Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
Southwestern Reporter

November/December 2007

In This Issue:


New Dean's Fellows Program:
Students Helping Students

The first year of law school can be overwhelming for many students who are being taught to think in a different way for the first time. In an effort to provide additional assistance to 1Ls, Professor Nyree Gray, Director of Diversity Affairs at Southwestern, has developed and implemented the Dean's Fellows program. Students enrolled in specific courses have the opportunity to work with an upper division student who has completed and excelled in the same class, taught by the same professor. "Professors have specific styles and ways of teaching," Professor Gray said. "I want to pair students with fellows who have been through the same process with the same instructors."

Several aspects of the program provide Southwestern students with a unique opportunity to work with their peers in an effort to bolster their confidence and performance. Any first-year student who wants help can participate. All they need to do is contact Professor Gray, who will meet with them, assess their needs and select the fellow for them to work with. The fellows hired to serve in these notable positions are paid through Federal Work Study Funds and meet with the students at a mutually convenient time. "What distinguishes a Dean's Fellow is that students cannot apply for these prestigious positions. They have to be invited," Professor Gray said. Read more.

'Tis the Season for Giving

Southwestern's student organizations show their commitment to spreading some holiday cheer by bringing the law school community together to help those in need. The Latino Law Students Association (LLSA) is sponsoring their Sixth 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 900 gifts were delivered to the classes. These toys may be the only holiday gift received by some. This year, LLSA has partnered with local television station LATV and hopes to expand the gift giving efforts beyond the second grade with their assistance.

"The gratitude and amazement on the faces of these children makes all of LLSA's work and the contributions of our generous sponsors more than worthwhile," LLSA co-president China Rosas said. Those still interested in contributing can pick up a "Letter to Santa" by emailing All gifts must be turned in to Dean Cameron's Office by Friday, December 7, so that any unwrapped gifts can be wrapped before delivery day. Santas will deliver the gifts to Hoover students on Friday, December 21.Donations are also gladly accepted ($20 per child - make checks payable to "LLSA at Southwestern"). Email or contact Dean Cameron's Office for more information.



Moot Court Teams Return from First Amendment and Entertainment Law Competitions with Honors

The Wechsler Team with Professor Carpenter
Upholding its tradition in excellence in the Moot Court arena, Southwestern's teams excelled at the Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition held in early November in Washington, D.C., as well as at the Tenth Annual National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition held in mid-November at Pepperdine Law School in Malibu.

The Weschler team, consisting of writer Nick Francescon and oralists Julia Romano and Linet Bidrossian competed against 30 other teams and earned Second Place after a close 3 to 2 vote in the final round. Francescon's brief also garnered Second Place and Romano won the Best Finalist Oralist award. Read more.


TAHP Team Reaches Semi-Finals

The Trial Advocacy Honors Program team of Amber Acuna, Karine Mkrtchyan, Kiernan Curley, and Angelica Ramos reached the Semi-Finals in the ABA Labor & Employment Law Trial Advocacy competition at the United States District Courthouse in Los Angeles. Faculty advisors included Professor Karen Smith and Adjunct Professor Anthony Koutris, and Marie Maurice served as team manager.

ABA Delegate and Southwestern Student Marc Baranov Writes About Loan Legislation

Third-year day student Marc Baranov currently serves as a Delegate from the American Bar Association Law Student Division to the ABA House of Delegates. One of his main goals in this position has been working on LRAP (loan repayment assistance programs), trying to get the federal government to forgive loans for students who work in public interest. As a part of this, he wrote an article to update law students on the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA), a bill recently passed to ease the burden of heavy student loan debt. Click here to read the article.


January Symposia Tackle Torts and Latin American Legal Reform

Southwestern will host two symposia in January - Perspectives on Asbestos Litigation and Abandoning the Inquisitor: Latin America's Criminal Procedure Revolution. A third symposium on wrongful convictions is set for February and will be detailed in the next issue.

Perspectives on Asbestos Litigation

Asbestos litigation is America's longest-lasting mass tort phenomenon, and its importance only continues to grow. A recent study confirms that by 2009, asbestos will have killed nearly a quarter million people and injured millions more. As of 2002, approximately 730,000 people had filed asbestos claims against 8,400 corporate and other entities, which have spent $70 billion on asbestos litigation, with only $30 billion, or 42 percent of the total, going to the injured claimants. Southwestern University Law Review presents Perspectives on Asbestos Litigation on Friday, January 18 offering a comprehensive look at this unique problem, while seeking to initiate a multilateral dialogue dedicated to synthesis and solutions - all in a unique format that moves from the most practical issues to the most theoretical, political and sociological. Read more about this Law Review Symposium.

Abandoning the Inquisitor:
Latin America's Criminal
Procedure Revolution

Starting with reforms in Argentina in 1991, Latin America has seen a revolution to establish adversarial, oral proceedings and options for abbreviated trial processes. The Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas presents Abandoning the Inquisitor: Latin America's Criminal Procedure Revolution, a one-day symposium on Friday, January 25 that will bring together leading legal figures to analyze the reforms achieved in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela, the ongoing reforms and debates in Mexico, the role of international organizations in the reform process, and recent developments to follow European moves toward jury trials. Read more about this Law Journal Symposium.


Julia Mason Externship Open Forum
January 16-17, 12:30 p.m., Central Hall

The annual Forum provides an opportunity for students to speak informally with practicing attorneys that participate in Southwestern's Externship Program. For more information, click here or contact the Externship Office.




Southwestern Joins ABA Minority Judicial
Clerkship Program

To encourage minority law students to pursue judicial clerkships, the American Bar Association's Judicial Division and Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity in the Profession created the Minority Judicial Clerkship Program. Southwestern is one of a limited number of law schools invited to participate in the program which brings together approximately 50 minority law students from around the country, judges and former law clerks.

The group participates in panel discussions, a research and writing exercise, and informal social events. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and research skills in a small group setting while interacting with judges and former clerks in a team-building project. The program will be held February 7-10, during the 2008 ABA Midyear Meeting in Los Angeles.

Southwestern students are encouraged to apply. Participation is open to first and second-year Day students, second and third-year PLEAS and Evening students, and first and second-year SCALE students. The deadline for applications is December 10, 2007. Applications will be posted on the Diversity Affairs Information Board located outside of BW370, or can be requested by email. In consideration of final exams, there is a condensed two (2) page application. Questions may be directed to Professor Nyree Gray, Director of Diversity Affairs. Further information on the program is available online.

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, externships, working in a law firm, working in public interest, becoming a research assistant for a professor, volunteering, as well as the Law Review and Law Journal "write on" competition on Tuesday, January 8 at 12:30 pm in W511. 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 Wednesday, January 9 at 12:30 & 5 p.m. in W311. Topics covered include participation guidelines, funding options and applicable hiring criteria.

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 10 at 12:30 and 5 p.m. in W311.
Additional information for the three above events is available from the Career Services Office.


Carnegie Foundation Selects Southwestern for Groundbreaking Legal Education Study

Southwestern has been chosen as one of ten law schools by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to participate in a consortium on the future of legal education. As a member of this eminent group, Southwestern is one of two California schools, along with Stanford, to be included in the project that will develop recommendations on law school curricula and skills training over the next few years. They will be joined by the City University of New York School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Harvard Law School, Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law, New York University School of Law, University of Dayton School of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law, and Vanderbilt Law School.

According to Dean Bryant Garth, "Based on my own research and involvement with legal education and the profession over the past several decades, I am convinced that the Carnegie Foundation is pointed in the right direction in influencing the reform of the teaching of law. We are honored that Southwestern has been selected to play a key role in this effort to help provide law students around the country with the tools they need to successfully prepare for - and reinvigorate - the profession." Read more.

Southwestern’s Katrina Efforts Recognized by Pro Bono Council

Southwestern was honored at the 2007 Los Angeles Pro Bono Council Luncheon featuring Chief Justice Ronald George of the California Supreme Court on December 3. Dean Bryant Garth represented the law school at the program recognizing "the Pro Bono Achievements of the Katrina Response Volunteers." Southwestern worked closely with the Pro Bono Council during the aftermath of the Katrina disaster in organizing Red Cross and legal clinic training to prepare lawyers and law students for assisting hurricane victims who had been relocated to Los Angeles.

Mitch Kamin, president of Bet Tzedek Legal Services (a member organization of the Pro Bono Council), had commended Southwestern for its efforts in providing the first legal clinic of its kind for displaced Katrina victims, during his Public Interest Law Week keynote address at the law school last month. Southwestern’s volunteer efforts were spearheaded by students Ed Anderson, Linda K. Bradlyn '07 and Alison Kleaver '07 in conjunction with the Dean’s Office.

The Los Angeles Pro Bono Council was formed in 2005 to encourage law firms to provide pro bono services and assist lawyers in finding pro bono opportunities. Pro Bono Council organizers credit Chief Justice George with inspiring their efforts as he has been instrumental in advocating increased attorney volunteerism statewide.


  • Presenter, "Law Tutors' Training Workshop," UC Davis School of Law, Davis, CA



Faculty Scholarship Highlighted in Newsletter

Southwestern's new Faculty Scholarship newsletter is now available online (PDF). The publication highlights some of the latest research and scholarship being produced at Southwestern, including: Professor Sung Hui Kim discussing her article "Gatekeepers Inside Out" (Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics (2007)), Professor Warren Grimes recent exploration of buyer power in antitrust law, and a Q & A with Professor James Kushner about his current research projects on urban planning/development law, global climate change, and a new edition of his Land Use Law Casebook.

Southwestern Welcomes New Adjunct Faculty

Two experts in entertainment law have joined Southwestern's adjunct faculty for Spring 2008. Read more.




Taylor Library Hours for December and January

Reading Week and Finals: December 2-21

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.
Wednesday, December 19: 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Thursday-Friday, December 20-21: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

BW1 & BW2 available to students November 30 - December 17 from midnight to 2:00 a.m.

Winter Break: December 22 - January 6

Saturday, December 22 through Tuesday, January 1: CLOSED
Wednesday, January 2: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 3: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday, January 4: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 5: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 6: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Staff Additions and Promotions

Anel Mora, Student Services Assistant, Financial Aid - Ms. Mora earned a B.A. degree from Mount Saint Mary’s College, where she majored in Sociology with an emphasis in Communications, Documentary Film and Social Justice.  Fluent in Spanish, her prior work experience includes customer service, handling inquiries and office management.

David Lalazarian, Multimedia Assistant, Administrative Services - Mr. Lalazarian earned his B.A. degree in History from Pepperdine University and is currently pursuing his J.D. degree in Southwestern’s evening program. He has worked as a college work study student at Southwestern in both the Fitness Center and audio-visual services for the past two years. 


  • Arline Asplund - Senior Associate Director, Administrative Services
  • Joan Bautista - Senior Associate Director, Development
  • Aaron Brown - Head of Circulation Services, Law Library
  • Marcie Canal - Senior Assistant Director, Administrative Services
  • Ivonne Castillo - Public Information Associate, Public Information
  • Elizabeth Eck - Assistant Director, Career Services
  • Rosalyn Escobar - Administrative Services Associate, Administrative Services
  • Johanna Gan - Assistant Director, Administrative Services
  • Joyce Lam - Counselor II, Financial Aid
  • Hannah Lee - Registration and Academic Records Associate, Registration and Academic Records
  • Tamara Moore - Assistant Director, Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute
  • Ayumi Nakamoto - Associate Director, Registration and Academic Records
  • Paulette Palafox - Senior Assistant Director, Admissions
  • Robin Prophete - Assistant Director, Career Services
  • Liz Reinhardt - Associate Director, Public Information
  • Mitzie Vitela - Externship Program Coordinator, Externship Program
  • Caleb Winter - Office Coordinator, Admissions


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

This Month - Leah Cohen-Mays, Second-year Evening Program
Many people in L.A. will tell you that, no matter what they do to bring home a paycheck, they are really actors. Leah Cohen-Mays says that she is a law student who just happens to work as a professional actress. She enjoys providing the voice of Cleo in "Tutenstein" on Discovery Kids, teaching hip-hop to children at Reflections Dance Studio in Woodland Hills, and acting in commercials for Wal-Mart and promos for the TV show "Monk." She recently completed a stint on "Dance Revolution," a Saturday morning program on CBS where she coached kids to dance in an effort to encourage young viewers at home to get off of the couch and move. 

But the second-year evening student is so much more than just another talent in a sea of aspiring stars. Cohen-Mays uses her intelligence and enthusiasm to contribute to her law school experience. Looking at her list of extracurricular activities at Southwestern, one wonders where she finds the time for showbiz and volunteer work. She is a member of the Moot Court Honors Program, a writer for the Commentator, the Fundraising Chair for BLSA, Secretary of the Christian Legal Society, and as a member of the Public Interest Law Committee, she served as Chairperson of the Trivia Bowl Challenge during Public Interest Law Week, co-writing 175 questions as well as hosting the competition. "I love this place!" Cohen-Mays said of Southwestern. "I love the professors, the students, and Dean Garth. He's funny and cool and open to what you have to say."

Born in Tarboro, North Carolina, and raised in Miami, Florida, Cohen-Mays earned her bachelors degree from Hampton University in Virginia, where she studied biology and considered becoming a doctor. She was in a Post-Baccalaureate program at the University of Miami when her advisor suggested she work in a hospital to see if medical school was the right decision before making the seven-year commitment to it. She volunteered at the Miami Children's Hospital where she realized the medical profession was not for her.

After college, Cohen-Mays moved to L.A. and spent seven years working in human resources at Capitol Records. If it seems that her career pursuits have run the gamut, one thing is certain: she wants to use her law degree to help others, especially youth, in need. "I have that crazy creative personality that I don't know exactly what I want to do, but I know what I want to eventually achieve, to be a judge," she said. "But I'm exploring my options to learn the best path to get there while helping children along the way."



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.




1 Last day of classes
2-5 Reading Period
3 Bar Passers Swearing-in Ceremony and Reception
6 Final Exams begin
10 AEG Speaker Series: How to Get a Job in Sports & Entertainment Law, 6:30 p.m., Staples Center
20 Final Exams end; 2007 Fall Semester ends


7 First Day of Classes; 2008 Spring Semester begins
 Mandatory Externship Orientation, 5 p.m., W511
8 Summer Options and Opportunities for the First-Year Student, 12:30 p.m., W511
9 Public Interest Career Day Orientation, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
10 Resume & Cover Letter Writing for Public Interest Positions, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
15 Last Day to Add/Drop Classes
16 Inn of St. Ives Meeting/Dinner
16-17 Julia Mason Externship Open Forum, 12:30 p.m., BW Central Hall
18 Law Review Symposium: Perspectives on Asbestos Litigation
21 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday - No classes
23 Researching & Applying to Law Firms, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
 LGBT/OUTLaw Alumni-Student Reception, 5:30 p.m., Louis XVI Room
25 Law Journal Symposium: Abandoning the Inquisitor
28 Visiting Speaker Series: Kimberly Kessler-Ferzan, Professor and Co-Director, Institute for Law and Philosophy, Rutgers School of Law - Camden, "The Right to Self-Defense," 12:30 p.m., BW370
 Spring Externs Small Group Meeting, 5 p.m.
29 Interviewing for Public Interest Career Day, 12:30 & 5 p.m., W311
31 MLRC 5th Annual Conference, The Digital Earthquake: Groundbreaking Changes Affecting Entertainment and Media Law

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.