January 16, 2009

As part of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago’s (CRFC) Edward J. Lewis II Lawyers in the Classroom program, more than 25 Jenner & Block attorneys will visit Chicago-area classrooms in the 2008-09 school year to lead interactive lessons on the U.S. Constitution.

The Lawyers in the Classroom program annually matches attorneys with Chicago public school classes to teach second through eighth grade students about constitutional liberties and the nation’s legal system.  Jenner & Block Associates Christine L. Childers and Thomas M. Winegar, who conducted a lesson in November called “No Hats Allowed” with fifth and sixth graders at Mozart Elementary School, were featured in a recent Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article discussing the program.  Ms. Childers and Mr. Winegar used hypothetical situations focused on a fictional school board’s rule prohibiting all hats to help the students explore their rights under the Constitution.

In addition to Ms. Childers and Mr. Winegar, Jenner & Block Partners Gregory M. Boyle and Robert T. Markowski and Associates Michael Babbitt, Jennifer Cassel, Tiffany E. Clements, Melissa L. Dickey, Kathleen A. Hanley, Derek A. Higginbotham, J. Andrew Hirth, Shannon J. Jones, Sapna G. Lalmalani, Olivia T. Luk, Kathryn C. Newman, Andrea C. Otto-Classon, Marisa K. Perry, David P. Saunders, Trevor F. Schrage, John R. Schleppenbach, Eric Schwab, Amy L. Signaigo, Emma J. Sullivan, Sandi J. Toll, Julie A. Wenell and Bilal Zaheer and Law Clerk Molly Penn are volunteering with the Lawyers in the Classroom program in the 2008-09 school year.

“The kids are amazingly insightful. The process by which they struggle to understand and apply the concepts and values embodied in the Bill of Rights to the problems we present to them is a wonderful thing to see,” said Mr. Markowski, who has participated in the program for nearly two decades.

Nearly 600 Chicago lawyers visited 95 schools this fall with the Lawyers in the Classroom program, and the attorneys plan to visit the schools twice more throughout the year.

The CRFC is a nonprofit organization that provides law-related education to Chicago-area students in order for them to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to serve their communities and nation as active, responsible citizens.  The Lawyers in the Classroom program is named for former Jenner & Block Partner and CRFC Board Member Edward J. Lewis II, who passed away in 1997 at just 37 years of age.

“Edward’s enthusiasm and commitment to the Lawyers in the Classroom program inspired me to get involved,” said Mr. Markowski. “Participating in this program helps to keep his memory alive.”

Mr. Markowski and Partners Jeffrey D. Colman and Thomas P. Sullivan serve as members of CRFC’s Board of Directors.

Please click here to view Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article.