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Leadership in Legal Education

Leadership In Legal Education
The achievements of faculty, students and administrators


Federalist Society Hosts Amb. John Bolton At Its 25th Annual Conference


Federal appellate judges at the event were (left to right) William H. Pryor, Jr. (11th Cir.), Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.), Diramuid F. O'Scannlain (9th Cir.), Frank H. Easterbrook (7th Cir.), and Dennis Jacobs (2nd Cir.). Also attending was Raymond Randolph (D.C. Circuit).

The 25th annual Federalist Society Student Symposium drew more than 1,200 students and lawyers from across the country for a series of panels, debates, and talks on international law and the state of the Constitution. Law School professors Lori Damrosch, Philip Hamburger, and Tom Merrill and six federal appellate judges were among the participants gathered at Jerome Greene Hall on February 24-25. At the event, hosted by Columbia's chapter of the Federalist Society, topics ranged from the war on terror to foreign international legal sources in constitutional interpretation. Panels comprised leading jurists, judges, and professors from all points of the ideological spectrum.

Ambassador John R. Bolton, permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations, delivered the keynote address, titled "United Nations Reform." He began his discussion with what he described as one of President Bush's most important initiatives: withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972.

Ambassador Bolton's reasons for supporting the president's decision ranged from the strategic to the practical, but he claimed vindication on the grounds that withdrawal has not initiated a new arms race.

"We haven't undercut the fabric of arms control and nonproliferation treaties that had grown up over the years," he said. "Rather, the new strategic relationship between the United States and Russia has improved, and new research and development in weapons has occurred."

This, he remarked, is an example of how the "mythology of treaties" might have historically impeded U.S. foreign policy.

Ambassador Bolton's central theme was corruption in the UN and the ways in which to purge it. The goal, he proposed, should be to increase the transparency of UN debates and open them up to the public. He closed with a discussion of Iran's nuclear program, reiterating the "strong view of the president" that it is not acceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons.

Among other highlights was a talk by Judge Frank Easterbrook (7th Circuit) during the panel on foreign sources in constitutional interpretation and the inaugural evening cocktail reception in Low Memorial Library. The symposium concluded with a banquet held in Alfred Lerner Hall on Saturday evening, where John Fund of the Wall Street Journal delivered a talk on the success of the Federalist Society, citing, in particular, the recently appointed Supreme Court justices and spirited debate in the law schools. Six hundred guests attended. The symposium was the most well attended in the Society's history, attracting students of all political persuasions.

The Friday cocktail party was supported by the Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation, while the Saturday banquet was made possible by Ira Greenstein '85.

— Blaine H. Evanson '06, Chair, Federalist Society

Professor Barenberg Drafts Labor Bill Introduced in Congress

Currently before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce is a bill drafted by Professor Mark Barenberg that would require ongoing disclosure of conditions in overseas workplaces that supply U.S. corporations. The legislation was introduced in Congress by Representatives Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), Major Owens (D-N.Y.), and Barney Frank (D-Mass.). The bill would establish an innovative, online database that could be searched by consumers interested in ethical purchasing and by workers who could immediately monitor the accuracy of disclosed wages, hours, and other working conditions.

"The legislation would reduce the need for costly, often ineffective proof of working conditions in litigation that occurs months or years later by facilitating ‘real time' monitoring," argues Prof. Barenberg.

China's Markets Are Focus of Transactional Studies Roundtable

On January 19, the Law School's Transactional Studies program hosted the third annual Deals Roundtable, titled "China's Emerging Financial Markets: Opportunities and Obstacles." The daylong event in Jerome Greene Hall brought together prominent academics, practitioners, and policymakers for intensive discussions on China's emerging financial industry and, in particular, the impact of inbound investment into China and the role of China's legal and institutional infrastructure.

After opening remarks from Wei Christianson '89, the recently named managing director and chief executive officer for Morgan Stanley in China, Professor Katharina Pistor led a discussion on the roles and risks undertaken by foreign banks as China's banking sector undergoes a substantial transformation. The emerging economic superpower has slated several state-owned banks for initial public offering and has invited international investment banks to participate in the preparation of these offerings and to commit to acquiring a stake in the banks.

The impact of China's legal and institutional infrastructure on its evolving financial industry was discussed during another panel moderated by Chinese law expert Professor Ben Liebman. Panelists spoke on the importance of the legal system in the country's past and future economic development and discussed possible legal mechanisms for addressing problems in the financial sector.

Participants at the roundtable, made possible by the Randolph Speaker Series Fund, included: Nicholas C. Howson '88, Michigan Law School; Nicholas Lardy, Institute for International Economics; Jon Christianson '88, Skadden, Arps; Donald Clarke, George Washington Law School; Robert DeLaMater '84, Sullivan & Cromwell; Robert Dohner, U.S. Department of Treasury; and Yasheng Huang, MIT Sloan School of Management.

University President Taps Law Faculty For Prominent Posts

Professors Michael Doyle and Katharina Pistor were elected to the Columbia Committee on Global Thought, a group of scholars focused on building a world-class program dedicated to the study of globalization. The committee is an initiative of President Lee Bollinger '71, who holds a staunch belief that universities will play a crucial role in the increasingly globalized world.

Other committee members and their areas of expertise include Nobel Laureate and University Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Akeel Bilgrami (Philosophy), Partha Chatterjee (Anthropology), and Carol Gluck (History). The initiative has its precedent in the Committee on Social Thought, instituted in 1941 by University of Chicago scholars whose aim was to bring together academics with common concerns from a variety of fields.

Prof. Doyle also was named to the advisory board of the UN Democracy Fund, which was established at the annual Members States Meeting in September 2005. The goal of the group (which has already received pledges of more than $40 million from 17 countries) is to promote and consolidate new and restored democracies with financial and technical help.

Former Law School Deans Receive Special Honors

The American Academy in Rome has joined with the Friends of Columbia University in establishing an annual fellowship in honor of Michael I. Sovern '55. The fellowship will send a Columbia University student, administrator, or faculty member to the academy for a four- to six-week academic retreat in the Italian capital city, where he or she can attend concerts, conferences, exhibitions, and readings and will have access to the academy's archives and libraries. Prof. Sovern, presently a president emeritus of the University, recently stepped down as chairman of the board of the academy.

Professor Barbara Aronstein Black '55 was one of three legal professionals honored in March by the New York City Bar for their early roles as women attorneys. Prof. Black was the first woman from a first-tier law school to be appointed dean in 1986. She quickly established herself as an adept administrator, establishing the Foundation Curriculum, initiating a regular Dean's Forum with students, and developing the business law faculty to be the strongest in the country. She is a scholar of legal history and contracts. Also honored were Judith P. Vladeck '47 and New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye.

Students Named for Morrison & Foerster Summer Public Interest Fellowships

Fellowships with public interest law organizations in Japan were awarded to two students, thus inaugurating the Morrison & Foerster Public Interest Fellowships for summer 2006.

Adiya Dixon '08 is working for the Climate Group, which supports business and government involvement in climate change. She works on several important projects related to emissions control policies of Japanese municipalities and corporations.

Joceline Park ‘08 is with a grassroots organization, Polaris Project, which combats human trafficking and modern-day slavery. She will use her fluent Korean and proficient Japanese to bring together community members, survivors, and professionals to fight the trafficking.

The fellowships were established by the Center for Japanese Legal Studies under the directorship of Professor Curtis Milhaupt '89.

Columbia Professors Awarded Prestigious Fulbright Chairs

Professors Kimberle Crenshaw and George Bermann 75' LL.M. were awarded Fulbright chairs in March. The Fulbright Distinguished Chair for Brazil, among the most prestigious in the program, will bring Prof. Crenshaw to the Catholic University Law School in Rio, in 2007, where she will teach comparative conceptions of race and discrimination. The objective of the chair is to promote the dissemination of studies involving the United States and its relationship with Brazil and the Americas in general.

The distinction of the first ever Tocqueville-Fulbright Distinguished Chair belongs to Prof. Bermann, who will give lectures this fall at the University of Paris I (Pantheon- Sorbonne), the Institut des Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po), and elsewhere in Europe. The chair coincides with the centenary of the birth of Senator J. William Fulbright and the bicentennial of the birth of political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville.

Careers Over Bagels & Coffee: Alumni Visit Dean's Breakfast Series

Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild '79 (left) joined Dean David Schizer and Columbia Law students as the featured speaker at the Dean's Breakfast Series on November 1. Lady de Rothschild, founder and chief executive officer of private investment company ELR Holdings, LLC, was one of many alumni from a span of legal backgrounds in the series, which gives students an intimate opportunity to hear about the range of careers available to them.

Other guests were: Ellen Kaden '77, divisional senior vice president for Campbell Soup Company; Richard Barasch '79, chairman and chief executive officer at Universal American Financial; Daniel Glaser '93, deputy assistant secretary at the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes; Noah Perlman '97, field division counsel at the Drug Enforcement Agency; Alicia Batts '90, a partner in the litigation department at Foley & Lardner; David Bershad '64, a founding member of the firm of Milberg Weiss; Mark E. Palmer '94, a partner at Linklaters in New York; Edward W. Gray '70, a partner in the Washington, D.C., offices of Morrison & Foerster; and Mavis Fowler-Williams '87, director, business affairs for CBS News.

Professor Edward Lloyd Is Recipient Of Award for Green Activism

Professor Ed Lloyd (second from right) was the recipient of the Environmental Legacy Award from the New Jersey Environmental Lobby for his distinguished advocacy. Prof. Lloyd is the Evan M. Frankel Clinical Professor in Environmental Law at Columbia, where he heads the School's Environmental Law Clinic.

Columbia Students Weigh in on Alito Hearings on Public Radio

Four students with varying political viewpoints were invited to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito, Jr., on "Open Source," a public broadcasting radio show hosted by Christopher Lydon. The program, aired the day before Judge Alito was confirmed, focused on the philosophical balance of the court. Those excited about the prospect of Judge Alito's confirmation were Federalist Society President Spencer Marsden '07 and Chair Blaine Evanson '06, who said that concerns about overturning Roe v. Wade were exaggerated, citing the judge's respect for stare decisis. Samantha Harper '07 disagreed, saying that with the new conservative majority, privacy rights, abortion, and access to contraception were threatened. Another student, Peter Romer-Friedman '06, worried about Judge Alito's record on employment cases. Professor Carol Sanger also weighed in on "Generation Alito," as the broadcast was titled.

Human Rights Fellowships Announced

Labor and environmental work will be the focus of two students receiving this year's Henkin-Stoffel Human Rights and David W. Leebron Human Rights Fellowships.

Elizabeth Vladeck '06 will spend her Leebron fellowship at the Kaliningrad Human Rights Center in Kaliningrad, Russia, training and educating unions on the legal tools available to them in bargaining. She also will represent workers before international bodies in legal proceedings under the labor code and the laws governing trade unions. Providing evidence for the theory that talented lawyers run in families, Ms. Vladeck is the granddaughter of the pioneering labor lawyer Judith Vladeck '47.

Misti Duvall '06, winner of the Henkin-Stoffel Fellowship, will spend a year in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working with local NGOs and the Southeast Asia Office of EarthRights International (ERI). A second year will be spent at ERI's office in Washington, D.C.

Sixteen Appointed Law Professors

Columbia is the nation's third largest producer of law school teachers, behind Yale and Harvard. Many grads and associates hired in recent years have benefited from weekly workshops that are part of Professor Carol Sanger's Program in Law Teaching. This year's associates-in-law and alumni who captured the coveted positions were:

  • Eric Berger '03, University of Nebraksa
  • Chris Brummer '04, Vanderbilt
  • David S. Cohen '97, Drexel
  • Rose Cuison-Villazor '06 LL.M., Southern Methodist University
  • Stephen Davidoff '95, Wayne State University
  • Lorelei de Larena '96, Florida State University
  • Brian Galle '01, Florida State University
  • Alexander Greenawalt '00, Pace University
  • Anil Kalhan, two-year position as visiting assistant professor, Fordham University
  • Hoi Kong, Queen's University
  • Melissa Murray, Boalt Hall
  • Sachin Pandya, visiting assistant professor, University of Connecticut
  • Chaim Saiman '01, Villanova
  • Sudha Setty '99, Western New England College
  • Rob Sloane, Boston University
  • Chuck Whitehead '86, Boston University

Sharkey's Study on Sexual Harassment Damages Shows Circumventions

Professor Catherine Sharkey's findings regarding damages awarded in sexual harassment lawsuits over more than two decades were published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies in March. In the study, Prof. Sharkey examines 232 harassment cases decided between 1982 - 2004 and finds that cases governed by the Civil Rights Act of 1991 - which limited the damages litigants could seek under Title VII - consistently resulted in significantly higher awards than preceding cases. Plaintiffs, she argues, had discovered they could circumvent monetary caps by asserting federal claims under Section 1983, allowing for multiple claims of liability, such as violations of state civil rights or tort law. The inclusion of state claims appeared to drive up the very damages meant to be curtailed by the Civil Rights Act.

Prof. Sharkey attributes this to a paradox of the 1991 legislation, noting that "while it did impose fairly stringent damages caps, the act also specifically authorized jury trials and allowed litigants to pursue multiple avenues in an effort to win non-economic compensatory and punitive damages."

David Schizer Makes the Cut for Crain's New York Business ‘40 Under 40'

Crain's New York Business named Dean David Schizer one of New York's "40 Under 40," a group that represents the younger movers and shakers of the city. He was among 500 nominees chosen not only for their career success, but their personal histories. Named after a grandfather who escaped from Russian pogroms and a revolutionary firing squad, Dean Schizer is one of the nation's leading tax law authorities and the youngest dean in the 148-year history of Columbia Law School.