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Patricia J. Whitten Among the 125 Alumni of Distinction Recognized by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

October 31, 2013

Franczek Radelet is pleased to announce partner Patricia J. Whitten is among the 125 Alumni of Distinction selected by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. The College is celebrating 125 years of trailblazing, innovative and successful alumni who have helped shape the legal profession, given back to their communities and to the law school and helped raise the profile of Chicago-Kent on a global level.

“This latest recognition for Patti is a fitting tribute to the success of her practice and her commitment to the Kent community, and the education and legal communities,” commented Ronald J. Hein, managing partner of Franczek Radelet.

After nearly a year-long process including more than 400 nominations, a committee of alumni, faculty, staff and students selected 125 alumni for this distinction award. These alumni selected stand for the countless alumni who have made such a huge impact on the legal community and the greater community at large. The 125 Alumni of Distinction represent a cross-section of our community that is as diverse and multi-faceted as the law school itself.

Patti has devoted her legal career to the practice of education law. Her practice involves all aspects of education law, including litigation at state court, federal court, and administrative agencies. She has an in-depth background in constitutional and civil rights, including educational equity and desegregation issues, labor and employment, student issues, tax and finance, board policy and administrative matters, and legislative drafting and interpretation. She has been involved in several precedent-setting federal cases, including authoring friend-of-the-court briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts on behalf of school districts and education-related organizations.

Prior to joining the firm, Patti served as general counsel for the Chicago Board of Education for more than 11 years, and prior to that she spent most of her legal career in the Chicago Board’s Law Department. She was the Chicago Board’s first female and youngest general counsel. During her 15 years at CPS, she helped to steer the nation’s third largest school system through turbulent events, including budget crises, district-wide shutdowns, and employee strikes, as well as the advent of school reform and local school councils. Patti is an active member of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Council of School Attorneys. She was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Education Law Section Council and the Committee on Law Related Education for the Public, which she chaired. She is also a founding member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys and currently serves on its executive board. In 2011, Patti received the Professional Achievement Award from the Chicago-Kent College of Law Alumni Board of Directors.