Street Law, Inc. is a national non-profit organization that provides practical, participatory education about law, democracy, and human rights. Street Law began in 1972, when a small group of Georgetown University Law Center students developed an experimental curriculum to teach high school students in Washington DC about the practical aspects of the law and the legal system. The program evolved and today a Street Law textbook and curriculum is used throughout the country.
On 9/11, Joe Gutmann, a prosecutor in Louisville, decided to make a difference in a new way. He left the prosecutor’s office to teach at Central High School in Louisville. In 2005, he was asked to serve as the coordinator of Central’s Law and Government Magnet program, and he began using the Street Law materials for the sophomore magnet students. In 2007, law students from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law began assisting in teaching the curriculum at Central under Joe Gutmann’s supervision. Building on the partnership begun in 2001 between Central and the Brandeis School of Law, law students were approved to receive public service credit for their Street Law work. Each year about 15 to 25 law students are involved in the program (in addition to many others who teach law magnet courses for juniors and seniors).
Each year, Street Law honors a teacher at its Annual Awards Dinner. Nominees must “educate students in an exceptional manner” and “use Street Law materials.” Joe Gutmann meets both criteria, and he is being recognized in Washington DC on April 28, 2010 as the Street Law Educator of the Year.
One of his nomination letters noted that
his dedication and commitment goes above and beyond to ensure that students are guided and that they learn. He gives them “tough love.” He makes sure they have the opportunity to attend special events. He works on giving them the tools to succeed. He is a tireless advocate for his students. The Central students who are in his class and the law students who teach in the Law Magnet think highly of Joe. The admiration and affection and respect … students have for Joe…doesn’t stop when they graduate. [R]eturning students …still come to him for help and advice (and to share good news about how college is going).
This award recognizes that exceptional teaching and commitment. Joe is always quick to acknowledge the various partnerships that make the Central High School’s Law and Government Magnet Program and his work successful. These include the partnership with the Brandeis School of Law, the long standing Summer Internship Program sponsored by the Louisville Bar Association, the University of Louisville University Community Signature Partnership support through UofL’s Office of Community Engagement (including the Seven Habits of Highly Successful Teens program), and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.
“They might even be better,” says Urbach, who will submit the new statistics in March. “But we still have some really terrific candidates from the May 2009 class who are without adequate employment. These graduates would be employed easily in any other economy.”
The law profession is not immune to tough economic times, she says, and the job of lawyer is by no means “recession proof.” So how has the law school maintained these strong placement numbers in such a challenging job market?
“For one thing, the large law firms have been most affected by the recession,” Urbach says. “They have cut back on hiring. But 53 percent of our graduates get jobs at firms with one to 10 lawyers. These firms have been less affected for the most part.”
Especially as the diversity of its student body has increased, the law school has recognized the need to connect students
with employment opportunities in diverse legal areas, geographic regions and workplace settings. Graduates in 2008 were employed in 14 states and three countries. Practice areas included private practice (58 percent), business and industry (12 percent), government (16 percent), federal judicial clerkships (1 percent), state judicial clerkships (6 percent) public interest (3 percent) and academic institutions (4 percent).
But the tighter job market has forced the school’s career services professionals to change the way they do things. For one, the school has been working harder in untapped Kentucky markets like Frankfort. Fort Knox is another focus as it continues to grow as military base realignments across the country consolidate more soldiers and support personnel to the area.
“It’s not that we have ignored these places in the past,” Urbach says. “We just haven’t made them a priority. Now our counselors are trying to develop a pipeline into these areas for students who want to practice law in Kentucky but are having trouble finding something in Louisville.”
Urbach says graduates also are accepting more part-time jobs and contract work—some working multiple jobs. She says UofL students are resilient and many have accepted positions that are not ideal as a way to maintain and improve skill, but keep them competitive for when the economy picks up.
Also, the law school is looking constantly at ways to create opportunities for legal professionals in emerging areas like green initiatives/technologies, stimulus money and the retirement of baby boomers, Urbach says. In December, she accompanied law school dean Jim Chen to Washington, D.C., to meet with several representatives of federal agencies as well as UofL law graduates working in the D.C. area.
“Again, the idea was to create a pipeline for our students,” Urbach says. “It was a productive trip.”
But Urbach always comes back to the students when discussing the reasons for the law school maintaining its strong placement percentages during tough times. “We have terrific, hard-working students. I like to call them entrepreneurial.
“And they are also well trained. Because we are a small school, our students receive individual attention. In addition to being expert educators, our faculty takes a sincere interest in every student.”
Urbach adds that the law school’s mandatory public service program gives students opportunities to have real-world experiences early in their law school careers.
“This and the character and work ethic of our students makes them excellent candidates in any job market,” she says. “I am really proud of how they have risen to the challenges of these challenging times.”Source: UofL Magazine (Winter 2010, p. 39)
The Conference on Public Libraries and Access to Justice took place Jan. 11-12 in Austin, Texas, and was hosted by the Self-Represented Litigation Network in cooperation with the Legal Services Corp. The Self-Represented Litigation Network is hosted by the National Center for State Courts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the conference.
"The conference was a great start toward improving access to justice through libraries," Frazier said. "By bringing together public librarians and members of the legal aid community, the conference opened a door of communication between groups that might not think to work together. This communication will benefit everyone by resulting in us better serving self-represented litigants. The number of individuals acting as their own legal counsel in Kentucky has increased and will continue to grow."
During the conference, the teams learned about a broad range of customer-friendly legal resources available in print and online that have been developed by courts, bar associations, law libraries and legal aid programs that support people who do not have access to legal aid or counsel. Participants learned how to access the resources, assist in getting libraries and legal agencies to share them and take part in enhancing and customizing the resources.
The conference was a unique opportunity for participants to meet with public librarians and legal and court experts to discuss strategies for integrating access to legal information into their programs. This included how to best locate content and tools, talk about the content with library patrons, work with content partners to ensure that needed content is developed, share what they learned statewide and use successful programs to advocate for the importance of public libraries as gateways to government institutions.
"Public libraries are critical access points to government institutions," according to the Self-Represented Litigation Network. "As times get tougher, it becomes more and more important that people have libraries where they can find out how to protect their rights and navigate the complexities of our society."
In addition to the Kentucky team, teams selected to attend the conference were from California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
As head of the State Law Library of Kentucky, Frazier oversees an operation that provides research and reference assistance to the Kentucky Court of Justice and houses the central collection of legal research materials for state government.
Frazier has served as the state law librarian since September 2006. She joined the state law library as its legal counsel in March 2003 and served as the assistant state law librarian from April 2005 until she was named the state law librarian. She practiced law in Louisville for a year and a half before coming to the State Law Library. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in 2001 and received her master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky in 2007. Frazier earned her bachelor's degree in history from Northern Kentucky University.
Mr. Nguyen's project while here is" Harmonization of Law for Economic Development in Vietnam & Impacts for the Vietnam-United States Bilateral Trade Agreement Toward this Process". The project is focused on the major efforts & experiences of Vietnam in harmonizing national laws and regulations for the attainment of its development goals during the 1991-2001 period, the impacts of the UN-Vietnam BRA toward the legislative reform process for 2001-2007, and their indications toward future US-Vietnam trade relations.
Mr. Nguyen is currently the Director of NBC Law Firm in Vietnam. Some of his accomplishments include Recognition of Excellence by Harvard Law School/ITP; Director General of the Legal Department of MOFA; Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, CD & WTO in Geneva; Chief Negotiator on Post-war Issues with the US, and in Land-Sea Boundary Delimitations with Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, China, and Cambodia; and Part-time lecturer in some universities abroad (Australia, UK and the US).
Third year law student Ted Farrell has led the development of Study Kentucky, a consortium of Kentucky universities and colleges whose mission is to recruit international students to study in Kentucky. Prior to entering law school at UofL, Farrell's career at Hanover College allowed him to teach in Belize, France, and French Polynesia; perform research in West Africa and Latin America; and advise international students and faculty from around the world. Farrell plans to practice immigration law.
For more information, read the complete story, "Kentucky colleges, universities unite to recruit international students" or view the webcast.
Prize: Liberty Mutual Insurance Group created this competition to encourage and recognize legal scholarship in the area of property and casualty insurance law. The winning entrant will receive $5,000 and an offer of publication from the Boston College Law Review.
Eligibility: Authors should possess a J.D. degree or its overseas equivalent. Papers must concern the law related to property and casualty insurance, its regulation and corporate governance. The prize is not intended to advance scholarship in areas such as life, health, employment or employee benefits insurance law.
Judging: Each entry will be judged by a panel of professors and attorneys having particular expertise in the insurance law field, including the eventual holder of the Liberty Mutual Professorship at Boston College Law School. The panel will evaluate submissions on the basis of quality of analysis, originality, thoroughness of research, creativity, and clarity of thought and expression.
Format: Submissions should be no more than 25,000 words in length (the equivalent of 50 law review pages) including text and footnotes, and contain an abstract of roughly 350 words. The article should conform to the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (18th ed. 2005). Electronic submissions are preferred (in Word or PDF format, by direct email or through a distribution system such as ExpressO), but hard copies by mail are acceptable.
For electronic submissions (preferred):
For mailed submissions:
Boston College Law Review
Attn: Liberty Mutual Competition
885 Centre Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459
Deadline: Papers may be submitted throughout the year, but by no later than February 1, 2010. If an outstanding submission meets the foregoing conditions, the judges will announce a winning entry by March 1, 2010. (This timetable was purposefully chosen in order to allow authors not selected for the prize to submit their articles to other journals during the month of March.)
Presentation: The author of the selected paper will be invited to present it at a special program held at Boston College Law School, at which time a representative of Liberty Mutual will present the prize money.
Inquiries: Contact John Gordon by email or phone at 617-552-8557.
UofL Law Library Enhances Its Digital Collection
January 6, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville Law Library, in conjunction with University Libraries, has enhanced its digital collection with the addition of 88 plates from H. Levin's Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky (1897). The illustrations are portraits of lawyers active in Kentucky’s first century of statehood. The persons portrayed include the nationally famous, like U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan and Senator Henry Clay, but the majority of the illustrations are of lawyers whose greatest prominence was in the cities and towns of Kentucky where they practiced their trade. The Law Library Collection can be accessed at http://digital.library.louisville.edu/collections/law/.
Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky is an important biographical source for information about the Kentucky bench and bar in the 19th century. The 777-page encyclopedia attempted to capture the geographical breadth of the state’s legal community in 1897 by surveying all of Kentucky’s disparate regions. While most of the work consists of detailed biographies, there are also historical sketches of legal institutions and articles on the bench and bar of Kentucky’s cities, towns and counties.
Good copies of the original 1897 edition are relatively rare. The Southern Historical Press published a xerographically reproduced edition in 1982 that is available in many libraries, but the reprint edition made little attempt to replicate the 88 high-quality illustrations in any detail. This collection attempts to remedy this by digitizing these illustrations. They derive from an unusually well-preserved copy of the original work found in the rare books collection of the University of Louisville Law Library.
The Law Library’s digital collection draws on the varied collections of the Law Library of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. The first titles to be made available were the William Littell's Statute Law of Kentucky, which compiles all the legal enactments relating to Kentucky from its beginning as a district of Virginia to 1819, and Report of the Debates and Proceedings of the Convention for the Revision of the Constitution of the State of Kentucky (1849), a rare transcript of the debates of the convention that drafted Kentucky's third constitution.
For more information, contact Virginia M. Smith at (502) 852-2075.
Professor Sam Marcosson was quoted in an article in Time magazine, "A Gay-Marriage Lawsuit Dares to Make Its Case" (January 5, 2010). The article was written by Michael A. Lindenberger, a 2006 graduate of the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law.
"The stakes are extremely high," adds law professor Samuel Marcosson of the University of Louisville, author of Original Sin: Clarence Thomas and the Failure of the Constitutional Conservatives. "I think the plaintiffs are (unfortunately) very likely to lose — at least if the case makes it all the way to the Supreme Court — and set a precedent that didn't need to be, and shouldn't have been, set. The case was premature and ill-advised."
On December 24, the US Senate confirmed the nomination of Michael Khouri, '80, as commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission. He currently practices transportation and maritime law with Pedley & Gordinier PLLC in Louisville, KY.
Wednesday December 16, 2009
(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives approved – by a vote of 423 to 1 - H. Res. 905, legislation introduced by Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) honoring the life of one of Louisville’s most distinguished natives - Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis - on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of his retirement from the Court.
For more on the legislation and Brandeis, click here.
The text of Congressman Yarmuth’s speech today in support of the resolution is below, and a video of the speech can be seen here:
Mister Speaker, in Louisville, we are proud of many of the great things our most legendary residents have achieved. From Muhammad Ali’s success in and out of the boxing ring to Diane Sawyer’s groundbreaking work in journalism to Harlan Sanders’ achievements as an entrepreneur, there’s evidence of their legacies throughout our community. It’s in the stories we tell, it’s found in the history embedded in our neighborhoods, and it’s seen on the banners hung in their honor throughout town.
We are proud that our city has been home to people who have changed the world in the realms of athletics, literature, art, music, business and – in the case of the man we are celebrating today – law.
Louis D. Brandeis was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1856, the son of immigrants - and it was to Louisville that he would return throughout his life.
It was from the cradle of the burgeoning immigrant communities of 19th Century Louisville that Brandeis began his distinguished career. He excelled first at Louisville’s Male High School and then Harvard Law, before beginning a successful career as a lawyer and academic that led, in 1916, to the bench of the United States Supreme Court when he was nominated by Woodrow Wilson as the first Jewish Justice.
The achievements of Justice Brandeis, however, go far beyond breaking that ground. His legacy as a jurist and litigator has had a longstanding impact not just in the courtrooms and law books, but in the lives of every American citizen. His accomplishments were far ranging, but their influence resonates today and will do so far into the future.
To those of us who treasure the First Amendment and its protection of free speech, we can thank the work of Louis Brandeis. To those who value the extension of equal rights to all Americans, we can thank Louis Brandeis.
The right to privacy, groundbreaking work in the field of labor relations, successful challenges to once powerful corporate monopolies – the list is long and establishes Justice Brandeis’ career as one well deserving of our recognition in this House – a recognition he has not yet received in the 70 years since he retired from the Supreme Court.
The work of Louis Brandeis deserves not just our honor, but our attention. Though the battles we fight today may have changed from those of Brandeis’ era, his work is rich in relevance for all of us involved in lawmaking.
When few others would, Brandeis took on the powerful monopolies that caused economic havoc during the first half of the 20th century. He was continuously skeptical of large banks and their relationship to corporations whose failure could threaten the entire economy, and he helped develop the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which clamped down on the banking industry‘s most egregious practices. In his book Other People‘s Money: And How the Bankers Use It and a series of columns, Brandeis warned his contemporaries of the dangers posed by massive financial corporations accumulating resources and using them irresponsibly – lessons that forewarned the economic crisis we faced in this country just last year.
As a litigator, educator, philanthropist, and jurist, Louis Brandeis did nothing short of ensuring that the rights we now regard as commonplace would persevere.
His contributions are those for which all the country should be grateful and his legacy is something for which all of us from Louisville can be proud. In fact, his legacy in Louisville lives on at the University of Louisville, where the law school now bears the name of Justice Louis Brandeis.
I join Justice Brandeis’ grandsons Frank Gilbert and Walter Raushenbush, his granddaughter Alice Popkin, and the rest of his family in urging my colleagues to support H. Res. 905, recognizing the 70th anniversary of the retirement of this legendary American, educator, litigator, and jurist.
Source: Congressman John Yarmuth's website. Reprinted with permission.
This news item will also appear on the Courier-Journal's Forum page on Friday, December 18.