Chicago Public Schools Honors Sidley for the Firm’s 25-Year Partnership with Kanoon Magnet Elementary School
The relationship is the longest corporate partnership for any Chicago school
– Sidley Austin LLP is privileged to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its corporate partnership with Gerald Delgado Kanoon Magnet Elementary School, the longest corporate partnership for any Chicago public school. In recognition of the relationship, Chicago Public Schools has named Sidley’s Newton Minow honorary co-chair for the Principal for a Day program on October 29. The event features a luncheon sponsored by Mayor Daley that will include the showing of a video commemorating the Sidley-Kanoon relationship.
Sidley was the first law firm to adopt a public school in Chicago and has contributed time, energy and resources in an effort to help the school improve the educational experience for its students in a variety of ways. Under the leadership of Chicago partners John Levi and Michele Ilene Ruiz, Sidley lawyers and staff are involved in mentoring activities at Kanoon, including the Principal for a Day program, mock trials, educational field trips, book chats and a Lawyers in the Classroom program, as well as programs such as book and winter clothing drives, school supply drives and Thanksgiving food baskets. Kanoon is the neighborhood school in the Pilsen community on the city’s West side, serves a primarily Latino community of preschool through eighth graders and operates on a bilingual model.
“Sidley’s commitment to the communities in which we serve has long been an important part of the firm’s culture,” said Mr. Levi. “The Kanoon program has been an especially rewarding experience for me and so many of my colleagues.”
The relationship began in 1984 when Mr. Minow, partner in the firm’s Chicago office and former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, was quoted in Chicago
magazine about the importance of improving the city’s public schools. Kanoon’s principal at the time, Belkis Santos, saw the quotation and called Mr. Minow to see if he would make a commitment to improve education by adopting the school. Mr. Minow agreed to invite the firm's employees to help Kanoon, and the relationship has now grown for a quarter century.
“Our mission at Kanoon is ensuring that we develop completely bilingual students and that we prepare them for what the global society is asking of them,” said Juanita Saucedo, Principal of Kanoon Magnet Elementary School. “Sidley has definitely been addressing those issues for us, for example, by helping the school obtain technology and by having the lawyers engage with the students through virtual book chats online.”
The Sidley-Kanoon partnership is one of many programs in which Sidley lawyers throughout the country give back to the broader community. Activities range from programs in which Sidley lawyers volunteer their legal skills, to activities such as reading to elementary children, helping law school moot court teams, training students in important mediation skills, providing meals to homeless women and giving holiday gifts to incarcerated youth.
Sidley Austin LLP is one of the world's largest full-service law firms, with approximately 1700 lawyers practicing in 16 U.S. and international cities, including Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Every year since 2003, Sidley has been named to Legal Business
’ Global Elite, its designation for the 18 firms “that define the pinnacle of the legal profession.” BTI, a Boston-based consulting and research firm, has named Sidley to their Client Service Hall of Fame as one of only two law firms to rank in the Client Service Top 10 for seven years in a row, and to the BTI Power Elite as one of only seven law firms demonstrating the best client relationships for the fourth consecutive year.
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