Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
Southwestern Reporter

September 2006

In This Issue:

Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) to be Discussed at Special Forum with Dean Garth

Did you know that Southwestern students spend an average of more than 19 hours per week on reading associated with their classes in their first year, and just over 13 hours per week in their third year? Or that they average 6.5 to 7 hours per week commuting to school? And that first and second-year students here are more likely to have had "serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity" than students at other law schools?

These and a variety of other findings about Southwestern students' experiences were collected from the 2006 Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) this past spring. Thanks to all of our students who participated in the survey, the Southwestern faculty, staff and trustees have a better sense of how the law school is doing in terms of "the extent to which law students devote time and energy to educationally sound activities and the policies and practices that induce students to take part in such activities." Dean Garth has scheduled an open meeting with students to present a report on the survey results on October 24 at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m.

This was the second year that Southwestern participated in the LSSSE, providing the law school with an opportunity to compare results with other participating schools as well as with our own results from last year. The 2006 national survey included 64 schools and nearly 25,000 individual respondents. More than 53% of our students answered the survey, just under the national average, but an increase of close to 20­­% over the Southwestern participation rate of the previous year. More.


Parents and Partners Invited to Be
Law Students for a Day

Southwestern's annual Parents and Partners Day gives students the opportunity to show loved ones the day-to-day rigors of law school first-hand. The half-day program on Saturday, October 21 includes a simulated first-year classroom experience, a demonstration of the Moot Court and ITAP programs, an overview of career services, a workshop for spouses and partners, and a tour of the Bullocks Wilshire building, as well as breakfast and lunch. Further information is available from the Development Office.

Remember to mark your calendar for the following events featured in last month's Reporter!

    On September 21, the Biederman Institute's "Conversations With..." series will feature Jamie Gold, the Readers' Representative of the Los Angeles Times, in a discussion titled "Don't Shoot the Messenger." The event offers one unit of MCLE credit and a reception will follow.
  • On October 21, Southwestern and Loyola Law Schools are co-sponsoring a program, Legal and Business Issues in the Videogame Industry, at Loyola.
  • Law Review will present two symposia in October - a progress report on the "After the J.D." study on October 9 and a 40th anniversary retrospective of California's federal judicial districts on October 27. Southwestern faculty, students and staff will have the opportunity to attend the Law Review symposia without charge; however, reservations are required and may be made through the Student Affairs Office.


Moot Court, Law Review and Law Journal Staff Appointed

The Moot Court Honors Program is proud to announce its members for the 2006-2007 school year. In addition to the Board of Governors - Todd Fertig, Lindsay Michaelson, James Motter, Sumi Rao, Kendall Swanson and Sarah Wolk - returning members are Vysh Chandra, Howard Chernin, Brian Cruz, Elicka Decker, Vered Golan, Colin Hardacre and Jason Joyal. New Members are Hildy Aguinaldo, Alexis Amber, Astineh Arakelian, Marc Baranov, Daria Boxer, Tom Cassaro, Katie Darnell, Melanie Deutsch, Rosemary Do, James Engel-Perero, Nick Francescon, Angela Fresquez, Leila Golchehreh, Lindsay Harrell, Mary Lindsay, Sara Lee, Zack Levine, Michael Manapol, Greg Mohrman, Michael Montgomery, Elian Nassi, Danielle Ochi, Kim Rocque, Jenny Rodriguez, Julia Romano, Tara Rose, Lindsay Schwartz, Matt Soroky, Maia Spotts, Sarah Starkey, Mary Trinh and Chris Wheeler.

The Southwestern University Law Review welcomes 2006-2007 staff members Yevgenia Agadzhanova, Vivian Bodey, Daria Boxer, Ivan Chebotariov, Amy Clanton, Anna Cole, Heather Croft, Marcus Cuper, Adrienne Dameron, Katie Darnell, Stephan DeRelian, Melanie Deutsch, Artin Gholian, Alison Hamer, Lindsay Harrell, Chad Holley, Agnes Huang, Jason Joyal, Sudhir Lay, Ellen Levin, Lonnie
McDowell, Rick Norris, China Rosas, Jamie Shipman, Sarah Starkey, Gilbert Saucedo, Erin Uyeshima, Lisa Watanabe and Rachel Weinfeld.

The Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas welcomes 2006-2007 staff members Alexis Amber, Carrie Ayon, Samantha Borghi, Vyshnavi Chandrasekaran, Jessica Cohen, Rosemary Do, Leila Golchehreh, Anne D. Goldin, Jessica Gonzalez, Chris Harmon, Michelle Holmes, Bayan Laird, Sara Lee, Michael Manapol, Todd J. Mumford, Elian Nassi, Jonathan Nese, Danielle Ochi, Namisha D. Patel, Amanda Plisner, Katherine L. Quigley, Tara D. Rose, Ilana Schoenbach, Matthew Soroky, Ly-Huong Tran and Michael Weir.

Students Take on Positions to Assist SBA

The Student Bar Association is proud to announce the Commissioners for the 2006-2007 school year. They are:

  • Academic Affairs - *Jay Nese, Derek Peacock, Dan Kramer and Carrie Richey
  • Alumni Affairs - *Narbeh Shirvanian and Ryan Terschluse
  • Athletic Affairs - *Felix Montero and JP Lonne
  • Community Affairs - *Jenny Wood and Carolyn Yamazaki
  • Club Activities & Ethnic Affairs - Amber Acuna
  • Student Activities (Day) - *Julia Romano, Brian Watkins and Rosemary Do
  • Student Activities (Evening) - *Nicole Pierson and Tara Palty
  • Student Welfare - *Aric Isaacson, Tom Cassaro and Gilda Gazor
The SBA Executive Board has worked hard to create an extensive network of support (lead contacts for each area are noted with an asterisk) and additional positions have also been created to assist all of the efforts put forth by the SBA this year. They are:

  • Business Affairs - *Stacy Joo, Tammy Chu and Joe Hardy
  • Media/Public Relations - *Jeremy Schwartz and Mike Montgomery
  • Newsletter Editor - TBD
  • Parliamentarian - Everette Cooke
  • Photographer - Mary Lindsay
  • Webmaster - *Dimitri Kirimis and Alex Kidd

Southwestern Finalist for Two ABA Awards

Each year the American Bar Association Law Student Division honors schools and students in a number of categories. This year, the ABA has selected Southwestern's Public Interest Law Society and students Alison Kleaver, Edward Anderson, and Linda K. Bradlyn as national finalists for the 2006 Judy M. Weightman Memorial Public Interest Award, and Southwestern's SBA as a finalist for the Henry J. Ramsey, Jr. Award for Diversity.

Named for the late Professor Weightman who taught at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii and advocated for disadvantaged people, the Public Interest Award honors those with a commitment to community service through public interest projects and programming. The Henry J. Ramsey, Jr. Award was named for the Dean of Howard University for his lifetime efforts to make the study and practice of law more inclusive and honors those who have worked to advance women, minorities and person with disabilities in the legal profession.

Help Promote Public Interest Activities

As the 16th Annual Public Interest Law Week (PILW) approaches (November 2-10), the Public Interest Law Committee is looking for volunteers to assist with various activities, from the silent auction and the basketball tournament to helping with the special guest speaker. Money raised through the week of events will be used to provide summer grants for current students and loan forgiveness grants for graduates who are dedicated to providing legal assistance to the underrepresented. Interested students should plan to attend the informational meetings at 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20 (location TBA). Those interested in volunteering can also sign up through the TWEN page. For more information, please contact Ed Anderson.

A Snapshot of the Entering Class

Of the 340 students who enrolled at Southwestern in fall 2006, 49% are women, 51% are men and 38% are minorities. The average age for students in the traditional programs is 26, and SCALE is 28, with an age range from 20 to 50+. Twenty-four percent of students entered law school the fall after college graduation, while 25% entered law school one year after college and 51% entered law school at least 2 years after college.

More than 95 undergraduate institutions are represented throughout the U.S. and several foreign countries, with the largest contingents coming from the University of California (42%, including large groups from UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine); the University of Southern California; the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor; Vassar; and the University of Colorado - Boulder. One foreign country (Korea) and 22 states are represented as the students’ permanent residence.

Over 72% of the students earned undergraduate honors, from Dean’s List to summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. The students are fluent in 35 foreign languages including Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Croatian, Dutch, Farsi, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Luganda, Mandarin, Marshallese, Pashto, Polish, Punjabi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Taiwanese, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Sinhalese, Vietnamese, Urdu and Yiddish.

Be a Part of YOUR Yearbook

The creative and those who would like to be are encouraged to apply ASAP to become a staff member of Southwestern's yearbook, The Advocates. For more information or to sign up, contact Sara Badii.


The Alliance for Children's Rights to Honor Southwestern Trustee John Schulman

On November 13, 2006, The Alliance for Children's Rights will award their prestigious Champion for Children Award to Southwestern Trustee John Schulman and his wife Toni. Dedicated and remarkable individuals, the Schulmans have been personally involved with the Alliance since it was established 14 years ago. "They are an incredible duo, passionate about helping kids and inspiring everyone around them to do the same," says Dennis Codon '77, Alliance board member, partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP and Chair of the Southwestern Board of Trustees. "In the midst of their busy lives, they find time to ensure that the children we serve continue to have a voice."

Southwestern and the Alliance have more in common than the benefit of John Schulman's support. Students have put their skills to practice at Alliance adoption days as a component of our "Children in the Law" class taught by Commissioner Amy Pellman, a member of Southwestern's adjunct faculty and the former Legal Director at the Alliance. Southwestern is also collaborating with the Alliance on "Street Law," a clinical externship in which students teach a 10-week course of law-related critical life skills to youth in the Los Angeles dependency, delinquency and special education systems. And, in addition to Codon and Schulman, Southwestern trustees Daniel Petrocelli ' 80 and James Coufos are members of the Alliance board.

One of the most respected attorneys in the entertainment industry today, John Schulman serves as Executive Vice President & General Counsel for Warner Bros., in charge of all of Warner Bros.' legal needs from negotiations to litigation. More.

Judge Ronald S. W. Lew '71 to be Honored

Southwestern Law School and the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association will salute Judge Ronald S.W. Lew as he takes senior status. To honor his 24 years of service on the bench, the law school and the association will host a dinner at the Empress Pavilion Restaurant in Los Angeles at 6:30 p.m. on November 17.

A 1971 alumnus and member of the Southwestern Board of Trustees since 1995, Judge Lew became the first Chinese American to be appointed to the U.S. District Court in the continental United States when President Reagan selected him in 1987. He helped establish the Chinatown Service Center, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association and has received numerous awards and recognition. Judge Lew's bio can be found in the Alumni Profiles section. For more information on the dinner, contact the Development Office.


  • Appointed, Chairperson, ABA GATS Task Force
  • Re-Elected, Board of Directors, Dispute Resolution Services
  • Elected, Member, Chancery Club (composed of "distinguished lawyers who are active in professional, civic and philanthropic activities")
  • Lecturer, NAFTA and Dispute Resolution, NAFTA Summer Law Program, California Western School of Law, San Diego
  • Presentation, U.S. International Dispute Resolution Development, 2005-2006, NAFTA 2022 Advisory Committee Meeting, Moriela (as Chair of the Legal Issues Subcommittee)
  • Organizer, "Asian Summit for Bar Leaders on Legal Services;" Organizer, "European Summit for Bar Leaders on Legal Services;" Participant, ABA-Africa Legal Initiatives Council Meeting; Participant, American Bar Foundation Fellows' Advisory Research Committee Meeting; and Participant as Council Member, Section of International Law Meeting, ABA Annual Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Changing Territoriality, Fading Sovereignty, and the Development of Indigenous Rights, AMERICAN INDIAN LAW REVIEW (forthcoming)
  • Quoted in "Unwanted: A Global Pollution Policeman," Financial Times USA
  • Interviewed regarding Proposition 64 and Changes to California's Unfair Competition Law in the context of an animal rights lawsuit, NBC4-TV News
  • Interviewed about the potential implications and ramifications of a U.S. District Court's (Eastern District of Michigan) ruling that the Executive Branch's Terrorist Surveillance Program is unconstitutional and illegal, "Air Talk, KPCC and "Dateline Washington," Radio America Network


Committee Created to Enhance Student Life at Southwestern

Dean Garth has created an Ad Hoc Student Enhancement Committee whose purpose is to identify innovative ways to enhance student life at Southwestern, and to suggest new methods for expanding student counseling (re: financial, career and law student life and studies concerns). The members of the committee are Professors Paul Bateman, Alan Calnan, Janine Kim, Robert Lutz, Catherine Watson and Linda Whisman; Dean Bryant Garth; Assistant Deans Gary Greener, Doreen Heyer and Jane Powell; Janice Manis, Director of Administrative Services; and Robert Mena, Assistant Director of Student Affairs.

Student input is vital to the Committee's work, and students who are interested in serving on the Committee are encouraged to contact SBA President Greg Mohrman to be considered. In addition, a special email address ( has been set up for students and others to submit their own suggestions regarding ways to improve student life at Southwestern. For more information about the Committee, contact Robert Mena in the Student Affairs Office.

WebAdvisor Allows Students to "Search
for Sections"

Southwestern's WebAdvisor Implementation Team is excited to announce the next step towards online registration - Southwestern students can now "Search for Sections" for the current academic year. Students should still complete a Student Action Report in the Registration Office to add or drop courses; however, through the new "Search for Sections" feature, students can view course availability in real time online to check whether a section is still open or has a waitlist.

WebAdvisor provides the following features for Southwestern students:


  • All grades for terms completed can be accessed.
  • Grades will be available in real time as they are entered by the Registration and Records Office so that you will not have to wait for the 7:00 p.m. data push.
  • An unofficial web-version of your transcript is available.
  • Your course schedules for past and current semesters can be accessed.
  • Updates to your address and phone number can be submitted online.
  • Available courses for the current academic year can be viewed.
Please note that in November 2006, students will be able to add and drop classes using WebAdvisor, and it is planned to have full online registration available for the 2007-2008 academic year. Look for more information as it becomes available, and check your Southwestern email account for updates. WebAdvisor may be visited through the link in the Online Portal or directly at WebAdvisor/WebAdvisor.

Southwestern a "Top 10" Law School for Hispanic Students

Hispanic Business Magazine has named Southwestern on its 2006 list of "Top 10 Law Schools for Hispanic Students." The magazine, which has recognized Southwestern for several years running, bases its selections on enrollment, faculty, student services, retention rate, and reputation. Others on the list include Florida State University, Stanford, University of Arizona, UCLA, University of Connecticut, University of Florida, University of Miami, University of New Mexico, and University of Texas at Austin.

Flu Shots Available On Campus

The Southern California Medical Group will be on campus administering the flu vaccination on Thursday, October 5 between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. There is a $25 charge per shot, which can be paid by cash or check at the time of the vaccination. For more information or to sign up, visit the Office of Administrative Services.

2006-2007 Security Workshops

October 18 - Emergency Preparedness
November 15 - Online Shopping/ATM Safety
December 6 - Holiday Safety
January 17 - Apartment and Residential Safety
February 14 - Drug and Alcohol Abuse
March 14 - Sexual Assault Prevention
April 18 - Fraud and Identity Theft
May 2 - Personal Safety
June 27 - Keeping Kids Safe

All security workshops are held on the Westmoreland Steps at 12:30 & 5pm. Southwestern's 2006 Campus Safety and Security brochure is now available online. Copies are also available in the Office of Administrative Services.

Staff Additions

Abel Contrerez, Student Services Assistant, Financial Aid - Abel earned his B.A. degree in History of Art and Architecture from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While attending school, he interned at the Santa Barbara Art Mueseum and subsequently worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Petersen Automotive Museum, providing customer service and membership coordination.




A dozen questions for Professor Norman Garland

Q: What is your favorite memory of your own law school experience?
A: Seeing my first note published in the law review.

Q: At what point, and how, did you determine what area of law you wanted to practice?

A: In the first semester of my third year, the Associate Dean of my law school [Northwestern University] suggested that I might get a fellowship in a graduate law program in criminal defense.

Q: What was one of your most gratifying moments while practicing law?

A: When the jury returned a not guilty verdict in my first criminal jury trial as a public defender.

Q: Why did you decide to leave practice to teach law?

A: When my most revered law professor made me an offer that I could not refuse.

Q: How do you think your litigation background helps you in the classroom?

A: In the classes I teach it is invaluable as it relates to the content of the courses. In terms of my ability to speak before an audience, it was a great foundational experience.

Q: What is the most important thing that you hope your students will get out of taking your classes?

A: That they can master the subject with hard work and preparation.

Q: How has technology changed the way you teach?

A: I have always tried to get the materials to the students in the most efficient way possible. Ditto machines were replaced by copiers, copiers by overheads, overheads by computer generated images, and now the internet and podcasting permits streaming on line. I think I teach the same, but the material gets delivered more readily and widely.

Q: How are law students today different from law students 10 or 15 years ago?

A: They are worldlier, and perhaps more traveled, but otherwise not much different.

Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching at Southwestern?

A: The physical environment is unmatchable; but also there always has been a sense of "can do" at Southwestern. In the past year, that sense has increased noticeably.

Q: What is your favorite law themed novel or movie?

A: It is a toss-up between "My Cousin Vinny" and "Legally Blonde." I recently watched both of them again. For the umpteenth time.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Cooking, photography, poker, using technology.

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

A: Be a TV news anchor.




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

This Month - Amber Acuna, Second-year Full-time Day Student
Amber Acuna leapt at the chance to help her stepfather, a high school teacher, when he chaperoned educational trips throughout Western Europe. As she spent summers touring the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany, she repeatedly saw the United States' influence on these countries.

"The world is a big place, but it's also kind of small," said Acuna, a second-year day student at Southwestern. "You can see how American pop culture, entertainment, music and movies affect people overseas."

She initially majored in psychology at San Francisco State University, but then she took an Introduction to World Affairs course that piqued her interest in international relations, which eventually made her want to go to law school. The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks fed her desire to learn more about the Middle East and American Foreign Policy, and the Orange County native found Southwestern a perfect fit for her interests in global entertainment.

The oldest of four daughters and a fifth generation American whose family lineage combines Portuguese, Irish, French, Mexican, and Spanish ancestry, Acuna, 24, isn't just the first in her family to go to law school; she's the first to graduate from college.

In addition to working part time in Southwestern's Development Office, Acuna is active in student organizations. As director of Club Activities & Ethnic Affairs for the SBA, she's in charge of the Cultural Food Fair, which will be held on the Westmoreland Promenade on Wednesday, October 11. She's also on the board for the Women's Law Association and she looks forward to the speakers who talk about issues that she considers important for her future, such as balancing work and family.

"My number one goal with these groups is to increase student involvement with all things extracurricular around campus," she said. "All of our classmates are our future colleagues and getting to know them now creates a feeling of community and belonging, which we'll hopefully build on during our careers."

During the summer, Acuna externed for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, Criminal Division (Pacific Branch) where she got a lot of experience interviewing witnesses and observing prosecutors at work. She sat in on jury selections and was quite flattered that lawyers asked for her input. She also met a lot of Southwestern alumni, who she says are really supportive. "They all give you advice and it's a close community."




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.




21 A Conversation with... Jamie Gold, 7:30 p.m., Louis XVI Room
22 Rosh Hashanah - No Evening Classes
23 Rosh Hashanah - No Classes
27 Bar Review Days, Promenade


2 Yom Kippur - No Classes
9 Law Review Symposium - "After the J.D." Project and Urban Legal Careers
12 Law Journal Alumni-Student Networking Event, 6 p.m.
17 Workshop: Career Services for 1L Students, 12:30 p.m. & 5 p.m., W311
21 Parents and Partners Day
 Videogame Law Conference
24 Dean Garth presents the LSSSE Survey Results, 12:30 & 5 p.m.
27 Law Review Symposium - "The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 1966-2006: Text and Context"
29 Southwestern Alumni Association's "A Day at the Races"

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.