The downtown law offices of Locke Lord were the site for 31 varsity teams competing in the Conference “A” season opener on October 1, 2011. Locke Lord attorneys judged debates and presented a panel discussion entitled “Urban Debate and the Legal Profession.” The firm provided a wonderful, professional venue for our students (not to mention excellent meals and snacks). University of Chicago Charter School, Woodlawn Campus, prevailed in the tournament. (Debaters Isaac Brown and Vernon Fleming are shown in the photo above.)

Jennifer Kenedy, Managing Partner of Locke Lord’s Chicago Office, explained why the firm got involved. “Debate and the power of effective and persuasive communication are at the heart of just about any career choice today. Our attorneys enthusiastically volunteered their time to judge this competition and look forward to this chance to work with Chicago Public School students to help them develop their oral advocacy skills and learn more about the role of debate in the legal profession.”

According to CDC board member Jack Oest, Visiting Professor at John Marshall Law School and retired Locke Lord partner, “The Locke-Lord Season Opener confirmed just how effective law firms can be in working with local debaters. The firms help the students develop the kind of case-building and argumentation skills they will need to be successful (and not just in law) while the students get to meet established and successful attorneys who act as role models and provide career counseling.”

Thanks to Locke Lord for an excellent event.