GW Law Hosts National People of Color Conference | Domestic Violence Program Receives Grant | Lupu, Raven-Hansen Named Associate Deans | Morrison Appointed to ABA Military Committee | Munich IP Summer Program Inaugurates its First Class | Collins Named Advancement Director | University Professor | Colloquium Discusses Procurement Reform | International Students Enrich GW Law | Examining the Arab Perspective | Students Excel in Mock Trial Competition | Public Interest Corner | Faculty Focus
GW Law Hosts National People of Color Conference
More than 200 attendees gathered at the Gala Dinner on the third day of the conference.
(left to right) Associate Dean Alfreda Robinson, Interim Dean Roger Trangsrud, Cecilia Marshall, and John Marshall pay tribute to late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
(left to right) 2L Arika L. Pierce; Adjunct Professor Deleso A. Washington of UDCs David A. Clarke School of Law; 2L Shani Gholston; Associate Dean Alfreda Robinson; J. Aaron Lacy; 3L Toya Gavin; 2L Kevin Gardiner; and Felecia A. Brown, members of the Execution Committee.
In October, GW Law School made history by hosting the largest gathering of minority law faculty at the Second National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, which drew more than 400 attendees. A tradition that began in 1999 at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, the conference is held every five years to give minority members of law institutions the opportunity to discuss critical legal topics. The theme of this years conference was America, Race, and Law at the Crossroads.
Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and Skills Alfreda Robinson was the conference chair. She received an award for her service. Attendees included D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, Interim Dean Roger Trangsrud, and presidents of the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, and American Association of Law Schools. Members of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshalls family also attended the conference, as did law faculty from across the country as well as the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, and South Africa.
In the role of national chair of the POCLSC, Robinson relied on the support of GW Law students such as 3L Toya Gavin, faculty such as Professor Paul Butler, and staff such as Felecia A. Brown to gain national involvement for the event.
Because the goal of this conference is to be inclusive and provide an array of voices on topics of special interest to the participants, it was important to include everyone in the organization and execution of the conference, Robinson says. The result of drawing from such a diverse pool of participants was a conference program of more than 100 panels and events covering critical race theory, the war on terrorism, intellectual property, international communities in transition, same-sex marriages and unions, Brown v. Board of Education, liberation theology, new abolitionism, and federal judicial nominations.
Robinson says she was excited about the range of expertise and perspective brought to the table by the panelists and moderators.
We took special care in selecting people to lead our discussions, Robinson says. We made a point of asking younger, non-tenured faculty members as well as people who have been leaders in their fields for a long time. We tried to avoid the problem of having the same experts talking about the same issues.
Other highlights of the conference included a black law alumni jazz, champagne, and cake reception, awards ceremonies, a tribute to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a Motown dance party, and a dinner gala.
Robinson says the University gained recognition and strengthened its reputation as a result of hosting the conference. Were going to be reaping the benefits of this event for a very long time, Robinson says.
Domestic Violence Program Receives Grant
The Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP), a partnership of The George Washington University Law School, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and a network of participating law firms, is the recipient of a $20,000 grant from Altria Group Inc. Altria, which is the parent company of Kraft Foods and Phillip Morris, made the grant through its Doors of Hope program, which funds legal advocacy and shelter services for survivors of domestic violence. DV LEAP provides free or low-fee representation to survivors of domestic violence in appeals or significant issue litigation around the country. The project was one of 160 domestic violence organizations chosen to receive awards from among 1,100 applications submitted nationwide.
DV LEAP was founded in 2003 by GW Law School faculty member Joan S. Meier, who has been active throughout her career in the fields of domestic violence litigation, system reform advocacy, and welfare reform. DV LEAP fills an urgent need for legal advocacy by providing battered women and children expert pro bono representation to appeal unjust trial court decisions to a higher court.
I am delighted that Altria has recognized the compelling need DV LEAP is meeting and the work we have done so far, Meier says. This award will enable DV LEAP to provide sophisticated, expert legal advocacy at the appellate level to more clients both here in D.C. and in other states.
GW Law School students participate in DV LEAP by providing research support for the appeals work being litigated by Meier and lawyers in partner firms. They also work on various aspects of program building for DV LEAP. For example, a student recently designed and conducted a survey of local domestic violence lawyers on their views of the local domestic violence court and needed improvements.
DV LEAP is part of the Law Schools extensive public service program, which includes the Community Legal Clinics, externship opportunities, the Oxford-GW Human Rights Program, and a pro bono program that encourages and recognizes student volunteers.
Lupu, Raven-Hansen Named Associate Deans
Ira Chip Lupa
Interim Dean Roger H. Trangsrud announced in early December the appointment of Peter Raven-Hansen, Glen Earl Weston Research Professor of Law, as senior associate dean for academic affairs and Ira C. Chip Lupu, F. Elwood and Eleanor Davis Professor of Law, as associate dean for faculty development.
Raven-Hansen teaches national security law, civil procedure, evidence, and a variety of public law courses including administrative law and the law of the presidency. He is a co-author of the casebook National Security Law, co-author of the student handbook Understanding Civil Procedure, as well as National Security Law and the Power of the Purse, First Use of Nuclear Weapons and various articles on national security law. Before joining the Law School faculty in 1980, Raven-Hansen was in private practice with Hogan & Hartson in Washington and worked as a senior economic analyst with Abt Associates Inc. in Cambridge, Mass.
Lupu joined the Law School faculty in 1990. He is a nationally recognized scholar in constitutional law, with an emphasis on the religion clauses of the First Amendment. The National Journal recently named him as one of the experts whom D.C. policy-makers consult as a scholar on issues of religion and state. In his new role, Lupu will act as a point of contact for the Law School faculty regarding activities, such as works-in-progress presentations, conferences, symposia, and other collaborative endeavors designed to facilitate and enhance scholarship and improve teaching. He also will provide advice and assistance to the faculty regarding academic and research opportunities, including sources of funding, and for sabbatical and other leaves.
Raven-Hansen replaces Trangsrud, who left the academic affairs post to take on responsibilities as interim dean. Lupu replaces Richard J. Pierce Jr., Lyle T. Alverson Professor of Law, who is returning to the classroom full time after serving in the position since its creation in 2002.
Morrison Appointed to ABA Military Committee
GW Law School Senior Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs Thomas Morrison was appointed to a three-year term on the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel.
The committee is a perfect fit for Morrison, who joined GW Law School in 1998 after a distinguished 28-year career as an attorney and legal management expert in the Navys Judge Advocate Generals Corps. Through his work on the committee, he will help the military and the Department of Defense improve the effectiveness of legal assistance on civil matters for some nine million military personnel and their dependents.
It is an honor to be asked to serve on this committee at a time when the delivery of legal services to our men and women in uniform, and to their families, has never been more important, Morrison says. U.S. commitments around the world have placed additional stresses on all members of the military community. Recent events continue to remind us that we must dedicate ourselves to the rule of law and improve global access to justice.
Munich IP Summer Program Inaugurates its First Class
The Munich Intellectual Property Summer Program had its first successful run in July 2004 with 31 students from law schools all over the United States and from four countries. The ABA-accredited Munich IP Summer Program was held at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center and offered six one-credit courses in addition to special lectures and study tours to various local IP institutions.
The program allowed students to earn up to four credits during two, two-week class sessions. Students were able to select from classes such as Patents, Technology, and Society, International Patent Law, Internet Law, and Cross-Border Trade in Intellectual Property. The classes were taught by GW professors Robert Brauneis, Roger Schechter, Dawn Nunziato, Laura Heymann, John Duffy, and visiting University of Minnesota professor Dan Burk.
Highlights of the program included several study tours to notable intellectual property institutions in Munich. Students had the opportunity to visit the European Patent Office, the German Federal Patent and Trademark Office, and the Intellectual Property Department of BMW, and engage in discussions with in-house attorneys. Additionally, resident experts from the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition, and Tax Law also spoke to the students.
Of the 31 students, 13 came from GW, while the rest came from law schools such as University of Michigan Law School, University of California-Berkeley at Boalt Hall, and University of California, Hastings College of Law. Countries represented included Ghana, Ireland, Canada, and Romania. The participants also came from a variety of backgrounds with some having significant work experience in software development such as with Voice-Over Internet Protocol, or at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
According to Brauneis, co-director of the Intellectual Property Law Program at GW Law, both the academic and logistical aspects of the program received very positive feedback. Brauneis said that the Munich Program was able to provide a new window on European intellectual property for both professors and students. While some students commented that they wished they had more three-day weekends to explore nearby sights, most students were unanimous in their praise for the program.
Kevin Steele, a 2L day student, was particularly impressed with the diversity of the participants, the classroom facilities at the Law Center, and the quality of the speakers. Steele said, I would have to say the Munich program ran as if it was in its fifth year and not its inaugural session.
David Longo, a 4L evening student, was happy that the program was able to accommodate students like him who could only participate for one of the sessions. He noted that the program had so much to offer that he would participate in the program again if given the chance.
Although the 2005 program will remain essentially the same, there will be some slight changes in classes that are offered, and more non-GW professors will be expected to teach the classes.
M. Cristina E. von Spiegelfeld
Collins Named Advancement Director
Richard A. Collins speaks to alumni at an event in November.
Photo by Dave Scavone
Richard A. Collins, a 25-year advancement professional, has joined GW Law as executive director of the Office of Advancement. Collins leads a staff of five and works closely with Interim Dean Roger Trangsrud and the Deans Board of Advisors.
Collins previously was at Catholic University, where he increased annual private support from $12 million to $18.6 million. Prior to that he was campaign director and associate vice president at the University of Louisville, where he led a record setting $300 million capital campaign. Early in his career, Collins was executive director of development at the University of Miami (Fla.), and director of annual giving at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Collins has been recognized for his fund-raising success, his work with volunteers, and for building award-winning programs.
Collins is excited about working with the GW Law community. With GW Law since July, he has been instrumental in working with key donors and getting to know GW Law graduates.
When Michael Young discussed the GW Law opportunity with me, I was impressed by the strength of the Law School and the accomplishments of GW Law alumni, Collins says. Our early fund-raising success is a reflection of the strong relationships that have been built over time and the pride that is shared by our graduates.
Collins and the advancement team will enhance existing programs by expanding the use of volunteers and improving the donor relations program. Collins will continue to seek support for facilities, and he sees opportunities to increase the Law Schools endowment by promoting planned gifts and by working with a wide range of donors who are interested in scholarship and faculty support.
Professor Stephen A. Saltzburg, who in January was named the first recipient of the Wallace and Beverley Woodbury University Professorship, was honored Oct. 14 for his accomplishments at a ceremony in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room. Saltzburg received a physical Woodbury chair to commemorate the occasion. The event was attended by Cecilia Marshall (shown here with Saltzburg), widow of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Saltzburg is a former Supreme Court clerk to Justice Marshall.
Photo by Claire Duggan
Law Library Friends Group Formed
Membership provides expanded access to library collections
Earlier this year, a group of faculty, staff, and alumni formed the Friends of the Jacob Burns Law Library to gather supporters of the Law Library to contribute to the growth of its collections and participate in library activities. Membership is not limited to GW faculty, staff, and alumni. Other individuals, law firms, and corporations can joinand membership provides eligibility for use of the 600,000-volume collection.
The reading room at the Jacob Burns Law Library.
Photo by Claire Duggan
Spurring the creation of the Friends group was the desire to provide borrowing privileges for law alumni, who, although granted permanent access privileges upon graduation, were not until now eligible to borrow library materials.
The Jacob Burns Law Library is among the largest and most prestigious academic law libraries in the United States. It offers a superb research collection rich in contemporary and historic U.S. legal materials, as well as a fine international and comparative law collection.
Many of the librarys Washington area law colleagues have become Friends, including alumni, law firms, and other organizations. Practitioners in the areas of intellectual property, government procurement, international, and environmental law are rewarded by access to the Law Librarys noteworthy collections in these fields, which have been developed to support the Law Schools highly-regarded LLM programs.
In addition, the Law Library maintains subscriptions to hundreds of scholarly and practitioner-oriented journals and looseleaf services, which augment its collection of U.S. law materials and legal monographs.
The Librarys Special Collections are particularly strong in U.S. legal history, French legal history, ancient legal systems, and trials of all jurisdictions, and include some of the worlds earliest printed books and works available in no other library in the United States (see feature article in spring 2003 at www.gwmagazine.com).
Friends are eligible for access to the Law Library, borrowing privileges, or in the case of law firms and corporations, access with expedited interlibrary loan service. Friends also receive the semiannual Friends newsletter, A Legal Miscellanea, which highlights recent acquisitions and contains articles on historic and contemporary legal works and their authors, as well as a variety of biblio-legal topics, and library news and developments. Friends also receive invitations to receptions, exhibits, and other events sponsored by the Law Library.
The efforts of alumni, faculty, and other individual Friends, as well as the participation of law firm and corporate Friends, will enable the Law Library to maintain and enhance the quality and scope of its important collection, and provide assurance of continued excellence for future generations of scholars and researchers.
To learn how to become a Friend, please contact the Law Schools Office of Advance-ment at (202) 994-6117. For questions concerning the Jacob Burns Law Library, please call (202) 994-6647.
Colloquium Discusses Procurement Reform
Associate Professor of Government Contracts Law Christopher Yukins listens as Jeff Kovar of U.S. Department of States Office of Legal Advisor speaks at the conference.
Photo by Claire Duggan
As part of an ongoing series hosted by the Law Schools Government Procurement Law program, experts from the U.S. State Department, French Ministry of Finance, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, University of Paris, and Georgetown University Law Center gathered in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room Nov. 10 to discuss emerging trends in international procurement law reform. The role of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law was one of the main topics. The symposium, UNCITRAL and the Road to International Procurement Reform, was organized and co-moderated by Associate Professor of Government Contracts Law Christopher Yukins.
Students in the Government Procurement Law program joined the colloquium, and Yukins said they learned from the experience.
The students and other participants came away with a new understanding that although each nation wrestles with its own procurement problems, to a remarkable extent, procurement policies unfold in parallel around the world, Yukins says. To point the way to future areas of reform, the panel focused on the Model Procurement Law published by UNCITRAL. The panel also used the UNCITRAL reforms as a point of departure, in an open and frank discussion of successes, and failures, in the procurement systems of many different nations.
International Students Enrich GW Law
GW Law continues to build a global presence by welcoming 89 international LLM students this year. Chosen from 600 applicants from countries such as Argentina, Australia, Ethiopia, Germany, Japan, India, and Switzerland, the LLM students bring unique ideas and experiences to the classroom while studying law in the United States.
Among this years international LLM students are two judges, Marzia Basel of Afghanistan and Kinley Namgay of Bhutan, who are here as Buergenthal Scholars and receiving additional support from friends of the Law School. Basel is a graduate of Kabul University and a city court judge. Despite unrest in Afghanistan, Basel has already made steps toward justice for her people and hopes her American education will help her continue to do good work.
Being a judge is a great honor in my country. But because of internal conflict, unfortunately, the justice sector has been seriously damaged, Basel says. I am proud of establishing the first Afghan Women Judges Association. There are about 32 women judges in Afghanistan, practically all of them working in the Kabul courts.
While researching international legal institutions, Basel was drawn to the United States because of its history of freedom and inspiring leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
As the first president of the United States, George Washingtons name attracts many scholars to the University. I am proud of learning here and will be honored to have my degree from this school.
For some time, my dreams of education and service through law were dashed when the Taliban came to power in my country. Many Afghan women were thinking they would not have the opportunity to work and learn again. My father was the only one who encouraged me to go ahead and not be disappointed and keep hoping. He said, These days will pass and you will have your freedom soon. His words are true now. My dreams are coming true, and there are more opportunities now for Afghan women.
Basel says though her GW Law experience is at times trying, it is worth the effort.
Since being here, every day is a new challenge for me. I have to adapt to the method of the education system here, she says. But I have no words to describe my admiration for the knowledge and efforts of the professors and for the facilities provided to the students by the administration. Fortunately, there are a lot of job opportunities for Afghan women after the withdrawal of Taliban from power in Kabul. I will work as a judge when I return if that is possible. Every word I have learned here at the Law School will be a lesson I will take home with me.
Afghans will not forget their good friends around the world who helped them with their sorrows. The history of Afghanistan will be the witness of peace for the world.
If one were to fly out of Kabul to the southeast and head over the Himalayas, one would approach the land-locked, mystical Kingdom of Bhutan, which sits high in the eastern range of the mountains. Bhutan is known for its natural beauty, its people who are very religious, and for certain of its practices, e.g., a strict limit on the number of people who can visit the country, the measurement of growth based on a happiness factor rather than the GNP. The kingdom does not offer a law degree, so anyone interested in studying law needs to go abroad. Many of the approximate 100 lawyers (yes, only 100) in Bhutan have studied in nearby India.
Namgay is the third Bhutanese judge to study at the Law School. After obtaining his LLB from the Government Law College in Mumbai, India, he completed a required 18 month legal course at Bhutans Royal Institute of Management. As the registrar of and assistant judge at Bhutans High Court, he has been active in helping draft certain of Bhutans laws, including the Penal Act and the Advocate Act. Further, Namgay has worked on the current draft of Bhutans first constitution.
For Namgay, the opportunity to study at the Law School gives him invaluable insight into our legal system and structures, as well as substantive principles, and he looks forward to applying the principles to his work in our court in Bhutan. While he has spent a good bit of his time in Washington with his studies, he has had the chance to get to know his fellow students. The chance to sit down and talk to and learn from my fellow students, to learn about their own customs and traditions, has been very rewarding. Further, Namgay enjoys attending classes and exploring the excellent law library. He looks forward to returning to his family in Bhutan and to his work upon graduation.
Examining the Arab Perspective
Photo by Claire Duggan
As the first installment of this academic years Law Enrichment Series, a lecture by Hussein Hassouna, ambassador of the League of Arab States, explored Current Challenges Facing International Law: An Arab Perspective. The event was held Oct. 20 in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room with a reception afterward in the Kelly Lounge.
Hassouna represents more than 300 million people in 22 Arab countries. His personal knowledge of the Middle East gave audience members insight into the people and issues of the region and its relationship to the United States. He spoke about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, the threat of terrorism, and economic opportunities in and with the Arab world.
He also is the legal adviser to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, has served as ambassador of the Arab League to the United Nations, and ambassador of Egypt to Yugoslavia and Morocco. One of his greatest achievements was assisting the delegation that led to the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.
The GW Law Enrichment Program, now in its 24th year, was designed to enhance the extracurricular intellectual life of the Law School.
Students Excel in Mock Trial Competition
2L Will Wilder, shown here, and partner 3L Dawn Goodman won this years Cohen & Cohen Mock Trial competition.
For the second year in a row, the Cohen & Cohen Mock Trial competition was held at GW Law in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room. The event is sponsored by the namesake firm in Washington and was judged by a panel including Wayne Cohen, an adjunct professor at the Law School. The program was created to foster the growth of trial advocacy skills among law students. A $25,000 scholarship from the firm will sponsor the competitions for another three years.
On Oct. 27, 3L Dawn Goodman and 2L Will Wilder edged out the competition of 3L Jeff Chang and 3L Amee Kantesaria. These two teams were selected from a field of 19 pairs in a semifinal round at the D.C. Superior Courthouse Oct. 16.
The judges for the competition were: Reggie B. Walton, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia; John Facciola, Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who acted as presiding judge; James Boasberg, Associate Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; and Hiram Puig-Lugo, Associate Judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
The highlight of the competition for me was the final round. I appreciated all of the feedback that I received from everyone involved in the competition, especially the judges and practitioners, Wilder says. I will use all of the knowledge that I gained from the competition to help hone the skills that I need to become a successful litigator.