Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
Southwestern Reporter

February 2006

In This Issue:

National Survey Needs Your Input

Your personal perspective can make a difference

Keep an eye on your Southwestern in-box - This spring, all Southwestern students will be receiving an email invitation from Dean Garth to participate in the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE).

Co-sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the LSSSE survey is designed to collect information about student behaviors and law school environments throughout the country to help law faculty and administrators focus attention and resources in ways that will enhance student learning and law school effectiveness. It provides law schools with information they can use almost immediately to improve various aspects of their performance and help students get the most out of their law school experience.

According to Dean Garth, who chairs the LSSSE Advisory Board, "I have been pleased to work with LSSSE for several years, and I think it is a nice tool generally to help law schools improve in a variety of ways. I encourage all of our students to participate as I am optimistic that we can use the survey results to understand and improve legal education and student life at Southwestern."

The survey poses questions regarding how students organize their time, what they feel they've gained from their classes, their assessment of interactions with faculty, staff and peers, and their involvement in campus activities. Students complete the survey online through a secure website.

Your input will provide valuable information to assist Southwestern in improving and enhancing your law school experience and best ensure the success of all Southwestern students. More information for students about the LSSSE is available online.



Expert in Political Affairs Joins Southwestern Board

Peter D. Kelly, III '76
Peter D. Kelly, III '76, a partner in the firm of Kelly Lytton & Vann LLP, has been elected to Southwestern's Board of Trustees. A prominent Los Angeles attorney who has long been active in local, state and national politics, Kelly brings a background of problem-solving and relationship-building to the board.
    "Peter Kelly is a great addition to the board," said Dean Bryant Garth. "He has the energy, record of accomplishment and interest in Southwestern to help push us to be the school we aspire to be." More.


Southwestern Takes Top Prize in Two Moot Court Competitions

National Telecommunications Competition
Earlier this month, Southwestern became the unofficial king of moot court in the nation's capital, taking first place in the National Telecommunications Competition and the Wechsler Moot Court Competition, both of which were held in Washington D.C. More.


Essay Earns Student a Seat at the Grammys

Aaron Power, a third-year day student, found himself rubbing elbows with the likes of Paul Simon and Neil Young during Grammy Week, having been chosen a finalist in the Grammy Foundation's Entertainment Law Initiative essay contest. Power’s essay, "A Fair Use Defense of Mashups," was one of four finalist papers. The selection scored him $1,500, and the chance to attend not only the Grammy ceremony on February 9, but a series of VIP events in the days leading up to the big show, including a MusicCares fundraiser in which several songwriting legends paid tribute to James Taylor. "I saw Bruce Springsteen play three times in two days," Power gushed. 

Grammy Foundation's Entertainment Law Initiative Legal Writing Competition
He recalled learning about the contest last year from Professor Robert Lind, but passed on it, feeling too busy to enter. This year, having already written a 15,000-word essay for Southwestern Law Review, he decided to pare it down to the required 3,000 words for the contest. His paper argued that "mashups" - a relatively new pop music phenomenon created entirely by using two pre-existing works - are legitimate, since they are more in line with a parody than traditional sampling. Power said that while many law students feel they don’t have time to enter writing contests, it's worth the effort. "If you think about what you write for a seminar paper, 3,000 words isn’t a lot," he said. "If you’ve already got an idea, it can be done pretty quickly." And regardless of whether you win or lose, "It's good writing experience," said Power.

Information about essay competitions may always be found online.



Southwestern Welcomes Two Visiting Scholars for the Spring Semester

Professor Carrie Menkel-Meadow
Professor Carrie Menkel-Meadow, A.B. Chettle, Jr. Professor of Dispute Resolution and Civil Procedure and Director of the Georgetown-Hewlett Program in Conflict Resolution and Legal Problem Solving at Georgetown University Law Center, will be spending her sabbatical at Southwestern this spring as a visiting scholar. This past September, Professor Menkel-Meadow participated as a featured speaker at the Investiture of Dean Garth.

A pioneering legal educator and scholar in the burgeoning field of alternative dispute resolution, as well as civil procedure and legal ethics, Professor Menkel-Meadow joined the faculty at Georgetown University Law Center in 1996 after teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law for 20 years. In 2005, she was named as the inaugural A.B. Chettle, Jr. Professor in Dispute Resolution and Civil Procedure, one of the most prestigious faculty honors at Georgetown. She has also taught law at Stanford and Harvard universities, among other law schools, and is the author of several books and over 100 articles on subjects ranging from dispute and conflict resolution, negotiation, mediation, legal procedure, legal theory, legal ethics, feminist theory, law and popular culture and legal education.

Southwestern is also hosting Professor Fernando Basch this semester as a Fulbright Scholar and this year’s winner of the Genaro Carrió Fellowship. Professor Basch is a junior professor in both criminal law and legal philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, where he works closely with Dr. Edmundo Hendler, a leading comparative criminal law scholar. He is also an advisor on Constitutional and Criminal Law issues at the Argentine Congress, on the staff of two of Argentina’s leading political reformers, Elisa Carrió and Adrian Perez. He is a 2001 graduate of the Universidad de Buenos Aires and is presently also engaged in graduate studies at both the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the Universidad de Palermo. In February 2005 he spent several weeks at Yale Law School on its Linkage Exchange Program, and he is the author of several articles on criminal law.

Professor Basch was selected to come to Southwestern after a nationwide competition organized by the Argentine Fulbright Commission, and was selected by a panel made up of Professor Owen Fiss (Yale), Juan Mendez (Special Advisor to the United Nations on the Prevention of Genocide) and Hector Mairal (Universidad de Buenos Aires and partner at Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal). He is the seventh Genaro Carrió Fellow to be selected to spend a semester at Southwestern. Professor Basch will be participating in classes in the Criminal Law and Constitutional Law areas and will serve as a valuable comparative law resource for students and faculty.


Nominations Open for Teaching Awards

All members of the Southwestern Community are encouraged to submit nominations for the Excellence in Teaching Awards in each of the following categories: First-Year Professor, Upper Division Professor and Adjunct Professor. The top three award recipient nominees from each of the three categories will be chosen by the SBA Board and the winner in each category will be chosen by the student body.

The awards are intended to recognize Southwestern’s belief that the day-to-day teaching of students is of primary importance. The goal is to acknowledge an outstanding teaching contribution that is especially noteworthy as an example of excellence. Nomination forms are available at the SBA Office and also at the Student Affairs Office. Contact Tessa King, SBA Day Vice President, in the SBA Office for more information. The deadline for submitting nominations is Tuesday, March 14.


Graduating Students Invited to Apply for  Commencement Student Speaker

If you are graduating in 2006 and have an interest in serving as the student speaker at this year's Commencement ceremonies, be sure to pick up an application packet from the Dean of Students Office. The application deadline has been extended to Friday, February 24 at 6 p.m. Finalists will be announced in early March and the Speaker will be selected in mid-March. For more information, contact Annie Lynn in the Dean of Students Office.


SBA Offers ‘A Law Student’s Checklist for the Bar’

In order to assist those students preparing to take the bar exam, the SBA’s ABA Representatives, Tara Rose and Shahrokh Sheik, have created a packet of information for students with valuable information, including details from the California State Bar website, a checklist and relevant bar exam prep course specifics. For more information or a copy of the packet, visit the SBA Office.

Staff Changes

Southwestern welcomes its newest staff members to campus and acknowledges promotions:

New to Southwestern:
  • Gregg Hinton - Secretary/Word Processor, Faculty Services - Previously a contract employee, Gregg recently joined the full-time staff. Prior to joining Southwestern, Gregg was a Freelance Administrative Assistant in the fields of Entertainment, Advertising, Legal, Sales and Fundraising, working for such companies as worked at Blair Television, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, Working Assets Funding, GTE/US Sprint, Allnet Communications and Johnson & Johnson. He also works in TV, film, print and commercials.
  • Robert Mena - Assistant Director, Student Affairs - Prior to joining Southwestern, Robert worked in the Department of Registration and Records at USC. He was also a math teacher and head varsity basketball coach at Providence High School in Burbank. Robert earned his Masters degree in Education, with a concentration in Educational Psychology, from USC and his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Pepperdine.
Congratulations to:
  • Sarah Chavez - Accounts Payable/Clerk, Payroll/Benefits Supervisor, Accounting Office
  • Carolyn Haith - Director, Registration and Academic Records Office
  • Gayla Hamik-Beckley - Assistant Director, Admissions
  • Anne Lynn - Secretary, Dean of Students Office
  • Ayumi Nakomoto - Assistant Director, Registration and Academic Records Office
  • Phi Ramli - Accounting Manager, Accounting Office



For a summary of recent faculty activities, click here.


President-Elect of the ABA, Karen J. Mathis, to be Commencement Speaker

Karen Mathis
Karen J. Mathis, President-Elect of the American Bar Association (ABA), will serve as featured speaker for Southwestern's 91st Commencement Ceremonies on Sunday, May 21, 2006 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Ms. Mathis will take office as ABA President in August 2006 during the Annual ABA Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

A business, commercial and estate planning lawyer with more than 30 years experience, she was a founder and shareholder in the Denver law firm of Hall & Mathis, P.C., for 18 years before it merged in November 2004 into the national firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, where she is a partner in the Denver Office.

An active member of the ABA for almost 30 years with an extensive roster of involvement, Ms. Mathis served as chair of its House of Delegates, the Association’s second highest officer. She is the fourth woman elected to serve as an ABA officer, and only the second member from Colorado to do so. In addition to the House of Delegates, she has been a member of the ABA Board of Governors, including its Executive Committee and Program and Planning Committee. Ms. Mathis has also held leadership positions with numerous other ABA entities, and has chaired the 30,000-member General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section, Commission on Women in the Profession; and the Standing Committee on Membership.

On a local level, Ms. Mathis has been active in the Denver Bar Association and Colorado Bar Association (CBA) for many years. She has held offices in the Young Lawyers Sections of both bar associations and served as First Vice President of the CBA. She earned her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1975 and her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from the University of Denver in 1972. She has received honorary doctorate degrees from Sienna College and the University of Denver, and an honorary Order of the Coif from the University of Colorado. A member of the Colorado and International Women’s Forum, Ms. Mathis has been honored as an outstanding attorney by the Denver and Colorado Bar Associations, the University of Colorado and the University of Albany School of Law.



Law Journal's Bi-Annual Symposium on CAFTA and Commercial Law Reform in the Americas
is Monday, February 27!

Email to register - no charge for students and faculty. However, the deadline to register for the luncheon has passed. Contact the Student Affairs Office for more information.

New Speaker Series to Explore Technology Innovation and Commercialization: Law, Policy and Business

International leaders continue to emphasize the need to focus on driving innovation and resulting knowledge and technology transfer processes to remain competitive in a dramatically changing global economy. North American regions such as California and British Columbia, along with Mexico, are working together to achieve competitive advantages through the analysis and implementation of best practices in research/discovery, development and commercialization. This topic will be the focus of the new Distinguished Speaker Series in 2006, "Technology Innovation and Commercialization: Law, Policy and Business." More.



Phi Alpha Delta and the Burbank Noon Lion's Club to Host a Barbeque at the Ronald McDonald House

On Saturday, February 25 at 5 p.m., Southwestern’s chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, together with the Burbank Noon Lion's Club, is hosting a barbeque at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, a "home away from home" for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. As accommodations for the child’s family can be very costly, the Ronald McDonald House serves as a temporary residence near medical facilities where family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support from other families in similar situations.

Attendees are encouraged to "just come ready to BBQ, and visit with the families," says Heidi Bitterman, organizer of the event for Phi Alpha Delta. "That's the best part. The families are all so friendly and grateful. They want to share their stories, and experiences. It will be a wonderful experience, and it will mean so much to those who live there."

The local Ronald McDonald House is at 4560 Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles. A personal tour of the house will be provided the night of the dinner. For more information or to RSVP for head count purposes, contact Heidi Bitterman at (323) 447-5273 or


Phi Alpha Delta is also organizing a cell phone donation drive throughout the month of February. If you or someone you know has an old, unwanted cell phone, you are encouraged to drop them in the specially marked bins on campus.

Moot Court Workshops and Demonstrations

Members of the Moot Court Honors Program will conduct oral advocacy workshops and demonstrations designed to assist first-year students in preparing for the upcoming Intramural Moot Court Competitions. A workshop will take place on Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m. in W311 and demonstrations will take place on Tuesday, February 28 at 12:30 and 8:10 p.m. and Thursday, March 2 at 12:30 p.m. in W611. All first-year students are encouraged to attend. Further information is available from the Moot Court Office.


Intramural Moot Court Schedule

First Round Oral Arguments
March 4 & 5

Appellate Brief Due
March 6

Second Round Oral Arguments
March 11 & 12

Third Round Oral Arguments
March 18

Octa & Quarter Final Rounds
Thursday, March 30

Semifinal & Final Rounds
Saturday, April 1

- Career Services Corner -

Barristers Panel to Discuss Tips on Starting Your Career Right

Southwestern is hosting a panel discussing discussing how to start your career off right - avoid the pitfalls and mistakes many new lawyers make - in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Barristers, on March 7 at 6 p.m. in W229 (registration at 5:30 p.m.). A catered meet and greet session will take place after the panel. Students interested in attending must RSVP to the LACBA Barristers Section as soon as possible by calling the Member Service Department at (213) 896-6560. Contact the Career Services Office for more information.

Government Career Day at Loyola Law School

The event, co-sponsored by Southwestern, gives students an opportunity to network and talk to a variety of government employers about career opportunities. Bring your resume and your networking skills, and be prepared to talk! More information is available in the Career Services Office.

Early Planning Encouraged for 2007 Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkship Applications

Applications for 2007 federal court clerkships will be due early September 2006, but students are encouraged to begin their planning now. Those interested in State Court clerkships need to check deadline dates, as they vary from state to state.

For more information, please see the Career Services Office and plan on attending the Career Services Seminar on Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkships, scheduled for April 6 at 12:30 & 5 p.m. in W311.

Career Symposium Hosted by the California Young Lawyers Association

On Saturday, April 22, the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) of the State Bar of California is hosting the 2006 Career Symposium. This day-long event will feature a variety of speakers on topics related to new and young lawyers, such as career planning, making a lateral move, refining interviewing skills and creative ways to use a law degree. The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Loyola Law School and will include lunch. Registration information and program details will be posted as they become available on the CYLA web page. For further information, contact the Career Services Office.

Southwestern to Co-Host National Externship Conference

Externships 3: Learning From Practice
On March 24 and 25, externship program directors, faculty and administrators from law schools around the country will convene in Los Angeles for their national conference, Externships 3: Learning From Practice. Hosted by GLACE (The Greater Los Angeles Consortium on Externships*), the event will be held at the Southwestern and Loyola campuses. The purpose of the conference is to bring together many of the most thoughtful and innovative people in the field nationwide to learn from each other in developing innovative approaches in improving externship pedagogy at individual law schools.

Professor Catherine Carpenter will present the second plenary session key address on "A Survey of Law School Curricula 1992-2002 and Beyond - The Status of Externships." Dean Bryant Garth will make introductory remarks; Professor Anahid Gharakhanian, Director of Externships; Julia Mason, Associate Director, Externship Program and Academic Support; and Mitzie Vitela, Externship and Academic Support Associate will be among the panelists. Professor Gharakhanian and Assistant Dean Doreen Heyer, along with Professor Barbara Blanco of Loyola, are heading up GLACE's efforts in planning and organizing the conference.

According to Professor Gharakhanian, "I'm thrilled that Southwestern has taken on a leadership role in hosting such a valuable conference. Developing and improving legal education through practical experiences is so important. Southwestern's initiative in organizing the conference reflects our commitment to Southwestern students to enhance their professional training through focus on practical skills and professionalism."

Further information about the conference is available online.


*A consortium of law school externship program directors from Chapman, Loyola, Pepperdine, Southwestern, UCLA, USC and Whittier Law Schools.



click on an image
from that event.




for more photos


Top left: Stephen B. Bright speaks to the Southwestern community at the annual Treusch Public Service Lecture.
Top right: The former students and colleagues of Professor Craig Christensen gathered to honor him on the occasion of his retirement at a special alumni- student networking reception hosted by OUTlaw (formerly the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Law Students and Friends Association at Southwestern).
Bottom left: Southwestern and Hoover Elementary students participate in the 20th Annual Hoover Mock Trial program, and the first one held in the Dixon Center. A reporter from KPCC-AM was in attendance to tape the event and a special report can be heard online (Note: 'Real Player' required).
Bottom right: The SBA celebrates the 2nd Annual Bison Week with a lunch break featuring Billy the Bison.


Professor Butler Shaffer
A dozen questions for: Professor Butler Shaffer

Q: What examples of your own experiences in the field do you share with your students?
A: Far too many to enumerate, but a common example involves the fact that clients have a far better sense of how well their attorneys are performing on their behalf than most lawyers think they do.

Q: Of all the publications you have written, what has been your favorite to research and write, and why?
A: My Calculated Chaos book, as it provided me the opportunity to discover the most important thing about writing: to explore and learn about something I hadn't fully understood before. Writing that does not better inform the writer is both a drudgery and waste of time.

Q: What would you want your students to walk away from your classroom with, if it could only be one thing?
A: A willingness to question - without fear of the consequences - everything they have learned, regardless of how sacred such knowledge may be regarded by themselves or others.

Q: What is one misconception about a law school professor you feel students have?
A: That we have the capacity to give them definitive answers to any legal question, and that we hide such answers from them.

Q: What has been the most memorable experience you have had as a professor?
A: Having an entire seminar class stay for about an hour-and-a-half after the class was to have ended to continue discussing a topic; having students proposing the continuation of the seminar even after the semester has ended.

Q: What is something you know now as a professor that you wish you knew as a law student?
A: How the learning process depends upon a continuing improvement in the quality of questions, and not in getting definitive answers. My favorite quotation is from Milton Mayer: "The questions that can be answered aren’t worth asking."

Q: What is your favorite memory of your law school experience?
A: How much my learning was facilitated by the thinking and questioning provided by my fellow students.

Q: What was your favorite course in law school and why?
A: "Reasoning and the Law" seminars (two of them) offered by Prof. Malcolm Sharp at the University of Chicago Law School. These seminars dealt with topics tangential to the study of law (e.g., "epistemology," and "utopian systems") using materials from philosophy, the sciences, literature, psychology, jurisprudence, etc., that reinforced my original purposes in going to law school (i.e., for intellectual development, not simply for trade-school training).

Q: What have YOU learned from your students while teaching law?
A: No matter how frustrated they become with the Socratic method, almost all trust my purposes in using it. I have also learned, from them, that trusting in uncertainty is important for both students and instructors.

Q: What is your favorite law-themed novel, movie or television show?
A: I must include three movies (in no order of importance): "Judgment at Nuremburg," "Inherit the Wind," and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Q: If you were stranded on an island, what three books would you want to have with you?
A: An unabridged dictionary, a thesaurus, and an historical atlas.

Q: When you were a young child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A writer and director of radio dramatic programs (I once fashioned myself another Orson Wells).


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

Jennifer Turner
This Month - Jennifer Turner, 1st-Year SCALE Student


"I always do everything as fast as I can," said Jennifer Turner, a first-year SCALE student. Indeed, the Wilmington, Delaware native's highly charged style has already enabled her to squeeze decades’ worth of achievements and experiences into her young life. In between her political science studies at the University of Delaware, Turner found time to volunteer on various political campaigns, where she developed a passion for politics. After graduating, she took a marketing job at MBNA America Bank, a Fortune 500 company, but soon relocated to Orange County after being chosen to help start a new bank branch there. Following four years at the company (which she described as "corporate boot camp"), politics came knocking in the form of a job offer from Senator John Edwards to work on his presidential campaign in Iowa.

"We had a great run because we were the underdogs," Turner recalled of the campaign, in which Edwards surprised many by coming in third in the Iowa caucuses. When Edwards joined presidential hopeful Senator John Kerry’s ticket, Turner and her boyfriend started a political action committee to help raise funds for the pair in Orange County - which is not exactly known as a bastion of liberalism. But after a frenetic four-month effort that involved house parties, door-to-door canvassing, and tens of thousands of bumper stickers, Turner's committee managed to raise $60,000 in small donations.

Though the campaign was unsuccessful, it did provide Turner with a new direction for her life. She decided to pursue law thanks to the inspiration of Edwards, who’d made his name as a trial attorney, as well as Orange County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbero, also a trial attorney. "They’re there to fight for people who don’t have a voice," she said. "They go out of their way to take cases for people who have been wronged. That’s what made me decide to go to law school."

Turner was lured by the accelerated pace of Southwestern's SCALE program, which, after just one semester, she says has proven invaluable. "The professors are killer," she said. "They have really just exceeded all the expectations I had." Recently selected for the law school's ITAP team, Turner is also juggling her role as Secretary of the Democratic Party of Orange County. After receiving her J.D., she hopes to practice personal injury and medical malpractice law in Orange County, targeting prescription drug companies whose products have caused injury to consumers.


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


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.




February - Black History Month

24 Student Commencement Speaker Applications Due, 6pm
25 Government Law Career Day, Loyola Law School
 Intramural Moot Court Workshop, 2pm, W311
 PAD McDonald House BBQ, 5pm
27 Law Journal Symposium, 8:30am - 5:15pm
28 Intramural Moot Court Demonstration, 12:30 & 8:10pm, W611
 Excellence in Teaching Award Nominations Due
March   1 Externship Fall Application Deadline
2 Intramural Moot Court Demonstration, 12:30pm, W611
4&5 Intramural Moot Court First Round Oral Arguments
6 Intramural Moot Court Appellate Brief Due
7 LACBA Barristers Panel, 6pm, W229
11&12 Intramural Moot Court Second Round Oral Arguments
16 Career Services Practice Area Panels: Civil Litigation, 12:30pm, W311
18 Intramural Moot Court Third Round Oral Arguments
20-26 Spring Break
28 Career Services Practice Area Panels: Government Practice, 12:30pm, W311
30 Intramural Moot Court Octa & Quarter Final Rounds


1 Intramural Moot Court Semi & Final Oral Arguments
6 Seminar: Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkships, 12:30 & 5pm, W311

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.