On Saturday, March 3, 2012, The National Latina/o Law Student Association and the Chicago-Kent College of Law Hispanic Latino Law Student’s Association co-hosted the Central Region Encuentro at Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. The audience was composed by law students coming from various schools located all over the Midwest, as well as undergraduate and high school students from the greater Chicago land area. During registration, we had representatives from the Department of Labor providing information about their job openings and the DePaul College of Law Human Rights in the Americas Summer Program providing information to students interested in summer school.
The Encuentro began with an introduction into the Latino/a Critical Thinking Theory (LatCrit) by Northern Illinois University Law professor Guadalupe Luna. She also spoke about her experiences teaching property law and the different pedagogical approaches taken by other professors and case book authors in the area of property law.
The first panel discussion, led by Professor Alberto Coll from DePaul Law, discussed the recent Supreme Court decision Padilla v. Kentucky. Our panelists, Professors: Anita Maddali, César Garcia-Hernandez, and Linus Chan discussed the Padilla ramifications, and described the importance of having assistance of counsel during immigration proceedings.
The second panel discussion, led by Professor Jones from NIU Law, addressed important aspects of immigration law practice. Our panelists: David Richmond and Salvador Cicero, both practitioners of immigration law, shared their practical experiences at their respective law firms and provided valuable career advice to our attendees.
The final panel discussion, led by Chicago-Kent HLLSA President Veronica Cortez, hosted four members of the judiciary who shared their experiences at the bench. Our panelists: Hon. Edward Arce, Hon. Mark Lopez, Hon. Luciano Panici, and Hon. Raul Vega from Cook County explained their work, discussed interesting cases currently before them, and encouraged students to pursue careers in the judiciary. The Cook county judges concluded the event by inviting students to visit their courtrooms so the students can witness the judges daily work.
Overall, it was a rewarding experience to witness our community gathering together and participate in academic discussions. It was a pleasure to work with the panelists, moderators, presenters, and others who volunteer their time and effort to make this 2012 “Encuentro” for the Central Region a great success!
See you at the National Conference this fall at UCLA.
NLLSA Central Region Director
Northern Illinois College of Law 2012