Latest News

Federal Tax Externship – 2015 Spring

The IRS will accept up to three tax externs for the 2015 spring semester.  The application deadline for fall 2014 has passed, but it is not too early to apply for 2015 spring.

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, meet with IRS audit agents, with taxpayers and with taxpayer representatives such as legal counsel and CPAs.  Externs sometimes take the lead in meetings with pro se taxpayers.  Externs assist IRS trial attorneys with trial preparation and sometimes represent the IRS in U.S. Tax Court against pro se taxpayers.

To be eligible you must 1) be enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis, 2)  be enrolled in at least the second semester of your second year, have successfully completed a course in Federal taxation, and Professor Blackburn must recommend you.

If you would like more information, please contact Professor Blackburn ( or 502-852-6384).  The required security clearance can take four to six weeks, so it is not too early to begin the process.

2015 Spring Service Learning Opportunity

Gearing up for Spring 2015 and planning your classes?  Consider this opportunity:

How about celebrating 2015 spring break with service work in Belize or celebrating post Derby with service work in Croatia?  Law is one of several participating disciplines.  The law team in Belize will be led by Dean Susan Duncan and will focus on restorative justice programs by working in schools and communities outside of Dangriga.  The law team in Croatia will be led by Professor Shelley Santry and will focus on domestic violence awareness and prevention by working in schools and communities outside of Zagreb.

Learn more about this opportunity at Uof L’s International Service Learning Program (ISLP) website  The service is rewarding and the memories will last a lifetime!  Plus, you will earn three (3) hours of academic credit and build useful skills.

The class meets weekly (January through April) and orientations will be one evening each week (for Belize starting in January and continuing until just after spring break; for Croatia starting mid-semester and continuing until the end of the term).  Still undecided?  Come to an information session Monday, September 8, 12-1 in room LL75.

Each location is truly an amazing place and you will love the experience!!!

If you are interested, applications are due now (priority deadline is September 29th!!  You can apply on the ISLP website (

Attention - Dual Degree Students

If you are currently working on a dual degree program (not if you are interested in one and haven't started), please take a moment and either stop by my office (216) or send me an email ( so we can make sure you are on the right track.


For those of you interested in Dual Degree Programs, there will be an information session later in the year. 

Brandeis School of Law Welcomes the Class of 2017!

A total of 94 entering students began their formal study of law at Brandeis School of Law on August 18, including 88 full-time students and 6 part-time students. 

This year, our law school drew students from 45 different cities, 50 colleges and universities, and 18 states.  The law school also welcomed 3 transfer students and 3 visiting/international students. 

Among the Class of 2017, one student was a professional airline pilot with 13 years of flight experience with several major airlines; another served as a missionary in Southern Italy for 2 years; and one student was a volunteer with a community agency in California helping young people to steer away from gang activity and street life. Additionally, one student was a major league baseball player for 7 years, earning Rookie of the Year with the Detroit Tigers, and another student was a writer and producer for television newscasts. All bring varied backgrounds and experience to Brandeis School of Law. 

“What an interesting class – Airline pilot, Baseball player, Community activist...,” Dean Susan Duncan said. “Add a law degree to these credentials, and the possibilities are endless!”

For more information about our entering class profile, please visit

Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition Sign-up Deadline Today

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

Janet Lewis Wins KBA Writing Competition

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.  

Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition Sign-up Deadline

If you want to compete in the Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy competition but were unable to attend the information meeting there is still time to sign-up.  You must contact Sana Abhari at as soon as possible and submit the Agreement to Compete and Waiver to the Moot Court Board office no later than Friday, August 29, 4 p.m.

Pirtle-Washer Advocacy Competition Interest Meeting--Wednesday, 5:45, room 175

The Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition interest meeting is today in room 175 at 5:45 p.m. At the meeting students will receive information regarding the competition and will be able to sign up to compete. Students unable to attend should contact Sana Abhari at

Law School Unveils Portrait of Edwin Render

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. 

Pirtle-Washer Advocacy Competition Interest Meeting

Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition interest meeting will be held Wednesday, August 27 at 5:45 p.m. in room 175. Students will receive pertinent information regarding the competition and will be able to sign up to compete. Students interested in competing must attend this meeting but if you are unable to attend contact Sana Abhari at