Staff News

Library Staff Recognized

Three members of the law library's staff were recognized at UofL's 2007 Staff Recognition Years of Service Award luncheon last Friday, September 21. Many thanks to Miriam Schusler-Williams (30 years), Nancy Baker (10 years), and Janissa Moore (10 years).

See: http://louisville.edu/hr/news_item.2007-07-30.0798971034 for a complete list of honorees.

 

Kentucky Library Association Conference

The KLA/KSMA Annual Joint Conference is being held in Louisville, KY on September 19-22, 2007. Virginia Smith is co-presenting a round table session, University of Louisville's Digital Collections: Connecting Communities and Collections, with Rachel Howard and Weiling Liu of Ekstrom Library, where she will discuss the law library's plans for a Kentucky Legal History Collection.

For more information about the conference, visit: http://www.kylibasn.org

Louisville AIDS Walk

Last year our Brandeis School of Law AIDS Walk team did an amazing job of raising money and standing out in the community.   Let's do it again!!  This year the Louisville AIDS Walk is on Sunday, Sept. 30.  A special guest will be John Yarmuth.  Please register and join our team (Brandeis School of Law) by going to louisvilleaidswalk.org and "join an existing team."  Start collecting donations from anyone you think would like to give.  Also, be on the lookout for the next few weeks if you would like to donate at our table in the lobby.  If you have any questions, contact Candace Kenyon at cckeny01@louisville.edu.

KUDOS

Jim Chen, Will Hilyerd, and Virginia Smith each published short articles in the July 2007 edition of the Bench & Bar. That issue was dedicated to Legal Education.  "Serving all Kentuckians: Making Legal Education Available to our Rural and Minority Communities" by Dean James M. Chen, Dean Dennis R. Honabach and Dean Allan W. Vestal.  "Legal Education and the Building of a Better Commonwealth" by Dean James M. Chen.  "IT and Legal Education" by Will Hilyerd, Thomas Hughes, Michael Losavio, and Virginia M. Smith.
 
Susan Kosse was recently reappointed to the Commission on the Status of Women by President Ramsey.  She also was elected vice-chair for the next two years.

David Leibson put on a program for Dr. Jeff Callen, Head of Dermatology at the U of L Med School, some residents and med students which would introduce them to some of the basic concepts of tort law.  He prepared problems dealing with duty in general, informed consent, medical battery, duty to warn or help, etc.
 
Grace Giesel took part in a CLE presentation sponsored by the LBA Solo/Small Firm Practice Section.  She presented "Professional Responsibility Issues for Small Firm Practice."
 
Jim Jones' review of Professor Elyn R. Saks's book "The Center Cannot Hold:  My Journey Through Madness,"  appeared on page A9 of the September 15 Courier-Journal.

Pirtle-Washer Moot Court

Preliminary rounds of the Pirtle-Washer Moot Court competition are the morning of September 29 at the Hall of Justice and the semi-final and final rounds are on October 5 in the Allen Courtroom.  First-year students can serve as bailiffs on September 29 and thus see the same type of oral arguments they will be doing next spring in Basic Legal Skills.

New books arrive in Washer Lounge

The Washer Lounge has a mini-library of recreational books funded by the late Judge Ben Washer. New books have been added today. All books are checked out on the honor system--just fill out the card in the back of the book and leave it in the box on the shelves.

Softball Results

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.

National Association for the Mentally Ill

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 rjhick01@louisville.edu or Carol Hicks at carolhicks@fmgmail.com for more information.  We care! We understand! Come and walk with us!! 

Interning in Rwanda: A 2L’s Story

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."

Law School Supports LBA Annual Golf Scramble

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.