Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
Southwestern Reporter

August 2008

In This Issue:

Journal of Legal Education Comes to Southwestern

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Journal of Legal Education (JLE) will soon be based out of Southwestern when the editorial reins are handed off in January 2009. Now in its sixth decade, the highly respected AALS quarterly publication has a readership of over 10,000 law teachers throughout the United States and thousands more outside of the country. Its primary purpose is "to foster a rich interchange of ideas and information about legal education and related matters," with articles touching on legal pedagogy and curriculum development, the legal profession, legal theory, and legal scholarship.


For the past five years, the JLE has been edited by Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. under the direction of co-editors Professor Carrie Menkel-Meadow and Professor Mark Tushnet (now of Harvard Law School). At Southwestern, Dean Bryant Garth and Professor Angela Riley will serve as co-editors. An Advisory Committee of 12 faculty members from around the country provide general policy guidance. Prior to Georgetown, the Journal was most recently edited at Vanderbilt University and Case Western Reserve University.

Professor Menkel-Meadow said, "I am so happy to be 'handing over' the JLE to a scholar and dean of such depth and knowledge about legal education. Southwestern will make a good home for this important journal. And, I can help with the transition!" She will be a Visiting Professor at Southwestern in the Spring of 2009, which will help facilitate the move from Georgetown to Southwestern. Read more.


Trial Advocacy Honors Program Tryouts

Students who wish to polish their advocacy skills through competition are invited to participate in the selection process for the 2008-2009 Trial Advocacy Honors Program (TAHP). Informational meetings will be held on Thursday, August 28 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. in W311, with the first round of tryouts taking place September 8, 9 and 11. Further information is available from the TAHP Chair Aaron Case, as well as through the TAHP Office or the Student Affairs Office.

Don't Miss Externship Day

For many students, some of the most rewarding hours in law school are those spent in an externship getting hands-on experience. About 300 Southwestern students participate in externships each year, in placements that range from Warner Bros. to the Public Defender's Office to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Professor Gharakhanian discusses externship options with a student.
Learn more about the program at Externship Day on Wednesday, September 3 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. on the Promenade. The event provides students with an opportunity to learn about the program and the application process. There will be food and drinks, and Externship Program staff will be on hand to answer questions about field placements, how to prepare, and what to expect during an externship.


Externships are graded on a credit/no credit basis and may be taken for 2 to 10 units, during the summer, fall or spring. Placements are available in public interest, government, courts and entertainment settings. Don't miss this event - especially since applications for spring externships are due by Monday, September 15, and it's not too soon to plan for summer placements!

*Please note, students seeking Federal Judicial/Federal Government externships will need to have applications submitted by the end of August. For more information, contact the Externship Office.

Industry Insiders to Discuss SAG, WGA and AFTRA at Southwestern

This has been a momentous year for labor relations in the entertainment industry. After a prolonged WGA strike, a new WGA Basic Agreement was reached. That was followed by a new AFTRA agreement. And the industry is still working toward reaching a new SAG Basic Agreement. In response to these events, Southwestern's Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute is collaborating with the ABA Forum Committee on the Entertainment and Sports Industries to present "The New WGA, AFTRA and SAG Collective Bargaining Agreements: What You Need to Know Now" on Tuesday, September 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Southwestern campus.

What do these agreements mean for both sides of the bargaining table? This question will be addressed by two prominent industry experts: Alan Brunswick of Manatt Phelps & Phillips and former Vice President of the Association of Motion Picture & Television Producers and Sallie Weaver of Entertainment Strategies Group, Beverly Hills and former Deputy Executive National Director of the Screen Actors Guild. Read more.

Experts to explore Arctic Sovereignty at Southwestern Symposium

With the Arctic ice melting, anticipated increases in Arctic shipping, tourism and economic activity, Russia's flag-planting at the North Pole last summer, and the recent Greenland summit, there has been tremendous attention given to the "race to the Arctic." For the United States, the legal issues related to the Arctic and the Northwest Passage have recently taken on increased importance, spurring a renewed interest in joining the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention. For Canada, climate change and runaway oil prices have vaulted Arctic sovereignty to the top of Ottawa's economic, defense, and diplomatic concerns. On Friday, October 3, the Southwestern Journal of International Law will present "Arctic Sovereignty: Cold Facts, Hot Issues," a day-long symposium at Southwestern focused on important legal issues related to Arctic sovereignty.

The symposium is expected to be the first comprehensive U.S. law school conference focused on Arctic sovereignty. The proceedings will be published in the Journal and distributed widely. "Southwestern is in a unique position to draw on its long-standing ties with Canada and host a symposium that will bring together leading Canadian and American legal scholars to discuss one of the most controversial and important topics currently impacting U.S.-Canadian relations," said Vice Dean Austen Parrish, also the faculty coordinator of the program. Read more.


Career Services Events

The Career Services Office (CSO) will be hosting the following upcoming workshops and events. Students should plan on attending accordingly:

Interviewing from the Employers' Perspective: A panel of experienced attorneys will talk about what interviewers like to see and hear in the interview setting - Tuesday, September 2 at 12:30 p.m. in W311.

Interviewing Workshop: CSO will show you how to make a great first impression in the interview setting - Tuesday, September 9 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. in W311.

For more information about any of these programs or events, contact the Career Services Office.

On-Campus Interview Program (OCIP) Reminder

Remember that for employers visiting campus in October, bids must be placed by 11 p.m. on September 18, 2008.

See a hiring partner's perspective in the Alumni Q&A below.


New Student Health Insurance Plan Established

Southwestern is committed to providing an environment that fosters academic excellence and personal success. An important aspect of that mission is to ensure the physical and mental well-being of all students, and with that in mind, the law school is offering a new comprehensive health insurance plan through Kaiser Permanente.  

In choosing a plan, Southwestern sought coverage that was affordable, accessible to all students regardless of a previous condition, had an unlimited lifetime maximum benefit, and continued throughout the bar exam period for graduating students. The Kaiser Permanente plan also features no deductible and low co-payments, mental health and pharmacy benefits, and coverage available for dependents. Participation is voluntary for all 2008-2009 first-year and upper-division students; however, every student should have a basic level of health insurance coverage and is therefore encouraged to consider the plan if not already insured. The plan cost is $1,270 annually and may be limited to a single semester.

Plan details and enrollment materials are available online. Questions may also be directed to Robert Mena in the Student Affairs Office.

New Online Software Training Resource On Campus!

Southwestern has chosen Atomic Learning as an online software training resource for faculty, staff and students. Atomic Learning provides training on over 110 of the most commonly used software applications, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Appleworks, Blackboard and many more. Atomic Learning breaks down each application into manageable tasks and explains each task through a one- to three-minute tutorial. You can view a tutorial when you have a quick question about a program you're using, or you can view a series of tutorials and master an entire application.

Through Atomic Learning, the following benefits are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Over 30,000 tutorials on more than 110 software applications
  • Workshops on topics such as blogging, podcasting, newsletter design, presentation and more
  • Over 500 new tutorials added to the site every 45 days
  • Free Storyboard Pro software and access to Atomic Learning's popular Video Storytelling Guide
  • Self-assessment tools
  • Closed captioning on thousands of tutorials

To begin using Atomic Learning, follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the Training/Support tab
  3. Download the Getting Started Guide, or watch the Getting Started: Overview tutorial

Please be advised that the service is only available from campus computers. The user authentication is not required.

Please take advantage of this powerful resource, whether using Atomic Learning for professional development, in the classroom or even for your own personal growth. If you have any questions about the new online software training, students should email, and faculty/staff should email at

Another New Learning Tool - A Major Historical Resource

Southwestern has acquired a perpetual license to a major historical resource, The Making of Modern Law, a digitized collection of over 21,000 titles on British Commonwealth and American law published between 1800 and 1926. The collection includes treatises, casebooks, practice manuals, forms, pamphlets and speeches.

The collection can be accessed by clicking on Making of Modern Law in the electronic resources by topic section of this site, or in the new alphabetic listing of all electronic resources. From campus computers, users can go directly into the collection, but those seeking remote access will need to authenticate with their first and last names and patron bar code (found on the back of your Southwestern identification card). By mid-August, individual titles will be added to the online catalog and you will be able to link to the full-text directly from the catalog record. Questions may be directed to the Reference Desk.

More New Resources - Library Computer Upgrades

The Leigh H. Taylor Law Library has installed 58 new Dell OptiPlex 755 computers in the learning centers. It has also upgraded the memory and installed Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 on the 32 computers in the lab. All of the computers for student use in the library are now running Vista, Office 2007 and WordPerfect Office X3.

Fall Fitness Center Hours


Fall Fitness Center hours are as follows:

  • Monday through Thursday, 6:15 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 6:15 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information, click here.

Upcoming Security Workshops

Learn about safety habits related to the following topics at the security workshops held on the Westmoreland Steps at 12:30 p.m.

  • Vehicle Safety - Wednesday, September 17
  • Emergency Preparedness - Wednesday, October 15
  • Holiday Safety - Wednesday, November 12
  • Online Shopping & ATM Safety - Thursday, December 4

New Staff/Transitions

Several new staff members bring a wealth of skills, experience and enthusiasm that will benefit Southwestern.

Lindsay Brown, Data & Support Coordinator, Institutional Advancement, earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Arizona. She served as a Community Service Officer for the U of A Police Department, where she developed a database and analyzed campus trends for the Detective Department, and served as a Student Coordinator for proctors.

Jillian Collett, Student Services Assistant, Accounting, earned her B.A. in Journalism from Azusa Pacific University where she was on the Dean's List, served as Editor-in-Chief of Azusa Pacific's student newspaper, The Clause, and completed an internship at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Kathryn Fore, Student Services Assistant, Dean of Students Office, earned her B.A. at the University of California, Irvine with a joint major in English, and Psychology and Social Behavior. She worked as an AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) Tutor for the Long Beach Unified School District, an intern at the American Federation of Teachers in Washington, D.C., a research assistant in the department of English at UCI, and a note taker in the Disabilities Services Office at UCI.

Katrina Garcia, SOS Assistant, Administrative Services, earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. While there, she worked at the Anderson School of Management as a Student Assistant and an Administrative Clerk at Springboard, Non-Profit Consumer Credit Management. Ms. Garcia recently held positions as a Behavioral Therapist at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and as a Summer Assistant at the Canadian Consulate General.

Wendy Mendoza, SOS Assistant, Administrative Services, earned her B.A. in Media Studies, Arts and Cinema from California State University, Northridge. She worked as an Administrative Assistant at UCLA, a Public Relations Intern at Warren Cowan & Associates, and an Academic Advisor at the CSUN Student Resource Center. 

Margarita Nunez, Research Coordinator, Institutional Advancement, earned her B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. She worked as the Data Manager at Board Network and was also a Computer Science Instructor at Milken Community High School, where she established the Advance Placement Computer Programming class. Ms. Nunez was also Consultant in the Department of Civil Engineering for the FEMA Hospital Mitigation project at USC, where she translated programs, initiated its project website, and maintained project data and records.

Chanel Webb, Student Services Assistant, Student Affairs, earned a B.A. in History and a Teaching Credential from California State University, Long Beach. While at CSULB, she worked in the Parking and Transportation Services Department and the University Bookstore. Most recently, Ms. Webb was a substitute teacher with the Long Beach Unified School District.

Michael Zuniga, Student Services Assistant, Registration and Academic Records, earned his B.A. in English from the University of California, Riverside. Prior to joining Southwestern, he served as a Legal Processing Assistant for the San Bernardino Superior Court, and in sales and customer relations for Prada and Nordstrom.


Heather Holder Beltran, Interim Director of Financial Aid

Southwestern to Host the GLACE Third Regional Externship Supervision Forum

The Greater Los Angeles Consortium on Externships (GLACE) will present its Third Regional Externship Supervision Forum on Thursday, September 25 at Southwestern. The consortium is comprised of law school externship program directors from Chapman, Loyola, Pepperdine, Southwestern, UCLA, USC and Whittier. Speakers for the free event, targeted toward attorneys and judicial officers who supervise students in the Externship Programs at these school, include Keynote Speaker Hon. Candace Beason, a California Superior Court Judge; Barbara Blanco, Externship Director and Clinical Professor of Law at Loyola Law School; Carolyn Young, Director of Externship Program and Assistant Professor of Legal Research & Writing at Chapman Law School; William Patton, Associate Dean of Clinical Programs at Whittier Law School; Professor Anahid Gharakhanian, Director of Southwestern's Externship Program; and Vice Dean Austen Parrish.

Bullocks Wilshire Featured in National Magazine

Preservation magazine featured the Bullocks Wilshire Building as one of its six favorite art deco buildings in the United States in its July/August 2008 edition which explored it as a "Sparkling Survivor: Once admired, later scorned, now cherished again..." The short description of the building lauded Southwestern's efforts to restore the art deco treasure and turn it into a state of the art legal education facility.


A Dozen Questions for Professor Catherine Carpenter

Q: What are some of the goals you hope to accomplish in your new position as Chair of the Accreditation Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar?

A: Two of the major goals that I will focus on during my tenure as Chair are to maintain consistency in the application of Standards and treatment of law schools, and to strengthen and expand communications regarding the accreditation process.

Q: Describe the Accreditation Committee's work and members.

A: There are currently 200 ABA-approved law schools in the country, so the Committee has its work cut out! The Committee meets five times each year and reviews the documents of over 100 schools during that time. Our agendas include the reviews of: sabbatical inspections of established law schools, summer abroad programs, post J.D. and non-J.D. programs, provisionally approved law schools and those seeking provisional approval, and law schools that have potentially violated one or more Standards. Quite the workload, but the Committee, comprised of 19 members from around the country (deans and professors, lawyers, judges, university administrators and public members) is extremely hardworking and dedicated.

Q: What discoveries did you make as a principal drafter of the Survey of Law School Curricula 1992-2002? How were those findings used to make changes to Southwestern's first-year and upper division curricula?

A: Compiling the empirical information from 152 law schools for the Survey was extremely informative for me personally. A picture began to emerge while distilling the information. Law schools had begun to modify the traditional model of legal education that had been developed at the turn of the twentieth century. There was an emphasis on professional skills and specializations as more schools began to see the importance of infusing the upper division curriculum with courses that supplemented doctrinal understanding. The Survey helped our faculty in reexamining Southwestern's curriculum and led directly to our revamping the first-year course offerings. We joined the majority of law schools in reducing the number of courses taught in the first year, but we did much more than that. We also became a leading law school in the development of our first-year curriculum by expanding our LAWS program and by offering an elective to first-year students, steps that other law schools are only just now starting to take.

Q: As a Southwestern alumna, what are some of the biggest changes you've seen at the law school since you were a student?

A: There have been so many changes since I was a student at Southwestern. In 1973, there were five women out of 175 students in my first-year class and a total of two female faculty members. Today at approximately 50% female students and many female faculty members, the critical mass of gender diversity has created a freer and different environment for both men and women. There are still challenges, to be sure, but at least, with respect to gender diversity, we have come a long way from when our first Women Law Students' Association at Southwestern in 1974 had only 12 members. The second big change of course is the facility, and specifically the growth in our library. Our award-winning facility allows us to offer courses and programs which would not have been possible back when I was in school. Another significant change is the increase in all the choices students have today, from the programmatic offerings, to co- and extra-curricular activities and the career services choices.

A couple of aspects have remained the same, I am delighted to report. I had excellent professors when I was a student and my fellow students were smart and interesting.

Q: What is your fondest law school memory?

A: I have a number of fond memories of law school, but one consistently stands out - being able to share it with my husband, Marty. We were married in college and went to Southwestern together. Sitting next to each other - whether it was in class, at home at the kitchen table studying, at our law school graduation, or in the bar examination ranks - is my fondest memory.

Q: When did you decide to focus your interest in law to teaching?

A: My desire to teach law started during my first semester of law school. It was the perfect combination for me: I love the law and I love teaching. I am fortunate to be able to live that dream.

Q: Which is your favorite course to teach and why?

A: Sorry, can't pick one. I love each course that I teach for different reasons. I love teaching substantive criminal law because the subject is dynamic and organic, messy and evolving constantly. I also love teaching the Spring criminal law course called Defenses in the Law, which is designed for students who want to shore up their academic abilities. It is exciting to work in a small group setting using a variety of skills and exercises to help students strengthen their skills. And my upper division criminal law seminar is exhilarating because we have thought-provoking discussions on cutting-edge issues in an intimate environment. Finally, my guilty pleasure is Future Interests, which I have taught in SCALE. Future Interests is like going to a foreign country and learning a foreign language (but without the good food), and I particularly enjoy working with students to crack the code.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of teaching first-year students?

A: Criminal Law as a subject is very exciting, but pair it with first-year students, and together they generate an excitement that is unmatched. To watch first-year students develop a new language, a new way of thinking, if you will, is very rewarding, and I thoroughly enjoy seeing them articulate their views and hold to their positions.

Q: What is the most valuable advice you give to law students?

A: The most valuable advice I give to all law students is to remember that law school is the start of your professional life, not the continuation of college. Cultivate the best professional habits you can: work hard, be responsible, and be ethical. Everyone notices.

Q: What are some of the most surprising things you have discovered while serving on site evaluation teams for the ABA?

A: The first exciting discovery I made is that I always learn something about legal education during the inspection. Even though I am at the law school as the evaluator, the process teaches me something as well. Sometimes I see a great teaching technique or it might be an interesting administrative procedure, and usually that translates into my bringing the idea back to Southwestern to use in my class or to incorporate in our legal education program. The second thing I learned is that being a site evaluator enables me to meet legal educators from around the country and offers me an opportunity to build on the relationships that began during the inspection. And finally, even though a site evaluation team is at a law school for a brief period of time, the team really does learn about all aspects of the institution, even those areas that the law school wants to keep hidden!

Q: Describe the focus of your current or most recent scholarship.

A: My current scholarship focus is on the constitutionality of aspects of sex crimes legislation, specifically in the field of statutory rape and sex offender registration laws. I am strongly opposed to statutory rape convictions where the offender was not aware of the victim's true age. In general, I rail against the use of strict liability (no mens rea required) in criminal law, except in the most limited of circumstances, and I have been growing increasingly uneasy by the proliferation of strict liability crimes and the lack of checks and balances to safeguard against them.

Q: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of the law?

A: My hobbies include cooking, college sports (love them all), and reading.

New Resource Center to Provide Enhanced Writing and Academic Support Services

As you first become immersed in this strange foreign culture called "law school," you will start to get acclimated to your course schedule, begin to find the best way to structure your day, and soon realize that it will require a lot more than just reading cases and sitting in class to be a successful law student. Fortunately, at Southwestern there are a myriad of programs and resources to help you successfully navigate the maze of law school. And to make it even easier to find the right form of assistance, a Student Resource Center has been established on campus.


According to Dean Bryant Garth, "This comprehensive new Center is a natural extension of our student-centered approach at Southwestern. The resources are responsive to students' desire for reinforcement of practical skills as expressed in the Law School Survey of Student Engagement and discussions with students, faculty and administrators."

Within the new Student Resource Center suite on the 6th floor of the Westmoreland Building, students can obtain help through the Academic Support Program and the Writing Center on anything from exam preparation strategies to effective cover letters. The Academic Support Program includes individual and small group academic assistance. The Writing Center is available to all Southwestern law students who want to strengthen their legal writing skills. The new Student Resource Center is a collaborative effort of the faculty and the offices of the Dean, Student Affairs, Diversity Affairs and Academic Support. Read more.

Student Resource Center Open House
Monday, September 8, 12:15 & 5 p.m.
Refreshments will be served

1L Writing Workshop: Grammar and Editing
Monday, September 15
12:30 p.m. in W611 & 5 p.m. in W311


President of Claremont McKenna College Joins Southwestern's Board of Trustees

Pamela Brooks Gann, President of Claremont McKenna College and former Dean of Duke University School of Law, was elected to Southwestern's Board of Trustees at the Board's meeting in June 2008.

"Pamela Gann's knowledge and experience about legal education and education generally will be of immense value to Southwestern's Board of Trustees and indeed to the entire Southwestern community," Dean Bryant G. Garth said in his announcement. "We are very fortunate that she has agreed to serve on our board." Read more.


  • The Professional Obligation of Cumis Counsel Retained for the Policyholder But Not Subject to Insurer Control, TORT TRIAL & INSURANCE PRACTICE LAW JOURNAL (2007-2008)
  • Quoted, "Payout Chances Slim for Crash Victim; Liability: A Riverside Man Badly Injured in the Highway 91 Crash Lost His Pregnant Fiancee," The Press-Enterprise
  • Quoted, "Dead Boy's Words; Attorneys at Odds on Power of Voice," The Press-Enterprise
  • Law, Lawyers & Empire in THE CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF LAW IN AMERICA, VOL. III (with Y. Dezalay; Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • Appointed (with Professor A. Riley), Co-Editor, JOURNAL OF LEGAL EDUCATION for five-year term (see story)
  • Appointed, member, AALS New Deans' Workshop Committee
  • Appointed, member, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Task Force on Accreditation



Professor Carpenter to Chair ABA Accreditation Committee

A nationally recognized expert on law school curricula, Professor Catherine L. Carpenter has been named Chair of the Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. The Committee is responsible for ensuring that all ABA‑approved law schools meet ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, which are designed to assure a sound program of legal education prepares students to meet the legal needs of clients. Included in the ABA Standards are minimum requirements regarding curricular design, faculty size and quality, ensuring diversity in faculty and students, quality of library, technology and facilities.  The Committee is charged with the administration of the ABA accreditation process, including review of site evaluation, progress, and fact finding reports. It reviews J.D. programs, post-J.D. programs, foreign summer programs, semester abroad programs, cooperative programs for foreign study and individual student programs for foreign study. The Accreditation Committee and the section Council are recognized by the Department of Education as the accreditors for legal education in the U.S. Carpenter was appointed Committee chair effective August 9, 2008.


"I feel honored and privileged to be named chair of this committee," Carpenter said. "It is a process I believe in deeply. The breadth and depth of the standards and the mechanisms for their enforcement have contributed to making U.S. law schools the strongest in the world and emulated by so many law schools abroad." Read more.

See more from Professor Carpenter in A Dozen Questions below.

Southwestern Welcomes New Faculty

In addition to the new full-time faculty profiled in the May Reporter (Professors Knolton, McEvoy, Menkle-Meadow, Ramos and Rowe), Southwestern welcomes two additional faculty this year, Visiting Professor Joyce Sterling, who is teaching Legal Profession and Scientific Evidence at Southwestern during the Fall 2008 semester, and Professor Thomas Eilmansberger, who will teach Law of the European Union during the new Spring 2009 Mini-term. Read more.


Southwestern Names Four Faculty Members to 2008-09 Professorships

Southwestern has honored four of its highly respected faculty members with professorships for 2008-09: Associate Dean Michael B. Dorff as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law; Professor Ronald G. Aronovsky as the Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professor of Law; Professor Norman M. Garland as the Paul E. Treusch Professor of Law; and Professor Myrna S. Raeder as the Justice Marshall F. McComb Professor of Law. Criteria for the selection of the recipients includes: excellence in teaching, service to the law school and its students as well as outstanding scholarship and assistance to the legal profession and the community. Read more.


SCALE Students Demonstrate Their Advocacy Skills

Chad Clement got a double dose of good news at the SCALE Appellate Advocacy Competition Awards Reception this year - the first-year SCALE student was named Second Place Oralist and Second Alternate Writer. "I thought everyone did really well," Clement said. "I was very impressed with the oral arguments I heard."

The First Place Oralist title was awarded to Andrew Caple-Shaw. A professional actor for many years before coming to law school, Caple-Shaw said that this kind of meaningful advocacy was one of the main reasons he left a career in TV and film for law school. "The acting experience took the fear out of getting up in front of the judges," he said. "There are people in my class who are a heck of a lot smarter than I am, but I am not afraid to fail. The process was loads of fun, and I have to give credit to everybody who was in on it. It's a credit to the SCALE dynamic."

The winners with with Shara Davenport (far
left) and Professor Harriet Rolnick (far right)
Tiffany Woo was named First Place Writer. She credited their Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills (LAWS) professor for making the process as smooth as possible. "Professor Lorillard did a good job of talking us through the steps," she said. "I spent a lot of time writing the brief. Too much time!" In addition to Woo and Clement, writing honors were awarded to Second Place Writer Jieun Jacobs and First Alternate Writer Zoe Jamail. Alexa Wolff was named First Alternate Oralist and Kenneth Holdren was named Second Alternate Oralist. Read more.


Moot Court Members Announced

The Moot Court Honors Program Board of Governors is proud to announce its members for the 2008-2009 school year. They are:

Board of Governors: Jillian Savani (Chair), Jennifer Bandlow, Leah Cohen-Mays, Shara Davenport, Jessica Munoz and Matthew Weiner

Returning Members: Chelsea Blatt, Emily Casso, Annette Guzman, Gevork Mkhsyan, Raheleh Mehrinfar and Carlo Reyes

New Members: Michael Azat, Armine Bazikyan, Eric Bonholtzer, Anne Cheung, Chad Clement, Anthony Colunga, Alma Dumitru, Karin Ericson, Arin Friedman, Artin Gharibian, Kristyn Houchen, Ashley Johnson, Nancy Jones, Collen Kelley, Nitasha Khanna, Anh-Tuan Le, Matthew Mann, Louisa Markarian, Ali Nosrat, Yakeen Qawasmeh, Amber Roller, Matthew Roston, Tara Sattler, Matthew Scheoder, Jenny-Anne Sinson, Hilary St. Jean, Wendy Tseng, Alexa Wolff and Jennifer Yuen

Seven Earn Mexican American Bar Foundation Scholarships

The Mexican American Bar Foundation (MABF) awarded scholarships totaling $37,500 to seven Southwestern students at its 2008 Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala. The recipients included: Miriam Ali '09, Isela Barrios '09, Rudolph Brandes '09, Juan Gil '10 (recipient of the O'Melveny & Myers LLP Scholarship for exceptional achievement, a $7500 scholarship), Enrique Juarez '09, Franklin Jiron '09, and Sara Lee '09. In awarding scholarships, the Foundation's Scholarship Committee considers the applicant's commitment to community service, academic achievement and financial need. This year, MABF awarded a record $150,000 in scholarships to a total of 28 students of Latin heritage attending Southwestern, Loyola, Pepperdine, UCLA and USC.


Alumni Q&A with Scott L. Brandman '92, Partner and Chairman of the North American Hiring Committee, Baker & McKenzie

Q: What piqued your interest in tax law?

A: When I began law school I had no intention of becoming a tax lawyer. Like most law students, I was debating between becoming a corporate lawyer or a litigation lawyer. At the end of my first year, I was chosen to be on Moot Court and was placed on the tax team. I think the Moot Court board decided that because I had a bit of a business background - I was a business minor in college and held a stock broker's license when I was an undergraduate - that I fit with tax. More likely, they had no one for tax so I was sacrificed. As a result, I took a tax class and to my surprise really enjoyed the class. The first year I competed in Moot Court I won first place oralist at the tax competition in Florida. This started me down my path.

Q: After earning your B.A. at State University of New York at Albany, what made you decide to move to Los Angeles and attend Southwestern?

A: During a college recess I traveled to Los Angeles with a friend. During that trip, I realized that I would like to live in Los Angeles after graduation. My friend also decided to move to L.A. to attend business school and I went to Southwestern.

Q: What were your favorite courses?

A: It was odd in that I really enjoyed my Property law class. I also enjoyed Contracts and Sales. One class I should have enjoyed more than I did was Constitutional Law. Constitutional Law is our legal framework and is a major part of my practice. I just did not have an appreciation for it at that time. My apologies to my professor.

Q: Why did you eventually return to the East Coast?

A: After living in Los Angeles for law school, I missed New York. My family was here and I'm a New Yorker. I travel to the West Coast quite often for business though.

Q: After receiving your J.D. from Southwestern and earning an LL.M. in tax law from Georgetown, where did you work?

A: I started at the now-defunct accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. I was in the tax group at Arthur Andersen for two years, before moving to General Electric.

Q: What do you consider the most important issue in current tax law today?

A: I specialize in state and local tax. Recognizing where the economy is today, states need revenue. As a result, states are trying to broaden their tax base. In the next few years we will continue to see more constitutional challenges to see if states are going too far.

Q: Do you also write and speak about your areas of practice?

A: My most recent article (State Taxation of Foreign Dividends: Will the U.S. Supreme Court Set the Record Straight on Footnote 23? with K. Reeder and S. Joo) was published last year. The article focused on an important issue raised in the GE case that we believed was ripe for the U.S. Supreme Court. Ultimately, the Court decided not to hear the case.

I'm currently writing some internal articles for my firm's quarterly newsletter addressing the new provisions in New York concerning the applicability of imposing sales tax collection responsibility for sales over the Internet. This is an area in which I have had considerable experience, including litigation for Borders Book Company in California. I also travel extensively for work and give about 15 to 20 speeches a year.

Q: What advice would you give to current Southwestern students who wish to work in the field of tax law?

A: Get an LL.M. in tax law. It differentiates you from other students. It shows your interest and commitment to the tax field and will open doors and provide more opportunities, especially with big firms. Accounting firms are a good starting place as well.

Q: What advice would you give to Southwestern students looking to work for a big law firm?

A: Do well in school. Solid academic performance is first and foremost, but is not the end all. What sets people apart at the beginning stages of the hiring process are schools and grades. If you don't have the best grades, you need to find other ways to differentiate yourself. Talk to as many people as possible. Timing can be everything. You can work your way up by working with smaller firms and finding mentors who can help. It's a good idea to specialize in areas that are in demand. Write articles, give speeches and develop an expertise, especially in a niche that firms need now or will need in the near future.

Q: As chairman of the North American Hiring Committee at Baker & McKenzie what are the most important things you look for in potential new hires?

A: We look at candidates' backgrounds in terms of what they've done: the jobs they've held, their accomplishments, etc. We are an international firm so we want to see if they have any ties to international practice. We start by asking why would they be interested in our firm and why would they make a good addition to our practice. We take into account their outside activities, pro bono work, and other types of accomplishments that we think would make them meld well with our culture.

It's not just about grades and schools. There are people who get through the door for an interview and who are hired who do not have the highest grades, but they need to have something special and present it in a way that makes us know that they will be a great fit for the firm.

Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes that graduating law students and new lawyers make on their resumes?

A: It's amazing how many spelling mistakes we see on resumes. Spelling errors are absolutely unacceptable. The length of the resume is often a problem. Many are too long. Unless this is a second career, resumes should be one page.

The bigger mistakes students make are in their cover letters. Many students send mass mailings. Students need to target mailings, think of specific people who the letter should be sent to. If the firm has alumni from your school, try sending it to them. If you send to the managing partner of a big firm, unless you are ranked first or second in your class, you probably won't have much success. If you send your letter and resume to an alumnus, you may be able to impress them enough to recommend your name.

I've also seen the following mistake often. I'll receive a letter from someone with spelling errors and it will ask me to pass their resume to the person in charge of the hiring group and it will invite me to talk with them about "What I do."  Well, at this firm, I am the hiring person. Anyone sending a letter to our firm should know that. Law students should do their homework. I'm much more impressed by a student who writes, "I know you practice in tax, and I read your articles, etc." than one who sends a generic letter.

The bottom line is, students need to separate themselves if they want to be at a major law firm. It can be done.

Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?

A: Failure is inevitable in certain regards. To be successful you have to risk failure. To be at the top of this game you must not be afraid of failure. I wonder how you can ever be great at something if you knew you couldn't possibly fail. For example, to become a great public speaker you have to be nervous before a big speech. But the reason the best speakers are so good is that they harness nervous energy. You have to have that fear of failure to make you great.

I love what I do. I like managing a practice. I like teaching younger associates. Someday I might like to open a coffee shop, maybe the equivalent of Starbucks. I've also thought about trying to build a resort hotel one day. But these are not things that I would do tomorrow, even if given the opportunity. I like what I'm doing now too much to give it up.


"W.A.Y." - Who Are You & Why Are You here?

This Month - Peter Schoettler, Second-year PLEAS student

Peter Schoettler already has a Ph.D. in Music Performance and a successful career as a Broadway and classical musician under his belt. He also has a young family. But while most law students struggle to get through the stress of Moot Court and final exams, Schoettler managed to complete his first year at Southwestern with top grades while battling stage IV Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The Kent, Ohio native started college at Oberlin with a double major in music and physics. "I knew the music business would be harder to break into, so I embraced the challenge," Schoettler said. A French horn player, he transferred to The Juilliard School in New York where he earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music. While trying to break into the elite Broadway musician circuit, he served as Assistant Director of Admissions at Juilliard and worked in administration for the New York Philharmonic. He started to play with tri-state area symphonies and landed his first full-time Broadway orchestra gig in "Crazy for You." He was a regular player for the musicals "1776," "Oklahoma," and "Fiddler on the Roof," and substituted in orchestras for at least 30 other Broadway shows.

During the 1990s, Schoettler also taught in the pre-college division at Juilliard and earned a doctorate in Music Performance from New York University. In 2000, he met his wife, violinist Nina Evtuhov, and they now have two daughters, Alexandra and Clara. Schoettler's desire to be closer to his in-laws while going to law school brought his family to Southern California in 2006. But a few months after moving to Los Angeles, he began losing weight and had high fevers. "For a couple of years while I was still in New York, I was getting night sweats. The Internet said it was caused by menopause, cancer, or stress. So I figured it was just stress," he said. In August 2006, he was set to start the traditional full-time day program at Southwestern. During orientation, however, the doctor called and told him he was very sick. Further tests in the following weeks showed he had Stage III Hodgkin's lymphoma. After being diagnosed with cancer, Schoettler deferred his enrollment at Southwestern and began a six-month course of chemotherapy followed by a month of radiation. Forced to delay his legal education, Schoettler took the opportunity to volunteer at California Lawyers for the Arts, working for its referral service and serving as a seminar proctor.

Schoettler enrolled in Southwestern's part-time day program (PLEAS) for the 2007-2008 school year. But by January, a PET scan showed the cancer had returned. During his spring semester, Schoettler started a second and far more intense regimen of chemo. Despite the intense treatments and fatigue, Schoettler participated in three rounds of Moot Court in April, and was able to finish the semester and take his exams on time. "My main concern with all this was that my legal studies would be disrupted again," he said. "I wrote a letter to Dean Powell and talked to my professors (Gharakhanian, Hart and Krimmel), and they were receptive to the idea of me doing what I needed to do to continue with school." Southwestern's Audio Visual Services Department digitally recorded all of his classes and put them on a server so he could listen to any missed lectures on his computer.

On May 14, the day after his Torts exam, Schoettler entered the hospital for six days of high dose chemo to burn out his bone marrow. His doctors then transplanted his own stem cells, which had been harvested in April, back into his body to help it recover from the massive doses of chemotherapy drugs. He was in the hospital for 19 days. After his release from the hospital, Schoettler recuperated at home and also did some work as a research assistant to Professor Strader. Over the summer he also learned that he was awarded a Dean's Academic Leadership Scholarship based on his grades. While Schoettler was at NYU a professor had suggested that he would make a great copyright attorney. "I'm not really sure what aspect of law I want to go into," Schoettler said. "At this point I don't necessarily want to do an extension of what I used to do... I feel great now, and I want to explore my options."


A selection of scholarships and essay contests are available online, in the Financial Aid Office (W102), and posted on the bulletin board in the Westmoreland basement.


Please note: The information regarding scholarships and essay contests on Southwestern's website provides a list for informational purposes only. Students interested in applying for any scholarship should contact the sponsoring organization directly for specific details and deadlines. External sites are provided for informational purposes only and are not endorsed by Southwestern.





     25-29 Hoover School Supply Drive
28 TAHP Information Session, 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m., W311


     1 Labor Day - No Classes
2 Career Services Panel: Interviewing from the Employer's Perspective, 12:30 p.m., W311
3 SBA Rep Elections
 Externship Day
4 SBA Back to School Bash
5 Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention & Job Fair, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
8-11 TAHP Tryouts (Round One)
8 Student Resource Center Open House, 12:15 & 5:00 p.m.
9 SBA LAWS Brief Writing Workshop, 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
 Career Services Workshop: Interviewing & Networking, 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m., W311
 "The New WGA, AFTRA and SAG Collective Bargaining Agreements: What You Need to Know Now," 3:00 p.m.
10 Dean's Open Forum, 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
 The Grammy Foundation/Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition Workshop, 12:30 p.m., W229
11 Career Services Interviews: Fall On-Campus Interview Program (OCIP) Begins
 SBA Activity, 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
15-18 TAHP Tryouts (Round Two)
15 SBA Student Leaders Lunch, 12:30 p.m.
 1L Writing Workshop: Grammar and Editing, 12:30 p.m. in W611 & 5 p.m. in W311
 Externship Small Group Meetings, 5:00 p.m.
17-18 Graduation Picture Day
17 National Hispanic Heritage Month Event, 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
 SCALE Alumni/Student Networking Reception, 6:00 p.m., BW 2nd Floor
18 Third Thursday Event, 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
20 Alumni Dodger Day
22 SBA "Networking and Socializing with Alumni," 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
23 Honors Program Challenge Reception, 5:30 p.m.
24 SBA Student/Faculty Mixer, 12:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
25 Law Journal and Law Review Breakfast, 8:00 a.m.
 GLACE Externship Supervisor Training Forum
 Public Counsel's Annual Law Student Open House, 6:00 p.m.
29 Rosh Hashanah - No evening classes
30 Rosh Hashanah - No classes


Contact: For matters regarding the Southwestern Reporter Online, contact the Public Affairs Office.
Student organizations, faculty and staff should submit articles or information to be considered for publication by the 1st of each month. Send submissions to the Public Affairs Office.
Southwestern Law School is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is fully approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60654, Tel: 312.988.6738). Since 1911, Southwestern has served the public as a nonprofit, nonsectarian educational institution. Southwestern does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or prior military service in connection with admission to the school, or in the administration of any of its educational, employment, financial aid, scholarship or student activity programs. Non-discrimination has been the policy of Southwestern since its founding.