Innovation at the Food-Energy-Water Nexus

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Category: Environmental Law, Marquette Law School, Public, Water Law
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I have previously written in this space about the importance of policy innovation at the food-energy-water nexus. On Tuesday, May 16, Marquette Law School will host an interactive and interdisciplinary workshop to explore those issues, drawing from engineering, legal, scientific, and policy spheres. The workshop format and accompanying discussions will (1) provoke conversations about overcoming barriers to the implementation of innovative water solutions, (2) A circle graph showing how water and energy are relatedstimulate ideas for focused academic research in the nexus, and (3) drive the development of organizational policy and technology roadmaps. The event incorporates sessions on energy use, recovery, and minimization at water and wastewater utilities; on groundwater; on agricultural sustainability and food waste; and on ethical considerations for stakeholders, a topic often absent from similar events. A working lunch and roundtable discussion as well as breakout sessions will invite and encourage broad-based attendee participation. Attendees will also have numerous opportunities to network with experts, researchers, and students. This event is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation I/UCRC for Water Equipment and Policy. More details, including an agenda and registration information, are available here. Confirmed participants include: Read more »

The Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education: A Prologue

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Category: Marquette Law School, Public
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Lubar Center SignOn April 25, Marquette University Law School announced the creation of the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. The center will be supported by a gift of $5.5 million from Sheldon and Marianne Lubar. The Lubar Center will further extend the Law School’s extensive engagement in public policy research and civic education, providing long-term support for an expanded set of initiatives. This gift builds on a previous seven-figure gift from the Lubars, in 2010, which established the Lubar Fund for Public Policy Research.

The Law School’s “public policy initiative,” established more than a decade ago, covers a wide range of activities including speakers, polling, fellowships, research, debates, and conferences. Perhaps the best way to imagine the new role of the Lubar Center is to appreciate the range of activities in which the Law School’s public policy initiative has engaged in recent years. These previous efforts, including support for reporting projects and civic education events, have established Eckstein Hall as “Milwaukee’s public square,” in the words of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. If past is prologue, this review also provides a preview of what the new Lubar Center can hope to accomplish.

To begin: The lunchtime interview series, “On the Issues with Mike Gousha,” has brought some 200 speakers to Milwaukee for interviews with Gousha, who is the Law School’s Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy. The topics have ranged from regional water issues to crime to economic development to the Holocaust to international security to sports. These sessions, which fill the 200-plus seat first-floor room (now known as the Lubar Center) at Ray and Eckstein Hall, feature a wide array of perspectives on law (e.g., Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, former Solicitor General Paul Clement), members of Congress (Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, Speaker Paul Ryan, Reps. Mark Pocan, Reid Ribble, Ron Kind), virtually every candidate for statewide office, Pulitzer Prize winners, business leaders, historians, and many more.

Eckstein Hall has hosted numerous debates, moderated by Gousha and broadcast statewide, between candidates for virtually every statewide office, including races for governor, U.S. Senate, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and state attorney general.

The existing Lubar Fund, which will become part of the Lubar Center, has supported journalism fellowships for major reporting projects in conjunction with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel over the past five years, on topics such as political polarization, extensive reporting on the new Milwaukee Bucks arena, the economic history and current prospects of Milwaukee, and most recently a series on the impact of childhood trauma on poverty in the city. Each of these has illuminated the health, both good and bad, of the Milwaukee area and of the state. Recent partnerships with the Milwaukee Business Journal have resulted in multi-article series on Milwaukee’s General Mitchell airport and on the future of workforce development, also supported by the Lubar Fund.

Alan Borsuk, Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy, has helped make education a continuing focus of the public policy initiative. Events have included individual speakers from across the spectrum of education issues. Education is a contentious issue with passionate advocates on all sides, but a hallmark of public policy events at Eckstein Hall has been the ability to host civil and serious conversations across conflicting viewpoints. Recently, for example, Borsuk moderated a discussion between an advocate of private school vouchers and an advocate for increased public school funding. More-expansive conferences, involving Borsuk, Gousha, and others, have addressed issues of charter schools and Catholic K-12 education. Most recently, the Law School and Marquette’s College of Education hosted a debate, moderated by Borsuk, between the candidates for state school superintendent.

Since January 2012, the public policy initiative has included the Marquette Law School Poll, the most extensive survey of public opinion in Wisconsin. While law school events bring a wide range of speakers, the poll was conceived as a way to give voice to the public at large. Representative samples of the public demonstrate the wide range of views on policy issues and how these views differ across the political and geographic regions of the state. The results of each poll are presented by Gousha and Charles Franklin, poll director and professor of law and public policy.

In 2012 and again in 2015, the policy initiative, in partnership with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and with the support of the Lubar Fund, hosted conferences on Milwaukee and the “Chicago Megacity.” These conferences brought regional elected officials, business leaders, and academics together to discuss issues of regional cooperation and competition across the three states and hundreds of municipalities that are part of the megalopolis linking northwest Indiana, Chicago, and Milwaukee. In 2015, this included results of the first poll of the entire region, gauging citizens’ views of cross-border cooperation.

The Law School has also hosted conferences and events featuring leading scholars working on cities, their problems and prospects. These have encompassed work on neighborhoods by Harvard’s Rob Sampson, intergenerational effects by Patrick Sharkey of New York University, social mobility by Stanford’s Raj Chetty (a Milwaukee native), and, most recently, the impact of eviction in Milwaukee, featuring Harvard’s Matthew Desmond, winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

This prologue, extensive as it is, merely sets the stage for the expanded opportunities offered with the new Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. The Lubar Center will allow us to expand our public policy work to include new efforts focused, for example, on the Milwaukee metropolitan region, as well as issues of statewide importance including water quality, public libraries, the workforce, and the future of rural Wisconsin. Through an expanded range of civic education events, the Lubar Center will not only produce research on public policy issues but also provide opportunities for public presentation and discussion of that research, bringing community audiences into contact with leading thinkers and researchers on a wide range of issues here at Milwaukee’s public square.

Lubar Gift Opens Path to “So Much More” in Law School Public Policy Programs

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Sheldon LubarIn the announcement of a $5.5 million endowment gift by Milwaukee philanthropists Sheldon and Marianne Lubar to support public policy work at Marquette Law School, perhaps the most important statement came from Sheldon Lubar himself: “There is so much more to be done.”

The gift, announced Tuesday, will be added to a $1.5 million endowment gift made by the Lubars in 2010, to create a $7 million fund for continuing support of the efforts of the Law School. The public policy initiative began in 2007 with the hiring of Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy. It has grown to include numerous conferences, candidate debates, the “On the Issues with Mike Gousha” series of conversations, the Marquette Law School Poll, the Water Law and Policy Initiative, and other efforts to further serious, balanced discussion of major issues of all kinds.

“In recent years in particular, Marquette Law School has played a leading role in significant discussions and research on important topics,” Sheldon Lubar said. “At the same time, there is so much more to do. We are pleased to expand our support of this work.”

The initiative will be named the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. In addition, the Appellate Courtroom of Eckstein Hall, where many major events are held, will be named the Lubar Center.

Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell said, “Marquette greatly appreciates the faith of Shel and his family in our university’s ability to bring greater understanding through constructive conversations.”

Joseph D. Kearney, Dean and Professor of Law, said, “Marquette University Law School is deeply committed to serving our community in ways even beyond our primary goal of providing outstanding legal education to our students. . . . We seek to enhance that role and to bring important ideas and people to our community through the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education.”

The Lubar Center will support public policy research initiatives and civic education at the Law School and beyond. This includes public events, funding for faculty and staff involved in the center, and research and reporting projects.

The initial Lubar gift has supported numerous research projects and innovative partnerships with journalism entities, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Milwaukee Business Journal.

In addition to the Lubar Fund, the Law School supports its public policy initiative with donations from its annual fund.

Gousha said, “Whether it is hearing from candidates for public office, exploring new ideas for addressing policy challenges, or providing independent research, data collection, and analysis, our goal is to be a resource for the region and state.”

The full news release announcing the gift may be found by clicking here.

Law School is Life-Changing—and about Changing Lives

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Category: Legal Education, Legal Practice, Marquette Law School, Public
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Law school is hard. In your first year, you’re scared and unsure about what to expect. You know that “on-call” is a thing that happens, but you don’t know whether it’s like the movies you’ve seen or if that was just Hollywood. You know you have more reading assigned than you’ve ever had, and you don’t know how in the world you will get it all done. You don’t know anyone, or at least don’t know them well, as you go through the hardest task you have ever taken on.

Law school is hard. In your second year, you understand the process, but you’re starting to wear down. You have figured out how to read hundreds of pages a week—and mostly retain it—but you don’t know how to balance working and extra-curriculars and dramatic interpersonal relationships at the same time. You’re starting to get worried about having a job after graduation. The rankings roll in and you aren’t sure whether you’re succeeding, based on your own standards or those imposed on you.

Law school is hard. In your third year, you have a job . . . or you don’t. You’re tired—mentally, physically, and emotionally. You’re so excited to be done, but that light at the end of the tunnel is still so far away, and even that is scary. Sure, you’re ready to be done with law school—but maybe not ready to be a full-time, practicing attorney. You hope the work is done—after all, the three years are up—but you know that practice won’t be any easier.

Law school is hard. It is frustrating, challenging, infuriating, scary, soul-crushingly busy. Read more »

2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finals

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Category: Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public
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Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, Nate Oesch and Elisabeth Thompson. Congratulations also go to finalists A.J. Lawton and Ashley Smith.  Nate Oesch and Elisabeth Thompson additionally won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief.  Ashley Smith won the Ramon A. Klitzke Prize for Best Oralist.

The competitors argued before a large audience in the Appellate Courtroom. Presiding over the final round were Hon. Paul J. Watford, Hon. James D. Peterson, Hon. Amy J. St. Eve.

Many thanks to the judges and competitors for their hard work, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship in all the rounds of competition, as well as to the moot court executive board and Law School administration and staff for their work in putting on the event. Special thanks to Dean Kearney for his support of the competition.  Thank you as well to the Moot Court Association for its work in putting this event together, and especially 3L executive board members Samuel (Micah) Woo, who organized the competition, and Chief Justice Barry Braatz.

Students are selected to participate in the competition based on their success in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy class at the Law School.

The final round may be viewed here.

2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Finalists

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Congratulations to the 2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition finalists.  The teams advancing to the final rounds are as follows:

Nate Oesch and Elisabeth Thompson v. AJ Lawton and Ashley Smith

We appreciate the judging assistance in this round of the Hon. Nancy Joseph, Atty. Stephen Cox, Atty. Katherine Hartmann, Atty. Lauren Maddente, Atty. Hannah Schieber Jurss, and Atty. Mary Youssi.

Welcome Our April Student Blogger!

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Photo of law student Courtney RoelandtsOur Student Blogger for the Month of April is Courtney Roelandts.

Courtney Roelandts received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology and her master’s degree in social work. She is a 2L law student who hopes to combine law and social work in the pursuit of social justice post-graduation. She consistently works with three area pro bono clinics, and is a member of the Marquette Law Review, President of the American Constitution Society, and Secretary of the Organization for Student Wellbeing.

We look forward to reading her posts!


2017 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Semifinalists

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Category: Legal Profession, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public

Congratulations to the students in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition who have moved on to the semifinal round of the competition.  The students will be competing on Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Appellate Courtroom and the Trial Courtroom to determine who will be advancing to the final round on April 11 at 4:00 p.m.

The teams will be paired as follows:

Nate Oesch and Elisabeth Thompson v. Meredith Donaldson and Ben Lucareli

AJ Lawton and Ashley Smith v. Mitch Bailey and Jacob Heuett

Congratulations to all the participants in the competition.  We also very much appreciate the judges who grade briefs and participate in the preliminary rounds.  This year we had a recent alum, Natalie Schiferl, who travelled all the way from Minnesota to judge the competition.  One of the great things about moot court is how active our alums and volunteers are, and we appreciate their time and assistance very much.  A special thank you to Samuel (Micah) Woo, Associate Justice in charge of the competition.

Best wishes to all of the competitors on Wednesday night.

Deadline Extended for Study Abroad in Germany

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Category: International Law & Diplomacy, Marquette Law School, Public
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Students walk outside of the law school at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.The deadline for submitting an application for the upcoming Summer Session in International and Comparative Law has been extended until April 25.  The program has been approved and will definitely take place.  However, there is still room for an additional five (5) students from Marquette Law School or from other U.S. law schools.

Every year, the four week Summer Session in the town of Giessen provides a fantastic opportunity to receive 4 law school credits while studying alongside an international student body and experiencing German culture.  Program participants can choose two courses from among four offerings: 1) Comparative Constitutional Law; 2) International Economic Law and Business Transactions; 3) Cyber Law; and 4) Business Ethics and Human Rights.  Two multi-day field trips — to Berlin and Hamburg — are included in the fees.

The program takes place from July 15 until August 12.  For more details, please visit the Study Abroad webpage, where you can also find more information on the tuition and fees, details on the course offerings , and where you can download an application.

Don’t delay, as the program will fill up quickly.

Photos:  Above, students walk in front of the law school building at Justus Liebig University.  Below, a view of the Giessen City Center, with Bell Tower and Opera House.

View from above of the City Center of Giessen, Germany with Clock Tower and Opera House.

Collaboration Between Attorneys and Law Students Benefits Both Parties

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Members of the Hispanic Law Students Association mingle with local Hispanic Attorneys at an event in Milwaukee.As President of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association (WHLA), I have had the opportunity to help foment various partnerships in the legal community. One of the most recent and fruitful of these is our collaboration with the Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA) at Marquette Law School. While our collaboration began informally, we have recently created a student liaison position on our Board of Directors. Currently, 2L Alex Castro is serving in that capacity. This closer communication with Alex has lead to a number of interesting events.

On October 13, 2016 our associations brought Consul Julian Adem of the brand new Mexican Consulate in Milwaukee to the law school. Mr. Adem presented on the array of functions and services of the Consulate, from providing documents, community education, and legal advice to Mexican nationals, to offering visa services for non-Mexicans who want to travel to Mexico. There was a strong turnout of both students and local attorneys. The information will, without a doubt, help a number of clients and can be shared with the wider networks of those who attended. Read more »

Marquette Wagner Moot Court Team–2017 Semifinalists

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Category: Labor & Employment Law, Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public
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Marquette’s labor and employment moot court team had an incredibly successful performance at New York Law School’s Wagner Moot Court Competition.  On March 24th and 25th, Carly Gerards, Nick Sulpizio, and Corey Swinick competed and performed very well in both their oral advocacy and brief writing.

After the preliminary rounds, the team advanced to the octofinals with the 8th best score of the 40 teams competing.  The team then advanced to the quarterfinals and eventually the semifinals–a Final Four team for Marquette.

In addition to advancing to the top four of the entire competition, the team took home the award for best overall Petitioner Brief.  The team worked exceptionally hard on the brief and in their advocacy practices, and that hard work paid off.  Great job, team!

The team is advised by Professor Paul Secunda and coached by Attorney Laurie Frey.

Welcome Our Alumni Blogger for March

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Cain Oulahan headshotWe are pleased to have Cain Oulahan join the Faculty Blog as our alumni blogger for March. Cain is an attorney with Straub Immigration in Milwaukee. His practice focuses on family-based immigration, deportation defense, naturalization, U visas, deferred action, post-conviction relief and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Attorney Oulahan graduated cum laude from Marquette University Law School where he was an associate editor of the Marquette Law Review. His comment, titled “The American Dream Deferred: Family Separation and Immigrant Visa Adjudications at U.S. Consulates Abroad,” was published in the Summer 2011 edition of the Marquette Law Review and was the winner of the 2011 Golden Quill Award for outstanding student comment.

Cain is currently President of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Treasurer of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Legal Advisor to the Wisconsin State Board of the League of United Latin American Citizens. He volunteers regularly with the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic and frequently presents on immigration issues for local non-profit organizations, churches and schools. He has appeared on the PBS program Adelante, the Telemundo evening news and program Buscando Soluciones, and has been interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio.