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UIC Law Hosts 2nd Annual Rising Attorneys Inclusive Summer Experience (R.A.I.S.E.)


After much success last year, UIC Law welcomed 31 students for its second annual R.A.I.S.E. program. This two-day immersive program was designed for UIC undergraduates interested in pursuing a legal education, with a goal of providing access and information on how to impact their communities by using a law degree to promote social justice. Under the direction of Sonia Green, Associate Dean of Part-Time Programs, R.A.I.S.E. was made possible thanks to the time and energy put forth by many faculty, students, and staff members.

The R.A.I.S.E. 2024 cohort received insight into the law school application process, tips for success, financing their law degree, law school courses, and more. Additionally, students had the unique opportunity to meet and network with UIC Law faculty, staff, alumni and legal industry leaders such as appellate court justices.

Read highlights from the program below.

Informational Presentations and Panel Discussions

UIC Law faculty members Vice Dean Julie Spanbauer, Professor Maureen Kordesh, and Dean Sonia Greenspoke with students through an array of informational presentations and panel discussions. Topics from this year included “Getting into Law School”, “Succeeding in Law School”, “Current Issues in the Law” and “Paying for Law School”.

Throughout the various presentations and panels, facilitators provided expertise and valuable insight to assist students in their future law school journeys.

“Before sitting down to apply to law school, figure out your ‘why’. This not only helps you distinguish what you’re look for in a potential institution, but also serves as a means of grounding and reminding you what you’re doing this for when things get tough in your journey,” said Academic Achievement Program Coordinator Ravinder Sahota.

During panel discussions, students also had the opportunity to ask facilitators specific questions in order to get a deeper understanding of the law school process.

Mock Classes

Participants had the opportunity to sit in on four different mock law school classes taught by UIC law faculty. Students first took part in an Evidence course taught by Professor Marc Ginsberg. The lecture touched on what evidence is, how it is categorized, how to present evidence, and the jury selection process.

The next course was on Restorative Justice, taught by Professor and UIC Law Restorative Justice Project Coordinator Michael Seng. Professor Seng taught students what restorative justice is, why it is important, and the tactics used to achieve it.

Professor William Ford followed up with an insightful course on The Right of Publicity and Video Games. This class allowed students to explore the legal implications of using a public figure’s image and/or likeness in video games and past court rulings on the subject.

Finally, R.A.I.S.E. students took part in a course on Trademark Law taught by Intellectual Property Law Clinic Director and Professor of Law Yolanda M. King. Professor King shared her extensive knowledge of the subject matter including the development of trademark law, different categories and types of trademarks, and trademark infringement.

Mock Trial

Our R.A.I.S.E. students also had the unique opportunity to participate in a mock trial. With the assistance of current UIC Law students, faculty and alumni, participants were presented with the case of People of Illinois v. Thorpe and divided into teams to represent the defense and the prosecution. Students were then coached by UIC law students and alum and tried the case in from of real-life Appellate Court Justice Jesse G. Reyes and Justice David Navarro!

Praise for R.A.I.S.E

The second annual R.A.I.S.E event received extensive praise from its cohort of participants.

“Professor Seng’s Restorative Justice class was the best part of R.A.I.S.E., it was very interesting to hear about the different techniques used,” said participant Rachael Darbro

“Talking to the students and getting their experiences and advice on things like taking the LSAT and studying was not only inspiring and motivating, but overall, very helpful and insightful,” stated participant Tara Vijay.

“Getting to meet with justices, learn about how the court system works in Illinois, and act out an actual case with current law school students and alum was a really fun and invigorating experience,” explained participant Rabaisha Ahmed.

Dean Green also had high praise for the students who participated. She noted, ” I could not be prouder of the students who opted into this program. They participated actively throughout every session, and asked great questions. We also had some R.A.I.S.E. alumni involved, and we hope to keep this program going – and growing – for years to come!”

For those interested in assisting with the next R.A.I.S.E event, please contact