Meet the director
Kirk Walter joined Loyola University Chicago in August 2017 as director of the School of Law’s Weekend JD Program. He brings to Loyola a wealth of experience as a lawyer, advocate, mediator, and higher education administrator. Here he share what is unique about the Weekend JD program and why Loyola is a great choice for law school.
I began my legal career serving as elections counsel for the Ohio Secretary of State. In that role I counseled 22 county boards of elections on compliance with federal, state, and local election laws. I have served as an attorney with the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, where I created and implemented Alabama’s ADA compliance initiatives for the 2012 Federal election cycle. I have also worked as a lawyer for consumers seeking mental health services in the state. Most recently, I worked at the University of Alabama where I developed campus-wide initiatives aimed at increasing retention of specific student populations. I also provided mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution services to the University’s more than 600 student organizations.
What I do
I serve as the director of Loyola’s Weekend JD Program to ensure that students receive the resources and support that they need to succeed in law school. This position allows me to work directly with individual students—to get to know them as people—so that I can be a better advisor and advocate for them during this transformative educational experience.
The Weekend JD Program here at Loyola is one of the only weekend programs in the country. By offering this type of class schedule we have created an opportunity for individuals to receive a legal education who otherwise, due to career or family obligations, would be unable to do so. This program, more than any other, embodies the Jesuit idea of cura personalis, or care for the whole person. At Loyola, we view a student’s life experiences and responsibilities as something worthy of care, attention, and respect.
Weekend JD: unique and flexible
Weekend JD courses are structured to allow more interaction between students and their classmates and professors. In part this is due to the fact that Weekend JD courses utilize online learning components that account for a little less than 1/3 of the course instructional time. This allows instructors to cover the clear and unambiguous materials electronically while simultaneously allowing increased time to explore, debate, and engage with the more nuanced materials when meeting in-person.
Single greatest benefit of the Weekend JD Program
Students in the Weekend JD Program benefit tremendously from the rich diversity of its student body. This diversity includes important characteristics like race, sex, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, as well as work and life experience. For example, we currently have several students who are medical doctors or hold advanced degrees. When learning about medical malpractice in Torts class, the classroom discussion is truly enriched when students share their personal and professional experiences and perspectives in this area.
Loyola’s Philip H. Corboy Law Center is located in Chicago's Gold Coast area just steps from Michigan Avenue. Chicago is a fabulous city, with leading law firms, corporations, and government agencies in virtually every area of endeavor. In addition to providing an unparalleled setting for educational opportunities, Chicago is also one of the most prestigious cities in the world in terms of recreation and entertainment. There are two major airports in the Chicago area and Loyola is convenient to public transportation. I live in Lakeview and ride my bike to work when weather permits. When I am not at the School of Law, I am likely dining out at one of Chicago’s many fabulous restaurants, or hanging out with my husband, David, and our rambunctious Jack Russell Terrier, Bella.