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Posts from the ‘Law School News’ Category


The irrepressible Professor James Pfander

Feted, appropriately enough, by the Judicial Conference of the United States. Good work!


Prof. Steven Lubet on Free Speech and Steven Salaita

Our Northwestern Law colleague, Steven Lubet, published an interesting opinion piece on the Steven Salaita controversy at the University of Illinois in today’s Chicago Tribune. The link is here.


Tech innovation, business, and law schools: New York Times reports

Timely write-up in the New York Times that includes a shout-out to what we are doing here at Northwestern Law at the law/business/technology interface.


Professor Erin Delaney, Fulbright Award Recipient

Great news to share today: our Northwestern colleague, Erin Delaney, was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for her extraordinary work on comparative constitutionalism. She will spend the Fall 2014 semester at McGill University in Canada working on “Safeguarding Federalism: American Federalism in Comparative Perspective.”

Earlier this year Erin was a MacCormick Visiting Fellow at the Edinburgh Law School, where she was researching constitutional change in the United Kingdom—a timely topic in the lead up to the national referendum on Scottish independence. The changing nature of the British constitution is captured in an interesting recent article of hers, “Judiciary Rising: Constitutional Change in the United Kingdom,” which was published in the Northwestern Law Review earlier this year.

Congratulations, Erin!


NU Prof. David Scheffer on Scottish independence

Learned analysis from our colleague and director of Northwestern Law’s Center on International Human Rights.


Northwestern Law at legal writing conference

Description here courtesy of one of our Communications & Legal Reasoning faculty members, Dana Hill:
The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) recently held its 16th Biennial Conference of legal writing and research, library, and academic support professors in Philadelphia and Northwestern Law’s faculty was well-represented among the presenters, planning committee, and attendees. LWI’s mission is to improve legal writing by providing a forum for discussion and scholarship about legal writing, analysis, and research. Clinical Assistant Professor Elizabeth Inglehart was a member of the conference planning committee. The following Northwestern professors made presentations:

Elizabeth Inglehart presented “Practicing Today for Practice Tomorrow: Innovative Approaches” with Karl Okamoto & Terry Seligmann of Drexel University School of Law and Lori Johnson of UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law;

Dana Hill & Kathleen Dillon Narko presented “Using the Problematized Teaching Method to Engage Students in Critical Thinking in the
LRW Classroom”;

Michelle Falkoff & Chris Martin presented “When the Student Becomes the Teacher: A Different Kind of Flipped Classroom” with Lorie Reins-
Schweer & Caroline Sheerin of University of Iowa College of Law;

Deborah Borman presented “De-Grading Assessment: Rejecting Rubrics in Favor of Authentic Analysis”;

Susan Provenzano & Sarah Schrup presented “Are Law Graduates Legal Writing Mushfakers? Designing Upper-Level Courses to Promote
Mastery in Analytical and Persuasive Legal Writing”; and

Cliff Zimmerman presented “A Multicultural Perspective on PLAGIARISM: Teaching about an Age-Old Problem in the
New Age of the Global Student” with Jaime Bourier & Jonathan Gordon of Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

More detailed descriptions of the presentations can be found here:

Additionally, Professor of Law Emerita Helene Shapo and Clinical Professor Judy Rosenbaum were recognized for their years of service with LWI.


Guest post: Prof. Tom Geraghty from South Africa

from my remarkable colleague, Tom Geraghty, the Class of 1967 James Haddad Professor of Law and Director of the Bluhm Legal Clinic:

Geraghty_UNODC Conference_web (2)I write from Johannesburg, South Africa, where I am attending a UNODC-sponsored International Conference on Access to Legal Aid in the Criminal Justice System. (View conference program.) In attendance are 250 advocates for the improvement of legal aid systems, including high government officials from around the world (Africa, Asia, the Middle East, U.K., Eastern Europe), leaders of NGOs, leaders of legal aid offices, and faculty from law school clinical programs. I am moderating a panel on meeting the demand for legal services in criminal justice systems and making a presentation on children’s access to legal services while in police custody.

I was invited to participate in this conference as the result of work that my colleagues, students, and I have done over the years on access to justice in developing countries. At the opening of this conference, Justice Dustan Mlambo, Judge President of the Gautang Division of the High Court of South Africa and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Legal Aid South Africa, referenced the Lilongwe Declaration on Legal Aid (2004) as a foundational document for the recently adopted (2012) U.N. Guidelines for Access to Justice in Criminal Justice Systems. The Lilongwe Declaration, a document that students and I had a hand in drafting in 2004 in Malawi (along with Justice Mlambo, then head of Legal Aid South Africa, and Adam Stapleton, who will be visiting the Bluhm Legal Clinic this year to expand international human rights opportunities for our students), has turned out to be a foundational document for those advocating for the improvement of legal aid and an inspiration for the new U.N. Guidelines, which are truly transformative.

Our country has much to learn from international practices and particularly from the Lilongwe Declaration and the recently adopted U.N. Guidelines on Legal Aid in the Criminal Justice System. These documents set forth a comprehensive human rights-based approach to the provision of what we call public defender services, including early provision of legal assistance to children and adult suspects in police stations and special consideration for the needs of children in conflict with the law, women, vulnerable groups, as well as victims of crime and witnesses. The documents also emphasize the need to expand legal aid to those in need through the use of paralegals who can deliver many necessary services less expensively than lawyers and who are available to deliver legal aid in rural areas. Those seeking to improve the quality of indigent defense services here and abroad should use these documents as sources of a comprehensive view of the range of services that should be provided to those affected by the criminal justice systems.

Participation in international conferences, such as this week’s International Conference on Access to Justice in Criminal Justice Systems, provides our programs at the Bluhm Legal Clinic with fresh perspectives on legal practice, human rights, and the effective delivery of legal services. We use this information in our representation of our clients, especially when international standards and documents respond more concretely to real world problems in our juvenile and criminal justice systems. Collaboration with our international counterparts also gives our students opportunities to perform meaningful legal services/human rights work on the ground. And curiously, attendance at such conferences enable us to meet with our colleague in the U.S. who are doing remarkable work. An example of this was the presentation made yesterday by Seymour James of the Legal Aid Society of New York. His description of the fine work done by his office was inspiring and underscored what I view to be a priority for law reform in Cook County—improvement of the quality of services that we provide right at home. Let me add that we could learn a lot from Legal Aid, South Africa.


Veterans’-focused high-tech incubator in Chicago

Great initiative, reflecting the work of distinguished alum, Howard Tullman ’71, and his colleagues at Chicago’s high tech incubator, 1871:

Dubbed “The Bunker,” Incubator to House Veteran-Owned Technology Companies Beginning in Fall of 2014.

1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman confirmed today that 1871 will be launching a veterans-focused technology incubator called The Bunker in 2014 as part of 1871’s recently announced expansion plans at its digital startup hub in The Merchandise Mart. The announcement is officially being made in concert with the offices of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn, as well as the Pat Tillman Foundation – all of whom are also expected to provide support and resources for the new program.

Tullman describes the inspiration for the new initiative: “Many years ago in law school, I learned that my most mature classmates and the hardest and most serious competitors in the school were the vets. They had the positive ‘can do’ attitude, the ‘take no prisoners’ drive, and the commitment to success that are precisely what it takes to build a successful startup. In addition, we owe these men and women a great debt for their sacrifices and service to our country. At 1871, we want everything we do to make a difference, not just a living, and we hope in our own way that we can help our vets move forward and make yet another important contribution to our economy.”

The Bunker will be the Nation’s first Veteran Business Accelerator and will harness the leadership experiences of veterans as a strategic differentiator for startup and early stage veteran owned technology enabled businesses. The Bunker will be a veteran-operated, veteran-focused effort that will seek to offer an entry point into the technology economy for hundreds of local and national veteran owned and operated technology businesses, with the dual goal of exploring and tapping into the significant resources available to veterans from government organizations and maximizing the skill and trainings which our veterans developed while serving in the military.

While there are a substantial number of city, state and federal veteran assistance programs, it is sometimes a challenging and complex process – especially for novice business builders – and one of the focus areas of the 1871 veteran’s incubator will be to work closely with the city and the state as well as the vets to help smooth, streamline and accelerate these interactions. 1871’s huge population of volunteer mentors (especially in the legal and accounting fields) will be of invaluable assistance in these areas. The Bunker will be run by Todd Connor, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Navy veteran and successful entrepreneur who most recently led the city of Chicago’s military high schools program.

The Bunker will be a part of the new 25,000 square foot expansion coming from 1871 this October, which was announced on Tuesday, June 17, in conjunction with Governor Quinn. Fueled by a $2.5 million investment from the State, the 25,000-square foot space will house alumni companies, venture capital firms, and incubators and accelerators, including this effort.

“Illinois’ veterans are some of the most talented and skilled individuals in our state’s workforce,” Governor Quinn said. “By supporting veteran-owned and operated businesses, we can ensure that our men and women service members have what they need to continue contributing to our communities while driving our economy forward. We owe a debt of gratitude to the many brave Illinois men and women who have answered the call to serve and I commend The Bunker and 1871 for launching this innovative platform on their behalf.”

“Great startup businesses need great leaders who know how to ‘get it done’ amidst uncertain and challenging circumstances. This is what veterans bring.” stated Todd Connor, CEO of The Bunker. “This represents a truly different model for the veteran community that is not about defining the veteran population as a group that needs help, but rather capitalizing on the talent pool of some of the highest performing veterans.”

The Bunker is expected to maximize use of 1871’s existing shared facilities for housing its companies and hopes to bring companies to Chicago and 1871 for long-term, permanent stays that will allow integration into the 1871 community as well as the broader Chicago business community.

# # #

About 1871

1871 is an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, the soon-to-be 75,000-square-foot facility provides Chicago startups with programming, access to mentors, educational resources, potential investors and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that help them on their path to building successful businesses. 1871 is the flagship project of the CEC.


NU Law grad to clerk on the Court

Sopan Joshi ’13 just selected as one of Justice Scalia’s law clerks on the Supreme Court. Many congrats to Sopan and to the good Justice for his wise and discerning judgment!


New NU Law chairholders

I am pleased to announce the appointments of our newest named rotating chair holders. These appointments will take effect September 1, 2014.

Please join me in recognizing the appointments of the following Northwestern Law faculty members to named professorships. We thank and acknowledge these faculty members for their hard work and commitment to our core teaching and research mission. We also thank our donors who have made these recognitions possible with their generous financial support.

Esther Barron
Harry B. Reese Teaching Professorship

Esther Barron is a Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the Entrepreneurship Law Center in the Bluhm Legal Clinic. Known for teaching innovation, Esther’s entrepreneurship law course, co-taught with Steve Reed, is extremely highly rated. In 2013, she and Steve Reed debuted a version of their entrepreneurship law course as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), the first to be offered by Northwestern Law. Prior to joining Northwestern’s faculty, Barron practiced at Goldberg Kohn in Chicago in its commercial finance department. Barron graduated Cum Laude from Brandeis University and received her JD from Northwestern University School of Law.

Tonja Jacobi
William G. and Virginia K. Karnes Research Professorship

Tonja Jacobi’s research interests include judicial politics, game theory, American governmental institutions and constitutional law. Her recent publications include Criminal Innovation and the Warrant Requirement: Reconsidering the Rights-Police Efficiency Trade-off (William and Mary Law Review, forthcoming 2015); Strategic Judicial Preference Revelation (Journal of Law and Economics, forthcoming 2014), and The Attrition of Rights under Parole (Southern California Law Review, forthcoming 2014). Jacobi earned her PhD in political science from Stanford University, and also holds a Masters from the University of California, Berkeley and a law degree from the Australian National University.

James Lindgren
Benjamin Mazur Summer Research Professorship

James Lindgren’s research areas include law and social science, criminal law, and estates. Many of his current projects examine the roles that viewpoint diversity plays in American society. Lindgren is a co-founder of the Section on Scholarship of the Association of American Law Schools and a former chair of its Section on Social Science and the Law. Lindgren received his JD and PhD in quantitative sociology from University of Chicago.

Jide Nzelibe
Harry R. Horrow Professorship in International Law

Jide Nzelibe’s research and teaching interests include international trade, foreign relations law, public and private international law and contracts. His recent publications include Contesting Adjudication: The Partisan Divide over Alien Tort Litigation (Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, 2013) and Our Partisan Foreign Affairs Constitution (Minnesota Law Review, 2013). Nzelibe joined Northwestern’s faculty in 2004. In addition to his JD from Yale Law School, he holds an MPA in international relations from Princeton University.

Please join me in congratulating these excellent law professors for these well-deserved honors.