Before I started at Law Bulletin Publishing Co., I worked at The Times of Northwest Indiana as first a reporter and then as an editor. When I started at The Times I worked as the education reporter. Northwest Indiana is a unique community because the economic disparity is extreme from community to community — poor communities bump up against higher-economic communities. This translates into school districts that vary greatly in terms of resources that operate within miles of each other.
I wrote many stories about this economic disparity and how it affects local education. For one series, I spent a week shadowing students at four different schools in four different economic areas. I learned so much about how an economic situation can lay the foundation for a student's future. For example, at one school, students received laptops to handle in-class assignments. While about 15 minutes away at another school the students couldn't even locate batteries to share a calculator for an assignment that needed the help of scientific calculators. This may not seem like a huge deal, but it acted as one example of how resources can vary and how often a lack of resources impacts learning. Throughout the series the examples continued.
While there was no way of really knowing which students would succeed or whether receiving everyday access to a laptop, for example, really improves education, it did show that education is not uniform for all students. And a lack of uniformity may affect who goes to college and who does not.
We often hear about how lawyers go into classrooms to introduce students to the legal profession. In some cases this means lawyers teach legal seminars in high school classrooms or help start mock trial programs. One group of lawyers took these pipeline and reach-out programs a step further and is in the process of starting a legal-focused charter school in Chicago. The cover story on this initiative talks about how a group of lawyers who work with different pipeline programs comes together to start this school and to create a thus bigger impact on diversity in the legal community. The school opens this fall and time will tell if it works, but it's an interesting concept.
Also on the topic of diversity, reporter Roy Strom wrote about how clients work with law firms to address diversity. Some clients require their firms to put nonwhite and female lawyers on their legal projects, while many law firms partner with their clients to create diversity-based programs.
This month we offer several diversity charts. Our main diversity survey starts on page 26 of the print edition and our survey showing how lawyers breakdown based on age starts on page 48. We also have surveys on law schools, public offices and the courts.
Freelance reporter Robert Loerzel profiled lawyers over the age of 80 who continue to practice law because they love the profession and love how the profession changes and grows.
In this month's "Inspiring Innovators" series, freelance reporter Christine Kraly wrote about fascinating law professor Len Cavise from DePaul University College of Law. He acts as an example of someone passionate about the profession and their job.
I wanted to introduce our readers to our new columnist Theresa Zagnoli who will be writing the "Communication Conundrum" column. As a founding partner and CEO of Zagnoli McEvoy Foley LLC, she has been providing communication solutions to attorneys and business leaders for over a quarter century. She said her singular understanding of the juror and expertise in persuasive communication has made her one of the most sought-after consultants in the nation. Her first column on the art of the apology runs this month.
And in that vein I need to apologize for the magazine not including three firms in our June survey: Chapman and Cutler; Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa; and Bryce Downey & Lenkov. Here are the stats that should have appeared in last month's main survey:
Aronberg Goldgehn: Number of lawyers in Illinois, 45. By category — Equity, 20; Income, 3; Associate, 17; First-year associate, 1; Of counsel, 5. Lawyers by geographic region — National, 45; Latin America, Europe/Russia, Middle East, China, Japan and Africa, all 0. Location of home office, Chicago. Total number of offices, 1.
Chapman and Cutler: Number of lawyers in Illinois, 171. By category — Equity, 71; Income, 27; Associate, 59; First-year associate, 10; Of counsel, 10; Staff attorney, 4. Lawyers by geographic region — National, 212; Latin America, Europe/Russia, Middle East, China, Japan and Africa, all 0. Location of home office, Chicago. Total number of offices, 4.
Bryce Downey & Lenkov numbers weren't available at press time.