Volume 4, Issue 6, September 26, 2013



What’s Going On

September 30-October 4: 

Graduation Registration | Registrar’s Office

October 2:

Career Services Sponsors Breezeway Chatter | Breezeway @ 11:00 a.m.

October 2:
(every Wednesday)

Prayer and Reflection | Room 202 @ 12:20 p.m.

October 3:

Graduation Pictures | Convocation Hall

October 3:

Lexis Nexis Training on Bar Application Background Check | Room A-111 @ Noon

October 17:

Distinguished Speaker Professor Hiroshi Motomura | Moot Courtroom @ Noon

All J.D. students must satisfy the Senior Writing Requirement (SWR) as a condition of graduation. Any student can seek to satisfy the SWR by successfully completing any course designated as a “seminar.” (This will necessarily include writing a paper.) Students just register for the seminar of their choice during the regular registration period. There is no pre-approval process if a student uses the seminar method to satisfy the SWR. Also, the seminar is worth two graded credits.

Instead of enrolling in a seminar, a student may attempt to satisfy the SWR requirement through one graded credit Independent Study with a full-time faculty member. To enroll for an Independent Study, the student must submit a proposal to the Curriculum Committee. For the Spring 2014 semester, the proposal must be submitted no later than October 15, 2013. The form needs to be completed and supplied with the other required information to the Law School Registrar prior to the deadline. The Law School Registrar will then provide the form to the Chair of the Faculty Curriculum Committee. You may turn in a hard copy or scan and e-mail a completed form and the other documentation to jjackson@stu.edu. Please request that you receive verification that it was timely received if you e-mail the documentation.

Only full time faculty members and certain adjuncts listed below are authorized to supervise a Senior Writing Project. You can check with the Student Affairs Office or the Registrar to ascertain whether a particular professor is authorized to supervise an Independent Study. The student must identify the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the project, and that faculty member has to sign off on the form before it is submitted to the Registrar. A student may do only one independent research project for credit. First year students may not undertake an independent research project.

The student also must include the semester in which the Independent Study will take place, the student’s date of graduation, and a one to two page topic report identifying the subject area of the law the student intends to research with a brief bibliography. The proposal should identify an area or aspect of the law that the student is interested in investigating and should narrow the subject area to one of manageable proportions. Some preliminary research will need to be done in finding a subject area. Additional research will be needed to narrow the subject area, and develop an original thesis or a novel approach to addressing a pressing societal problem. This should be done in consultation with the faculty member who will be supervising the project. The ideal proposal will include the specific area for focused research as well as the student’s tentative “take” on the subject matter. A note or paper done in connection with a law review competition may serve as a starting point and as a basis for a proposal to the curriculum committee, but cannot be used in and of itself to fulfill the Senior Writing Requirement.

Students should keep in mind that doing an Independent Study requires good time management skills and an ability to stay on task. These papers require weeks of research, outlines, and multiple drafts. This is not something that can be completed in a short amount of time. For many students, it is easier to find a suitable topic and progress toward a viable paper if it is done within the parameters of a seminar class, rather than as an Independent Study.

Keep in mind in approaching a possible faculty sponsor that he or she is not required to supervise Independent Studies. It will involve a substantial time commitment on his or her part. A student should approach those faculty members with particular expertise in the student’s subject area. While different faculty members will have different requirements, the student should expect to meet with his or her faculty sponsor on multiple occasions during the course of the semester. For example, depending on the faculty member, a faculty sponsor may expect the student to submit at different points during the semester a topic report and bibliography, a thesis statement or novel approach to addressing a particular societal problem, an outline, a draft paper, and a final paper. For a student’s paper to fulfill the Senior Writing Requirement, it also must conform to the Bluebook citation format.

All St. Thomas Law J.D. graduates are provided a commercial bar preparation program upon graduation. You should start thinking about which Bar Review Program is right for you. As part of the graduation registration process, you will be required to complete a Bar Review Selection Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. On this form, you will notify the law school of your Bar Review Program selection, which state bar you will be taking, and when you will be sitting for the Bar Examination.

The bar review programs options available to St. Thomas Law students are the following: (1) BARBRI Complete Bar Review Program, (2) Kaplan Complete Bar Review Program, (3) Themis Complete Bar Review Program, (4) BARBRI Complete Bar Review Program PLUS Kaplan 3 day and 6 day Program, or (5) Themis Complete Bar Review Program PLUS Kaplan 3 day and 6 day Program. All of the programs make materials available to 1Ls and 2Ls that allow students to review the types of material used by each program. Signing up to receive those materials from the various representatives does not constitute making the election to use that program upon graduation.

If you have any questions about the various programs, representatives from each program are available in the Law School Breezeway, or you may contact a representative via e-mail. For questions with regard to Kaplan, contact Amit Schlesinger at amit.schlesinger@kaplan.com; for BARBRI, contact Elyse Dubois at elyse.dubois@barbri.com; and for Themis, contact Nachman Susson at nachman.Susson@themisbar.com.

Make sure you do your homework and thoroughly research which program will be best suited to your study needs. Remember, each representative is going to try to “sell” you on his or her program. Please note your selection is final upon submission and cannot be changed. Be a wise consumer, and pick the program (or combination, as provided above) that works best for you.

The St. Thomas More Catholic Law Society invites the law school community to join it for ten minutes of prayer and reflection every Wednesday, at 12:20 p.m., in Room 202. All faiths are welcomed.

Faculty Announcements
Professor Lauren Gilbert's article, Immigrant Workers Face Social Insecurity, was published by the Miami Herald on September 10, 2013. The article focuses on a little known amendment to the Senate immigration bill that passed the Senate this past summer and that would have devastating economic consequences for immigrant workers who otherwise are eligible for relief under the legalization provisions in the bill. The article grew out of Professor Gilbert's collaboration this summer with the New York City Bar's Immigration Subcommittee, which is preparing a Position Paper on this topic, and with Don Kerwin of the New York City-based Center for Migration Studies.

Professor Fred Light and Keith Rizzardi will be participating in the LEC-PERC Joint Program on Economics, Law, and the Environment on October 2-6, 2013, at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana. Building on LEC’s tradition of bringing rigorous economic analysis to the law and on PERC’s tradition of doing the same for environmental policy, this joint program combines the best of both centers by integrating economics, law, and the environment. The mission of the Joint Program is to provide professors of environmental law and related fields with a view of environmental policy through the lenses of property rights and political economy.

On October 18, Professor Anthony Musto will be a panelist at a seminar entitled "Ethical and Professionalism Considerations in Appellate Proceedings," which will be held at the Third District Court of Appeal. Keith Rizzardi also will be on the panel.

Professor Marcia Narine spoke at West Virginia university at a two-day conference supported by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. The State Department, Department of Labor, academics, nongovernmental organizations, and large and small businesses participated. The conference was entitled “Business and Human Rights, Moving Forward and Looking Back.” Her paper was called “Living in a Material World - From Naming and Shaming to Knowing and Showing: Will New Disclosure Regimes Finally Drive Corporate Accountability for Human Rights?”

Professor Michael Vastine recently published the following two articles: The Status of Stand-alone INA §212(h) Waivers in 2013: Can Matter of Rivas Withstand Constitutional Scrutiny?, LexisNexis, 2013 Emerging Issues 7039, July 2013; and The Impact of Chaidez v. United States: The Past, Present, and Future Legacy of Padilla v. Kentucky, LexisNexis, 2013 Emerging Issues 6976, April 2013.

He also had several speaking engagements over the summer, including the following. Maximizing Opportunities: Charting a Career in Immigration Practice, American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference in San Francisco; Analyzing Specific Crimes: The Nuances of Drug Offenses and Deportability, and Litigating the Criminal Alien Case: Making the Seemingly Impossible, Possible, Catholic Legal Services Summer CLE Series in Miami; Pro Bono Services in Immigration: Solving the Problem & Developing an Action Plan, Miami Pro Bono Summit; Advanced Issues in Federal Immigration Litigation, AILA South Florida Membership Meeting, Miami, Florida; Beyond Live Client Litigation: The Integration of Community Advocacy and Organizational Collaboration in In-House Immigration Clinics (concurrent session), AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

He was also honored to receive the 2013 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award, presented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association at its Annual Conference in San Francisco

On September 18, 2013, Professor Siegfried Wiessner gave a presentation on “Democratizing International Arbitration: Mass Claims in Abaclat v. Argentina” at the City University of Hong Kong’s and Yale Law School’s 5th Conference on the New Haven School and Dispute Settlement in Hong Kong, China.