Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
Southwestern Reporter

August 2009

In This Issue:

 

Honorable J. Gary Hastings '72 Welcomes New First-year Students as Orientation Keynote Speaker

 
Justice J. Gary Hastings '72
of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (retired) shared his personal story and advice for success in law school with members of the entering class during his keynote speech at Southwestern's First-Year Orientation. Recalling his own feelings 40 years ago when he began his legal education at Southwestern, he explained that the fear of letting his family down motivated him to embrace this academic experience as he never had before. As a result, he became extremely organized and studied hard, graduating first in his class in 1972. Justice Hastings went on to serve the legal profession and the community as a dedicated attorney, educator and judicial officer for over three decades. Empathetic with what it is like to begin the law school journey, he offered students seven tips for success:

  1. Never settle for less than your best effort
    Excellence is a reward in itself - knowing that you have done your best. If you continually do your best, others will notice.

  2. Never take shortcuts
    This is a corollary of the first item. If you take shortcuts you are not doing your best and you may be shortcutting yourself and others who rely upon you.

  3. Don't offer excuses
    If you haven't done your best or you make a mistake, live up to it and learn from it. Then forget about it and try to move on without making the same mistake again.

  4. Respect and treat others with civility
    There will be situations where you disagree with others or where you may form a dislike for another person. You can disagree without being disagreeable and you may dislike another without outwardly demonstrating that dislike. Treat others like you would like to be treated.

  5. Always maintain your integrity and professionalism
    As a professional, which all of you are about to become by taking the oath, the primary asset you have is your reputation, don't let it become besmirched.

    As a member of Governor Wilson's Judicial Selection Advisory Board in the mid 1990's, I reviewed applications from all candidates to become superior court judges in Los Angeles County. We spoke with numerous people in the community about the applicants and one of the worst knocks on a candidate was lack of integrity: the candidate had promised something to another and had not followed through; had cited a case to the court which did not stand for the proposition asserted; or that a candidate was very lackadaisical in representing clients. People remember these things. And applicants who received these knocks did not usually get any farther in the judicial process.

  6. Make time for yourself and others
    You will find that law school and the legal profession are very time consuming and intense. Make sure you take time off from your studies and professional activities to refresh yourself and keep in touch with your friends, loved ones and supporters. This includes some type of physical activity, whether a regular fitness routine, walking, yoga or some other physical endeavor.

  7. Challenge yourselves
    Challenge yourselves to become the best students and professionals that you can be. If you fulfill your commitment to yourselves, you will also be repaying those who have supported you in your quest.

Public Service Policy Encourages Students to Help Those in Need

Very few experiences match the gratification that comes from making a difference in the lives of people in need, and Southwestern students have many avenues through which they can make that kind of connection to the community while developing their legal skills. Since its founding, Southwestern has held public interest as a central component of its curriculum and philosophy and encourages public service through a wide spectrum of programs, courses, activities and individual pursuits.

Recently, the Southwestern faculty strengthened and expanded that commitment by adopting a Public Service Policy that establishes an aspirational level of pro bono work to be completed by students. Beginning this Fall, students are encouraged to perform at least 25 hours of pro bono public service each academic year, in addition to any public interest-related externship or clinic work. Students who complete 25 hours of pro bono public service in a year will receive a formal letter of recognition from the Dean. Students who perform at least 75 hours of pro bono public service cumulatively during their law school experience will receive a notation on their transcript and recognition at graduation. To qualify, work must be performed under the supervision of a licensed attorney or faculty member, and students may not receive compensation or academic credit. The law school at the same time approved a faculty policy that encourages faculty to perform 50 hours of pro bono public service each year. Together the policies place Southwestern at the vanguard of law schools that have recently reaffirmed their long-standing commitment to public interest work and giving back to the local community. Read more.

 
Southwestern's Bullocks Wilshire Landmark Shines on New Tonight Show Set

Southwestern's world-renowned art deco Bullocks Wilshire tower is now even more famous - the icon is prominently featured in the backdrop of NBC's Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. The mural crowning the stage also includes images inspired by the Bullocks Wilshire Building's beautiful Porte Cochere ceiling fresco (see photos). The new set evokes the art deco theme of NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center in New York where O'Brien previously taped his Late Night shows.


EVENTS

Opportunities Await at Externship Day

For many students, some of the most rewarding hours in law school are those spent in an externship getting hands-on experience. About 300 Southwestern students participate in externships each year, in placements that range from Warner Bros. to the Public Defender's Office to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 
Learn more about the program at Externship Day on Tuesday, September 1 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. on the Promenade. The event provides students with an opportunity to learn about the program and the application process. Externship Program staff will be on hand to answer questions about field placements, how to prepare, and what to expect during an externship, and refreshments will be available during the event.

 

Externships are graded on a credit/no credit basis and may be taken during the summer, fall or spring. Placements are available in public interest, government, courts and entertainment settings. Don't miss this event - especially since applications for spring externships are due by Tuesday, September 15, and it is not too soon to plan for summer placements!

 
Southwestern to Host CleanTech Law and the New Energy Policy Summit

Experts Convene to Explore Opportunities for CleanTech Companies in Renewable Energy

As renewable energy opportunities and incentives expand in the U.S. (and around the world), business leaders, lawyers, scientists, private capital investors and public policymakers are playing a crucial role in promoting alternative energy replacements for traditional fossil fuels. Southwestern Law School is bringing these decision-makers together on Friday, September 18 at the Summit on CleanTech Law and the New Energy Policy.

Clean technology, or "CleanTech," refers to the use of renewable energy technologies - wind, solar, biofuels and hydropower - to generate power independently of fossil fuels and with a much smaller carbon footprint. This cutting-edge Summit will explore legal and financial incentives for CleanTech at the local, state, and federal levels and examine renewable energy models from other countries such as Canada, Germany and Spain.

Issues to be discussed at the Summit include: opportunities new federal policies offer the renewable energy sector; how CleanTech companies can access the $80 billion in the Federal Stimulus Package allocated for renewables; further incentives offered at the California state and local levels; how evolving federal and state incentive programs compare to those of renewables' world market leaders; the ways in which CleanTech companies can benefit from incentives and collaboration with public and private research groups to innovate more effectively and enhance their existing technologies; and the most attractive investment opportunities for private ventures to invest in CleanTech companies.

"This event will bring together business and industry association leaders, legal and technology experts, and investors knowledgeable in Clean Tech finance to discuss how the current incentives and laws are expanding demand for alternative energy and what must be done to achieve a brighter CleanTech future," said Southwestern Professor Michael Scott, who is co-chairing the Summit along with Leslie Williams of Shaub & Williams LLP, Los Angeles. Read more.



- SAVE THE DATE -

Southwestern Journal of International Law presents The Exclusionary Rule: International Perspectives and Future Implications

Friday, October 9, 2009





CAREER CORNER

 
Fall On-Campus Interview Program (OCIP)

Career Services is bringing the employers to you! Upper division students can take part in Phase II of the 2009 Fall On-Campus Interview Program from September 10 through September 30 if they have participated in the mandatory workshop on procedural guidelines for participating in the Fall OCIP. Remember that the bidding deadline for Phase II is Friday, August 21, and includes all employers coming to campus in September, all resume forward employers, and all employers who have yet to chose an exact interview date.

Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkships for 3Ls

Learn about the benefits of a Judicial Clerkship and the process of obtaining one on Tuesday, August 25 and Tuesday, September 1 at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. in W311.

Resume Writing

Effective resumes and cover letters are essential to making a great impression on prospective employers. Learn how to draft successful resumes and cover letters for legal employment, including presentation of qualifications, prior work experience, overall content, and legal format. Resume writing workshops will be held on Wednesday, August 26 at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. in W511, and Wednesday, September 2 at 12:30 p.m. in W311 and 5:00 p.m. in W329.

Interviewing from the Employer's Perspective

Ever wonder what employers are thinking during an interview? Join this panel presentation on Thursday, September 3 at 12:30 p.m. in W311. Hiring partners and lawyers will be on hand to offer advice and what they want to hear in an interview setting.

Interviewing and Networking

Learn about important interviewing and networking techniques for future employment purposes on Tuesday, September 8 at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. in W311. Topics include pre-interview employer research, responses to commonly asked and/or difficult questions, appropriate dress, interview decorum, informational interviewing and developing personal contacts.

Off the Record with... Class of '08 & '09 Alums and How They Got Their Jobs

Be sure to participate in the CSO new brownbag lunch series, "Off the Record with..." Bring your lunch (drinks and snacks will be provided) and chat with alums. Stay tuned for the location of this event, which will be held on Tuesday, September 15 at 12:30 p.m., as we will be choosing locations that are casual and interactive. Here is your chance to network with alumni and get some great advice from attorneys who were once in your position!


AROUND CAMPUS

Library Adds New Group Study Rooms

In time for the Fall semester, the Leigh H. Taylor Law Library has added nine new group study rooms on the lower level. The new rooms have been furnished similarly to the second floor study rooms with larger whiteboards. With this addition, the library now has 21 group study rooms for student use.

Fall Fitness Center Hours

Fitness Center hours for the Fall semester are as follows:

  • Monday through Thursday: 6:15 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 6:15 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Upcoming Security Workshops

Learn about safety habits related to the following topics at the security workshops held on the Westmoreland Steps at 12:30 p.m.

  • Sexual Assault Prevention - Wednesday, September 16
  • Fraud and Identity Theft - Wednesday, October 14
  • Holiday Safety - Wednesday, November 11
  • Online Shopping and ATM Safety - Thursday, December 3

 
Southwestern's Bookstore Now Provides Online Shopping

You can now purchase your Southwestern supplies and accessories from the comfort of your own computer. New and used textbooks, study guides, school clothing and accessories, and academically-priced software may now be ordered online from the Southwestern Bookstore at www.swlaw.bkstr.com. You can also check the bookstore's website for information regarding special events, sales, book buybacks and hours. For those who would like to visit the bookstore in person, regular hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Southwestern's First Issue of the Journal of Legal Education Published

 
Southwestern is very proud to announce publication of the first issue of the Journal of Legal Education hosted on our campus. Now in its seventh decade and read by approximately 11,000 legal educators and administrators in the U.S. and abroad, the Journal is a quarterly publication of the Association of American Law Schools which fosters a rich interchange of ideas and information about legal education and related matters. Southwestern's editorial team - composed of Bryant Garth and Angela Riley (co-editors), Molly Selvin (associate editor), and Alicia Olivares (editorial assistant) - began work in January 2009 when the journal moved from Georgetown University Law Center.

"We are extremely pleased to host the Journal," said Dean Bryant Garth, "and expect to continue very much along the same path Georgetown followed, by expanding transnational and interdisciplinary studies of the legal profession and education." To that end, the current issue includes cutting-edge articles on such issues as legal education reform in China, based largely on ethnographic research at the Tsinghua University Law School, and ways to integrate sexual orientation and gender identity issues into the tax classroom (through use of real-life examples, the article highlights the remarkable ways that the current tax system discriminates actively against LGBT individuals and couples).

Southwestern's editors also plan to inaugurate new features in coming issues, profiling eminent legal teachers and highlighting unusually innovative approaches to classroom teaching. Information on subscriptions, the full listing of the contents of current and recent issues, and submission requirements can be found online.

 

New Staff

Southwestern welcomed four new staff members over the summer.

Tiffany Eggleston, Counselor, Financial Aid, earned her B.A. in Communications/Public Relations from California State University, San Bernardino and is currently completing her Master's Degree. She brings to Southwestern more than a decade of financial aid knowledge and experience from Western University of Health Sciences, Woodbury University and Chaffey College. Ms. Eggleston has been an Account Manager with Citibank and Sallie Mae and is most familiar with student lending practices and default initiatives.

Katy Lin, Student Counselor, Dean of Students Office, recently earned a Masters of Education in School Counseling from USC and completed her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies, magna cum laude, from Cal State Fullerton. She has extensive experience as a teacher and counselor in various educational settings and has advised students about academic requirements and personal issues, worked with at risk students, and developed grief counseling, study skills, orientation and enrollment programs. Ms. Lin studied at Imperial College in London, where she also taught and worked with refugee students and families.  She is fluent in Mandarin and Taiwanese.

Laura McGranaghan, Student Services Assistant, Dean of Students Office, earned her B.A. in English from Truman State University in Missouri, where she was as an office assistant and community coordinator in residence life, working with over 700 university students. There, she conceptualized and organized the first annual residence hall 5k run/walk in support of local victim support services and has been involved in various community outreach activities. Ms. McGranaghan also served as a bookstore buyer and marketing assistant, and an assistant production coordinator and finance production associate at Disney. 

Stacy Oh, SOS Assistant, Administrative Services, earned her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside where she was on the Dean's Honor List. She interned at the California Market Center and was a Conversation Partner at the University of California, Riverside Extension Center where she tutored international students in conversational English. Ms. Oh also worked as a Subject Interviewer at California State University, Long Beach on a federally funded research project studying immigrant stress.


GETTING TO KNOW YOU

"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?

 
This Month - Matt Slater, Fourth-year PLEAS Student
Matt Slater may not be a professional athlete, but he is definitely a team player. The fourth-year PLEAS student is the Special Assistant General Manager to the St. Louis Cardinals, an experienced talent scout seeking major and minor league acquisitions for the Major League Baseball team. But legal education has always been on his mind. While an undergraduate at Marquette University in the early 1990s, he considered attending several law schools in the Midwest that had accepted him, but a part-time job with the Milwaukee Brewers turned into a full-time position as an assistant in scouting development, and Slater put law school on hold.

 

By 1995, Slater was working for the Baltimore Oriels and became involved with scouting for prospective players both nationally and overseas. In 1998, he got an offer to work for the Los Angeles Dodgers as Director of Scouting Operations. He spent nine years with the organization, putting together teams that included key players such as Dave Roberts and Shawn Green. After new owners purchased the team two and a half years ago, Slater left on his own volition to work for the Cardinals.

Slater's position involves frequent trips throughout the United States and international journeys to Latin America and Asia in search of the most appropriate talent to suit the team's needs at any given time. All of the travel makes law school an even bigger challenge, and Slater knows that his very strong support system is making his career and education possible. His wife Thomasine, a pediatric dietician and the mother of his 9-year-old son and 6-year-old twins, was the one who encouraged him to go to law school. His boss, Cardinals' General Manager John Mozeliak, supports Slater staying in Los Angeles while he completes his J.D. degree. "The Part-time Day Program fit my schedule and made it work," Slater said. "My professors have been very accommodating. Sometimes I have to miss class, but I make up all of the work. I do a lot of studying on planes and write notes on index cards while sitting in ballparks."

In addition to his family, job and law school, Slater is also a consultant for the Orix Buffaloes in Osaka, Japan, and recommends several American players for the team. "The Cardinals love it because it develops fruitful relationships. I'm a big believer in international baseball and what it can do for the game."

Although he is not planning on becoming a litigator or corporate attorney or even a sports agent, Slater knows that his legal education will help enhance his career. He relishes this opportunity to maintain his profession while pursuing a law degree. "There were very few schools in the country of this quality that would allow me to do what I am doing. This school has been incredible in its flexibility."

 

FACULTY ACTIVITIES

PROFESSOR MYRNA RAEDER
  • Executive Summary in THE STATE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 2009 (ABA Criminal Justice Section, 2009)
  • Tribute to Professor Margaret Berger, Recipient of AALS Evidence Section's Wigmore Lifetime Achievement Award, 7 INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARY ON EVIDENCE Art. 3 (2009)
  • Introduction, Wrongful Convictions Symposium, 37 SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 745 (2008)
  • Being Heard After Giles: Comments on the Sound of Silence, 87 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 105 (2009; online)
PROFESSOR GARY ROWE
  • Panelist, "Factors Affecting Courts' Business" and "Judicial Selection," Law and Society Association Conference, Denver, CO
PROFESSOR BUTLER SHAFFER
  • BOUNDARIES OF ORDER: PRIVATE PROPERTY OF A SOCIAL SYSTEM (Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009)
  • Introduction in OUR ENEMY THE STATE (A. Nock; republished by The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009)
    Appointed, Editorial Board, Libertarian Papers

- CLICK HERE FOR MORE FACULTY ACTIVITIES -

 

FACULTY

Bassett, Cameron, McEvoy and Stier Named to Professorships

 
Southwestern has honored four of its highly respected faculty members with professorships for the 2009-10 academic year: Professor Christopher D. Ruiz Cameron as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor; Professor Byron G. Stier as the Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professor; Professor Arthur F. McEvoy as the Paul E. Treusch Professor; and Professor Debra Lyn Bassett as the Justice Marshall F. McComb Professor. Dean Bryant Garth says of these appointments, "The four professors selected exemplify the commitment to scholarship, service and teaching that makes Southwestern's faculty so outstanding. The Board of Trustees has selected very wisely." Read more.

 

 
Professor Byron Stier
Granted Tenure

Byron G. Stier has been granted tenure and promoted to Professor of Law. The appointment acknowledges Professor Stier's exceptional teaching, scholarly research and writing and service to Southwestern. He was also named as the Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professor of Law.

Professor Stier joined Southwestern in 2005 as an Associate Professor of Law. In addition to courses in the Legal Profession, Torts, and Products Liability, during the Fall 2008 semester, he became the first to teach one of Southwestern's innovative Capstone courses in Mass Tort Litigation. "Professor Stier has produced an impressive body of scholarly work, especially in the area of mass torts, is an outstanding teacher, and is to be commended also for coming forward to offer the first of our new Capstone courses," Dean Bryant Garth said. Read more.

Southwestern Welcomes New Adjunct Faculty

Two experts in the fields of employment and taxation have joined Southwestern's adjunct faculty for the 2009-2010 academic year. Read more.

Three Southwestern Professors Featured in ABA Annual Meeting Video

 
Southwestern Professors Harriet Rolnick, Myrna Raeder and Judy Sloan were featured in a special video presented by the Women's Business Law Network at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago for the program on "Women in the Law: Past, Present and Future." Two alumnae, Daria Boxer '08 and Sharon Zemel Weiss '93, were also involved in the coordination of the project.  To view the video, go to www.vimeo.com/5749663 (the password is wblnvideo).

 


STUDENTS

Students Demonstrate Negotiation Skills in New Intramural Competition

More than 100 students participated in Southwestern's first Negotiation Intramural Competition. From the 110 students in two-person teams, Renee Dubie and Natalie Weatherford earned First Place Honors. Franklin (Brent) Tilley and Christianne Amodio took Second Place, Shai Phillips and Sholom Goodman came in Third Place, and Nathan Harpham and Christina Worms finished in Fourth Place. The Intramural Competition leads into Southwestern's new Negotiation Honors Program.

Prior to each round, teams received a common set of general facts known to both parties, as well as confidential client instructions. The students were evaluated on their ability to achieve the goals set out by their client, their aptitude to advocate for their client's interest in an articulate manner, and their skill in cooperative problem solving. After the first night, the top 18 teams advanced to the second round. Then the top eight teams advanced to the next round and the best four teams competed in the final round. After negotiating the terms of a construction contract, the final teams were ranked from First to Fourth Place. Read more.

Negotiation Honors Program Announces New Members

The Negotiation Honors Program is pleased to announce its team members for the 2009-10 academic year: Abby Bair, Steven Diaz, Renee Dubie, Nathan Harpham, Benjamin Lau, Jessica Rafipour, Franklin Tilley, Joy Terrell, Natalie Weatherford and Adam Wood. Returning members (who have previously served on teams representing Southwestern at interscholastic competitions) include Kyle Marks (Chair), Joanna Allen (Board Member), Allan Harris (Board Member), Dikran Sevlian, Nydia Duenez, Chad Derby and Daniel Horlick.

SCALE® Students Rewarded for Advocacy Skills; Program Thrives

Southwestern's two-year SCALE® Program prepares students to "hit the ground running." During the program's recent Appellate Advocacy Competition, it was evident that these students can demonstrate their impressive lawyering skills within the first year. Professor Christine Lorillard, who teaches Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills (LAWS), which helps students prepare for the competition, was very impressed with the way her students performed. "The SCALE Appellate Advocacy class is a real joy to teach as it gives students a chance to 'shine,' both in writing the brief and in engaging in oral argument," she said.

Moot Court Board Members with
Top Oralists and Writers
At the completion of the Spring 2009 competition, Maurice Pessah won First Place Oralist and Parrisa Peik earned Second Place Oralist. Sara Greco and Craig Spiro were named Alternate Oralists. Laura Bishop and Bryan Clements won First and Second Place Writer, respectively, while Jeffery Mukai and Maurice Pessah were named Alternate Writers.

"The caliber of oral argument was excellent and impressed the judges and faculty alike," Professor Lorillard said. "The winning briefs were professional quality. I truly cannot imagine how the two winning briefs could have been any better. Given the time restrictions and challenges of the two-year SCALE Program, I think the work these students did is astonishing." Read more.

 

Southwestern Selects First Biederman Scholars

In an effort to recognize excellence in academic achievement, and encourage and facilitate future career success, the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute established a new program to help expand opportunities for entertainment lawyers. Based on a concept developed by the Biederman Institute faculty, the newly-established Biederman Scholars Program will select approximately three students each year and provide them with mentoring opportunities, as well as special externships and placements in entertainment law firms.

"It's a new program and still under development," said Professor David Kohler, Director of the Biederman Institute, "But the underlying purpose is to identify some of our most promising students who are into entertainment law to provide them with an honor and have our executive board both mentor them and guide them in finding positions after law school."

The first three Biederman Scholars - third-year day student Anna Cronk and second-year day students Kerrigan Hennings and Timothy Meade - served in externships for 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate and the Independent Film and TV Alliance, respectively. They were selected based on their academic achievement and Biederman faculty recommendations. Read more.

Southwestern Dominates District Attorney Externships

Long known for its outstanding Externship Program, Southwestern had a particularly successful summer with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, placing 46 externs, more than any other law school. (Ten of the externs were SCALE® students who took advantage of the new SCALE I summer option.) Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley wrote a letter of commendation to Dean Bryant Garth in praise of the law school's externship program and how it facilitates such an impressive number of successful placements. More than 700 students from law schools throughout the region apply for these positions and the office can only accommodate about 300 externs throughout all of its locations, according to Regina Mayo, Recruitment Coordinator for the District Attorney's Office.

Professor Anahid Gharakhanian, Director of Southwestern's Externship Program, attributes the law school's success in this area to the Externship Office's organization and ability to work closely with students in preparing their applications. She credits Elizabeth Peisner, Assistant Director of the Externship Program, and Externship Program Manager Mitzie Vitela for helping cultivate the relationships with the D.A.'s Office and facilitating the placement of Southwestern students in these positions, which provide a superior learning experience. "We're very grateful for the educational opportunities that the D.A.'s Office provides for our students," Professor Gharakhanian said. "There's nothing like learning by doing, and they provide great training, great supervision and guidance." Read more.

Five Students Earn Mexican American Bar Foundation Scholarships

The Mexican American Bar Foundation (MABF) awarded scholarships totaling $25,000 to five Southwestern students at its 2009 Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala. The recipients included: Rolando Gonzalez '12 (recipient of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Scholarship); Ian Larson '11; Georgina Lepe '10 (recipient of the Zoe Pfaeffle Memorial Scholarship); Zairel Ruiz '12 (recipient of the Mary Camunez-Long Memorial Scholarship); and Nicole Vongchanglor '11. In awarding scholarships, the Foundation's Scholarship Committee considers the applicant's commitment to community service, academic achievement and financial need. In the past three years alone, Southwestern students have won 19 MABF scholarships totaling $100,000.


ALUMNI

Southwestern Alumni and Faculty Play Prominent Roles on City Attorney Transition Team

Los Angeles' new City Attorney Carmen Trutanich named ten members of the Southwestern community to his transition team. Eight alumni and two professors are among the 70 volunteers helping to prepare Trutanich,who took office on July 1. Former Los Angeles County District Attorney and Southwestern Trustee Robert Philibosian '67 (Of Counsel, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton), who is co-chair of the Transition Team, said, "City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and I, along with my transition team co-chair Bob Hertzberg, are very pleased that such an outstanding group of attorneys and community leaders have responded enthusiastically to our invitations to assist with the City Attorney's transition into office. As a Southwestern alum and trustee, I am particularly proud of the significant number of Southwestern alumni and faculty who are contributing their knowledge and commitment to the new spirit of change coming to the City Attorney's Office." Read more.

Celebrating Southwestern's "Super Lawyers"

Southwestern's 2009 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
Southwestern recently held a reception in honor of graduates of the law school included in this year's Super Lawyers. An annual listing of "outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement," Super Lawyers is published as a special supplement in leading newspapers and city and regional magazines across the country. There are 195 Southwestern alumni in the 2009 Southern California Super Lawyers including seven of the top 100, and two of the top 50 women. There are also 97 "Rising Stars" from Southwestern, those who are "under 40 and practicing for less than 10 years." The explanation about the selection process is available online.

 

Roger Terry '49 Served in WWII with Famed Tuskegee Airman

Roger "Bill" Terry, who served as a member of the Tuskegee Airman before earning his law degree at Southwestern in 1949, died of heart failure on June 11 at age 87. The Tuskegee Airmen were an elite group of African American pilots who flew as part of U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. After law school, he became an investigator with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and, later, with the county Probation Department. In 1972, Terry helped found Tuskegee Airmen Inc. to draw attention to the group's history. In 2007, Terry was among several airmen to receive Congressional Gold Medal from former President George W. Bush. You can read his full obituary from the LA Times online.

 

New Alumni Association President Shares Plans for Alumni-Student Programs

Donald Forgey '77, who recently took the helm of Southwestern's Alumni Association, is a partner in the firm of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, where he practices in the areas of General Liability and Transportation. With over 30 years of experience specializing in civil litigation and insurance defense, he is member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and has tried 36 jury trials and arbitrated more than 100 personal injury cases. He has also served as a mediator in the Dispute Resolution Programs of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Los Angeles Superior Court. Mr. Forgey and the Alumni Board look forward to working closely with Southwestern's students in 2009-10 through a variety of programs.

Q: When [and why] did you first become involved with Southwestern's Alumni Association?

A: In October 2000, the school called me to participate in a panel discussion. And I thought it had been so long since I connected with the school, so why not? It was a great experience, so I got involved with the Alumni Association.

Q: What are some of the Alumni Board's overall priorities for the coming year?

A: We want to do several things. We want to increase the opportunities to involve our alumni with the law school, the students, and other alums. Another one of our priorities is to continue to plan events, including Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and other networking opportunities. Our organization will also conduct outreach to alums by creating Alumni Chapters in different regions. Then we want to improve/expand our communication online and create new ways to connect to our alumni. And finally, we are also aiming to increase our support towards the continued advancement of Southwestern, in cooperation with the Alumni Office.

Q: What are the goals of the Board's Alumni-Student Relations and Projects Committees? What activities are they planning this year to provide opportunities for alumni and students to network and socialize together?

A: Our goal is to continue to strengthen the relationships between our alumni and our students. We will do this by hosting numerous events and activities, including: multiple alumni regional receptions (in Southern California and throughout the United States), Dodger Day, Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) events, Alumni Resource Network (ARN) Reception, and other alumni-student networking receptions. Read more.



GETTING TO KNOW YOU

 
A Dozen Questions for Professor Harriet Rolnick

Q: As a Southwestern alumna, what is your fondest memory of law school?

A: As a Southwestern student, I had the pleasure of taking Constitutional Law with Professor Kushner and Wills and Trusts with Professor Krimmel. I can still remember the challenge and enjoyment of taking classes with each of these outstanding professors. I also made some wonderful friends during my years in law school - including my dear friend Adrian Guidotti with whom I am still close friends - 30 years later.

Q: What are some of the most significant changes you've seen at the law school since you began teaching here in 1999?

A: The atmosphere of the school has become much more student-centered and vibrant. There have been significant changes to the physical layout of the school including the acquisition and magnificent renovation of the Bullocks Wilshire Building; innovative changes to the first-year curriculum, and addition of upper division courses, including the new January Intersession courses; meaningful changes to the grading policies and legal writing program; the addition of the Negotiation Honors Program; the Joint MBA/JD program with the Drucker School of Management; and the growth of the SCALE® program.

Q: Why did you decide to make a career change from a psychiatric social worker for the State Welfare Department in Miami to an attorney?

A: As a social worker, I felt that my ability to effect change and serve my clients was limited by the constraints of the system and limited community resources. I was particularly frustrated in my job as a psychiatric social worker at a teaching hospital where resources for therapy were limited and often not helpful to the client population.

Q: What brought you to California?

A: After completing my first year of law school in Florida, I attended a summer program at the University of Exeter in England and became friends with a number of students attending law school on the west coast. I also learned that my parents were moving to California for business reasons. It seemed like a perfect time for me to move to California, so I transferred to Southwestern as a second-year student when I returned home from England.

Q: What did you enjoy most about being a private litigator in Los Angeles and San Francisco?

A: As a private litigator I was first introduced to the practice of law. At the beginning, simply being a part of this new world and all the challenges it brought was exciting to me. During my first couple years of practice, I was also involved in a large products liability case that resulted in three-to-four depositions a week. I enjoyed this aspect of the practice and the exposure to attorneys from many different firms on a regular basis. I also very much enjoyed appearing in court and assisting in trial preparation. Meeting and working with clients - who were often the general counsels of large corporations and insurance companies - was also satisfying.

Q: What were some of your most memorable cases during your 14 year tenure with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California?

A: While at the United States Attorney's Office, I managed a wider range of cases in the major crimes unit and in the major fraud section. Among them were a complex two-year grand jury investigation and trial that resulted in an indictment and conviction in a $200 million bank fraud case; a court trial and complex criminal appeal resulting in new law indicating that the mailing of child pornography (by a prominent Italian executive) into the United States does not require proof that the defendant knew his conduct was illegal; a jury trial and 9th Circuit appeal establishing that bookmaking is not protected by the First Amendment; among various others.

Q: How did you decide to transition from working as an Assistant U.S. Attorney to teaching law?

A: After working as a prosecutor for 14 years, I knew that I could handle complex cases that involved hundreds of exhibits, complex issues, and a multitude of witnesses. I wanted to explore a new challenge that would build on many of the skills that I had developed over the years as well as my genuine desire to work with students.

Q: Since becoming director of the SCALE Program in 2006, what are some of the most significant changes that have occurred within the program?

A: I am proud to say that applications to the SCALE Program have increased by over 80%. The curriculum has been changed with the inclusion of the new SCALE Summer Session, permitting SCALE students for the first time to participate in summer abroad programs, summer externships, to take summer electives, and to work during the summer. With the inclusion of new courses in SCALE, the new summer session, the mandatory 8-week externship, and the ability to take additional electives either in the SCALE second year or during the summer, SCALE students now have additional flexibility within a structured curriculum allowing for the creation of "focus areas," for example entertainment law, criminal law or international law.

Q: How do you determine if a prospective student has the potential for being successful in the SCALE Program?

A: A student interested in the SCALE Program must first apply to Southwestern and indicate the SCALE Program as their first or second choice. Initially the application to Southwestern is carefully reviewed to determine if the prospective student "on paper" has the required academic background and experience to be successful in a fast-paced program with considerable demands and intensity. Students are then invited for an individual interview with either me or another faculty member. Typically, I interview approximately 90% of the applicants and generally spend an hour with each prospective student. During our discussion, I educate the prospective student about the program and seek to ascertain if the candidate has the personality and emotional maturity to thrive in a small group, has successfully dealt with pressure and demands either academically or in a business or professional setting, and further, whether the student genuinely desires to undertake the challenges of a two-year program. I help the prospective student determine whether the SCALE Program will most meaningfully meet their goals and objectives and whether they are able to make the inevitable sacrifices to be successful.

Q: How do recent changes in the SCALE Program better prepare students for practice in the legal profession?

A: Recent changes to the SCALE Program have increased opportunities for the students to acquire, practice, and integrate numerous lawyering skills. With the additional flexibility in the program students may now focus on a particular area of law that is of interest to them and have increased opportunities to network and pursue these areas while at the same time benefiting from a structured curriculum.

Q: What are some additional goals you have for SCALE?

A: I would like to see the SCALE Program continue to grow in size and reputation. With the help of the SCALE faculty, I would like to continue to innovate the first and second-year SCALE curriculum to update current courses and continue to innovate those courses that integrate the teaching of advanced writing and other lawyering skills. I would like to see continued flexibility in the curriculum so that SCALE students may access the opportunities available in all programs at Southwestern.

Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of the legal profession?

A: When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 15 year old son, who is now training to be a part of his high school's football team. I enjoy theater, the Hollywood Bowl, Dodger games, and participating in a wonderful book club made up of over 15 wonderful women representing, in some cases, over 30 years of friendship. I also enjoy aqua aerobics, walking my standard poodle Shana, volunteering at the Valley Community Clinic, and spending time with close friends.


 

ESSAYS & SCHOLARSHIPS


A selection of scholarships and essay contests are available online, in the Financial Aid Office (W102), and posted on the bulletin board in the Westmoreland basement.

 

Please note: The information regarding scholarships and essay contests on Southwestern's website provides a list for informational purposes only. Students interested in applying for any scholarship should contact the sponsoring organization directly for specific details and deadlines. External sites are provided for informational purposes only and are not endorsed by Southwestern.

 

CALENDAR

   

August

     21 Bidding Deadline For OCIP Phase II and Resume Forward
25 Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkships for 3Ls, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
26 Last Day to Add/Drop Classes
  Back to School Bash/Student Faculty Mixer, 12:30 p.m., Promenade
  Resume Writing Workshop, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W511
27 SBA Club Fair, 12:30 & 5 p.m., Promenade
31 TAHP Info Session, 12:30 & 5 p.m.
 

September

     1 Externship Day, 12:30 & 5 p.m., Promenade
 Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkships for 3Ls, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
2 SBA Representative Elections
 Resume Writing Workshop, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
3 SBA Mentor/Mentee Luncheon, 12:30 p.m., BW 2nd Floor
4 Hispanic National Bar Association Job Fair, Albuquerque, NM
7 No classes - Labor Day
8 Interviewing and Networking Techniques, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
10-30 Fall On-Campus Interview Program
10-12 The National LGBT Bar Association Annual Career Fair & Conference, New York
10 Law Journal Alumni/Student Networking Reception, 5:30 p.m., BW 2nd Floor
11 LACBA Legal Public Service Corps Career Day, LACBA Offices
 Visiting Speaker Series: Professor Julie Suk, 12:30 p.m., BW370
 SCALE Alumni/Student Networking Reception, 6:30 p.m., BW 2nd Floor
15 Externship Application Deadline for the Spring Semester
 Off the Record with... Class of '08 & '09 Alums and How They Got Their Jobs, 12:30 p.m.
16 Security Workshop: Sexual Assault Prevention, 12:30 p.m., Westmoreland Steps
 Law Review Alumni/Student Networking Reception, 5:30 p.m., BW 2nd Floor
18 Clean Tech Summit 2009 No evening classes - Rosh Hashanah 19 No classes - Rosh Hashanah
22 Moot Court Alumni/Student Networking Reception, , 5:30 p.m., BW 2nd Floor
28 No classes - Yom Kippur

Contact: For matters regarding the Southwestern Reporter Online, contact the Public Affairs Office.
 
Student organizations, faculty and staff should submit articles or information to be considered for publication by the 1st of each month. Send submissions to the Public Affairs Office.
 
Southwestern Law School is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is fully approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60654, Tel: 312.988.6738). Since 1911, Southwestern has served the public as a nonprofit, nonsectarian educational institution. Southwestern does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or prior military service in connection with admission to the school, or in the administration of any of its educational, employment, financial aid, scholarship or student activity programs. Non-discrimination has been the policy of Southwestern since its founding.