Friday, September 28, 2012

Prairie State Legal Services is Hiring

An article in yesterday's Rockford Register Star said that Prairie State plans to add 13 attorneys to defend foreclosure cases.  The funding for the new hires will come from a settlement obtained by the Attorney General's office.  HERE is a link to the article.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Emergency Motions in Bankruptcy Court

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois just issued a new General Order regarding procedures for emergency motions.  The procedures must be followed for anyone seeking emergency relief after October 1, 2012.  The Order states that matters may only be treated as an emergency if "it arises from an occurrence that could not reasonably have been foreseen and requires immediate action to avoid serious and irreparable harm."  I wish there was a state court equivalent to that order.  I've often thought that most "emergency" motions filed in state court are not really an emergency at all.  

In any event, I thought you should be aware of this new Order, a copy of which can be found HERE.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My 1L summer internship experience at BP America Inc.

My 1L summer, which ended a few weeks ago, was memorable.  Not only was I thankful that I had emerged alive at the other end of the first year of law school, I was also incredibly fortunate to receive an offer from BP to be one of its two legal interns at its Naperville-Chicago offices.  The internship is supported by the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiative of BP's Legal Department, and applicants are required to demonstrate a commitment to D&I.

Being a BP intern was a privilege with huge benefits.  As everyone who's ever been a law student probably knows, there are very few 1L internships.  Of those available, most are unpaid, or at best, minimally paid.  Not only does BP add some serious weight to one's resume, it also provides a healthy salary and a tremendous learning opportunity.

To begin with, all the legal interns (five across the company) were taken to corporate headquarters in Houston for a week of orientation.  The orientation included such onerous tasks as a steak dinner at one of Houston's finest dining establishments, and a day in Galveston visiting the Offshore Drilling Museum and lunching on fresh seafood by the ocean.

On returning to Illinois, I was immersed in the work-world of BP's attorneys -- all of whom have impeccable credentials (Managing Editor of Stanford Law Review!  Undergraduate degree from Yale!  Taught at MIT!  Formerly of Katten!  Formerly of Sidley!  Formerly of Jenner & Block!  etc.).  I rotated through all the practice areas in the Naperville-Chicago offices, spending one week in each.  Devoting time within many areas and watching attorneys interact so closely with their clients (in some cases, they literally work in the same room) taught me volumes about the practice of the law.  Some lessons were unique to the corporate counsel experience.  For instance, I was invited by one of the attorneys to a day-long Incident Response Seminar at which several business units strategized on how to respond to an incident, and I saw where and how Legal fit into that plan.  It was an experience unique to a major corporation with a large in-house legal department like BP, and it gave me a very specialized perspective.

BP went to great lengths to groom me for my legal career.  I went through a resume review, a session on interviewing tips, and three mock interviews towards the end of my internship, to help prepare me for my future job search.  As an intern, I was partnered with an attorney who was my "buddy" and my main contact.  He would stop by my desk every day to chat, give me pointers, and answer questions.  I went into his office often -- to talk about my interests, ask questions about firms, and discuss the law school experience.  He pulled me into meetings with clients, external counsel, consultants, and other attorneys within the group, and patiently cleared the fog that often clouded my mind.  He provided a wealth of advice and encouragement, and always had time for me.  I was assigned another attorney for my summer project -- a comprehensive presentation on a consent decree.  She made time to explain complex technical matters to me, took me to meetings with the client, reviewed my draft, resolved my confusions, fielded the tough questions at my presentation, and was unfailingly supportive.  Throughout the legal department, no door was shut to me.  People were friendly, cheerful, and always ready to feed me lunch.

Thanks to BP, my interests have broadened.  In particular, I hope very much to be involved in D&I initiatives wherever I work.  Before my internship, I didn't even know that such an area of activity existed within a business organization.  BP not only taught me about its existence and its visibility, it also showed me how much of a priority it can be to an organization.  BP has shown me what D&I can look like within an organization, and I plan to build on that experience.

Without the least bit of exaggeration, I can say that I loved every single day of my summer at BP.  I created friendships, built connections, and was part of the legal team of one of the largest corporations in the world.  It was, without a doubt, the 1L summer of my dreams.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kane County Eviction Guidelines

I have previously posted the Sheriff's eviction instructions for Will and Kendall Counties. The Will County instructions are HERE and the Kendall County instructions are HERE.  Also, both of these are linked in the Forms Archive of this Blog.

Now I also have a link to the Kane County Eviction Instructions.  The Kane County instructions can be found HERE and they are also located in the Forms Archive.

Kendall County Eviction Guidelines

Several months ago, I posted the Will County eviction instructions published by their Sheriff's Department.  HERE is a link to that post and the instructions are also linked in the Forms Archive portion of this Blog.

Those instructions have gotten a lot of clicks since I put them up, so I am now linking to the Kendall County Eviction Guidelines.  HERE is a link to the Kendall County Guidelines. They also appear in the Forms Archive as well.

Let me know if anybody has any questions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Law School Tuition in Illinois

As reported in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, here are the tuition amounts for in-state students for all law schools in Illinois (in alphabetical order):

  • DePaul University College of Law - $43,636
  • IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law - $42,900
  • John Marshall Law School - $42,724
  • Loyal University Chicago School of Law - "around $41,000"
  • Northern Illinois University College of Law - $19,811
  • Northwestern University School of Law - $53,468
  • University of Chicago Law School - $53,560
  • University of Illinois College of Law - $37,100
  • Southern Illinois University School of Law - $16,995

I wonder what value the Chicago students receive that is worth 2-3 times the NIU tuition?  This chart just confirms my decision nine years ago to go to Northern.

LCD Class Action Lawsuit

If you bought a LCD flat-panel TV between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2006, you may be entitled to a settlement in a current class action lawsuit.  The case alleges price fixing of the screens.  

Unfortunately, the class action does not apply to purchases made in Illinois.  So, if you reside outside of Illinois, and you picked up this blog on Google, or if you happened to purchase a TV while on vacation out of state, you are in luck.

Claims can be submitted online at Anticipated payment to claimants is $25.00.