Alumni News

Central High School Moot Court Team Wins National Competition

Joshua Puckett, a senior in the Law and Government Magnet at Central High School, won the National Championship at the Marshall-Brennan National Moot Court Competition held in Philadelphia April 2-3.  His teammate and classmate, Mashayla Hays, was the runner-up.  This the first time in the history of the tournament that one school had two of the four finalists, much less finishing as the two most outstanding speakers in the entire competition.

The Central team was made up four outstanding seniors, all of whom made it to the tournament’s semi-final round.  Besides Joshua and Mashayla, the other two semi-finalists representing Central were Hau Duc Le and Chania Coleman.  The team was coached by Professor Sam Marcosson of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, and two law school students, Cennet Kocakulah Braun and Lena Nash Seward.  They work with the students as one component of the School of Law’s partnership with Central’s Law and Government Magnet, and as part of the broader national Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project.  The Moot Court Competition brings together students from various Marshall-Brennan programs sponsored by law schools around the country, giving high school students the opportunity to put into practice the lessons about the constitutional rights they have learned throughout the year, and argue an actual case involving students’ rights under the First Amendment.

"Joshua and Mashayla were tremendous. The judges couldn’t have been more impressed with their knowledge of the cases and the law, or with their poise in answering questions," Professor Marcosson said about their final round performance.  "The coaches from other schools were just as complimentary."


The team was supported by the tireless commitment of the teacher of the Law and Government Magnet program at Central, Joe Gutmann, and Professor Laura Rothstein, who co-ordinates the law school’s partnership with the Magnet, and by  Central’s principal, Dr. Dan Withers. In addition, they got vital help from a number of volunteer attorneys who participated in practice rounds, and made generous donations to help finance the trip to Philadelphia. Several members of the Women Lawyers Association also contributed to the trip costs.   Emily Zahn, '08, of Dinsmore & Shohl, in particular, not only contributed herself but also coordinated significant fundraising efforts at her law firm.  

More New Coverage:

Trademark Team Takes National Championship!

Marilyn Osborn and Whitney True are the 2011 Lefkowitz Trademark National champions!  They received the award for best overall team out of 78 teams after competing at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on March 26th.  They were commended on their presence, poise, and command of the issues.  The team was coached by Jack Wheat, '79, of Stites and Harbison and will be recognized by the International Trademark Association this spring.   Please join the Moot Court Board in congratulating them!

Ms. Osborn also competed at the Trademark Moot Court Competition at Oxford Univeristy, England March 18-20. She was profiled in a feature at UofL Today, "Law students to compete at Oxford University" (March 29, 2011). 

Related news: "UofL students win national moot court contest" (Courier-journal.com, March 30, 2011)

B90's Compete in National Softball Tournament

Photo Gallery

The University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law is proud to send its first Law School intramural softball team to the University of Virginia’s Law School Softball Tournament. The team departs for the tournament on Friday morning, April 1. The tournament is hosted every spring by the North Grounds Softball League (NGSL) on UVA’s grounds.  Each year, over 115 softball teams from over 50 different law schools participate. The NGSL donates the majority of its proceeds from the Invitational to a local charity, Children Youth and Family Services of Charlottesville. NGSL also contributes substantial amounts of money to UVA Law's Public Interest Law Association every year. 

The Bottom 90 group was started by Gulam Kuli-Zade, Sean Reed, Danny Schoenbaechler, and Greg Thompson early in their 2L year. "One day we were talking about the ridiculousnessof the arbitrary stress that law school and law students deal with. Our group started originally just on the common ground we all shared of sports. We all played intramurals beginning in our 1L year together, and have remained teammates throughout. That bond has lead to what will be lifelong friendships for over a dozen of us, and our teamwork mentality has helped us get over the ‘hard curve, cut throat, every man for himself’ mentality that most law students seemed to have." The group as a whole has always been more than willing to share outlines, study guides, and has become a study group in and of itself. They are always there for one another whenever one of B90s needs anything, be it help explaining a legal concept, or something outside of law school entirely.

Essentially, the group strives to be like regular people, and less like the typical law student, and they take pride in being down to earth in that regard. "This has helped us through law school in countless ways - just having people that you can relate to, and people that are in the same boat that care about your success as much as you care about their success. There is no selfishness involved." Says Thompson.
 
When questioned about jobs, Thompson responded, "B90 isn't exactly doing a whole lot of on campus interviews. I think we all got summer jobs, and most of us have jobs already lined up simply because we are all down to earth, good, and honest people. The genuine nature of all of our people shines through in so much as a short conversation, so I would chalk up the job market success to a less stressed, less type a, less pushy in networking,attitude." The group has not only beaten UK's law school in basketball, they also recently won the entire U of L intramural championship in basketball, and will be traveling to the NGSL Invitational (National Law School Softball Tournament) in Charlottesville, VA on April 1.

"B90 is a reminder that regardless of your GPA in law school, the average student at Brandeis School of Law is a hardworking, decorated, skilled teammate that you can depend on to always have your back." ~Alex White

"A law school fails anytime a student chooses not to help a classmate, in an effort to achieve a better grade for themselves." ~Danny Schoenbachler

"I think the really special thing about B90 is how it is a group of guys who found eachother and truly exemplify the collegial and collaborative nature the legal profession should strive to have.  All members work very hard toward their goals in the practice of law, and the law school to the best of theirabilities.  This includes going above and beyond just academics. Members of B90 bring a well rounded perspective to the school, as most participate heavily in sports, student organizations, work, community service,and social opportunities." ~Ryan Goode
"Anyone who shares our outlook on law school and life is welcome, even if their grades are in the top ten percent! There is always room for genuinely kind and sincere people who want togo through law school with a support network, good friends, and future allies in the practice of law." ~Sean Reed
"B90 is about aspiring to be a well rounded attorney. Your experiences outside the classroom should dictate the way you approach the law, not just the books you read." ~Fernando Valdizan


This year’s U of L Law School softball team members include: Phil Lawson, Sean Reed, Greg Thompson, Ryan Goode, Zach Springer, Kyle Samons, Tyler Korus, Gulam Kuli-Zade, Danny Schoenbachler, Jared Wilkie, Chris Ballentine, Fernando Valdizan, Ryan Polczynski, Peyton Sands, and Kevin Rich. 

Team sponsors include Louisville Slugger, Papa John’s International, Bob Hook Chevrolet, The Clarkson Group, Shively Sporting Goods, Kroger and Westlaw.   Support was also provided by donors Steve Lyverse (’83), Harry Rothgerber (‘74), Gregory Thompson (’11) Angie McDonald-Hackett, and Wendy Helterbran.  It is not too late to support the team!  

Judicial Nominations: A Judge's Perspective and Reflections

Dean Jim Chen - In Person

I bet you're already aware that the Dean enjoys college sports, but did you know he also enjoys skiing? Do you know the names and breeds of his canine clan? Read all about it and more in his "In Person" profile at UofL Today.

President. Provost, vice president, dean, professor, manager, director.

As much as these titles describe and apply to the work that happens at the University of Louisville, they don’t get to the essence of what makes UofL unique — its people.

Once or twice a month, UofL Today profiles people who help to make the university what it is.

Name: Jim Chen

Title: dean and professor of law

At UofL since: Jan. 2, 2007. My first official day on the job took place at the Orange Bowl. I proudly claim to be the first fan in my section to spot the trick play that yielded a touchdown pass from Patrick Carter to Anthony Allen. I defy you to find another law school dean in America who can better explain the triple option or the cover 2.

Hometown: When native Louisvillians ask me where I went to school, I oblige and answer, with my best deadpan, “Clarkston High School, DeKalb County, Ga.” My wife, Heather, does make Louisville seem more like home every day.

First job and what I learned from it:
My paternal grandmother lived with my nuclear family when I was in grade school. She liked to sell jewelry. She spoke only Taiwanese; for my services as translator, I got a little spending money. I learned that everyone, deep down, wants to work and to feel a sense of accomplishment. I also learned that talent, patience and hard work all have their rewards.

The thing I like most about what I do: Getting to work closely with lawyers, judges and business professionals. Every legal professional’s journey of a lifetime begins with a thousand days in law school. Being dean gives me an unusually good view of what our graduates make of their careers, and I like what I see.

I am: happiest when I am in motion with lots of open space on all sides. Hiking trails and ski slopes are best. I like the adrenaline rush.

I never: treat myself to anything. The idea of “retail therapy” repulses me. If you see me wearing or carrying something nice and new, chances are that Heather bought it for me and ordered me to donate whatever that nice thing replaced.

Guilty pleasure: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that anyone bored by “Pride and Prejudice” in high school or college was a straight man who had not yet come to appreciate all the mysteries of dating and mating. I have since come to appreciate the virtues of romance novels and chick flicks. What I really need to know in life, I can learn from “Clueless,” “Legally Blonde” and “Sex and the City.”

And when I’m not mining this peculiar corner of popular culture, I draw great pleasure from being the assistant commissioner and official statistician (aka StatBoy) of the Ruth Adams Fantasy Football League.

Favorite books: In no particular order: “All the King’s Men.” The U.S.A. trilogy. “Look Homeward, Angel.” “Giants in the Earth.” “Ethan Frome.” The books that most move me are those about America, having come of age (in the human lifespan connecting the end of the Civil War with the beginning of the Second World War), and those typically dealing with immigrants, their immediate descendants and/or the deep South dealing with the awful responsibility of Time.

Favorite TV show: I generally haven’t the patience to watch anything on television except live sports events. I did follow “Lost” and was disappointed when it ended. Because I’m also a sucker for epics on good and evil involving outer space, I gave “V” a shot last season.

Favorite quote: I love the beauty and the power of this line from Dante’s Divine Comedy (Inferno, canto 2, line 72): “amor mi mosse, che mi fa parlare.” As love has moved me, so have I spoken.

These animals share my world: Heather and I have a blended canine family. She brought her soft-coated wheaten terrier, Finnegan, into the family. I added two pugs, Sophie and Savannah. There is never a dull or quiet moment in our house.

My day begins: I check news and messages that collected overnight. Heather and I talk while eating breakfast and ushering our dogs to and from the yard. I have a knack for starting a complicated topic of conversation just as she is headed out the door. Knowing that I have one shot at redeeming myself and making her happy when she gets home, I make the bed before I leave.

I wish I had more time to: pursue any of the objects of my life as Walter Mitty. To wit: Write the Great American Novel. Know the history of Earth and that of its living things, all the way down. Learn a few dozen foreign languages, and be content to master one or two of those. Crack the code on something deeply quantitative. Physics would be most profound. Finance would be the most materially rewarding. Music would be the most beautiful.

When I’m not cheering for the Cards, I’m cheering for: the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Falcons and the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

Most Friday nights you’ll find me: at home or on a date with Heather. Really now. If you were married to the most wonderful woman in the world, would you be anywhere else?

If my life were a movie: Heather thinks my movie would be “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” I would like to think that my movie would be “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” or at least “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” Truth be told, though, it’s probably “Mean Girls.”

What else the UofL community should know: I am as old as the Super Bowl. Heather is a century younger than the Kentucky Derby. But the most significant annual event in our household may be the State of the University Address.

 

Reprinted from UofL Today (March 23, 2011).

 

Moot Court Information Session

All students are invited to an information session Thursday, Feb. 24, to learn about the Moot Court Board and the opportunity to participate in extramural advocacy and skills competitions.  Brandeis students participate in internal School of Law competitions, in state-wide competitions, in national competitions, and in international competitions.  The Moot Court Board will provide information about how to become a member of the board or a member of one of its extramural advocacy and skills teams.  The session will be at 12:10 p.m. in Room 075.  Questions?  Contact Dean Bean.

Alum Argues Before U.S. Supreme Court

On January 12, 2011, Joshua D. Farley, '06, appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States while  representing the petitioner in Kentucky v. King.

 

2011 CLE Events

Law School Sustainability Committee

Dean Arnold wants to do a rain garden in the east courtyard.  Professor Nowka wants us to conserve energy, starting first with hitting the off switches on our computers and lights when we leave at the end of the day.  Professor Cross wants an herb garden in the front of the law school (and he'd like to use them in some communal meals too).  Dean Bean wants to do a strategic plan for law school sustainability (and weatherstrip the front door in the east wing).
 
What is sustainability and why  should the law school community care?   Come to an organizational meeting for the Law School Sustainability Committee on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 12:15, Room 075.  Tell us what you want to do, and help us figure out how we can do it.  Questions?  Contact Dean Bean at kathybean@louisville.edu.

Charlene Taylor to be honored at LBA

On Thursday, February 24, the Louisville Bar Association will present a special screening of the film "Uncommon Vision" about the life of John Howard Griffin, author of Black Like Me, which exposed prejudice of the 1960s and impacted the civil rights movement. The filmmaker, Morgan Atkinson, will be on hand to answer questions afterwards.

The celebration continues at 5 pm with a reception and awards ceremony:

- Honoring the winners of Central High School's Justice William E. McAnulty Jr. Essay Contest
- Awarding the LBA Diversity Scholarship
- Recognizing Charlene O. Taylor's many years of dedicated service in the Office of Admissions at the Brandeis School of Law
- Presentation of the Justice William E. McAnulty Jr. Trailblazer Award to Raymond M. Burse of GE Consumer & Industrial Legal

Both program and reception are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Marisa Motley by calling (502) 583-5314 or email mmotley@loubar.org.