A Message from Dean Austen Parrish
As the Fall semester begins, I know I speak for all faculty when I say that we are very pleased to welcome the 2012 entering class. They are a remarkably accomplished group, who bring tremendous promise and diverse backgrounds to our community. I'm also pleased to welcome back all our students because this is an exciting year in Southwestern's history.
Great things are happening at the school. This summer, in its first ever listing of "America's Top 10 Entertainment Law Schools," The Hollywood Reporter ranked Southwestern fourth in the nation - just behind Harvard (#3), and above Columbia (#5). And we continue to receive accolades for our curricular innovation. The National Jurist just this month recognized us as one of the few law schools "pushing the boundaries of the traditional law school model and experimenting at a level that legal education has not seen for several years." That recognition is well-deserved. Our commitment to ensuring that students learn not only about the "law on the books," but also the "law on the ground," is long-standing.
We've recently garnered other recognition too. Over the past several months, Southwestern students earned top awards for outstanding legal writing from the Grammy Foundation and the Burton Awards, as well as Outstanding Pro Bono Service honors from Public Counsel. Last year, our interscholastic teams won eight First Place Team and Best Oralist awards at negotiation, trial advocacy and moot court competitions around the country, among numerous other honors. In 2012, Southwestern alumni were named as Public Lawyer of the Year by the State Bar of California, both Prosecutor of the Year and Defense Attorney of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and as Criminal Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer. Our alumni were also prominently represented in the Super Lawyers of the Year and The Hollywood Reporter's Top 100 Entertainment Lawyers.
These accomplishments build on others. Our alumni are leaders and trailblazers in the greater Los Angeles community and beyond. We now have more graduates than almost any other law school in the District Attorney's Office, the Public Defender's Office, the City Attorney's Office, and in the city's best boutique firms and public interest organizations. For many years, the school had more graduates sitting as judges on the Los Angeles County Superior Court than any other law school, and we have some of the most highly respected attorneys in both the plaintiffs and the defense bar. We rank 8th in the nation for number of graduates who are partners in the top 100 largest law firms in Los Angeles, and we have more graduates who are partners in the top 100 largest Los Angeles firms than either Columbia or Stanford. This is not surprising. A recurring theme that we hear from both students and alumni alike is that they are more prepared and better trained than their colleagues from even the fanciest Ivy League schools.
The coming year will be an important year for us - with our campus expansion plans, our deepening ties with the Claremont Colleges, our New Era Capital Campaign, and our continuing celebration of our Centennial. Those initiatives combine with other strengths. In addition to our innovative curricular program, we have talented scholars and acclaimed teachers, caring and compassionate staff, as well as enthusiastic and supportive alumni. This all makes for a great law school. In short, this is the year to make a push to move the school up to its rightful place at the front ranks of California schools.
So as the Fall semester begins, I'm looking forward to meeting the 2012 entering class, getting to know better our returning students, and reconnecting with alums and welcoming them back to the Southwestern family. I'm honored to be Interim Dean and feel privileged to lead Southwestern - the best place in Los Angeles by far, in my view, to study (and certainly to teach) law.
New Director of Career Services Appointed
Mr. Randy Myricks has been appointed as the Director of Career Services at Southwestern, commencing August 13. An attorney and legal recruiting expert, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the legal job market to the position.
Prior to joining Southwestern, Mr. Myricks practiced in the area of real estate law with the firms of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton; Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gamble & Malory; and Stroock & Stroock. He served as the Attorney Recruiter at Swan Legal Search and Recruiting Manager at Robert Half Legal, and was Director of Legal Services at Direct Hire Associates. Most recently, he was the Director of Attorney Recruiting at Prestige Legal Search, specializing in the placement of attorneys at all levels, with a focus on lateral associates, partners and in-house counsel throughout the Los Angeles area.
Mr. Myricks has served as a panelist on legal recruiting issues for the Association for Corporate Counsel, NALP/The Association for Legal Career Professionals, the Young Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, a number of law schools and other organizations. He has been a Guest Lecturer at the UCLA Law School Extension Program and is currently authoring a book on recruiting.
Senior Associate Dean Gary Greener said, "Randy Myricks will be a tremendous addition to our Career Services team. Through his combination of experience as a practicing attorney for eight years and as a legal recruiter for seven years, he is highly qualified to provide our students with well-rounded advice, and to reach out to a wide network of legal employers to connect them with our students and graduates." Dean Greener, who has led Southwestern's Career Services Office since 2000, was recently promoted to Senior Associate Dean for Career, Admissions and Financial Aid Services. Read more.
Southwestern Recognized as One of Top 10 Law Schools for Entertainment Law
Southwestern was featured in "America's Top 10 Entertainment Law Schools" 2012 ranking in The Hollywood Reporter, which "evaluated course offerings, practical training, and the esteemed alumni of the nation's more than 200 law schools to create [a] first-ever list of the best spots for a stellar showbiz education."
Southwestern, home of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute, ranked fourth in the country, just behind Harvard (#3) and above Columbia (#5), UC Berkeley (#6), and Loyola (#7). Other schools on the list were UCLA (#1), USC (#2), Stanford (#8), Vanderbilt (#9) and Fordham (#10).
"We are very pleased and not surprised about this significant ranking by The Hollywood Reporter," Dean Austen Parrish said. "Southwestern has the largest contingent of full-time entertainment and media law faculty of any law school, and we benefit from an extensive network of alumni and adjunct faculty who hold prominent positions in Hollywood. Our Biederman Institute sponsors more than 60 courses, 50 externships, a special law firm practicum, a scholarly journal, and summer programs in Los Angeles and London."
The magazine also highlighted several prominent Southwestern alumni, such as Shawn Holley '88, Neville Johnson '75, Daniel Petrocelli '80 and John Burke '76, in their list of the "Top 100 entertainment attorneys in America."
Commenting on the recognition, Professor Steven Krone, Director of the Biederman Institute, said, "We are proud to be recognized as one of the very best entertainment and media law programs in the country, and we are not resting on our laurels. We continue to expand and refine our curriculum to adapt to the rapidly changing entertainment and media landscape. Moreover, we will be launching a clinical program in the spring semester, supplementing our robust entertainment company externship and law firm practicum programs with another avenue for students to provide real legal services to entertainment clients. We are always innovating.
Attorneys Graduate from Southwestern's Inaugural Online LL.M. Class
Imagine attending a graduate school class while traveling on a business flight from Los Angeles to New York. That's what attorney Michael Campolo often did while completing his LL.M. degree at Southwestern. As Vice President of Labor Relations at Fox Group Legal, he wanted to obtain as much knowledge related to entertainment and media law as possible in a short duration of time. At Southwestern's 2012 Commencement Ceremony in May, he was a member of the first class to graduate from the new Entertainment and Media Law LL.M. Online Program.
In a world of mass market entertainment, globalization and 24-hour news cycles, it has become essential to meld traditional education with technology, both on and off campus. Through its Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute, Southwestern was the first law school in the United States to establish an LL.M. in Entertainment and Media Law in 2002. The program is designed to prepare the next generation of effective and talented entertainment, media, and intellectual property lawyers. The 2010 launch of the Entertainment and Media Law LL.M. Online Program provides the opportunity for students to attend these classes from anywhere in the world. In partnership with Kaplan Legal Education, Southwestern's LL.M. also became the first online program in entertainment and media law.
San Diego-based solo practitioner Brandon S. Sand knew he made the right choice to pursue his LL.M. degree online. "I chose Southwestern because of its reputation for having a fantastic entertainment law program," he said. "My interest in intellectual property and entertainment law was initially piqued while attending law school for my J.D. After researching programs to further my studies, there was no competition. Southwestern was the right choice."
The program gives attorneys worldwide the opportunity to benefit from the talent and expertise of Southwestern's Los Angeles-based faculty. With the diverse and evolving challenges of the Digital and Information Age, the entertainment and media industries are more complex and exciting than ever before and present a myriad of opportunities for attorneys who practice - and aspire to practice - in these fields. Read more.
New Issue of Entertainment Journal Explores Issues of Defamation and Trademark Law
Volume 4, Issue 1 of the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law (JIMEL) has been published. According to Professor Michael Epstein, the Journal's editor, "In this issue, we have a number of first-rate articles covering both media and entertainment issues of global significance. Three of the articles are the scholarly fruits of JIMEL's colloquium on international defamation law, held last year at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles." Read more.
- Save the Date -
The Donald E. Biederman Entertainment
and Media Law Institute Awards Reception
Friday, October 26, 2012
Sponsored by Southwestern's Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association (SWEIP)
SWEIP Alumnus of the Year
Thomas H. Hoberman '75
Adjunct Professor of the Year
Professor Deborah Drooz '85
Donald E. Biederman Legacy Award
More Upcoming Events
Mark your calendar for these additional upcoming events:
Public Interest Law Week
September 18-22, 2012
with Casino Night on Saturday, September 22
October 1-5, 2012
2012 Treusch Public Service Lecture
Juvenile in Justice with special guest
Documentary Photographer Richard Ross
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
10th Annual Media Law Conference
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Law Review Symposium
40 Years of LGBT Legal Activism: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead
Friday, February 8, 2013
Biederman Institute Privacy Symposium
Friday, February 22, 2013
Also see Alumni Networking Opportunities.
Southwestern Student Honored by Public Counsel for Outstanding Pro Bono Service
Remy Krumpak believes in helping people who need it the most. In his first two years of law school, he has devoted hundreds of hours to serving as an advocate for the homeless and recruiting fellow law students to do the same. For his efforts, he was the only law student selected this year to receive a 2012 Pro Bono Award at Public Counsel's Annual Pro Bono Awards Reception in July.
A third-year student in the JD/MBA program, Krumpak has been president of the Homelessness Prevention Law Project (HPLP) at Southwestern (formerly the General Relief Advocacy Program, or GRAP) for two years. Thanks to his efforts, HPLP has approximately 30 full time volunteers who provide about 1000 hours of pro bono service annually.
Krumpak was instrumental in continuing and building on the success of Public Counsel CARES (Connecting Angelenos to Resources and Essential Services) at Southwestern. He first became involved with the CARES program as a summer clerk at Public Counsel, and he has grown into a leader who took other Southwestern students into LA County social service offices to provide front-line advocacy for people struggling with poverty or homelessness. While he will be spending the 2012-2013 academic year pursuing the MBA portion of his concurrent degree at The Drucker Graduate School of Management in Claremont, Krumpak will continue as HPLP's president to lead fellow student volunteers. Read more.
First-year TAHP Advocates Test Their Skills in Bonelli Competition
The first-year advocates of the Trial Advocacy Honors Program recently competed against one another in the annual John G. Bonelli Tournament, sponsored by the American Board of Trial Attorneys. Generally each advocate is randomly assigned a teammate, but on occasion and to create an equal number of teams, some advocates will prepare and present the entire case themselves. This year, second-year evening student Jahmy Graham won the tournament on his own. Second Place Team honors went to Keira Cumberland and Michael Morse, and Morse was additionally named Best Advocate. (Finalists pictured with final round judges W. Jeffrey Bonelli, the son of John G. Bonelli; Hon. Nancy Newman '81; and Hon. David Herriford)
Students Receive Scholarships from Bradley Endowment Fund
The Hon. Tom Bradley '56 Scholarship Endowment Fund provides financial assistance to Southwestern students based on need and merit. Alumni, friends, parents and other members of the Los Angeles community engaged in extensive fundraising activities to establish this fund in honor of one of Southwestern's most distinguished alumni, former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.
Bradley Scholarship recipients for the 2012-2013 academic year include: Karen Aguilar, Zhana Aivazi, Ana Aran, DeAndre Aubrey, David Carroll, Jake Craven, Leanne Douglas, Adam Gertz, Maria Gomez, Pete Greyshock, Max Latman, Anna Levitt, Andrew Lockton, Elizabeth Mackey, Vanessa Manzi, Christopher Moore, Kristen Myer, Jessica Nadler, Leila Nosrat, Timothy Osman, Ben Sampson, Josh Shabani, Ryan Shanley, Menachem Striks, Sara Swanson, Matt Whibley, Michael Worth and Katie Wu.
The late Tom Bradley devoted more than 50 years to public service to help meet the needs of the people of Los Angeles. He was the first African American to be elected Mayor of Los Angeles and to serve on the City Council. He implemented numerous programs to improve everything from air quality and public transportation to education and drug prevention. Mayor Bradley strived to build and shape Los Angeles into a city where people from all walks of life and all ethnic and cultural backgrounds can live, work and prosper in harmony.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Q: What was your fondest law school memory?
A: My fondest law school memory was my experience with Moot Court. One of my professors, William Van Alstyne, was a constitutional law expert and a judge at one of the Moot Court sessions I competed in. The judges give you a hard time to keep you on your toes in these kinds of situations. At one point, he purposely turned his back on me. As I made my argument, he turned around and said, "I am listening, and you're making a good point" That's when I started to realize I might be a good lawyer.
Q: What has been your most memorable deal during your long and successful career at Warner Bros?
A: I was most proud of deal that I did with Kristin Chenoweth to star in the show "Pushing Daisies." I'm friends with her lawyer, and at that time, she was deciding if she wanted to be in the Broadway production of "Young Frankenstein."
We had to close the deal on deadline. Peter Roth (Chief Executive of Warner Bros) told me not to blow this deal. I was certain it wasn't about the money. I found out that Mel Brooks (creator of Young Frankenstein) had offered to write her another song to convince Kristin to do the musical. So I called Kristin's attorney and told him that it was time for her to leave Broadway (where she was already a star) and score big on TV. I told him that this was the kind of role that could win her an Emmy Award.
So she chose "Pushing Daisies." And, even though the show was cancelled, she won the 2009 Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy. I was proud to have closed that deal.
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about being an entertainment lawyer?
A: People think that it's a lot of glamour. It's actually a lot of contracts. You need to know the basics and the fundamentals of contracts. It's an interesting topic and subject. I could spend half a day negotiating the size of an actor's dressing room and the kind of sofa they want. But those things are important. Actors see each other's dressing rooms/trailers, and that outward appearance means something because they don't see each other's paychecks.
It's also a lot of negotiation. I negotiated contracts for actors, writers, directors and producers. From hiring the writer (negotiating the writer deal), then pitching to the network (negotiating the license deal), and if they approve, negotiating producer deals and then casting. I've negotiated and written contracts for every kind of agreement there is.
Q: What is your favorite kind of deal to negotiate?
A: I really like the Test Option Deal for actors. Every January through March is pilot season, and shows' casts have to be hired. When you put together one of these deals, you're potentially tying up someone for 6 or 6 ½ years. That's a standard deal. In California, you cannot contract one's services for more than 7 years. I'm often dealing with agents and attorneys whose clients have other choices. Most people hate doing the Test Option Deal it because it's stressful; you lose sleep. But I love it.
An actor is hired to test. Sometimes it's big name actor. If that actor does well, the next day you take him or her in front of the network executives. Eight actors may test for a role, and only one will get it, but I will have done eight negotiations for such role. (Generally, if they don't get the part, they're released from the deal after five days.) These deals can be difficult and tense and stressful, but there's a way to handle them with finesse.
Q: What are some of your best negotiating tactics?
A: When you don't talk for 30 seconds, it's an incredibly good negotiating tactic. Then you say you'll put the actor in another pile while you work on other things. No agent wants to hear that. Both tactics tend to trigger movement on their part.
You also have to teach people to walk away from deals in order to close them. Sometimes, you have to tell an agent that you will pass on their client. This can be really tough to do. No one wants to lose the deal. But this hones your skills better than anything.
Q: Describe your approach to teaching entertainment negotiation.
A: I want students who wish to practice entertainment law to understand the kinds of agreements they're going to be seeing and the kinds of deals they're going to have to negotiate. I'm going to give them actual deals (with fictional negotiation sets). The whole class will have the same problem each week and they will have to close the deal. I want them to know what it's like. How good are you going to be? Those that really want to do well and are interested in coming to an agreement will do well. If you don't come to an agreement, you don't get any points for that work. I closed 99 percent of the deals I was assigned at Warner Bros. Deals have to close or things don't get done. I want to give students an idea of the kind deals and situations they will be facing the real (entertainment law) world.
Q: What are your thoughts on the importance of professionalism?
A: Oh my god, I think it's key. I try to make friends, not adversaries. I think there has been a trend of being less professional in this town. There are lot more gruff people who scream and swear. It's not my style. It's counterproductive in the long run. I do try to make friends and do the right thing.
I think being friendly and calm in negotiation is a lost art.
That's one of the most important things I'm going to try to convey to my students, that this is a small, insular group of attorneys in this town. You may win a battle here or there by being crass, but you won't win the war.
Q: What would you tell students or new attorneys about making a mistake?
A: Own it. Own it. Own it. Do not try to get out of it. You need to own all of your deals. I want students to own their deals and be truthful. I'm there to referee, to cajole, and to calm things down. I think you learn a whole lot about yourself when you have to negotiate. Things happen in negotiation; you engage in discourse with people with different goals. It tests the sort of principles you have. In my Entertainment Negotiation class, I am going to lay down the rules of engagement so students know the parameters of what is acceptable in our negotiations and what is not.
Q: What is most challenging about being an entertainment attorney?
A: I think it is developing relationships with people who have goals that vary from your own. Sometimes they're diametrically opposite. Trying to maintain and cultivate relationships with your colleagues is consistently challenging, because it can get contentious. I've had friends call me names in the heat of negotiation. You have to hammer out deals while maintaining your professionalism. But it's also very rewarding. I've made incredible friends, too.
Q: What's the most important advice you will give to students?
A: Be honest. Be truthful. Be confident. Honesty and truthfulness come from within and confidence can be fostered and developed. That's where I come in, I hope.
Q: What would surprise students the most about you?
A: Despite all of my years in television, I don't watch that much TV. Honestly, I spent my days engrossed in negotiation. I know who all the players are, but I tend not to watch scripted television. I am a news person and a sports fan.
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of the legal profession?
A: I love to swim. At Warner Bros., they called me the Mayor of the Fitness Center. I think it's really important for productivity to maintain good health. Swimming is my yoga. It's my prayer time. And when I'm in the pool, no one can call me on the phone.
My husband [professional figure skater Randy Gardner of World Champion pair skaters Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner] is my other hobby. He's so fun. He still skates, teaches and produces shows.
Q: If you could not fail, what would you do?
A: I would be a football coach. I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I'm a huge football fan. When I was an undergraduate at Notre Dame, I tutored members of the football team.
"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?
This month - Paul Miailovich, Third-year Day Student
Law school is full of smart and creative people. And Paul Miailovich is no exception. An award-winning playwright, his background in theater is just one component of his diverse resume that includes everything from running a business to earning an advanced degree in religion.
While studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics as an undergraduate student at Claremont McKenna College, the interdisciplinary program gave him the opportunity to participate in a rotary scholarship. He spent a year in Adelaide, Australia, as an ambassador for this cultural exchange program. There, he studied educational theater and took many types of classes. He discovered that he loved directing. (In fact, his work has won multiple awards at consecutive Adelaide Fringe Festivals.) When he returned to Claremont, he was allowed to pursue any kind of project he wanted for his senior thesis, so he chose to write and produce an original play. It was so successful that he decided to start a nonprofit theater company, Psyche and Eros, which he ran for 10 years.
For the last five years, he has worked with the National American Shakespeare Company, adapting and directing classic plays at the Knightsbridge Theatre in Silverlake. Last summer, he helmed a production of Bikini Beach Bacchae, based on his adaptation of Euripide's Bacchae. "Almost all of my plays are contemporary re-workings of ancient Greek, Roman or classical mythology texts, and I make them more accessible to audiences," Miailovich said. "I enjoy taking very ancient text and retelling it in an original way."
Miailovich eventually earned master's degrees in religious studies and playwriting from the University of Southern California. While in grad school, he started a full service hair salon in Covina with his partner, who is a hair stylist. He worked there as the on-site manager for five years. While grateful that things ran so well at the salon, he needed a new intellectual challenge. "I promised myself that if I wasn't on a career trajectory that I wanted to be on by age 40, I would take the plunge into pursuing a professional degree," he said. "Some people buy a Porsche when they have a midlife crisis; I decided to go to law school."
Miailovich has found Southwestern to be a perfect fit and loved the immediate connection he felt to the law school community. "I'm so glad I chose to come here," he said. "My first two years have been amazing."
He has especially enjoyed taking Professor Carpenter's Criminal Law class. He has externed at Los Angeles Superior Court for the Hon. Georgina Rizk, a criminal misdemeanor judge who previously taught at Southwestern. He spent most of that time researching a big case on remand from the Ninth Circuit. The opportunity also gave him the chance to observe different criminal proceedings and get to know the court system. He most recently completed an externship at the LA County Public Defender's office.
Active on campus, last year Miailovich was the SBA Director of Social Events, planning the most successful Barrister's Ball in Southwestern's history. He was a member of the Moot Court team that competed in the Kaufman Securities Law competition in NYC and participated in Teen Court as well as the Street Law Clinic.
Miailovich is currently the Operations Chair of the Moot Court Board of Governors and President of OUTLaw. He will be competing in two Moot Court competitions this year: the Weschler First Amendment competition in Washington D.C. as an oralist and a writer, and the ABA Constitutional Law Competition (regionals in San Francisco and nationals in NYC). He will also be participating in the Children's Rights Clinic in the Spring. Working in criminal juvenile justice is definitely something Miailovich is considering. "It's not set in stone," he said. "It's not 'criminal law or nothing,' but it has captured my interest."
PROFESSOR MARK CAMMACK
PROFESSOR CATHERINE CARPENTER
- Explaining the Recent Upturn in Divorce In Indonesia: Developmental Idealism and the Effect of Political Change, 39 ASIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE 776 (with T. Heaton; 2011)
- Presentation, "Indonesian Islamic Inheritance Law," Atma Jaya University, Jakarta, Indonesia
- Presentations, "Marital Property Law," University of Indonesia, Jakarta and Parahyangan University, Bandung, Indonesia
PROFESSOR LAURA COHEN
- Editor and Principal Drafter, A Survey of Law School Curricula: 2002-2010 (ABA; July 2012)
- The Evolution of Unconstitutionality in Sex Offender Registration Laws, 63 HASTINGS LAW JOURNAL 1071 (with A. Beverlin; May 2012)
- Findings from the 2010 Curriculum Survey, 81 THE BAR EXAMINER (June 2012)
- Leader, Street Law Inc.'s Diversity Pipeline Best Practices Workshop, Washington, DC
- Presenter and Panelist (with A. Ramos, J. Rodriguez-Fee, J.
Vazquez, and J. Waterstone), "Training and Transforming Law Students
into Lawyers," AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Los Angeles,
- CLICK HERE FOR MORE FACULTY ACTIVITIES -
Larraine Segil Elected to Board of Trustees
Larraine Segil '79, a prominent business leader and Southwestern alumna, was elected to Southwestern's Board of Trustees at the Board's May 2012 meeting. Ms. Segil is a highly respected senior executive with entrepreneurial general management experience and specialized expertise in conflict resolution and the creation, implementation and management of complex business alliances in multiple industries - healthcare, technology, consumer products, manufacturing, aerospace and financial services.
Dean Bryant Garth said, "Ms. Segil's unique insight and connections to the corporate, financial, legal and government arenas will greatly enhance our efforts toward the advancement of the law school, particularly in our strategic partnerships with the Drucker Graduate School and other institutions. We are delighted that she has agreed to expand her involvement with her alma mater as a member of the Board of Trustees."
Now Partner Emerita, Ms. Segil was formerly owner and director of Vantage Partners, a privately held consulting firm with expertise in conflict resolution and building competency in both internal and external relationship management. Vantage Partners evolved out of the Harvard Project on Negotiation and acquired her firm The Lared Group in 2003. Ms. Segil has served Global 100 and Fortune 500 companies assisting them to create and manage their critical business relationships with suppliers, alliances, joint ventures or channel partners. She is a member of the Board of Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR), and the Advisory Board of Edgecast, a Content Delivery Network Company (CDN). Earlier in her career, Ms. Segil was Chief Executive Officer of an advanced materials company providing products and services to aerospace and electronics manufacturers worldwide. She co-founded a California Thrift and Loan company as well as a series of free-standing ambulatory care clinics providing medical services, and previously practiced international corporate law. Read more.
Professor Anahid Gharakhanian Appointed as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor Anahid Gharakhanian, a member of the Southwestern faculty since 2002, has been appointed as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs for the 2012-13 academic year. She will oversee the overall academic program, faculty appointments, faculty development, and Southwestern's self-study process, and will continue to serve as Director of the Externship Program.
As a member of the faculty for more than a decade, Dean Gharakhanian has taught legal research and writing and a unique course on Correctional Education, was instrumental in the redevelopment of Southwestern's unique Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills (LAWS) program, greatly expanded the Externship Program to be one of the largest in the country, and served as Faculty Advisor to the PLEAS part-time day program. She is also Faculty Advisor to the Armenian Law Students Association and recently spearheaded efforts to create the new Southwestern Armenia Fellowship with the Ministry of Justice in Armenia.
In announcing the appointment, Dean Austen Parrish said, "Dean Gharakhanian is a very talented and dedicated teacher and administrator, and I am delighted that she has agreed to expand her administrative role, as we have a very busy year ahead." Read more.
Professor Carpenter Spearheads Influential Study on Legal Education
One of the country's leading experts on law school curricula, Professor Catherine Carpenter is co-drafter and editor of the ABA's newly-released comprehensive report, A Survey of Law School Curricula: 2002-2010. The new survey, which has garnered extensive media coverage, documents the changes law schools have made to meet the significant challenges and demands of the evolving legal landscape. The new survey is an update of A Survey of Law School Curricula 1992-2002, the most comprehensive national examination ever conducted on law schools, for which Professor Carpenter also served as principal drafter and editor.
"For the second time in ten years, Professor Carpenter (with the help of a dedicated Committee) has produced an important and fact-filled report on curricular change among ABA-approved law schools," said Hulett "Bucky" Askew, who serves as the ABA's Consultant on Legal Education. "The amount of time and energy she has devoted to this effort, with the support of Southwestern Law School, is truly remarkable. The report comes at a time when the debate about the cost and effectiveness of the US legal education system is driven often by anecdote and outdated assumptions. This report provides facts and analysis that will greatly inform and affect that debate."
According to the Executive Summary of the Survey: "Results of the 2010 Survey - the objective data combined with the narrative responses - reveal that law school faculties are engaged in efforts to review and revise their curriculum to produce practice ready professionals. Survey respondents frequently cited the changing job market and the three publications (The MacCrate Report, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law, and Best Practices for Legal Education: A Vision and a Roadmap) as influential in their decision making processes. Read more.
Professor Mason's Analysis of Jay-Z's "99 Problems" Goes Viral
Professor Caleb Mason's legal critique of Jay-Z's song, "99 Problems," presents a stimulating lesson "for anyone who's interested in what pop culture gets right about criminal justice, and what it gets wrong."
With the insight of a professor of criminal procedure and evidence and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, his enlightening article, "Jay-Z's 99 Problems, Verse 2: A Close Reading with Fourth Amendment Guidance for Cops And Perps," published in the Saint Louis University Law Journal has hit a cord with the media as well. Click here to see the ever-growing media coverage of his article, ranging from the Huffington Post and Wall Street Journal to The Hollywood Reporter and Vibe. A pdf of Professor Mason's full law review article is available here.
While he found the media attention somewhat surprising, Professor Mason said, "It is really gratifying that a wide range of people liked my writing." He explained that he originally wrote about the song in the spring of 2011 as a teaching tool for his criminal procedure students.
"One of the core legal skills is applying doctrines to narratives, and this was an available narrative that they were all familiar with," he said. "If they can explain where the song is right and where it's wrong, and why, they'll be more likely to retain the doctrines. I submitted it for publication because I thought other law professors and students might find it useful. Happily, it looks like they have. I've gotten emails from a number of students who used it as a bar prep tool. I've also gotten emails from defense attorneys who say they're going to distribute it to clients, and even a couple from parents who have given it to their kids."
New Visiting Faculty Appointed
Two Visiting Associate Professors of Law have been appointed to Southwestern's full-time faculty for the 2012-13 academic year. Professor Jessica Berch will teach in the first-year curriculum, and Professor Jay W. Gendron will teach courses in entertainment law. They both bring outstanding academic and professional credentials that will enhance Southwestern's curriculum. Read more.
Southwestern Welcomes New Adjunct Faculty
A number of practitioners and experts in a variety of fields have
joined Southwestern's adjunct faculty for the 2012-2013 academic year. Read more.
Southwestern Names Four Faculty Members for 2012-2013 Professorships
Southwestern has honored four of its highly respected faculty members with professorships for the 2012-13 academic year, recognizing their outstanding teaching, professional accomplishments and service to Southwestern: Professor John Tehranian as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor; Professor Catherine Carpenter as the Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professor; Professor Arthur F. McEvoy as the Paul E. Treusch Professor; and Professor Debra L. Bassett as the Justice Marshall F. McComb Professor.
Professors Hart, Aronovsky, D'Italia and Ryan Receive 2012 Excellence in Teaching Awards
Southwestern is pleased to announce that Professors Danielle K. Hart, Ronald G. Aronovsky, Alexandra D'Italia and Gabriela E. Ryan have been selected to receive the law school's 2012 Excellence in Teaching Awards. "This year, numerous thoughtful nominations were received," said Michael Friedman, President of the Student Bar Association (SBA). "The SBA was impressed by the strength of individual student observations related to the various faculty members and to learn of the many positive and significant contributions faculty are making to improve student learning and performance." Read more.
Natalie Rodriguez '12 Named Academic Support Fellow
Natalie Rodriguez has been appointed Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs Fellow and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern commencing with the 2012-13 academic year. In this position, she will work closely with Professor Gabriela Ryan, Director of Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs, in the administration and continuing development of workshops, the supervision of student tutors and the growth of the academic support and bar-related course curriculum.
"We are thrilled that Professor Rodriguez is joining the Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs Office as a Fellow," Professor Ryan said. "She brings two years of experience working with the office as a Dean's Fellow and Teaching Assistant. In that capacity, she was instrumental in building and leading the First-Year Academic Skills Program. She understands the vision and goals of the office, and as an alumna, brings an important perspective about how to achieve those goals and reach all of our students." While a law student, Professor Rodriguez also served as a Research and Teaching Assistant for Dean Austen Parrish's Civil Procedure class. Read more.
Government Officials Teach Employee Benefits Law Class at Southwestern
On the cutting edge of innovative legal education, Southwestern is the only law school in the country to provide an Employee Benefits Law class taught by two investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor. Offered for the first time this summer, the course focuses on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, which protects the assets of millions of people who work in the private sector, so that funds placed in retirement plans during their working lives will be there when they retire.
Professor James Goldstein, a Supervisory Investigator with the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and Professor Dina Yadegarian, a Senior Investigator with the agency, serve as the class instructors.
"The U.S. Department of Labor is made up of a lot of different agencies for enforcement of different statutes. We (EBSA) are one of those agencies," Professor Goldstein said. "We are reaching out to teach these courses in the hope of encouraging people to think about this area of the law and maybe even inspiring them to eventually come work for us."
Professor Goldstein and Yadegarian with Phyllis Borzi (center)
On July 12, the class welcomed Phyllis Borzi, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor, as a guest speaker. In her position, Ms. Borzi oversees approximately 707,000 private-sector retirement plans, approximately 2.5 million health plans, and a similar number of other welfare benefit plans that provide benefits to approximately 140 million people. As agency head, she spearheads the administration, regulation and enforcement of Title I of ERISA. Read more.
Fair Employment and Housing Director Phyllis Cheng '93 to be Honored by California State Bar
Phyllis Cheng '93, Director of California's Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH), the nation's largest state civil rights agency, has been named the "2012 Public Lawyer of the Year" by the State Bar of California. The Public Lawyer of the Year Award is given annually by the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California at its Annual Meeting to a public lawyer who deserves special recognition because of outstanding public service. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye will present the award to Ms. Cheng at this year's State Bar 85th Annual Meeting at a reception on Friday, October 12, in Monterey, CA.
"Director Cheng's dedication to consumer protection is evident throughout her work," said State and Consumer Services Secretary Anna Caballero. "She's a true leader within our agency and throughout the state of California."
The DFEH is charged with enforcing California laws that prohibit employment and housing discrimination, public accommodation discrimination, hate violence, and discrimination against disabled persons in public places. It takes in, investigates, conciliates, mediates and prosecutes about 20,000 discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints per year. Read more.
Mark Velez '11 Wins Burton Award for Legal Achievement
Mark Velez '11 has many recent accomplishments to celebrate - completing his J.D. degree through the Evening Program, becoming a member of the California State Bar, and now receiving a Burton Award for Legal Achievement, one of the most prestigious awards recognizing outstanding legal writing. He has been selected as a 2012 Distinguished Legal Writing Award winner for a Southwestern Law Review article he wrote entitled: "AIDS/HIV + Inmates: A New Standard to House Infected Inmates Based on Objective, Proactive Criteria That Balances the Needs of the Infected Inmate While Protecting Non-Infected Inmates and Prison Staff." Velez is a police captain and 23-year veteran of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.
The Burton Awards were established in 1999 to reward great achievements in law ranging from legal writing to publications to the greatest reforms in law. The program honors partners in law firms and law school students who use plain, clear and concise language in their writing. Southwestern was one of only 15 law schools in the nation to have a student receive this distinguished award. Read more.
Recent Grad Becomes Published Author
Cynthia Hathaway's article "A Patent Extension Proposal to End the Underrepresentation of Women in Clinical Trials and Secure Meaningful Drug Guidance for Women," was accepted for publication in the Food and Drug Law Journal. A registered and practicing patent agent in the pharmaceutical field since 2006 and a member of the class of 2012, Cynthia originally wrote the paper for her Women and the Law seminar.
A Family Affair: Creating Southwestern Legacies
Throughout Southwestern's 100-year history, generations of graduates have taken tremendous pride in watching family members follow in their footsteps. Fifteen members of Southwestern's Class of 2012 celebrated the legacy started by their parents and grandparents with a new tradition initiated at this year's Commencement Ceremony - they were joined onstage by their alumni relatives who presented them with their diplomas.
The new graduates and their families, who also gathered at a special Legacy Reception at Southwestern during Commencement weekend, shared their thoughts about this unique milestone.
Sebastian Medvei '12 completed Southwestern's two-year SCALE program 15 years after his mother Adrien Medvei '97 graduated from the traditional day program. "It was nice to have Sebastian go to the same law school as I did," she said. "We could relate a lot about our experiences. Also, we had a lot of the same professors such as Knipprath, Krimmel, and Fischer."
Sebastian also enjoyed attending the same school as his mother. "She gave me good advice about keeping up with course work and helped me stay focused," he said. Read more.
Even in Success, Eric Early Stays True to Southwestern Roots
A profile on the first President of Southwestern's Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association (SWEIP) by Lindsay N. Nelson '11
Step foot into the hip, modern, yet understated and professional office of Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae and you would never guess that the firm is less than two years old. That is, if you can manage to pull your gaze away from the striking, almost 360 degree view of Los Angeles that provides a fitting backdrop for this successful young firm.
Early Sullivan opened its doors in June of 2010 with Southwestern Alum Eric Early and four of his colleagues at the helm. In its short existence, the firm has grown from just five partners to 14 attorneys and is currently developing offices in New York and Las Vegas. The success of the firm comes as no surprise when you consider the experience, passion, and dedication of Eric Early.
Early earned his legal stripes during the 15 years he spent at Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro LLP, formerly known as the Christensen Miller firm. There, he worked on high profile cases such as a widely publicized billion dollar case that required him to fly in Kirk Kerkorian's private Boeing business jet to Europe for depositions. Although happy at that firm, Early and his four partners at Early Sullivan all had a desire to be in charge of their own destinies. "We are all entrepreneurial and we wanted to take a shot and do it," he explains, "the other law firm was a really fine place to be a partner, but the stars sort of aligned and we did it and it has been amazing."
Starting Early Sullivan was not the first time the stars aligned for Eric Early. In fact, being a lawyer was the last thing on the NYU film school grad's mind. He spent almost a decade in the film industry before attending Southwestern. "I sort of went kicking and screaming into law school," he recalls, "my first year I was basically sitting in class writing scripts in the back of the room in night school." But, there was something special about Southwestern that awakened Early's interest in the legal profession and kick started him down the path of a long, successful career. Read more.
Alumni-Student Networking Opportunities
The Alumni Association hosts a number of events that provide informal networking opportunities for students. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming events. Contact the Alumni Office for more information or with any questions.
Student Housing Construction Updates
You may have noticed large cranes, cement trucks and a flurry of activity coming from our construction site over the past few months. Throughout the summer, we've been able to clearly see the footprint of the new student housing complex and the many elements that go into creating the foundation. Click here to see month-by-month updates of that progress.
State Bar Honors Small Claims Project Hosted at Southwestern
Students Play Integral Role in Award-Winning Small Claims Clinic
Representatives of the Small Claims Court Project
The Standing Committee for the Delivery of Legal Services of the State Bar of California has announced that the Small Claims Court Project is the recipient of a Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award for its impact in 2011, "providing meaningful support to low and middle income citizens accessing the small claims courts." The Project is a collaborative effort of Southwestern, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the law firms of Greenburg Glusker and Selman Breitman, and the Center for Civic Mediation. The award will be presented during the Annual State Bar Meeting in Monterey, CA, in October 2012.
Under the auspices of the Small Claims Court Project, Southwestern hosts monthly free clinics at the campus, designed to assist underserved members of the community who are filing or who are defending small claims actions. Southwestern students, primarily from the SCALE program, volunteer their services under the supervision of volunteer attorneys for the Project, which is the first of its kind in Los Angeles County.
Professor Laura Cohen and Senior Associate Dean Gary Greener led the effort to establish the program on behalf of Southwestern. "We feel very fortunate to be part of a project that is a successful collaboration, meets the needs of the community and has positive results for Small Claims Court in Los Angeles," Professor Cohen said. "Through the Small Claims Clinic, litigants receive more attention and information for their specific questions than is currently available elsewhere in Los Angeles. Furthermore, it is our hope to expand and replicate the project in the future." Read more.
Winners of First Journal of Legal Education Fiction Contest Announced
Give writers a unique opportunity to showcase their creativity and watch them soar. Winners of the first Journal of Legal Education Fiction Contest impressed the competition's prominent judges with their imagination, skill and wit.
Presenting a rare opportunity for writers to have their work read by internationally known best-selling authors such as Michael Connolly, the Association of American Law Schools' Journal of Legal Education (JLE) and Southwestern announced the competition last December. The original short works of fiction had to be related to law school or the practice of law. The top 10 stories will be published in the February 2013 edition of the JLE, and the top 20 stories will be posted online.
Steven Semeraro, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law (pictured above), won the contest with "The Birds They Sang at the Break of Day." His story topped an impressive 129 competition entries, which came from diverse writers throughout the United States. There were also international submissions from Canada, Germany, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Israel and South Africa. Contestants who submitted entries included professors, deans, judges, lawyers, law students and professional writers.
International bestselling authors served as judges for the competition. "I was honestly blown away by the level of creativity and craft in these stories," said Connelly, author of bestselling legal-themed novels such as The Lincoln Lawyer, The Brass Verdict, The Fifth Witness, The Reversal and The Drop. "These writers delved into all facets of the law but more importantly they dug down deep into characters. It's a winning combination. 'The Birds They Sang at the Break of Day' is a wonderful story that should be read widely. And it's not the only one. Many, many of these stories should be published and read. These writers certainly have something to say." Read more.
History Corner: Southwestern's Mascot - The Bison
Since as early as 1925, Southwestern's mascot has been the Bison. The origin of the mascot is unclear, but it may have been chosen as an Old West image related to Southwestern's name.
In 1925, Southwestern organized its football team known as the Battling Bisons. Baseball, basketball and swimming teams were also known as the Bisons.
Southwestern's first student newspaper, The Bison, kept students informed of school activities and events, and featured its own weekly sports page. The Bison spirit and tradition lives on today through events such as the SBA's annual "Bison Week and Southwestern's email system, "Bisonmail."