Southwestern Mourns the Loss of Professor David Kohler
David C. Kohler, Professor of Law and Director of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute at Southwestern, passed away on October 15 after a long battle with cancer. He was 56.
Appointed to the full-time faculty in 2003, Professor Kohler came to Southwestern following a long and distinguished career as a media attorney, including nearly a decade with TBS and CNN where he was senior vice president and general counsel. He taught the First Amendment Seminar, Mass Media Law, Media Litigation, and Representing Journalists in addition to directing the Institute, supervising Entertainment Practicum externships and overseeing the Entertainment and Media Law LL.M. Program.
"Dave Kohler contributed significantly to the advancement of the Biederman Institute and the expansion of our entertainment and media law offerings into what is likely the most comprehensive curricula in this area of any law school in the country," said Dean Bryant Garth. "He was an inspirational mentor to our students and a reasoned voice in crucial First Amendment issues. His extensive network of colleagues around the globe is a direct reflection of the tremendous respect he garnered as a prominent figure in the entertainment and media industries. Above all, he was a consummate professional, embodying the values that best represent what we aspire to in our graduates. All of us in the Southwestern community will greatly miss his warmth, generosity, dedication and enthusiasm." Read more.
November Table Days Are Coming!
To assist first-year, full-time students in selecting their course for the Spring Semester elective option, faculty will be available to answer questions during the Table Days on Tuesday, November 10 and Wednesday, November 11 from 12:15 until 2:00 p.m. on the Promenade.
At Table Days, students will learn more about their elective options, including Legal Profession, Copyright Law, Public International Law, History of American Law, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure. WebAdvisor assistance and general academic counseling will be available as well. All first-year, full-time students are encouraged to attend. If you have any questions, contact the Dean of Students Office.
Wellness Days Return to Southwestern
Southwestern recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to achieve success in law school through maintaining physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Wellness Days are designed to help students achieve their health and wellness goals through programs, workshops, and events aimed at giving guidance and information about wellness. In addition to the event below, watch for future Wellness Days events throughout the academic year. If you would like to get involved in planning these events, contact the Dean of Students Office.
As a part of Wellness Days, a free Yoga Session will take place on Thursday, November 12 in the Fitness Center Classroom from 4:15 until 5:15 p.m. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up in the Dean of Students Office by Monday, November 9. Don't wait - space is limited to only 15 people!
Contribute to the Hoover Food and Clothing Drive
The uncertain economy has made it a difficult year for many people and Southwestern's SBA has organized the Hoover Food and Clothing Drive to help some of society's most vulnerable members: elementary school children. During the week of November 9 through the 13, you may place donations in the green tubs located in the lobbies of either the Westmoreland or Bullocks Wilshire buildings, or in the SBA office on the second floor of the Westmoreland Building. Ideally, canned or boxed non-perishable foods are best to donate. The drive also seeks clothing for children (from kindergarten through 6th grade) as well as for their families. Donated items will be taken to Hoover Elementary the following week.
"Southwestern has always had a strong commitment to our community, and collecting food and clothing for these students and their families is just a small way for us to contribute," said third-year day student Katherine Topor, who serves as Community Affairs Director of the SBA. "We have had a relationship with the administration and students at Hoover Elementary for a number of years, and we always look forward to the next opportunity we can work together."
LLSA Seeks Student, Faculty and Staff "Santas"
The Latino Law Students Association (LLSA) is sponsoring its Eighth Annual Toy Drive for children in pre-kindergarten through second grade classes at Hoover Elementary School, and needs your help to make it a success. Each child writes a letter to Santa asking for one special gift (valued at approximately $20), and for most of the children, this is the only gift they receive. Last year, LLSA was able to provide gifts to over 800 students at Hoover Elementary School.
Even though economic times are difficult, LLSA truly hopes that the Southwestern community will unite to spread some holiday joy. So please help LLSA bring a smile to a child’s face this holiday season; the Santa letters will be available in the weeks to follow. Monetary donations are also accepted.
LLSA and Santa will personally deliver all the gifts towards the end of finals. The smile on the children's faces when they receive exactly they asked for in their letters makes all the hard work worthwhile. While you're studying for finals, take a break and join LLSA at its wrapping party (details to follow). If you have any questions, send an email to LLSA at email@example.com.
Conference Explores the Future of Digital Entertainment, Content Regulation and Crisis Management
As the entertainment world is enmeshed in constant technological advances, new opportunities, questions and challenges arise. What will follow YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as the next frontier in viral marketing and what is a studio's role/responsibility in this tech-driven realm? What role will regulatory commissions such as the FCC and FTC play in regulating content? How do studios/producers handle the fallout from an array of crises from fake critic quotes to having content banned in foreign countries? On Thursday, January 14, these issues will be the subject of the conference Charting the Unknowns: Digital Entertainment, Content Regulation and Crisis Management.
This timely event on subjects that are vital to any media or entertainment lawyer's practice is the seventh annual conference presented by Southwestern's Biederman Institute and the Media Law Resource Center (MLRC). Charting the Unknowns will present three discussion panels, featuring prominent entertainment attorneys and talent industry insiders. The event, offering four hours of CLE credit, will begin at 2:30 p.m. (registration begins at 1:00 p.m.) on the Southwestern campus. Early registration for the event (before January 1, 2010) is $100; after that, it is $125. Student registration is $25. Additional information and registration will be available online in the coming weeks. Questions may be directed to the Biederman Institute.
Summer Options and Opportunities for the First-Year Student
Find out about all of the options and opportunities available for your first summer in law school on Tuesday, January 12 at 12:30 p.m. in W511. Information will be presented regarding summer abroad programs, summer school, externships, working in a law firm, working in public interest, becoming a research assistant for a professor, volunteering, as well as the Law Review and Law Journal "write-on" competition. This is a must-attend event for all first-year students.
Don't Miss Public Interest Career Day Orientation
In preparation for Public Interest Career Day, where students can interview with a variety of public interest employers, government agencies and law firms, a mandatory orientation program will take place on Wednesday, January 13 at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. in W311. Topics covered include participation guidelines, funding options and applicable hiring criteria.
Never Too Early to Have a Stellar Resume
The winter break is a good time to get that resume together. The Career Services Office (CSO) offers winning resume samples in their office or online. You can also get some tips and advice at the Resume/Cover Letter Preparation Workshop on Thursday, January 14 at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. in W311 and again offered on Friday, January 22 at 12:30 p.m. in W311.
Off the Record with ... District Attorneys and Public Defenders
You know you want to work in criminal law, but you don't know where. What is the difference between working for the District Attorney's Office and the Public Defender's Office? Do they look for different types of things? Do I have to be more liberal or more conservative to work in one place or the other? On Tuesday, January 19 at 12:30 p.m., swing by the Salle Moderne to talk to attorneys in an informal environment and help choose your career path.
Calvin Lowery, Diversity Affairs Assistant, earned a B.S. Degree in Electronics and Computer Technology from North Carolina A&T State University. He is currently an evening student at Southwestern and will be graduating in 2011. Mr. Lowery is also the Executive Director of the Western Region Black Law Students Association and a staff member of the Southwestern Journal of International Law. In addition to his academic achievements, he is a veteran of Iraq. Since commencing his legal education at Southwestern two years ago, Mr. Lowery has been intimately involved with the development of the Diversity Affairs Office as a work study student.
Erin Santos, Faculty Support Services, graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, majoring in English with a minor in Spanish. For her senior project, she was co-editor of Byzantium, Cal Poly's literary magazine. She also worked in the Campus Market as a student manager for two years, at a family law office in Redondo Beach during summer and holiday breaks, and most recently attended Denver University's Publishing Institute. In her position, she will assist faculty with printed materials, exams, letters of recommendation and a host of other clerical and administrative needs.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?
This month - Inga Miller, Second-year SCALE Student
While she was an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, Inga Miller was recruited to work at the school paper and found she enjoyed telling stories. "I liked being a voice for people who didn't otherwise have a voice," she said. That early exposure to a written form of advocacy would start her on a career path in journalism and law. Miller completed her B.A. in Politics with a minor in Writing and went on to write for several newspapers including the Santa Cruz County Sentinel, Fairfield Daily Republic, Tri Valley Herald, and the Modesto Bee, where she spent five years as a general assignment reporter.
One of the stories that had a particularly strong impact on her was about a single mother trying to get her nursing degree who was dismissed from a program due to a mistaken result on a drug test. Despite taking another drug test to clear her name, the school would not review the clean blood screen. A local attorney read Miller's article and wound up representing the young mother. "It was really nice to be able to produce an unbiased report and let the public decide what to do with that information," Miller said. "In this instance, a member of the public was able to bring a legal action on [the subject's] behalf. That was very rewarding."
Perhaps with advocacy in mind, Miller began to consider law school - but it was also for practical reasons. She saw a legal education as a valuable tool for improving her journalistic skills and a great way to learn about additional resources to develop stories. She also realized that as the world of journalism was becoming more and more uncertain in the digital age with newspapers folding and opportunities for reporters decreasing, she wanted to keep her professional options open.
Originally from the small East Bay town of Orinda, CA, Miller had only been to Los Angeles once as a child. She found out about Southwestern when she was studying for the LSAT and received an email about the Biederman Institute. "I thought this would be a perfect way to learn about the intersection between journalism/media and law and have professors with an interest in media," she said. "I came down to visit, and I loved it. Professors went out of their way to speak with me and answer all of my questions. I wandered out by the Westmoreland Building and saw a group of SCALE people. They all told me how much they loved the program and that they worked really hard, but it was really worth it. There was an intensity about that group that I really appreciated."
Miller chose the SCALE program, and has found that her ability to write concisely - as well as prioritize her obligations in and out of the classroom - has helped her perform in the challenging two-year program. She has been able to pursue some extracurricular activities including serving as Treasurer for Teen Court. During the summer she externed for the City Attorney of Los Angeles, Land Use Division, researching and writing interrogatories for issues related to zoning and development. After law school, Miller would like to stay connected to the media, perhaps working as legal counsel for a newspaper or other news organization, but she realizes the opportunities are tremendous. "There are a lot of things about being a lawyer that are similar to being a journalist, and a legal education gives me the chance to expand my choices."
Larraine Segil '79 Creates First Scholarship for Students in JD/MBA Program
The first scholarship endowment fund in the world to reward strategic alliance competency has been established by Larraine Segil, an internationally renowned senior executive, author and pioneer in the creation, implementation and management of complex business alliances.
The Larraine Segil Strategic Alliance Scholarship Endowment Fund will award scholarships to women students pursuing the JD/MBA degree offered by the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University and Southwestern. The award will be based on academic merit and the student's expressed interest in strategic alliances. This is also the first endowment associated with the Drucker-Southwestern concurrent degree program that was established in Fall 2009.
A trailblazer in developing the methodology used to create strategic alliances for multiple industries including healthcare, technology, consumer products, manufacturing, aerospace, and financial services around the world, Ms. Segil believes that strategic alliances are a critical component of corporate leadership. Through the new endowment, she seeks to encourage students pursuing a JD/MBA degree to develop expertise in this area, and will serve as a mentor to Segil Scholars. Read more.
PROFESSOR CATHERINE CARPENTER
PROFESSOR LAURA DYM COHEN
- Legislative Epidemics: A Cautionary Tale of Criminal Laws that Sweep the Country, 58 BUFFALO LAW REVIEW (forthcoming, January 2010)
- Presenter, "The Challenges of Accreditation in a Post-301-6 World," Joint Retreat of the Council and Accreditation Committee, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Chicago, IL
- Participant, Accreditation Committee Meeting, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Aspen, CO
PROFESSOR MICHAEL EPSTEIN
- Invited Participant, California Pro Bono Summit 2009, Statewide Strategic Planning for Legal Services and Law Firms, State Bar of California, San Francisco, CA
- Event Coordinator, Pro Bono Celebration Kickoff for Los Angeles, Partnership with Public Counsel, Bet Tzedek and Pro Bono Council of Los Angeles featuring keynote speaker Justice Moreno, Southwestern
- Invited Participant, Creating a Blueprint, Supporting Former Foster Youth in Higher Education, Los Angeles
- Quoted in "Michael Jackson's legacy: Who has the right to profit?" Christian Science Monitor
- CLICK HERE FOR MORE FACULTY ACTIVITIES -
Trustee Honored for Leadership in Higher Education
Jana Waring Greer, a member of Southwestern's Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, was honored for her outstanding commitment to higher education by the Fulfillment Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring and scholarships to help disadvantaged Los Angeles high school students achieve a college education. A member of the Fund's Board of Directors and past president, Ms. Greer was presented with the Gitnick Visionary Award at the Stars 2009 Benefit Gala along with fellow honorees writer/director Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann. Ms. Greer is President and CEO of SunAmerica Retirement Markets, Inc., a leading financial services company specializing in retirement savings. She is an active community leader who has also served as Chair of the USC College Board of Councilors and on a wide array of other philanthropic boards including the United Way, the Broad Foundation, Harvard-Westlake School and Junior Achievement of Southern California.
Professors Esposito and Seki Named Co-Directors of TAHP
Professors Joseph Esposito '89 and Bill Seki '88, who have served on Southwestern's adjunct faculty since 1992, have each been named as Co-Director of the Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP) and Associate Professor of Law. Both professors have had a remarkable association with Southwestern for more than two decades. They teach the Trial Advocacy and TAHP Advanced Trial Advocacy courses and have served as faculty advisors to the TAHP program since its inception. In 2000, they were jointly awarded Southwestern's first annual Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award. Professor Seki and Professor Esposito were the keynote speakers at Southwestern's Orientation Program in 2004 and 2006, respectively.
Professor Esposito is Head Deputy in the Major Narcotics Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, where he previously served in several divisions, including as Assistant Head Deputy of the Hard Core Gang Division; Special Assistant, Bureau of Central Operations; and Felony Trial Deputy in the Hate Crimes Suppression Unit and Central Trials. Among other honors, he was named as Prosecutor of the Decade - 1990s by the Justice for Homicide Victims.
Professor Seki is a partner in the law firm of Seki, Nishimura & Watase, LLP. He served for nearly a decade as a Deputy Los Angeles County District Attorney after law school. He went on to become a partner in Los Angeles law firms where he handled state and federal criminal defense cases with an emphasis on representation of law enforcement officers. His practice has also included business, labor and employment litigation. He also served as President of the Japanese-American Bar Association in 2002-2003.
Argentinean Lawyers Study Human Rights Law at Southwestern
Argentinean attorneys and legal educators Luciano Hazan and Florencia Plazas have devoted their careers to human rights. Now they are learning as much as they can about the American criminal justice system while they spend the year studying at Southwestern. Hazan is the first recipient of the Fulbright-Jose Siderman Human Rights Fellowship, which was established at Southwestern to promote the training of young Argentinean lawyers in civil liberties and human rights. Plazas received a Fulbright Scholarship to study similar topics. The married couple will earn their LL.M. degrees, and as the Siderman Fellow, Hazan will also serve in an externship with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) at the conclusion of the academic year.
According to Professor Jonathan Miller, who was instrumental in establishing the law school's programs in Argentina as well as its affiliation with the Siderman Fellowship, "Luciano has done cutting edge work tracking down children who had their identities falsified by Argentina's military government of the late 1970's, while Florencia has worked on essential institutional reforms with Argentina's Federal Public Defender. Florencia and Luciano met doing human rights work at CELS, Argentina's leading human rights organization, and I cannot imagine a better couple to have at Southwestern for LL.M. studies focused on civil liberties and human rights." Read more.
TAHP Selects Junior Advocates
The Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP) is proud to announce the Junior Advocates for the 2009-2010 year. They are John Begakis, Steven Bondy, Eric Bonholtzer, Leslie Bouvier-Hashemi, Anne Buzzini, Jennifer Carter, Jeremy Davis, Chris DeClue, Lynette Jones, Kris Le Fan, Marcus Lee, Hyun-Young Na, Ashlee Parker, Stella Pogosyan, Giancarlo Recinos, Donald Reese III, Nika Robinson, Tegan Sattel, Rachel Stapleton, and Bryan Swaim.
Law Journal Announces Bluebook Winners
The Southwestern Journal of International Law is proud to announce that the following staff members have earned Bluebook Awards and honorable mention recognition of their outstanding work on production assignment number two. Bluebook Award went to Morgan McDonald, Loni Harada, Carolyn Najera, Crystal Lara and Natalie Wright. Those receiving honorable mention included Hillary Higgins, Justin Rogal, George Ashkar, Hagar Cohen, and Daniel Benji.
Alumnus Inaugurated as President of California Applicants' Attorneys Association
Adam Dombchik '98, a partner with the firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, has been inaugurated as the 2010 President of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association (CAAA), the most powerful legal voice for injured workers of California. The organization is made up of approximately 1,000 members, consisting primarily of attorneys throughout the state of California who represent injured workers.
Recognized by the California State Bar as a Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation, at 38, Mr. Dombchik is one of the youngest members to have served in this position. Previously he was president of CAAA's Southern California chapter and has been a member of the Executive Board for the last three years, involved in overseeing its American Medical Association Guidelines Committee and Regulations Committee. He began advocating for the rights of the injured early in his career, working for Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein while attending Southwestern's part-time evening program, where he received the Exceptional Achievement Award in Workers' Compensation Law & Practice. Upon graduating, he joined the firm full-time and in 2005, he was named partner.
Mr. Dombchik regularly speaks about workers' compensation issues to large groups of doctors, lawyers, and others in the community. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from Pennsylvania State University in Speech Communication and is licensed to practice law in California and Florida. For four years, Law & Politics magazine has named Mr. Dombchik a "Rising Star" among Southern California lawyers. Since its inception in 1966, the CAAA has been committed to providing California's injured workers the opportunity for fair workers' compensation benefits and re-entry into the community as productive citizens.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Q: How did your background in Psychology prepare you for the legal profession?
A: Psychological principles have broad utility and application that one uses daily in both personal and professional settings. In law specifically, clients often are distressed, and it's important to understand their distress in order to better understand their motivation and goals.
Q: Why did you transition from practicing to teaching law?
A: I taught at the Community College level before attending law school, and I was a tutor during my second and third years of law school, so teaching is an interest of long standing. I enjoyed practicing law, and I think my practice background helps my classroom teaching, but at heart I've always been a teacher.
Q: What is your favorite course to teach and why?
A: I love teaching all of my traditional courses. I have the good fortune of teaching courses that were my favorite courses when I was a law student, were relevant to my law practice, and that I genuinely enjoy teaching.
Q: What do you particularly enjoy about your legal ethics scholarship?
A: Two of the particularly fascinating things about legal ethics are (1) its pervasiveness, invading virtually every aspect of the practice of law, and (2) the fact that "legal ethics" encompasses such a broad range of issues, not merely what would be morally proper. Today, in fact, the "law of lawyering" is really a more appropriate term, rather than "legal ethics."
Q: What is the focus of your current scholarship?
A: My scholarship currently has a heavy federal courts focus. I love finding difficult theoretical issues that also have practical application.
Q: How does your scholarly work influence your teaching?
A: This is actually a continuation of the previous question and answer. I enjoy most the scholarship that has both theoretical components and practical utility so that I can discuss during class sessions the various issues that I've researched for my articles.
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception that law students have about their professors?
A: I think some students don't realize just how hard their professors work at trying to be effective teachers and facilitators.
Q: How could that differ from students' previous experience?
A: Teaching law requires a different approach from teaching other subjects, particularly other undergraduate subjects, because we aren't teaching "sound bites" to be memorized - we're teaching concepts to be applied.
Q: What aspect of joining Southwestern's faculty appealed to you the most?
A: There are many wonderful things about Southwestern, but the people were key. Dean Garth, the great faculty, the enthusiastic students, and the hard working staff all made strong positive impressions that were central to my decision to come here.
Q: What aspect of returning to Southern California are you most pleased about?
A: Everything one could possibly want is here. It's an exciting place with tremendous diversity and culture. The weather doesn't hurt, either!
Q: What are some of the things you enjoy outside of the legal profession?
A: Aside from my dogs? I love to walk, and I walk almost everywhere. I also enjoy reading, Sudoku puzzles, playing the piano, singing, painting, and anything about interior design.
Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: Compete in the women's Tour de France.