Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) to be Discussed at
Special Forum with Dean Garth
Did you know that 72 percent of first year students at Southwestern
attended campus events and activities, and 66 percent did so their
third year? Or that they average between 5.6 and 6.6 hours per week
commuting to school? And that the quality of Southwestern students'
relationships with faculty members has increased significantly during
the last three years?
These and a variety of other findings about Southwestern students' experiences
were collected from the 2007 Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE)
this past spring. Thanks to all of our students who participated in the survey,
the Southwestern faculty, staff and trustees have a better sense of how the
law school is doing in terms of "the extent to which law students devote
time and energy to educationally sound activities and the policies and practices
that induce students to take part in such activities." Dean Garth has
scheduled an open meeting with students to present a report on the survey results
on September 18 at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. Read more.
Constitutional Law Film Festival
Celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on Monday, September 17 by watching constitutional law films! From 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., the following films will be shown in the in the Salle Moderne (Bullocks Wilshire Building, Fifth Floor):
- Key Constitutional Concepts: Creating a Constitution
- Key Constitutional Concepts: One Man Changes the Constitution - Gideon v. Wainwright
- Key Constitutional Concepts: Checks and Balances - Youngstown v. Sawyer
- Our Constitution: A Conversation (with Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen G. Breyer)
- Equal Justice Under Law: Marbury vs. Madison
- Equal Justice Under Law: Gibbons vs. Ogden
- Equal Justice Under Law: U.S. vs. Aaron Burr
- Equal Justice Under Law: McCulloch vs. Maryland
- That Delicate Balance II: Our Bill of Rights - The First Amendment and Hate Speech
- That Delicate Balance II: Our Bill of Rights - Life and Choice After Roe v. Wade
For more information, visit the Reference Desk in the Law Library.
Southwestern Helps You Beat the Bar Exam
Graduating students are invited to attend a "Beat the Bar Examination" workshop
on Tuesday, October 2 at 12:30 p.m. in W511 and at 6:00 p.m. in BW370.
Refreshments will be provided. The law school has designed the workshop
to help students effectively prepare to take the California Bar Examination.
The workshop will also help anticipate events that may hinder that
preparation (including family emergencies that take time and concentration
away from studying), offer advice on the difficulties of working full-time
or even part-time in another job while preparing for the bar, and provide
guidance on managing child care responsibilities. The program will
help everyone avoid risks, and will be of particular value to those
who have experienced academic challenges at Southwestern.
Student reviews of last year's Beat the Bar workshop were highly
positive. This year's workshop will provide you with a series
of checklists to help you prepare. In addition, a panel of professors
and recent Southwestern graduates will talk about how to get the most
out of your bar exam preparation courses. To participate in the Beat
the Bar Exam workshop, students must RSVP via email no later than Monday,
September 17 to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you RSVP, please state whether
you plan to attend the afternoon or evening program. Graduating evening students will be excused from
their regular classes to attend this important workshop.
Renowned Music Attorney to Speak at Southwestern
The Entertainment and Sports Law Society is proud to present speaker Don
Passman, music attorney and author of All You Need to Know About
the Music Business, considered the bible for lawyers who work in the music
industry. Mr. Passman will talk about "The
Future of the Music Industry ... or if there is one" at 12 p.m. in BW390 on Wednesday, September 19.
Are They Rumors or Is It True?
Find out if the rumors about law school are true ... or not at Dean
Cameron's 9th Annual seminar, "Dispelling Myths and Rumors About Law School in
General and Southwestern in Particular" on Thursday, September 20 at 12:30 and
5:45 pm in W311. Bring your myths and look out for the explosions!
Public Counsel invites law school students from Southwestern and other
Southern California area law schools to its annual open house on Thursday,
September 20 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. 610 S. Ardmore Ave., Los Angeles (1
block NE of Wilshire Blvd. and Normandie Ave.). Law students at all
levels of their education are invited to learn how they can volunteer
to offer legal services to some of Los Angeles' most needy residents.
Students will have an opportunity to meet Public Counsel's staff
and to learn about the critical legal services being offered by all
six of its law projects: Child Care Law, Children's Rights, Consumer
Law, Community Development, Homelessness Prevention, and Immigrants'
Rights Projects. Students may get involved as a volunteer intern or
extern right away or can start planning for Spring or Summer 2008.
To attend the September 20 event, RSVP no later than September
18 by calling (213) 385-2977 x825. More information is available at www.publiccounsel.org.
IPELS Presents "Let's Get Digital - Emerging Trends in New Media
Southwestern's Biederman Institute and the Los Angeles County Bar Association are co-sponsoring
the 31st Annual Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Symposium (IPELS)
on Saturday, October 6. This year's conference is called "Let's
Get Digital - Emerging Trends in New Media Deals," featuring
keynote speaker, entertainment attorney Jay L. Cooper, a shareholder
in the Los Angeles office of Greenberg Traurig. Panels will cover a
variety of topics from new media to digital rights management and licensing.
Law students may register for a discounted price of $125. The Symposium will
be held from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Bel-Air Hotel (701 Stone
Canyon Road, Los Angeles - valet parking is available, and there is
additional free self-parking across from the hotel). To register for
the conference or get more information, click
Save the Date for Family, Friends and Partners Day
Family, friends and partners are invited to experience a day in the life of
their law student on Saturday, October 13 from 8:30 a.m.
to 1:00 p.m. This opportunity to meet other family members, friends and partners of
Southwestern students, and have their questions regarding
law school answered includes activities and speakers conveying the
experience that students will go through in their law school program.
More information has been sent in the mail. Questions may be directed to the Development Office.
BAP to Hear Cases at Southwestern
The Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) will hold a session in Southwestern's
Julian Dixon Courtroom on Wednesday, October 24. One of the members
of the three-person panel is Southwestern alumnus, the Hon. Robert
S. Bardwil, ’79, who sits on the bankruptcy court in the Eastern District of California, located in Sacramento. Cases will begin at
approximately 9 a.m., and are scheduled to run until 12 p.m. Students are welcome to attend. Case materials will be available in the library prior to the event.
Help Promote Public Interest Activities
The 17th Annual Public Interest Law Week (PILW) is fast-approaching,
and the Public Interest Law Committee is looking for volunteers
to assist with various activities. This year, activities will start
on October 25 with the Public Interest Career Fair and end on November
2 with the much-anticipated Live Auction/Variety Show. Many more
exciting events, including the Bake Sale, Student-Faculty Trivia
Bowl, Keynote Speech, Dean's Walk-a-thon, and the Silent Auction
will be taking place throughout the week. Money raised through
events will fund summer grants for students working with legal agencies serving the underrepresented. However,
the entire Southwestern Community is needed to help make PILW a
success! Interested students should sign up to help by using the
electronic sign-up sheets on the Public Interest Law Committee TWEN
For more information, please contact Fritzgerald
The always-popular Live Auction.
On Wednesday, October 10, the Environmental Law Forum in conjunction with the CSO, Professor Aronovsky, and the LACBA Section on Environmental Law will host a panel presentation on Careers in Environmental Law at 12:30 pm in W311. A variety of panelists, including Southwestern alumni Marie Palladini of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Keith Pritsker of the L.A. City Attorney's Office, will discuss a variety of career options within environmental law. Lunch will be served.
On Tuesday, October 16, the Career Services Office (CSO) will hold a workshop for
first-year students at 12:30 and 5:00 pm in W311. Learn what
the CSO has to offer, including available resources to support
your career development.
On Thursday, October 18, CSO will present "How to Become a District Attorney" at
12:30 pm in W311. A panel of Deputy District Attorneys
will discuss their careers and provide practical advice for students interested in becoming prosecutors.
On Friday, October 19, Southwestern is co-sponsoring the 9th Annual Intellectual
Property Associate Job Search event at Whittier Law School. There
are approximately 30 law firms from all over the country looking
for 2Ls for summer positions and 3Ls for post-graduate attorney positions.
Some employers will be interviewing at the event, while others will
collect resumes ahead of time and call students for interviews. For those law firms interviewing at the event,
specific interview times will be assigned beforehand.
In order to participate, students must submit their resumes and the
Registration Form to the Career Services Office no later than 6:00
p.m. on Monday, September
The following will be required by the deadline:
1) Pick up a Registration Form from the CSO
2) Check the event binder (available in the CSO) which lists the participating
employers and each employer's hiring criteria
3) Make sure you meet an employer's qualifications, fill out the
Registration Form and circle and initial the name of each employer
where a resume is to be sent
4) Attach one resume for each circled employer PLUS one additional
5) Submit the Registration Form and appropriate number of resumes to
the CSO by 6 p.m. on September 24.
2007-2008 Security Workshops
October 17 - Emergency Preparedness
November 14 - Online Shopping/ATM Safety
December 5 - Holiday Safety
January 16 - Apartment and Residential Safety
February 13 - Drug and Alcohol Abuse
March 12 - Sexual Assault Prevention
April 16 - Fraud and Identity Theft
May 7 - Personal Safety
June 18 - Keeping Kids Safe
All security workshops are held on the Westmoreland Steps at 12:30 & 5
p.m. Southwestern's 2007 Campus Security and Safety brochure is now
available online. Copies are also available in the Administrative
Additions and Transitions
Southwestern welcomes its newest staff members:
Kelly Greer - Assistant Director, Admissions
to joining Southwestern, Ms. Greer served n the Los
Angeles Public Defender's Office. She received her J.D.
degree from Loyola Law School in 2006, where she was active in BLSA.
Ms. Greer earned a B.A. in Japanese and International Developmental
Studies from UCLA.
Nancy Hanna - Part-time SOS Help Assistant, Administrative Services
Ms. Hanna has rejoined Southwestern’s staff after working in
the Dean’s Office as a Dean’s Assistant from 2003-2004. She
has held subsequent positions in legal and translation services as
a Legal Assistant for Sparks Law Corporation, Project Manager for TransPerfect
Translations, Inc. and Assistant Project Manager/Proofreader for Merrill
Translations. Ms. Hanna earned her B.A. degree in Women’s Studies
and Politics from Pomona College.
My-Lan Huynh - Admissions Counselor, Admissions
Prior to joining Southwestern,
Ms. Huynh worked for the UCLA Anderson Graduate School where she gained
experience performing admissions-related
work. She earned her B.A. in Economics with an Accounting emphasis
and a minor in Southeast Asian Studies from UCLA.
Suhn Lee - Student Services Assistant, Dean of Students Office
to joining Southwestern, Ms. Lee worked as an administrative assistant,
a paralegal and legal clerk in various law offices. She
earned her B.A. in Communications and minored in Economics and Psychology
at the University of California, San Diego.
Sharon Malolot - SOS Help Assistant, Administrative Services
to joining Southwestern, Ms. Malolot worked as a Special Events Logistics
Coordinator at the House of Blues. While attending college,
she held positions in New Student Programs as an Information Specialist
and a New Student Orientation Leader. Ms. Malolot earned her B.A.
degree in Communications with an emphasis in Entertainment Studies
and minor in Business Administration from California State University,
Samantha Albright - Student Services Assistant, SCALE Office
Marissa Rodriguez - Student Services Assistant, Office of the Associate Dean
for Academic Affairs
Dean's Black Advisory Council Established
In an effort to continue its longstanding commitment to diversity,
Southwestern has established the Dean's Black Advisory Council, a group
dedicated to fostering the success of current students and alums in
the legal profession. Professor Nyree Gray, Southwestern's newly-appointed
Director of Diversity Affairs, has also been selected to spearhead
In August the Council held its first meeting and included
Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Gordon Turner '02 (featured in Sicko
on high profile patient-dumping cases); Robert McNeill '79 of
Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt, one of the largest and most prestigious
minority-owned law firms in California, the Hon. Allen Webster, Jr.
'71 of Los Angeles Superior Court, and Professors Tara Walters, Kemba
Taylor and Karen Smith. "The consensus was that we wanted to better
support African American alumni and connect with current African American
students to help them thrive in the law school community," Professor
The Council is already working to implement the ideas proposed
at the meeting, including: providing BLSA students with alumni mentors,
creating a directory of African American alums, planning workshops
on how to establish a law firm and networking, and creating mock interview
programs to provide students with more interviewing practice opportunities. "Southwestern,
for almost one hundred years, has been a vital resource for Los Angeles
and other communities by providing the tools of a legal education to
talented African Americans who then went on to assume major leadership
positions in government, the judiciary, and private practice," Dean
Garth said. "This Advisory Council reflects our commitment to
sustain and indeed improve our ability to play that vital role so central
to our identity and history."
Southwestern Represented by Large Contingent in New Class of Deputy
Southwestern graduates represent more than a third (8) of the 22 new
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorneys appointed this summer,
one of the largest contingents of any law school. The alumni in the
June 2007 Deputy District Attorney I class include: Miriam Avalos,
Miriam Kang, Anthony Kong, Kenneth Meyer, Adan Montalban, Sylvia Moore,
Amy Murphy, and Adrian Roxas. They are joined by graduates of Harvard,
Hastings, Illinois, Loyola, Pepperdine, USC, UCLA and USD, among other
ASSOCIATE DEAN CHRISTOPHER CAMERON
PROFESSOR CATHERINE CARPENTER
- Interviewed regarding the child labor law implications of the reality show
Kid Nation, "Air Talk," KPCC
PROFESSOR MICHAEL FROST
- Presenter, "Remember to Stay Past 6:00 p.m. and other Guiding Principles:
Conducting a Dual Division Site Visit," Chairs' Workshop, ABA Section
on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Chicago, IL
- Lecturer (with Professor Paul Bateman), Judicial Opinion Writing Seminar,
National Judicial College, Reno, NV
- CLICK HERE FOR MORE FACULTY ACTIVITIES -
Professor Sobel to Head ABA Entertainment Forum Committee
Professor Lon Sobel, one of the top entertainment law scholars in
the country, is the new Chair of the American Bar Association's Forum
Committee on the Entertainment & Sports Industries.
Created in 1977,
this ABA Forum serves the needs and interests of lawyers whose clients
are in the entertainment, sports and arts industries.
The Forum produces several educational programs each year on the legal
and business aspects of entertainment, sports and the arts, and its
annual meeting is primarily an educational program. The Forum also
publishes The Entertainment & Sports Lawyer.
"I hope to lead the Forum into new areas such as law journal
and book publishing, the creation of DVD versions of entertainment
programs, and given my 'day job' as a Southwestern Law School professor
- programs specifically tailored to meet the interests and needs of law
students," Professor Sobel said. Read
Marc Baranov Elected Division Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
At last month's American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Conference
in San Francisco, Southwestern student Marc Baranov was elected to
serve as a Division Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, representing
the Law Student Division. Baranov, a third-year day student, is one
of an elite group of three law students nationwide selected to serve
in this capacity. He was elected by SBA presidents from throughout
the United States.
The big issue he will be working on this year
is LRAP (loan repayment assistance programs) - trying to get the federal
government to forgive
loans for students who work in public interest. "I want to help make
law students' voices heard on issues distinctly important to them,
both in Congress and within the ABA," Baranov said. "In particular,
I hope to play a vital role in convincing state legislatures and the
federal government to listen to law students and finally pass and fund
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs. There is no reason why students
who choose to work in the public interest arena should suffer
financially in terms of their loans, and I hope to help bring
about positive change." To find out more about this position,
Hannah Lee Named Governor of ABA/LSD 9th Circuit
A Southwestern student has been chosen to represent law schools in the American Bar Association - third-year day student
Hannah Lee serves as ABA Governor of the 9th Circuit. Every year the ABA
Law Student Division selects 15 regional circuit governors to serve
on the Division's Board of Governors - the 9th Circuit Governor represents
all ABA approved law schools in Southern California and Hawaii.
Lee's responsibilities will include overseeing ABA Law Student Division
activities at every ABA-approved law school within the circuit; representing
the interests and communicating the needs of law students attending
the law schools in the 9th circuit; communicating information about
the national concerns, interests and activities of the Division's Board
of Governors, Division programs, activities, and leadership positions
to circuit members, and encouraging participation in the same; developing
a plan of action for the circuit to include public interest initiatives,
programming, membership outreach, etc.; and planning and developing programming,
training, and social activities for the fall and spring circuit meetings;
among other tasks. For more information on the position, click
for more information on the 9th Circuit, click
Moot Court, Law Review and Law Journal Staff Appointed
The Moot Court Honors Program is proud to announce its members for
the 2007-2008 school year. They are Mark Abell, Hildy Aguinaldo, Astineh
Arakelian, Jennifer Bandlow, Celia Beckwith, Linet Bidrossian, Chelsea
Blatt, Emily Casso, Tom Cassaro, Leah Cohen-Mays, Shara Davenport,
Rosemary Do, Sara Dresser, Jennifer Faitro, Annette Guzman, Chad Haes,
Nathan Hanning, Susannah Howland, John Hynes, Michael Keating, Roger
Kirnos, Mary Lindsay, Rachelle Merhinfar, Gevork Mkhsyan, Mike Montgomery,
Jessica Munoz, Danielle Ochi, Andy Owen, Tigran Palyan, Lee Previant,
Carlo Reyes, Rebecca Reyes, Tara Rose, Michael Sacchetto, Jillian Savani,
Lindsay Schwartz, Erika Shao, Matt Soroky, Mary Trinh, Matthew Weiner,
and Chris Wheeler.
The Southwestern University Law Review welcomes 2007-2008 associate
editors Zhenia Agadzhanova, Vivian Bodey, Tyler Clark, Ellen Cohen,
Anna Cole, Agnes Huang, Chad Holley, Sudhir Lay, and Gilbert Saucedo,
and staff members Mark Abell, Evan Anziska, Jose Arambulo, Mark Burns,
Daniel Csillag, Charles Fairchild, Ann Hendrix, Tracy Hughes, Hakop
Keshishyan , Nicole Lomibao, Tigran Palyan, Hunter Rodriguez, Arby
Aiwazian, Astineh Arakelian, Josh Buck, Brian Chang, Elmira Danelyan,
Nathan Hanning, Kalinda Howard, John Hynes, Joyce Ann Lee, Kyle McCormick,
Romboud Rahmanian, Michael Sacchetto, and Erika Shao.
The Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas welcomes
2007-2008 staff members Sanaz Aryanpanah, Heather L. Blaise, Rudolph
E. Brandes, Chad C. Chen, James J. Chyau, Alex K. DiBona, Jordan S.
Esensten, Jennifer Faitro, Juan Gil, John R. Greenwall, Jeffrey Hui,
Christina Y. Hsu, Adam M. Lee, Hillary B. Levun, Violet Mayo, Mohammad
Parvand, Matin Rajabov, Andrew Rawcliffe, Kevin Rosenberg, Jack D.
Ross, Matthew E. Roston, Vartan J. Saravia, Jonathan M. Turco, Michael
J. Vener, Jeffrey C. Walker, Sanam Yasseri, and Vickie Yiannoulou.
Students Take on Positions to Assist SBA
The Student Bar Association is proud to announce the Commissioners and
Support Staff for the 2007-2008 school year.
The Board has worked hard to create an extensive network of support
and additional positions have been assigned to assist all of the
efforts put forth by the SBA this year.
Student Affairs (Day) - Lindsay Gardner
Student Welfare - Sara Dresser
Academic Affairs - Allan Holzer
Activities/Ethnic Affairs - Danielle Daroca
Community Affairs - Romy Rahmanian & Neda Farah
Alumni Affairs - Rachelle Mehrinfar
Alumni Affairs - Tyler Chasez
Business Affairs - Paul Rorie & Aaron Case
Parliamentarian - Michael Sacchetto
Student Activities - Lorraine Davidovics
Student Affairs (Evening) - Aleksandra Urban
Webmaster - Alex Kidd
Southwestern Student Participates in LASA Conference
Second-year day student Leah Jones recently attended the 27th Annual
Latin American Studies Association Conference in Montreal, Canada, September
5 to 8, after she was granted a travel award through her undergraduate
work at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a B.A.
in Liberal Arts and minors in Journalism and Environmental Studies.
her undergraduate study she took a class called "Amazonia
in the Arts: Ecocriticism versus the Economics of Deforestation." This
was an experimental course offered simultaneously in Reno, Puerto Rico,
and Ecuador, which explored the emotional impact of the humanities
(art, film literature) in helping to halt deforestation. It was through
this class that Jones was selected to be the student representative
at the Latin American Studies Conference. Based on a paper she wrote,
she was one of 31 students who received a travel award and turned her
writing into a presentation for her panel.
"This solidified my desire to use my law degree to work in the
area of international natural resources," said Jones, who is co-president
of the Environmental Law Society at Southwestern. "I believe that
the environmental issues damaging the health of our planet need to
be dealt with on a global level. The conference was an incredible opportunity
to immerse myself in the arena of international policy."
71 Students Participate in Fall Externships
This semester, 71 Southwestern students are serving in externships, including 21 in judicial offices, 21 government agencies, 9 in public interest agencies, 19 in In-house Legal Departments (consisting mostly of companies in the entertainment industry) and 1 international placement. Visit the Externship section for more information on how to apply and get hands-on experience in the legal field.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
A Dozen Questions for Professor Tara Walters
Q: What was the most important thing you learned about legal
research and writing when you served on the Georgetown Immigration
A: To accurately cite to your sources. Inaccurate quotes and
citations cause readers to question the writer's credibility. If readers
question a writer's credibility, they will not trust the arguments
that are made in the article or brief. The writer's reputation as a
lawyer or scholar could be damaged, and in a practical setting, the
client's case could be compromised.
Q: As a Legal Research and Writing fellow at Georgetown, were
you teaching law students while you were still in law school? What was
that experience like?
A: Yes, as a second-year law student at Georgetown, I taught
legal research and writing to first-year students. I was responsible
for teaching the material that was not covered in the professor's large
lecture, commenting on student papers, and holding conferences with each
student to discuss their progress. I absolutely loved my job as a Law
Fellow. It was wonderful to see my students' writing improve throughout
the year and to know that I had played a significant role in helping
them develop into effective lawyers.
Q: With a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford, did
you always want to work in the legal profession?
A: Sort of. When I decided to pursue International Relations,
I intended to use my degree to pursue a career in diplomacy or international
business. So, although I had not always aspired to be a practicing attorney,
I did think that knowledge of the law was something that would be important
to my career goals. However, during law school I interned at both corporate
and public interest law firms. Based on those experiences, I decided
that practicing law was an ideal fit for me.
Q: Are you originally from California? What is your favorite
thing about living in Los Angeles?
A: Yes, I am a Los Angeles native. My favorite things about
living in Los Angeles are my extended family, the weather, and Mexican
Q: As a litigator, your cases ranged from insurance coverage
disputes to products liability to complex commercial litigation. What
was one of the most memorable cases you worked on?
A: Because I worked for a fairly large firm, I normally spent
my time representing defendants. However, one of my most memorable cases
was a case where we represented the plaintiffs. Although we were successful
in getting our clients a very large monetary award, it wasn't the money
that made the case memorable. Rather, it was watching how our success
positively impacted some of the more intangible aspects of our clients'
lives. Our work on the case ultimately restored our clients' professional
reputation and revived their careers, which I understood to
be much more important than the monetary award that they received. My
work had an incredibly personal and life-changing impact on my clients,
and from that point on, I approached my cases from a different perspective.
Q: Why were you drawn to Southwestern?
A: I wanted to teach at a school that embraced skills-based and practice-oriented
courses such as LAWS. When I learned that Southwestern's legal research and
writing course played such a crucial role in the first-year curriculum, I knew
that Southwestern was the perfect place for me.
Q: If your students could only take away one piece of knowledge
from your classes, what would you want it to be?
A: To always maintain the highest professional and ethical
standards. As we discuss in class, those standards include a duty to
represent your client honestly and thoroughly, to complete memos and
briefs accurately and in a timely fashion, and to treat the bench,
your colleagues, clients, and opposing counsel with respect.
Q: What are some of the most important things law students need
to do when preparing for their Moot Court and Trial Advocacy experiences?
A: The first piece of advice is to prepare, prepare, prepare.
I think that first-year students would be surprised to know how much
time and preparation goes into successfully competing in either the Moot
Court or Trial Advocacy competitions. Successful competitors must know
their arguments inside and out, and therefore must research extensively,
read relevant cases more times than they care to remember, and practice
their oral arguments or closing statements in front of family members,
friends, and anyone else who might lend an ear. My second piece of advice
is to be open to criticism. No one is perfect when they start the competition.
So, being able to use your professors' criticism during class and during
the competition to improve your writing and oral presentations is crucial
Q: What do you think is the most beneficial aspect of the new
LAWS course that Southwestern implemented last year?
A: It's hard to choose just one. However, I think the addition
of LAWS Week has had the greatest impact on the first-year experience.
My students seemed to enjoy it and to appreciate the chance to focus
on basic analytical and class preparation skills before their other classes
began. And many doctrinal professors noticed a positive difference in
the students' level of preparation for their classes.
Q: What are you favorite legal-themed TV shows and movies?
A: I am not a big fan of legal-themed TV shows because they
are usually so unrealistic. My favorite legal-themed movies are 12
Angry Men, A Civil Action, and Philadelphia. Oh,
and my "guilty pleasure" movie is Legally Blonde.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I'm happy to say that my 11-month-old daughter has hijacked almost all of
my free time. However, I also love sports (especially playing softball and
tennis, and following the Dodgers) and salsa dancing.
Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: It would be something monumental, like ending world hunger, or finding a
cure for cancer or AIDS.
"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?
This month - Jessica Cohen, Second-Year Day Program
Jessica Cohen has infused her passion for animal rights into Southwestern's
curriculum and student organizations. She successfully campaigned for
an Animal Law class, the first of which is being offered this semester
as a 2-credit course that meets on Saturdays and is taught by Professor
"I really felt that, given the notable student interest,
the dire issues facing animals, and the emergence of a formidable animal
rights and animal law movement, our school should be offering a course
in Animal Law," Cohen said. "It's no longer a peripheral side field. There is the prominent Animal
Legal Defense Fund, the National Center for Animal Law, countless non-profits,
numerous annual conferences, and many well-known legal scholars and practitioners."
also established and is president of the Animal Law Society - a group
dedicated to protecting animal interests through the law. In addition to its
returning 50-plus members, another 17 first-year students have joined
the organization this semester. Cohen wants to bring more speakers
to campus, collaborate with other Southern California law schools, and
start a legal project so that students can make a substantial difference
in animals' lives.
Although her father is a bankruptcy attorney, Cohen didn't think that she was
going to pursue the legal profession. Born and raised in a Los Angeles neighborhood
near the La Brea Tar Pits, she became interested in animal rights when she
was in high school, but thought that devoting her career to the cause would
steer her towards politics. She ultimately learned, however, that lawyers could
fight on behalf of animals, whether as solo practitioners, counsel for non-profits,
lobbyists, elected officials, or law professors. "My hope is to use the
law to generate as much change (for animal welfare) as possible, whether through
local ordinances, key litigation, or statutory reform," said Cohen, who
has volunteered for a cat rescue organization and is "mommy" to felines
Smokey and Reece. A self-taught drummer since age 14, Cohen earned a degree in Science
and Technology Studies with a Law and Society minor from Cornell. She also enjoys music,
hiking, reading, watching So You Think You Can Dance and being in natural places.