2016 – Shaye L. Loughlin
DePaul University College of Law is known throughout the country for its outstanding public interest law program, and Shaye Loughlin has been instrumental in building that reputation. As Executive Director of the school’s Center for Public Interest Law, Shaye’s work has one mission: to provide the best possible training for students to become legal advocates for the marginalized and underserved.
A DePaul law alum herself, Shaye took what was a new academic center and helped transform it into a public interest hub attracting law students from around the country. She increased the school’s offerings of public interest courses, while also expanding service learning opportunities. Shaye instituted co-curricular programs, including a “Skills Series” on public interest topics such as criminal records relief and mortgage foreclosure, helping students stay on the cutting edge of legal issues impacting vulnerable populations and preparing them for practice. Shaye also developed DePaul’s Journal for Social Justice, a widely-cited journal that is unique among even the most progressive of law schools. She works with student leaders to expand the public interest programming and host symposia that have covered important social justice topics including immigration policy reform, racism in Chicago and the access to justice crisis.
Shaye has supervised and spearheaded many initiatives that promote a pro bono culture among law students and provide hands-on legal experience. These include the Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative; the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project, a program serving the homeless in the South Loop; a 1L Service Day; and an expansive summer scholarship program for public interest interns, all of which give students a chance to help hundreds more low-income clients and gain experience with local public service organizations.
Shaye’s work is motivated by a sincere dedication to helping the poor and underserved and training law students who will go out into the world excited and ready to fight on their behalf.
Special thanks to Computing Source for this video.