Amid all the global disruptions that started in March, Marquette Law School moved forward effectively in teaching students to be lawyers and in offering, as best we could, the public engagement we are known for. One important aspect of the latter is the release of the new issue of the Marquette Lawyer magazine, produced with a few internal procedural adjustments, but no change in schedule or in our commitment to provide high-quality reading to Marquette lawyers, all lawyers in Wisconsin, and many interested others.
Washington, D.C., is the focus of the new issue. The Washington that’s in the news every day, full of political contentiousness and heat, makes some appearance, but our interest is the bigger picture: Washington as a center for shaping the law, practicing the law, and dealing with major issues.
The Washington emphasis is built on three major pieces.
The Marquette Law School Poll conducted its first nationwide assessment of public opinion with a wide-ranging survey of what people think of the United States Supreme Court. At a conference at Eckstein Hall about the poll results, Professor Lawrence Baum of The Ohio State University, a political scientist and prominent scholar of the Cout, called the poll “the deepest and broadest analysis of public opinion on the Supreme Court that anyone has done.” The results of the poll and insightful commentary from experts such as Baum are featured in the first of the three Washington pieces. It can be read by clicking here.
A second part of the Washington package describes what practicing law is like on an everyday basis in a city that is a magnet for lawyers. We offer profiles and interviews with 16 Marquette lawyers in a wide variety of successful careers, ranging from the centers of political power to the less spotlighted but interesting fields of patent and trademark law. Marquette lawyers can be found in the military, as advisors to major businesses, as researchers, teachers, and activists on policy issues—and in other places as well. Annie Owens, L’05, says that being a lawyer in Washington means “a career dedicated to public service and bettering the country.” In many ways, these Marquette lawyers illustrate that. The profiles may be read by clicking here.
The third Washington piece: Professor Ryan Scoville teaches courses on U.S. foreign relations law and international law, among other areas, at Marquette Law School. He has a deep interest in researching issues related to those fields. A federal Freedom of Information Act request by Scoville led to release of data on the qualifications of 1,900 people who were appointed to be American ambassadors, starting with the administration of President Ronald Reagan and continuing to the current administration of President Donald Trump. Scoville analyzed the differences between ambassadors who came from backgrounds in politics or private business and those who were career diplomats. The result was an article published in the Duke Law Journal, which is excerpted in the new magazine. The excerpt may be read by clicking here and a profile of Scoville may be read by clicking here.
Turning the focus to Milwaukee, the magazine offers important findings about the changing dynamics of Milwaukee neighborhoods, based on research and analysis by Mike Gousha, the Law School’s distinguished fellow in law and public policy, and John D. Johnson, a research fellow at the school’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. They reach two conclusions: The Wisconsin legislature’s end of the requirement that city of Milwaukee employees live in the city has meant thousands of middle-class individuals and families, supported by the city, have moved to the suburbs. And, whether substantially connected or not, there has been a sharp increase in the number of Milwaukee homes owned by people who live outside the city and, in particularly striking numbers, outside of Wisconsin. Their piece, “It’s an Unsettling Day in the Neighborhoods,” details their findings. It can be read by clocking here.
Our “From the Journals” section includes two excerpts from law journal articles. Mark P. McKenna, the John P. Murphy Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School, delivered the 2019 Nies Lecture on Intellectual Property at Marquette Law School. That became an article in the Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review. In the magazine excerpt from that article, “Putting the Brakes on Shifting Definitions of Trademarks,” McKenna describes the broadening definition of what is covered by trademark law and advocates for “limited rollbacks” of some of the changes. The excerpt may be read by clocking here.
Andrea Kupfer Schneider has been a member of the Marquette Law School faculty since 1996 and is director of the Law School’s dispute resolution program. In an article for the Nevada Law Journal, she describes issues in research on gender and negotiation. She says research often focuses on use of “the hammer” in negotiation, while women are frequently strong in negotiation skills that include other “tools.” She calls for more research that focuses on these matters. Click here to read the Professor Schneider excerpt.
Marquette University launched its Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) 50 years ago. There have been many individual success stories of students, almost all minority, low-income, and the first in their families to go to college. But the overall statistics, both nationwide and at Marquette, for minority students reaching college and succeeding in graduating have not changed much over the decades. Our article focuses on Joe Donald and Brittany Grayson, two EOP alums who went on to graduate from Marquette Law School and become judges in Milwaukee. They offer both compelling success stories and calls for more to be done. The piece on the EOP may be read by clicking here.
The Class Notes section features a profile of Reyna Morales, L’97, who was born and raised in Guatemala before her family fled a civil war and came to the United States while she was a teen. She went on to graduate from Marquette Law School and has been a long-time public defender in Milwaukee and Racine. She is confident that she is helping people. “No matter what horrible thing you have done, you’re still a human being and one person should have your back,” she says. The Class Notes pages also offer information on the current accomplishments of more than 50 Law School graduates. Click here to read this section.
Of course, this issue of the magazine appears in the context of the most unusual semester in Marquette Law School history. The overall success of the Law School in pivoting to distance and online learning, starting in mid-March, required enormous effort, determination, and teamwork, not only for the faculty and administration but for the students as well. It wasn’t easy or anyone’s first choice, but education moved forward. In a story, “Changing Course” we describe what happened. Click here to read the story.
Dean Joseph D. Kearney gives perspective on the tumultuous semester in his “From the Dean” column, which may be read by clicking here.
In these blog pieces accompanying the release of each magazine, we don’t normally mention the content of the back cover of the magazine. This is an exception. The back cover addresses succinctly what it took to keep the Law School moving forward in recent months and, importantly, offers a commitment to keep moving forward, whatever may lie ahead. “We all hope no one will ever have a semester like this one again,” the text says “But we know, with even stronger evidence than before, that the efforts of everyone at Marquette Law School will always be built on the same qualities and commitments that we showed in these difficult times.”