News and Events @ American University Washington College of Law October 2008

This is the inaugural edition of the American University Washington College of Law eNewsletter aimed at keeping our community and friends informed about the law school's exciting programs, events, and developments. As we begin this process, we welcome any feedback you may have.

Just the Beginning Foundation Conference Brings Federal and State Judges to WCL, Sept. 25 - 26

Washington College of Law hosted two programs as part of the Eighth Biennial Just the Beginning Foundation Conference, “Reaching Back, Lifting Up.” On Sept. 25 – 26, the “Robes in the Schools” and “The Pathfinder Judges Panel” programs brought more than 100 federal and state judges to WCL, as well as high school students participating in WCL's Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. MORE

WCL Launches Innovative Lawyer Re-Entry Program

Washington College of Law is launching a comprehensive, 6-day Lawyer Re-entry Program to prepare lawyers to re-enter the profession. The program includes one-on-one professional coaching, and helps participants explore career options, update their critical skills (technology, legal research, and job search), and learn how to reestablish professional networks. The program begins Oct. 24 and runs on Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 15. MORE

Dean Grossman Addresses Prevention of Torture in Federal States

Dean Claudio Grossman was invited by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) to present at the international seminar, “The Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture: Challenges and Possible Solutions in Federal States,” Sept. 24 – 26 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The seminar explored approaches and solutions for the designation of effective National Preventive Mechanisms (organizations charged with conducting unannounced visits to centers of detention to ensure torture is not taking place). Grossman, in his capacity as chair of the UN Committee against Torture, addressed the role of UNCAT in Federal States.

Program Expands Clinical Education at Chinese Law Schools

Washington College of Law professors spent three weeks in China this summer conducting the faculty workshop “Establishing and Enhancing Clinical Legal Education in China.” The program helps Chinese clinical law professors learn the methods and techniques used by U.S. law schools and teaches them how to adapt these techniques to the Chinese legal and education systems. WCL Professors Elliott Milstein, Susan Bennett, Robert Dinerstein (pictured with Chinese clinical professors), and Visiting Professor Jennifer Lyman headed up the workshop along with Professor Susan Bryant of CUNY School of Law. MORE

WCL Welcomes New Distinguished Faculty Members

WCL welcomed Robert L. Tsai, Mary D. Fan, Elizabeth Keith, and Heather Ridenour to the full-time faculty this fall. Both Fan and Tsai are teaching Criminal Procedure this fall, while Keith and Ridenour have joined the Legal Rhetoric Program. In addition, 12 visiting professors and practitioners-in-residence have joined the WCL faculty this fall. "WCL is honored to have such an outstanding group of professors as members of our exceptional faculty," said Dean Claudio Grossman. "They bring diverse legal, teaching, scholarship, and service backgrounds to the law school and I am certain they will have an extremely positive impact on WCL's future lawyers." MORE

International Week Highlighted by 2nd Annual Lecture on International Law, Embassy Reception

WCL held its 2nd Annual International Week Sept. 15-19 to promote awareness of international law and create a better understanding of what it means to live in an international community. Jose Alvarez (pictured with ILSP Director Daniel Bradlow), Hamilton Fish Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at Columbia University, presented “Contemporary International Law: Empire of Law or the Law of Empire?” for the 2nd Annual International Legal Studies Program Lecture on International Law, Thursday, Sept. 18. The lecture was followed by the 9th Annual Embassy Reception. MORE

WCL Students Honored for Public Interest Work

Three WCL students were named to Equal Justice Works' 2008 Summer Corps Program, which rewards select law students upon completion of at least 300 hours of summer service at a nonprofit public interest organization. The recipients and their areas of work were Shiwali Patel '10, Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, prisoners' rights; Erin Pulice '10, Legal Aid Society of DC, domestic violence; and Sarah Purce '09, Northwest Justice Project, general legal services. Typically, 7-11% of WCL graduates accept postgraduate public interest employment, far higher than the national average of 3%. READ MORE about the WCL Office of Public Interest.

Innocence Project Frees Wrongfully Convicted Man

Venable LLP and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project at WCL helped free wrongfully convicted Aaron Michael Howard, who served years for a 1990 murder he did not commit. New evidence disproved the eyewitness testimony used to convict Howard at trial and established Howard’s innocence. "Mr. Howard's case shows once again that innocent people are convicted of crimes they did not commit," said Eily Raman, assistant director of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project. Two WCL alumni, Moxila Upadhyaya, a Venable associate, and Zack Rosenburg, worked on the case. MORE

Introducing the 2008 JD Entering Class

This fall, Washington College of Law welcomed 381 full-time and 93 part-time students. These students graduated from 205 different undergraduate institutions and are residents of 38 states, the District of Columbia, and eight foreign countries. They speak 33 foreign languages and were born in 31 foreign countries. Prior to entering law school, more than 36 worked on Capitol Hill, four were AmeriCorps Volunteers, eight were Peace Corps Volunteers, 144 studied abroad, and 68 worked overseas. Forty percent of the students identify themselves as members of ethnic or racial minority groups. See the full admissions profile.

WCL Holds 3rd Annual Lecture on International Commercial Arbitration

Washington College of Law hosted more than 100 Washington, D.C. practitioners, government representatives, law faculty, and students to hear The Hon. Sir Vivian Ramsey, QC, Justice of the High Court in London share his perspective on “Establishing Claims for Damages, Costs and Interest in International Arbitration” as part of the Third Annual Lecture on International Commercial Arbitration, sponsored by Thelen LLP. MORE

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