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January 2015

  Gillian Lester Becomes Dean of Columbia Law School   
Gillian Lester, a nationally recognized authority in employment law and policy, joins Columbia Law School as dean Jan. 1. Her appointment to the role was first announced by Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger ’71 in April 2014.
  
  New Cutting-Edge Courses Address Critical Global Issues   
From Jerome Greene Hall to the European Parliament, this spring Columbia Law School students will delve into a diverse range of critical domestic and international policy issues through new courses addressing subjects that include sustainable development, Big Data, and the law of the sea.
  
  Dean Emerita Barbara Aronstein Black '55 Receives Distinguished Columbian in Teaching Award   
Dean Emerita Barbara Aronstein Black ’55, the first woman dean of Columbia Law School and any Ivy League law school, was honored as the Distinguished Columbian in Teaching at a Jan. 2 ceremony.
  
  51 Former State Attorneys General Push for Reasonable Prisoner Phone Rates in Letter to FCC   
More than 50 former state attorneys general today strongly urged the Federal Communications Commission to establish reasonable rates for prisoner phone calls to help prisoners maintain connections with family members, a factor known to reduce recidivism. These former law enforcement officials—51 in all—signed on to a letter submitted to the FCC as part of the agency’s public comment session on a petition to have calls made within a state set at reasonable rates. The letter was circulated by Columbia Law School’s National State Attorneys General Program and its director, James E. Tierney.
  
  Law Professors: The Next Generation   
With support from Columbia Law School's Careers in Law Teaching Program (CILTP), graduates and associates are stepping up to shape the future of legal education. Four rising academics recently accepted teaching positions at law schools across the United States.
  
  Professor James Liebman Proves Innocent Man Executed, Retired Supreme Court Justice Says   
Columbia Law School Professor James S. Liebman has "demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt" that Texas executed an innocent man, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Jan. 20.
  
  Professors Argue in Favor of Tax Subsidies for Health Insurance Purchased on Federal Exchanges   
The IRS can extend tax credit-subsidies to help cover the cost of health insurance policies purchased through marketplaces established by the federal government under the Affordable Care Act, Columbia Law School professors Gillian E. Metzger ’96 and Thomas W. Merrill argue in an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 28.
  
  Columbia Law School Professor Thomas W. Merrill Elected to the American Law Institute   
Columbia Law School Professor Thomas W. Merrill, a renowned scholar of property and administrative law, has been elected to the American Law Institute. He joins a distinguished array of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars to receive this prestigious honor.
  
  Columbia Law School Clinic Argues for Marriage Equality in Puerto Rico   
Puerto Rico’s marriage laws violate the constitutional rights of lesbians and gay men to marry the person of their choice and to have that marriage recognized, Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic argues in an amicus brief filed today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.