Student News

Undergraduate Moot Court Volunteer Judges Needed

Attn: All Law Students

The undergraduate Moot Court team is in need of volunteers to judge practice Moot Court sessions at Ekstrom Library.  You would volunteer for one hour in October or the beginning of November - it is a limited time commitment.  Please contact Mary Hora at or 502-595-3436 if you are interested.  This would be a beneficial opportunity for any law student and a great resume booster.


See Mary's description of the hypothetical below:

There is a hypothetical case that the students are arguing which the judges should read over beforehand (should take about twenty minutes).  The case involves the Congressional gun free school zones act, and the two issues are 1)the scope of the 2d Amendment right to bear arms and 2)whether in passing the act Congress exceeded its powers under the Commerce Clause.  I would be happy to provide questions to judges who are not familiar enough with con law to formulate impromptu questions.  I also think that even law students who haven't done con law yet could come up with some really good questions on the spur of the moment, especially on the 2d Amendment question.

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.

Environmental Law and Land Use Society

The newly formed University of Louisville School of Law Environmental Law and Land Use Society elected its first group of officers Thursday. Algeria Ford was elected President; Laura Clemons, Eric Burnette, Amy Stein and Chris Denlein were elected as Vice Presidents; Nick Hart was elected Secretary and Brian Pollock was elected Treasurer. Also at the meeting, Faculty Advisor Tony Arnold discussed joint-degree opportunities for a J.D./Master in Urban Planning. Look for more information about the Society on the Student Life section of the Law school's web page in coming weeks. Membership is still open.

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 or Carol Hicks at for more information.  We care! We understand! Come and walk with us!! 

MCB: Facilitator Information


You have all been assigned to a team. Please check the MCB bulletin board or TWEN for your assignment. Then, regardless of when your team is scheduled to compete, do the following this week:

1. Contact the other facilitators on the team.
2. Contact the coach and find out when tryouts are, when the competition is, what we  need to do to register, where the competition is located.
3. Give this information to Rob DeWees by the end of the week.
4. If your team does not have  coach, contact Rob to see what needs to be done to get a coach.

Thanks, Rob

Moot Court NEGOTIATIONS TEAM Applications

Applications for the Negotiations team are now available.  Those interested in trying out are not required to submit a brief or have a partner.  The applications and sign-up sheet can be found on the door of the Moot Court Board office.  There will be a collection box placed outside the office to deposit completed applications.

The sign-up period will close at 5:00 p.m. on 9/4 and tryouts will take place  on 9/8.  

Join the ABA!!!!

Student Organization Grants 

If your student organization is producing an activity and you need funding, the ABA Law Student Division may be able to help.

The Division’s Grant Program supports new programs and projects of student organizations at ABA-approved law schools that provide professionalism and ethics training, promote diversity in the legal profession, and advance public interest and public service efforts in local communities.

Grant applications are reviewed on an individual basis throughout the year, and funds are awarded on a reimbursement basis only. Approved applications may receive $500 or less, depending on the nature of the project and the availability of funding. Applications must be received via e-mail by the Division’s Chicago office at least four weeks before the date of the project, which must be completed by May 1.

For detailed guidelines and to download an application, visit

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."

Pirtle-Washer Signups

Pirtle-Washer Signups

Pirtle-Washer is an annual oral advocacy competition exclusively for upper-level Brandeis students.  The top four places also receive prize money.  A signup sheet will be on the door of the Moot Court Board office from Monday, Sept. 3, until Friday, Sept. 7.  By signing up, you are simply declaring your interest in competing.  Once you sign up, a packet will be placed in your student mailbox and you will have a week to make a final decision as to whether you will compete.  The preliminary round will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, with the finals on Friday, Oct. 5.  If you have any questions, please contact Kyle Baker at

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.