Third-year student Andrew Willis enjoys creating space for in-depth discussion of current legal topics. As a student leader, he has partnered across organizations and worked with faculty to bring in influential speakers for events. He is also active as a legal blogger and has shared his views on legal podcasts and social media.
- Class year: 2019
- Division: Full-time day
- Hometown: Homer Glen, IL
- Academic Background: B.S. in Paralegal Studies, Liberty University
- Find him online:
What drew you to the legal profession?
Law takes idealistic concepts like justice, fairness, and liberty and applies them to real-life situations. It is a fascinating process. Law is both principled and practical.
Attorneys work with real people with real-world problems. It’s the attorney’s job to assist them in reaching the best possible outcome. From what I have experienced so far, it’s a very fulfilling job.
What stood out about Chicago-Kent when you were looking at law schools?
Chicago-Kent’s writing program really stood out to me when deciding on where to attend school. The legal field is a writing profession; it’s unavoidable.
The strong emphasis that Chicago-Kent places on writing in a rational, clear, and concise manner is the practical preparation you need to be successful as an attorney.
Andrew already had experience working in the legal field before coming to Chicago-Kent and has continued to seek out more opportunities to build his skills as a student with externships and clerk positions.
- Law Clerk, Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Civil Appeals Division
- Law Clerk, Tobin & Muñoz, LLC
- Legal Intern, Liberty Justice Center
- Judicial Extern, Illinois Appellate Court, First District
My favorite course has been Constitutional Law with Professor Sheldon Nahmod. I now have a much greater appreciation for the complexities and brilliance of our constitutional system.
It’s difficult to narrow down your practice area before practicing law, but right now I’m planning on working in litigation in either bankruptcy or constitutional law.
— Chicago-Kent Law (@ChicagoKentLaw) August 3, 2018
What made you want to get involved in these organizations?
Law Review is an immediate means to shape the future of the legal profession. The ideas that change the legal profession usually start in the academic journals. It’s exciting to be a part of it.
Christian Legal Society is such a fantastic way for like-minded students to be encouraged in our faith. We have great discussions and have built many close friendships.
— Andrew Willis (@AndrewWillis101) September 18, 2018
We're out bright and early passing out Constitutions and doughnuts outside the Spak! Stop by a grab one of each🍩🏛 pic.twitter.com/sEMLr7kBf5
— Chicago-Kent FedSoc (@ChiKentFedSoc) August 28, 2018
What contribution do you hope to make as a student leader?
I hope to combat the tendency to view people with differing opinions as irrational or closed-minded. The Federalist Society is unique in that our goal is not necessarily to advocate for one side of a political issue, but to foster discussion from different viewpoints.
It’s been great to organize debates that demonstrate how each side of a controversial issue usually has legitimate reasons and concerns for holding a position. It’s a great learning experience for everyone.
- Overcriminalization with Clark Neily and Judge Erickson
- To Bake or Not to Bake: Debate on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
- Second Amendment in the Second City
- A Constitutional Right to Work? A Debate on Compelled Union Dues
- Restoring the Lost Confirmation
- Abortion and Free Speech
- Sanctuary Cities with Dean Harold Krent and Hans von Spakovsky
- Can Religious Liberty & LGBT Coexist?:
— Chicago-Kent FedSoc (@ChiKentFedSoc) April 12, 2018
Andrew has written several blog posts for the Illinois Family Institute about the policy implications of recent Supreme Court cases:
— IL Family Institute (@ProFamilyIFI) September 7, 2018
Beyond the Law
What are some skills or interests people might not guess about you?
I was homeschooled throughout grade school and high school. The concept of classmates took some getting used to.
What do you do to relax outside of school?
I enjoy reading, camping, exploring used book stores around Chicago, and adoring my angel-faced dog.