Continuing Legal Education

History on Trial: The Alton School Cases

December 9, 2016
1:15 - 2:45 p.m.
1.50 MCLE hours, including 1.50 approved Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours
Co-sponsored by Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission

Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
301 East North Water Street
(map and directions)


In 1897, Scott Bibb, an African-American father of two school-age children, resisted the newly-imposed racial segregation in the Alton, Illinois schools. Join us for a look at the family’s persistent legal efforts over the next 11 years and a panel discussion regarding how the case might have unfolded under current laws and rules. The program includes a video replay of the DePaul University Theater School production chronicling the events surrounding this case.

Program Panelists:
Moderator and Panelist: J. Steven Beckett
, University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign
Dawn Frison Cook, Your Crowning Achievement, Chicago, IL
Hon. Leonard Murray, Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago
Scott Szala, Winston & Strawn LLP (Chicago) (retired); Adjunct Professor, Northwestern Pritzker College of Law (Chicago) and University of Illinois College of Law, (Chicago/Champaign)



1:15 – 2:15 p.m.  Dramatic Presentation of Alton School Cases (Video Replay)**
Don’t miss this video presentation by the DePaul University Theater School that dramatically portrays actual historical events that occurred in Illinois in the 1890s and 1900s involving the Alton, Illinois school district. Review one family’s efforts to secure the “good common education” (which was declared to be available to all children by the Illinois Constitution in 1870) during a time of school segregation.

2:15 – 2:45 p.m.  Panel Discussion
Our panelists discuss the historical context of the case, as well as the legal developments since that time and the impact it had on the future.


**Some of the dialogue and scenes have been created to enhance the dramatic effect. References to scholarly writings regarding the events will be included in the course materials.