Southwestern Launches the Only Summer Abroad Program on International Information Technology Law
Led by an outstanding faculty of international legal scholars, Southwestern will offer a new summer abroad program in London, England focusing on international information technology law (IT Law). The five-week curriculum at the University of London will run from June 22 through July 24, 2009.
"Information technology law is a global field, which requires an international approach," said Professor Michael D. Scott, Director of the International Information Technology Program. "This is the first summer abroad program to focus exclusively on IT law, and to provide students an opportunity to learn how IT law is developing in the United States, Europe and beyond." Read more.
Family, Friends and Partners Day is Just Around
Family, friends and partners are invited to experience a day in the life of their law student on Saturday, October 11 from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. This opportunity to meet other family members, friends and partners of Southwestern students, and have 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, and any additional questions may be directed to the Institutional Advancement Office.
Harvey Levin, Host/Executive Producer of TMZ in Conversation at Southwestern
Harvey Levin, host and executive producer of "TMZ" and Managing Editor of "TMZ.com" will be the next guest for the law school's "A Conversation With..." series, presented by Southwestern's Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute. Professor David Kohler, Director of the Biederman Institute, will conduct the discussion titled "Gotcha! Is America's Fascination with Celebrities Changing the Face of Journalism and the Law that Governs It?" on Wednesday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Southwestern. Read more.
Conversation with Cotton Rescheduled
"A Conversation With Richard Cotton" has been rescheduled for Thursday, November 20. The Executive Vice President and General Counsel of NBC Universal will discuss "Protecting the Peacock: The Challenges of Representing an Integrated Entertainment Company in the 21st Century." Click here for more information.
Help Promote Public Interest Activities and
PILW Career Fair
The 18th 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 30 with the Public Interest Career Fair and end on November 7 with the much-anticipated Live Auction/Variety Show. Many more exciting events, including the Bake Sale, Trivia Bowl, Keynote Speech, Faculty Exercise-A-Thon, the Silent Auction, and a special Election Day Party, will be taking place throughout the week. Money raised through these 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 page. For more information, please contact the Student Affairs Office or Public Interest Law Committee Co-Chairs Fritzgerald Javellana and Liz Adams.
Extending a Helping Hand for First-years
Professor Paul Bateman, Director of the Academic Support Program, will present a number of workshops integrated into each section's course schedule to further assist first-year students. Look out for announcements about upcoming workshops!
Law School Exam Preparation
- Section A: Wednesday, November 5, 3:45 p.m. in W611
- Section B: Tuesday, November 4, 3:15 p.m. in W611
- Section C: Thursday, November 6, 9:30 a.m. in W511
- Evening Section: Wednesday, November 5, 7:45 p.m. in W311
Alumni are Welcomed through the Nickel Club
The Alumni Association is pleased to introduce the Nickel Club, a new alumni organization designed to serve the specific needs of Southwestern alumni who have graduated within the past five years.
The Nickel Club's objectives are to provide support and resources to recent alumni and to foster relationships between recent graduates and current students (who are welcome and encouraged to join and participate in any Nickel Club events).
Nickel Club MCLE: "He Did What? Courtroom Etiquette for Attorneys and How to Avoid Common Pitfalls"
Tuesday, October 14
6:00 p.m.: Registration; 6:30 p.m.: Seminar; 7:30 p.m.: Networking Reception
Louis XVI Room (Second Floor, Bullocks Wilshire Building)
Student admission is complimentary. Reservations are required, and will be first come, first served.
Nickel Club San Fernando Valley Regional Networking Happy Hour
Thursday, November 16, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Location TBA
For more information or to RSVP for the above events, contact the Institutional Advancement Office.
Additional Alumni Networking Events
Armenian Law Students Association Alumni/Student Networking Reception
Thursday, November 13, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Salle Moderne (Fifth Floor, Bullocks Wilshire Building)
Asian Pacific-American Law Students Association Alumni/Student Networking Reception
Thursday, November 13, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Louis XVI Room (Second Floor, Bullocks Wilshire Building)
Latino Law Students Association Alumni/Student Networking Reception and Annual Hoover Toy Drive Launch
Thursday, November 20, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Fourth Floor, Bullocks Wilshire Building
Career Services Events
The Career Services Office (CSO) will be hosting the following upcoming workshops and events:
On Tuesday, October 14, the Environmental Law Forum in conjunction with Professor Ronald Aronovsky, and the LACBA Section on Environmental Law will host a panel presentation on Careers in Environmental Law at 12:30 p.m. in BW370. A variety of panelists, including Jennifer Novak from the California Attorney General's Office, Bob Nicksin from O'Melveny & Myers, Pat O'Toole from the Law Offices of Pat O'Toole, and Vince Gonzales from Sempra Energy, will discuss a variety of career options within environmental law. Lunch will be served.
On Tuesday, October 21, the CSO will host a presentation, So you want to be a District Attorney? at 12:30 p.m. in W311. The presentation, lead by Southwestern alum and Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Craig Kleffman '05, will discuss what Deputy District Attorneys do, what you need to do to prepare for such a career, as well as other practical pieces of advise for this career path.
On Thursday, October 30, the CSO will host the Annual Public Interest Employers Career Fair on the Promenade at 12:15 p.m. (see article on other Public Interest Law Week activities above). Numerous public interest organizations will be available on campus to chat with students about volunteer, summer, and career positions with their organizations. This is a great way for students to learn about different practice areas and options, start the networking process, and potentially meet an employer that can help develop their resume.
On Monday, November 3, the Career Services Office will host its Annual Open House. All students, especially 1Ls, are encouraged to drop by the CSO, on the third floor of the Westmoreland Building, and meet the CSO Team, learn what the CSO has to offer, and view the available resources. The CSO will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and refreshments will be served all day.
On Tuesday, November 4, the CSO will host Professor Ira Shafiroff's seminar, How to Start Your Own Law Practice at 4:45 p.m. in W311. This very informative seminar will discuss the pros and cons of opening up a solo practice as well as provide practical tips to accomplish this goal. Professor Shafiroff opened up his own practice after law school, so he has developed an expertise on this subject. Even if you don't plan on "going solo" right out of law school, this is a practical seminar to attend for anyone who eventually wants to be her/his own boss.
On Wednesday, November 12, the CSO will host Resume Writing for 1Ls at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m. in W311. This workshop will focus upon how 1Ls can build their resumes and phrase their experience to make it more attractive to legal employers. All class years are invited to attend!
Alumni Q & A with Hon. Dolores Carr '80, District Attorney, Santa Clara County
Q: What was it about Southwestern that appealed to you when choosing a law school?
A: I was born and raised in San Francisco and commuted during my four years at UC Berkeley as an undergraduate. I thought if I didn't leave San Francisco for law school, I would probably never live anywhere else. The husband of a bank colleague of mine lived in Southern California, mentioned Southwestern to me and recommended it. It looked like a good school, and not too far from home, so I applied there.
Q: What activities were you involved in during law school?
A: I participated in Moot Court which I enjoyed very much. During my second year, I interned at the Los Angeles Municipal Court Planning and Research Unit, and during my third year, I interned at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. I was able to try two misdemeanor jury trials and decided I wanted to be a trial lawyer.
Q: What was your favorite law school memory?
A: Law school was tough, but Southwestern turned out to be a good fit. The seeds of my professional development were planted and I found my niche as a trial lawyer.
There are two things I always tell people: I didn't intend to be a lawyer until I was a year out of college - with an undergraduate degree in Spanish - yet it turned out to be a terrific choice for me. And when you're in law school, you've got to hang in there.
Q: Where did you work during your four years in private practice?
A: I worked in Los Angeles for a sole practitioner who had a general civil practice, and did some civil litigation. In San Jose, I worked for a small firm that practiced criminal defense and civil litigation. At this firm, two of the three partners had been deputy DAs early in their careers, and they were fond of telling stories about their days at the DA's Office.
Q: During your 15-year tenure as a deputy district attorney for Santa Clara County, what were some of your most memorable cases?
A: I handled a number of sexual assault trials, and to this day, I remember all of my victims. For example, I successfully prosecuted and sent to prison a man who had raped a young woman he had met in a bar, a so-called "acquaintance rape." Several years later, she invited me to her wedding. When I suggested to her that I understood if she might not want to see me as she walked down the aisle (painful memories), she told me that she didn't think she could have ever gotten married if it were not for the work I had done on her case. Of course I attended the wedding.
I was the first deputy DA in California to specialize in prosecuting sex offenders who failed to register their address with local law enforcement. This was in 1994, after the three strikes law passed, and the failure to register became a felony. Almost my entire caseload was made up of child molesters and rapists facing 25 years-to-life for not updating their address.
Q: Why did you volunteer to preside over the family division of the Santa Clara County Superior Court after you became a judge in 2000? What was it that made that court so controversial (according to the Daily Journal Profile written about you in 2001)?
A: About 3 or 4 years before I became a judge, there was a group of people who had lost custody of their children to the other parent, and believed they had not been treated fairly by certain judges and mental health professionals who had evaluated their ability to parent. These people formed a loosely knit coalition and picketed the courthouse. They caused such an uproar that the presiding judge conducted an investigation which revealed a severe understaffing in both the number of judges and mental health professionals assigned to make decisions in these very important cases. Positive changes were made, although it was not a place that judges were anxious to go, mainly because it had been a hotbed of controversy as well as the still staggering workload.
I was low on the seniority list of judges, which meant that it was likely I would be assigned to a less desirable assignment, but I was also interested in handling cases outside of criminal law, which I had practiced for most of my career. So I volunteered to go to family court, and a year later was asked to supervise the division. It was a terrific assignment - never boring, complex legal issues, interesting human problems, and fast-paced.
Q: You've run several successful campaigns, including the race for an open judicial seat in 2000 as a newcomer, triumphing over a local veteran prosecutor to become the first woman District Attorney in Santa Clara County. Based on your successes, what do you believe to be the most important thing needed to run successful campaigns?
A: To run for office countywide is truly challenging. I attribute my success in my two elections to having earned a reputation over my career for being hard-working, ethical and fair. It is also helpful to have a good campaign consultant, and most of all, I am fortunate to have the best "campaign spouse" ever.
Q: What is the biggest challenge of being the DA of Santa Clara County?
A: Maintaining a great office in the face of seven straight years of budget reductions.
Q: Talk about your work on the Board of Reappraisers for the Committee of Bar Examiners. What was your process for developing questions for the California Bar Exam?
A: We solicited questions from law professors, and then edited them many times. We then pretested them using bar graders to get feedback - such as whether they were the right length, if the call of the question was focused enough, were there enough or too many issues, and the like. By the time we were done, sometimes they looked nothing like the original submittal.
Q: What do you think is the most important thing for law graduates to study (or perhaps an effective way to prepare) for the California Bar Exam?
A: My advice is to write as many sample answers as you can, using the IRAQ approach: identify the issue, state the rule of law, apply the facts to the law, and come to a conclusion.
Q: Of your vast professional accomplishments, which makes you most proud?
A: One of the most frustrating issues in family court to me was the lack of resources for parents and children. Even parents who saw the need for counseling, drug/alcohol treatment, parenting classes or counseling for their children were often so overwhelmed that they simply could not follow through. In 2002, I had the good fortune to meet some wonderful people at the First 5 Commission, which funds programs for at-risk children from ages 0-5. They immediately understood that children in the middle of their family's divorce or breakup are inherently at risk, and agreed to provide $3 million over a 3 year period to our family court. Through our partnership, we trained a number of bilingual resource specialists whose job it was to connect these at-risk families to services in the community. The unique partnership between family court and First 5 continues to this day, and the program was recently recognized by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
Q: What advice would you give to Southwestern students who would like to become prosecutors?
A: Try to work in a prosecutor's office as a law student to obtain some exposure to the practice.
Q: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of the legal profession?
A: I am devoted to exercising as close to daily as possible. I enjoy the ballet and theatre, especially musical theatre, and love to dance.
Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: I cannot imagine achievement without some risk of failure. It would take away the satisfaction of having overcome the challenges one faced.
Southwestern Selected as First Law School to Award Prestigious International Law Fellowship
Southwestern will be the first law school in the nation to participate in an exciting new program of long-term international law fellowships being offered by the John Hazard Institute of Hanover, New Hampshire.
The program, known as the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Fellowships, provides young American lawyers with two or more years of cultural immersion and intensive law and language study in a country crucial to U.S. international interests, followed by a final year practicing international law or teaching comparative international law at the participating law school. Each fellowship is worth between $200,000 and $300,000, depending on destination and the status of the Fellow. Read more.
PROFESSOR WARREN GRIMES
PROFESSOR SUNG HUI KIM
- Presenter, "Fifteen Years of Supreme Court Antitrust Jurisprudence: The Defendant Always Wins," The Development of Competition Law Since 1990 and Perspectives, Third ASCOLA (Academic Society for Competition Law) Conference, University of Zurich, Switzerland
PROFESSOR DAVID KOHLER
- Gatekeepers Inside Out, 411 GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF LEGAL ETHICS 21 (2008)
- Moderator, "In (the) House: Exploring the careful balancing act of addressing legal and business needs within a company," Beverly Hills Bar Association's In House Counsel Committee, Beverly Hills
PROFESSOR JAMES KUSHNER
- MEDIA AND THE LAW (with L. Levine; Lexis Nexis, 2008)
- Urban Neighborhood Regeneration and the Phases of Community Evolution After World War II in the United States, 41 INDIANA LAW REVIEW 575 (2008)
- CLICK HERE FOR MORE FACULTY ACTIVITIES -
Langston Bar Association to Honor Professor Smith and Judge Beverly '69
In recognition of their outstanding contributions to the legal profession, Professor Karen Smith and alumnus Hon. William Beverly, Jr. '69 of the Los Angeles Superior Court (Ret.) will be inducted into the John M. Langston Bar Association of Los Angeles' Hall of Fame. They will be honored, along with three others, at the Langston Bar Association's 17th Annual Reception on Saturday, October 18 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel. Additional information can be found at www.langstonbar.org.
Student Ambassadors Selected
Southwestern is pleased to announce its new Student Ambassadors program. Students selected to participate will assist Admissions functions throughout the year and serve as an excellent resource for prospective students and applicants.
After a careful selection process and recommendations from faculty, the following students have been named as Southwestern Student Ambassadors for the current academic year: Tadeh Akopian, Arash Arjang, Celia Beckwith, Leslie Bouvier-Hashemi, Chris Chaplin, Charles Chineduh, Sylvia Chiu, Ashley Decker, Chris DeClue, MyLoc Dinh, Alma Dumitru, Karin Erickson, Jennifer Faitro, Alan Harris, Jeff Harris, Ashton Inniss, Jieun Jacobs, Nancy Jones, Zena Kalioundji, Nitasha Khanna, Dabin Kim, Calvin Lowery, Ali Nosrat, Tom Porter, Yakeen Qawasmeh, Jillian Savani, Peter Schoettler, Jenny-Anne Sinson, Hilary St. Jean, Katherine Topor, Tiffany Woo and Sanam Yasseri.
"Their duties will be to come to admissions events, serve on student life panels, act as tour guides occasionally, and in general, be a resource to prospective students and current students alike," said Lisa Gear, Director of Admissions at Southwestern. "I think the Southwestern Student Ambassador program is an ideal way to bridge the desires of current students to offer their support to their law school while providing a much needed service."
With the Ambassador program in place, Southwestern will be able to reach out to applicants more and will continue to cultivate these new relationships. "I am very excited about the opportunity to support not only my school as a whole, but also to help prospective 1L's choose the best academic program and atmosphere possible," said Jeffrey Harris, a second-year PLEAS student who, in addition to serving as Student Ambassador, is also Director of Student Activities/Affairs for the SBA, member of the Ad Hoc Committee, and a Teen Court Liaison. "I hope to turn prospective students onto the idea that Southwestern is the best law school choice for them and that all the hard work they put in here as actual students will pay off!"
Law Review and Law Journal Announce New Staff Members
The Southwestern Law Review welcomes 2008-2009 staff members Arash Arjang, Armine Bazikyan, George Benjamin, Sylvia Chiu, Matt Cohen, Anna Cronk, Ashley Decker, Gary Dennis, Alma Dumitru, Amber Gosney, Karen Hallock, Alya Haq, Zoe Jamail, DaBin Kim, Landon Lerner, Erin Louria, Thomas Miletic, Brier Miron, Ali Nosrat, Milan Politi, Thomas Porter, Yakeen Qawasmeh, Penina Shadrooz, Matt Tobias, Neil Vanderwoude, Matthew Weiner and Tiffany Woo.
The Southwestern Journal of International Law welcomes 2008-2009 staff members Garen Aliksanian, Valentina Ambarchyan, Christopher Chaplin, Charles Chineduh, Sara Dresser, Karin Ericson, Brandon Fischer, Nadisha Foster, Nicholas Garces, Jesse Goff, Daniel Hashimi, Justina Hooper, Ashton Inniss, Ronald Kuo, Rachel Martin, Janessa McCune, Nicole Prado, Mahima Raghav, Carlo Reyes, Rogi Sanchez, Geoff Sloniker, Matthew Schroeder, Jenny-Anne Sinson, Erika Tarankow, Gabriela Vanca and Melissa Wetkowski.
81 Southwestern Students Participate in Fall Externships
This semester, 81 Southwestern students are serving in externships, including 19 in judicial offices (including 4 on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals), 27 in government agencies, 10 in public interest agencies, 23 in In-house Legal Departments (consisting mostly of companies in the entertainment industry) and 2 international placements (Ireland and Indonesia). Visit the Externship section for more information on how to apply and get hands-on experience in the legal field.
AudioCaseFiles Now Available
In response to student requests, the law library has added AudioCaseFiles to the electronic resources and technology pages on Southwestern's website. To view it, visit the Study Aids section of the website.
AudioCaseFiles provides audio MP3 files of opinions found in selected law school casebooks. AudioCaseFiles can be downloaded and played from a personal computer, burned to a CD or copied to an MP3 player for listening while commuting. The site also provides video of selected trials and hearings. Register with your Southwestern e-mail address to take advantage of Southwestern's membership.
Please note: To listen to the opinions in one of the library's computer labs, you will need headphones. If you do not have them, you may check a set out at the Circulation Desk. If you want to download the files, please bring a CD or flash drive. You should not leave these large files on the library server.
Human Rights Fellowship for Argentine Lawyers Established at Southwestern
In an effort to promote the training of young Argentine lawyers in civil liberties and human rights, the family of Jose Siderman and the Fulbright Commission in Argentina have established the Fulbright-Jose Siderman Human Rights Fellowship at Southwestern. The Fellowship will bring an Argentine law graduate to Los Angeles to complete an LL.M. degree in Civil Liberties and Human Rights or Advocacy at the law school. The program complements the association Southwestern has maintained for many years with Argentina through summer programs, judicial externships and exchange programs in Buenos Aires.
The Fellowship is named for Jose Siderman, a successful businessman who was a victim of Argentina's "dirty war" and suffered kidnapping, torture and exile during the 1970's and 80's at the hands of that country's military dictatorship. He and his family won a settlement from the government of Argentina in a landmark human rights case heard in federal court in Los Angeles in 1996. The family felt a fellowship in human rights law would help contribute to the future protection of human rights in Argentina.
The Fulbright Commission in Argentina will select one Siderman Fellowship recipient per year as part of its regular grant competition. The program involves nine months of study at Southwestern and a three-month externship with a civil liberties public interest organization. Applicants must be law graduates from an accredited Argentine law school and will be selected on the basis of their academic ability, English language fluency and potential for furthering human rights and social justice in Argentina. The fellowship provides funds for living expenses, books, health insurance, and round-trip airfare from Argentina. More information can be found online.
Alicia Oliveras, SOS Assistant, Administrative Services Office, earned her B.A. degree in Psychology and Law from the University of California, Riverside. While attending UCR, she also worked as an English Tutor at the Oxford Tutoring Center, a Front Desk Clerk at the University Fitness Center, and participated in the study abroad program at UC London/Bloomsbury Center. Ms. Oliveras gained additional experience as a Litigation Intern at the Air Quality Management District and a Public Affairs Intern at the Department of the Interior.
Erin Pushkin, Dean's Office Assistant, earned her B.A, degree with honors in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. While attending school full-time, she also worked for three years as a Product Placement Assistant at The Entertainment Marketing Company. Widely traveled, Ms. Pushkin's educational background also includes specialized studies at Oxford University, England as well as the Universita di Firenze in Florence, Italy.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Q: What has been one of your most memorable cases at Public Counsel?
A: Tough question. Many are very memorable. The immigration cases involving teens have all been memorable to me. The work involved kids who don't have a support system because they've been removed from their parents due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. I became bonded to many of the clients. You get to know their lives and they depend on you. When I left Public Counsel I didn't expect my clients to have such intense sadness when I was leaving. One client cried and wrote me a letter about how I changed her life. The letter itself was really beautiful. With some clients, I simply wasn't able to transfer the file to another attorney and brought them (to Southwestern) so that I could continue working on the cases.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of leading Public Counsel's Children's Rights Project?
A: Trying to figure out what to focus on and keeping that focus. Within every area of children's rights there are so many problems and so much room for improvement. We tried to be selective about our cases and focus on specific areas so that staff could develop expertise in that area. For example, the newest Children's Rights subproject provides regional center advocacy (and other advocacy services) to families with children with developmental disabilities. However, the work is limited to children under juvenile court jurisdiction or who were adopted out of the foster care system.
Q: What inspired you to transition from working as a litigation associate for a private firm while volunteering for Public Counsel to working full time at Public Counsel?
A: I always wanted to do public interest work. That was my goal in law school. The firm I worked for was very progressive and supportive of pro bono work. I had a good experience and learned a lot. The year I paid off my student loans I was hired by Public Counsel as a staff attorney.
Q: What was your favorite aspect of teaching the Children and the Law course at the University of Southern California?
A: I enjoyed working with students and observing their transformation as they developed advocacy skills and an understanding of the importance of access to justice.
Q: What is the most common piece of advice you give to your law students?
A: To be patient in terms of trying to figure out what you want to do. I think many students are anxious to get a job as soon as they graduate from law school. I think finding the right job takes time and patience. It's important to realize you've got your whole life ahead of you and things won't happen in one day or as soon as you graduate. It's important to pursue something different if you're not happy; don't get stuck. There are so many opportunities as a lawyer. And, be creative; you don't have to have every requirement listed in a job posting. If you're interested, go for the job. You may turn out to be a good fit for the firm or organization even if you don't meet every listed requirement
Q: What are the mission and goals of Southwestern's new Immigration Law Clinic?
A: The mission is to help students develop strong lawyering skills and at the same time serve the community. In Los Angeles, there's such a great need for high quality immigration services... By working on real cases, students will have a sense of responsibility and ownership of their work product.
The Clinic will provide free legal representation to clients in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) (clients under the age of 21), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and U visa cases. This will involve cases where clients have been abused, neglected or abandoned or have been victims of crime. The Clinic will also include a community outreach component where law students will give presentations on immigration options, immigrant student access to higher education and know-your-rights informational sessions. Following the presentations, students will hold community clinics where teens and adults can ask immigration related questions. If the person is eligible for SIJS, VAWA or the U visa, the Immigration Clinic will offer legal representation.
Q: What do you foresee being the biggest challenges of running such a clinic?
A: The biggest challenge will be having the right number of cases at the right stage to coincide with the law school semester. Timing the flow of case referrals will be challenging because they're real and you can't control when things happen to people and when they'll seek legal assistance.
Q: What do you see as the biggest issues nationally regarding immigrants' rights?
A: Definitely for me a big issue is the limbo status of undocumented kids and the need for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act - which would provide green cards for children who go to college or serve in the military.
Q: How will the Immigration Clinic work in collaboration with Southwestern's Children's Rights Clinic?
A: Professor Julie Waterstone and I are certainly going to cross-refer clients. We believe a holistic approach is crucial to working with youth and we will work to serve their needs.
Q: What do you like most about living and working in Los Angeles?
A: I've been in Southern California a long time. It's a great place to work because of the great community of non-profit organizations and public interest opportunities. There's so much work to be done and a huge need for public service oriented lawyers.
Q: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of the legal profession?
A: I have a young son so a lot revolves around him. I love to travel. We recently took a trip to South America so we could introduce our son to my family in Chile.
Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: I would pass the DREAM Act.
"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?
This month - Arby Aiwazian, Third-year Day Program
Arby Aiwazian's interest in advocacy started on the stage. His ability to engage an audience solidified when he played Duke Orsino in Glendale High School's production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." Aiwazian didn't pursue theater in college but he began thinking about how to capitalize on his strengths while he was a Political Science major at UCLA. "I thought about where my skill set would be most useful. Litigation isn't just about arguing, but rather is about a thorough analysis of all sides of an issue and then an eloquent, persuasive advocacy for your client's particular side of that issue," he said. "I still have some interest in theater in the sense that I eventually want to be a trial lawyer. I think having a theater background is going to help me because part of being able to win a case is being able to tell a compelling story, which is what you have to do as an actor. As an attorney, you're advocating for a client and trying to convince a judge and jury that you have the more compelling story."
But much like the intense rehearsal processes and classical training that the finest actors commit to, Aiwazian has devoted his impressive tenure at Southwestern to immersing himself in his studies as well as externships, jobs and campus activities to attain his goal of becoming a successful civil litigator. As soon as he finished his work as a summer associate at Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC in August, he commenced his externship for the Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In the summer of 2007, he externed for Justice Earl Johnson, Jr. of the California Court of Appeal. A Dean's List student, Aiwazian also serves as an Associate Editor of the Southwestern Law Review and as a Senior Dean's Fellow, where he collaborates with the Student Resource Center to assist law students with their studies.
Aiwazian also knows how to make the most of opportunities. As a member of the Law Review, he fulfilled his writing requirement by authoring a Note titled, "Transformative Mediation: Empowering the Oppressed Voices of a Multicultural City to Foster Strong Democracy," which will be published in a forthcoming edition (Volume 11) of The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Minority Issues, a leading minority issues law publication. To write the Note, he drew on his past experience as an intern for the Western Justice Center Foundation, where he assisted with the training of Pasadena police and school administrators in cross-cultural dispute resolution through the Community Nonviolence Resource Center.
"In my Note, I wanted to discuss the way that lawyers can make the idea of a more participatory democracy a reality," he said. "Transformative mediation allows disputants to take a hands-on role in managing conflicts. Mediation nowadays is a growing field but the most prevalent style, evaluative mediation, doesn't take under consideration the underlying emotions and reasons that people take on lawsuits. The successful application of transformative mediation techniques in legal and business settings ought to spur its more widespread use. Ultimately, transformative mediation promotes democratic empowerment by embracing the constitutive values of participatory democracy."
Southwestern's commitment to social justice, its diversity of programs, and its prominent alumni played an integral role in Aiwazian's decision on where to attend law school. "I heard that you learn how to become a great lawyer here. Southwestern's classroom experience and extracurricular opportunities bridge the gap between theory and practice and will surely enable me to hit the ground running."