- Student Experience
- Student Organizations
Involvement in student organizations can open the door to very beneficial opportunities such as academic support, career planning, resume building, and networking with practicing attorneys. Furthermore, the practice of law involves a certain willingness to serve the community by volunteering time and skills, and service organizations within the school encourage community involvement. And there are dozens of student organizations at Chicago-Kent—from the American Bar Association to the Law Review to the Society of Women in Law—catering to a diverse range of backgrounds and ethnicities, interests, and legal specialties.
As the primary funder of those organizations, the Student Bar Association serves as the umbrella entity for all other student organizations. First organized in 1942, the SBA is affiliated with the Illinois Law Student Association, the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association. All students are due-paying members of SBA through the Student Activity Fee. The association engages in various activities at the law school and acts as a liaison between students and the faculty and administration. It appoints a member to participate in and vote at faculty meetings, sponsors speakers, programs, and social events. Officers and student representatives of the SBA are elected each year from the student body.
List of Organizations
American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division: The ABA Law Student Division provides opportunities for its members to meet with attorneys from all areas of practice from across the country. Membership requires an application to the ABA.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-CK): The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) works to promote the cause of civil liberties among the students and faculty at the Chicago-Kent chapter and to take such action to further this purpose as is consistent with policies of the ACLU of Illinois. The ACLU-CK chapter sponsors speakers, events, and panels while also engaging in volunteer work to give back to the community.
American Constitution Society: The American Constitution Society (ACS) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the open debate and discussion of constitutional principles and issues. The society seeks to restore the fundamental principles of respect for human dignity, protection of individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice to their rightful and traditionally central place in United States law.
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA): The Chicago-Kent chapter of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association was founded in 1989 to increase social and professional opportunities for Asian American law students. Many APALSA members are Americans of Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese ancestry, but participation is not limited to individuals of Asian ethnic descent. Students interested in fostering the exchange of ideas and information involving Asian Americans and Pacific Rim affairs are encouraged to join. APALSA provides a forum for the discussion of national and local issues concerning Asian Americans through its affiliation with the National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, which represents over 40 law schools in the United States, and the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago. By participating in a variety of community outreach programs, APALSA seeks to increase the visibility of Asian American interests at Chicago-Kent and in the legal community.
Bankruptcy, Insolvency, and Restructuring Association
Black Law Students Association (BLSA): The Black Law Students Association was founded in 1968 by students attending New York University Law School. Since then, BLSA chapters have been established at more than 90 law schools throughout the country. The Chicago-Kent chapter was established in 1974. In accordance with national guidelines and goals, Chicago-Kent's BLSA chapter seeks to supplement the legal and cultural education that members receive in the classroom, to increase opportunities for black students to attend law school, to assure their success as students, and to facilitate their placement in positions that are personally satisfying and that relate to the needs of the community.
Chicago Bar Association (CBA) Law Student Division: The Law Student Division of the Chicago Bar Association provides students with the opportunity to become involved in a variety of different specialty groups in their areas of legal interest. The CBA also regularly sponsors luncheons and seminars.
Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property: The Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property is a student-run publication. The Journal’s mission is to present articles that analyze the fundamental issues affecting intellectual property rights, the changing climate of different areas of intellectual property especially related to advances in technology, and issues and opinions surrounding recent judicial opinions and how they may affect the future of intellectual property rights, among others.
Chicago-Kent Lambdas: The Chicago-Kent Lambdas is an organization that provides support to students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The organization welcomes all students interested in areas of law that affect the LGBTQ community. The Lambdas sponsor speakers, events, and panel discussions on legal issues that affect queer and trans communities.
The Lambdas also represents LGBTQ student interests with Chicago-Kent administration in advocating for institutional support and change. Additionally, the Lambdas provide a forum for social and professional interaction by hosting social events for Chicago-Kent students and by actively maintaining links with other queer law student associations at other Chicago law schools, as well as the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago.
Chicago-Kent Law Review: The Chicago-Kent Law Review offers a challenging and rewarding opportunity to law students who have demonstrated superior academic ability. The law review editors and staff publish four issues of the review each year. Each issue contains articles written by distinguished legal scholars from across the country and is published in a symposium format under the direction of a faculty editor. Every issue of the law review also contains a select number of student articles which the executive board chooses on the basis of the article's contribution to legal scholarship. The selection process for law review membership is very competitive. All students in the top 7 percent of their first year class are invited to join the law review staff. A limited number of students who have completed their first year and have achieved a minimum grade point average are also invited to join the law review based on their performance in a writing competition held during the summer. Evening students also have an opportunity to join the law review after their second year by placing in the top 7 percent of the combined class with first-year day students or through the writing competition after their second year. Second-year students make up the staff of the law review and assist in the publication process in addition to researching and writing their own articles for publication. A number of students are elected to serve as editors of the law review during their third year of law school. The editorial board is ultimately responsible for editing both professional and student articles, for publishing the law review, and for maintaining the review's high standards of scholarship.
Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association (SBA): The Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association functions as the voice of the student body and more broadly as its form of representative government. Officers and student representatives are elected each year from the student body at large. The SBA acts as a liaison between students and the faculty and administration to improve student life, ensure academic excellence, and provide opportunities for professional growth. As the umbrella organization for all other student organizations, the SBA is responsible for ensuring fiscal solvency of its budget as well as the management and authorization of the financial budgets for all Chicago-Kent student organizations.
Child and Family Law Society (CFLS): The Child and Family Law Society was established in 2010 to promote an understanding of family law and its effects upon society. CFLS is focused on exploring domestic relations within the private sphere. This exploration ranges from the establishment of to the termination of domestic relationships and includes ancillary dispute resolution. CFLS focuses on both an academic and practical agenda in attempting to create a full understanding of family law within the world. Finally, CFLS is committed to assisting the future of the Chicago-Kent community through its alumni network and career-oriented goals.
China Law Society: We aim at helping Chinese students get involved in the Chicago-Kent and the greater community in Chicago. By increasing professional and social opportunities by providing a network of students, professors, and alumni who share the knowledge and experience of studying and working in the United States, China Law Society seeks to promote legal and cultural exchanges at Chicago-Kent. We welcome students of all backgrounds to participate in our events, which are both fun and educational.
Christian Legal Society: The Christian Law Society is a non-denominational group of students who meet regularly for prayer, fellowship, and discussions concerning the implications of the Christian faith on the practice of law.
Corporate Law Society: The Corporate Law Society is committed to promoting the study of corporate law at Chicago-Kent and to preparing CLS members for successful careers in practice areas such as business planning, financial services, securities regulation, real estate, and tax law. With these goals in mind, CLS provides students with informational, speaking, and networking events with Chicago-Kent alumni and other local attorneys in the field in order to both build relationships and provide educational opportunities. CLS also works with Chicago-Kent faculty and staff to encourage the expansion of the corporate and transactional law curriculum and the offering of other related opportunities.
Criminal Law Society: The Criminal Law Society is a student-run organization committed to building awareness of criminal law issues and providing opportunities to engage with other students and professionals interested in criminal law. The mission of the society is to promote the thorough understanding of the criminal law field through active discussion and involvement. The Criminal Law Society is committed to increasing the presence of criminal law at Chicago-Kent through speakers, panels, networking events, and other interactions with society members and practitioners within the field.
Cyber Security and Data Privacy Society: The Cyber Security and Data Privacy Society (CSDPS) is a group of law students committed to cutting-edge legal issues related to the internet, mobile technology, and computers. These issues include internet privacy, computer crime, commercial data, and many other subjects. CSDPS’s focus is to provide an avenue for discourse that allows students to learn and think critically about these issues, and to prepare them for eventual legal careers in these areas. In addition to inspiring new interest in the cyber security field and providing practical experience, CSDPS acts as a valuable networking vehicle with attorneys through panel discussions, meetings, and research opportunities.
Decalogue/Chicago-Kent Jewish Law Association: Decalogue is a national organization aimed at promoting Jewish and legal ethical values. This organization focuses on the relationship between the legal profession and the Jewish community. The Chicago-Kent chapter specifically focuses on bringing Jewish education and networking to the school’s community.
Environmental Law Society: Chicago-Kent's Environmental Law Society (ELS) is a student organization focused on enhancing our school's profile as one of the nation's top-rated environmental law schools. We do this by heightening awareness of environmental law and its connection with other bodies of law and disciplines; promoting sustainability within our law school; raising student eco-consciousness and encouraging personal sustainability throughout the student body; supporting students financially in their quest to serve the environment; and contributing to the enhancement of the environmental law curriculum. We pursue this mission in a number of ways, including speaker panels, environmental summits, internal initiatives, fundraising, and social events. We are also a member of the National Association of Environmental Law Societies, which enables us to partner with other law schools nationwide.
Federalist Society: The Chicago-Kent Federalist Society is a group of civil libertarians and conservatives interested in the state of the legal order. The society promotes the intellectual exchange of views concerning current legal and public policy issues. Our annual Speaker Series stimulates this active discourse on our campus. Working together with a variety of other student organizations, the Federalist Society hosts legal scholars from across the country and invites them to share, discuss, and debate their views with our students and faculty.
First-Generation Law Student Association: The First-Generation Law Student Association was created to provide support for first generation students, bridge connections across Chicago-Kent cultural and affinity groups, and foster diversity in the legal field. First-Gen aims to provide networking and educational opportunities for our members, many of whom are not only first generation law students but also first generation college graduates and Americans.
Hellenic Law Student Association (HLSA): The Hellenic Law Student Association (HLSA) is dedicated to connecting Chicago-Kent students with Greek judges, attorneys, and other law school students in the Chicago area, as well as professionals of any and all ethnicity. The Hellenic Law Student Association works with the Hellenic Bar Association to relay information to students about networking, educational, and scholarship opportunities. HLSA also works closely with other law schools and universities, such as John Marshall Law School, Loyola University, DePaul University, and Northwestern University, to strengthen connections and networking skills among Hellenic students.
Hispanic Latinx Law Student Association (HLLSA): The Chicago-Kent Hispanic Latinx Law Student Association was founded in 1982. HLLSA actively seeks to increase opportunities for Hispanic students to attend law school, provide necessary support for their academic success, and assist students in becoming acclimated to the law school environment.
Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Law Student Division: The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Law Student Division is a professional organization which offers law students the opportunity to learn about the practice of law through seminars and publications. Law student membership of the ISBA is a great way to start networking with practicing attorneys while you are still in law school. Membership requires an application to the ISBA.
Immigration Law Society (ILS): The purpose of the Immigration Law Society (ILS) is to create a forum where those interested in immigration issues can come together to share their ideas and concerns. ILS hosts experts from private practice, public service, and governmental agencies in order to educate the Chicago-Kent community on the rewards and obstacles of a career in immigration law. ILS members come from diverse ethnic, linguistic, and professional backgrounds, and are dedicated to participating in public service activities that positively impact Chicago's immigrant communities. Through ILS, members engage in networking activities with firms and organizations that need their particular skills.
Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS): IPLS educates Chicago-Kent students about the many opportunities available in the broad field of intellectual property law. Through interaction with the IP department as well as with local IP practitioners, IPLS also seeks to provide its members with a practical perspective on the practice of IP law that is not necessarily addressed in substantive IP courses. IPLS holds a number of events throughout the school year to facilitate this goal. These events are designed not only to educate, but also to give students a head start in their introduction to the practice of IP law in Chicago. Student opportunities include resume workshops, discussions with guest lecturers, informal lunch sessions with members of the IP Department and local practitioners, and various social events. IPLS also occasionally has collaborative exchanges with intellectual property student groups at other local law schools.
International Law Moot Court Honor Society: Members of the International Law Moot Court Honors Society have the opportunity to participate in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The competition is the largest and most prestigious of its kind, bringing together law students from more than 50 countries to compete on an international legal issue. The event is held in Washington, D.C., and corresponds with the annual ILSA Spring Conference.
Irish American Law Student Association: The Irish American Law Student Association was founded in 2013 at Chicago-Kent. Chicago houses many proud Irish-American attorneys and judges. This organization focuses on bringing networking and educational events to Chicago-Kent, connecting like-minded students with successful legal professionals.
Kent Justice Foundation (KJF): Kent Justice Foundation is an organization dedicated to increasing law student awareness of public interest law issues and opportunities. KJF works with several Chicago-Kent groups including the Career Services Office, the Public Interest Resource Center, and the Center for Access to Justice and Technology to provide students with direct access to public interest lawyers, clients and projects. Through fundraising events held during the year, the highlight of which is the Spring Auction, KJF raises thousands of dollars to fund summer fellowships for Chicago-Kent students who work for public interest agencies or government entities after their first or second year.
Labor and Employment Law Society (LELS): The Labor and Employment Law Society provides a forum for students to become aware of current issues in the fields of labor and employment law by organizing informative lectures and facilitating student interaction with experienced practitioners.
Moot Court Honor Society: The Moot Court Honor Society is devoted to the art and technique of appellate advocacy, with the ultimate goal of training outstanding appellate litigators. The Society seeks to achieve this goal in two ways: through classroom training and through participation in intramural and interscholastic appellate advocacy competitions.
Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA): The Muslim Law Students Association strives to focus on the legal issues confronting the Muslim community. These issues include civil rights, human rights, hate crimes, and Islamic legal topics. The MLSA hosts civil rights lawyers, public officials, and legal scholars to educate the law school community on these issues. The MLSA also seeks to provide a network of support for Muslim law students through a diverse program of activities.
National Lawyers Guild: The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is a public interest association of lawyers, law students, paralegals, jailhouse lawyers, law collective members, and other activist legal workers in the United States. NLG is dedicated to progressive change in the structure of our political and economic system in order to protect human rights. The Guild was founded in 1937 as the first racially integrated U.S. bar association.
Student chapters of NLG sponsor annual events like Disorientation, which provides progressive law students with a sense of community and support in an educational environment that can often feel alienating and disheartening. Other events put on by NLG include teach-ins, panels, and documentary film screenings. We also hold training sessions to educate students on how to monitor police misconduct so they can volunteer as NLG Legal Observers at local protests.
Phi Alpha Delta: Phi Alpha Delta, the world’s largest professional legal fraternity serving the student, the law school, and the profession, is dedicated to the ideals of community service. Its goal is to form a strong bond uniting students and teachers of the law with members of the bench and bar. The international organization offers professional programs, student loans, job preparation, job placement assistance, insurance programs, a quarterly publication, conventions, conferences, and awards. PAD is open to all students interested in developing their leadership and speaking abilities and desiring to excel in the legal profession.
South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA): The Chicago-Kent chapter of the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) was founded to provide academic support and professional development opportunities for South Asian students. The organization currently focuses on expansion and investment in its members by creating opportunities to network with other law school students and professionals of South Asian descent within the legal community. The organization is committed to community service work, involvement with the Indian American Bar Association and Asian American Bar Association, and providing continued assistance to the South Asian community in need of legal aid.
Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS): The Chicago-Kent Sports and Entertainment Law Society seeks to help students learn more about the sports and entertainment law fields. SELS caters itself to its member students. Numerous times each semester, leaders within the sports and entertainment fields come to speak to SELS. These on-campus events provide students with an opportunity to not only learn about sports and entertainment law, but also provide students with excellent opportunities to network, or even seek out potential internships. In addition to on-campus speakers, SELS keeps students up-to-date with national conferences. Furthermore, SELS hosts social events throughout the year.
Student Humanitarian Network (SHN): Law students from across the country formed the Student Hurricane Network, a national association dedicated to providing assistance to communities affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The legal questions and problems facing the individuals and communities throughout the Gulf Coast region were monumental in scale, and remain so even now. The organization dissolved at the national level in 2005, but the Chicago-Kent Student Hurricane Network organization has continued to support and organize Chicago-Kent students who are interested in providing assistance to legal agencies involved in hurricane-related projects and additional areas as the city continues to rebuild. SHN works with students at Chicago-Kent to coordinate travel and fund-raising efforts for service trips to New Orleans. In an effort to respond to the evolving and diverse needs of the community in New Orleans and other communities, the organization has formally changed its name to the Student Humanitarian Network.
Trial Advocacy Team: Chicago-Kent has earned a national reputation for having one of the top Trial Advocacy Programs in the country. Trial team members demonstrate their trial advocacy skills in local, regional and national mock trial competitions.
Society of Women in Law (WIL): The Society of Women in Law strives to address and meet the personal, professional, and academic needs of both female law students as well as all law students at Chicago-Kent. We focus on issues that are often considered women's issues, but affect all students, regardless of sex or gender. Through mentorship programs, speaker events, volunteer opportunities, and other activities, we attempt to serve the needs of law students in every aspect of their lives. We also use our resources to educate all students on the legal status of women in society and explore the possibilities for change that will help all people to achieve their goals.