Congratulations to the participants in the 2021 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition:
Olanrewaju (Lanre) Abiola
Alexandra (Sasha) Chepov
Josh Le Noble
Taylor Van Zeeland
The Jenkins preliminary rounds begin March 20, 2021, with the winning teams progressing through the quarterfinals, then semifinals, to the final round. The final round will take place the week of April 5, 2021. All rounds will take place virtually. Stay tuned for more details.
Any questions about the competition should be directed to Kelsey Pelegrin, Associate Justice of Intramural Competitions.
On Saturday, December 19, former Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, died after battling pancreatic cancer. She was 87. Just two ways she was like another famous, short, tough, trailblazing Jewish jurist: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Abrahamson, the daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants who arrived in the United States in the early 1930s, grew up in New York City. She graduated magna cum laude from NYU with her bachelor’s degree in 1953. Three years later, she graduated first in her class from Indiana Law School; she was also the only woman.
She met her husband Seymour in Indiana; they moved to Madison in the early 1960s, where Abrahamson earned her S.J.D. from UW Law in 1962. Thereafter, she became the first female lawyer at the Madison law firm La Follette, Sinykin, Doyle & Anderson. She was named a partner within a year. All throughout the time she was in practice, she also taught at UW Law.
Foley Van Lieshout, 3L I think all women feel connected in some way to Justice Ginsburg. Reading her opinions, concurrences, and dissents, I always respected and admired her reasoning, even if I didn’t agree with it. To me, Justice Ginsburg was not “Notorious RBG”; she was a giant. She had so much power. She was larger than life.
Anonymous 2L As Professor Oldfather put it in Con Law 1L year: it’s best to have a diverse set of chili recipes — not only one — all to make one great pot. RBG helped diversify the SCOTUS chili recipe in ways we never thought possible. Her contributions will be remembered forever.
Emilie Smith, 2L RBG was an example of the woman, and lawyer, I hope to be – fierce, unwavering and determined. No matter one’s political leanings, she was an impressive woman who handled every obstacle in her life with grace and perseverance. Everyone – members of the legal field as well as citizens of this country – can learn a lot from her legacy. “Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Zachary Lowe, 3L Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an absolute trailblazer not only in her field, but in the entire history of humanity. Her continuous push for equality and equity for the underrepresented will never be forgotten or fade away in time. Her memory will always live on in the spirit of those who push for a better present and future for those who are given less opportunities. Thank you, Justice Ginsburg, for always fighting, even until your final days. “Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Continue reading “Students Remember Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg”
She stood, at best, five feet, one inch tall. But as she got older, she looked shorter—age and frailty bending her small frame forward.
Even so, she was larger than life.
Now, if had he known her, Shakespeare surely would have penned these words for her: “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
Most of you already know who “she” is. “She” is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and tonight, she died at the age of 87. She was a three-time cancer survivor. But a survivor, she was.
Cornell University had admitted her as an undergraduate, and she started classes mere months after her mother died. She ended up the highest-ranking female student in her class. And, during her first year of law school at Harvard as one of only nine women in a class of 500 men, she, the mother of a toddler, did her own studying and typed up notes for her husband Marty, a second-year law student who was undergoing treatment for testicular cancer. She juggled parenting a small child, pursuing her own rigorous studies, and managing her husband’s studies. When Marty graduated from Harvard Law and moved to New York for work, she followed, transferring to Columbia Law School. And ended up tying for first in her graduating class.
Considering her class rank and her achievements at two renowned law schools, you’d think she’d have no trouble finding a job. But you’d be wrong. As I’ve heard her say, she had three strikes against her: she was Jewish, she was a woman, and she was a mother. Fortunately, then, because no law firm would hire her, she eventually ended up working for the ACLU as a founding member of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. There, she was the architect of the litigation strategy that chipped away at laws that discriminated on the basis of sex. In her view, neither women nor men should be constitutionally bound by societal roles made legal based on what “women” or “men” should be.
Only she never was able to convince the Court that sex discrimination cases should receive strict scrutiny, like other suspect classifications. Continue reading “Goodbye, RBG”
The Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) Foundation has named two Marquette University Law School students as the winners of AWL Foundation scholarships.
Liz Simonis, 2L, received the AWL Foundation scholarship. The AWL Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a woman who has exhibited service to others, diversity, compelling financial need, academic achievement, unique life experiences (such as overcoming obstacles to attend or continue law school), and advancement of women in the profession. Simonis, a Wisconsin native, received undergraduate degree in dairy science. She spent her last semester of undergrad between Beijing and Hangzhou, China, learning about dairy farming there. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she worked for as a dairy cattle nutritionist, visiting (in her conservative estimate) more than half of Wisconsin’s 9,000+ dairy farms. Being a dairy cattle nutritionist “requires an incredible amount of science and industry knowledge,” Simonis said. “It’s not like feeding your dog a scoop of dog chow.”
Simonis then transitioned to marketing product manager at a company in Iowa, where she took feeding concepts and developed them as products. However, she noted, her experience in Iowa also taught her that the world isn’t always a fair and equitable place. “In the year of our lord 2020, there are still people out there who will not respect you because of any number of ridiculous reasons. Breaking through that kind of stigma is at the core of what drew me to law school,” she said. She returned to Milwaukee to attend MULS, where is she is an active member of the student chapter of AWL and a volunteer at the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic. Simonis is also a member of the Intellectual Property Law Society, Saint Thomas More Society, and the Environmental Law Society. She plans to sit for the patent bar when she’s done with law school.
Kelly Ryan, 3L, received the AWL Foundation’s Virginia A. Pomeroy scholarship. This scholarship honors the late Virginia A. Pomeroy, a former deputy state public defender and a past president of AWL. In addition to meeting the same criteria as for the AWL Foundation scholarship, the winner of this scholarship must also exhibit what the AWL Foundation calls “a special emphasis, through experience, employment, class work or clinical programs” in one of several particular areas: appellate practice, civil rights law, public interest law, public policy, public service, or service to the vulnerable or disadvantaged. During law school, Ryan has volunteered for the Domestic Violence Injunction Clinic and the Milwaukee Volunteer Legal Clinic and was selected for the mock trial team. She’s clerked for the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and the U.S. Copyright Office of Policy and International Affairs.
Ryan is vice president of the Intellectual Property Law Society and lead articles editor of the Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review. This fall, she will intern with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office as part of MULS’ Prosecutor Clinic. She said the most interesting thing she’s experienced through her public service—interning at the county, state, and federal levels—“is seeing how profoundly law, policy, and government interact to impact people’s everyday lives.”
Simonis and Ryan will be officially honored (virtually) at AWL’s annual meeting on September 30. Congratulations to both women for outstanding service and for their representation of Marquette University Law School.
August student blogger of the month and former Marine Robert Maniak (3L) recently wrote a powerful, moving post called Rules of Engagement that appeared on this blog. This morning, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and ran that post as an opinion piece. Congratulations to Robert. Be sure to check out Robert’s other blog posts here, here, and here.
Marquette University Law School Student Bar Association writes to you today to address the tragedy that we as a community and a country have faced in the last three weeks. Not one of a pandemic, but rather the state-sanctioned murders of Black Americans. Namely, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others. Their deaths are not novel, and we would be remiss to categorize them as such. Their deaths are the tragic manifestation of a long-standing system of racial oppression that continues to unjustly claim the lives of Black Americans.
A couple weeks ago, I posted about creating book spine poetry to celebrate National Poetry Month. I asked for your creations and some of you got busy and created poetry. Here are the book spine poems of faculty, staff, and alumni.
Paul Anderson, Director of the Sports Law Program and the National Sports Law Institute, insists all of the books he used to create his poem are his, except one. Do you know which one?
Student Services Librarian & Adjunct Professor of Law Deborah Darin submitted this poem:
Molly Madonia (L’16), associate counsel at Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. (producers of Summerfest) called this poem “Feminism”:
April is National Poetry Month, and this April, particularly, is a perfect time to discover poetry. One way to enjoy poetry is to read it; the other way is to write it.
“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” — Leonard Cohen
I’ve found one of the most enjoyable ways to write poetry is to create book spinepoetry. Book spine poetry is considered “found” poetry; that is, a poem made up of words from other sources. You, the poet, aren’t writing the words, trying to fit a form, or looking for words that rhyme. Instead, with book spine poetry, you simply arrange books so their titles to create a poem.
A timely book spine poem by Phil Shaw made its way around Twitter recently, though author Stephen King was “unconvinced . . . these are real covers.” (Why? The fourth book from the left on the top shelf is supposed to be King’s bestseller It. King points out that the artwork seems wrong and his name is misspelled.)
Still, Shaw’s quarantine project got me working on my own book spine poems. While I have a pretty full bookshelf at work, I have even more books at home. And more variety. I’ve had fun throwing together some poems. It’s easier than trying to find a word that rhymes with “quarantine.”
What can you create? Send pics of your book spine poetry to me and we’ll create another post with all the submissions.
UPDATE (4/17/2020): Student Affairs Specialist Sarah DiStefano and I both had cats on the brain when we created these poems.
We’re about to complete two weeks of teaching and learning in our new online environment, and it seems to have gone pretty well. Lots of sharing of pets, and no one has turned themselves into a potato.
The Law School, like the main university, supports the use of Microsoft Teams. While Teams doesn’t (yet) allow us to use fun background images, it also hasn’t been hacked during any class time.
Law School professors have found myriad ways to use Teams: they’ve been able to share their PowerPoints; demonstrate online researching in legal databases; create discussion rooms; and post notes, questions, and other files. Some professors record their classes and then post them, others go “live”; still others combine both methods. Natalie Sobierajski (2L) noted she likes the Teams function that allows the sharing of Powerpoints. “[T]he sharing option has made it easier to take notes than expected.”
I posted just over a week ago about some of the ways our faculty and students were coping with the ever-changing global pandemic; in the week since, the world has changed even more. And it’s going to be ever-changing for the weeks to come.
There are so many ways that this virus has affected us—or yet will affect us—that it’s difficult for me to try to list them. Instead, I’ll just pass along three specific resources I’ve come across. Continue reading “A Few COVID-19 Resources”
Well. Here we are, halfway through the spring semester, with in-person instruction suspended until at least April 10, and with most law school faculty and staff directed to work remotely.
This isn’t at all where any of us thought we’d be at this point in the semester. We’re obviously not alone; across the country, law professors and law students are adjusting to a new reality, not just with our legal teaching/learning lives but also with our personal lives. Gyms, bars, restaurants, public libraries, sporting events, concerts—all closed or cancelled with the list growing by the minute.
In such a fluid situation, it feels difficult to keep up with the latest news, cancellations, and closings. Such a fast-paced, ever-changing situation raises anxiety, particularly for those of us who like to pride ourselves on being in control of the situation (or at least believing we are in control of the situation). And there are lots of us like that in the law school—faculty and students. Continue reading “Coping with COVID-19”