Justice Corrigan of the California Supreme Court to Speak at Commencement
The Honorable Carol A. Corrigan, Associate Justice of the California
Supreme Court, will be the keynote speaker at Southwestern's 93rd
Commencement Ceremony to be held at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday,
May 18. With a long and distinguished career in law, including over 30
years in public service and 20 years on the bench, Justice Corrigan was
confirmed to the Supreme Court in January 2006.
"In filling this
vacancy, I looked for someone with strong experience and unimpeachable
character...someone who is widely respected. I found all of that and
more in Justice Corrigan. She is a brilliant jurist and has always been
a strong advocate for victims' rights," Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
said in a statement announcing her appointment to the court. Read
Student Commencement Speaker
Graduating students are invited to apply for the honor of Student Commencement
Speaker for the May 18 ceremony. Candidates must be December 2007, May 2008
or July 2008 graduates in good academic standing. Applications are available
in the Administrative Services Office as well as online, and are due by Friday,
February 1 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
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
2007, May 2008 or July 2008 graduates). Audition forms are available in the
Administrative Services Office as well as online online, and are due by Friday,
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 who will judge based on quality of singing, performance
and prior experience. For more information, contact the Administrative Services
Parrish Named Grand Marshal
Graduating students have selected Professor Austen Parrish as Commencement Grand Marshal. It will be his first time leading the opening
processional at the May 18 event, and he will present the individual members of the graduating class at the ceremony. Southwestern extends congratulations
to Professor Parrish!
Stanley L. Blend, Esq., Chair of the ABA Section of Taxation with Charles Fairchild and John Greenwall
Southwestern Wins Second Place at Tax Law Challenge
Third-year evening students Charles Fairchild and John Greenwall won second place in the J.D. Division at this year's ABA Section of Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge, held in mid-January in Lake Las Vegas. This alternative to traditional moot court competitions featured two-member teams who each were asked to solve a complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Fairchild and Greenwall were selected as semifinalists based on papers they submitted last year, which included writing a memorandum to a (hypothetical) senior partner and a letter to the (also hypothetical) client explaining the result. They were one of six teams from the J.D. Division (as well as four LL.M. teams) who received a free trip to Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort in Henderson, Nevada, where they defended their submissions before a panel of some of the country's top tax lawyers. The oral competition was specifically scheduled to take place during the ABA Section on Taxation's Midyear Meeting. Adjunct Professor Mark Hoose, who teaches tax law at Southwestern, helped Fairchild and Greenwall prepare for the competition.
Wrongful Convictions to be Examined at Law Review Symposium
Wrongful conviction of the innocent not only destroys the lives of
those found guilty and their families, it allows the criminals who
actually perpetrated the crimes to go unpunished and free to commit
additional offenses. Southwestern will present Wrongful Convictions:
Causes and Cures on Friday, February 8 - a symposium
dedicated to exploring the causes of wrongful conviction, the media's
these cases and the ways to reduce their occurrence. Read
Leading Voting Rights Scholar, Pamela Karlan, to Deliver Treusch Public Service Lecture
Professor Pamela S. Karlan of Stanford Law School, a leading constitutional law scholar and authority on voting rights, will discuss "The Evidence of Things Seen and Unseen: Abortion, Desegregation, High-Speed Chases, and the Roberts Court" when she delivers the 2008 Paul and Phyllis Treusch Public Service Lecture at Southwestern on Thursday, February 21 at 4 p.m.
The Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law at Stanford, Professor Karlan also co-directs the school's prestigious Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. After completing her B.A., M.A. and J.D. degrees at Yale, she clerked for Judge Abraham Sofaer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Justice Harry Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. She went on to serve as assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she specialized in voting rights and employment discrimination litigation, and as a member of the University of Virginia Law School faculty before joining Stanford's law faculty in 1998. Read more.
Biederman Entertainment Institute Programs
The Biederman Institute is working with leading organizations in the
media industry and the legal profession to present an array of outstanding
programs for practitioners, students and faculty this semester. For
more information on either of these events, contact Tamara Moore in
the Biederman Institute.
The Institute's "Conversations
With..." series will feature Richard Cotton, Executive VP & General
Counsel, NBC Universal, in a discussion titled "Protecting the
Peacock: The Challenges of Representing an Integrated Entertainment
Company in the 21st Century" on Wednesday, February 27 at
7:30 p.m. The event offers one unit of MCLE
credit and a reception will follow.
Digital Earthquake Conference
Remember to mark your calendar for The Digital Earthquake: Groundbreaking
Changes Affecting Entertainment and Media Law - the MLRC/Biederman
Institute Conference on Thursday, January 31, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Bar Association Fair Offers Networking Opportunity
Southwestern's Thirteenth Annual Bar Association Fair, one of the only
programs of its kind at a California law school, will take place on Wednesday,
February 6 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
Most bar associations have programs designed specifically
for current law students, including scholarship programs and steeply
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 or the Student Affairs Office.
Pathways to Careers in International Law
On February 6 at 4 p.m., students will have the opportunity to hear
a panel of lawyers and legal scholars speak about careers in international law when Southwestern
hosts the American Bar Association's presentation on "Pathways
to Careers in International Law." Speakers include: Jeff
Golden of Allen & Ovary LLP; Mark Wojcik, Professor of Global Legal
Studies at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago; Mike Burke of Williams
Mullen; Jessica Darraby, Attorney At Law; Malcolm McNeil of Carlsmith
Ball; and Anna Shavers, Professor of Law, University of Nebraska College
of Law. After the panel, there will be a networking mixer attended by
lawyers from all over the United States who are in Los Angeles for the
ABA Mid-Year Meeting. This is an outstanding opportunity to network with
lawyers practicing international law in all different types of settings. For more information, contact the Career
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 2 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 16 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, February 23 at Chapman Law School, will offer
an opportunity to network and interview with a variety of government
- The Spring On-Campus Interview Program (OCIP), February 19-29, features
a number of small to mid-size employers.
- The Alumni Outreach/Spring Job Fair Reception on April 9 provides
a great way to network with local law firms who may be hiring for the
Job and volunteer listings 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 these opportunities, students are encouraged to attend the
upcoming workshops offered by the Career Services Office,
including "Effective Interviewing Techniques," Wednesday, February 13 at
12:30 pm and 5:00 pm in W311. In addition, students are always welcome
resume to the Career
Services Office for review.
BHBA Welcomes Southwestern Students
Photo courtesy of Ann Simley
A contingent of Southwestern students recently joined Dean Garth at a special brunch gathering sponsored by the Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA). The event was held at the home of Nancy Knupfer '90, the new president of the BHBA, and provided an opportunity for the students to meet with practicing members of the bar in an intimate informal setting.
Programs Bring Students and Alumni Together
The Development and Alumni Affairs Office has planned several exciting networking events for February and March. Questions and RSVPs can be directed to Joan Bautista in the Development and Alumni Affairs Office.
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 7 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 (to the Development and Alumni Affairs) are mandatory for the event, which will be held on the BW 2nd floor.
Donald L. Stone Inn of St. Ives Dinner Series
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 21 and March 20. All continuing students are eligible to participate. For more information or to reserve a seat, email Joan Bautista at email@example.com.
Alumni-Student Networking Receptions
The Alumni Association works with various student organizations on campus to increase the opportunities of networking between our alumni and students. The remaining receptions this semester are:
- February 19: PLEAS Alumni-Student Networking Reception
- February 21: Business Law Society Alumni-Student Networking Reception
- February 26: Trial Advocacy Honors Program Alumni-Student Networking Reception
- March 20: Entertainment & Sports Law Society and Media Law Forum Alumni-Student Networking Reception
- April 1: Women's Law Association Alumni-Student Networking Reception
- April 3: BALSA Alumni-Student Networking Reception
All students are welcome to attend. Send RSVPs and questions to the Development and Alumni Affairs Office.
Superior Court Outreach Resource
In an effort to improve communications between the Los Angeles Superior
Court and the people it serves, the Court has launched a new Community
Outreach web page: www.lasuperiorcourt.org/outreach. This portion of
the Web site provides information on the Court's outreach programs and
how community members can participate in events featuring its judges.
Now it just takes a click or two of the mouse to submit requests for
anything from community events to featured speakers. Students can also
find out about externship and other opportunities through the website.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?
This Month - Vivian Bodey, Third-year Day Student
Vivian Bodey enjoys taxes. No, really. In fact, the third-year day student likes one of life's only certainties so much that she has already accepted a position with the IRS, Office of the Chief Counsel as a tax attorney after she graduates from Southwestern. She is also the only law student working on a treatise for corporate attorneys through the ABA Section on Business Law, Committee on Tax, titled, "Taxation of Corporate Transactions: A Handbook for Business Lawyers." She has authored a chapter and is creating checklists and diagrams for the publication.
Scholarship is very important to Bodey, who wants to eventually teach tax law at Southwestern. She already has two articles being published: one on Fast Food Products Liability for Trinity Law Review and another on Interspousal Contracts for Southwestern University Law Review, where she currently serves as an associate editor. She has also contributed a few articles for a Forensic Evidence book that will be published in the spring.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Bodey came to the United States with her family when she was 5 years old and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. The daughter of a cancer researcher father and psychologist mother, Bodey attended Reseda High School's Medical Magnet program and majored in economics at Whittier College. "I knew since I was a little girl that I wanted to be a lawyer," she said. "I watched Perry Mason and said, 'That's what I want to do.' But my mom panicked because she thought I meant that I wanted to be an actress. She was relieved to find out that I wanted to be in the courtroom."
Southwestern was an easy choice for Bodey as she sought to stay in Los Angeles. "I wanted diversity, an urban setting and an opportunity to interact one-on-one with faculty, which I knew I would get at Southwestern," she said. "I love the student body and the faculty at Southwestern. No other schools compare."
And she has parlayed her affection for Southwestern, tax law and scholarship into a bevy of extracurricular work, including participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which helps qualifying individuals file tax returns every Saturday through tax season. During the Fall 2007 semester she externed for the Hon. Arthur L. Alarcón, Senior U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, and participated in LLSA's Hoover Toy Drive. She also works part time for local law and accounting firms. And in her free time she's happy to help students study, including her brother, Bela, a second-year evening student. In addition to working for the IRS after graduation, Bodey will likely attend Loyola Law School part time to earn an LL.M. "Tax law is a guiding light behind any corporate transaction," she said. "It's very interesting and challenging.
New Externship Provides a Unique Opportunity to Work with the Family
Commissioner Scott Gordon '85 and Judge Mark Juhas, members of Southwestern's
adjunct faculty, have created an outstanding new externship opportunity in
family law - the Max Goodman Family Law Fellows Program, available only to
The pilot program with the Superior Court of California,
County of Los Angeles, Family Law Court, is named in honor of Professor Max
Goodman, one of the
foremost family law experts in California, and a member of the Southwestern
faculty for 40 years. The four-unit externship requires a 20 hour per week commitment.
The first three Goodman Fellows - Kailin Ho, Katherine Donahue and Joan Park
- began their externships this semester.
"This a perfect way both to honor Professor Goodman and to help
build the next generation of superb family lawyers," said Dean Garth.
Summer 2008 International Law Programs
Southwestern will again offer students the opportunity to study law overseas
this summer through its programs in London, England; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Vancouver, British
Columbia, Canada; 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.
Brochures and application forms
are available in W102 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; and Professor Lon Sobel, London. Read
PROFESSOR JONATHAN MILLER
PROFESSOR AUSTEN PARRISH
- Decorated, "Oficial" of the "Orden de Mayo" of the Argentine
Republic pursuant to Presidential Decree, for pro bono work on behalf of Víctor
Hugo Saldaño, an Argentine citizen on death row in Texas
- Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner before the U.S. Supreme Court in
Victor Hugo Saldaño v. State of Texas, brief filed for Government
of the Argentine Republic
- Panelist, "The Internationalization of Argentina's Understanding of Rights
and Access to Justice," Global Conceptions of Access to
Section on Comparative Law, AALS Annual Meeting, New York, NY
PROFESSOR ROBERT PUGSLEY
- Trail Smelter Déjà vu: Extraterritoriality, International
Environmental Law and the Search for Solutions to Canadian-U.S. Transboundary
Water Pollution Disputes, abridged and reprinted in WATER POLLUTION:
POLICIES AND PERSPECTIVES (K. Kumari, ed., ICFAI Univ. Press, 2007)
- Quoted, Teck pollution lawsuit 'two-edged sword,' The Globe and Mail (Canada)
- Interviewed, "U.S. Supreme Court Expected to Make a Decision on Teck
Cominco Case Soon," Canadian Press
- Interviewed, "Teck Cominco's Chances of Supreme Court Hearing
Have Diminished, Experts Say," Canadian Press
- Interviewed several times on ABC Radio New Network; "Dateline Washington," Radio
America Network; and Larry Mantle's "Air Talk," KPCC-FM on oral arguments before U.S. Supreme Court regarding habeas corpus for Guantanamo
Bay detainees; U.S. Supreme Court decisions Gall and Kimbrough (regarding
power of Federal District Judges to use sentencing discretion); U.S. Supreme
Court hearing arguments regarding lethal injection and 8th Amendment; and
legal aspects of the indictment against former U.S. Congressman Mark J. Siljander
on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and obstruction of justice
- CLICK HERE FOR MORE FACULTY ACTIVITIES -
Nominations Open for Excellence in Teaching Awards
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 Thursday, February 21.
Professor Ostrove Marks 40 years with Southwestern
Professor David Ostrove marks his 40th anniversary as a member of Southwestern's adjunct faculty this year. A partner in the firm of Ostrove, Krantz & Associates, Professor Ostrove is also a Certified Public Accountant and has taught a variety of tax law courses, most recently Accounting for Lawyers, Estate and Gift Taxation, Federal Corporate Taxation, Wills & Trusts, and Survey of Federal Income Tax. He is a graduate of Southwestern (1958), as are his two sons, Robert Ostrove (1980) and Ken Ostrove (1982).
Professor Supnik to Teach Advanced Copyright with Professor Mausner
Paul D. Supnik, a copyright, trademark and entertainment law attorney with his own private practice, will co-teach Advanced Copyright Law Seminar with Professor Jeff Mausner during the 2008 Spring Semester. Representing businesses and individuals in the entertainment, art, publishing, and internet industries, in addition to merchandising, ecommerce, financial and information services, consumer products and electronics, and other industries, he is primarily focused on trademark, copyright, entertainment and media, and internet law, as well as merchandising and licensing, and specific international affiliations. Professor Supnik earned his B.S. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and his J.D. degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and has lectured extensively around the globe on topics ranging from intellectual property, trademark and copyright to a variety of topics in business litigation. He has published articles in Los Angeles Lawyer, Licensing Today International and publications for various organizations.
New Clinic Space and Trial Advocacy Facilities in Westmoreland Building
The Children's Rights Clinic and the Immigration and International
Human Rights Clinic share space in the newly constructed suite on the
fourth floor of the Westmoreland Building, with state of the art amenities
including wireless and multimedia capabilities. The 3,300 square foot
clinic space offers a law office atmosphere with an inviting glass
entry, reception and waiting areas; supervisor's office; two interview
rooms; four supervising/assistant attorney offices; five student work
stations; a conference room with multimedia capabilities; play area
for visiting children; and a work/file room with photocopier, networked
printer, fax machine, and secured filing and storage.
Student work stations were custom-built with an individualized u-shaped
design and finished in high grade laminate with wood edging to allow
for efficient work, file and storage space within arm's reach. Adjustable,
ergonomic seating and equipment set-up are provided in each office
and work station.
The newly renovated trial advocacy classroom in W429 has been designed
to provide a traditional courtroom experience for students participating
in trial advocacy coursework and competitions, while offering multimedia
technology for alternative classroom experiences. The room is fully
accessible and includes a judge's bench to accommodate up to three
judges, witness stand, 12 person jury box, two counsel tables, and
gallery seating for 34. All tabletop surfaces provide electric plugs,
and seating throughout the classroom is adjustable and ergonomic.
Also renovated in the past six months is classroom W431. It is fully
accessible and includes adjustable and ergonomic seating for 56 students.
All tabletop surfaces provide electric plugs and wireless network access
is available throughout classroom.
Senior Staff Promotions
Several senior administrators recently received promotions. In his announcement, Dean Byrant Garth said, "The Southwestern community has benefited enormously from the leadership of these dedicated staff members, and we look forward to their further exemplary contributions."
Gary Greener, who has served as Assistant Dean for Career Services since 2000, has been named Associate Dean for Career Services. He is responsible for promoting relationships with law firms, corporations, government agencies and other potential employers of Southwestern law students and alumni, and manages the program of career planning and professional development seminars, workshops and counseling services to help students identify and reach their career goals.
Doreen Heyer has been promoted to Associate Dean for Academic Administration. She joined Southwestern as an administrator in 1980 and in 1988 was appointed as Assistant Dean for Academic Support. She is responsible for the administration of the Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills (LAWS) Program and the Intramural Moot Court Competition; coordinates faculty teaching assignments and evaluations; oversees the Registration and Academic Records Office, the Faculty Support Services Office, and the Externship Office; and provides administrative support for a number of faculty committees and events.
Debra Leathers has been named Assistant Dean for Institutional Advancement. She joined Southwestern in 1981, serving first as Assistant to the Dean and then as Director of Alumni Relations, and for the past 20 years has been Director of Development and Alumni Affairs in charge of all fund raising efforts and alumni relations programs.
Janice Manis has been named Chief Operating Officer. She joined Southwestern in 1981 as Administrative Assistant to the Dean and has served as Director of Administrative Services since 1986. She is responsible for all facilities and personnel management, coordination of campus auxiliary services, and supervision of campus expansion and renovation. She also serves as advisor on financial matters and was Acting Chief Financial Officer in 2005/6. In 2007, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Southwestern.
Jane Powell has been promoted to Associate Dean and Dean of Students. She joined Southwestern in 1985 serving as an Assistant to the Dean and Student Activities Administrator, and was named Director of Student Affairs in 1994. She has served as Assistant Dean/Dean of Students since 2002. She is responsible for academic and personal counseling, accommodations for students with disabilities, and other matters of student academic or personal concern; coordinates the faculty advisor programs; and oversees other programs, services and events to enhance student life.
Leslie Steinberg has been named Assistant Dean for Public Information. She first joined Southwestern in 1981 as Assistant to the Dean, was named Director of Special Projects in 1985, and since 1986 has served as Director of Public Information, responsible for the management of the marketing, publications, media relations, website, and public relations functions of the law school.
Bo Suzow has been named Chief Information Systems Officer. Ms. Suzow joined Southwestern's Information Management Services (IMS) in 1989, and was promoted to Director that same year. She has served as Director of what is now called Management Information Systems (MIS), the department responsible for all administrative computing, network infrastructure, and end user support for the Southwestern community.
Sharon Malalot has been promoted to Alumni Coordinator in the Development
and Alumni Affairs Office.
Monica Hanna, Dean's Office - Ms. Hannah is currently finishing up her dissertation to complete the graduate program in Comparative Literature at City University of New York. She received her B.A. in English from UC Berkeley. Fluent in three languages, she has taught Italian at the college level. Most recently, she taught Comparative Literature at California State University, Fullerton.
Linda Huynh, SOS Office Assistant, Administrative Services/Legal
Clinic - Ms. Huynh received a B.S. degree in Business Administration
with an emphasis in Management and Human Resources from California
State Polytechnic University, Pomona. While attending college,
she worked for three years as an Office Assistant in the University’s
Career Center and subsequently in University Financial Services. Most
recently, Ms. Huynh was employed as an Office Clerk for Nora's
Gourmet Food Products.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
A Dozen Questions for Professor Robert Lutz
Q: What initially piqued your interests in international and environmental law?
A: My father was in the military in WWII and my mother was born and raised in Canada. From an early age, because of their influence, I had interests in foreign countries, their politics and cultures. As my interests matured in college, I found the issues of international relations and the development of rule of law in the world, as well as in specific countries, extremely interesting and intellectually challenging. When I arrived in law school, I searched for a way to make the law I studied in my first-year courses relevant to these concerns.
I was invited in my first law school year to participate in a Law and Health Conference, which turned out to be one of the first Environmental Law conferences that launched Earth Day in the U.S. I returned from the conference committed to doing what I could to develop the law of the environment - and did so for the next 15-20 years by writing about, teaching and practicing Environmental Law, as well as co-founding the first U.S. environmental law journal, the Ecology Law Quarterly. The fact that environmental issues demanded new legal approaches to problems that were not confined by borders led me to consider the law applicable to transnational and global issues. Soon I appreciated that business activity, beyond having environmental impacts, also raised transnational and international legal issues.
Q: Because you've served on the panel of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and have overseen events such as Southwestern's 2006 CAFTA symposium, what do you think is the most important aspect of these free trade agreements?
A: The most important aspect is whether free trade agreements (FTAs) lead to a better economic, social, and political situation in all participant countries. A second important aspect is that the benefits are distributed to all societal segments of the countries. A significant accomplishment is that a number of the U.S. FTAs (especially NAFTA) provide for dispute resolution with respect to a broad range of controversies. Having served as an arbitrator, and a chair of some arbitration tribunals, I have experienced the challenges of dealing with multiple legal cultures in efforts to resolve transnational disputes.
Q: What are some of the hottest topics in international law right now?
A: There are so many, but to name a few: legality of preemptive strikes; nuclear disarmament; the relationship between international law and domestic law; the use of foreign and international law in U.S. courts; how to combat terrorism and preserve national security, while honoring various civil liberties; how best to address global warming; and how to preserve environmentally significant habitats. On a more abstract plane, I would also include the topics of: constructing the rule of law in new, developing and failed societies; and ridding the world of poverty (addressing the chasm between developed and developing countries).
Q: Describe some of your responsibilities on the various task forces to which you have been recently appointed, such as Chair of the ABA Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services (ITILS)?
A: I was honored to have the opportunity to lead this effort, one that I feel relates to a fundamental concern facing all those who practice international and transnational law - the ability to represent clients globally. I was appointed by the last two ABA Presidents to lead this task force which is actively involved in representing the interests of the U.S. legal profession in ongoing negotiations and discussions of issues related to international trade in legal services. It is composed of representatives from major ABA Sections (e.g., Administrative Law, Business Law, International Law, Litigation, and Legal Education), liaison members representing major stakeholders having interests in the regulation of the U.S. legal profession, and a number of special advisors who are experts in legal ethics, international trade law, and lawyer regulation. It coordinates ABA's initiatives with respect to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) to which the U.S. is party and engages in dialogue with the U.S. Government, interested law firms and significant participants in the U.S. law practice regulatory systems, and with foreign bar associations and bar leaders.
Building on my own contacts and prior experience as the former chair of the 17,000 member ABA Section of International Law, the Task Force has conducted a number of "summits" with the bar leaders from Europe, Asia and Latin America. at ABA Annual Meetings. In its efforts to represent the "American Legal Profession", ITILS coordinates with international bar organizations such as the International Bar Association, the Union Internationale des Avocats, Related to the work of ITILS, I have been appointed by the U.S. Trade Representative to the India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum's Committee on Legal Services to work on ways to improve U.S. lawyer access to India, and appointed by the ABA President to advise the ABA on European changes with respect to attorney-client privilege, especially regarding their impact on U.S. in-house lawyers operating abroad.
Q: What is the focus of your current scholarship?
A: I have eclectic scholarship interests. My fields of concentration are public and private/commercial international law. So I have published articles and books on national and international environmental law, as well as the Law of the Sea and the World Court. I have also addressed international business and trade law subjects. Finally, I am drawn to scholarship that examines practice concerns, like my recent book (2007) titled A Lawyer's Handbook on Enforcing Foreign Judgments in the United States and Abroad. However, as I prepare for a sabbatical next academic year, I am doing preliminary work on the topic, "Trading Legal Services Internationally and The Future of the Transnational Legal Profession."
Q: As a member of so many professional organizations and with so many editing, writing and teaching credits, how do you find time to do it all?
A: My first rule is: I try not to undertake projects to which I am not able to contribute my best efforts. Second, I keep track of my calendar and deadlines. Third, sometimes I don't sleep much.
Q: This year marks your 30th anniversary teaching at Southwestern. What are some of the biggest changes you've seen at the law school throughout the years?
A: Great changes have occurred - some gradual, some rapid. The faculty has always been dedicated to providing great classroom teaching, but now it seems to have a greater sense of shared purpose and clearer idea of institutional mission. Thus, the faculty has had great, recent scholastic achievements and each recent year we attracting very highly qualified teachers and scholars to join us on the faculty. The administration and staff is more well-organized, efficient and responsive, and friendlier than ever before. The students seem happier, too, more engaged, active and interactive. Obviously, a change has been the physical plant, which now offers students, faculty and staff one of the most spacious, convenient, lovely venues for the study of law.
Q: What is the most important piece of advice you give to your law students who want to pursue international law?
- A: Develop your understanding of the laws and policies of foundational courses - specifically, contracts, property, torts, criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, etc.
- Develop an understanding of the international system by taking courses in each of the following areas: Public International Law, International Business/Commercial Law, and Foreign or Comparative Law.
- Realize that most opportunities to practice in the field as a private lawyer will be with businesses/clients who are foreigners doing business here, or U.S. businesses doing/seeking to do business abroad.
- Opportunities for a career in international law are usually NOT entry-level positions.
- The easiest way to start a career in the international field is to find a client who wants to "go international!"
Q: Have any of your former students gone on to intriguing careers practicing international law?
A: Some have found opportunities with law firms that have clients who need transnational legal representation; others have become in-house counsel for international businesses; and even others have found positions with U.S. agencies and international organizations and NGOs. For a professor, nothing could be as satisfying as seeing one's student succeed in the field for which he/she has a passion.
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of teaching law and legal writing?
A: I'm a sports enthusiast. I like playing tennis and squash, skiing, hiking, golfing, and sailing. I enjoy traveling, gardening, and reading biographies.
Q: Where is your favorite place to travel and why?
A: To paraphrase Will Rogers, "I never visited a place I didn't like". No matter how miserable the location, I've always seemed to find something interesting and likable about a place I visit. It can be the people, their culture, the scenery or wildlife, or something that makes visiting the place worthwhile.
In recent years, I am drawn to Latin America and Mexico in particular for the culture, color, music, and spirit of the people. Guanajuato, where Southwestern has one of its summer programs and I have had the privilege to teach in it, is a very special place. But in the future, I have India, Russia and parts of Africa and Asia on my list.
Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: Climb Mt. Everest.