Exchange Programs Let Law Students Explore the World

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public
Leave a Comment »

University-of-CopenhagenStudents at the Marquette University Law School have several opportunities to make their legal education a truly international experience.  Of course, each summer the Law School offers its popular Summer Session in International and Comparative Law, a month long program in Giessen, Germany.  Every other year, Professor Schneider also offers her course in International Dispute Resolution, which includes 10 days of travel to Israel and meetings with representatives of the Israeli government.  More information on these opportunities will be provided at two orientation sessions held on February 19.

However, these orientation sessions will also provide information regarding a more immersive study abroad experience: the opportunity to spend an entire semester studying law at one of the Law School’s three law student exchange partners in Europe.  Through partnerships with the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, the University of Comillas in Madrid, Spain, and the University of Poitiers in France, the Marquette University Law School regularly hosts foreign students from our partner institutions for a semester, and also sends Marquette law students to our partners to study abroad for a semester. Read more »

Print Friendly



22nd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction–An Interview with Nicole Ostrowski

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Public
Leave a Comment »

Nicole OstrowskiThe 22nd Annual Howard B. Eisenberg Do-Gooders’ Auction on behalf of the Law School’s Public Interest Law Society (PILS) will be held in the evening on Friday, February 13, 2015 at the Law School.  Proceeds from the event go to support PILS fellowships to enable Marquette law students to do public interest work in the summer.  Nicole Ostrowski, a current law student, shares her experience here as a PILS fellow.  Besides her work as a PILS fellow, Nicole is helping to organize this year’s auction.

Where did you work as a PILS fellow?

I worked at the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office–Milwaukee Trial Division, both this past summer and the summer between my 1L and 2L year as a PILS fellow.

What kind of work did you do there?

I mainly worked on misdemeanor cases and did anything and everything with the cases I was assigned, including preparing for a jury trial that unfortunately did not go. I was very fortunate in my fellowships because I was able to get a lot of hands on experience with clients, including visits to the jail by myself! My time with the Public Defender has helped me learn what it’s like to actually be an attorney in practice, as opposed to simply learning how to think and write like an attorney, as we’re taught in law school.

Read more »

Print Friendly



Figure Skating and Law School

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Public
Leave a Comment »

414px-2011_World_Figure_Skating_Championships_(12)Throughout my childhood, I have loved figure skating with a passion and vigor that rivals no other. Although I no longer compete, I enjoyed watching the United States Figure Skating Championship this past weekend because it demonstrated the hard work necessary to succeed. As a result, I now reflect on the valuable skills figure skating has taught me in relation to law school. Bear with me in my attempt to relate something I love with something I have a growing appreciation of. Here are just a few of the lessons I learned from this weekend:

  • Nerves and self-doubt can derail a great performance. Figure skaters train for years and on a daily basis for just minutes on the ice. Unfortunately, even the best training is futile when a skater encounters nerves that prevent them from performing to their best ability. I liken this to the hours of studying necessary to succeed on a three hour law school exam. If one succumbs to self-doubt on test day, then those hours of studying will not be reflected on the exam. It is necessary to believe in your abilities.

Read more »

Print Friendly



Half-a-Lawyer

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Public
Leave a Comment »

When I left my last exam of the fall semester, one of my classmates commented that we were now halfway to becoming lawyers. This comment made me reflect on my experience in law school and think about what it means to be half-a-lawyer.

I describe my law school experience as tough but worthwhile. The first semester of classes were a whirlwind of inquiry, excitement, and worry. However, upon reflection, I know I have truly benefitted from learning in an environment with so many intelligent people. There is always a person to bounce ideas off of and a person to learn from. It is great to be challenged as it encourages me to strive to do my best work. Read more »

Print Friendly



A Defense of Law School Education

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Public
2 Comments »

School of LawTwo weeks ago, the New York Times published an article entitled “A Steep Slide in Law School Enrollment Accelerates.” One of the major premises for the article was that prospective graduate school students have increasingly found law school not to be an attractive option anymore. According to the article, students likened their relationship to their schools as a business contract. The article was supported by ABA employment figures that showed that less than two-thirds of law school graduates found jobs that required passing the bar exam. I found the article and its premises unfair. The article, hardly the first to do so, equated law school success to finding long-term employment as a lawyer.

Grading a law school education based on bar-exam-required employment is unfairly simplistic. The breadth of interesting employment opportunities available to law school graduates is incredible. Read more »

Print Friendly



The Wisdom of King Theodoric

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Legal History, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Public, Speakers at Marquette
2 Comments »

theodoricYesterday I was honored to speak at the mid-year graduation ceremony at Eckstein Hall.  Twenty three graduating students and hundreds of friends and family came together with Dean Kearney, faculty and administrators to celebrate the event.  What follows are my prepared remarks.

Dean, fellow faculty, invited guests, and most importantly, December graduates.  I am honored to be with you on such a momentous day.

Class of 2014, today is the day that you thought would never come.  Today is the day that you embark on your legal careers.  Even in normal times, the transition from law school to practice can be an anxiety-inducing event.  But these are not normal times.

The practice of law has been undergoing significant change in recent years.  Venerable old law firms, with names over a century old, are disappearing, through merger and bankruptcy.  It seems that lawyers are better known for their television commercials than for their legal arguments.  And the basic day to day legal work that law firms have traditionally relied upon to meet their overhead is now being outsourced offshore to cheaper lawyers in New Delhi and Manila.

I doubt that someone of my generation can even understand the challenges that you will face in your future careers, much less presume to offer you any advice on how to meet those challenges.

Let me give you some idea of how the practice of law has changed over the last quarter of a century.  When I graduated from law school in 1988, I went to work at a large law firm (at a job that I expected to have for my entire career).  I wrote briefs in longhand on yellow legal pads, and gave the sheets to a secretarial pool for typing.  And if I wanted to do any online legal research, I had to go to the firm’s sole designated Lexis terminal, which was located in the law firm library and which was hardwired via phone line straight into Lexis headquarters (because there was no such thing as the internet). Read more »

Print Friendly



Study Abroad in Giessen, Germany

Posted by:
Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public
Leave a Comment »

2014 Program ParticipantsApplication materials are now available for the 7th Annual Summer Session in International and Comparative Law, held each summer at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.  The program is a joint offering of the Marquette University Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and the Faculty of Law at Justus Liebig University.

This summer’s program will run from July 18 until August 15.  Participants choose two courses from among the following offerings, for a total of four credits : International Economic Law and Business Transactions, Comparative Law, The Law of Armed Conflict, and International Intellectual Property Law.  All classes are offered in English.

Each summer, the program attracts participants from Marquette, UW, other American law schools and students from all over the world.  This past summer, international students came from Turkey, Portugal, Togo, Ethiopia, Brazil, Vietnam, Italy, Great Britain, Colombia, Germany and Australia, among other countries.  Courses are taught by an international faculty.  Students learn from each other as much as from faculty, as classroom discussions provide different perspectives that cut across legal systems and cultures.

Additional information and an application form are available on the program’s webpage.  Course descriptions are available here.  Brief faculty biographies are available here.

Law students considering a study abroad experience should consider these ten reasons for participating in the Summer Session in Giessen, Germany.

Print Friendly



Briefs that Changed the World

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public
2 Comments »

 

 

brief in Plessy v. FergusonThis semester I had the opportunity to take Prof. Edwards’s class Advanced Brief Writing: Briefs that Changed the World. I must admit that I was slightly skeptical of the idea that simply reading remarkable briefs would somehow make me a better writer. But, I’m happy to admit that I was quite wrong in this assumption. Reading the briefs covered in this class have inspired me to try my hand at the various techniques the authors employ when writing these briefs (I make no promises about whether my attempts have proven successful). Hopefully they will inspire you too. Thank you, Prof. Edwards for allowing me to share this list of briefs:

Miranda v. Arizona (Petitioner)

Bowers v. Hardwick (Respondent)

Gideon v. Wainwright (Petitioner)

San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez (both Petitioner and Respondent)

Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio (both Petitioner and Respondent)

Loving v. Virginia (Appellant)

Aikens v. California (Petitioner)

Furman v. Georgia (Petitioner)

Roper v. Simmons (Respondent)

Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (Respondent)

Hernandez v. Texas (Petitioner)

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (both Appellant and Appellee)

When Prof. Edwards spoke to the Marquette Legal Writing Society at the beginning of the semester, she advised students to read. Since receiving her advice, I have read every opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that I can get my hands on. If I can soak in even 1% of his writing style, I will die from pure legal writing happiness. Hopefully these briefs will kick-start your reading and make you think about techniques and strategies you can incorporate into your own writing.

Finally, I highly recommend picking up Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates by Ross Guberman. We use this book in Prof. Edwards’s class, and it is simply fantastic.

Print Friendly



Congratulations to the 2014 Marquette National Moot Court Teams

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public
1 Comment »

I had the privilege of working with two outstanding National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) teams again this year. Marquette hosted the Region VIII round of the 65th Annual NMCC this weekend and included thirteen participating teams.  Marquette fielded two teams; please congratulate both on their strong finishes.

Michelle Cahoon, James Decleene, and Brian Kane took the best Petitioner’s brief award with the top scoring brief in the competition.  The team advanced the semifinal round and just missed qualifying for nationals by less than a point.  Attorneys Jesse Blocher, Michael Cerjak, and Brendon Reyes coached the team.  Brendon, now an attorney practicing in Waukesha, was a member of last year’s national team.  Jesse was a member of one of my first NMCC teams.

Jennifer McNamee and Elizabeth Oestreich advanced to the quarterfinals and were the number 1 seed after the preliminaries, after particularly strong showings in their oral arguments.  That team was coached by Attorneys Emily Lonergan, Jason Luczak, and Max Stephenson.  Elizabeth, Emily, and Max happened all to have (Elizabeth), or had (Emily and Jason), the role of Chief Justice of our Moot Court Association.  I enjoyed watching the students and coaches on both teams working together and getting to know each other.

Read more »

Print Friendly



Marquette Team Wins Best Petitioner Brief at National Criminal Procedure Tournament

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public
1 Comment »

Congratulations to 3Ls Katie Seelow and Derek Waterstreet for being awarded the best Petitioner’s brief in the National Criminal Procedure Tournament this past week in San Diego.  The team’s advisor is Professor Thomas Hammer, and the team coaches are 3L Vanessa Paster and Attys. Brittany Kachingwe, Sarah McNutt, and Jennifer Severino.  3Ls Becky Van Dam and Joseph Wasserman also competed.  That team is advised by Professor Susan Bay and coached by Vanessa Paster and Attys. Nick Cerwin and Chad Wozniak.  Jennifer Severino traveled with the teams to support them in competition.

Print Friendly



An Interview with Professor Linda Edwards

Posted by:
Category: Legal Education, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public
Leave a Comment »

faculty_lindaedwards2014-04This fall, Professor Linda Edwards joins Marquette Law School as the Robert F. Boden Visiting Professor of Law.  She is the E.L. Cord Foundation Professor of Law at UNLV.

You have written a wonderful book on the great briefs. What are some of your favorite briefs and why do you like them?

One of my favorites is the Petitioner’s brief in Miranda v. Arizona. Scholars, law teachers, and practitioners usually read judicial opinions rather than the briefs that produced those opinions. The Miranda brief is one of the few that has received attention in its own right. I took my turn to comment on it in Once Upon a Time in Law: Myth, Metaphor, and Authority, 77 Tenn. L. Rev. 885 (2010). Instead of a dry parsing of the cases, the argument section tells an engrossing story of the birth of the right to counsel. It’s also a story about the kind of people we want to be. It’s well-written too. In an era when lawyers tended to write in a boring, ponderous style, the Miranda brief is engaging and easy to read. It combines strong legal analysis, great policy arguments, and a passion for justice—a great example for us all.

Another of my favorites is the primary defense brief in the set of consolidated cases that came to be known as Furman v. Georgia. The primary brief challenging the death penalty for those cases was actually filed in Aikens v. California. The thing I like most about this brief is the daring choice it makes in the fact statement. It does not try to minimize the crimes or argue that the defendant was innocent or that his hard life provided an excuse for his actions. All of those would have been losing arguments. Instead, it admits that the crimes were horrendous and that the defendant probably did them, but it uses our human reaction to those killings to argue that state-imposed killing is little better. It was a risky argument, but it was honest and much better strategy than the alternatives. I really admire the courage and skill it took to pull it off.

Read more »

Print Friendly



A Global Survey on the Study of International Law (Part II)

Posted by:
Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Public
Leave a Comment »

Last month I put up the first in what I anticipate will be a series of posts on the subject of international legal education. I summarized the results of a global survey on the study of international law, reported that a majority of law students around the world must complete at least one course on the subject prior to graduation, and pointed out that the overwhelming tendency for American law schools to offer international law exclusively as an elective is fairly abnormal. In this post, I’ll explain my methodology and elaborate a bit on the data underlying my conclusions.

The methodology was pretty simple: I relied on a collection of official government documents, information available on the websites of university law faculties, and, occasionally, email correspondence with faculty members. Where this evidence established that a curriculum includes a mandatory course that on its face substantially implicates public international law, I coded the corresponding university as requiring international legal training. Inversely, I coded a university as requiring no such training where the evidence demonstrated that courses on public international law are elective or unavailable. Finally, I coded a university as “no data” if it has a law faculty but evidence of its curriculum was inaccessible within the confines of the research methods. For present purposes, the key point is that the numbers only reflect what I could find. This probably amounts to all relevant data for many states. But for others, particularly in the developing world, the data are less complete because not all universities have functioning websites and even those that have them often omit information about their curriculum. Read more »

Print Friendly