SIU Law School will lease space in Belleville, IL, complex


This 2019 photo shows the old Lindenwood University campus at 2300 W. Main St. in Belleville. Now owned by the city, it is called Belleville Educational Complex.

Southern Illinois University Law School is set to become the fifth tenant of the former Lindenwood University campus in Belleville.

It will rent office space and a classroom from the city of Belleville for its new Southwest Illinois Justice and Labor Training Center, according to Experiential Education Director Shelly Page. from the School of Law, based in Carbondale.

Students will take classes with a local judge and attorney while interning full-time in the state and federal court systems in St. Clair County.

“One of the things we want our students to be able to do when they graduate is pass the bar exam, of course, but also be ready to practice, get started on the field by representing clients, whether individuals or the State. of Illinois,” Page said Thursday.

Plans are for the Belleville-based center to start with three students this fall and gradually expand, but remain relatively small to keep teacher-student ratios low.

Students will take classes with retired St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Annette Eckert and Belleville attorney Anna Young and work in the offices of the St. Clair County Attorney and Public Defender. Clair and the United States Attorney and Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of the United States District Court. Illinois.

“Eventually we will be working with the (Illinois State Police Metro-East Forensic Science Lab) which is right next to the old Lindenwood campus,” Page said.

Belleville Mayor Patty Gregory could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could Eckert or Young. A press conference on the Southwestern Illinois Justice and Workforce Training Center is scheduled for July 25.

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Exteriors of Rusty Bailey Law School SIUC media and communication resources

The SIU School of Law was established in 1972 on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It has about 250 students enrolled for the fall semester, according to spokesman Pete Rosenbery.

Page credits Dean Camille Davidson for pushing forward the idea of ​​a hands-on training center, noting that faculty have wanted one for a long time.

“She was the one who made it happen,” Page said. “Not just talking about it, meeting, thinking about it. She put boots on the pitch and made sure it actually came to fruition.

The huge brick complex at 2300 W. Main St. originally housed Belleville Township High School and later Belleville West. Missouri-based Lindenwood University operated a satellite campus from 2003 to 2020.

The city bought the property last fall for $3 million. It is now called Belleville Educational Complex.

The other four tenants are:

Earlier this year, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a 2022-2023 budget that allocated $5.9 million to SWIC to manage Belleville Educational Complex’s buildings, lands, tenants and operations.

This story was originally published July 8, 2022 5:00 a.m.

Teri Maddox has been a journalist for 37 years and joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1990. She also teaches journalism at St. Louis Community College in Forest Park. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Nancy I. Romero