Welcome from the SBA!

Sofia Valdivia (headshot)

Sofia Valdivia, 2020-2021 Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association President

Welcome to your first year of law school at Chicago-Kent!

My name is Sofia Valdivia and I am so honored to be serving as your current Student Bar Association (SBA) President. I am a 3L here at Chicago-Kent and it seems like only yesterday I was entering my 1L year riddled with uncertainty on how law school was going to be. Would it be challenging? Would my weekends be spent reading casebooks? Would I make any life long friendships? And then as a first generation law student I wondered the age old questions of would I even fit in? Can I even do this?

Well, for me the answers to all of these questions have been yes. Yes, it has been challenging, but also extremely rewarding. Yes, I spend more time than I would like reading casebooks (but I also secretly nerd out about it). Yes, I have made friendships that I know I will have for the rest of my life. And yes, I do belong and I can do this thanks to the friends I have made that act as my cheerleaders, the classmates I am surrounded by that push me to bring my very best to the table, the staff that encourages me every step of the way, and the professors that challenge and guide me into one day becoming a successful attorney.

All of these factors have been driving me in the right direction, and I wholeheartedly believe that every single one of you will have those same experiences because Chicago-Kent is a family and we all want you to succeed!

The Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association (SBA) is the student governance organization for our law school. We represent student concerns, hopes, fears and interests in the academic and legal community within Chicago. As law students, we all love lists so here are the primary purposes of SBA:

  1. To provide a liaison among students, faculty and alumni;
  2. To assume responsibility for student social affairs within the Chicago-Kent;
  3. To serve as a forum for the discussion of professional problems; and
  4. To enhance the professional reputation of Chicago-Kent as well as its students and

Chicago-Kent has a wide array of diverse organizations ranging from Black Law Student Association, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, National Lawyers Guild, Kent Justice Foundation, Sports and Entertainment Law Society, Intellectual Property Law Society, and much more!

We have an annual student organization fair held every year in the Fall where you will have the opportunity to learn about all the student groups on campus and find what interests you. We also have organizations that are student, advisor and professor run including the Chicago-Kent Trial Team, Moot Court Honor Society, and Law Review.

Overall, this year is going to look different. The world has changed and is adjusting, and in true Chicago-Kent fashion we have been changing and adjusting too. Student organizations are already discussing and implementing virtual events. The staff has been working tirelessly to make sure programs and resources will still be available to all students. Professors have been planning and adjusting teaching styles to better serve their students.

We have also been acting more as a community than ever before by hosting open dialogues for students, staff, and faculty to share their concerns surrounding COVID-19 and the protests happening in our city and the country. Students have been standing in solidarity with each other as we fight to combat systemic racism and ICE’s proposed regulations that impact our international classmates. The faculty and staff have committed to an audit to be completed this next academic year to see how Chicago-Kent can better commit to diversity and inclusion.

So while we may be remote at the moment, I have never felt closer to my Chicago-Kent community as we work to overcome the challenges that we keep facing this year. That being said, I am so excited to welcome you to our family and to hear from you, to learn from you, and to grow with you.

As you enter your first year, please remember that the Student Bar Association is here for you. Whether it’s learning how to be more involved in a student organization, or how to tackle your first law school classes, or just simply wanting to express your thoughts, concerns, or fears, the members of SBA are an ear to listen and a hand to help!

On behalf of the SBA, welcome to the C-K family! We are all so happy you’re here!
All my best,
Sofia Valdivia
President | Student Bar Association

SBA Newsletter-August 26, 2019


Welcome to (and back to) Chicago-Kent!

From Faculty:

Dean Krug is hosting an open meeting for 1Ls on Tuesday, September 3 at noon in Room 580. Lunch will be provided!

Returning students and upper-level students are invited to meet Dean Krug on Wednesday, September 4 at 3 pm in Room 580. Refreshments will be provided!

This is a great way to get to know Dean Krug with your classmates.

For Student Leaders:

Leadership Seminars are Tuesday, September 3rd and Friday, September 6th from 12pm-1pm. They are mandatory for all organization presidents and treasurers. Location: Room 165 (past the auditorium and through the grey doors).

*Student leaders: You will need to update the SBA Calendar for planned events to avoid conflicts. Events must be posted to the SBA Calendar in advance (Thursdays) to be added to this newsletter.

Student Events:

Student Organization Fair is Tuesday, September 10th from 12pm-2pm for the Day Division and 4pm-6pm for the Evening Division.

Social Events:

Back to School Bash

Questions or comments, please contact: Bridget Murphy and Sofia Valdivia

Upcoming Career Services Events:

Opportunities at the Department of Justice (DOJ)

  • Wednesday, August 28
  • 3:00 pm-4:00 pm Room 590

Equal Justice Works Conference & Career Fair Information Session

  • Wednesday, September 4
  • 3:00 pm-4:00 pm Room 583

From SBA Leaders:

“What I Wish I Would Have Known”

Below is a list containing advice the SBA leaders wish they had known when they began school.

Building Info

  1. There are student fridges on the third floor outside of the cafeteria. Walk through the SPAK, turn left and make an immediate right.
  2. There are also microwaves and vending machines on the 2nd and 3rd floor.
  3. The cafeteria is not open on the weekends—remember to bring your own utensils.
  4. There is free hot water in the SPAK, outside the cafeteria, next to the ketchup.
  5. The library closes at 5pm on Saturdays. This is secretly a blessing.
  6. You can reserve classrooms throughout the school on the Room Reservation Form. They can be reserved for student groups, or study rooms for a large group. You can also reserve rooms in the library at the front desk or the library.

General Advice

1. A 15-minute nap on a library table will be your best friend in the next few months. Tell one of your friends to throw something at you after 15 minutes.

2. All Chicago schools tend to start at the same time—so if you’re travelling to school during rush hour, plan extra time.

3. Almost everyone in law school is a good student and has probably been at the top of their class their entire lives. Work hard.

4. Always say goodnight to the security guards; they appreciate it.

5. Become friends with Oscar as soon as possible. You’ll thank me later.

6. Bring post-it tabs with you to finals. Some finals will have a read period where you cannot begin typing for a set period of time, usually 30 minutes. Color coded tabs allows you to place a tab on a spotted issue and then place the corresponding color tab on your outline where the relevant rule is.

7. Chipotle’s line at noon is ridiculous.

8. DO NOT TURN IN YOUR EXAM EARLY DURING FINALS. Only in the most exceptional cases is that beneficial. Very few professors take points off. The professor will tally up points on a grade sheet. It is to your benefit to write down as much as possible because you may end up grabbing an extra point by triggering something on his/her grade sheet.

9. Don’t assume the “gunner” will get the best grade in the class. Ever section has a “dark horse.” Find the dark horse. Befriend the dark horse.

10. Don’t get stressed when you hear about your peers securing a summer position early. Everyone we know had either a legal job, an externship, a clinic position, or a research position in the summer. You will find work this summer.

11. Get involved! You DO have a lot on your plate, but you never know what connections will get you a job later on. You normally find one when you least expect it and the best way to do that is by knowing a lot of people.

12. Grading for Legal Writing is very subjective to the writing style your professor teaches you. Legal Writing professors are or were practicing attorneys who have developed a specific style over the course of decades. They believe their way is the correct way. You will develop your own style over time but, for now, adopt the one they teach you.

13. Help each other. Yes, there is a curve and you are graded somewhat based on others’ performances. However, in the real world, your networking and contacts will pay off. Do not mess up your professional relationships by being too competitive on a test that will probably matter very little later on.

14. If you do not do well on your midterms or first semester finals, inquire about joining ASP. However, consider applying now before the deadline closes or else the Dean will have to make an exception.

15. If you are absolutely overwhelmed, do not be afraid to express that to your friends. Everyone is in the same boat and 1L year can feel very isolating if you do not hear from your peers that they feel the same stress.

16. If you’re new to Chicago, make sure you go to the beach as much as possible without interfering with your studying. Winter is coming.

17. It is a small building and you will likely have classes with many of the same people for all three years. Keep this is mind when contemplating dating a fellow Chicago-Kent student.

18. Law school in the city tends to be more professional than college and you never know who you will meet. Try not to wear your sweats to class, although everyone will be guilty of this at some time. As an alternative, keep a business casual outfit on standby in your locker.

19. Looking stupid happens to everyone—breathe, it will be okay.

20. Cold calling is scary and saying something you perceive as dumb in front of the class can be traumatic. But it likely won’t affect your grade. Besides, employers are not going to care about what you said in 1L Torts or how you sounded.

21. Older students are usually more than willing to help you. Use them as your resources.

22. Outline early and often.

23. Take one day/night a week and do whatever you want to do and make sure you never let yourself get too caught up in school lest you lose your mind.

24. You cannot do everything. Your non-law school friends WILL get sick of hearing about law school, so set aside some weekend time to keep in touch. However, you have to prioritize. You probably will not be able to party that much and, if you do, make sure it is with the really important people that you want to keep in your life.

25. You do have to read all your emails. If you do not, you WILL miss something important and you WILL look stupid.

26. Read The Record. If you do not, you will show up to school one day and all your classmates will be in suits and you will have no idea why.

27. Your tuition pays for the food and alcohol at networking events. Go to these events so you can at least eat the food you paid for. You might even do some networking on the side.

*Remember 1L year is full of setbacks, let downs, and missteps; however, these setbacks do not close the door on achieving your goals. Just keep at it, work hard, and learn from your mistakes.

Want to Stay in the Loop about Kent Activities ? See SBA Calendar and SBA Website

SBA Newsletter – April 22, 2019

SBA Announcements and Events

Barrister’s Ball

Finally the wait is over. To access the Barrister’s picture, see our Google Drive Folder

Free Noon Tuesday Yoga

Come boost your awareness and mood with the Kent Community on Tuesdays at noon. Vinyasa Flow taught by our very own 2Ls in the Seventh Floor Space (Former Institute of Design).

All experiences welcomed. BYOM (bring your own mat)

Student Organization Announcements and Events

Environmental Law Society (ELS)

The Environmental Law Society (ELS) is hosting two events next week to celebrate Earth Day. On Monday 4/22 we will have an informational table outside of third floor Spak to educate students on how to be more eco-friendly with a raffle for a reusable (hot or cold) drink tumbler. On Thursday 4/25 we will be having a bake sale also outside of third floor Spak.

Chicago-Kent Chapter of the Justinian Society

“The Chicago-Kent Justinian Society of Lawyers is comprised of Italian-American law students dedicated to contributing to a culturally diverse student body at Chicago-Kent. We’re seeking enthusiastic, dedicated students to serve on our executive board in the fall. If interested, please send a brief statement explaining why you’re interested in serving on our executive board, and what you hope to bring to the organization to ckjustinians@kentlaw.iit.edu.”

Email the SBA on Fridays by 5 PM to have your announcements displayed here.

Chicago Legal Announcements and Events

Chicago Bar Association

The CBA is continuing to offering a ton of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars. These are great opportunities to meet working attorneys and learn about very specific topics. Many of these events are free! You can also watch some of the seminars from your computer.

Click HERE for more information about CBA’s CLE Seminars.

Diversity Film Series on Race & the Law

Tuesday, November 11: Movie, Discussion and Q&A, featuring Dean Harold Krent and Odell Mitchell III

What is it like to be a law student of color?
What does it mean to “call someone out”?
How should you deal with it if you’re called out?

Find out on Tuesday, November 11, at 6 p.m. in the Ogilvie Auditorium. Dinner will be provided.

This event is co-sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, the South Asian Law Student Association, the Asian
Pacific American Law Students Association, the Hispanic Latino Law Students Association, and the Student Bar Association.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/301283563402619

diversity poster updated

2014-2015 Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association Members

Please join us in congratulating the newly-elected members of the 2014-2015 Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association!

President: Casey Brown
Day Vice President: Odell Mitchell
Secretary: Miranda Crowell
Treasurer: Lindsay Hicks

CBA Representative: Alex Brinkmeier
ABA Representative: Dan McGinnis
ISBA Representative: David Welch

3L Day Class Representatives: J. Ian Dible, Gabi Sneeringer, Maureen Bitonio, Brendan Crowley
2L Day Class Representatives: Brandon Johnson, Amber Lukowicz, Wyatt Berkover
2L Evening Representatives: Rebecca Charles, Militza Pagan

The following positions remain vacant and will be subject to Presidential appointment, per the SBA Bylaws.

If you are interested in one of the following positions, please email your candidate statement to President-Elect Casey Brown (cbrown36 at kentlaw.iit.edu) for consideration.

  • Evening Vice President
  • 3L Evening Representative (2 positions)
  • 2L Day Representative (1 position)
  • LLM Representative (2 positions)

Thank you to all for a successful election and good luck to everyone next year!