. This writing sample was a particular point of interest when I interviewed for a 1L summer position at Jockey International, Inc.. The fact that I had coursework that was specifically geared towards IP (and Career Services’ quick responses in looking over my application!) helped me land an in-house legal internship at Jockey that continued as a part-time position into 2L.

During 2L, Professor Ho’s IP survey course (Fall 2016) not only provided me with additional tools to assist in my position at Jockey, but also provided the necessary foundation for the school’s IP Colloquium (Spring 2017). The IP Colloquium enables students to think outside the box. We read academic papers and were given free reign to question renowned IP scholars as they presented us with their own observations and innovative perspectives on issues surrounding IP.

In addition to unique course offerings, Loyola sets itself apart in its ability to develop each student’s personal “story” through opportunities for practical experience, and extends a network of alumni that is willing to invest in the next generation of law students. Professor Ho, Director of Loyola’s IP program, encourages student-alumni interaction through IP networking events hosted at Loyola, and also dedicates her time to connect students to outside events they might be interested in.

Prospective students should understand that Loyola’s IP Department is fueled by passionate, knowledgeable professors who will challenge you intellectually, know you by name, sit down and engage in genuine conversation that runs well past your meeting time, and are willing to connect you to their professional network at the drop of a hat. The passion of Loyola’s professors is what keeps students motivated and focused on their end goals when they’re blinded by the stress of finals, learning how to juggle schoolwork, or overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of their to-do lists. Loyola provides the resources needed for a successful career in IP and more. I am greatly looking forward to leveraging these skills as part of my Summer Associate position at an IP firm in downtown Chicago this summer, one that focuses on clients in the fashion, travel and luxury goods industries.

If you have any questions about Loyola, please feel free to email me at acalvert2@luc.edu.

Andrea Calvert

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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.

Posted in 1L Life, Academic, ChildLaw, Life at Loyola, Liz R., Student Life, Student Spotlight, Why Loyola? | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in 1L Life, Academic, Intellectual Property, Life at Loyola, Student Life, Student Spotlight, Why Loyola? | Comments Off on Student Spotlight: Eric Liu, Intellectual Property

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

Posted in 1L Life, Life at Loyola, Liz R., Student Life | Comments Off on Liz R: 1L of a Schedule