Washington College of Law Fountain

Programs and Events

Legal Eagle Contact

Shelly Horn
Director of Alumni Relations
Office of Development & Alumni Relations
(202) 274-4036

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Legal Eagle

Vol. 19 Fall 2009

Dear Friends,

I have very exciting news to share with you about an alumni reunion program the Washington College of Law will be hosting on April 8-10, 2010 in Miami, Florida entitled Practicing Law in an Interconnected World. It will bring together graduates from both the JD and LLM programs to discuss contemporary legal issues facing the world today. A similar conference was held in 1997 and it was a huge success. There were more than 150 participants and alumni who have been asking that we host the conference again. I am also happy to have the endorsement of the two directors of the LLM programs, Professors Padideh Ala'i (International Legal Studies Program) and Jamin Raskin (Law and Government).

This event is an ideal opportunity to promote your practice, develop your legal education, and network with other WCL alumni from around the world. In addition to its professional goals, the conference will provide ample opportunity to reminisce about your times at WCL, see old friends, make new ones and have some fun in the process. Faculty members of the Washington College of Law will be participating in the panels and presentations as well - consider this an ideal time to debate with your former professors!

We have structured this two-day conference to maximize the benefits of those attending. We will be organizing roundtables with alumni as well as offering presentations on key topics that will be finalized in the next few weeks. Your involvement in this event is critical because we want to hear alumni perspectives on the following topics: Trade, Business/Finance, Human Rights, Immigration, Arbitration, Environment, Natural Resources, Intellectual Property, Legal Education, and Tax. We encourage you to express your interest in one of the topics listed above by completing the online form at http://www.wcl.american.edu/events/miami2010/

If you would like to receive further details about this conference, please email miamiconference@wcl.american.edu. Registration information will be available shortly and we will be sending you the web site link. In the interim, please communicate your interest in participating as a panelist on any of the topics we plan to address at the conference. This will be a tremendous opportunity to develop our law school, establish new relationships with our graduates and stress the accomplishments of our very successful WCL community. We look forward to seeing you in Miami in April of next year.


Claudio Grossman


11/04/2009 - Mastering the Interview in a Tough Economy Webinar
Time: 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Contact: mpasco@wcl.american.edu

11/04/2009 - Northern Virginia Bar Association Swearing-In Ceremony and Alumni Networking Brunch
Time: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Greater Richmond Convention Center, Room B16

11/05/2009 - First Thursday Networking Reception (for Minority Alumni)
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: The District Chophouse, Washington, DC

11/18/2009 - NYC Alumni Programs and Reception
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM: Resume Roundtable
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM: NYC Legal Recruiters Program (light dinner served)
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM: NYC Alumni Reception
Location: Sayfarth & Shaw

11/19/2009 - Washington, DC Alumni Networking Reception
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: Acadiana Restaurant, Washington, DC

12/02/2009 - Maryland Alumni Networking Reception
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: Timpanos Restaurant, Rockville, MD

12/16/2009 - Recent Graduates (1-10 years out) Holiday Happy Hour
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: Hotel Sofitel

01/07/2010 - Alumni reception in New Orleans (During the AALS annual meeting)
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location: The Hilton, New Orleans Riverside, Two Poydras St.

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



11/24/2009 - Exposition and Roundtable Discussion of the Artwork of Renowned Artist Cole Sternberg '04
Location: Katzen Arts Center, American University (Evening)

Dean Claudio Grossman and the Faculty of American University Washington College of Law invite you to the Katzen Arts Center for an exposition and roundtable discussion of the artwork of renowned artist Cole Sternberg '04.  Sternberg's works address a variety of human rights concerns from humankind's historical genocidal nature to U.S. government-sanctioned torture to structural flaws of the United Nations. 
In addition to Sternberg's work, the exposition will feature several members of the WCL community including: Claudio Grossman, Dean; and Herman Schwartz, Professor of Law.  Immediately following the event there will be a reception.  For more information or to RSVP, please contact Patricia Harvey at, paharvey@wcl.american.edu or call, 202-274-4053.


WCL in the Spotlight

Photograph of Professor Diane Orentlicher

Washington College of Law Professor Appointed to U.S. Department of State
Diane Orentlicher is Second WCL Professor Appointed to Obama Administration

American University Washington College of Law (WCL) Professor Diane F. Orentlicher has been named Deputy, Office of War Crimes Issues for the U.S. Department of State. The Office of War Crimes Issues, led by Ambassador-at-Large Stephen Rapp, advises the Secretary of State directly and formulates U.S. policy responses to atrocities committed in areas of conflict and elsewhere throughout the world.

"Diane's pioneering contributions to the law of accountability and war crimes make her a perfect choice for the Office of War Crimes Issues," said WCL Dean Claudio Grossman. "We are certain that her appointment will further an important agenda for the rule of law in U.S. foreign policy."

For more information, click here: http://www.wcl.american.edu/news/orentlicherappointment.cfm





Business Law Society Seeking 4-5 Alumni

The Business Law Society seeks 4-5 Business Law alumni to join them for their annual Business Law Dinner on November 18 at Chef Geoff's Restaurant, 3201 New Mexico Ave., NW, Washington, DC. Alumni will meet/mingle with the Business Law students and then each alum will sit at a different table with students. This gives students the opportunity to ask questions about your career, hear about your practice and much more.
If you can assist, please email alumni@wcl.american.edu at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Moot Court Judges Needed: SAVE THE DATES AND REGISTER!

Want to get involved at WCL? Volunteer to be a moot court judge.
Two upcoming opportunities include:

11/21/2009 - Marshall-Brennan Karchmer Fall High School Moot Court Competition (for D.C.-area high school students in WCL Marshall-Brennan classes)
Judges are needed at WCL on Saturday, November 21, shifts available mornings or afternoons. To volunteer, contact, Marshall-Brennan Project Associate Director Maryam Ahranjani at mahranjani@wcl.american.edu.

5/23-28/2010 - The Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court is seeking interested alumni to help as judges with the 2010 competition.  The Competition is a unique trilingual (English, Portuguese, and Spanish) competition designed to train law students to use the Inter-American human rights legal system to address human rights violations.  Participants come from over 100 universities from throughout the Americas and beyond.  For more information about the competition or becoming a volunteer, please contact Milli Legrain at iamoot@wcl.american.edu or (202) 274-4215.


Reunion 2009

This year's reunion successfully brought together 150 alumni, guests and students together for the 2nd Annual Reunion Weekend Open House.  The weekend continued with Class Dinners on Saturday, October 17, at The City Club of Washington.  Alumni enjoyed remarks by Dean Claudio Grossman, and key-note speaker Joe Johns '02.

We thank all of the Alumni who joined us for this weekend of fun and socializing, and for making the 2009 Reunion such a success. 

A special thank you to our 2009 Reunion Committee members for all of their contributions:

  • Christopher Caple, '04
  • Holly Bencivenga, '99
  • Todd Gleason, '99
  • Bernadette Rossmoore, '99
  • Lisa Levine Kempner, '94
  • Richard Rendeiro, '84
  • Monica Monroe, '84
  • Al Mannato, '79
  • Rhonda Hill Wilson, '79
  • Kirk Betts, '79
  • Terence Smolev, '69
  • Milt Cerny, '59
  • Tom Fisher, '59

If you are interested in assisting The Office of Alumni Relations with future reunions, please email reunion@wcl.american.edu. Thank you.


Each reunion year class has an Incircle (alumni online community) group page. You can join and keep up with your classmates too!  Just go to wcl.afinitycircles.com and register today!



The Office of Special Events and Continuing Legal Education continues with a full fall schedule of conferences, programs and CLE opportunities. Please visit http://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/fall/2009/events.cfm for more information on November programs, or email secle@wcl.american.edu.

A few programs coming up include:

Post-Trips International Enforcement of Intellectual Property **

Environmental Law Program with Center for International Environmental Law **

The State of the State Secrets Privilege **

Deputizing Industry and Government Employees to Advance Food Safety

Deputizing Industry and Government Employees to Advance Food Safety

**CLE Accreditation will be applied for


Office of Diversity Services

11/23/2009 - Dean's Diversity Council Annual Program and Dinner
Location: WCL, Ceremonial Courtroom (603)

  • 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM: The Conversation:  "Remembering Scottsboro":  A reconsideration of this historically and socially significant civil rights case by the writer/scholar and the lawyer/scholar, as moderated by the judge.   Dr. James A. Miller, Chair, American Studies Dept., George Washington University and author of the recently-published Remembering Scottsboro; Professor of Law Angela Jordan Davis, Washington College of Law; The Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland, DDC Member.
  • 5:30 PM - 6:15 PM: Book signing and reception, (Student Lounges)
  • 6:30 PM: Dinner - Speaker: Sanya Sukduang, Esq.,'99, DDC Member, Partner, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LL.P

For additional information contact Sherry Weaver, director of the Office of Diversity Services, (202) 274-4032 or sweaver@wcl.american.edu; registration through the Office of Special Events and CLE, secle@wcl.american.edu.


Office of Career and Professional Development

Annual Career Day for 1Ls
Date: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Time: Registration for practitioners begins at 12:30 PM and lunch at 1:00 PM
Location: WCL, 6th Floor
Please consider participating in WCL's Annual Career Day for 1Ls, sponsored by the Office of Career & Professional Development (OCPD). The day begins with an introduction to OCPD, followed by a presentation on professionalism in the legal market,and a panel of upper classmen and practicing attorneys. The highlight of Career Day, however, is the Alumni & Practitioner Luncheon where each practitioner heads a table of eight students to discuss their legal careers and provide practical advice. Our students always welcome the opportunity to speak with practitioners. This is a wonderful opportunity to mentor a new law student for a day, reconnect with the school, and network with other alumni. If you are interested in participating in the Alumni & Practitioner Luncheon, please contact Eliza Park Musallam in OCPD at musallam@wcl.american.edu or 202-274-4339.  We hope you can join us!

Recruitment Programs/Employment Opportunities for Students and Alumni
OCPD continues to accept employer registrations for the ongoing Fall Recruitment Program, which will conclude in December. The program highlights summer opportunities and post-graduate positions with small and mid-size law firms, government agencies, nonprofits, the judiciary, and other employers.
The office will soon begin the process of sending out employer registration forms & brochures highlighting our 2010 Spring Recruitment Program, though which employers may solicit applications from current law students seeking summer or post-graduate employment.  The Spring Recruitment Program will run from January through May 2010.  For more information or to participate, please contact Robin Fulton, Recruitment Coordinator, at rfulton@wcl.american.edu or (202) 274-4095. 
As always, if you know of any opportunities for recent graduates or seasoned alumni, please forward postings to jobs@wcl.american.edu.

Alumni Career Development Listserv
The Alumni Career Development Listserv has been launched by OCPD offering alumni a forum through which to announce career-related events, programs, networking opportunities and job leads that might be of general interest to the alumni community, as well as to solicit job-search advice, information, and referrals within particular geographic regions or practice areas. (Note: please continue to submit formal job postings through CareerLink to ensure maximum exposure to the WCL student and alumni communities.). The listserv will be moderated to ensure appropriate usage.  To subscribe, please email Alumni Counselor Matthew Pascocello at mpasco@wcl.american.edu.

Alumni Career Development Programs, Listserv, and Webinars
OCPD has created a series of Alumni Career Development Programs, Webinars and an Alumni Listserv to offer new graduates and seasoned attorneys timely and easily accessible career-related advice. To access upcoming programs, please visit the WCL main was calendar and OCPD's CareerLink. Additional services for job seeking alumni can be found at OCPD's Alumni Services link (http://www.wcl.american.edu/career/alumni.cfm) where you can gain access to the Mentor Database, Job Exchange Bulletins, find information about Reciprocity to other law schools' career offices, and find information pertaining to auditing classes at WCL as well as free access to the Career Library portion of Lexis. Alumni Counselor Matthew Pascocello is happy to meet with alumni by appointment either in person or by phone. Contact him at 202-274-4092 or mpasco@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 the on-line jobs database, CareerLink, through the OCPD website. Also, under OCPD's Alumni Services link (http://www.wcl.american.edu/career/alumni.cfm), alumni will find access to the Mentor Database, Job Exchange Bulletins, 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., Alumni Counselor, by appointment either in person or by phone at (202)-274-4092 or mpasco@wcl.american.edu.

Consider Becoming an 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 at 202-274-4092 mpasco@wcl.american.edu.


Program on Law and Government

The Torture Memos: Lawyers, Ethics, and the Rule of Law (Presented by the Program on Law & Government)
Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: WCL, Room 603
*** Ethics CLE credit applied for

This event will begin with a keynote address by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse regarding the legality and ethics of the Department of Justice's torture memos. It will also feature a screening of Tortured Law, a 10-minute documentary by Alliance for Justice examining the role lawyers played in authorizing torture, with an introduction by Fellow in Law & Government William Yeomans. Following the film screening, a distinguished panel of practitioners and scholars will reflect on Senator Whitehouse's remarks, Tortured Law, and the torture debate.
Register at www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration/

Obama, Community Organizing, and the Alinsky Centennial Celebration
(Co-sponsored by the Program on Law and Government, Health Law and Policy and the Office of Career & Professional Development)
Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Time:  4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: WCL, Room 603

Often called the father of community organizing, Saul Alinsky launched his legendary career in the 1940s on the South Side of Chicago, not far from the neighborhoods where young Barack Obama learned and applied Alinsky's ideas in the 1980s. "It was the best education I ever had," Obama said of his community organizing experiences. Today a new generation of organizers is following in Alinsky's and Obama's footsteps. Moderated by Corrine Parver '82; Practitioner-in-Residence and the Executive Director of Health Law and Policy, Program on Law and Government, American University Washington College of Law. The panel discussion will include remarks by Professor Jamie Raskin; constitutional law scholar, Maryland State Senator, and Director of the WCL Program on Law and Government, Amy Vruno; an attorney at the Washington Interfaith Network (an affiliate of Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation), Sanford D. Horwitt; author of Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life and Legacy, and Arnie Graf; senior organizer, national staff, Industrial Areas Foundation.
Register at www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration/

Public and Infrastructure Finance in the Wake of the Financial Crisis: Emerging Legal and Policy Responses
(Joint Program with the Program on Law & Government and the National Association of Bond Lawyers)
Date: Monday, November 9, 2009
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: WCL, Room 603
*** CLE credit available

This one-day joint conference will explore whether current American legal structures are adequate to support the public finance and infrastructure priorities of cities, states and metropolitan regions in the wake of the financial crisis. The program will begin at 10:00 AM.
With states facing budget gaps totaling more than $350 billion for the next two years, while experts estimate the U.S. infrastructure needs of the 21st Century require at least $2.2 trillion in immediate investment, this promises to be a timely event. Leading financial and legal experts in the fields of tax, municipal securities, federalism, and infrastructure will be brought together with prominent policymakers on four unique panels. Questions to be addressed include:

  • What is the proper role of the federal government in assisting state's capital and infrastructure finance?
  • What are the constitutional limits of the federal government's role?
  • Are there constitutional or other practical limits to federal regulation of state and local finance rules?
  • Is the U.S. tax code the proper vehicle by which to incent infrastructure investment?

To see a list of confirmed speakers, click here. Register at www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration/

Is America Ready for the Popular Election of the President?: A Debate on the National Popular Vote Movement
(Joint Program with the Program on Law & Government and the American Constitution Society)
Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: WCL, 6th Floor Student Lounges

Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, and Washington have adopted the National Popular Vote Interstate compact by which states will cast their Electoral College votes in presidential elections for the winner of the national popular vote. Is this the "next logical step" in the unfolding of political democracy in America, as advocates claim? Is it the undoing of a careful compromise by the Framers that has served America remarkably well, as opponents argue? Four leading experts will debate the issue and invite audience questions and discussion.
Register at www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration/

The Voting Rights Act after NAMUDNO
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Time: 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: WCL, Room 603
*** CLE credit available

The program will bring together officials from the Department of Justice and Congress with leading practitioners and academics to discuss the meaning of the Supreme Court's decision in NAMUDNO v. Holder. Many thought the Court might strike down the recently renewed Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires covered jurisdictions to preclear changes with the Department of Justice or a federal court before they can go into effect. Instead, eight Justices joined an opinion that raised serious questions regarding the authority of Congress to enact the legislation, but ultimately turned on an interpretation of the statute to allow more jurisdictions to "bailout" from its coverage. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has been the nation's most powerful tool over the past 40 years in ensuring equal opportunity at the ballot box. Our distinguished panel will explore whether the Act's enforcement by the Department of Justice will be affected, whether more jurisdictions can be expected to escape coverage, whether the Act is in jeopardy, and ultimately, whether civil rights advocates need to think about new remedies for ensuring meaningful access to the ballot.
Register at: www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration/


Externship Program

Legal interns available to work for Summer, Fall and Spring Semesters
Last year, over 300 WCL students earned academic credit for their unpaid legal work at a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, courts, and law firms engaged in pro bono projects in the Washington D.C. area. During the summer, externs can also work in other states and even other countries.

The legal community benefits tremendously from the extensive legal work performed by these enthusiastic students who are eager to obtain hands-on experience. Students can earn credit for up to 20 hours of work per week during the fall and spring semesters and can work full-time during the summer semester. The spring semester begins the second week of January. The students must be engaged in substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney. If you would like us to provide students with information about the firm, organization or agency with whom you work, please contact the Externship Program: Avis L. Sanders, Director, ALSanders@wcl.american.edu, or Samantha Satz, externship@wcl.american.edu. Phone: 202-274-4200.