Richard S. Kling, clinical professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology, will receive the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s annual dinner on Friday, November 20 at the University Club in Chicago.
A member of the Chicago-Kent Law Offices faculty since 1981, Kling maintains a clinical practice concentrating on criminal defense on the state and federal trial, appellate and post-conviction levels. He teaches courses in evidence, forensic sciences, professional responsibility, and clinical practice. Prior to joining Chicago-Kent, he taught at Northwestern University School of Law. Kling has taught at DePaul University College of Law and has been on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
Kling completed his undergraduate education with a degree in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. After graduating from law school, he joined the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, where he served as a member of the Special Homicide Task Force.
“Richard Kling’s entire legal career has been devoted to protecting the rights of the accused,” said Richard Labrador ’00, an assistant Cook County public defender. “He is a gifted attorney and teacher who leads by example. When I worked with him in the Criminal Clinic, I learned how to apply what I learned in class to the ‘real-life practice of law.’ He taught me how to ethically, zealously, and competently represent clients.”
Kling has tried hundreds of homicide cases, including 28 capital cases, and continues to have an active criminal practice in state and federal courts around the country.
Colorado District Court Judge Deborah J. Grohs ’85 said, “Richard Kling ignited my passion for criminal defense work when I interned in the legal clinic. He taught, by example, that all citizens who are accused of crimes should be represented with respect, compassion and zeal. I carry all of his lessons with me each day while I am on the bench. The citizens of my community are in better hands because of the training and support I received from Richard Kling.”
Kling has regularly appeared as a professor-reporter for the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts and was recently appointed professor-reporter by the Illinois Supreme Court for the Capital Case Committee. He regularly lectures to lawyers and judges on the Illinois Rules of Evidence, and participates in CLE programs for bar associations and public defenders’ offices in Chicago and surrounding counties.
Kling is co-editor of a three-volume training manual for the Cook County Public Defender and is the author of Illinois Criminal Defense Motions, a manual of motions for Illinois criminal defense practitioners. He is regularly quoted and interviewed by local and national electronic and print media regarding cases in which he is involved and other cases of note, as well as general criminal justice issues.
“Richard Kling is proof that loving what you do results in being the best at what you do,” said Nima Baratzadeh ’15.