I have been involved with the Law School for more than 50 years—first as an evening student entering in the summer of 1969, then later as a day student, an alum, a member of the adjunct faculty, a member of the Alumni Board, and a member of the Board of Trustees for 20 years. I am still a member of the adjunct faculty (of UIC Law) and still serve on the Board of the former Law School Corporation. A highlight of my Board service was chairing the committee that oversaw the purchase of 19 West Jackson [now the Community Legal Clinics] and the complete renovation of the Campus, including the new Collaboration Commons, which I was pleased to support with a naming gift. If you consider the phrase “time, talent and treasure,” I have devoted a lot of time, and some treasure as well, to the school. I will leave the talent part for others to judge.
I served in the positions I have held, and been a regular financial supporter of the Law School, for many reasons.
First, the School offered me significant opportunities and support while I was a student, including allowing me to switch from the evening division to the day division in a way that enabled me to graduate in three years (just before my savings ran out), accommodating part-time work while I was in school, and providing several generous stipends and scholarships. Now that I am an established lawyer I want to pay that back, or, as we say these days, “pay it forward”.
Second, I truly believe in the mission of the School—which has remained unchanged to this day—and its value to our greater community. We could not have a just legal system without the opportunities the school provides, and the school fills a need not addressed by any other Chicago law school.
Finally, the School is a great place. It may seem irrational to some who remember the way the campus was in the 1970s, but when I first set foot there I was immediately taken by the energy and sense of purpose that filled it. It was the reason I decided after one semester to quit my day job and become a full-time law student. I still feel that energy and sense of purpose, even though there have been many changes since I first walked through the revolving door at 315 South Plymouth Court.
Now, of course, the School most of us experienced as students is part of UIC. I served on the Board committee that negotiated the transfer, so I probably am biased, but I think this is a very positive development. In some ways it may have been the end of the “old” JMLS, but it was the beginning of new possibilities for the School to continue its mission and serve our community in ways that probably would not have been possible otherwise.
I intend to be part of the Law School’s future by continuing my support going forward, and I encourage each of you to do the same.