Inspiration for Your Oral Arguments

As the 1Ls deliver their oral arguments this weekend as part of the Charles-Evans Hughes Moot Court Competition, they may draw inspiration from the words of attorney Clarence Darrow, arguably one of the greatest orators of the 20th Century. 94 years ago this August, Darrow delivered “perhaps the most eloquent argument ever made against the death penalty” in defense of 18 year-old Richard Loeb and 19 year-old Nathan Leopold, Jr. (“Commentary: The original ‘affluenza’ case: Leopold and Loeb,” Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2016).

Loeb and Leopold, who had pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering 14 year-old Bobby Franks the previous May, faced the possibility of the death penalty. The offspring of wealthy men, Leopold and Loeb, who had committed a “senseless” crime that shocked the country, demonstrated a courtroom demeanor that did not awaken sympathy to their causes (“Commentary,” Chicago Tribune). Darrow’s thoughtful eloquence, however, succeeded in persuading Judge John Caverly to spare their lives. Instead, Judge Caverly sentenced the defendants to life in prison plus 99 years (“Leopold and Loeb’s Criminal Minds,” Smithsonian Magazine, August 2008).

If you would like to read Darrow’s own prose, Chicago-Kent Law Library has some books that you may want to look at. Some examples are:

Closing arguments : Clarence Darrow on religion, law, and society, by Clarence Darrow and S. T. Joshi.

Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom, edited by Arthur Weinberg.

Best of luck on those oral arguments!

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Help with Formatting Your Appellate Brief

Word 2016Need some help formatting your appellate brief?  Debbie Ginsberg is around during the day all this week – stop by or make an appointment for any questions you have.

Below, you’ll find information about your template, our online guide, and help with Tables of Authorities.

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Coming Up: ABA Techshow 2018 (Mar. 7-10)

Dan Katz promo for the ABA TechshowAre you looking for a quick way to get up to speed on the latest legal technology?  ABA hosts an annual Techshow in Chicago that provides one of the best opportunities for students to engage with emerging legal technologies hands on.  The Techshow runs from March 7 – 10 at Hyatt Regency Chicago.  The conference will feature dozens of one-hour sessions on all kinds of legal technologies – from practical tips for using Microsoft Office, to digital security, to favorite websites and mobile apps.

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Secure Your Logins: Password Managers and Two-Factor Authentication

Can you completely protect yourself from being hacked? I’m afraid not, but developing a couple of basic security habits around your passwords and logins can add a powerful layer of protection.  Continue reading

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Chicago Daily Law Bulletin for Students

Did you know the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin offers free subscriptions online for Chicago-Kent Law Students?

Student Subscriptions

You just need to “purchase” your subscription using your student email account on the Law Students page:

CDLB student subscriptions

Free “Store” for students

CDLB student subscriptions CK link

Be sure to select “Kent” as you checkout

Online services from Chicago-Kent Daily Law Bulletin

Your online subscription will include daily headline emails and access to their Legal Career Center.

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin email headlines

Headline emails are sent each day with links to top stories, like this write-up of a second amendment event hosted by our Round Table, ACSLP, and Federalist Society in November 2017

You can also follow the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin online via social media to get the latest local legal news:

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Chicago Legal Tech Innovator Showcase

On October 24, Chicago-Kent and the Chicago Bar Association hosted the Chicago Legal Tech Innovator Showcase.  This event started with a special CLE event featuring three local technology leaders – Rakesh Madhava – CEO, NextPoint, Wendy Rubas – General Counsel, Village MD, and Kevin Chern – Managing Partner, UpRight Law — discussing innovation and its importance in today’s legal marketplace.

Chicago Legal Tech Innovator Showcase Panelists on October 24, 2017

Chicago Legal Tech Innovator Showcase Panelists

Innovator Showcase Winners

The Showcase also highlighted 10 best local innovators of 2017 – 5 firms and 5 businesses. Showcase participants met with the innovators face to face to ask questions, and then the 10 innovators provided short demonstrations of their specialized product or service in a TED-style talk.  The 10 winners were: Continue reading

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From Radio Shack to the U.S. Supreme Court

This Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in a case that, as an article in the Nov. 27, 2017, New York Times describes it, “could spur a new era in digital privacy.”

While the case, Carpenter v. United States, had its origins in a “run-of-the-mill purse snatching,” according to the Washington Post, it has morphed into “the most important Fourth Amendment case we’ve seen in a generation.” Thus asserts Nathan Freed Wessler in a USA Today article. Mr. Wessler is the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who will argue the case on Wednesday.

According to the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on September 28, 2016, the Question Presented is: “Whether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell phone records revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment.”

In addition, the case involves the Stored Communications Act, 18 USC §§ 2701 to 2711.

If you would like to place this landmark case in context, Chicago-Kent’s Law Library has resources that may be of interest to you. Some examples are the following:

Cybersecurity Law by Jeff Kosseff. An ebook published in 2017, it discusses the Stored Communications Act on the following pages:

  • Section 2701 278–279
  • Section 2702 279–284
  • Section 2703 284–286
  • full text 461–476

Privacy Law in a Nutshell. Published in 2014, it is located on the 10th floor of the law library.

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Legal Skills Workshop: Effective Listening

Last week Professor Robbins, head of our Praxis Certificate program, hosted a workshop with Jenny Johnson Ware on the value of learning to listen effectively and the long-term career value in developing on this skill, especially for young attorneys.

Listening matters well beyond the legal profession, of course – you may find some of these tips helpful with approaching big family holiday dinners too! The workshop also included an excellent handout of resources on listening for lawyers, which I have incorporated into the links throughout this post.

Professor Jennifer Robbins and Jenny Johnson Ware

Quick Reads:

Workshop Content

Professor Robbins and  Ms. Johnson Ware organized the workshop around a “toolkit” of effective listening skills with the following acronym: Continue reading

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A Toast to George Boole

George Boole. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

Today, November 2, 2017, marks the 202nd birthday of British mathematician George Boole. While you may not have heard this name before, advanced searching in legal research databases arguably owes its origins to Professor Boole. Search techniques that involve AND, OR, and NOT, relationships among keywords known as “Boolean Terms & Connectors,” are premised on Boolean logic.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Boolean” as: “of, relating to, or being a logical combinatorial system (such as Boolean algebra) that represents symbolically relationships (such as those implied by the logical operators AND, OR, and NOT) between entities (such as sets, propositions, or on-off computer circuit elements).”

In Westlaw, for example, the “Advanced Search” “Connectors and Expanders” bear the traces of the British logician’s legacy: Continue reading

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Free Money? A comprehensive list of student legal writing competitions

icon of person holding reading materialWith prizes as high as $25,000, there is good money in student legal writing competitions (not to mention great experience).  Suffolk has compiled a list of current competitions by topic and due date. Are you interested in writing about tax law?  Check out the 2018 Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition, which offers a $2,000 prize for first place and $1,000 for second.  Or maybe you’d like to write about companion animal law in a competition sponsored by the American Kennel Club?  You could win $2,500.  Other topics include administrative law, education law, gaming law, women’s rights, and many more. You are sure to find at least one competition that looks fun and challenging.

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