Another Summer to Study Law in Foreign Destinations
This summer, Southwestern students will once again have the opportunity to study law outside the U.S. through the school's programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Guanajuato, Mexico; and TWO programs in London, England - the new Information Technology Law Program and the International Entertainment Law Program. Each one 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 here, brochures and application forms are available on the 6th floor of the Westmoreland Building and online; brochures for the London programs are also available in the Biederman Institute Office. Questions may be addressed to program directors Professor Silvia Faerman, Buenos Aires; Vice Dean Austen Parrish and Professor Gowri Ramachandran, Vancouver; Professor Christopher Cameron, London (Entertainment Law); and Professor Michael Scott, London (IT Law). For info on the program in Guanajuato, contact Anne Wilson. Read more.
John Schulman of Warner Bros. Selected as Keynote Speaker for 94th Commencement Ceremony
John A. Schulman, long-time Executive Vice President & General Counsel of media giant Warner Bros. Entertainment, will serve as the keynote speaker at Southwestern's 94th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 17, 2009 at the Shrine Auditorium.
One of the most highly respected attorneys in the entertainment industry, Mr. Schulman joined Warner Bros. in 1984 as Vice President & General Counsel charged with creating and staffing the studio's in-house legal department. Five years later, he was promoted to Senior Vice President & General Counsel. He was elevated to Executive Vice President & General Counsel in 1991. Known as an inspiring lawyer, gifted advocate, dedicated community leader and generous philanthropist, he led a legal department of 150 lawyers involved in the financing, production and distribution of audio visual entertainment initially released in theater, television, video or over the Internet in the United States and throughout the world. He retired from his executive position in December 2008, but continues to serve as a consultant to the company. Read more.
Apply to be the Student Commencement Speaker
Graduating students are invited to apply for the honor of Student Commencement Speaker for the May 17, 2009 ceremony. Candidates must be December 2008, May 2009 or July 2009 graduates in good academic standing. Applications are available in the Administrative Services Office as well as online, and are due by Monday, March 2, 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 2008, May 2009 or July 2009 graduates). Audition forms are available in the Administrative Services Office as well as online, and are due by Monday, March 2. Auditions will be conducted on March 12 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, who will judge based on quality of singing, performance and prior experience. For more information, contact the Administrative Services Office.
Southwestern Symposium Explores the Evolution
In recent years, law schools have responded to calls for dramatic changes in the way they prepare students for the practice of law, focusing primarily on curricular reform. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the evolution that is also occurring in J.D. programs across the country. Until now.
of J.D. Programs
Drawing on its unique position as the only American Bar Association-approved law school offering four programs of study leading to a J.D. degree that differ in scheduling and instructional approach, Southwestern will present "The Evolution of J.D. Programs: Is Non-Traditional Becoming More Traditional?" This one-day symposium presented by the Southwestern Law Review on Saturday, February 21, 2009 will bring together law school deans and other leading figures in legal academia from around the country to discuss and analyze changes to J.D. programs occurring at American law schools.
"Southwestern, long an innovator in legal education, is proud to host what we believe is the first conference to examine different programs leading to a J.D., especially the emerging two-year programs," Dean Bryant Garth said. Read more.
Alumni-Student Networking Receptions
The Alumni Association works with various student organizations on campus to increase the opportunities for networking between alumni and students. The remaining receptions this semester are:
- February 5: SCALE Mentor/Mentee Reception
- February 12: Nickel Club/Student Downtown Los Angeles Networking Happy Hour
- February 18: Alumni Resource Network Reception
- February 24: Real Estate Association Alumni/Student Networking Reception
- February 26: Black Law Students Association Alumni/Student Networking Reception
- March 31: PLEAS Alumni/Student Networking Reception
All students are welcome to attend. Questions and RSVPs may be directed to the Institutional Advancement Office.
Additional Opportunities to Meet with Alumni
Alumni Resource Network Reception
Members of Southwestern's Alumni Resource Network will be available to talk informally with students at a reception on Wednesday, February 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the BW 2nd Floor. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about law practice, as well as a variety of practice areas, including civil litigation, criminal law, business, entertainment law, and many more. Reservations for the event are mandatory and should be made with the Institutional Advancement Office.
Donald L. Stone Inn of St. Ives Dinner Series
The Alumni Association sponsors this special series of dinners to provide another opportunity for students to meet, network and discuss ideas with practicing attorneys. A topic is identified by the host(s) of the dinner, where 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 remaining Inns this semester will be held on February 19 and March 19 and all continuing students are eligible to participate. For more information or to reserve a seat, email Sharon Malolot in the Institutional Advancement Office.
Upcoming Conference to Focus on
The digital age has rendered obsolete many aspects of the 1976 Copyright Act. Congressional response to technological innovations has been piecemeal amendment of the 1976 Act, resulting in a huge statute that, some argue, lacks any conceptual coherence. Numerous scholars called for substantial revision of the 1976 Act, but typically, these requests focus on particular policy proposals rather than the overall structure of a revised act and the process by which such a revision could be realized.
On March 6, Southwestern's Biederman Institute will present Reforming Copyright: Process, Policy and Politics, a day-long symposium focusing on the distinctive issues and challenges of significantly reforming the Copyright Act of 1976. The conference will gather leading scholars, practitioners and policy makers from around the country who will focus on this issue from a variety of perspectives, considering the question of wholesale versus incremental reform; how to envision the architecture of a Copyright Act attuned to the distinctive expressive media of the digital age; and the politics and procedural roadblocks that stand in the way of reform and possible strategies for navigating those roadblocks. To learn more about the symposium, which is free for Southwestern students and faculty (registration still required), or to register, click here.
Bar Association Fair Offers Networking Opportunities
Southwestern's 14th Annual Bar Association Fair, one of the only programs of its kind at a California law school, will take place on Tuesday, February 10 at 12:15 p.m. on the 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.
Students who attend and chat with bar association representatives will be served food and drinks. Further information is available through the Career Services Office (CSO) or the Student Affairs Office.
Even More Summer Job Options
Additional interview and networking events for students seeking summer employment will be held during the spring semester. The CSO encourages students to take advantage of a number of programs and services, including:
- Public Interest Career Day, February 7 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, February 21 at Southwestern, offers an opportunity to listen to and network with a number of entertainment lawyers. More information will be available in February.
- Government Career Day, February 28 at Chapman Law School, offers an opportunity to network and interview with a variety of government employers.
- The Spring On-Campus Interview Program (OCIP), February 17-27, features a number of small to mid-size employers.
- The Alumni Outreach Effort - comprised of job and volunteer listings which are compiled each 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 the upcoming employment opportunities, students are encouraged to attend workshops offered by the CSO, including "Effective Interviewing Techniques" on Thursday, February 5 at 12:30 pm and 5:00 pm in W311 (in preparation for Public Interest Career Day), and Thursday, February 12 at 12:30 and 5:00 pm in W311 (in preparation of Spring OCIP). In addition, students are always welcome to submit a resume to the Career Services Office for review.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
A Dozen Questions for Professor David Kohler
Q: When did your interest in media and entertainment law begin? Was it while you were a law student at Duke University?
A: Actually, my interest in media law arose serendipitously. While at Duke, I certainly had a strong interest in constitutional issues, but when I graduated, I went to work for a big law firm and was assigned to work on behalf of the U.S. Government on a huge piece of valuation litigation involving various bankrupt eastern railroads, the largest of which was the Penn Central. This was about as far from media law as one could imagine. I literally fell into the media law field when, several years after I began work as a lawyer, I was approached at my grandmother's 80th birthday by a partner I knew at a Richmond, VA, law firm which was looking for an associate to work with their senior media lawyer who represented a number of large interests including Media General. It sounded interesting so I agreed to an interview and the rest, as they say, is history.
Q: As former Senior Vice President and General Counsel at CNN, what were some of the most significant issues in media law that you encountered?
A: Among the most significant cases was CNN's broadcast of secret recordings of General Manuel Noriega's conversations with his lawyer which were taped by the government while Noriega was in jail. That case led to a gag order being imposed on CNN and a criminal contempt prosecution when CNN was alleged to have violated the judge's order by broadcasting the tapes. In another case, CNN's participation in a government search of a Montana ranch where it was alleged that the rancher was illegally poisoning eagles involved a groundbreaking issue of the applicability of Fourth Amendment law to the media for what were commonly known as "ride-alongs." Both cases eventually found their way to the U.S. Supreme Court, although unfortunately neither turned out exactly as I would have hoped.
Q: What was your role in CNN's legal cases?
A: It varied. Most commonly, I supervised the overall case, coordinated with our outside counsel and senior executives, and was involved in making major decisions when they were required. In other instances, I had a more direct role - for example, conducting a post broadcast investigation of a controversial story CNN aired in which the network had reported that the U.S. military used Sarin nerve gas in Laos during the Vietnam War. In that case, I, along with Floyd Abrams, recommended that CNN retract.
Q: How have you used your entertainment contacts to enrich the Biederman Institute's programming at Southwestern?
A: In a variety of ways. For example, we host an annual conference with the New York based Media Law Resource Center, the leading media industry trade group. This program has brought onto campus hundreds of the leading entertainment and media practitioners in the Los Angeles area. I also frequently use my contacts to bring speakers onto campus - for example, Jeff Toobin, CNN's legal correspondent; John Schulman and Rick Cotton, General Counsels for Warner Brothers and NBC/Universal respectively; and Pat Mitchell, former CEO of PBS and now President of the Paley Center (formerly known as the Museum of Television and Radio).
Q: After more than 25 years working in media law and guest lecturing what made you decide to transition to teaching law full time?
A: I have always enjoyed teaching and for many years had a desire to do so full time. In the 1980's, I taught adjunct at the Virginia Commonwealth University Journalism School, but the press of business at CNN limited my ability to continue doing this, although I did visit classes at various schools whenever I had the opportunity to do so. In 2000, I decided I was ready for a change - and a break - and told CNN that I would be stepping down in June of that year. I promised myself a year or two off, and it was during this time that I really started to think about what I wanted to do for my next act. Although I explored some other possibilities, I ultimately decided that teaching was what I really wanted to do for several reasons. First, I loved the idea of interacting with students and helping them get started. Second, my life at CNN while exciting and wonderful, was largely reactive, and the opportunity to step back and think about issues in an academic setting, without an agenda, was exceptionally appealing to me. Right around the time I figured this out, several friends who were on the Biederman Institute Advisory Board contacted me about this position. Thus, serendipity again intervened in my life.
Q: What do you like most about teaching law school?
A: The easier question to answer is what I like the least - grading! I love everything else. In particular, I enjoy my First Amendment Seminar, in part because it's usually a small committed group of students and also because as an upper division writing course, it gives me flexibility to explore the interesting issues of the day without having to worry about covering the entire waterfront of First Amendment Law.
Q: With the explosion of technological devices and conduits for media and communication, what are some of the most important aspects of media law that you prepare students for?
A: There are two distinct aspects to this question. First, from a purely legal perspective, students need to be aware of ways in which technology is changing how the law applies to media. A classic example involves the publication on the Internet of third party material, most commonly know today as User Generated Content. Under traditional legal principles, the media would have some liability for publishing such content; however, in the 1990's Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which under certain circumstances immunizes media companies from liability when they post material provided by third parties on their web sites.
From a career perspective, students need to understand that technology is causing a shift in the kinds of jobs that are available. Microsoft, Yahoo and Google, which mainly are thought of as technology companies, all have operations that involve more traditional media activity - You Tube, for example. At the same time, more traditional media companies - newspapers in particular - are struggling and may offer less opportunity for prospective lawyers than they used to. This isn't to say the jobs aren't out there - it's just that they are in the process of being somewhat redefined.
Q: What is the biggest misconception that law students tend to have about the practice of media and entertainment law?
A: That it's all - or mostly - glamorous, sexy work. Like any other legal field, there is a lot of slogging through the fields, dotting i's and crossing t's, and a whole lot of very hard work. These are competitive fields. More lawyers want to get into media and entertainment law than there are jobs. So those that succeed usually have to pay a lot of dues.
Q: What are some of your favorite aspects of media law to write about and why?
A: The subject that I've come back to on several occasions is the important role of individual self help in the regulation of speech. We live in a society where too many people believe that there needs to be a legal remedy for every perceived wrong. In the area of expression, this has led to excessive government entanglement in regulating speech. A prime example that is roiling around today is the FCC's overzealous efforts to prohibit broadcasting which it views as "indecent." It seems quite clear to me that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that it's up to the individual, not the government, to decide what to watch and what not to watch. These government driven public morality campaigns are, in my view, doomed to fail and, more importantly, are antithetical to the central meaning of the First Amendment.
Q: How do you feel about the way the legal profession is treated in most entertainment such as in books (legal thrillers), legal dramas or movies?
A: Probably like most lawyers - that lawyers are too often demonized and that complex problems are trivialized and over-simplified. But in keeping with my convictions, I think the remedy for this is more speech - not censorship or regulation.
Q: Had you lived in Los Angeles before coming to Southwestern? What do you like most about living in Southern California?
A: Not only had I not lived out here, but I had visited only a handful of times. I was a typical provincial East Coaster. That said, it's really easy to learn to like it out here. What do I like most about living in Southern California? What does everyone like most - the weather and living near the beach (I'm about a mile from Corona Del Mar in the OC - see I'm learning the lingo).
Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: Try to qualify for the PGA Tour. But don't worry, that won't likely be happening in this life.
PROFESSOR KELLY STRADER
DEAN EMERITUS LEIGH TAYLOR
- An Assessment of the Law School Climate for GLBT Students, 58 JOURNAL OF LEGAL EDUCATION 214 (with B. Clark, R. Ingli, E. Kransberger, L. Levine and W. Perez; 2008)
- Quoted, "Madoff Scandal a Huge Blow to SEC Credibility," Law 360
PROFESSOR KENNETH WILLIAMS
- Elected Vice Chair, Board of Governors, Queen Margaret's School, Duncan, BC, Canada
- Participant, ABA Site Evaluation Workshop for Site Team Chairs, Chicago, IL
- Quoted, "Impeach Chester Arthur!" Ben Smith/ Politico.com
- CLICK HERE FOR MORE FACULTY ACTIVITIES -
Legal Community Mourns the Passing of Adjunct Professor Pamela Dunn
On January 24, over 400 members of the Southwestern and greater legal communities gathered for a memorial service held at the law school for alumna and Adjunct Professor Pamela E. Dunn '84, who passed away at the end of 2008 at the age of 59. Professor Dunn was a widely-respected appellate lawyer and member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Board of Trustees. She was one of the first California attorneys to be certified as an Appellate Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, and was consistently recognized by her peers as an exceptional appellate advocate. A scholarship fund is being planned in her honor. Please contact the Institutional Advancement Office for more information. Click here to read more about Professor Dunn.
Stetson Moot Court Team Advances to International Finals
At the Pacific Regional Round of the Stetson International Environmental Law Competition held at Santa Clara Law School on January 23 and 24, members of Southwestern's Moot Court Honors Program earned Second Place Team and Second Place Memorial (brief). Oralists Kristen Houchen and Anthony Colunga, and writer Matt Roston performed extremely well - Houchen was named Best Oralist in the final round, and the team's outstanding showing secured them an invitation to the International Finals at Stetson University College of Law, in Gulfport, Florida, at the end of March.
"International environmental law is one of the more difficult competitions to compete in because the students haven't taken courses in these areas of law and they had to do all of their research from scratch," said Melanie Partow '04, the team's alumna advisor, who also coached the Southwestern team that returned home with a First Place win in the International Competition in 2006. "The one thing that boded well for them is that they never stopped researching. The case law in this area is not like it is in the U.S. The decisions are hundreds of pages long. They did phenomenally well and walked away with more awards than any other school at the regional competition."
Southwestern Honors Three Students with
Southwestern is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2009 Alumni Scholarship Fund. Congratulations are extended to Roger Kirnos, Third-year Day Program; Chien-Yu Michael Wang, Third-year Day Program; and Sipora Zaghi, Second-year PLEAS Program, who were selected based on their active involvement in community and law school activities while upholding academic excellence.
Studios Turn to Southwestern Students for
As more entertainment content is being made available on the Internet, studios have to determine whether they have the necessary intellectual property rights to digitally deliver their products to consumers. Making this determination requires time-consuming analysis of the specific rights granted to the studio in hundreds of agreements for the use of music and literary works, as well as the names and likenesses of talent.
Local studios, including Lionsgate, have enlisted the services of a large cadre of Southwestern students to analyze these agreements. In the past, entertainment conglomerates such as MGM have assigned Southwestern externs to help with the rights analysis of numerous contracts. Currently, some studios have found it necessary to engage in an analysis of the digital rights associated with their catalog of motion pictures and are finding Southwestern to be a rich source of eager and well-trained externs for the job.
Southwestern alumni Wayne Levin '88 and David Nonaka '99 from Lionsgate Entertainment were proactive in working with Southwestern's Biederman Institute and Externship Program in selecting qualified students to receive academic credit while analyzing the digital rights of their studio. Both Levin and Nonaka had served as entertainment externs while completing their law degrees at Southwestern and have utilized externs from the law school for a variety of projects over the years. Read more.
Southwestern Alumnus Named President of Los Angeles County Mexican American Bar Association
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and Southwestern Adjunct Professor/Alumnus Mario Trujillo '95 was inaugurated as President of the Mexican American Bar Association at the MABA 49th Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Gala on January 24. Professor Trujillo has worked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for more than 12 years and has tried over 90 felony jury trials and more than 30 misdemeanor cases. He is currently assigned to Administration serving as a Special Assistant to the Directors of Branch and Area Operations. His last trial assignment in the office was with the prestigious Hardcore Gang Division. Professor Trujillo joined MABA in 1996 and was one of the first prosecutors to sit on its board. Since 2005, he has taught courses in Southwestern's Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP). He also serves on the board for the Latino Prosecutors Foundation of Los Angeles County and on the board of the Los Angeles Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (LACADA).
Alumni Q&A with Joni Lee Gaudes '97, General Counsel of 1-800-DENTIST
Q: How did you decide that you wanted to study
A: I earned my undergraduate degree from UC Santa
Barbara in Law and Society, which is their pre-law degree. I have two
older sisters; one is a pharmacist and one is an attorney. And I
thought, "I don't excel in math and science, so why don't I go into
I graduated in 1993 from UCSB and took a year off. I worked
as a receptionist at a very small law firm in Orange County, working to
see what they do. I decided to take the plunge after that. I went to
Southwestern and graduated in 1997.
Q: How did you choose Southwestern?
It's relatively close to home. But more importantly, I didn't want to go too far away. There
had been some pretty notable alumni who attended Southwestern. It just seemed like the right fit for me. I knew it was a tough program and I liked the
schedule and curriculum.
Q: Could you describe your career path that took you to your current position as General Counsel at 1-800-DENTIST?
I started off in law school clerking for a noted plaintiff firm in the
area, Girardi & Keese. I started on the litigation track during the
summer after my first year. I continued working with them through my
second year and then switched to the defense side and worked at
Murchison & Cumming, a long standing defense firm. I worked there
during my third year since it was so close to school; they offered me a
position after my second year to work there as an associate. So I
worked at Murchison & Cumming for a while before I moved to
Breidenbach, Huchting & Hamblet. I was there for about eight years
and practiced insurance and business litigation. Then I became partner
in 2003 and took over their hiring as well. We hired some great
Southwestern alumni to work for us.
In 2006, I thought I was
ready for a change to perhaps move in-house. I loved the firm that I
was working for and the mentors that I had, but this position at
1-800-DENTIST opened up. As people know, 1-800-DENTIST is a dental
marketing company. People who call our 1-800 number or search on our
website (www.1800dentist.com) get matched with a pre-screened dentist
based on their location, their dental need, and insurance they may
have. They can get directly connected to one of our member dentists.
When they extended me an offer, I decided to take the position. Read more.
Southwestern Unveils Another State-of-the-Art Courtroom
The Norman M. Garland Superior Court of Southwestern Mock Trial Courtroom debuted with the January Intersession course, Selected Problems/Evidence Lab, taught by Professors Garland and Andrea Tischler, who fully tested the functionality and range of the latest addition to Southwestern's growing number of technology-rich classrooms. The newly renovated, 1,387 sq. ft. classroom is located in W623 and designed to provide a unique educational experience in a high-tech, fully accessible courtroom, which includes a judge's bench (seating up to three judges), witness stand, clerk box, 12-person jury box, two counsel tables (seating for up to three counselors each), and gallery (seating for 28). This courtroom became a reality through a generous donation by Professor Norman Garland.
"With each campus improvement project, we strive to reflect the same level of quality, aesthetics, and state-of-the-art technology as we began with the Bullocks Wilshire Building restoration and renovation," said Janice Manis, Southwestern's Chief Operating Officer. "Professor Garland's guidance was invaluable in the planning and development of the W623 courtroom project. His foresight resulted in the exceptional layout, beautiful finishes and remarkable technological features now available to our students and faculty."
A team of designers, guided by Professor Garland, developed the courtroom layout, appearance and engineering to maximize comfort, sound quality and lighting under a variety of circumstances. Students have the opportunity to practice and explore unique trial courtroom presentations and proceedings through the use of room's state-of-the-art technological features. Wireless network access is available throughout with electric outlets available on all table top surfaces. Media and display zones allow for fine control over audio and video presentation from the judge's bench, clerk's desk or counsel's lectern. Fixed, articulating monitors and 50-inch plasma screens, along with ceiling speakers, are uniformly installed to insure effective case presentation to the judge, jury, witness, gallery, and clerk. The counsel's lectern is fully-powered and comes equipped with a monitor, embedded computer document camera, laptop connection and audio/visual inputs.
Click here to read a first-hand account about the history and evolution of this courtroom by Professor Garland.
Southwestern Community Gathers to Witness History
On January 20, the Salle Moderne was packed with members of the law school's community at the live coverage of President Barack Obama's inauguration in the morning, as well as at the video playback later that day, to mark the historic occasion. Students attending the inauguration in D.C. sent comments such as "It's fun to chant 'O-BA-MA'!" capturing real time moments via Twitter and Flickr.
The event was co-sponsored by Southwestern's Student Affairs and Diversity Affairs Offices, with the Student Bar Association (SBA), Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and The Commentator. After the playback, Charles Chineduh, a second-year student and co-president of BLSA said. "I just wanted to thank everyone for coming ... Today was an amazing day. It showed what we can achieve as a people with a collective will. As the son of a Nigerian immigrant, I am especially proud. America sets a standard for the rest of the world."
Other students were equally pleased and moved. "I'm really speechless," said Kanitra Johnson, a first-year evening student and 9th grade English teacher at Santee Educational Complex. "President Obama was super-eloquent, as usual. He had a little bit for everyone. But the crowds impressed me most, seeing all of those people holding American flags and crying. That's something I haven't seen in a while." Another first-year evening student, Nika Robinson, commented, "It's very surreal. I didn't think [the election of an African American president] would happen in my lifetime. And that I get to witness this while I'm in law school makes it even more special."
Southwestern Welcomes Dr. Molly Selvin
Dr. Molly Selvin, who most recently served as Interim Dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an editorial writer with the Los Angeles Times, has joined Southwestern's staff in to assist in the publication of the Journal of Legal Education and other special projects. As Associate Editor of the Journal, Dr. Selvin will be involved in editing, peer review, production management, and Journal symposia development. She will also conduct a variety of research projects with Dean Garth and faculty members as Senior Research Scholar; design and teach courses in the areas of legal history, public policy and journalism; and help establish new partnerships with other educational and research institutions.
Dr. Selvin served on the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty for nearly 25 years, teaching courses on the U.S. Constitution, the uses of history in policy analysis and the role of the media in public policy, and she recently developed a workshop for international fellows on American government and culture. She previously spent 10 years at RAND's Institute for Civil Justice, conducting research on a variety of issues, including asbestos litigation, jury behavior and civil case management. From 1990 to 2008, Dr. Selvin was on the staff of the Los Angeles Times as an editorial writer and news reporter. She also served as a news writer and editor for radio stations and newspapers in San Diego, and her articles have been published in California Lawyer, Los Angeles Daily Journal, and major newspapers throughout California. Dr. Selvin earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in American History and her Ph.D. degree in American Legal History at the University of California, San Diego. She was twice awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany, where she taught courses on U.S. constitutional law and urban politics at the University of Munich and wrote for the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Munich's daily newspaper. Dr. Selvin was also a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School and has been a Senior Fellow in UCLA's School of Public Affairs for several years.
Peggy Loewy-Wellisch Appointed Director
of Financial Aid
Peggy Loewy-Wellisch, who joined Southwestern in November 2008 as Assistant Director of Financial Aid, has been promoted to Director of Financial Aid. Her contributions to Southwestern have included working collaboratively to develop automated FY09-10 financial aid processes, refining department procedures and policies to provide proactive and responsive communications with students, and identifying appropriate staff and experience levels for improved and expanded services.
As Director of Financial Aid, Ms. Loewy-Wellisch will facilitate several initiatives including personalized advising, debt management and default planning; earlier awarding of scholarships to applicants and students; improved Federal Word Study procedures and management; and expanded financial aid website information to complement automation, service and communications enhancements.
Ms. Loewy-Wellisch earned her B.A. and M.S. degrees with honors from The City College of New York. She possesses extensive financial aid experience, which includes serving as Campus Director of Financial Aid and District Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Miami-Dade Community College, Associate Vice President of Student Financial Services and Registration at Nova Southeastern University, and Consultant in Financial Aid at Lansing Community College. Most recently, she was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to train the financial aid community on regulatory requirements.
Eli Daquioag, Student Services Assistant in Student Affairs, earned a B.S. in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). During his tenure at UCSD, Mr. Daquioag served as President of the Center for Student Involvement, where he spearheaded events to recruit and retain members, mentored current students as part of its retention program and set-up workshops on topics such as leadership and time management.
Gisele Gauthier, Student Services Assistant in Academic Administration, earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Orleans. Prior to joining Southwestern, Ms. Gauthier worked in Houston, Texas, in the area of customer relations at The Magnolia Hotel and the YMCA, as well as a substitute teacher. Gisele brings a diverse cultural and educational background, having lived part of her life in Argentina and Japan. She is fluent in Spanish and has a basic knowledge of French.
Rexford Go, Application Specialist in Management Information Systems, earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Cebu Doctors University and a J.D. degree from John F. Kennedy University. Prior to joining Southwestern, Mr. Go worked as Reporting Analyst for Fireside Bank. In this capacity, his primary responsibilities were data analysis, report development, process automation and user liaison.
Hieu Pham, SOS Assistant in the Administrative Services Office, earned his B.A., with honors, in Business Economics with a minor in Accounting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining Southwestern, Mr. Pham worked as a Finance Intern at Fox Sports International, Music New Media/Office Intern at Suretone Records, and Campus Marketing Manager at CDIGIX. While attending UCLA, he was the Activities Coordinator for the Vietnamese Student Union and was responsible for planning social events, improving member recruitment and retention, and coordinating fundraising activities.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?
This month - Nick LoPiccolo, First-Year Student, LL.M. in Entertainment and Media Law
Nick LoPiccolo thinks outside the box. At 26, the LL.M. student has already started moving and shaking in the entertainment industry, despite the fact that he only moved to Los Angeles in May 2008, after completing his J.D. degree at Villanova University. The Harrisburg, PA, native began working in entertainment media, marketing and PR during his first year of law school. Among other coups, LoPiccolo helped Bozmedia Group win the national product tour, print, and digital advertising account for the launch of the Sharp Aquos LCD television in the United States.
LoPiccolo earned his bachelors degree in Marketing and International Business from the University of Delaware, where he played football - which also led him to initially consider pursuing sports law. But then he started managing musicians and bands which refocused his interests. In 2006, he joined Lupo Entertainment, where he still serves as an artist manager, consultant, and talent scout. He developed and managed Widescreen Mode, a hard rock Finnish band with a song that spent 16 weeks at number one on iTunes and also had two number one hits in Europe. He procured a tour for another band, Through You, to open for Korn and Evanescence. He is currently working with the London band Lo-Star and it's Grammy-winning producer Hugh Padgham. "I want to find one band with stratospheric potential and I think I might have it in Lo-Star," he said.
LoPiccolo knew that a successful career in the entertainment industry would require relocation to New York or Los Angeles. "Even in law school I was flying back and forth to LA because I began getting involved in small-time financing for indie films. I wanted to come here and establish a career, and I wanted to get the specialized knowledge offered in Southwestern's LL.M. program while making connections with the local alumni community and transitioning to a new environment."
His Bozmedia contact also introduced him to a young actress and producer named Masiela Lusha, best known for playing Carmen Lopez on "The George Lopez Show." She was looking to transition from TV to film work, so in 2007, she established Illuminary Pictures, where LoPiccolo now serves as President of Production and Marketing. "We had a lot of success right off of the bat, and it has become my primary focus in the last few months," he said. Patrick Tatopoulos ("Underworld: Rise of the Lycans") is attached to direct Illuminary Pictures' first feature film, "Angel Hair." Brian Frankish ("Field of Dreams," "Righteous Kill") will be its line producer. "Since Masiela and I are both young, we're trying to surround ourselves with top talent. We've been able excite veterans in the film industry and recently secured $10M in financing from a German production company for this project." Illuminary Pictures has no shortage of ideas, receiving up to 20 scripts for consideration each week. LoPiccolo hopes to eventually produce up to three movies per year. He finds his new city quite inspirational. "There's a collective creative energy in LA," he said, "and there's a lot of support out there if you look in the right places."