Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
Southwestern Reporter

January 2007

In This Issue:

 

California Supreme Court Justice to Speak
at Commencement

 
The Hon. Marvin R. Baxter, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California, will be the keynote speaker at Southwestern's 92nd Commencement Ceremony to be held at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, May 20, 2007. With a long and distinguished career in the law, including 25 years in public service, Justice Baxter has served on the Supreme Court since 1991. He was reelected to a new term in 2002 and currently chairs the Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee for the Judicial Council of California. He previously chaired the Council's Appellate Advisory Committee and the California Supreme Court's Building, Official Reports and Library Committees.

Justice Baxter earned a degree in economics at California State University, Fresno, in 1962 and was selected as a Coro Foundation Fellow in Public Affairs that same year. He completed his J.D. degree at Hastings College of the Law in 1966 and began his legal career as a deputy district attorney, serving in the Fresno County District Attorney's Office for two years. He went on to practice civil law for 13 years with the firm of Andrews, Andrews, Thaxter, Jones & Baxter, and held numerous leadership posts in the Fresno County Bar Association, Fresno County Legal Services, Inc. (Legal Aid), and the California Young Lawyers Association, among other organizations. He also served on the board of directors of Hastings College of the Law. More.

Student Commencement Speaker

Graduating students are invited to apply for the honor of Student Commencement Speaker for the May 20, 2007 ceremony. Candidates must be December 2006, May 2007 or July 2007 graduates in good academic standing. Applications are available in the Student Affairs Office and are due by Friday, February 2, 2007 at 6 p.m., with a draft of the speech, not to exceed 5 minutes. Finalists will be required to present the speech to the Commencement Speaker Committee.

Audition to Sing the National Anthem
at Commencement

Students are also invited to audition for the honor of singing the National Anthem at this year's Commencement ceremony (candidates must also be December 2006, May 2007 or July 2007 graduates). Audition forms are available in the Administrative Services Office and are due by Thursday, February 15. Auditions will be conducted between February 20 and 23 and applicants should be prepared to sing the Star Spangled Banner either a capella or with an instrumental track (the student is responsible for providing the accompaniment track on cassette or CD two days prior to the scheduled audition). Auditions will be performed before a panel of judges consisting of Southwestern faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Administrative Services Office.

Summer 2007 International Law Programs

 
Southwestern will again offer students the opportunity to study law overseas this summer through its programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, London, England, and Guanajuato, Mexico. Each program features international law courses taught in English by leading experts and scholars, highlighted by visits to courts, law offices, and government agencies, and social events that explore local areas and culture.

In addition to the program descriptions, brochures and application forms are available in the Student Affairs Office and online; brochures for the London program are also available in the Biederman Institute Office. Questions may be addressed to program directors Professor Silvia Faerman, Buenos Aires; Professor Austen Parrish, Vancouver; Professor Lon Sobel, London; as well as the Student Affairs Office.

 

New e-mail system at Southwestern

 
On Friday, January 26 at 8 a.m., Southwestern replaced the current e-mail system with a new, more robust Microsoft Exchange e-mail server. This change enables Southwestern to offer web-based e-mail service that is far superior to the current MailManPro. The new service, Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA), is a much more intuitive interface - one that is most likely already familiar to many students. The "Check Your E-mail" link on the Southwestern website now directs users to the new server at https://exchange.swlaw.edu/exchange. Current usernames and passwords will remain valid. A link to the OWA user manual is also available on the log-in page. MailManPro will remain available for viewing old messages until the end of Spring break, April 9. Old messages must be saved before that date, as they will be unavailable thereafter. Questions may be directed to studenthelp@swlaw.edu or Computer Services at (213) 738-5776, or drop by the Computer Lab.

 

Software Available

Southwestern's new site license with Corel allows students to make a copy of WordPerfect Office X3 and PaintShop Pro Photo XI for home use. The educational editions of these programs generally retail for about $90 each. The installation CDs are available for 3-day checkout from the Law Library Circulation Desk. Students are authorized to make one copy of the CDs and to install the software on up to three Windows-based computers in the student's household. Use of the software is subject to the terms of the End User Agreement that must be accepted during installation. Help is available in the Computer Lab if needed.

Southwestern Mourns Death of Evening Student

Mr. Clinton Hare, a fourth-year student in the evening program, has passed away. A member of Southwestern's Interscholastic Trial Advocacy Program, Clinton participated in the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Competition and the National Trial Competition. He was
Hare (second from left) with ITAP Team Advisor Anthony Koutris '96 and members Autumn Puro, Linda K. Bradlyn and Yan Gershfeld
remembered fondly in a special memorial service at Southwestern in January and will be greatly missed by his fellow program members and friends at the law school.

 




Southwestern Alum on The Apprentice

Schaeffer speaking with Professor Karen Smith at a recent SCALE alumni/student networking event
Southwestern alumna Stefanie Schaeffer '99 is currently sharing the small screen with "The Donald" on the newest season of The Apprentice: Los Angeles. Schaeffer graduated in the top 10% of her class from the SCALE program in 1999 and was also chosen as a Los Angeles Magazine 'Young Rising Star' in 2006 for excellence in law. When she's not vying to work for Trump, she is a trial attorney for Stockwell, Harris, Widom, Woolverton and Muehl, one of the largest workers compensation defense firms in California.

 

Staff Promotions

  • Lisa Gear - Interim Director, Admissions
  • Tamara Moore - Program Administrator, Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute
  • Mauricio Ortiz - Serials Specialist, Leigh H. Taylor Law Library
  • Lorena Sanchez - Head of Serials, Leigh H. Taylor Law Library
  • Anne Wilson - Special Assistant to the Dean


GETTING TO KNOW YOU

 
A Dozen Questions for Professor Judy Beckner Sloan

Q: What would you like your students to walk away from your classroom with, if it could only be one thing?
A: You can be a good lawyer if you really want to.

Q: What was the most interesting thing you learned as a Supreme Court Judicial Fellow?
A: I learned that the justices are real people who work very hard at what they do. They may not get it right every time, but they work very hard at it. When they put on those Supreme Court robes, they realize wisdom that they may not have had before.

Q: Describe your responsibilities as a Supreme Court Fellows Commissioner and secretary of the Fellows Association.
A: As a Supreme Court Fellow, my assignment was to do empirical research at the Federal Judicial Center. When federal judges had questions about administration, I would take their calls. Another duty was to take questions from foreign high court judges and show them the Supreme Court building. I remember the fun of trying to explain our doctrine of separation of church and state to Indonesian high court judges! Their question: how many religions did we recognize? I had to explain that we dealt with the issue in a very different way.

Q: With your extensive research and background in bankruptcy law, what do you think of The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which makes it more difficult to declare bankruptcy?
A: It is the best law that money could buy. It is badly drafted at the behest of the credit card industry. I have little sympathy for the credit card industry. They hand out cards to college freshman. My daughter's dog was even sent an application. They charge 31% interest on past due balances. Now, they have demanded changes in the bankruptcy laws. I am happy to report that bankruptcy judges tell me that these pernicious new laws have had little impact, other than to scare people away from filing.

Q: You have a B.A. in Music Theory and play piano. How often do you play and what is your favorite kind of music?
A: I play and sing as often as I can, and I sang at the Supreme Court last weekend. I met my husband because I was his piano accompanist, and he is a wonderful violinist. I love any authentic music, and so I love string quartets, symphonies, operas, country music, and world music. I hate elevator music. Students should bring their favorite music around to share. Also, I've played piano duets with a great student and violin piano duets with another accomplished student. Anyone who'd like a singer or piano accompanist should see me!

Q: Since you came to Southwestern in 1991, you've taught a wide range of courses, from Bankruptcy to Contracts to International Finance to Women & Law Seminar. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
A: Teaching law is the best job a person could have. I love teaching all of my courses. I enjoy teaching SCALE because the students are so quick to pick up concepts. Teaching Contracts is always a joy because you get to teach first year law students. Bankruptcy is a great course. Upper class students put together so many of their course concepts as we study Bankruptcy. Women and Law is a subject close to my heart. As a woman who was the first woman in a law firm, the first woman on a teaching faculty, etc., it gives me an opportunity to share some of my life with my seminar students. The best part of teaching a seminar is helping the students get their seminar papers published. Last year, a paper was published by Hatty Yip on the effect of the new Bankruptcy laws on women. She showed what a terrible effect the new laws (and the old laws) have had on single mothers.

Q: What is the most important piece of advice you've given to your students?
A: Do your very best at everything you do. As a lawyer, you will have the trust of your clients, so practice for that role here at the law school. Your fellow students are your future colleagues, and your law school is your common bond. Do some good while you're here!

Q: What is your favorite law-themed novel, movie or television show?
A: I love Gone with the Wind. I grew up in the deep South, and I always pictured myself as Scarlett O'Hara. I admired her strength and ability to do whatever needed to be done. She saved Melanie and the baby, her family, and Tara, her ancestral home. I wanted to save everything too, but I'd have hung on to Rhett Butler!

Q: What is your favorite memory of law school?
A: Graduation! When I walked across the stage to get my diploma, my two little girls, age 5 and 7, yelled, "Yea Mom!"

Q: Who are your personal heroes? Who do you admire?
A: I admire Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They are my personal friends, and I greatly respect their roles on the Supreme Court. I also admire their deep friendship for each other, even though they are from different backgrounds and political parties.

Q: How do you recommend students prepare for your exams?
A: First, brief every case before class. Second, review the briefs 10 minutes prior to class. Know what class is going to be about. Third, take notes during class on the same page that you've briefed the cases. Fourth, get in a study group and work together on a course outline. Talk about the issues. This is good practice for taking the exam. Fifth, the night before the exam, take one piece of paper, and write down the big topics that have been covered. Sixth, sleep. Seventh, look for the big issues on the exam. Eighth, discuss every fact in the exam question. Ninth, read the exam and the key when it comes back to you. Learn what you did right and what you did wrong. Move on.

Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: I would be President of the United States and solve the problems that have followed 9/11. 

FACULTY ACTIVITIES

PROFESSOR MICHAEL SCOTT
  • SCOTT ON OUTSOURCING: LAW AND PRACTICE (Aspen Publishers 2006)
  • SCOTT ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LAW, 3rd ed. (Aspen Publishers 2006)
PROFESSOR BUTLER SHAFFER
  • Presentation, "Alternative Medicine Is Libertarian Medicine," LewRockwell.com Conference on Revisionist Health and Finances, Foster City, California
  • Interviewed regarding marriage and the state, "Charles Goyette Show," KFNX (Phoenix)
PROFESSOR LON SOBEL
  • Quoted in "They're not in concert: Wolfgang's Vault site opens a Pandora's box of copyright issue over rock performances," San Francisco Chronicle


TRUSTEES

Trustee Named General Counsel to Los Angeles World Airports

Southwestern Trustee Kelly Martin has been appointed supervising attorney for the City Attorney's Airport Division and General Counsel to the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo announced on January 18. Among her many responsibilities, Ms. Martin will supervise lawyers and support staff for Los Angeles World Airports - Los Angeles International, Ontario International, Van Nuys and Palmdale and will be responsible for all LAWA litigation matters.


FACULTY

Excellence in Teaching Award

The annual Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize distinguished achievement in teaching by First-Year, Upper Division and Adjunct professors. Students are encouraged to be a part of the process by voting for their favorite professor in each category. Nomination forms are available in the Student Affairs Office or the SBA Office and must be submitted to the SBA Office by Friday, February 23.

Dean Emeritus Taylor Part of Elite Teaching Group
in Canada

 
Southwestern continues to build ties with the University of Western Ontario. The schools have been participating in a formal exchange program for several years, and now Southwestern Dean Emeritus Leigh H. Taylor is teaching American Constitutional Law at the University of Western Ontario as part of a special international group of 12 legal experts and scholars instructing the "January Term." The Canadian law school offers this one-month intensive class for the law school's second and third-year students, which enables them to immerse in one subject while learning from top lawyers and academics from around the world.

 

EVENTS

Law Review Symposium to Compare Federal and California Evidence Codes

 
In 1967, California became the first U.S. jurisdiction to codify its law of evidence with the implementation of the California Evidence Code (CEC). Up to this point, the state bar exam has only tested on the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE), which has been adopted by a majority of states. However, the 40th anniversary of the CEC coincides with its inclusion for the first time on the California State Bar Examination.

 

The Southwestern University Law Review will hold a two-day symposium titled "Rules of Evidence: FRE V. CEC" on February 2 and 3, 2007 to examine the difference between California and Federal regulations. Topics covered will include hearsay, character evidence and impeachment, testimony of experts and issues relating to relevance, competence and witness statements. Differences in California and federal rulemaking will also be addressed by leading scholars of the law of evidence from California and across the country. More.

Journal Symposium to Honor Work of Professor Sullivan

 
Southwestern Professor Emeritus Lawrence A. Sullivan is best known for his landmark antitrust treatise, which the U.S. Supreme Court frequently cites. On Friday, February 23, "Antitrust and Intellectual Property in Global Context - A Symposium in Celebration of the Work of Lawrence A. Sullivan" will honor his lasting impact on the legal profession as a prolific and highly admired legal scholar. Professor Sullivan has authored numerous articles and chapters on antitrust, as well as co-authored a revised treatise and a widely-used antitrust casebook. He recently retired after a career in legal education that spanned 50 years, teaching at Southwestern and UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.

The symposium, presented by the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas, will focus on antitrust law, with particular emphasis on its interaction with intellectual property (IP) law. The opening panel will explore acceptance of antitrust law principles in the developing world. Subsequent panels will explore antitrust/IP interaction, including an exploration of that topic in both the United States and the European Union, and specialized topics such as Walker Process litigation and metered tying arrangements. Speakers include Professor Eleanor M. Fox of New York University School of Law and Professor Mark A. Lemley of Stanford Law School. Among the other distinguished panelists are former FTC Chairman and now Georgetown Law Professor Robert Pitofsky and a roster of legal experts from around the world.

Articles written in coordination with the symposium will be published in the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas. The symposium will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Bullocks Wilshire Building. Information on registering for the event can be found online.

 

California Court of Appeal Hearings On Campus

All students and faculty are invited to attend the hearings of the California Court of Appeal, 2nd District - Division 4 on Thursday, February 8. Cases will be heard throughout the day in the Dixon Courtroom and materials will be available in the library.

Programs Bring Students and Alumni Together

The Development and Alumni Affairs Office has planned several exciting networking events and practical seminars featuring alumni for February and March. Questions and RSVPs can be directed to Joan Bautista in the Development Office.

First Annual "Trial Day"
The Alumni Association is sponsoring two FREE seminars on Saturday, February 10. "The ABC's of Civil Litigation," being presented from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., will examine civil litigation, focusing on the pleadings filed at each stage - from complaint to appeal. From 1 - 4 p.m., "The ABC's of a Criminal Trial" will feature advice from attorneys representing the District Attorney, the Attorney General, the Public Defender, and the Los Angeles Superior Court. Lunch will be provided. Students may attend one or both seminars, however, as space is limited in the Julian Dixon Courtroom, RSVPs are required.

Alumni Resource Network Reception
Members of Southwestern's Alumni Resource Network will be available to talk informally with students at a reception on Tuesday, February 13 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about law practice, and a variety of practice areas, including civil litigation, criminal law, business, entertainment law, and many more. Reservations are mandatory for the event to be held on the BW 2nd floor. 

Inn of St. Ives
The Alumni Association sponsors this special series, which provides opportunities for students to meet, network and discuss ideas with practicing attorneys. A topic is identified by the host(s) of the dinner and six practitioners and six students are invited to dine at the law school and engage in a discussion about the topic. Dinners are held six times a year. The dates for the remaining Inns this semester are February 22 and March 22. All continuing students are eligible to participate. For more information or to reserve a seat, email Joan Bautista at jbautista@swlaw.edu.

Apply for the Alumni Association Scholarship
Scholarships in the amount of $3,000 each will be awarded to two Southwestern students in April 2007. Students with a record of participation in community and/or law school activities, before and/or during their attendance at Southwestern, and those in good academic standing are encouraged to apply. Financial need, as determined by the Financial Aid Office, will be taken into consideration. Graduating students may also apply.

First awarded in 2001, the fund was established by the Alumni Association to recognize Southwestern students for their outstanding service to the law school and community. Interested students should submit a letter explaining their qualifications for the scholarship to Joan Bautista in the Development Office no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, February 16.


CAREER CORNER

Bar Association Fair Offers Networking Opportunity

 
Southwestern's Twelfth Annual Bar Association Fair, one of the only programs of its kind at a California law school, will take place on Wednesday, February 7 at 12:15 p.m. on the Westmoreland Promenade. The event offers students an important opportunity to network with lawyer-members about their practice areas and to learn about the benefits of bar association membership. Representatives from the various Sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and other local bar associations will be available to talk with students.

 

Most bar associations have programs designed specifically for current law students, including scholarship programs and steeply discounted student memberships. Membership in bar associations allows students to attend meetings, participate in events, and interact with members of the legal profession. Some associations even have mentor/mentee programs. Graduates who have not joined bar associations while in law school are often precluded from joining until they have passed the bar exam. This is a must-attend event for all students!

The event will conclude with a drawing for prizes; all attending students will be eligible. Further information is available through the Career Services Office or the Student Affairs Office.

More Summer Job Options

Additional interview and networking events for students seeking summer employment will be held during the spring semester. The Career Services Office (CSO) encourages students to take advantage of a number of programs and services, including:

  • Public Interest Career Day, February 3 on the UCLA campus, offers the opportunity to interview and network with various employers including public interest organizations, law firms, and government entities.
  • Entertainment Law Career Day, March 10 at Southwestern, will offer an opportunity to listen to and network with a number of entertainment lawyers.  More information will be available in February.
  • Government Career Day, in March at Chapman Law School, will offer an opportunity to network and interview with a variety of government employers.
  • The Spring On-Campus Interview Program (OCIP), February 15-28, features a number of small to mid-size employers.
  • The Alumni Outreach/Spring Job Fair Reception on April 10 provides a great way to network with local law firms who may be hiring for the summer.
  • Job and volunteer listings compiled in March and April by the Southwestern Alumni Association, in conjunction with the Career Services Office, includes alumni who offer paid and volunteer positions available through the CSO. Last year, over 100 positions were listed. Binders in the CSO and the website, Symplicity, offer updated job listings year-round.

To prepare for all of these opportunities, students are encouraged to attend the upcoming workshops offered by the Career Services Office, including "Effective Interviewing Techniques," January 30 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. in W311; February 9 at 12:30 pm in W311. In addition, students are always welcome to submit a resume to the Career Services Office for review.


GETTING TO KNOW YOU

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

 
This Month - Alex Raminfar, Third-Year Evening Student

Alex Raminfar's heavy involvement in law school life is no accident. The third-year evening student has always believed in the importance of seizing opportunities, making connections and getting a head start. As an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, he served as Controller for the Associated Student Body and head manager of the men's basketball team. "I've always been pretty active. The most important part of education is taking a proactive role, interacting with students and professors," he said. "In law school, it really does kind of open your eyes to more than just the casebook."

During his second year at Southwestern, Raminfar, 24, was SBA Vice President-Evening. He was then elected American Bar Association Governor of the 9th Circuit at the ABA Law Student Spring Meeting and Election last March. "The most important aspect of my job as the Southern California and Hawaii representative to the ABA Law Student Division is to stand for the (collective) voice of these schools and their students," he said. He recognizes that the time he puts into these efforts will also pay personal dividends. "For me, law school is all about networking, and this position has given me an incredible opportunity to make connections."

But his involvement extends beyond law school and its associated activities. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Raminfar is a first generation American son of Persian immigrant parents. He's fluent in Farsi and just returned from a 10-day trip to Israel he attended as part of a birthright program. He chose the part-time evening program at Southwestern specifically so he could work during the day and loves his current job with Warner Brothers Digital Distribution and New Media Clearance in the corporate legal department. "Any kind of business law that gives you the ability to counsel interests me. That's why I enjoy it," he said. "In Entertainment Law it's working for a common goal: getting the movie done, getting the TV show done, and I want to be a part of it."


 

 

ESSAYS & SCHOLARSHIPS

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

 

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

   

January

     29 Visiting Speaker Series: Professor Mark D. Rosen Professor and Freehling Scholar Chicago-Kent College of Law, "Congress and the Commander-in-Chief: The 'Coordinacy' Theory," 12:30 p.m., BW370
30 Workshop: Interviewing for Public Interest Career Day, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
 

February

     2 Law Review Symposium: "Rules of Evidence: FRE V. CEC," 8:15 a.m. - 5:25 p.m.
3 Law Review Symposium: "Rules of Evidence: FRE V. CEC," 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
 Public Interest Career Day at UCLA
6 Visiting Speaker Series: Professor Kevin Johnson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, University of California Davis School of Law, 12:30 p.m., BW370
7 Annual Bar Association Fair, 12:15 p.m., Promenade
8 California Court of Appeal, 2nd District - Division 4 Hearings, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Dixon Courtroom
9 Workshop: Interviewing Techniques for Spring OCIP, 12:30 p.m., W311
10 The ABC's of Civil Litigation, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., Dixon Courtroom
 The ABC's of a Criminal Trial, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., Dixon Courtroom
11-16 SBA Bison Week
13
Alumni Resource Networking Reception, 5:30 p.m., BW Second Floor
19 Presidents' Day - No Classes
20 Visiting Speaker Series: Professor Orly Lobel, Assistant Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law, 12:30 p.m., BW370
22 Business Law Society Alumni-Student Networking Event, 5:30 p.m.
23 Law Journal Symposium: "Antitrust and Intellectual Property in Global Content," 8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
24 Government Career Day at Loyola Law School

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.