As Tom Hanks pointed out, "There's no crying in baseball." The "Rookies" 1L team managed to pull out a slim 19-11 victory over the Veterans last Saturday at Churchill Park before a near-sellout crowd of faculty, staff, significant others, two Dachshunds, a Boxer, and a Border Collie. The Veterans succumbed to their more youthful opponents despite near-error-free fielding and the help of a "ringer" Chris Thompson, son of Registrar Barbara Thompson. Watch the Daily Docket for news of future softball and other sporting events.
NAMI ( National Association for the Mentally Ill) walk will be held this Sunday (September 9) at the Waterfront Park at 2 p.m. If you are interested in being apart of city wide action for the mentally ill and their families- please join us. If any of you as law students have a family member that struggles with a mental illness- then you understand the need for support and change in society regarding these issues. NAMI provides education and advocacy on these issues! We also would like to start networking with law students or professors who are interested in these issues. Please contact Rebekah Cotton (1L) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Hicks at email@example.com for more information. We care! We understand! Come and walk with us!!
In June 2007, Louisville Law student Becca O'Neill traveled to Rwanda to serve as an intern for the National Service of Gacaca Courts in Kigali, Rwanda. Her internship was funded in part by a grant from the Student Bar Foundation.
Rwanda's Gacaca court system was launched in 2001 to expedite the trials of over 100,000 genocide suspects in the country's prisons at that time. This court system was named after and based on a traditional practice of community hearings used to resolve local disputes. However, the new process merges the customary system with a more formal--Western--court structure. The Gacaca tribunals are legally established judicial bodies, and judges of these courts can impose sentences as high as life imprisonment.
O'Neill had worked as a grant writer for human rights organization in Rwanda following completion of her undergraduate studies in social work. Following this experience, O'Neill began her career in social work in earnest, working in the legal arena as a social worker in Brooklyn, N.Y. O'Neill's experiences in both Rwanda and in Brooklyn pulled her inexorably toward a degree in law as she realized that her dedication to social justice could best be realized through a legal education.
O'Neill entered the University of Louisville's Law School in 2006. The law school's emphasis on and support of public service allowed O'Neill to propose an internship in Rwanda's Gacaca courts as a means of meeting the service requirement. In June 2006, she began her work at the National Service of Gacaca Courts in Kigali, Rwanda--one of two interns, the other also an American law student. She and O'Neill were the first U.S. interns permitted to work in the Gacaca system.
O'Neill served in Gacaca's Legal Support Unit, which responds to any complaints and concerns that Gacaca is not functioning properly. Complaints come from both Rwandese civilians and international organizations. The organization works with both prisons and survivor organizations to oversee and improve Gacaca.
As an intern, O'Neill was charged with three key tasks:
- First, O'Neill learned as much as possible about Gacaca and, she explains, "acted as an ‘ambassador' for Gacaca--someone from the outside who could learn first hand how the system functioned and spread that information to legal communities in the US."
- Second, O'Neill read and reviewed a series of reports that came from different international organizations and evaluated various phases of Gacaca. O'Neill explained, "I was given several reports each week to read and assess. I then presented my assessments to my supervisors, who in turn decided which aspects of the reports to address with international donors and aid organizations."
- Finally, O'Neill wrote a series of reports that focused on the successes and failures of Gacaca. O'Neill explains that she was asked to "view Gacaca through the lens of international standards of fair trial. I was also encouraged to speak to survivors and perpetrators alike in an effort to understand the unique situation Rwanda faces."
Each year the Louisville Bar Association hosts a golf scramble. Proceeds from the scramble provide funds for the UofL School of Law's Public Service Program, the Jefferson County Public Law Library, and a scholarship for a minority law student. This year's scramble was held at Valhalla Golf Course on August 20.
Thanks to Jim Chen, Don Olson, Wally Oyler, and Larry Ethridge for participating in the Scramble. The team brought glory to the school by winning first place in the 3rd Flight of the tournament. Thanks to Susan Kosse, and her family for sponsoring a foursome at the tournament. In addition, we had excellent volunteers - Jerie Torbeck, Jina Scinta and Bob Micou. Finally, thanks to Laura Rothstein and Jim Chen for donating gifts for the Scramble.
The Louisville legal community was saddened to learn of the passing of Justice William E. McAnulty on August 23. The University of Louisville Law School will observe a moment of silence at noon today, August 24, to remember Justice McAnulty.
McAnulty, a graduate of Louisville's law school, was the first African American to serve on Kentucky's Supreme Court. Justice McAnulty has served at all four levels of the state court system and started his judicial career as a Jefferson County Juvenile Court judge in 1975. He was elected to Jefferson District Court in November 1977, where he served until his election to Jefferson Circuit Court in November 1983. He briefly returned to private practice in January 1990 as a partner in a law firm and then returned to the Circuit Court in 1993. In 1998, he served as chief judge of the Jefferson Circuit Court until he was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 1998 to represent the 4th Appellate District. He came to the Supreme Court from the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 2006.