GW Law School Fall 2003
A Magazine for Alumni and Friends


William E. Booth Memorialized with Scholarship


Photo by ©Terri Miller

Patent attorney Bill Booth, JD ’79, was known as a lawyer’s lawyer. A principal at the Boston law firm Fish & Richardson, he was “the person we turned to for calm, steady advice on the thorniest patent issues,” says David Feigenbaum, Booth’s friend and law partner for more than 20 years.

Feigenbaum and his Fish & Richardson colleagues, therefore, knew exactly what they wanted to do when Booth, an accomplished equestrian, died Aug. 29 at the age of 51 after being thrown from his horse while competing in a cross-country event. In lasting memory of the talented attorney, they established the William E. Booth Memorial Scholarship at GW Law School. A permanent endowment, the Booth Scholarship will be awarded annually to deserving GW Law students with an interest in intellectual property law who hold undergraduate degrees in science or engineering and whose grade point averages place them in the top 20 percent of their class.

“Bill’s keen mind was legendary, so it was natural for us to include an academic excellence component to the scholarship,” Feigenbaum says. Booth, who earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in engineering prior to attending GW Law, was frequently called upon to handle particularly complex and sensitive projects for clients. “He was a recognized expert in patent interferences, easily the most arcane topic in patent law, which controls how two inventors of the same gizmo do battle over who invented it first,” Feigenbaum states.

“The rules of engagement are complex and the tactical jousting requires intellectual agility. No wonder Bill loved this work and did it brilliantly.”

Booth was known for his analytical incisiveness, as well as his extreme efficiency in his work. “He knew how to take a very complicated problem, tear away the stuff that didn’t matter, and reason his way to a sound conclusion more quickly than anyone around,” Feigenbaum says. “He was also incredibly tenacious and solid on his views; once he formed them, he never backed down.”

Despite the rigorous demands of his career, Booth’s top priority was always his cherished wife, Christy, and sons Ian, 19, and Leighton, 15. “He was a devoted family man,” says Christy, an artist, with a printmaking and painting studio in Framingham, Mass. An avid skier and scuba diver, Booth’s passion for riding horses began at the age of 38. “After a patent law conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., we went to a dude ranch in Tucson for four days, where he was bitten by the riding bug,” Christy reflects. Soon after, the family moved to Dover, Mass., so that Booth could keep horses in the backyard. “He’d wake up every morning at 4:30 and ride two horses before going to work, and he took lessons twice a week during show season,” she says. “He was so motivated and focused. When Bill did something, he did it wholeheartedly. He just loved to compete and loved the animals.”

Booth says that she’s been “overwhelmed” by the amount of support that Fish & Richardson has given her since her husband’s passing. “It’s a top-notch firm with wonderful people,” she says. “They’ve just been tremendous.” She is pleased that her husband’s name will live on at GW Law School through the scholarship. “Bill would have been honored, proud, and very grateful,” she says of the scholarship. “He would never have expected it.”

Feigenbaum hopes that the firm’s permanent tribute to Booth will help bring more people with Booth’s exceptional qualities to the legal profession. “Bill had a very successful career and was a great lawyer partly because of GW Law School,” he says. “We hope that the scholarship will inspire others with Bill’s talent to continue their studies and eventually become productive lawyers like Bill.”

Jamie L. Freedman

First Ever Class Gift Benefits Loan Assistance


All donors were invited to The Section Grudge Match, an entertaining event featuring a battle between faculty members representing each of the class sections. Special thanks to professor Steven Schooner for his contribution of $1 for every student in Section 12 who gave $20.05 and $2 for every student in Section 12 who gave $50.02.


Ian Shea, JD '05; Christina Rodriguez, JD '05; Interim Dean Roger Trangsrud; Dan Ericson, JD '05; Meghan Gilsenan of the advancement office; and Student Bar Association President Eric Koester. (below) Professor Sean Murphy, Interim Dean Roger Trangsrud, and Professor Bob Brauneis do battle in The Section Grudge Match.

More than 52 percent of the Class of 2005 donatednearly $11,000 to the Law School’s First Annual “Graduating Class Gift.” This year’s contributions benefited the Loan Reimbursement Assistance Program—a program that every year provides loan forgiveness to a significant number of graduates who choose to pursue public interest work.

The class was fortunate enough to have an anonymous alumni donor match every dollar two to one if the class reached 25 percent participation and four to one if they reached 50 percent participation. Because the class exceeded the 50 percent target, the total gift to LRAP with the matching funds will exceed $50,000. Thanks go to Dan Ericson, JD ’05, Eric Koester (Student Bar Association president and JD candidate ’06), Christina Gonzalez, JD ’05, Ian Shea, JD ’05, and the Class Gift Committee, whose outstanding efforts led to this unprecedented result.

Additionally, Sen. Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), JD ’64, donated $3,000 to the class gift fund.“The 2005 Class Gift represents not only a major financial commitment to our loan forgiveness program but also a new and promising chapter in building a strong and ongoing supportive relationship between the Law School and its newest alumni,” says Interim Dean Roger Trangsrud.


Jonathan S. Kahan, BA '70, JD '73, has established the Kahan Family Scholarship at GW Law. Kahan is co-director of Hogan & Hartson's food, drug, medical device, and agriculture group in Washington.

Returning a Favor

Life has come full circle for Jonathan S. Kahan, BA ’70, JD ’73, and his two-time alma mater. The prominent Washington food and drug attorney, who attended GW Law School on a trustee’s honor scholarship, has now returned the favor, establishing the Kahan Family Scholarship at GW Law. “Back in my law school days, I was basically living off of macaroni and cheese and Kool Aid, so the scholarship was extremely helpful,” he states. “I’ve always had a warm spot in my heart for GW and felt that I was now in the position to give back some of the good that GW did for me by helping some of the law students who are coming up.”.

As co-director of Hogan & Hartson’s food, drug, medical device, and agriculture group, Kahan specializes in helping medical device companies navigate the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory maze. “We represent around 600 medical device companies,” he states, noting that the group, comprising 42 lawyers and scientists, is one of the largest of its kind in the country. A prolific writer on FDA regulatory issues, Kahan has published more than 50 articles, as well as two books, Medical Device Development: A Regulatory Overview (Parexel, 2000) and Medical Devices: Obtaining FDA Market Clearance (Parexel, 1995).

Kahan, who was recently appointed to GW Law School’s Dean’s Advisory Board, says that after decades of working 12-hour days, he’s pleased that he’s finally managed to carve out the time to get more involved with the law school. In addition to his work on the board, he hosted a Dean’s Breakfast earlier this year for GW Law Interim Dean Roger Trangsrud at Hogan & Hartson, where he’s worked since 1974. “GW always treated me very nicely and I feel that I got a very good legal foundation there, so I’m happy to help out in any way I can,” states Kahan, who also credits GW Law with helping him land his first job as a clerk to the Hon. Oliver Gasch of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “I hope that the dean uses the scholarship money to continue to both attract and keep outstanding students, as well as allow people who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford GW to attend the law school.”

“GW is already one of the best law schools in the country,” he adds. “I hope that it continues to prosper and gain greater and greater prominence and notoriety and, hopefully, this scholarship will help a bit.”

Jamie L. Freedman

Spring Dean’s Fund Dinner A Success

Members of the Alumni Board of Directors, the Dean’s Board of Advisors, and the Intellectual Property Board joined donors of $1,000 and above April 15 for the Dean’s Dinner, held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and meetings were held the following day.

Bruce William, Susan Morrissey, Barry Shenkman, Rosalie Burns, and Herbert Goldberg

Wes Burnett, Phil and Lisa Friedman, and GW Board of Trustees Chairman Charles Manatt

Dawn and Donell Hicks with Jeanette Michael




The Russian Embassy Ballroom

Fall Dean’s Dinner Planned For October

Planned for October, Dean Fred Lawrence will proudly host alumni and friends who have given $1,000 or more to the Law School at the stately Embassy of the Russian Federation.

An annual Dean’s Fund gift of $1,000 or more makes possible a broad range of intellectual activities, capital projects, scholarships, career development programs, library resources, and clinical programs.

All of these programs go to the very heart of the Law School’s ability to provide a diverse training environment that will educate, inspire, and prepare students for becoming the policy makers and problem solvers of the next generation. For additional information on the Law School Dean’s Fund, please contact Meghan Gilsenan at 202.994.7253 or e-mail



New Alumni Directory Slated for 2006

A new GW Law School Alumni Directory is scheduled to be published in 2006 by Bernard C. Harris Publishing Co. Inc.

The directory, a resource with personal, academic, and business information on our alumni, will replace the alumni directory that came out in 2000.

When you receive your directory questionnaire in the weeks ahead, please take a few minutes to update your information and return the questionnaire as soon as possible. You will also have the opportunity to purchase the volume, but you do not have to buy one to have your information be up-to-date in the new directory.


Burnett Leads Dean’s Fund


We are pleased to introduce Weston D. Burnett, JD’75, LLM ’83, as the new Law School Dean’s Fund chairperson. In this role, Burnett, a former judge advocate general, will serve as spokesperson for recurring philanthropy for the Law School Dean’s Fund, which is a group that recognizes contributors of $1,000 or more.

Burnett is a great fit for such a position as he has been unwavering in his support of GW Law. Additionally, he and his family have enjoyed close ties to the school. As Burnett recently wrote to us, “The George Washington University has served my family very well over the generations. Aside from my two degrees, my son David worked for the Law School, my father, Cmdr. H. Weston Burnett earned two master’s degrees from GW, and my father-in-law, Col. Edward R. Feicht, earned one master’s degree from GW.”

Burnett is currently the managing partner in both the law firm of Cohen & Burnett and his financial planning firm of Legacy Analytics based in McLean, Va.

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