Student Award Winner Personifies IJ Clinic’s Support Of Inner-city Entrepreneurs

Student Award Winner Personifies IJ Clinic’s Support Of Inner-city Entrepreneurs

IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship client Eric Knowles listens intently to the legal strategy student James Langdon has mapped out for Mr. Knowles’s T-shirt screenprinting business.

By Beth Milnikel

The IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School recently named James Langdon as its “2006 Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year.” The award is given annually to the graduating student who most embodies the IJ Clinic’s effort to foster and support the entrepreneurial spirit in inner-city communities. There were several contenders among James’ peers this year. Many of the third-year law students had developed close relationships with their clients, and their clients turned to them regularly for encouragement and sound advice. These senior students also became role models for new students in the Clinic and facilitated both learning and fun during office hours.

Even so, James stood out.

James approached each appointment and assignment with exceptional professionalism and energy. He consistently went the extra mile—from preparing a folder of informational materials for an initial interview to creating a spreadsheet for a client to use in calculating his profit margins in a new line of business. With the knowledge he accrued studying for the rigorous CPA exams in addition to his law school course load, James could offer our clients in-depth advice, and he did so indefatigably. Not even graduation could convince James to stop working for the IJ Clinic. Faced with saying goodbye to a favorite client in the middle of forming a business, James arranged for a fellowship so he could continue working over the summer while also studying for the bar exam.

Thankfully, James will not be going far away. This fall, he will start working in the corporate group at the firm Sidley Austin in Chicago, and we know we will keep him involved.

Beth Milnikel is director of the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship.

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