Washington College of Law Fountain

Legal Eagle Vol. 9 Winter 2008


Washington College of Law Announces Increased Funding for Public Interest Repayment Assistance Program

Dean Claudio Grossman announced today that, thanks to the generosity of alumni, the school has allocated an additional $500,000 to the Public Interest Loan Repayment Assistance Program or PILRAP.  The additional funding significantly increases the school’s ability to fund its commitment to the practice of public interest law. Additionally, the Student Bar Association has committed $67,000 towards this program.

“Essential to the mission of our school is a commitment to public service, but also the freedom to choose to practice in the public interest,” explained Grossman. “If a student has secured loans to finance the high cost of going to law school, the resulting debt may well make the difference between choosing a career in public interest law or a more lucrative position in private practice. We want to make that choice a little easier for our students. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our alumni, who understand the importance of this program and who have made this possible.”

PILRAP operates by providing loan repayment assistance for JD graduates who work in full-time, non-profit government or other employment serving under-represented or traditionally marginalized populations.

In addition, according to Charlene Gomes, Public Interest Coordinator in the Office of Public Interest, the eligibility standards will be broadened to allow more students to participate. “At WCL, we recognize the financial hurdles faced by graduates seeking public service careers and offer a wide variety of programs and resources to keep debt manageable and facilitate the transition from law student to public advocate.  In addition to PILRAP, WCL provides up to 10 full-tuition Public Interest/Public Service Scholarships annually, Equal Justice Foundation grants for students pursuing unpaid public service internships over the summer, and individualized career development counseling.”



2/21/2008 - GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Happy Hour
6:30PM - 8:30PM
Location: DC Coast Restaurant

2/27/2008 - Philadelphia Alumni and Newly-Admitted Students Reception
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: The Union League Club of Philadelphia

2/27/2008 - Professor Nancy Polikoff Reception and Book Signing
: 4:30 PM
Location: WCL Dean’s Suite, 3rd Floor

3/03/2008 - Dean’s Business Law Lecture Series with Louis M. Dubin, ’87, President and CEO, The Athena Group, LLC
Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: WCL

3/05/2008 - Eleventh Annual Hispanic Law Conference: Latino Perspectives on the 2008 Election
Time: 9:00AM - 7:30PM
Location: WCL

3/06/2008 - First Thursday Multicultural Alumni Reception
: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Ardeo Restaurant

3/06/2008 - San Francisco Alumni and Newly-Admitted Students Reception
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Fairmont Hotel, Fountain Room

3/07/2008 - San Diego Alumni and Newly-Admitted Students Reception
: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Dussini Mediterranean Bistro

3/08/2008 - Los Angeles Alumni and Newly-Admitted Students Reception
: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Hotel Angeleno, West Lounge

3/09/2008 - Boston Alumni and Newly-Admitted Students Brunch
Time: 11:00AM - 2:00PM
Location: Café Fleuri in the Langham Hotel

3/13/2008 - Chicago Alumni and Newly-Admitted Students Reception
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Cru Cafe and Wine Bar

3/19/2008 - New York Alumni and Newly-Admitted Students Reception
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: The Union League Club of New York

3/19/2008 - APALSA  - The First Annual WCL Asian Pacific Americans and the Law Dinner
Time: 6:00 - 9:00PM
Location: WCL

3/20/2008 - EJF Auction and Alumni Reception
Time: 7:00 - 11:00 PM
Location: WCL

4/05/2008 - Miami Alumni and Newly-Admitted Students Reception
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: The Capital Grille

4/16/2008 - Women and the Law Leadership Luncheon
Time: 12:00 - 2:00PM
Location: The Cosmos Club, Washington, DC

4/16/2008 - 12th Annual Sylvania Woods Conference on African Americans and the Law
Time: 9:00 - 5:00 PM
Location: WCL

Please visit our web calendar at www.wcl.american.edu/calendar for details on these (and other) events as they become available. (These events are designed for alumni and one guest. Alumni are invited to attend any event regardless of where they live.)


Founders' Celebration 2008 Program of Events

 ** = Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Accreditation will be applied for

FEBRUARY 18 When the Law Meets the OB/GYN: The Intersection of Jurisprudence and Medical Ethics in Women's Health **
FEBRUARY 20 Thinking Big When Choosing Small:The Secrets of Small and Mid-Size Law Firm Hiring
FEBRUARY 21 The New U Visa Regulations: Understanding Their Application and Building Collaboration **
MARCH 3 Dean’s Business Law Lecture Series with Louis M. Dubin, ’87, President and CEO, The Athena Group, LLC **
MARCH 5 Eleventh Annual Hispanic Law Conference: Latino Perspectives on the 2008 Election **
MARCH 6 What do We Know About Tribal Courts?  An Examination of the 30th Anniversary of Oliphant
MARCH 17 First Annual Freedom of Information Day Celebration
MARCH 18 Exploring Alternative Careers:  Looking Inside, Outside and Around the Law
MARCH 19 Second Annual Conference in Honor of the U.S.-Israel Civil Liberties Fellowship Program
MARCH 21 Innovations in the First Year Curriculum
MARCH 26 Richard S. Levick Annual Lecture: International Litigation & Crisis Communication
MARCH 27 Climate Change and Claiming the Arctic Circle **
MARCH 29-30 The Ninth Annual National High School Moot Court Competition

For more information on Founders Programs, CLE credits and fees, email secle@american.edu or visit www.wcl.american.edu/secle.

Reception to Celebrate the Release of the 4th Annual Human Rights Academy Book

March 18, 5:30pm, WCL
The American University International Law Review (AUILR) and Academy on Human Rights (AHR) will be hosting a reception in the WCL Dean’s Suite celebrating the release of the 4th Annual Human Rights Academy Book. We warmly invite alumni to attend and celebrate the contributions of the AUILR and the AHR to the International Human Rights Scholarship.
RSVP to Laura Sierra at ilr-ahrhl-book-editor@wcl.american.edu.


First Annual WCL Asian Pacific Americans and the Law Dinner

March 19, 6:30pm - 8:30pm, WCL
WCL's APALSA invites you to a dinner which recognizes and honors WCL alumni and students who are committed to serving the community. The keynote speaker, William Tamayo, Regional Attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will discuss the important legacy that Asian Pacific Americans have made in the legal field and the persistent issues that make being Asian Pacific American attorneys of color meaningful in society and in the legal realm.He will highlightthe ongoing commitment and work needed in order to ensure justice and equality for all communities in the 21st century.
Sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of DC

EJF Annual Public Interest Auction

March 20, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Every year the Equal Justice Foundation Public Interest Auction raises money to fund scholarships for students who are working in unpaid public interest internships over the summer.  The students who are funded by EJF devote their time to various organizations and agencies working on behalf of underrepresented populations in the United States and abroad.  The Auction is a fun event where alumni can reconnect with friends and bid on a variety of unique items.  Mark your calendars and EJF will keep you posted on the items that will be auctioned this year. 
Contact: David Jaffe, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, djaffe@wcl.american.edu or Alexandra Bradley, EJF Executive Chair, 2007-2008, ejf@wcl.american.edu


First Annual Criminal Law Brief Symposium

April 5, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The number of law schools engaged in producing criminal law publications has been steadily rising in the last few years, thus creating the need for an open network and community of the individuals engaged in producing these journals.  This first annual symposium will provide a forum to explore the experiences of law students and criminal law practitioners engaged in producing and writing for national criminal law publications, as well as to discuss recent trends and changes in criminal law.  The symposium will consist of panel discussions, a keynote speaker, and an awards ceremony honoring various journals and individual authors.
Please email us at CrimLawBrief@wcl.american.edu if you have any questions.
Sponsored by the American University Criminal Law Brief, the Criminal Law Society, the Society on Law and Government, the Office of Alumni Relations, and the Office of Career and Professional Development.


Marshall-Brennan High School Moot Court Citywide Playoffs

March 8, 2008
The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project seeks the help of WCL alumni to serve as judges for a local moot court competition for high school students.  Now in its ninth year, the Marshall-Brennan Project places WCL students in DC-area public high schools throughout the city to teach courses in constitutional law or juvenile justice.  As part of our curriculum, the law-student-teachers train their students to compete in a moot court appellate competition. The winners from each of our 14 classes this semester will compete in a citywide playoff on March 8 at the U.S. Courthouse in D.C. (3rd Street & Constitution Avenue NW) and will be divided into three rounds.  Alumni volunteers are  asked to commit to one of the following time slots:  9:30am-12:00pm, 12:30pm–3:00pm, or 3:15pm-4:30pm. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
For more information or to volunteer, contact:  Steve Wermiel, associate Director, Marshall-Brennan Project at swermiel@wcl.american.edu

The Modern American Publication: Submissions Welcome

The Washington College of Law’s Modern American, a student-run publication, reaches over 100 countries around the globe. The editors invite you to submit an article for the fall 2008 issue.  Our goal is to present articles dedicated to the progressive analysis of the current social and legal remedies for issues facing these minority communities as well as featuring a broad spectrum of stimulating articles by students, legal scholars and practitioners from all over the country. We look forward to your submissions.
For more information about how to submit an article for publication or to read the latest issues online, visit www.wcl.american.edu/modernamerican.  For further information or to send an artcle,  email  tma@wcl.american.edu.  Additional information available on the LexisNexis and v.lex.com database.


*Special rates for WCL Alumni

*Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Specialized Summer Program

May 26-June 13, 2008
The 2008 program will offer 10 courses in English and 7 in Spanish on topics related to human rights law and international humanitarian law. The classes will be taught by world-renowned scholars and activists in the human rights field. The program offers an innovative and diverse curriculum tailored to meet the needs of professionals, practitioners and students specializing in human rights. 
Participants come from over 30 countries, each with a varied background and differing levels of professional experience as well as law students from the US and abroad.  Concurrent with the courses, the Academy also sponsors Human Rights Month which offers participants additional academic opportunities through conferences, site visits and a human rights film series.
For more information, visit  www.wcl.american.edu/hracademy , email hracademy@wcl.american.edu  or call 202-274-4070.

*2008 Summer Session on Enviornmental Law

The 2008 Summer Session will take place from May 27 to June 13, 2008.
The Summer Session on Environmental Law directed by Professor David Hunter, provides law students and practitioners with an opportunity for intensive environmental law training during a three-week period. Courses are taught by leading practitioners from government, business, and non-governmental organizations. The summer session offers two two-credit courses, and 5 one-credit courses including one in Spanish. For more information about the Environmental Summer Session, visit the program website at:  http://www.wcl.american.edu/environment/summer/.  You can also send an e-mail to David Hunter at dunter@wcl.american.edu or Susana Castiglione at castiglione@wcl.american.edu.

*Health Law and Policy Institute

The Summer Session of the first annual "Health Law and Policy Institute" will be held from June 16-20, 2008 at the law school. Educational tracks include: Medical Issues for Lawyers, International Health and Human Rights, Legal Issues in Health Care Fraud and Abuse, Intersection of Intellectual Property and Health Care, and Health Law and Life Sciences Fundamentals, featuring a Washington Insiders Update. Alumni can earn CLE credits at a reduced attendance fee.
For further information, please contact Corrine Parver, Practitioner-in-Residence and Executive Director, WCL Health Law Project, at 202-274-4136 or cparver@wcl.american.edu.

*International Arbitration Program

May 26-June 13, 2008
Course offerings include:
- Nuts and Bolts of International Commercial Arbitration (course also available in Spanish for academic credit)
- Salient Issues in ICC Arbitration;
- International Commercial Arbitration and Choice-of-Law Issues;
- Investor-State Arbitration, Current Developments;
- How to Conduct an International Arbitration Proceeding;
For more information contact Dr. Horacio Grigera Naon, Program Director at (202) 274-4321 or arbitration@wcl.american.edu www.wcl.american.edu/arbitration


Spring Recruitment Program/Employment Opportunities for Students and Alumni

OCPD began its Spring Recruitment Program in January. The program highlights summer opportunities and post-graduate positions with small and mid-size law firms, government agencies, public interest organizations, judicial internships/clerkships and other employers.
For more information or to participate, please contact Bridget Beirne, Recruitment Coordinator, at bbeirne@wcl.american.edu or (202) 274-4095. In addition, if you know of any opportunities for recent graduates or other alumni, please forward that information to jobs@wcl.american.edu.

Alumni Job-Search Assistance

WCL alumni have full access to OCPD’s on-line and office resources to use for their career development.  Alumni are encouraged to register for our on-line jobs database, CareerLink, through our website. Also, under OCPD’s Alumni Services link (http://www.wcl.american.edu/career/alumni.cfm), alumni will find access to our Mentor Database, Job Exchange Bulletins, find information about Reciprocity to other law schools’ career offices, as well as free access to the Career Library portion of Lexis.
Contact: Matthew Pascocello, Esq. is our Alumni Counselor and is happy to meet with alumni by appointment either in person or by phone. Contact Matthew at 202-274-4092 or mpasco@wcl.american.edu.

Alumni Mentor 

One of the best ways for students and alumni to get the inside scoop about employment trends, opportunities, and information about what it is like to practice a particular area of law, or with a particular employer, is by asking alumni who have "been there” and “done that.”  WCL Alumni Mentors play an integral role in affording students and fellow alumni the opportunity to conduct networking and informational interviews.  In a competitive marketplace, the need for such valuable contacts and opportunities cannot be overstated.  Statistically speaking, more lawyers get jobs through networking than from any other job search method!  The Office of Career & Professional Development encourages you to enroll today to be a Mentor by contacting alumni counselor Matthew Pascocello.
Contact: Matthew Pascocello -- 202-274-4092 or by email at  mpasco@wcl.american.edu.


Nancy Polikoff’s new book, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law has just been published by Beacon Press. Polikoff argues that married couples should not receive “special rights” denied to other families. When marriage serves as the bright dividing line between those relationships that legally matter and those that do not, she notes, countless families suffer. Polikoff criticizes the conservative “marriage movement” for blaming all social problems on the decline of life-long heterosexual marriage. She also takes issue with the gay rights "marriage-equality movement" for attributing the legal problems facing same-sex couples to the inability to marry, rather than to the legal consequences inappropriately attached only to marriage. Her valuing-all-families solution is true to the roots of the gay rights movement and consistent with decades-old legal changes that have made marriage matter less.
For more about the book, and for a list of Prof. Polikoff’s speaking engagements around the country, go to www.beyondstraightandgaymarriage.com

In addition, please join us for a reception in celebration of the book release on February 27 at 4:30 PM (see information under upcoming events)


The College Cost Reduction and Access Act will allow manypublic service employees to obtain forgiveness on the balance of their Federal student loans after 10 years in qualifyingemployment and 10 years of qualifying payments. The Act assists graduates with high educational debt and low incomes by lowering monthly student loan payments on federally guaranteed student loans (Income Based Repayment or IBR), and, for public service lawyers, canceling remaining debt after 10 years of repayment (public service forgiveness). At this time, there are no regulations implemented under this new bill. WCL will continue to track the status of regulations and update students and alumni with new information. To learn more about the bill and its potential benefits for public service employees, please review the information at the following links:




The Public Interest Committee is seeking nominations for the 2008 Peter M. Cicchino Awards. The awards are given annually in honor of former WCL Professor Peter M. Cicchino, who passed away in 2000. Prof. Cicchino was a brilliant scholar and teacher, and a brave and creative public interest lawyer, who among many other accomplishments founded the Lesbian and Gay Youth Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City.
Three awards will be given to recognize the accomplishments of one current WCL student, and two alumni who exemplify the highest level of dedication to working with marginalized and underserved communities either domestically or abroad.
Nominations are due by February 29th to the Office of Public Interest. The 2007-2008 Public Interest Committee will review the applications and vote on this year’s winners. Award recipients will be recognized with the presentation of a plaque and a cash award at the Cicchino Public Service Awards Dinner on April 8th.
For more information or for a nomination form, visit http://www.wcl.american.edu/publicinterest/ or email cegomes@wcl.american.edu