Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
Southwestern Reporter

November/December 2006

In This Issue:



Darnell and Engel Perero Can Now Say 'We are the [International] Champions!'

Southwestern's team of Katie Darnell and James Engel Perero returned to Los Angeles as the Champions of the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. The participating teams competed in two phases: a regional (national) qualifying competition against law schools from the U.S. and Australia, and an international competition against top teams from around the world.

The team finished as finalists in the regional round of the competition, held in Tampa, Florida, which qualified them to advance to the international competition. In addition, Darnell earned the honor of Second Place Oralist in the regional competition. In the international round, Darnell and Engel Perero competed against teams from John Marshall and Hastings, as well as international teams from Brazil, India, and Sydney, Australia. In the end, the Southwestern team prevailed in front of a bench of international environmental law scholars, practitioners, and human rights attorneys. Darnell also earned the Best Oralist title in the international round. The team was advised by two members of last year's Second Place team, Nanette Reed '06 and Edward Wiley '06, as well as Melanie Partow '04.

"Of particular note is our team's success over the team from Sydney, Australia," said Partow. After competing against Sydney three times in the qualifying and preliminary rounds, and losing each round (despite prevailing oral scores), Darnell and Engel Perero once again competed against the team in the final round of the international competition - which they won, becoming the international champions. "It was a well deserved success," shared the proud alumna advisor.

ITAP Teams Excel at Competitions

Southwestern's Interscholastic Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP) teams have been making their mark in competitions. At the San Diego Defense Lawyers Competition, a national invitational, 20 teams competed, including advocates from schools such as Pepperdine, St. John's, Brooklyn and Hastings. Southwestern's Team 1, consisting of Torsten Bassel, Alison Gray, Heather Patrick and Evan Okamura advanced to the semi-final round where they defeated the team from McGeorge and won overall Second Place in the competition. Southwestern's Team 2, with members Tessa King, Sharon Liang, Heena Patel and Antoine Williams received honorable mention as one of the top eight teams.

Out of 16 teams in the 2006 St. John's National Civil Rights Competition, Southwestern finished third overall. The team of four - including Ron Carey, Mia Flosiand, Britton Light, and Jen Turner - won the preliminary rounds, defeating Thomas Cooley and the host school, St. John's. The team was seeded number two in the Semi-Final round, where they faced the University of Florida (last year's champions) and lost on a split ballot decision. Some of the other law schools teams competing were William and Mary, Brooklyn, McGeorge, NYU, University of Virginia, and the University of Georgia.

"All did an outstanding job and were excellent ambassadors for our law school," said Adjunct Professor Joseph Esposito '89, an ITAP advisor. "Team Manager Chris Young made sure every last detail was dealt with so the advocates could focus on the competition." Three Southwestern alumni served as assistant coaches for this team: Mario Trujillo '96, Oksana Sigal '06 and Mike Carroll '06.

For the second year, Southwestern hosted the Third Annual ABA Labor & Employment Law Trial Competition, where the law school's team finished as semi finalists. Southwestern's competitors included student advocates Linda Bradlyn, Yan Gershfeld, Autumn Puro and Clinton Hare, who went undefeated in the preliminary rounds and entered the semi-finals ranked in first place. There were a total of 10 teams from seven law schools including Pepperdine, Chapman, University of San Diego, UCLA, California Western and Thomas Jefferson. Professor Joseph Esposito called the team's effort "an amazing product in the semi-finals and a narrow loss to the ultimate tournament champs, Pepperdine. The round was so close that the Tournament Director felt we had won!"

Students Participate in Fall Externships

This semester, 79 Southwestern students served in full- and part-time externships in judicial offices, government and public interest agencies, and companies that focus on entertainment law.



New Advances in Online Registration

As of November, Southwestern students are able to add and drop courses through WebAdvisor, a web interface that allows students to access certain academic information online. With this launch of the new add/drop feature, first-year day students are now able to register for their Spring 2007 electives, while upper division students are able to add and drop courses for the Spring semester online. Students were first introduced to WebAdvisor in April 2006, when they could simply view their grades, class schedules, and unofficial transcripts, as well as submit updates to contact information. In August, students were able to begin searching for classes online. The new add/drop feature is another exciting step towards Southwestern’s plan to make full online registration available for the 2007-2008 academic year. The WebAdvisor implementation team welcomes input regarding the new online system. Comments or questions regarding WebAdvisor may be directed to the Registration Office.

Taylor Library Hours: December - January


Reading Week and Finals: December 1 - December 22

Monday - Friday - 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Saturday - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Sunday - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Thursday, December 21 - 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday, December 22 - 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


BW 1 & 2 available to students December 1 - 19 from midnight to 2:00 a.m.

Winter Break: December 23 - January 8

Saturday, December 23 - Monday, January 1, 2007 - CLOSED
Tuesday, January 2 - 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 3 - 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 4 - 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday, January 5 - 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 6 - 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 7 - 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Staff Promotions

A number of Southwestern staff members have recently received promotions. They are:

  • Joan Bautista, Associate Director of Development
  • Jennifer Chang, Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Elizabeth Eck, Careers Services Associate
  • Johanna Gan, Administrative Services Associate II
  • John Kohler, Events Manager
  • Queli Liao-Lamco, Technical Support Specialist
  • Anne Lynn, Administrative Assistant
  • Tamara Moore, Program Manager - Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute
  • Angelique Porter, Faculty Services Manager
  • Robin Prophete, Career Services Associate II
  • Sylvia Villalpando, Administrative Assistant
  • Mitzie Vitela, Administrative Assistant


A Dozen Questions for Professor Anahid Gharakhanian

Q: What would you like your students to gain from your classes if it could only be one thing?
A: Professionalism - I think it's very important for law students to realize that their role is no longer one of a student but a professional-in-training. LAWS teaches students how to think about a legal problem, research it and write (and talk) about it effectively. A crucial theme throughout is professionalism, including always remembering the sense of professional responsibility, doing the best job possible, and establishing a solid reputation.

Q: What did you learn from your participation in Harvard's Prison Legal Assistance Project?
A: A lot! Most importantly, a first-hand lesson about the human stories behind my clients' criminal cases and the disciplinary proceedings in which I represented them.

Q: After earning your bachelor's degree in Philosophy, what influenced you to attend law school?
A: A couple of things ... I had a general interest in how the law impacts people's daily lives and interactions. Also, being the daughter of immigrant parents, I felt that I owed it to my family and community to get the best education possible and pursue a professional career.

Q: As Faculty Advisor for PLEAS and for the Armenian Laws Students' Association, what is the most common piece of advice you have given students?
A: Reflect, plan and take charge of your education and career, but also be open to pursuing unanticipated opportunities.

Q: What has been your greatest accomplishment?
A: If I have to pick one thing, I'd have to say it's getting myself onto a trajectory (and some of it is definitely right time/right place phenomenon) that allows me to be engaged in what I think is really worthwhile and enjoyable (without sacrificing one for the other) - namely, my current job, family and community, and personal interests.

Q: As the Director of Externships, why do you believe that the "Guided Reflections" that externs participate in online benefit both the students and the program?
A: Being a reflective student (or professional-in-training) is crucial to having a worthwhile educational experience as opposed to just experiencing a field placement. The Guided Reflections compel externs to think about why they are doing an externship, what they're learning and how they're learning it. They force the student to think about the quality of supervision they're getting and to do something about it if they are not satisfied with it. Being a reflective student makes for a reflective professional - which is essential to good lawyering.

Q: What examples from your own experiences in the field do you share with your students?
A: Examples that shed light on the realities of practice - the joys as well as the challenges! I talk about judges who can be difficult; the enormous satisfaction of a job well done; the seemingly impossible necessity for attention to detail; and the personal stories behind even the most impersonal cases.

Q: What do you like most about teaching Legal Analysis, Writing & Skills?
A: I really like teaching a course that provides law students with the fundamentals of being an attorney and developing skills that are crucial to all different sorts of practice. It's so satisfying to hear from students how useful LAWS was to their summer job, externship or work as an attorney.

Q: Who are your personal heroes?
A: I grew up part of an immigrant family and community and have always held in high regard parents' sacrifices for creating better lives for their children. So, I'd say my parents are my personal heroes and in a wider context, my admiration goes to people who take on the responsibility of improving others' lives.

Q: What have you enjoyed most about the pro bono work you've done?
A: My pro bono work has been in the area of family law and domestic violence. What I've most enjoyed is helping people, especially children, get some stability, and in some cases safety and security, in their lives.

Q: If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
A: Write for the radio show "This American Life."

Q: Why did you choose to teach at Southwestern?
A: Southwestern puts students first and educates them to be effective lawyers (not always the case with law schools!). I also like Southwestern's commitment to diversity - ranging from its part-time evening and day programs to the other types of diversity that are represented in the student body, faculty and administration.



  • Freedom of Dress: State and Private Regulation of Clothing, Hairstyle, Makeup, Tattoo, and Piercing Choices 66, MARYLAND LAW REVIEW (2006)
  • Presentation, "Freedom of Dress: State and Private Regulation of Clothing, Hairstyle, Makeup, Tattoo, and Piercing Choices," Makeup, Performance, Identity, and Discrimination Conference, Duke Law School, Durham, North Carolina
  • Speaker, "Good (Native) Governance," Emerging Scholars Panel, Native American Alumni Celebration, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Speaker, "Tribal Sovereignty in a Post-9/11 World," The Pedagogy of American Indian Law, University of North Dakota Law School, Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Speaker, "The Web 2.0 and Other New Licensing Methods," IFCLA Conference on IT LAW - The Global Future, International Federation of Computer Law Association, Amsterdam, Holland
  • Panelist, "The Right of Privacy and the Government's Right To Know," Privacy Rights in the Internet Age, San Fernando Valley Bar Association, California State University at Northridge (CSUN)
  • Co-Chair, roundtable discussion, "Suing the Spooks: NSA Litigation and the Future of Privacy," Southwestern Law School and the State Bar of California IP Section, Computer Law Committee, Southwestern Law School


Professor Sobel Named Chair-Elect of Prestigious ABA Forum Committee

Professor Lon Sobel is the new Chair-Elect of the American Bar Association's Forum Committee on the Entertainment & Sports Industries. He was elected in October at the Forum's Annual Meeting in Century City. Professor Sobel will become Chair of the Forum - which has more than 4,000 members, a quarter of whom are Law Student members of the ABA - next August. The Forum presents an annual day-and-a-half CLE program on entertainment, sports and arts law, alternating each year between Los Angeles and New York. It also sponsors several shorter programs throughout the year in different cities around the country. And it publishes the quarterly Entertainment & Sports Lawyer. Professor Sobel has been a full-time member of the Southwestern faculty for two years and is the Director of Southwestern's International Entertainment & Media Law Summer Program in London.

Southwestern Welcomes New Adjunct Faculty

Experts in various areas of law have joined Southwestern's adjunct faculty for Spring 2007. More.

Eight is Great

For the eighth consecutive year, Professor Michael Berger has been selected Commencement Grand Marshal by graduating students - he will again lead the opening processional in the May 20 ceremonies. Southwestern extends congratulations to Professor Berger once again!


Give a Little Bit

Southwestern's student organizations show their commitment to spreading some holiday cheer by bringing the law school's community together to help those in need. In this season of giving, the student organizations at Southwestern are finding ways to help others. The Latino Law Students Association (LLSA) is sponsoring their fifth annual toy drive for children in Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade classes at Hoover Elementary School. Each child has written a letter to Santa asking for one special gift (the teachers have been instructed to guide the children towards asking for gifts valued at $20, so no child will receive something more expensive than another). Last year, more than 700 gifts were delivered to the classes. These toys may be the only holiday gift received by some. "It's an amazing tradition and an opportunity to help kids who really need it," LLSA co-president Elisabeth Duarte said.

Those interested in contributing can pick up a "Letter to Santa" November 20 - 22 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the Westmoreland front steps. All gifts must be turned in to Dean Cameron's office by Friday, December 8 so they can be wrapped on December 9. Everyone is invited to the wrapping party on the 3rd floor of the Bullocks Wilshire building. Santas will deliver the gifts to Hoover students on Friday, December 15.

LLSA co-presidents Elisabeth Duarte and Daniel Goularte have made this year's project even more ambitious. "We have agreed to take on one more track for the Hoover drive, bringing gifts to kids who will not be in session when we have the Santas come to the school," Duarte said. (Those gifts will be delivered when that track returns to school.)

Donations are also gladly accepted ($20 per child - make checks payable to "LLSA at Southwestern"). Email

Biederman Institute Examines Digital Revolution

On Thursday, January 25, the Biederman Institute will present its annual conference co-sponsored with the Media Law Resource Center, "REVOLUTION: Legal Challenges of Integrating Traditional Media and Entertainment into a Digital Environment." The industry is already beginning to shift with the music business moving from CDs to the Internet, theatrical revenues increasingly derived from DVD sales, more first-run TV series available for viewing on portable digital devices, and individual discussions’ proliferation on the blogosphere. The conference will explore the immense legal challenges provided by these seismic changes that continue to evolve in the digital world. The event offers 4 hours of CLE credit. The student rate is $25; for others, early registration (before January 15) is $100; thereafter, the rate is $110. More information is available through the Institute Office.

Summer Options and Opportunities for the First-Year Student

Find out about all of the options and opportunities available for your first summer in law school. Information will be presented regarding summer abroad programs, summer school and externships, working in a law firm, working in the public interest, and becoming a research assistant on Tuesday, January 9 at 12:30 pm in W311. This is a "must-attend" event for all first-year students!

Orientation Set for Public Interest Career Day

In anticipation of Public Interest Career Day, when students can interview with a variety of public interest employers, government agencies and law firms, a mandatory orientation program will take place on January 10 at 12:30 & 5 p.m. in W311. Topics covered include participation guidelines, funding options and applicable hiring criteria. Additional information is available from the Career Services Office.

It is Never Too Early to Have a Stellar Resume!

The winter break is a good time to get that resume together. Career Services offers winning resume samples in their office or online. You can also get some tips and advice at the Resume/Cover Letter Preparation Workshop on Thursday, January 11 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. in W311.


Law Review Symposium -
"Rules of Evidence: FRE v. CEC"

February 2-3, 2007

Law Journal Symposium - "Antitrust and Intellectual Property in Global Context: A Symposium in Celebration of the Work of Lawrence A. Sullivan"
February 23, 2007

Southwestern faculty, students and staff will have the opportunity to attend the programs without charge; however, reservations will be required. More information will be available online in January.


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

This Month - Elisabeth Duarte, 3rd-Year Day Program


Elisabeth Duarte has never suffered the indecisiveness that afflicts so many of her Generation Y peers. She knew she wanted to be an attorney when she was in third grade. "My parents always said 'You're going to be a doctor or a lawyer, you pick,'" she said.

The 3rd-year day student says she's lucky. After all, she landed the first job she applied for, working part time as a law clerk for Wilkes & McHugh, a civil litigation firm that specializes in nursing home abuse/neglect cases. She's co-president (along with Daniel Goularte) of the Latino Law Students Association (LLSA), the award-winning student group responsible for the successful Hoover Elementary Toy Drive. She'll be competing with ITAP during the spring semester, and she received a scholarship from the Mexican American Bar Foundation. In August, she'll marry her longtime boyfriend.

But her hard work and dedication play a far bigger role in her early successes than good fortune. Her parents immigrated to America from Cuba in the1970s and Duarte has lived in Torrance all her life. She earned her bachelors degree in Political Science with a minor in Law & Society at USC in just three years. Duarte saw opportunities at Southwestern and wanted to stay in the Los Angeles area.

She carries a full course load and works 16-20 hours per week in a job where she's had to learn a lot about medicine and the problems nursing home patients face. "My job is all about discovery. I interact with clients a lot, and I like litigation much more than pushing papers. There's more heart to it," she said. As the only person in the office who is fluent in Spanish, Duarte is also able to communicate with more clients.

Now in the thick of November, preparing for the toy drive (see the Hoover Toy Drive story above) takes a tremendous amount of her time and energy. But all the meetings, coordination, gift wrapping, and volunteering, especially right in the midst of final exams, are worth it to Duarte. "It's an amazing tradition that Patricia Higuera '05 started. The children at Hoover Elementary write the cutest little letters to Santa. They're mostly Latino and just learning to speak English. They'll ask for dolls, crayons and balls. Their requests alone make you realize you're dealing with kids in tremendous need."


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.

Recently Added:
Family Court Review (FCR), the interdisciplinary journal of Hofstra University School of Law and the Association for Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), announced its 2007 Family Law Writing Competition, run by the editorial staff of FCR in cooperation with Hofstra's Center for Children, Families & the Law and the AFCC. The subject of entries may be within any area of family law, although topics that focus on international or interdisciplinary subjects of family law are especially encouraged. First Place prize includes $500 and consideration of publication in FCR. There are also up to two honorable mention winners, who will receive $250. The deadline for submission is March 15, 2007. Submission guidelines are available at Questions and entries should be emailed to

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.



22 Administrative Holiday - No evening classes
23 - 25 Thanksgiving Holiday - No Classes
28 Administrative Holiday - Monday classes meet instead of Tuesday classes


1 Last Day of Classes
2-6 Reading Period
7-21 Final Exams
21 End of Fall Semester

January   8 First Day of Classes; Spring Semester begins
9 Workshop: Summer Options and Opportunities for the First-Year Student, 12:30 p.m., W311
10 Public Interest Career Day Orientation, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
11 Workshop: Resume/Cover Letter Preparation, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday - No Classes
17 SCALE Alumni-Student Networking Event, 5:30 p.m.
25 "Revolution: Legal Challenges of Integrating Traditional Media and Entertainment into a Digital Environment," 2 - 6:30 p.m.


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.