Volume 4, Issue 13, November 14, 2013



What’s Going On

November 20: 

Special Exam-Time Blessing and Prayer, Room 219 @ 1:00 p.m.

December 5:

Toys for Tots Benefit, (Alumni Affairs), Porcao in Brickell Village @ 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 26 - Dec. 1:

Reading Days

December 2-12:

Final Exam Period

December 13:

Baccalaureate Mass, Chapel of St. Anthony @ 7:00 p.m.

December 14:

Commencement Ceremony, Fernandez Family Center for Leadership @ 10:00 a.m.

St. Thomas Law was once again successfully competed in the Patently Impossible competition held November 7, at the Miami Science Center as part of a fundraiser for Dade Legal Aid/ Put Something Back.

A total of eight students participated in three teams: (1) Raakib Bhuiyan, Annie Martinez, and Rebecca Stavish; (2) Jeffrey Aaron and John Bernstein; and (3) Kevin Cudlipp, Felipe Rubio, and Michael Stopek.

Last year's winners – the team of Cudlipp, Rubio, and Stopek – again brought home an award. They got second place in a close competition that required competitors to assemble a patented device, a toy car, looking to the language of a patent and a bag of parts. The competitors were cheered on by members of the St. Thomas University Intellectual Property & Cyber Law Society as well as faculty advisor Professor Ira Steven Nathenson.

The St. Thomas Law Faculty adopted a new program that the school will implement in the spring of 2014. This program creates two additional “small” sections of Property II. The small sections will be taught by Assistant Dean Barbara Singer (Section 5) and Professor John Makdisi (Section 6). Students currently in Sections 1 or 2 can apply for Section 6, and students currently in Sections 3 or 4 can apply for Section 5. The new sections meet at a time that does not conflict with the other classes in the two sections designated.

The sections are designed to give students more one-on-one assistance and guidance, and will be limited to approximately twenty students in each section. Professor Makdisi and Assistant Dean Singer will work closely with the students using Property II as a vehicle to inculcate legal studies skills and techniques that should prove useful in virtually any law school class. The program is designed to provide students an opportunity for more feedback and support. Students enrolled in the small sections will complete multiple exercises and will engage in significant class participation. Students who feel they need more direction or recognize their work better when given more distinct tasks and assignments will find the program particularly useful. The goal is to enable the students who participate to be more competitive and successful law students (and ultimately more successful Bar Examination takers). Students must indicate a willingness to be considered for inclusion in the small section before the last day of classes by submitting an application form (see below). Then, a Committee will handpick the students from among those who apply.

The basic standard to be applied in ranking applicants would be those most likely to benefit from a more structured, more closely supervised program of instruction and those who have demonstrated the initiative and incentive to implement new study procedures into all of their courses. The applications became available on Monday, November 11, 2013 (both in hard copy format at the Registrar’s Counter and online). Students must submit their applications to the Registrar no later than 2:00 p.m. on November 25, 2013. Once a student has applied, he or she can elect to withdraw his or her application anytime up until 5:00 pm on January 2, 2014. Students can withdraw their application by merely e-mailing such request to Assistant Dean Hernandez at jhernandez@stu.edu (please send the e-mail from your STU e-mail account to avoid it being filtered out.) Students can withdraw their applications after they know all of their first semester grades. Students will be notified by e-mail over the Christmas break whether they have been selected for the small sections.

Final semester grades for students enrolled in the small section will be based on performance on the course exercises and a final examination. The examination component (only) will be curved with the larger sections of Property II taught by Professor Makdisi and Assistant Dean Singer respectively. (So, there will not be a separate curve for the small sections.) For more information, students can contact Professor Makdisi, Professor Sullivan, Assistant Dean Singer, Assistant Dean Fonseca-Nader, and Assistant Dean Hernandez.

Third-year students, if 2014 Spring semester is your last semester and you will need less than 12 credits to graduate, you will be allowed to take less than 12 credits. But, you must request authorization to do so. Students can register for only the number of credits needed for you to graduate (if that is what you want to do). Students who receive financial aid must take at least 6 credits in order to qualify for aid.

If this is something you want to do, during your registration time, register for the number of credits you need to graduate, and then e-mail Assistant Dean John Hernandez at jhernandez@stu.edu to let him know that you are graduating.

He then will authorize the reduced course load, your bill adjusted, and your financial aid processed. If you have any questions or need clarification, please contact Assistant Dean John Hernandez.

The SBA and St. Thomas More Catholic Law Society are sponsoring a Toys for Tots fundraiser during the month of November. On Wednesdays, First Lieutenant Mitch Altman, U.S. Marines, a St. Thomas University School of Law alumnus, will be in the Breezeway selling bracelets made of 550 Paracord. All proceeds will go to the Toys for Tots Foundation, a U.S. Marine Corps run charity that delivers toys to children in need during the holiday season. The Alumni Association matches the proceeds, so your donation goes TWICE as far! The toy box will be left through the month of November so feel free to bring toys at any time! So please stop by, drop off a toy, a cash donation, or buy a bracelet.

For more information or special requests, SBA has added the group on Facebook, "Paracord Bracelets for Toys for Tots."

Professor Ira Steven Nathenson presented his paper Cyberlaw will Die and We will Kill It at the annual conference of the Humanities and Technology Association ("HTA"). As described on its website, "[t]he HTA is an interdisciplinary scholarly society that explores interactions of technology, science, the humanities, and the social sciences." Participants in the conference included academics in the fields of Philosophy, English, Architecture, and other disciplines.

The Reverend Professor Raúl Fernández-Calienes also present at the HTA conference, with Professor Hagai Gringarten from the STU School of Business, on the topic of writing and publishing book reviews at the intersection of humanities and technology.