John Marshall Recognized for Practical Experience Opportunities with Grant Presented by Illinois Gov. Quinn

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A grant funded by Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Independent Colleges Capital program will promote experiential learning opportunities at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School.

Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn presented The John Marshall Law School with a $3.2 million grant that is helping to support experiential learning opportunities for its students.

The funding helped with the purchase of 19 W. Jackson Blvd., a three-story building at the corner of Jackson and Plymouth Court, and for its restoration and redesign from storefronts into a clinic space for the Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC), which is one of John Marshall’s programs that offers experiential learning while still in law school.

“As Chicago’s practice ready law school, The John Marshall Law School has a commitment to our students, our alumni and indeed the city of Chicago,” said John Marshall’s dean, John E. Corkery. “With this grant, we have enhanced the learning opportunity for our students, restored an historic building on West Jackson, and increased the level of service to veterans in the Chicago area.”

The award, announced at a press conference on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, brought together representatives of private schools in the Chicago area whose projects were approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The funding was distributed through the Independent Colleges Capital Program (ICCAP) created in 2009 as part of the capital program called Illinois Jobs Now! funding for ICCAP projects came through the sale of Build Illinois bonds.

John Marshall’s $3.2 million grant will be distributed over time. The law school earlier received $1.5 million, and has now received an additional payment of $928,000.

The law school purchased the three-story building at 19 W. Jackson Blvd. with the intention of moving the VLSC into that space.

The VLSC is just one of John Marshall’s experiential learning initiatives that help students to prepare for a career in law through practical experience before graduation. Organized in 2006, the VLSC is a national leader in serving veterans on all aspects of Veterans Benefits Administration claims from the initial, factual intake to the technical representation of claims at the appellate level.

“The students at the VLSC get an opportunity not only to do research and writing, but they get direct client involvement from the beginning of their matter all the way through to the end,” said Brian Clauss, executive director for the VLSC. “They get the critical skill of how to interview and counsel clients.”

Clauss said students working in the VLSC learn how to interview and counsel clients—skills that also are learned in John Marshall’s Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Clinic, and the Business Transactions Externship Program. The grant funded through ICCAP will support these initiatives to make John Marshall graduates practice ready.

“I extend my thanks to the governor and the members of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. This grant made a significant impact on our project at 19 W. Jackson,” Corkery added. “This funding supported our efforts in the creation of our state-of-the-art facility that provide community outreach and legal services to veterans in the greater Chicagoland community while providing our students with hands on, practical experience.”

About The John Marshall Law School

The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago’s legal, financial and commercial districts. Through classes, clinics and special programs, students develop the strategic, analytical and transactional lawyering skills that are so valuable to employers. Its excellent curriculum, coupled with outstanding skills and experiential learning, help make John Marshall graduates practice-ready from day one. For practicing attorneys, John Marshall offers nine LLM degrees, more than any other law school in the Midwest. John Marshall is also a leader in providing distance education options in intellectual property, estate planning and employee benefits at the advanced graduate degree level. John Marshall offers six clinical experiences, including the nationally recognized Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic and the Fair Housing Legal Clinic. U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2014 edition ranks John Marshall’s Lawyering Skills Program second and its Intellectual Property Law program 12th in the nation.

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Marilyn Thomas
The John Marshall Law School
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