The Chicago Theater was the venue for a great convocation ceremony yesterday afternoon.
I congratulated our graduates, thanked them for all their contributions to our community, and spoke briefly what it means to be “ready.” NU’s president, Morty Schapiro, spoke about the importance of friendship and of maintaining friendships forged in law school in the face of the business of ordinary life.
At many times in the ceremony, we remembered our beloved colleague, Dawn Clark Netsch ’52, who we lost earlier this year. In one of the especially moving parts of the convocation, Dawn’s nephew, Sandy Kerr, accepted the Childress teaching award, an award whose recipient is selected by the graduating students, on Dawn’s behalf posthumously. Sandy also presented the student awards, including the Wigmore Key (to Timothy Fry).
Our convocation speaker was Mark Walter ’85. Mark is the principal owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and is a principal in Guggenheim Partners. He provided remarks on the value of law school, putting in special context the story of how he and his partners recently came to own the Dodgers (paying a record-setting amount for what has emerged as an fertile investment).
For me, a highlight of the ceremony were the two speeches of our students, a JD and LLM graduate. Jeff Van Dam and Sergio Herrera gave interesting, humorous remarks about their experiences at Northwestern. Both emphasized in their own ways how remarkable a group of students we have at Northwestern and how the best of NU Law is found in these incredible students.
(I must also mention that Jeff, referring to comments I made in my remarks about my dog, Rico Sauve, said that he knows my dog and that “Rico is a terrific individual”). Can’t top that!
Thanks to all who made this graduation such a meaningful event for friends and family, for faculty and administrators. And best of luck to the Class of 2013. Make us all proud!
I am proud and excited to preside over the convocation for our esteemed Northwestern Law class of 2013.
To the students: congratulations and Godspeed.
The the faculty and staff: thanks for all you have done to bring our students to this great day.
To the family and friends: congrats to you also and thanks, on behalf of our students, for all you have done to prepare and support these terrific individuals.
Northwestern Law School is pleasured to announce that Howard and Elizabeth “Betsy” Chapman have made a $3 million gift to establish a chaired professorship in their name. “This is an important gift,” said Dean Daniel Rodriguez. “The Chapman’s generosity helps further our goal of recruiting and retaining an exemplary group of scholars and teachers. We are extremely grateful for this vote of confidence in our bold ambitions, especially in the business law area.”
Howard’s understanding of the importance of legal and regulatory structures on the business community was instrumental to establishing this professorship. This understanding was the result of a life of practice in banking and finance, corporate, and real estate law.
Howard attended Northwestern University on an academic scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1956 and went from there to the Law School—again on an academic scholarship—where he was an associate editor of the Northwestern University Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Howard and Betsy met at Northwestern, which she attended from 1953 to 1955. They married in 1955. Following Howard’s graduation from the Law School in 1958, they moved to her hometown, Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Howard began his long and distinguished career in the law.
In 1958 Howard joined Shoaff, Keegan & Baird; he became a partner in 1963. In 1970, he helped establish the firm of Bonahoom, Chapman & McNellis, which merged in 1986 with Barrett, Barrett and McNagny to form Barrett & McNagny, one of Indiana’s largest law practices. He was a partner at that firm until he became Of Counsel in 2003. Howard served as president of the Allen County Bar Association, and on the boards of the Waterfield Mortgage Company and the Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis.
Betsy, an accomplished musician, has performed at the Arena Theatre, the Fort Wayne Youtheatre, and the First Presbyterian Theatre. She earned a degree in English from Indiana University-Purdue in 1974. She has coauthored three musical plays for children, which have been performed nationally, and she has served on the boards of numerous community and charitable organizations, including the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, and Arts United of Allen County.
Together, the Chapmans have a distinguished history of giving and volunteering. They established the Howard and Betsy Chapman Law Scholarship Fund to support students at the Law School, as well as the Chapman Scholars program and the Chapman Distinguished Professorship in the Department of English and Linguistics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Howard served on a Law School Reunion Committee, and as an officer, director, and committee member of many civic and charitable organizations in Indiana.
Their philanthropy is not limited to Northwestern; they support organizations including the Community Harvest Food Bank, Purdue University, the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, and the United Way.
Howard is thankful for the scholarships that made it possible for him to attend Northwestern. Through their philanthropy, Howard and Betsy support the work of the next generation of scholars and students.
Opportunities to meet with alums and also to gather with friends at the inaugural NYC club cocktail party. Here are the current details from Terese Molinaro in our Alumni Relations office:
- Inaugural Cocktail Party – Thursday, May 9
- Location: Penn Club of New York
- Registration Page: https://alumni.law.northwestern.edu/nyccocktailparty
- Registration has closed, but attendees are still welcome to join us. Please have anyone who would like to attend contact me or Michelle.
The Northeast corridor — Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC — remains a fertile, vital place for Northwestern Law graduates. We have long recruited well from this part of the nation and we have sent eastward many hundreds of alumni to great positions in both the private and public sector.
We urge our NU Law grads to connect with other grads in these areas. The NYC and Washington clubs are especially useful venues to network and schmooze.
Prof. David Scheffer, Director of Northwestern’s Center on International Human Rights, speaks here on the challenges of international justice:
A Q&A with US War Crimes Ambassador David Scheffer
By: Jennifer Gutman
David Scheffer, the first-ever war crimes ambassador for the US, will speak about “The Challenges of International Justice” on Monday, April 8, at Vassar College’s Sanders Classroom Building, Spitzer Auditorium. Currently serving as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Scheffer’s past work in the Balkans and Rwanda contributed to the creation of the International Criminal Court in 2002. In anticipation of the talk, which will explore his recent war crimes work in Cambodia and his 2012 memoir All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals,Chronogram presents a Q&A with Scheffer on the topic of international justice.
Chronogram: What is the biggest challenge to international justice currently?
David Scheffer: The biggest challenge to international justice currently is political will, particularly the will of governments to enforce international arrest warrants against indicted fugitives roaming free on their territory and to provide the necessary financing to ensure the full operations of the international and hybrid war crimes tribunals. These are sometimes very tough decisions for governments to make because it can mean putting international justice goals ahead of national priorities, but if justice is the objective then political will is essential to meet it.
CM: There seems to be a problem with ending conflicts effectively and expeditiously and bringing justice afterwards. What can be done to improve this process?
DS: Ending conflicts is a highly complex diplomatic and often military endeavor. It is not the task of international justice literally to end conflicts and we should not burden war crimes tribunals with that responsibility. Achieving justice in the aftermath of conflict is a necessary goal in the modern era and that is why we have witnessed the creation of so many war crimes tribunals, some of them created in the middle of the conflicts and continuing long thereafter. The creation of the permanent International Criminal Court, which began to operate in 2002, was a major step to improving the process by ensuring the existence of a highly professional war crimes tribunal even at the beginning of conflicts so that all are on notice of their potential liability for commission of atrocity crimes. But again, it is folly to thrust the burden of ending conflicts or even deterring them on the backs of the tribunals. Their job is to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of atrocity crimes and bring them to justice, and that is an enormous challenge in and of itself.
CM: What has been learned through the war crimes trials in Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and Cambodia? What can be done better by the international community moving forward?
DS: This is a huge question that thousands of books and law review articles seek to address, so I won’t even try to begin here. All I can say is that the end of leadership impunity for atrocity crimes draws nearer thanks to the work of the war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia and the permanent International Criminal Court. We have learned that the cooperation of governments remains essential for the successful work of the tribunals, that sufficient funding must be available to cover the cost of international justice, that the public must exercise patience in waiting for the investigation, prosecution, and judgment phases of each defendant’s case because it does take much longer under international criminal law to achieve ultimate justice, and that the outreach of each tribunal with the public (including victims and perpetrators) is essential for the educational and healing process to begin. The international community needs to do better at funding the tribunals, supporting their investigative work and arrest strategies with full cooperation, and using diplomatic pressure to press reluctant governments to act in the interests of justice rather than their narrow national interests alone.
CM: Which aspect do you think has proven more important after conficts: peace and reconciliation commissions that offer immunity in return for full disclosure of past crimes, or trials of officials previously involved in atrocities?
DS: This is not necessarily a choice anymore. It was 20 years ago when the a peace and reconciliation commission approach was employed in South Africa. But during the last two decades the creation of the permanent International Criminal Court, with 121 states parties (including South Africa), and the long usage of other war crimes tribunals have changed the landscape. The international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious war crimes cannot be bargained way anymore; political, military, and even business leaders stand accountable for their actions under international law now, and nations have accepted that reality in their ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Nonetheless, there remains the opportunity to explore peace and reconciliation commissions for mid-level and low-level perpetrators of atrocity crimes, namely those individuals who would not be subject to investigation and prosecution anyway by the war crimes tribunals. Even there, though, nations are increasingly building into their criminal codes the enforcement of criminal law for the commission of atrocity crimes. It may remain the possibility that full disclosure of past crimes might enable mid-level and low-life perpetrators to avoid enforcement of such domestic criminal law, but that depends on the particular country at stake and its criminal code.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the locale for the annual gathering, under the auspices of the Association of American Law Schools, of the clinical law teachers. Northwestern Law has a large contingent of participants in this conference, including our great director, Tom Geraghty.
This conference gives us an opportunity to showcase the remarkable work of our Bluhm Legal Clinic, a clinical program whose breadth and depth is as impressive as any clinical program in the nation.
With the help of our clinical faculty and key administrators, we have been hard at work in developing a compelling narrative of financial support for our clinic while also crafting a strategy for the future of the clinic. In these times of serious scrutiny of the shape of legal education, focused attention on how to best develop and nurture live-client skills training is a high priority. Our clinical programs provide valuable platforms for the improvement of lawyer training. We welcome input from our alumni and other friends about how best to accomplish our ambitious goals.
To: Northwestern Law Community
From: Thomas F. Geraghty, Associate Dean and Director, Bluhm Legal Clinic
Northwestern teams, coached by Esther Barron, Director of the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Entrepreneurship Law Center, stole the show at the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition, which is self-described as the world’s richest and largest business plan competition. SiNode and BriteSeed won 1st and 2nd place and also each received several other awards and cash prizes. SiNode won $811,000 and BriteSeed won $238,000 in investments and awards. Two of BriteSeed’s four co-founders have ties to the Law School.
BriteSeed has developed a technology that detects blood vessels during surgeries which helps surgeons avoid making dangerous cuts. The BriteSeed team exemplifies Northwestern’s interdisciplinary approach to entrepreneurship education. Jonathan Gunn (class of ’13) studied patent and entrepreneurship law and also holds a doctorate in biomaterials and nanotechnology. Jonathan has published over 15 peer-reviewed articles and performed research in nanopartible-based imaging and wound-healing applications. Muneeb Bokhari (class of ’12) is an associate at Foley & Lardner. Before joining Northwestern Law, Muneeb worked in the technology industry for ten years, where he gained experience with several early stage startups as well as large multi-national firms. Fellow co-founder, Paul Fehrenbacher is a fourth-year medical student at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Before helping to establish BriteSeed, Paul served as Director of Pre-clinical Evaluation and Guidance at Wildcat Venture Management, a Chicago-based biotech company. Lastly, Mayank Vijayvergia is a masters student in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern, where he has performed research in magnetic resonance elastography for non-invasive diagnoses of varying diseases. Esther Barron, Director of the Northwestern Entrepreneurship Law Center, proudly served as the team’s faculty advisor.
Professor Kristen Stilt Named Guggenheim Fellow
Northwestern University Law School faculty member Kristen Stilt was named a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for her work on the role of Islamic law in modern constitutions.
This year’s Fellowships were awarded to a diverse group of 175 scholars and artists from a pool of almost 3,000 applicants from the United States and Canada.
“Kristen is an exceptional scholar and colleague,” said Dean Dan Rodriguez. “Her work on Constitutional Islam is innovative and timely, with a number of countries around the world in the process of revising and rewriting their constitutions to incorporate Islam and Islamic Law. The research this Fellowship supports will illuminate how these constitutional choices are made.”
Stilt, who is also an affiliated faculty member in the history department in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, studies the historical development and contemporary practices of Islamic law. Using historical and comparative approaches, her Guggenheim project seeks to understand the growing phenomenon of enshrining references to Islam and Islamic law in national constitutions. A social history of constitution-making, the project will span a wide range of countries in the Muslim world. She is the author of Islamic Law in Action: Authority, Discretion, and Everyday Experiences in Mamluk Egypt (Oxford University Press, 2011) and coeditor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law.
Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.
“Since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has always bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue the tradition with this wonderfully talented and diverse group,” said Edward Hirsh, president of the Guggenheim Foundation. “It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do.”
Judge Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, will be our Trienens Distinguished Judicial Visitor this week. The good judge will be speaking in a moderate discussion tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm in Lincoln Hall.
His is a remarkable career, beginning at the Yale Law School in the early 1960′s. Guido was a founder of the law and economics movement and, in many famous writings, he brought economic analysis skillfully to the study of torts. His contributions to private law and to the intersection of law and regulation were masterful and remain highly influential in the legal academy and in policy debates. His teaching is legendary and it is hard to attend a professional conference of any size and distinction without hearing stories about the great classes with Guido. He continues to teach at Yale to this day.
A second important phase of Guido Calabresi’s career was his tenure as Yale Law School’s dean. Guido’s love for Yale and his service to the law school at which he has spent his entire professional life is an exemplar of what it means to be a devoted institutional citizen.
President Bill Clinton, Guido’s former student, appointed Calabresi to the federal bench. He has since served as one of the shining stars of the federal judiciary. His law clerks, including our own, Prof. Erin Delaney, have gone on to their own distinction.
Guido Calabresi’s life has been, as the saying goes, truly well lived in the law. We are delighted to welcome here to Northwestern Law School and we are looking forward to his visit with faculty, students, alumni, and all interested members of the Northwestern community.
Am visiting San Diego for two reasons: First is to participate in Northwestern’s annual Securities Regulation Institute. This is one of the premier gatherings of leading securities lawyers and public officials. Programing is rich and substantial, with panels on, for example, M&A trends and developments, overview of the current capital markets, and preparing for the 20130 IP–Impact of the JOBS Act. The Institute is simply first rate.
Second, we are gathering with San Diego-area law alums to chat about the school and to get reacquainted. We will be meeting at Sora Restaurant on 655 W. Broadway tonight at 6 p.m. in case anyone wants to come by.