Harold J. Krent, dean of Illinois Tech’s Chicago-Kent College of Law, is the recipient of the 2018 Leonard Jay Schrager Award of Excellence, conferred on July 12 by the Chicago Bar Foundation. The award recognizes attorneys in academia who have made significant contributions to improving access to justice for the less fortunate.
“I am gratified that the CBF has recognized the pioneering work of my colleagues at Chicago-Kent in using technology to help ensure broader access to justice for those who cannot obtain legal services,” says Krent. “We are making a difference.”
Krent was recognized for his leadership role in a succession of important and far-reaching public-interest initiatives, many of them carried out with his students. Together, he and his students have advocated for domestic violence victims, represented criminal defendants pro bono in cases involving significant issues of constitutional law, evaluated the lack of procedural safeguards for tenants facing eviction in Chicago courts, and promoted the use of technology to assist pro se litigants and legal aid attorneys.
A Chicago-Kent faculty member since 1994 and dean since 2003, Krent has also strengthened the law school’s J.D. Certificate Program in Public Interest Law, expanded the public interest component of the law school’s extensive externship program, and provided many years of support to the legal aid clinic in his residential community.
The Schrager Award is named in honor of Professor Leonard Jay Schrager, former dean of The John Marshall Law School and for many years a distinguished professor there. The award is endowed by the law firm of Reed Smith LLP and its partners. Their support allows the recipient of the award to direct a special Chicago Bar Foundation grant to the law school clinic or legal aid program of his or her choice.