711 means more than just a quick cup of coffee

What government lawyer doesn't need a little extra help now and then? And wouldn't it be great to encourage more young lawyers to consider public service careers? Tackle both problems by using the services of a senior law student.

Law students who have completed three-fifths of the credits required for graduation, which means most third-year students, may engage in a limited practice of law under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711. The student must be in good standing at his or her law school. Law graduates who have not yet been able to take the bar, or who are awaiting the results of the bar or are waiting to be sworn in may also practice under Rule 711(a).

The 711 students may work in a legal aid office, a public defender's office, or in a law office of the State of Illinois or any of its subdivisions. ( S. Ct. Rule 711(b).)

The services a 711 can perform under the supervision of a licensed attorney are very broad. The student may counsel clients, negotiate settlements and prepare documents. (S. Ct. Rule 711(c)(1).) Documents filed in court may be signed by the student whose status must be noted, and the supervising attorney must also sign the document.

The students are permitted to make court appearances. In cases where imprisonment is possible, the student may participate as an assistant to the supervising attorney in pretrial, trial and post-trial proceedings. (S. Ct. Rule 711(c)(2)(ii).) In criminal cases where imprisonment is not a possibility, the student may conduct pretrial, trial and post-trial proceedings with or without the presence of the supervisory attorney. (S. Ct. Rule 711(c)(2)(iii).) A 711 student may also prepare documents to be filed in appellate courts, noting the status of the student, with the papers filed in the name of the supervisory attorney.

Using a 711 student can be a great asset to the supervising attorney. "Without the 711 students we would be representing fewer clients, especially after funding reductions forced us to lay off permanent staff in 1995," noted Michael Fiello, Directing Attorney of the Murphysboro office of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance. Fiello also noted that he has generally been very impressed with the quality of the students who have worked with him. Students get to experience the rewards of public service, which can have a long term impact. Fiello started his law career as a 711 student working in the Champaign office of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance.

Law students or graduates can be paid for their services, but many have the opportunity to work for school credit. Supervising a student who is working for credit will likely involve some extra work for the supervisor. But according to Carbondale's Assistant City Attorney Deborah Nelson, the time spent working with 711 students is a good investment. Nelson trains the 711 students who work with her to handle cases in city court. "It takes additional time in the beginning only. Later it makes my job easier." Nelson also assigns students to various short term research projects. For an overall evaluation of 711 students, Nelson stated, "We want them whenever we can get them."

To find out more about availability of law students from Illinois law schools contact any or all of the following:

Chicago-Kent College of Law
565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 906-5000


DePaul University College of Law
25 E. Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 362-8701


John Marshall School of Law
315 S. Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 427-2737


Loyola University, Chicago School of Law
One E. Pearson St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 915-7120


Northern Illinois University, College of Law
Swen Parson Hall
Normal Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815) 753-1420


Northwestern University, School of Law
357 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 503-8649


Southern Illinois University, School of Law
Lesar Law Building
Carbondale, IL 62901
(618) 536-7711


University of Chicago, Law School
1111 E 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
(312) 702-9494


University of Illinois, College of Law
209 Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-0931

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March 2001Volume 2Number 2