On July 22, National Bar Association President Pamela J. Meanes presented the “Presidential Award for Education Initiative” to Western State College of Law “for exemplary service to the NBA” at its annual convention, held in Los Angeles at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel last week. Associate Dean of Students Charles Sheppard accepted the award on behalf of Western State. President Meanes recognized Professor Tracie Porter for her role and outstanding service as National Chairperson of the National Bar Association’s 2014-2015 Symposiums and the exemplary manner in which the west coast segment of the 25th Annual Wiley A. Branton Issues Symposiums was hosted at Western State last October. The award was presented to Western State after the conclusion of a dynamic panel discussion Professor Porter co-moderated with Dean Everett Bellamy, Adjunct Professor of Law of Georgetown University Law Center, Washington D.C.
Professor Stacey Sobel was featured in an article in the July issue of Lawyer and Statesman, an annual publication of the National Jurist magazine. In the article, “So you want to be a leader in your industry?”, in which four lawyers with different legal backgrounds were interviewed about their experiences in becoming experts in their fields, Professor Sobel spoke about the importance of networking and volunteering for legal organizations as a young public interest attorney.
Professor Sobel also has been quoted in a recent article regarding transgender employees in the workplace. In “Transgender Employees Seeking Greater Workplace Protections,” at Mainstreet.com, she discussed how employers can assist workers who are transitioning on the job by having inclusive workplace non-discrimination policies and a human resources department that is prepared to work with their employees, and urged employers to educate themselves on the law where they are based and conduct business.
Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen gave two one-hour presentations at this year’s State Bar Solo and Small Firm Summit on June 18, 2015, in Newport Beach, California. One presentation was entitled “Time Management for the Busy Attorney,” and the other was entitled “The Paperless Law Office: Using Technology to Maximize Efficiency and Profit.” The State Bar’s California Young Lawyers Association has asked Professor Pedersen to produce two recorded segments on those same topics for its Ten Minute Mentor program, where CYLA members can view ten-minute videos on topics related to the practice of law.
Professor Cheyanna Jaffke recently returned from the U.S. Tax Court Judicial Conference at Duke University. Attendance at the conference is by invitation only and Professor Jaffke was invited by the Chief Judge of the U.S. Tax Court, Michael Thornton. She had breakfast with Judge Eric G. Bruggink, senior judge on the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC, met and spoke with Justice Antonin Scalia, and had dinner with Judge Robert A. Wherry, Jr., senior judge of the U.S. Tax Court.
The United States Supreme Court cited and quoted Professor Jennifer Koh in its majority opinion in Mellouli v. Lynch, an important case involving the immigration consequences of crime. In Mellouli, the Court held in a 7-2 opinion that a lawful permanent resident’s conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia under Kansas law (in this case, involving four unidentified pills contained in a sock) did not trigger deportation. The majority opinion, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, cited and quoted Professor Koh’s law review article, “The Whole Better Than the Sum: A Case for the Categorical Approach to Determining the Immigration Consequences of Crime,” 26 Geo. Immigr. L. J. 257 (2012) extensively to support the contention that the “categorical approach” – a methodology used by adjudicators to determine whether a conviction should trigger adverse immigration consequences — “is suited to the realities of the system.” (Slip op. at 7). Earlier this year, Professor Koh weighed in with her thoughts on the Mellouli case in an online symposium at crimmigration.com.
The Clinical Law Review has announced that Professor Jennifer Koh will join its Board of Editors in January 2016. The Clinical Law Review is a semi-annual peer-edited journal devoted to issues of lawyering theory and clinical legal education, and is jointly sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), and New York University School of Law. Members of the Board of Editors serve for a term of 6 years, and work with authors publishing in the Clinical Law Review to edit articles as well as serve as small group leaders in the journal’s annual writers’ workshop.
Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen presented at the State Bar offices in Los Angeles on May 22 on the topic of Making Good Client Choices. He was asked to present as part of the California Young Lawyers Division Annual Practical Skills Training Symposium, a two-day training program for young lawyers. The presentation included a series of video clips and discussion focused on heading off practice problems by identifying potential client issues in the intake process.