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.
As a way to beat the winter doldrums, the faculty and staff at the law school hosted two Mardi Gras celebrations for out students. Serving lemonade, nachos, and king cake, the parties took place at 11:30 a.m. and at 5:00 p.m. on tuesday, February 16. Music from Professor Longhair played while faculty and staff served up fun and refreshments. Having found the baby in the king cake, Barbara Thompson was crowned the afternoon queen. Barbara was on hand that evening as well, when she and James Fischer led a parade for the second party.
Thanks to all who shared in the fun!
Surprise to see the party.
Students enjoy some nachos while the music plays.
Students settle in near the king cake.
While Dean Urbach leads a congo line.
Barbara Thompson: Our benevolentMardi Gras queen.
Students ejoyed the festivities.
On February 11, Nancy Vinsel and Alex Davis presented Professor Leibson with a check for $1040 in exchange for his coveted golf hat signed by PGA Champion, Byron Nelson. The money that they and their classmates in Leibson's Section 1 Torts class raised will go towards student scholarships.
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.
It's Carnival Time and everybody's going to have fun! Yep. We're having a Mardi Gras party, so mark your calendars now.
On Tuesday, February 16, at 11:40 a.m.-1:00 p.m., and again at 5:00-6:00, in the law school mosaic lobby, Mardi Gras comes to the Brandeis School of Law.
The menu is a Fat Tuesday sort of menu: nachos (tortilla chips, cheese sauce (in crock pots), salsa, and jalapenos) with a faux King Cake.
We'll have a great sound track to play. Lots of Professor Longhair.
OH, and BEADS!
Put on your masks, get out your best purple, green and gold costume, and bring your umbrellas. We'll be doing a line dance to Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. Oh yeah.
So SAVE THE DATE!!!
And if the mention of Prof. Longhair makes you want to party right now, here's his # 1 Mardi Gras song, Big Chief: http://www.mardigrasdigest.com/Media/Radio/Professor Longhair - Big Chief.mp3
On the morning of August 4, 2009, record-breaking rains fell in central Louisville and surrounding counties between 7 am and 10 am EDT, with reported hourly rainfall rates as high as 8.83 inches. The Louisville Free Public Library's main branch and the University of Louisville's Belknap and Health Sciences campuses were particularly hard hit by the deluge.
The University of Louisville Libraries recently launched the August 2009 Flood Collection. It's their first community-created collection containing digital videos and selected images, including some taken of the law library, and is devoted to documenting one of the worst floods in Louisville's history.
In an effort to preserve images recorded by community members during and after the flood, an archived community collection documenting the storm and its aftermath was created. In addition to preserving multimedia files donated by community members, the University of Louisville Libraries entered into a partnership with Archive-It to preserve web-based content relating to the flash flood.