North Central College - Naperville, IL

Alec Phillipp ’14, Kerby Kniss ’15 begin John Marshall Law School internships this fall

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Alec Phillipp ’14 and Kerby Kniss ’15
Alec Phillipp ’14 and Kerby Kniss ’15

North Central College prelaw students Kerby Kniss ’15 and Alec Phillipp ’14 will learn about fair housing law firsthand when they begin internships this fall in Chicago. Both have been accepted to The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Undergraduate Internship Program.

Kniss of Lanark, Ill., is majoring in political science with a minor in conflict resolution. Phillipp of Plainfield is majoring in sociology/criminal justice with a minor in political science.

The Fair Housing Internship Program offers select undergraduate students in the Chicago area an opportunity to study fair housing law at John Marshall’s campus in Chicago. Students also participate in a supervised internship where they serve community members with housing needs and are exposed to public- and private-sector fair housing career opportunities.

This opportunity seemed a perfect fit for both students. Kniss (photo, left) has known since high school she wanted to be a lawyer. “I’ve wanted to help people who are less fortunate and believed I could do that best by being a lawyer,” she says. Phillipp wants to be an attorney in criminal law and was looking for an internship that focused on law. “These are harder to find and this program came highly recommended with classroom and hands-on learning,” he says.  

They will earn four semester hours of credit from the John Marshall Law School when they complete the class and 40-hour volunteer internship at a Fair Housing Legal Clinic or other housing agency.

“John Marshall has wanted to work with North Central College on this internship program for awhile,” says Marlene Starzyk, internship coordinator at the College. “This is the second year North Central students have been accepted to this prestigious program.”

Kniss expects the internship will expose her to different clients with different problems. “I’ve had a summer job at a law firm in Naperville that deals with foreclosures and condominium law and work with a certain client base. It will be interesting to see the various ways people deal with housing issues.”

When the law class at John Marshall starts in August, Phillipp (right) plans to catch the Metra train near North Central’s campus to Chicago. “I’ll keep my regular course load and involvement in Mock Trial and fit in the volunteer work, which will likely be in Wheaton at the Hope Fair Housing Center. I’m keeping my focus on the long-term goal of law school.”

Kniss won’t have as far to travel. She has enrolled in North Central’s Chicago Term and will live downtown Chicago with other students in the program. Chicago Term consists of two classes in the city and an internship; Kniss’ internship with Marshall fits the Chicago Term requirement perfectly.

Kniss’ and Phillipp’s academic studies in prelaw, political science, sociology/criminal justice and conflict resolution are among more than 55 undergraduate majors and programs offered at North Central College.

The John Marshall Law School offers the Fair Housing Internship Program to students free of charge because of a grant provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) and the Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP).