Congratulations to the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finalists

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Congratulations to this year’s Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition finalists: Samuel Draver, Alan Mazzulla, Sara McNamara, and Amardeep Singh. All the semifinalists presented strong oral arguments.

Thank you to the semifinal round judges: Atty. Gil Cubia, Atty. Cathy LaFleur, Prof. Jonathan Koenig, Atty. Steve Meyer, Hon. Paul Reilly, and Atty. Jan Rhodes.

The final round will be held on April 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the Appellate Courtroom. The final round judges will be Hon. Diane Sykes, Hon. Brett Kavanaugh, and Hon. Gary Feinerman. The Law School community is cordially invited to attend the final round. Here is a link to rsvp for the event. The teams will be matched as follows:

Samuel Draver and Alan Mazzulla versus Sara McNamara and Amardeep Singh.

Best of luck to the finalists.

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Justice Scalia at Marquette Law School

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Judge Diane Sykes introduces Justice Antonin Scalia at the dedication of Eckstein Hall

Judge Sykes introduces Justice Scalia

It seems to be common ground that it will be hard to imagine the United States Supreme Court without the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He was a force also in legal education more directly. That is, he was a teacher, and he taught his theories of constitutional and statutory interpretation with intellect and energy, even outside of his writings in the U.S. Reports.

 

Justice Scalia visited us at Marquette University Law School on two occasions. The first was in 2001 to deliver our annual Hallows Lecture, where some 500 people were with him in the Weasler Auditorium, while a group of the same size watched a video feed in the Monaghan Ballroom of the Alumni Memorial Union. For me, the more memorable moment in that visit came when the Justice first arrived to campus, where an overflowing group of law students awaited him in Room 307 of Sensenbrenner Hall. The dean at the time, Howard B. Eisenberg, told the students that I would introduce him, because “Without Professor Kearney, there would be no Justice Scalia here.” Even before I could say anything, Justice Scalia brought the house down with this interjection: “I thought that, without Justice Scalia, there would be no Professor Kearney here.”

Justice Scalia returned to deliver the keynote address at the dedication of Eckstein Hall on September 8, 2010. He relaxed his strictures on recording, and the entire ceremony can be seen here, with an account of it appearing in the Marquette Law Review. I especially recall this comment of Judge Diane S. Sykes, L’84, in introducing the Justice:

“So we are fortunate, indeed, that this history-making justice has joined us here today as we make a little history of our own. When Dean Kearney unveiled the plans for this beautiful building two years ago, he famously declared that Eckstein Hall will be ‘noble, bold, harmonious, dramatic, confident, slightly willful, and, in a word, great.’ It certainly is. And with the possible exception of harmonious—Justice Scalia has been known to say that one of his charms is that he likes to tell people what they don’t want to hear—the dean’s description of this distinguished and splendid building might likewise be applied to our distinguished and splendid visitor. So, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the noble, bold, dramatic, confident, slightly willful, and, and in a word, great Justice Antonin Scalia.”

There are things to learn from the remarks of Justice Scalia and the other speakers that day, including then-Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, whether in the recording or the law review account linked above. My own recollection of Justice Scalia has appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and can be found here.

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Don’t Fear Numbers

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RIskOver the last several years in Law School, I’ve learned that many of my peers are averse to math. In Prof. Anzivino’s Business Bankruptcy class I distinctly remember painful groans as he explained the time value of money and had the class look at a simple amortization table. In Prof Grossman’s Business Strategy course, I had a friend lean over to me and ask, “What the hell is a balance sheet?” Basic accounting and finance concepts seem to be like nails on chalk board for many law school students. Don’t fear numbers; basic accounting and finance skills can help distinguish your resume from other law school graduates and build better relationships with future clients.

Lawyers should have a basic understanding of a balance sheet, income and cash flow statements.

A balance sheet identifies the assets of an organization and how those assets were financed, either through debt [using someone else’s money] or through equity [using the owner’s money]. For those who are interested in doing M&A, a thorough understanding of a balance sheet is critical. For example, the ability to identify and discuss financial reserves [such as, those related to environmental remediation] can help you to identify, understand, and highlight risk for your client. An entity’s balance sheet also provides an understanding of an operation’s well-being: trends in cash, inventory, revenue producing equipment, receivables, payables, debt equity ratio and retained earnings [to name a few]. It’s also important to understand the relationship between these elements; it’s called a balance sheet for a reason. Read more »

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Congratulations to the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competitors

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The Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition is the appellate moot court competition for Marquette law students and is the capstone event of the intramural moot court program.  Students are invited to participate based on their top performance in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy course at the Law School. 

Congratulations to the participants in the 2016 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:

Barry Braatz
David Conley
Robert Copley
Samuel Draver
Isabelle Faust
Alexis Guraz
Christopher Hayden
Ashley Heard
Amber Horak
Megan Kaldunski
Alexandra Klimko
Alicia Kort
Jessica Lothman
Alan Mazzulla
Kayla McCann
Sara McNamara
Andrew Mong
Brittany Running
Rexford Shield
Amardeep Singh
Emily Tercilla
Natalie Wisco
Samuel Woo
Kiel Zillmer

 

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2Ls: Now What?

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Some 2Ls reading this post are set. They did well in their first year. They went through OCIs and aced their interviews. They were invited for callbacks and were unfailingly charming and polite. They have jobs for next summer, with the prospect of jobs for after graduation. Congratulations to them.

But what about the 2Ls who came out of OCIs with zilch and are wondering what the heck they are supposed to do now? First, don’t panic. I found myself in precisely that situation four years ago, and worked into a great job with a great firm. Whatever your anxiety level (and I remember mine being sky high) you still do have opportunities. Second, don’t be passive about your job search. Sitting around waiting for the jobs to appear on a jobs board is a recipe for disappointment. Here are three active things you can do to improve your chances of success:

1. Get Outside The Building

I cannot overstate the importance of getting away from the law school. While academic accomplishment is necessary, it is not sufficient. Employers, especially small and mid-sized ones, are looking for lawyers who can provide value from day one. The best way to show that you can provide that value is to have done real legal work already. Getting a job as a new attorney is a lot like knocking on somebody’s door and asking them to pay for the privilege of training you. Get some of that training out of the way while you’re in school and you will be a step ahead.

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Courses Announced for 2016 Summer Session in Giessen, Germany

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LD7_9975Courses have been announced for the 8th Annual Summer Session in International and Comparative Law, to take place in Giessen, Germany from July 15 through August 13, 2016.

Participants will have the choice of two, 2 credit courses from the following:

  1. Comparative Law
  2. International Economic Law and Business Transactions
  3. Comparative Corporate Governance
  4. Business Ethics and Human Rights

All classes take place at the Justus Liebig University School of Law in Giessen, Germany, and are taught by an international faculty.  Students from Marquette University Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and other U.S. law schools attend classes alongside international law students from across the globe.

More details, and an application, will be available soon on the Law School website.  In the meantime, information sessions for interested students have been scheduled for Thursday September 24 at 12 pm (Room 263) and 5 pm (Room 357).  The information sessions will also discuss the Law School’s Semester Exchange Programs for Copenhagen, Madrid and Poitiers, France.

Giessen 2015

Photos: (top) students attend the 2014 Summer Session in Giessen; (below) students attend the 2015 Summer Session

 

 

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Schnitzel, Beer, and Marketing Your Study Abroad Experience

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Classroom at Justus Liebig UniversityThis past summer I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in Marquette University Law School’s summer program in Giessen, Germany.  The program, run jointly with the University of Wisconsin Law School and Justus Liebig University in Giessen, provides Marquette students with the opportunity to study a variety of international law topics at a foreign university with classmates from around the globe.  Course offerings this past summer included Comparative Law, International Economic Law & Business Transactions, International Intellectual Property Law, and the Law of Armed Conflict.  The courses were taught by both American and German professors over the course of a (somewhat intense) four week period that included weekend excursions to Munich and Berlin.  While the subject matter of the classes was incredibly interesting, this was further magnified by the international make-up of the student body.  My classmates this past summer hailed from 17 different countries including the United States Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Germany, Spain, Moldova, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, South Korea, China, Benin, Senegal, Cameroon, and Ethiopia.  The discussions and conversations we had, both in and out of the classroom, provided insights about international legal issues that would be difficult to duplicate outside of such an experience. Not only was I able to learn about international, German, and EU law, but I was also able to gain a better understanding of US law.

The value of a study abroad experience, both in terms of the substantive knowledge gained as well as the “soft” skills developed, is likely to be clear to someone who teaches or participates in such a program (see Professor Fallone’s semi-exhaustive list of ten reasons why one should study abroad).  However, those less familiar with international study experiences may not always ascribe the same value or benefit to study abroad programs.  This can be problematic for law students who hope to show potential employers that their time spent studying overseas was more than just an excuse to sample copious amounts of schnitzel and beer.   While CALI awards, clerkships, internships, pro bono work, and participation in law review or moot court are all ways that students have traditionally distinguished themselves to potential employers, the same has not been true for participation in study abroad programs, which are a relatively new phenomena in the law school curriculum. Read more »

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Forward Thinking for a “New Season”

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During this time of the year when college football and the NFL are about to start anew, we as sports fans and consumers are inundated with numerous previews from websites and magazines (yes, some people still read things offline) about how the season will play out.

Predictions before the season are like noses—everyone seems to have one.

When I was a sports writer (oh, how long ago it seems), I dreaded the high school season previews. Not because we didn’t have good teams or outstanding players (ask me about current Michigan State junior wide receiver R.J. Shelton and I’ll have about 200 stories on his on-field exploits in high school).

Instead, it was the entire notion of writing about teams and individuals that had not done anything yet on the field. Coaches only had a vague notion about the season (unless they had numerous seniors returning), injuries had yet to come up, and you only had a decent idea of watching teams practice for all of maybe an hour in coming up with your preview. Read more »

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From Marine to Law Student

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Marine CorpsDerek Randall is a rising second-year law student whose career path started in the Marine Corps and now is headed toward the JAG Corps.  In this interview, Derek discusses the interplay between military work and the study of law, as well as his amazing opportunity to work this summer at Quantico doing legal defense through Marquette’s Washington D.C. Initiative program.  Derek shared with me that he was already in the courtroom a few days after he arrived at Quantico this summer.  One of the highlights of his experience was a visit to Justice Sotomayor’s chambers at the United States Supreme Court.  Derek received the Huiras award this spring at Marquette for excellence.

1. How did you end up in law school?

Let me start off by saying that these statements reflect only the views of the author and do not reflect the position or views of the United States Marine Corps, Department of the Navy, or Department of Defense. Now that’s out of the way, I suppose I’m a career-changer in a certain sense. I became a field artillery officer in the Marine Corps in 2008 after graduating from Texas A&M University. While I loved serving in the Marine Corps, I ultimately did not enjoy many aspects of my specific job. For my last deployment to Afghanistan, I had the opportunity to take a non-traditional assignment that included, among other things, investigating malfeasance of low-level civic officials in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. I ended up working closely with a Marine Judge Advocate (military lawyer) for a few months and really enjoyed the work. Once I got back from Afghanistan, I was due for a respite tour so the Marine Corps assigned me to Naval ROTC instructor duty for a year. Still keen on becoming an attorney, I took the LSAT and applied for the Marine Corps’ 2014 active-duty Law Education Program while I was teaching ROTC students. I was selected and received new orders to Marquette’s law school to complete the requirements for a Juris Doctor.  Marquette has a great reputation in the Navy and Marine Corps thanks to its relatively large Navy ROTC unit, so I’ve been thrilled with the opportunity to go to law school here while on active duty.

Read more »

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A Midwestern Law Student’s Summer in the UK

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20150715_142136_smOn top of a dormant volcano in Edinburgh, I took in the breath-taking view of the city (I also needed to take a breath after climbing for nearly two hours). I stayed on Arthur’s Seat for an hour, quietly reflecting about the previous two months and just how transformative they were for me.

In fact, I’d go so far as saying this summer is fundamentally life-altering.

I had a rare opportunity to study law abroad in London with Syracuse University for seven weeks. I’ve rarely been outside of the Midwest, much less the United States. Even though I had a passport, I never found the right reason to go out of the country.

This experience was the right one. Read more »

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Israel Reflections 2015–Day 6: Bar Ilan University

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One of the most important parts of our trip was spending time with students from other universities and comparing academic experiences. During our time in Tel Aviv, we were privileged to meet with Professor Michal Alberstein and other faculty at Bar Ilan University as well as several students to discuss their dispute resolution curriculum and the different practical experiences offered to students.

Student Avery Mayne offers some insight: Read more »

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The Study of International Law in American Law Schools: A Brief History

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As I’ve discussed in other posts, international law has a fairly peripheral role in American legal education. Only eight schools require their students to complete a course on the subject, and the range of international electives tends to be quite limited. Wondering whether this is only a recent phenomenon or instead something with deeper roots, I did a little research into historical practice. It turns out that scholars have surveyed the state of international legal education in the United States multiple times over the course of the past century. By combining their work—including two particularly good pieces by Manley Hudson (1929) and William Bishop (1953)—with a recent survey of my own, we can gain at least a rough sense for how the curriculum has evolved over time. Here’s what I found:

First, international law had a role even in the Founding era. In 1779, for example, the law of nations was added to the instructional duties of the “moral professor” at William & Mary. In 1790, James Wilson devoted a “considerable part” of his lectures at the College of Philadelphia to the law of nations, while James Kent lectured on the subject at King’s College just a few years later. According to Hudson, “the law of nations had a recognized place in the pursuit of a legal education, and it formed a part of the learning of many of the better-educated lawyers” of the period. Read more »

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