Monica Llorente

Senior Lecturer


Biography

Monica Llorente is a Senior Lecturer at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. She was also appointed by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to the Judicial Screening Committee, which evaluates and recommends candidates for federal district court judge in the Northern District of Illinois. 

Monica has broad experience in both the private and public sectors. Monica started her legal career as an attorney in the Corporate & Securities Department of Baker & McKenzie's Chicago Office, where she focused on mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances of publicly and closely held corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships in the United States and across the world.  Monica came to Northwestern from the firm to continue practicing through the law school’s Bluhm Legal Clinic and run and develop the Children’s Law Pro Bono Project, through which she recruited, trained, and supported pro bono volunteer attorneys from law firms in juvenile delinquency and school law matters.  She has represented young people in need in various types of judicial and administrative proceedings.

Monica continues to work on local and national campaigns with youth, parents, educators, legislators, and others to advocate for changes in education and juvenile justice. Throughout the years, she has blended her private and public experience to create and develop new organizations and policies to better serve those most in need. For example, in 2005, she co-founded Dignity in Schools, a new organization uniting advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders to improve juvenile justice and school expulsion policies and implement alternatives through legislation and practice, and, in 2015, she co-created the Transforming School Discipline Collaborative, an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to supporting districts and schools to implement equitable and non-exclusionary discipline practices.

She has served in other organizations outside of Northwestern, including, in the past, as Board Member of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and, currently, as Education Co-Chair of the ABA Children’s Rights Litigation Committee. She has received several awards, including the American Bar Association Section of Litigation's Award for Outstanding Service.

Apart from teaching, at Northwestern, she currently serves on Northwestern’s Tech Advisory Committee, and was a charter member of the university’s Experimental Teaching and Learning Analytics Program. Monica has served in many other appointed positions in the law school, such as Acting Director of Diversity Education and Outreach, Acting Director of Career Services, and Faculty Advisor for the Latino Law Students Association.

From 2013 to 2019, Monica taught in the Legal Field Studies courses within the Chicago Field Studies program in the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences. Since 2003, Monica has been teaching many different courses for law students at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, including:

  • Basics of Contract Drafting (seminar that provides hands-on training in contract drafting techniques)
  • Business Associations (lecture course on law of unincorporated business associations and corporations)
  • Judicial Practicum (practical course that examines judicial systems and contemporary judicial issues in class while students are externing for a judge)
  • Public Interest Practicum (experiential learning course that explores practical and ethical issues faced by public interest lawyers and the challenges of enforcing legal rights of low-income clients while students work for a public interest organization)
  • Creating Change as a Lawyer (course analyzing the role of law and lawyers in making change happen)
  • Clinic (hands-on course teaching students how to practice law by actually working on real-life cases)
  • International Team Project (comparative law course where students travel to another country and work on a real project),
  • Interviews and Investigations (interactive class to develop these skills)
  • Trial Advocacy and Ethics (simulation class to learn the elements and strategies of a trial and examining the code of lawyers and morality in the law).

Before going to law school, she was a teacher, and she received her bachelor's degree in Comparative Area Studies and Political Science from Duke University. Monica lives in Chicago with her husband, Mike, whom she met in law school, and their two children.

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Areas of Expertise

  • School Law
  • Clinical Teaching
  • Pro Bono
  • Juvenile Justice


Education

  • BA, Duke University
  • JD, Northwestern University

Prior Appointments

  • Adjunct, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

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