Congratulations to AWL Scholarship Winners Seymour and Brisco

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Taylor Brisco and Christa Seymour
Taylor Brisco and Christa Seymour at the AWL Annual Luncheon.

Yesterday, September 25, 2018, the Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) Foundation honored two Marquette University Law School students with scholarships.

Christa M. Seymour, 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. As a child, Seymour moved from South Milwaukee to Rio, Wisconsin, a small town in the northern part of the state with just over 1,000 people (as 2010). She completed her undergraduate degree at UW Madison, and in the next 13 years, she worked in business and became a mother to four children. When she started law school—13 years after finishing her undergrad degree—Seymour’s children were between 2 and 8 years old. On top of a busy life with a family and law school, Seymour works with the Milwaukee Justice Center, volunteers with the Domestic Violence Injunction project, and is involved in student associations. Seymour said she wanted to be an example of where hard work and perseverance can take someone, and to be that example for her children and for others.

Taylor Brisco, 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. Brisco, a former sports journalist, is the first African American woman to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Marquette Sports Law Review. Last spring, she received the Anne Wall “Ethics in Sports Law Writing Competition” Award for her essay about unethical practices of player re-entry in the National Football League and how to fix those practices. Brisco is currently the legal intern for the West Allis City Attorney’s Office and the legal intern for the Milwaukee Bucks. In addition to pursuing a sports law certificate here, she is also completing her master’s degree in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University. Somehow, Brisco still finds time to be a research assistant for Professor Mazzie, participate in mock trial, serve as a student ambassador for the law school Admissions Office, and volunteer for the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic.

Congratulations to both women for outstanding service and for their representation of Marquette University Law School.

Welcome Our Student Blogger for September

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Photo headshot of law student Jose Lazaro.Please join me in welcoming Jose Lazaro, our Student Blogger of the Month for the month of September.  Here is how Jose introduces himself:

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico where my entire family still resides. At age fourteen I was given the opportunity to play baseball at a boarding school in Philadelphia. I then moved to Florida, where I got drafted by the New York Yankees after my senior year of high school. Instead of pursuing professional baseball I chose to be a student-athlete and went on to play four years of college baseball. After battling injuries, my baseball career finally ended after shoulder surgery and an unsuccessful two-year long rehab attempt. I am now a second-year law-school student here at Marquette University pursuing a number of interests and focused on acquiring a set of skills that will allow me to have a positive impact on the lives of others and the community at large. This past summer I interned at Harley-Davidson, and I will be a summer associate at a Milwaukee law firm this upcoming summer 2019.

Thanks, and we look forward to your posts.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Study Abroad Opportunities at MU Law

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Study Abroad Opportunities at MU Law
The interior of a classroom as Professor Pablo Rueda-Saiz stands at the front of the class and studdents sit attentively in their seats.
Professor Pablo Rueda-Saiz teaches Comparative Constitutional Law in Giessen, Germany
  1. An Orientation Session about your study abroad opportunities during law school, with important deadlines, will take place Thursday September 6 at 12:15 pm in Room 257 of the Law School.
  2. The shortest study abroad opportunity takes place over Spring Break 2019 and is a component of Professor Schneider’s International Conflict Resolution class.  The class will travel to Israel and study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict first hand.
  3. The month long Summer Session in International and Comparative Law, scheduled to take place in Giessen, Germany Saturday July 20 through Thursday August 15, 2019, includes multi-day field trips to Berlin and Hamburg.  In Hamburg this past summer, MU students danced until dawn and then had breakfast at the Fish Market as the sun rose.  Apparently, its a thing.
  4. MU Law regularly hosts exchange students visiting for an entire semester from the University of Comillas in Madrid, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Poitiers  in France.  Oddly enough, these students find Milwaukee to be an exotic locale.
  5. At the same time, MU Law students have the opportunity to spend one or more semesters of their legal education as a visiting law student in Madrid, Copenhagen, or Poitiers.  We definitely get the better of that deal.
  6. Professor Sorcha MacLeod, who teaches in the Summer Session in Giessen, Germany, is an expert in the law of armed mercenaries.  And I thought I was cool because I teach Con Law.
  7. You can explore the Study Abroad homepage on the Law School website, however updated information for 2019 will not be available online for a few weeks.
  8. After teaching in Germany for 6 summers, I have come to the conclusion that the words “German” and “pizza” should never be used in the same sentence.
  9. Things you learn teaching Comparative Constitutional Law: the first two words of the German Constitution are “human dignity,”  while the U.S. Constitution did not originally mention human rights at all.
  10. Did I mention that an Orientation Session will take place Thursday September 6 at 12:15 pm in Room 257 of the Law School?


First Looks Can Be Deceiving in Giessen, Germany

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A plate of gelato ice cream shaped like spaghetti noodles and covered in red sauce.To the left you can see a photo that seems to show a plate of spaghetti noodles topped by some sort of strawberry sauce.  However, first looks can be deceiving.  This is actually a photo of a popular type of gelato, called “spaghetti eis,” that is served at the Cafe San Marcos and at numerous other locations in Giessen, Germany.

Similarly, if you were to walk around the campus of Justus Liebig University for the next three weeks, you would undoubtedly see a large group of students laughing and talking as they make their way to and from classes.  You might even assume that these are German law students attending a summer session.  However, once again first looks can be deceiving.

These students currently enjoying the warm and sunny weather are actually over 40 law students who have gathered in Giessen from the United States and across the globe to participate in the Summer Session in International and Comparative Law co-hosted once again by the Marquette University Law School and our partners the University of Wisconsin and Justus Liebig University.  There are 14 students attending from the United States and a variety of other countries represented including Brazil, Poland, Egypt, Portugal, Belgium, Macedonia, Italy and Vietnam, to name a few.

At this stage of the program, the students have finished a week of classes, and a whirlwind field trip to Berlin, and they are beginning to feel at home in Giessen.  A Laser Tag outing has been planned.  The best Karaoke Bar in town has been located. Continue reading “First Looks Can Be Deceiving in Giessen, Germany”

J. Gordon Hylton: In Memoriam 1952-2018

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Headshot of the late Professor Gordon Hylton.On May second, the Marquette community lost one of its most interesting, wonderfully eccentric, and beloved members, Professor Gordon Hylton, who died of complications from cancer.  Academics by and large are an enthusiastic group of people with extraordinary jobs that give them a privileged opportunity to study and share their passions with colleagues and students.  No one more thoroughly enjoyed and reveled in being part of that world than Gordon Hylton.  He was a devoted teacher, a relentless, careful, and thorough scholar, and a cherished colleague.

I personally found Gordon to be one of the most interesting people of my acquaintance largely because he had so many interests, found so many things fascinating, and, aided by a legendary memory, pursued them with passion and rigor and a remarkable urge to synthesize, to explain everything.  And he was generous. He enjoyed nothing so much as chatting with his students and his colleagues about baseball, country music, the odd personalities who sat on the Supreme Court, the reasonableness of property doctrines, the early history of Christianity, and always with great enthusiasm and courtesy, as if knowledge and insight were both important and the most fun.

Professor Hylton was a native of Pearisburg, a small town (population, 2,699 in 2016) in Giles County in the SW corner of Virginia near the border with West Virginia.  He began his college and university career at Oberlin College in Ohio, where, he often explained, he enrolled because they let him play baseball.  In the course of his four years at Oberlin, the student radio station also let him host a country music program in the late night, early early morning hours.  Oberlin nurtured a pronounced competitive streak.  His roommates recall Gordon organizing them to enter a team in every intramural sport including inner tube water polo despite the fact that Gordon did not know how to swim, something his teammates discovered only well into the water polo season.

Continue reading “J. Gordon Hylton: In Memoriam 1952-2018”

Deconstructing Our Segregated Reality

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Civil Rights, Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Milwaukee, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Race & Law1 Comment on Deconstructing Our Segregated Reality
A map of the city of Milwaukee and surrounding counties illustrating the racial segregation of residents per the 200 census.
Black residential segregation as reflected in 2000 Milwaukee Census

In his commentary on May 24, 2018, Bucks guard Sterling Brown is lucky he wasn’t killed by Milwaukee Police,” Martenzie Johnson casually observes that “Milwaukee is one of the most segregated cities in America, is one of the worst cities for black Americans, economically, the worst city for African-American children to grow up in and is home to the zip code with the highest incarceration rate in the country.”

I moved to Milwaukee in 1984 to become a Marquette Lawyer.  I took my first law school exam on my 30th birthday – Torts by Professor James Ghiardi.  In May of 1987, like every Marquette lawyer graduating before me and after me, I took the attorney’s oath.  I swore to “support the Constitution of the United States,” the one ordained and established in order to “form a more perfect Union.”  I never left Milwaukee and I am proud to say I am from Milwaukee.  Yet I am at a complete loss of words to describe how it is that we, my law school and my fellow Marquette lawyers, go about our busy daily lives virtually unconscious of living in “one of the most segregated cities in America.”  If you believe you can frame the types of questions that, if answered properly and acted on, will help us deconstruct our segregated Milwaukee, then I strongly encourage you to write and to weigh in now.

In October 2015, I was involved in a three week medical malpractice trial in Outagamie County.  Judge Mark McGinnis was presiding, who is one of the best trial judges currently on the bench.  I came home Friday to rest and prepare for the final week of trial.  A little after 1 am on October 31, 2015 the incessant ring of the telephone pulled me from a deep slumber.  The voice of a woman said, “Mr. Thomsen, we tried for 45 minutes, but we couldn’t save your son.”  My wife, Grace, sitting up asks:  “What did they say?”  “He’s gone.”  “Noooooo…” turned into a mourning howl.  It is unforgettable.  And so it is that in one instant the eye of a category 5 hurricane shreds your bed, your son’s mother, your wife, his sister, his fiancé, his daughter, his uncles, aunts, cousins, grandmothers, friends — my life and theirs too.  Judge McGinnis and defense counsel all agreed to a mistrial if I asked for one.  I returned to finish the trial.  The case had progressed and in a way that could not have been replicated.  The lawyer’s oath is a demanding one.

Yet somehow in the eye of the hurricane you can find love: the love of my son’s fiancé, of my now daughter-in-law Sydney, and my granddaughter, Sienna.  They are proudly biracial.  Sydney is considering law school.  I suggested that she become a Marquette Lawyer.  She said “no” because Milwaukee and Milwaukee County are too segregated.  The truth hurts so much. Continue reading “Deconstructing Our Segregated Reality”

The Significance of Others

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Black & white photo of Flatiron Building (NY) under constructionThe concept of bringing your significant other to law school with you almost every day probably sounds frustrating to some and fantastic to others. Due to my disability and the fact that she is my primary caregiver, my fiancée Caitlin attends school with me at least three days out of the week; I am sure you have seen us around. The truth of the matter is that it is both frustrating and great having Caitlin with me, oftentimes both at the same time.

Caitlin and I have been together since I was a senior in high school. She and I started living together when I started college and by my junior year she was attending the majority of my classes with me. Going into my 1L year the plan was for her to come to school with me three days of the week, with the other two days being covered by my other caregiver, Danny. Naively, I assumed that this plan would go just as smoothly for us as it had during the last two years of my undergraduate career. Having both attended Lakeland University, Caitlin and I shared a common group of friends there and she was already familiar with the campus and faculty. Even though the social sciences were not her area of study, she tended to follow along with some of my classes. We discovered quickly that law school is (at the risk of sounding incredibly cliché) a completely different animal.  Continue reading “The Significance of Others”

Finding My Confidence

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writing in Spanish
A quote the author looks at when she studies.

This semester in Professor Lisa Mazzie’s Advanced Legal Writing: Writing for Law Practice seminar, students are required to write one blog post on a law- or law school-related topic of their choice. Writing blog posts as a lawyer is a great way to practice writing skills, and to do so in a way that allows the writer a little more freedom to showcase his or her own voice, and—eventually for these students—a great way to maintain visibility as a legal professional. Here is one of those blog posts, this one written by 2L Mariana Concepcion.

Last summer after finishing my 1L year, I was at the beach. While I was enjoying the warm Texas sun, my brother asked me, “So, what’s your goal in law school?” Because it was a few days after taking my last final, I thought about answering “I don’t ever want to go back.” But I didn’t say that, I was just really tired.

I gave the question some thought as I looked out at the sea. What was my goal in law school? Why was I going back? So, I told my brother that my goal was to find my own voice so that I could use it to help those who don’t have a voice.

Find my own voice? I can talk, right? I may not be the loudest person on earth, but I have a voice. But finding my own voice wasn’t just about finding my speaking voice; it was more than that. I wanted to find my own voice because that would help me become more confident in myself, something I have struggled with for most of my life. If I could find that confidence in myself then I would be able to find my voice and use my voice to speak for those who don’t have a voice. Continue reading “Finding My Confidence”

New Marquette Lawyer Celebrates Eckstein Hall and the Man Who Designed It

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Image of Ralph Jackson on the Marquette Lawyer CoverHas it been 10 years already? Yes, the tenth anniversary is at hand for the groundbreaking for Eckstein Hall on May 22, 2008.

How have things worked out? Anyone who spends time—and especially anyone who spends a lot of time—in the home of Marquette Law School knows the answer: Very well.

The new issue of Marquette Lawyer magazine marks the anniversary of the start of building Eckstein Hall and celebrates the building’s success with two featured pieces, following an introduction by the dean including the famous photo of Tory Hill from the day of the groundbreaking.

One entry is a profile of Ralph Jackson, the Boston architect who was the lead figure in designing the building. Jackson, now retired, has a powerful personal story, rising from modest roots to national prominence as an architect. The story, “How Ralph Jackson Found His Voice,” may be read by clicking here.

The second feature is a photo essay on a day in the life of Eckstein Hall. The 22 pages of beautiful photos illustrate many of the facets of the identity of Marquette Law School as seen on one day, Nov. 14, 2017. The photo essay may be viewed by clicking here.

The new magazine includes other valuable reading, including:

“International Human Rights Law: An Unexpected Threat to Peace,” an edited text of the Boden Lecture delivered by Ingrid Wuerth, who holds the Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law at Vanderbilt University. Read it by clicking here.

“Migration Challenges: Trends in People’s Movement to and from the Milwaukee Area and Wisconsin Illuminate Important Issues,” a piece in which John D. Johnson, research fellow with the Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education, and Charles Franklin, the Law School’s professor of law and public policy, analyze population trends. It may be read by clicking here.

“An Unveiling and a Blessing.” A portrait of St. Edmund Campion was unveiled at a ceremony on October 25, 2017, and now hangs in the Chapel of St. Edmund Campion in Eckstein Hall. An image of the portrait and the text of remarks at the ceremony—variously by the Hon. Paul D. Clement, Dean Joseph D. Kearney, Rev. Thomas S. Anderson, S.J., and the portrait’s artist, Henry Wingate—can be found by clicking here.

The “From the Podium” section includes texts of speeches at the Columbus Day Banquet of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Justinian Society of Lawyers on October 13, 2017, by the three honorees: State Public Defender Kelli S. Thompson, Dean Kearney, and Judge William Brash III. The section also includes “The Person on the Other Side of the Table,” the text of remarks from Michael J. Gonring, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, upon receiving the Faithful Servant Award of the St. Thomas More Lawyers Society. Read the section by clicking here.

The Class Notes section, which may be read by clicking here, includes entries about Jessica Poliner, L’06, who coauthored a book with advice for improving gender equity in the workplace, and about Rachel Lindsay, L’11, who gained fame by appearing on the television programs The Bachelor and The Bachlorette, but who continues her work as a lawyer in Dallas.

To view the entire magazine, click here.

Remembering Professor Gordon Hylton

Posted on Categories Legal History, Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School History, Public, Sports & Law1 Comment on Remembering Professor Gordon Hylton

Headshot of the late Professor Gordon Hylton.The Marquette Law School community is saddened by the news that Professor J. Gordon Hylton has passed away at age 65, following a battle with cancer.

Gordon was a wonderful colleague on the Law School faculty.  He joined the faculty at Marquette University Law School in 1995, after teaching previously at the Chicago-Kent College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology.  Gordon left Marquette Law School in 2015 to join the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law full time (having visited at UVA many semesters previously).  He also served a memorable year  as the Fulbright Professor of Law at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kiev, Ukraine.  A wonderful In Memoriam webpage celebrating Gordon’s career appears on the website of the University of Virginia School of Law.

Gordon taught courses in Property Law, Trusts and Estates,  and Legal History, among others, and was also closely involved with the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette Law School.  He was a frequent contributor to the Marquette Law School Faculty Blog, where he was known for his posts on the history of Marquette Law School in general and on the often overlooked athletes who had a historical connection with our institution.  His blog posts were sometimes quirky, often obscure, but always among the most interesting to appear on the Faculty Blog. Continue reading “Remembering Professor Gordon Hylton”

Our May Bloggers Have Arrived!

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Headshot of law student Darrin Pribbernow.
Darrin Pribbernow
Headshot of Attorney Mark Thomsen.
Mark Thomsen








Please join me in welcoming our two guest bloggers for the month of May.

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Darrin Pribbernow.  Darrin introduces himself as follows: “I grew up in New Holstein, Wisconsin. I attended Lakeland University and achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with minors in sociology and political science in 2017. During my undergraduate career I was involved in many organizations including: Student Government Association, the Zeta Chi Fraternity, and Criminal Justice club. Each organization afforded me unique networking and leadership opportunities. My interest in the law began in middle school and it has been my goal since then to become a lawyer. The move to Milwaukee from such a small community was daunting to say the least. Having now lived here for a year, however, I can’t imagine going back to a small-town lifestyle. My decision to attend Marquette is already one of the best that I have made and I look forward to further developing my skills as a lawyer in pursuit of a career as a criminal prosecutor in Wisconsin.”

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Mark Thomsen (cum laude, 1987).  Mark is an attorney at the Milwaukee office of Gingras, Cates & Wachs.  On the lawfirm website, Mark describes his career as follows: “When the Indiana steel mill department shutdown in 1984 where I had worked for nearly 8 years as a steelworker, including a stint as union representative, my family and I moved to Milwaukee. I started law school and after graduating in 1987, I served as a law clerk to the Hon. John L. Coffey, circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. My time as a lawyer has now spanned 30 years, and my practice is primarily dedicated to representing and fighting for justice for injured people, including those injured by nursing home neglect, by medical and legal malpractice, in automobile and trucking collisions, by people’s general negligence, by defective products, and for violations of individual’s civil rights (§1983 claims). During this time, whether by settlement or trial whenever necessary, I have successfully obtained millions over the years for those individuals and families I have been honored to represent.”

We look forward to reading your posts over the next month.

Congratulations to the 2018 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finalists

Posted on Categories Legal Education, Legal Practice, Marquette Law School, Public1 Comment on Congratulations to the 2018 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition Finalists

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, Olivia Garman and Sarita Olson. Congratulations also go to finalists Killian Commers and William Ruffing.  Killian Commers and William Ruffing additionally won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief.  Olivia Garman won the Ramon A. Klitzke Prize for Best Oralist.

The competitors argued before a large audience in the Lubar Center. Presiding over the final round were Hon. Goodwin Liu, Hon. Stephen Murphy, and Hon. Lisa Neubauer.

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 Tsz King Tse, who organized the competition, and Chief Justice Nathan Oesch.

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

Here is a link to the video of the final round.