Today is the last day to sign up for the Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition. You must submit your Agreement to Compete and Waiver to the Moot Court Board office by 4 p.m. today. Contact Sana Abhari for details at email@example.com.
Janet Lewis, a 3L student at Brandeis, won First Place in the recent Kentucky Bar Association Annual Student Writing Competition for her article on “The First Amendment and Social Media: Primary Students’ Constitutional Rights to Freely Speak Outside of the School.” In the paper, she noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet created a test to guide school districts on whether they may permissibly/constitutionally regulate out-of-school/off campus student social media speech. Following the rules of the Tinker and Watts, she proposed a test that the U.S. Supreme Court should use. Her proposed rule would provide that: “In order for school officials to permissibly "regulate" or discipline a student for out-of-school speech on social media, the school must follow the Tinker-Watts test to show that the speech is either: (1) purposefully brought into the school by the student-creator and by doing so, the out-of-school speech caused a material and substantial interference with the discipline of the school or (2) a "true threat." Without satisfying either prong, the school cannot justifiably/constitutionally disciplining the student for an out-of-school opinion, speech, or expression.
Longtime law professor Edwin Render, who died last January, was honored Aug. 26 in a ceremony attended by faculty, staff and Render’s family and friends.
A large portrait of Render was unveiled before the group. The portrait will hang in the Cox Lounge at the school.
Render was a fixture in the law school for more than 45 years. He taught property, evidence and labor law and was a founding member of the Carl A. Warns Jr. Labor and Employment Law Institute, which has been renamed the Warns-Render Labor and Employment Law Institute in his honor.
“He was such a fine man and impacted the careers of so many people,” said Dean Susan Duncan. “It seems so odd to start the school year without Ed.”
A smaller version of the portrait was given to Render’s family.
Photo: To honor the late Edwin Render, his widow Joyce Render (center), son Ray Render and daughter-in-law Maureen Marra joined faculty, staff and others to unveil a portrait of the longtime law professor.
New and returning students are advised that they must update their profile information on the Brandeis School of Law's Student Directory immediately. To update your profile:
- Log in to the School of Law's Web site,
- Click My account under Content Management (see illustration),
- Click Edit, then Personal information,
- Complete the form and hit Submit (see illustration).
Only a few fields are required, so you may withhold some personal information. However, the Brandeis School of Law Student Directory is private and available only to members of the law school community. New students' photos will be added to their profiles this week.
The IRS will accept up to three tax externs for the 2014 fall and 2015 spring semesters. The application deadline for fall 2014 has passed, but there are still two openings.
Externs work in the local office of the IRS under the direct supervision of IRS attorneys and Professor Blackburn. Externs do research and write memos, and they also attend meetings with taxpayers, and sometimes take the lead in representing IRS in meetings with pro se taxpayers. Externs meet with IRS audit agents, with legal counsel and CPAs representing taxpayers, are involved in trial preparation and some externs represent the IRS in U.S. Tax Court against pro se taxpayers.
If you would like more information, please contact Professor Blackburn as soon as possible so the required background check can be completed in time for the fall 2014 semester: firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-852-6384.
On August 21, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion affirming Kentucky Bar Association Ethics Opinion E-435. E-435 establishes 1) that it is unethical for a criminal defense attorney to advise a client with regard to a plea agreement that waives the client’s right to pursue ineffective assistance of counsel claims, and 2) that it is unethical for a prosecutor to propose a plea agreement that requires such a waiver.
Professor Grace Giesel, in her role as Chair of the KBA Ethics Committee, was instrumental in the creation of the opinion. Last September, Professor Giesel presented to the Law School community, in the First Annual Flexner Forum, a discussion of the opinion. The law school community also had the benefit of hosting the Kentucky Supreme Court oral argument on a challenge by the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky to KBA E-435.
The Brandeis School of Law is pleased to welcome two new faces to the law school community this semester, both of whom will be working closely with the student body. Jennifer T. DiSanza arrived in Louisville this summer to become Assistant Dean of Student Life, while Scott A. Hite is pleased to take over as the Director of Academic Success.
Both newcomers wish to forge a strong partnership with the law school’s students, and encourage students to stop by their offices, Rooms 212 (Hite) and 216 (DiSanza) to ask for guidance, information, or just to chat about thelaw school experience.
Here is some brief background information about these individuals:
Jennifer T. DiSanza
Assistant Dean of Student Life
After spending the last 14 years in law school student services at two different schools, the University of Maryland School of Law and Capital University Law School, Jennifer DiSanza arrived in Louisville this summer and said that she has been overwhelmed by the “Southern hospitality” and generosity of the faculty, staff, and students in the short time she’s been in the Bluegrass State.
Dean DiSanza received her law degree from the University of Maryland in 2002, her master’s degree in strategic human resources from Johns Hopkins University in 2005, and her undergraduate degree is in business, specifically human resources, from Miami University in Ohio. In fact, Dean DiSanza enrolled in law school because of her extensive experience in human resources and her desire to “move up the corporate ladder” at a large manufacturing company where she was employed and where everyone in the corporate employee and labor relations department seemed to have a law degree.
Having moved multiple times for the company in a five-year span, Dean DiSanza wanted an assurance that she could stay in Baltimore to complete her law degree in Maryland, but the company responded that she would, unfortunately, miss out on promotion opportunities as a result.
“It was at that time, I ‘accidentally’ fell into student services, because I was active at my law school alma mater, and the soon-to-be Assistant Dean of Student Affairs needed a director,” DiSanza said. “It was an almost seamless transition from HR to student services.”
DiSanza regards her career move into student services as the best decision she’s ever made.
“I believe the partnership between student life and academics is core to the mission of the school, without one, the other suffers,” she said. “Students need support in all aspects of their law school education, and that is what Student Life is here to do. As student advocates, Student Life personnel are here to listen to issues, concerns and stressors, and try to help students cope with the things that happen while in law school. My mantra is, ‘life happens while you are in law school.’ You can’t expect everything around you to stop for three years, while you are getting your degree. That’s where we come in.”
When she’s not exploring new places, listening to live music, or visiting with family, friends, or her dog in her spare time, Dean DiSanza is committed to collaborating among the different constituencies at the law school, overseeing and enhancing the extra- and co-curricular activities at the school, and improving the overall learning experience here at Brandeis.
Her number one tip for students? “If you are having trouble, do not wait; seek out assistance as soon as you feel something isn’t right.”
Scott A. Hite
Director of Academic Success
In his new role as Director of Academic Success, what he describes as the “perfect fit,” Scott Hite has so many tips for how to be successful in law school, that he found it difficult to think of just one when pressed for answer. That said, Hite settled on reminding students to “stay diligent,” because “diligence will carry over to your professional career.”
“I have already noticed how much the students respect the professors, so creating a solid partnership between my office and the students is a fundamental ongoing objective of mine,” he said. “I want to make sure that every student views my office as a resource for opportunity and success while they attend law school. My door must be open to them, and I must be always approachable.”
A native of nearby Bardstown, Hite has been drawn to a career involving the law since childhood. One decade after earning his undergraduate degree in English and mass communications at Bellarmine University, one decade later, Hite attended and graduated from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. While in Lansing, Hite clerked at a small criminal defense firm, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and for then-Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, who later served as the Governor of Michigan. In Louisville, Hite has externed at the Louisville Public Defender Office, in addition to serving as an applications consultant for LexisNexis for a number of years and as an associate attorney for a small insurance defense firm. Most recently, Hite returned to Bellarmine to earn his master’s degree in communications.
When not helping students in their law school pursuits, you can find Hite, an avid golfer, finishing a travel and review book on the top public golf courses in Kentucky, cycling the back roads of Oldham County, collecting batch bourbon, or cheering on his favorite sports teams at his home in Prospect, where he lives with his wife and four dogs.