SALT Awards 2016 Junior Faculty Teaching Award to Professor Harpalani

Savannah Law School Professor Harpalani has been awarded the esteemed 2016 Junior Faculty Teaching Award by the Society of American Law Teachers (‘SALT’). The award recognizes an outstanding and emerging law professor who demonstrates a commitment to justice, equality and academic excellence. Professor Harpalani was selected for the award among a field of highly deserving nominees.

Professor Harpalani is truly a quality professor who values a commitment to social justice, diversity, and access in his teaching, scholarship and service. He is very much deserving of this national accolade.

The award will be given at the SALT Annual Members Meeting at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on September 30th. When you see Professor Harpalani on campus, be sure to pass along your congratulations. This is a prestigious award and Professor Harpalani is a wonderful representation of the quality of education at Savannah Law School.

Georgia Bar Celebrates 100 Years of Women in the Profession

Alumna and 2011 AJMLS graduate Virginia (Ginger) Arnold recently had the honor of taking part in a panel discussion during the State of Georgia YLD Women in the Profession Committee’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s admission in to the practice of law. The event took place at the State Bar Headquarters earlier this month.

Speaking on the panel with Arnold was Senior Judge Dorothy Beasley. Judge Beasley was the first woman judge in Fulton County and the first woman on the state Court of Appeals. Since her retirement, she has remained active in the legal community. She challenged the women practitioners in our state to seek leadership roles in the profession. Currently more than half of law students are female and that number is rising.

When asked about her participation in the panel, Arnold stated that “it was an honor to be on this panel with esteemed attorneys and judges.” You can read more about the celebration here. Thank you for your participation, Ginger!

AJMLS Professor and Death Penalty Legal Expert Michael Mears Interviewed

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Associate Professor, Michael Mears, is one of the top death penalty legal experts in the state of Georgia.

Over the course of his career, Professor Mears has worked on 167 death penalty cases, published numerous death penalty related works, and is a frequent expert contributor to multiple media outlets.

Having worked on an earlier appeal in the recent case of Kelly Gissendaner, he has also been called upon frequently to comment on her case, the appeals process, and future of the death penalty in the state of Georgia.

Below are his most recent interviews and quotes:

CBS46 Interview:
CBS46 News
Georgia Public Broadcasting: On Second Thought (September 30, 2015)

 

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Welcomes State Bar of Georgia President as 2015 Commencement Speaker

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is pleased to announce Mrs. Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker, State Bar of Georgia President, as the law school’s 2015 commencement speaker. Commencement exercises are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on May 23, 2015 at the Georgia World Congress Center – Sidney Marcus Auditorium, Building A.

Dean Malcolm L. Morris notes,

The law school has the distinct pleasure of welcoming President Perkins-Hooker as the commencement speaker for this year’s ceremony. She is a leading luminary in the profession who has consistently demonstrated her commitment to providing access to justice for all Georgians. No doubt, her words will guide the graduates on a successful path for their future professional careers.

About Mrs. Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker

President Perkins-Hooker is the first African-American to lead the State Bar of Georgia. Perkins-Hooker has a long list of professional accomplishments. She is best known, however, for her role as general counsel and vice president for the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. where she is responsible for land acquisitions, as well as a wide range of other real estate related legal issues.

Prior to joining the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. she was a partner at Hollowell, Foster & Gepp, PC, where she led the law firm’s Commercial Real Estate Group. Perkins-Hooker is also the immediate past chair of Hosea Feed the Hungry’s Board of Directors.

Additional 2015 AJMLS Commencement Information

Tickets are not required for entry. For information regarding parking or other venue related topics, you may visit www.gwcc.com. Additionally, there will be a small reception immediately following the ceremony for the graduates and their guests, faculty, staff and volunteers.

To join the commencement conversation on Twitter, follow the hashtags #AJMLSGrad and #LawGrad.

Office of Academic Achievement Spring 2015 Calendar

PDF of Office of Academic Achievement Spring 2015 Calendar

Date Time Event
Thursday, February 26, 2015 12:00 p.m.-1 p.m.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

3L/4L GeneralBarTalk

Room 609

Saturday, February 28, 20,15 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Office Hours
Thursday, March 5, 2015 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Bar Examination Overview Georgia Office ofBarAdmissions Presenter:Leigh Burgess

AttendanceMandatoryforMay Graduates

 

Spring 2013graduates

BlackburnConferenceCenter

Saturday, March 7, 2015 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. MPRE Workshop

Prof. Boone

Saturday, March 7, 2015 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 3LBarEssayWriting Workshop for

May Graduates

   

Friday-Sunday, March 27-29, 2015 Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday: 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

 

 3LMultistate BarExamination (MBE) Workshop for May 2015 Graduates

 

Saturday, March 28, 20,15 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Office Hours
Saturday, April 11, 20,15 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Office Hours
Saturday, April 25, 20,15 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Office Hours

Professor Lisa Tripp Discusses Future of Greek Economy on CNN

Prior to the polls coming to a close in Greece’s recent election, Professor Lisa Tripp spoke with CNN’s Jonathan Mann via Skype to discuss the future of the country’s economy.

After the election, Tripp joined CNN’s Amara Walker and Michael Holmes on CNN Today to weigh-in on the new Prime Minister’s economic challenges.

Lisa Tripp is an Associate Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Atlanta Georgia. She teaches Health Care Law, Torts and Remedies. Professor Tripp practiced health care law and commercial litigation prior to joining the faculty of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2006. As an attorney for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Professor Tripp focused primarily on long term care enforcement. She litigated many cases involving physical and sexual abuse, elopements, falls, neglect and substandard quality of care. Professor Tripp currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Leadership Council of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. She has served on health quality measurement committees and panels for the National Quality Forum and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). Professor Tripp received her law degree, with honors, from George Washington University Law School, in Washington, D.C.

You may view a sample of the CNN Today discussion on our Facebook page, linked below:

 

Alumna Tiffany Jones Ellenberg Sworn in to the Governor’s Indigent Advisory Panel

Tiffany Jones Ellenberg, ’98, was recently sworn in to the Governor’s Indigent Advisory Panel by Governor Nathan Deal. This special committee monitors the progress and funding for Georgia’s Public Defender Standards Council and works in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Legislation, the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors to provide advice, expertise and advocacy on behalf of systemic reform designed to satisfy the State’s constitutional obligation to provide adequate counsel for indigent persons accused of crime.

While serving on the committee, Ms. Ellenberg will maintain her private law practice in Madison, Georgia, where she handles primarily litigation cases.

Congratulations, Tiffany!

Professor Michael Mears Appears on GPB Radio to Discuss Georgia’s Death Penalty Law

Professor Michael Mears appeared as a guest on the GPB Radio program On Second Thought (hosted by Celeste Headlee) on Tuesday, January 27.

Mears discussed the history of Georgia’s death penalty law and the execution of mentally disabled persons. The timely discussion was prompted by the scheduled [Tuesday] execution of Georgia inmate, Warren Lee Hill. Also covered on the show was the history of Georgia legislation, as it pertains to the death penalty, and the high standard which a person must overcome in order to prove that they are indeed mentally disabled.

You can listen to the segment online here.

Professor Mears served for over 15 years as a criminal defense attorney before joining the John Marshall faculty in 2007. His practice was dedicated to indigent defense, and he served as lead counsel in over sixty death penalty trial and appellate cases since 1984. Professor Mears was appointed as Director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council in 2004, and served from 1992 to 2003 as a Multi-County Public Defender for the Georgia Indigent Defense Council. Prior to entering his public defender practice, Professor Mears was the Partner-in-Charge of Litigation at McCurdy & Candler, a firm specializing in civil and banking law. In 2007, he was appointed as Co-Chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Indigent Defense Committee and as a member of the Post-Conviction Capital Representation Committee.

Professor Patrice Fulcher Quoted in The Economist

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School congratulates Professor Patrice Fulcher, who has been quoted in a headline article in the 24 January 2015 issue of The Economist.

Patrice Fulcher is a Tenured Associate Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School where she teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Her scholarship focuses on issues surrounding the Prison Industrial Complex; prison privatization, the exploitation of prison laborers, the effects of the utilization of prison video visitation systems, and other profiteering schemes that benefit from mass incarceration in the U.S. Professor Fulcher has dedicated her entire career to the fight for equality of all disenfranchised people, and quality representation for the poor.

The article, Conditions Behind Bars: Screening Visitors–Prisons Profit By Stopping Family Visits, quotes:

Complications may arise from all this. Lawyers may claim that communicating with their clients only through video calls is a violation of due process, says Patrice Fulcher of John Marshall Law School. The possibility of recording such conversations could also lead to the leaking of privileged information. “This whole situation exploits people on the inside and their families on the outside,” Ms Fulcher says. 

For six years, Professor Fulcher organized and chaired the AJMLS’s Fred Gray Social Justice Seminar. In 2011 she was recognized for her outstanding and impactful service to the law school and legal community.

Prior to joining AJMLS in 2007, she served as a Senior Staff Attorney for the Georgia Capital Defender and the Fulton County Public Defender offices. She was a Senior Staff Attorney for the Fulton County Conflict Defender, and worked in the Felony Trial Division of the Georgia Indigent Defense Council. She has successfully represented indigent clients facing the death penalty as well as all other major felony and misdemeanor offenses. Additionally, Professor Fulcher has provided representation and research for abused and neglected children with the DeKalb County Georgia Juvenile Court, and litigated against unconstitutional jail conditions and practices with the Southern Center for Human Rights. She is a core instructor for Gideon’s Promise (formerly known as The Southern Public Defender Training Center), and has been a litigation instructor for The Kentucky Death Penalty Institute, The Mississippi Office of the State Public Defender Training Division, The Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, The Fulton County Public Defender Office, and the American Bar Association NACDL National Defender Training Program.

Professor Fulcher has lectured extensively on mass incarceration and the Prison Industrial Complex across the U.S. (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), the erosion of the 4th Amendment, capital defense, juveniles charged as adults, client-centered representation, successful defense trial investigations, and effective storytelling techniques for public defenders. In 2014, she was asked to provide an expert opinion to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the adequate criminal procedure for congressional contempt proceedings.

Professor Fulcher received her B.A. from Howard University in 1992, and her J.D. from Emory University School of Law in 1995.

Four AJMLS Students Receive GABWA Scholarships

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is pleased to announce that four students recently received scholarships from the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA). The GABWA Foundation is committed to providing scholarships to black women attending Georgia law schools to insure that the pipeline of black women entering the legal profession remains strong. Since 2002, the GABWA Foundation has awarded over $250,000 in scholarships to African-American women law students.

Be sure to congratulate the following students for being awarded GABWA scholarships:

Uchenna Mary-Anne Uzoka, 3L
Christle Guinyard, 2L
Yesenia Muhammad, 3L
Amber Reed, 3L

The students will receive their scholarships at the GABWA Honors Brunch on December 13, 2014. For more information on GABWA and how to qualify for a GABWA scholarship, visit their website.

John Marshall Ranked 4th Most Diverse Law School by National Jurist

Providing a diverse learning environment for students is important to the faculty and administration at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. While this diversity enriches the academic environment, it also challenges the law school to meet the educational needs of students, many of whom are either returning to the rigors of an academic experience, or are simply seeking a supportive environment for the study of law. Therefore, it is a great honor for the National Jurist to name Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School the fourth most diverse law school in the nation in their winter issue. Other top diverse law schools joining John Marshall on the list are Texas Southern University (1), University of the District of Columbia (2), University of La Verne (3), and Florida A&M University (5). In the article, National Jurist explained how the rankings were determined.

“We broke down each school into six categories – percentage of minority faculty; percentage of black students; percentage of Asian and Hawaiian students; percentage of Hispanic students; percentage of American Indian students; and percentage of Caucasian students. We assigned each school a score from one to 10 for all categories, except for American Indians. We assigned each school a score from one to five for that category, given the much smaller number of students.

A school that matched the U.S. national average for any race received a seven (or 3.5 for American Indian), and a school that was 30 percent or greater than the national average received a 10 (or 5 for American Indian). We then weighted the student categories as 75 percent of the final diversity score and faculty at 25 percent. The final outcome is a list of schools that have a breadth of races both in student bodies and faculties.”

The full article gives prospective students and law schools a detailed look into what socioeconomic factors have caused an increase in black and Hispanic students while simultaneously creating a decline in white and Asian students. Regardless of the trend, a diverse law school should offer more than just ethnic diversity. At Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, the student population are also diverse in life experiences and professional background. A well-rounded understanding of diversity allows John Marshall to continue producing practice-ready, ethical, and knowledgeable members of the legal community.

For more on the various programs the law school provided, view our program offerings.

AJMLS Alumnus and Professor Quoted in AJC on Immigration

When it comes to the debate on U.S. immigration; neither U.S. Rep Doug Collins (Class of 2008) or Professor Joseph Rosen are strangers to the discussion.

In an article recently published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), both Collins and Rosen, along with several other law professors were given the opportunity to share their views on revamping the nation’s immigration system.

The article quotes Professor Rosen, who teaches Immigration Law at AJMLS, as saying; “This is the opportunity for the president through executive action, and (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) attorneys through prosecutorial discretion, to do the right thing. It is time for America to show the compassion and justice that are the foundations of this country.”

Prior to serving the 9th District of Georgia, Collins earned his law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School over his first term representing District 27 in the Georgia House of Representatives, and has also served the community as the senior pastor at Chicopee Baptist Church.

Prior to founding the Joseph H. Rosen Immigration Law Group, Professor Rosen served more than 30 years with the U.S. government. For 20 of those years Joe was an FBI Special Agent and a U.S. Customs Special Agent. Rosen is an Adjunct Professor of Law at John Marshall Law School (teaching Immigration Law, Seminar: Asylum & Refugee Law), past President of the North Fulton Bar Association, a former contract legal instructor with the U.S. government, and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

You may click here to view the article in its entirety.

AJMLS Celebrates Pro Bono Month This October

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) and the Office of Pro Bono Outreach and Externships (PBOE) celebrates Pro Bono Month this October as part of Georgia’s Pro Bono Month and National Pro Bono Week.

Year round, the AJMLS Pro Bono Program reinforces the mission of the law school – promoting the development of a student body and faculty with a strong social conscious and dedication to improving the legal system and society.

Highlighted October Events & Opportunities

Would you like to coach a high school Mock Trial Team?

Please attend the informational meeting on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 1:00PM in Room 302 or email Travis Foreman at toforeman@johnmarshall.edu.

Home for Good: Overcoming Legal barriers to Reentry Team

Meets every Wednesday in Room 302 at 5:15PM.

Guns Rights and Wrongs: Balancing the Interests

Monday, October 6, 2014, 4:00PM-7:00PM

Blackburn Conference Center Auditorium and Reception Hall, 1405 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA 30309

School Discipline Legal Workshop

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett

12 Bethesda Church Road in Lawrenceville, Saturday, October 11, 2014, 10:00AM-12:30PM

Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center & Children’s Advocacy Center (GSAC-CAC)

Is looking for students to assist attorneys assisting victims of sexual assault. Interested students should contact Ms. Seterria Brodnex, Victim Assistance Attorney: 770-497-9122 Ext. 31.

Additional Information & Contacts

Approved Placements

Pro Bono FAQ

Judge Renata Turner, Assistant Dean of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning

rturner@johnmarshall.edu

Bridgett Ortega, Assistant Director of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning

bortega@johnmarshall.edu

 

Professor Mears Discusses the Upcoming Execution of Marcus Wellons

Marcus Wellons, convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in 1989 is set to be executed on June 17, 2014 at 7 p.m.

However, instead of a three-drug cocktail formerly used, the state of Georgia wants to use one drug — sodium pentothal — to execute Marcus Wellons. In small doses, it is a sedative. The state wants to use a custom-maker to actually make the drug — because the drug manufacturer that normally makes it won’t sell it to conduct executions. However, the identity of the new manufacturer that will make the lethal injection meant for Marcus Wellons is remaining a secret; making Wellons the new face of the argument over how to carry out Georgia’s death penalty.

“It’s an experimentation process that’s going on here. And they’re doing it in secret,” said Mike Mears, a lawyer, former mayor of Decatur, and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor who has opposed the death penalty his entire legal career.

A new state law allows the state to keep secret who made the drug that would put Wellons to death. “I get drugs to treat an animal, and they have to tell me more than the state of Georgia is telling us about how they’re going to kill Marcus Wellons,” Mears said.

Marcus Wellons is due to die today, on the gurney in Jackson — unless his attorneys successfully challenge the secret source of the chemicals that would kill him. The full article and video can be found at 11Alive. For more information on Professor Mears, view his faculty profile.

Professor Rapping Speaks on Unequal Representation for the Poor

A recent article from The Guardian calls on Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Jonathan Rapping to discuss unequal representation for the nation’s poor. In the article by Sadhbh Walshe, the issue of wealth and its connection with acquittals, not-guilty verdicts, and reduced sentences were discussed. Professor Rapping insists that, “Money determines who sits in jail pre-trial. It determines who takes a plea deal, it determines who gets to have a trial and it can influence the outcome of a trial. This is not how our legal system is supposed to work.”

Walshe goes on to say: Public defenders today are dealing with caseloads that far exceed the recommended federal maximums established in 1973, and they’re cutting back on case spending because of it. “No matter how zealous, talented or passionate an attorney is,” says Rapping, “they cannot perform at their best when they are overworked and under-resourced.” Pit that lawyer against a team of high-powered attorneys with their accompanying “expert” witnesses, investigators, scientific tests, gloves and all, and someone who relies upon the Sixth Amendment doesn’t stand a chance.

Read the full article at The Guardian. An in-depth profile of Professor Rapping can be found on the law school’s faculty page.

 

AJMLS Students Participate in Law Day at the Georgia Bar

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School students recently participated in Law Day. Law Day is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law, to recognize the role of the courts in our democracy, the importance of jury service and maintaining the integrity of the courts.  The official Law Day designated by Congress in 1961 is May 1st.

Georgia holds Law Day during the month of May at different locations around the state like churches, the Georgia Bar, community centers, and high schools. This year’s Law Day event was held at the Georgia Bar. The theme set by the American Bar Association for this year was ‘American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters’ due to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The event was held in conjunction with Atlanta Public Schools (APS), several Georgia Bar Associations and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.  The morning session was focused on educating APS high school students and registering them students to vote.  AJMLS students participated in registering students and providing voter simulations. The evening session was a CLE for attorneys open to the public.

Panel discussions were held with leaders from the League of Women Voters, Counsel of the GA Democratic Party, Georgia Republican Party, Georgia State Law Professors, The Carter Center, Amnesty International, UGA Law Professors, the Human Rights Network, SVP of Legal at CNN, the Georgia Secretary of State, Civil Rights Activists, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients and a US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Jonathan Rapping Earns National Recognition with Inaugural Purpose Economy 100 Award

Nearly 80 percent of the 12 million people who move annually through America’s criminal justice system cannot afford a lawyer. As a result, many innocent defendants plead guilty simply because they cannot afford to take their case to trial, and the public defender system is so overwhelmed by crushing volume, that adequate and meaningful defense fails them as well. For Jonathan Rapping, the injustice in the U.S. justice system is simply unacceptable, and now everyone is taking note of his exploding and impactful non-profit organization, Gideon’s Promise.

Gideon’s Promise, based in Atlanta, yet armed with a national reputation, works tirelessly to inspire, mobilize and train legal professionals to provide the highest quality defense representation to people unable to afford an attorney. And work zealously to ensure that those accused of crimes, who are most vulnerable in our society, have the same access to criminal justice as everyone else.

“For the past seven years, we at Gideon’s Promise have worked tirelessly to ensure ‘equal justice for all’ is not just an empty promise, but a reality that is consistent with our Constitution and its founding ideals,” says Rapping. “Being honored with the Inaugural Purpose Economy 100 truly validates that our work to change the status quo is vital, and that our public defenders are making justice a reality every day.”

It is because of this ground-breaking work that Rapping was recently honored as one of the Inaugural Purpose Economy 100, an honor that he shares with Melinda Gates, Rick Warren, former Vice President Al Gore and Jonathan Trent among others. A complete list of winners can be found at www.PurposeEconomy.com.

“The Purpose 100 highlights and celebrates the work of those shifting the paradigm on what is possible for all of us through work that reignites purpose,” says Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative and innovator/creator of The Purpose Economy. “By founding Gideon’s Promise and training more than 250 public defenders over the past seven years, Jon more than exemplifies that calling. He is a pioneer working to bring equal justice back to our judicial system. I look forward to watching Jon and Gideon’s Promise continue strengthening the resources available to public defenders.”

Last year, Rapping and Gideon’s Promise were featured in the HBO documentary, “Gideon’s Army,” which follows three young public defenders, trained by Rapping and Gideon’s Promise, in their sometimes breaking quest for equal justice in indigent defense. The organization has now trained more than 250 public defenders, who each see an average caseload of 300 per year.

Rapping is a nationally renowned speaker and author – advocating for better standards in the criminal justice system by delivering powerful and varying keynotes at conferences and institutions across the country. His national outreach includes audiences at law schools, organizations committed to justice, bar associations and public defender offices and systems.

Professor D’Agostino Interviewed Regarding Bankruptcy Laws

In a recent article from CardHub, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Robert D’Agostino and other legal experts answered common questions individuals have regarding bankruptcy. CardHub offers an easily-accessible search engine and relevant articles for individuals to use to find a credit card that suits their personal and financial needs. However, due to the increase of bankruptcy filings and subsequent increase in societal reliance on credit cards, CardHub sought out legal experts to answer general questions about bankruptcy in an effort to educate its audience.

Professor D’Agostino was asked, “What part of the bankruptcy process do you think people understand least?” He replied, “The issue of what is and what is not dischargeable . This particularly true of tax liabilities and the IRS’s ability to impose a 100% penalty on bankrupt small business owners when the business has not paid its required taxes. BAPCA has clarified and broadened the law applicable to what assets of an individual do not become part of the bankruptcy estate. The ‘mini’ chapter 11 has made that process more accessible and less expensive for small business.

To view the entire article and read what other experts said about bankruptcy, click here.

 

The National Jurist Names AJMLS Among the Best Law Schools for Practical Training

In the March 2014 issue of The National Jurist, the magazine names the law schools with the most comprehensive experiential learning offerings. By analyzing the information each school provided to the American Bar Association in December, the magazine was able to assign a letter grade to each law school. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Office of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning earned a “B” for their efforts to provide students with a quality and in-depth variety of pro bono and externship opportunities. Congratulations to Director Renata Turner and Assistant Director Bridgett Ortega for all their hard work and dedication to improving the student experience at the law school. To read the full article, click here.

AJMLS Alumna to Head Law Office in Lodz, Poland

The Joseph H. Rosen Immigration Law Group, founded by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School adjunct professor Joseph Rosen, recently opened an office in Lodz, Poland. The branch will be managed by recent John Marshall alumna and lawyer, Alina Sokol. Sokol graduated from the law school in May 2013 with an LL.M. in American Legal Studies. In her role, Sokol and the office will assist Polish citizens and businesses with issues surrounding U.S. immigration. Congratulations to Sokol on this accomplishment and to Professor Rosen on expanding his practice.

For more information on the Joseph H. Rosen Immigration Law Group, click here. A link to the Polish office can be found here.

 

 

AJMLS Founds New Student Organization – Veteran Law Students Association

Students at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School recently founded the Veteran Law Students Association to support all veterans regardless of their branch of service, time of service, or any other distinguishing characteristic. VLSA was also created to promote continued service by the members of its organization.

Membership is neither based on past military service nor lack thereof.  Students  pursuing a Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M) or any other degree programs authorized by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School qualify for membership in the VLSA.

President of VLSA and AJMLS student Domonique Jackson-Russell strongly encourages student, faculty and staff support of the newly founded organization. In a recent announcement to the law school, Jackson-Russell said, “We hope that you will consider joining and supporting the VLSA as we continue to serve, whether that be at the law school, legal community or general public.”

VLSA’s first meeting will be October 7, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. in Room 707. During the meeting members will discuss VLSA’s upcoming scholarship fundraiser event. Non-members are welcome to attend.

Visit VLSA’s OrgSync page for further information regarding the organization. For immediate questions, contact Dwayne Clay, Brian Huckaby or Domonique Jackson-Russell. To view a complete list of the law school’s student organizations, click here.

AJMLS Meets with Local Lawmakers to Discuss Recidivism and Re-entry Support for the Formerly Incarcerated

The Office of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning kicks off Pro Bono Month with two separate meetings with some of Atlanta’s most influential political  and community leaders to discuss strategies to reduce recidivism, ensure successful re-entry and increase public knowledge. The law school was identified as a major contributor helping formerly incarcerated persons effectively re-enter society. The first meeting will be with Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner followed by a meeting at  the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Re-entry.

The department is also excited to announce their 4th Annual Re-entry Forum to be held at the law school’s Blackburn Conference Center on October 24, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Every year Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School partners with individuals, agencies and organizations that support prisoner re-entry efforts by breaking down barriers, helping individuals and families’ transition, and advocate just treatment and transition that support preventing or reducing recidivism.

In addition to recognizing the individuals and organizations that are making great strides in the community, we also facilitate informative and interactive public discussion between academics, community, religious leaders, ex-offenders, government agencies, non-profit groups, and law students. The forum will culminate with the development of an action plan that will make the criminal justice system less devastating for families and communities impacted by incarceration.

Professor Mears Reappointed to the Post-Conviction Capital Representation Committee of the State Bar

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Professor Micheal Mears was recently reappointment to a very important State Bar of Georgia committee.  He has been honored to be appointed to the Post-Conviction Capital Representation Committee.  This committee of the State Bar deals with matters relating to the post conviction of defendants in death penalty cases and reports any recommendations to the Board of Governors.

In discussing his appointment, Professor Mears stated, “I know that we all serve the Bar in various ways and serve on important committees and task forces.” He went on to say, “I am especially proud of this Committee Assignment over these past years because it has given me such a great opportunity to continue the work of so many lawyers, both prosecutors and defense attorneys, in addressing the life and death issues of the death penalty.” Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School congratulates Professor Mears on his most recent appointment.

Upcoming Gideon’s Army Premiere Receives Increased Media Attention

The upcoming HBO premiere of the documentary Gideon’s Army is already receiving rave reviews from national publications and local papers. The film follows the personal stories of Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Backed by mentor and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Jonathan “Rap” Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center (now known as Gideon’s Promise) they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year.

Gideon’s Army in the Press

The New York Times

The Grio

Daily Report Covers HBO Documentary Premiere of AJMLS Professor’s Non-Profit Organization

Scheduled to air on HBO on July 1, Gideon’s Army, which features the law school’s own Professor Jon Rapping’s non-profit organization Gideon’s Promise, held a private screening on June 11. The Daily Report was one of the many media outlets present to cover the event. They reported:

“Three years in the making, Gideon’s Army tells the stories of two Georgia public defenders, Travis Williams and Brandy Alexander, and Mississippi lawyer June Hardwick as they fight for their clients while juggling enormous caseloads and big student loan payments on low salaries.

Gideon’s Army provoked crying, laughter and spontaneous applause during the Atlanta screening. In the film Williams and Alexander work doggedly to help two clients, both teenage boys charged with armed robbery, fight prosecution in a system where high bonds, steep mandatory sentences and limited resources wear down even the most dedicated public defenders.

HBO bought Gideon’s Army after seeing just 20 minutes of footage, Porter said. The film went on to win the Sundance Film Festival’s Editing Award in January.”

To view the full Daily Report article, click here. Once again, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is appreciative of the attention and community support Professor Rapping and his organization have received.

AJMLS Professor Joins Group of National Experts at the White House

Professor Rapping was among a group of national experts invited to the White House on June 5, 2013 to discuss Judicial Vacancies and the Importance of the Courts.  With five unfilled vacancies on the Eleventh Circuit and Northern District of Georgia, four of which are considered judicial emergencies, the situation is particularly pressing for Georgians.  Professor Rapping then joined a small Georgia delegation to meet with staff for Senators Isakson and Chambliss to discuss the problem of unfilled vacancies on Georgia’s federal courts and the risk it poses to the efficient functioning of our judicial system. Once again, another exciting accomplishment for our faculty.

AJMLS Director of Admissions Tells the AJC ‘It’s Never Too Late for Law School’

In a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, AJMLS Director of Admissions Rebecca Stafford spoke with Martha Foster about the why nontraditional students thrive at our law school. “We take a very holistic approach, taking into account the applicant’s experience and ability to overcome life’s obstacles,” Stafford said. “When students apply, we encourage them to attach an addendum to their application to explain any gaps in their life or work experience, or to state anything they feel is important about themselves that may not be asked on the application form.”

Another aspect Stafford mentioned that allows traditional and nontraditional students to thrive at AJMLS is the small community feel and personalized attention students receive from faculty, staff, alumni, and the administration. “We only have 650 students across our entire program; it is a small community. You will know the faculty and our alums are very active in events on campus. Networking starts right after orientation.”

The AJC also spoke with AJMLS student Ginger Fowler about her nontraditional path to law school and the power of perseverance. “You are never too old to go back to school to learn,” Fowler said. “There are so many things you can do with a law degree.” At one point, Fowler remembers telling the Office of Admissions, “You know what? That LSAT score tells you nothing about me, my tenacity or my dedication. Somebody, at some point, is going to let me in.” She was right and two days after that phone call she was accepted to the law school. Now a few short years later, Fowler will join her fellow classmates on May 18th for the 2013 Commencement Ceremony.

To read the full article, click here. To learn more about the rigorous, innovative, and specialized J.D. programs offered to full-time and part-time students, visit www.johnmarshall.edu.

European Law Journal Appoints Associate Dean Van Detta to Permanent Board of Peer-Review Referees

Merkourios, Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, has appointed Jeffrey Van Detta, Associate Dean for Scholarship and Professor of Law at AJMLS, to its Permanent Board of Referees. 

Merkourios is an Open Access, peer-reviewed, student-led law journal, which focuses on international and European law.  The Journal provides immediate, open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the community of scholars and to a wider public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Merkourios is affiliated with Utrecht University and Urios.  Utrecht University, located in Utrecht, Netherlands, is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe.  See  http://www.uu.nl/EN/Pages/default.aspx    Urios is the Utrecht Study Association for International and European Law.   Founded in 1981, Urios has a membership of 250 students, which includes both Utrecht students and exchange students.   The mission of Urios is to introduce students to International and European law on a more practical level, as explained on its webpage at http://www.urios.org/1/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69&Itemid=55

The Referee Board is a new initiative that the 2012-2013 Board of Editors of Merkourios has inaugurated.  By establishing the Permanent Board of Referees, Merkourios aims to further develop the Journal by achieving higher standards of academic quality and by enhancing cooperation within its network of referees and authors.

Members of the Permanent Board of Referees report their professional opinions on the academic quality of articles that the student Editors have previously reviewed and identified as worthy of further consideration for publication.   Rendered on the basis of anonymous peer review, the reports from the Journal’s Referees are a determinative factor in the Journal’s final publication decisions.

Merkourios appointed Associate Dean Van Detta as a member of the Permanent Board of Referees based on his expertise and scholarly publications in the areas of Trans-National Commercial Law, International Business Transactions, International Civil Litigation, Private International Law, Employment and Labour Law, and Jurisprudence.   Associate Dean Van Detta teaches courses encompassing those areas in AJMLS’s J.D. Program, American Legal Studies LL.M. Program, and Employment Law LL.M. Program.

“I believe very passionately in the kind of scholarly work carried on by Merkourios, in which both law students and experienced faculty collaborate in evaluating and publishing scholarship of the highest calibre,” Associate Dean Van Detta commented.  In his view, “that is an ideal combination of talents, perspectives, and expertise for the dynamic areas of legal scholarship which Merkourios embraces.”

The most recent issue of Merkourios—the General Issue 2013 (Vol 29, No 76)— may be viewed at http://www.merkourios.org/index.php/mj/issue/current

Associate Dean Van Detta also has three articles of his own in the publication process thus far this year:   Some Legal Considerations For EU-Based MNEs Contemplating High-Risk Foreign Direct Investments In The Energy Sector, 9 South Carolina  J.  Int’l  L. & Bus. __ (Issue 2, Spring 2013); Transnational Legal Services In Globalized Economies: American Leadership, Not Mere Compliance, With GATS Through Qualifying LL.M. Degree Programs For Foreign-Educated Lawyers Seeking State-Bar Admissions, 12 Hofstra J. Int’l Bus. & L. ___ (Spring 2013); and Politics And Legal Regulation In The International Business Environment: An FDI Case Study Of Alstom, S.A., In Israel, 21 U. Miami Bus. L. Rev. 301 (Spring 2013).

AJMLS Students Awarded First Place at Regional Transactional LawMeet

On Friday, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School sent two teams to compete at the 2013 Regional Transactional LawMeet competition hosted by Emory University.  Before the competition, teams were assigned a side in a transaction – buyer or seller – and exchanged drafts of a contract.  At the event the teams met in person to negotiate the contract.  The law school is pleased to announce that our team, consisting of Bentley Adams, Benjamin Stidham, and Amy Zapatka, was awarded first place on the seller side.

Also competing at the Regional meet were one or more teams from the following schools: University of Georgia, Emory University, University of Tennessee, Washington and Lee University, Loyola University, William & Mary University, and Nova Southeastern University.  Due to our team’s outstanding achievement at the Regional meet, the team has been invited, along with the University of Georgia (which was awarded best team for the buyer), to represent the Southeast at the 2013 National Transactional LawMeet in Philadelphia in late March.  This was a great accomplishment for the team.

Congratulations to Bentley, Benjamin, and Amy for representing John Marshall and its outstanding student body.

VIDEO: Innovative and Unique – the Honors Program in Criminal Justice

The Honors Program in Criminal Justice at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is a cutting edge program designed to prepare its graduates to excel in the practice of criminal law. Students are given a powerful foundation of knowledge in the field through the program’s three-year core curriculum. A problem-based teaching method is used to ensure that the students appreciate both how all the core courses fit together within criminal law and how they apply to its practice. This integrated and applied approach to teaching ensures our students receive a well-rounded and practical educational experience.

The mission of John Marshall “is to prepare highly competent and professional lawyers who possess a strong social conscience, continually demonstrate high ethical standards, and are committed to the improvement of the legal system and society.”  The Honors Program in Criminal Justice further demonstrates our commitment to this mission. To hear first hand from our students and professors about the program, view the video below.

AJMLS Announces New Assistant Dean for Career Development

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is pleased to announce Ivonne Betancourt will now serve the law school in the role of Assistant Dean for Career Development. Since 2006, she has been a vital part of the success the Career Development Office has experienced.  “Ivonne has done an incredible job growing the Career Development Office during her time at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Students are highly satisfied with the assistance she and her staff provide as they look for jobs,” said Richardson Lynn, Dean of the law school. “Our placement rate has been remarkable, even during the last few tough years in the economy, and she will supervise the same effort at Savannah Law School.  The title “Assistant Dean” merely recognizes her outstanding service to John Marshall.”

On behalf of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, thank you Ivonne for your hard work and dedication to the school.  Congratulations on a job well done and we wish you continued success in your new position!

Dean Cieply to Participate in Experts Roundtable at Emory University

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Associate Dean of Academics and Associate Professor Kevin Cieply was recently invited to join an experts roundtable hosted at Emory University by its International Humanitarian Law Clinic. The event, titled  “The Application of the Law of Armed Conflict in Situations of Organized Crime and Armed Conflict” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on January 22, 2013 at the university. The focus of the program centers around the clinic’s goal to promote the law of armed conflict and fight to eliminate torture, war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Dean Cieply is joined by many notable and respected experts in the field from Jennifer Daskal of Georgetown Law School and Geoffrey Corn of South Texas College of Law to Sandy Hodgkinson, Former Chief of Staff, Deputy Secretary of Defense and many more. Congratulations Dean Cieply for being selected to lend his expertise to this event. For the full list of roundtable participants, click here.

AJMLS Ranked No. 13 of Top 50 Most Diverse Law Schools

The National Jurist recently ranked every ABA-accredited law school in the nation to find the school with the most diverse student population. Their results landed Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in the Top 20. The November 2012 issue of the magazine ranks AJMLS number 13 among schools like the University of the District of Columbia (#1), American University (#25), and Harvard Law School  (#43).

To determine how the schools would be ranked, The National Jurist judged each school based on six elements: percentage of minority faculty, percentage of African-American students, percentage of Asian and Hawaiian students, percentage of Hispanic students, percentage of American Indian students and other minorities, and percentage of Caucasian students. Each school was assigned a number from one to 10 in each category.

Schools that matched the U.S. national average for any race, received a seven. However, schools with 30 percent or higher than the national average, received a 10. The National Jurist offers this example, “13.1 percent of the U.S. population is black. Florida Coastal School of Law, with 13.2 percent black students, received a seven. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, with a 24.2 percent black student body…received a 10.”

For the full article, click here.

AJMLS Professor and Staff Member Elected to the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Georgia

Michael Oeser, Associate Professor and Bridgett Ortega, Assistant Director of the Office of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning were elected to the ACLU of Georgia’s Board of Directors at the November 10th Annual Meeting.

Professor Oeser and Mrs. Ortega join Professor Kathleen Burch who has served on the ACLU Board for the past two years and is Co-Chair of the Legal Committee. The law school also partners with the ACLU of Georgia in the Civil Liberties Seminar where students work on ACLU cases.

Founded in 1920 as a response to the Palmer Raids, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that seeks to defend the principles and freedoms embodied in the Bill of Rights. To accomplish this goal, the ACLU advocates for civil liberties in courts, legislatures, and communities all over the United States at both the federal and state level. As a result of its dedication, there is no non-governmental organization that has more frequently argued in front of the Supreme Court of the United States than the ACLU.

AJMLS is extremely proud of Professor Oeser and Mrs. Ortega and thank them for their continuous commitment to impacting the lives of others through service.

GABWA Features AJMLS Office of Financial Aid in a Law School 101 Interview

The Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) recently interviewed former AJMLS Financial Aid Counselor, Montre Everett on their talk show “Legally Speaking”. The segment titled “Law School 101” featured Everett alongside a Georgia State University College of Law Admissions Coordinator. As always, Everett provided current, relevant and insightful financial aid information and advice. The full interview will air this Sunday, August 12, 2012 at 9:30 p.m. on AIB (Comcast channel 5). To view the interview online, click here.

*Montre Everett is now the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Savannah Law School, a branch of the ABA-accredited Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

AJMLS Student’s Article Recently Featured in GAWL Newsletter

An article written by AJMLS student, Megan Hodgkiss, was recently  featured in the July 2012 issue of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers’ (GAWL) newsletter. The article titled, “Women in Law Day: GAWL Chapter Honors Women in the Judiciary” highlighted the school’s annual Women in Law Day event held each March. This year’s event, hosted in the Blackburn Conference Center, attracted dynamic women from throughout the state of Georgia, including Fulton County State Court Judge Diane E. Bessen, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein, and Fulton County State Court Judge Susan E. Edlein.

For the full article, click here. Congratulations Megan on this prestigious honor!

New Savannah Law School Begins Accepting Applications for Fall 2012

Savannah Law School (SLS), a branch of ABA-accredited Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS), yesterday began accepting applications for its inaugural Fall 2012 class. Prospective students can apply to SLS via their smart phone or tablet atm.savannahlawschool.org or on their laptop or personal computer at www.savannahlawschool.org/apply. SLS is only the second law school enabling students to apply via mobile devices. AJMLS was the first to offer this service earlier this year.

“SLS offers prospective students an opportunity to live and learn in a community with an abundance of charm where they can move forward, meet challenges – large and small – and begin their legal careers,” said Alan Boyer, Associate Dean of Recruitment and Marketing at AJMLS and SLS. “Applying to SLS is simple with the mobile application and new website.”

Like the AJMLS mobile “app,” the SLS mobile application is also a law school application form designed for today’s mobile devices. Students will still have to mail their transcripts, letters of recommendation and, of course, write that dreaded personal statement. But, filling out the actual application will be easier than ever and right at students’ fingertips, whenever – and wherever –they choose to apply.

Students can apply by typing m.savannahlawschool.org into their smartphone or tablet browser. Once there, students can learn about the school’s academic programs and living in Savannah. When they’re ready to complete the application form, they can press iApply and go straight to the form. Once completed, they will push “submit” and their application will be sent to SLS Admissions. Should potential students want additional information, they can also access the school’s website from this site.

Savannah Law School is focused on preparing talented students for legal careers in the public and private sectors. SLS offers a Juris Doctor in full-time and part-time day or part-time evening program. Students throughout the Atlantic Coastal Region can begin their legal careers closer to home. And students from around the country and the world can live and learn in a community rich in culture, heritage and southern hospitality. For more information about SLS, please visit us atwww.savannahlawschool.org.

AJMLS Students Receive Prestigious Awards at GAWL’s Annual Dinner

This year, two AJMLS students were the recipients of distinguished awards from the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL). The students were amongst a prestigious group of award recipients from the local legal community and law schools across the state, who were honored at the GAWL Annual Dinner on May 10, 2012.

Audrey Holiday, a 4L part-time student, was the recipient of the Outstanding Law Student Award. This award recognizes law students who have demonstrated an aptitude for leadership, achieved excellence in academics, and generously contributed to women’s issues and related causes. Karen Kenner, a 3L full-time student, received the GAWL Foundation scholarship. This scholarship is awarded annually to two to four law students in Georgia who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, leadership and philanthropic potential, and a strong commitment to the legal profession.

Congratulations Audrey and Karen on being recognized for your dedication, leadership and academic excellence.

Catholic Charities of Atlanta and AJMLS Announce Plans to Launch State’s First Immigration Law Clinic

Catholic Charities of Atlanta (CCA) and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) today announced a partnership to open Georgia’s first Immigration Law Clinic to provide CCA clients with legal counsel and representation and offer second-and third-year law students real-world experience under the direction of licensed attorneys.

Key facts about the new Immigration Law Clinic:

•The clinic will open Fall 2012 at the CCA offices, 2305 Parklake Dr. NE Bldg. 9, Suite 150 Atlanta, GA, 30345;
•Services will include assistance with benefits filings, various petitions, on-site counsel at detention facilities;
•CCA serves clients who are victims of domestic violence, abused immigrant children, trafficking victims, asylum, family-based adjustment and naturalization cases. All are at or below the poverty level;
•CCA meets with 1,500 new clients and 4,800 detainees each year. There are 750 open/active cases; and
•The clinic is the first clinic of any kind for AJMLS.

“The new Immigration Clinic in partnership with Catholic Charities demonstrates our commitment to the community and preparing our students to practice law,” said Richardson Lynn, Dean and Professor of Law at AJMLS. “We are honored to work along with Catholic Charities as it serves the rapidly growing immigrant community.”

The clinic will offer CCA clients assistance with filings for immigration benefits based on family eligibility, violence against women petitions, crime victim petitions and temporary protective status. The clinic will also serve detainees at immigration detention facilities.

“Our partnership with AJMLS marks the first Immigration Clinic in the state of Georgia,” said Jennifer Bensman, Program Director of Immigration Legal Services at CCA. “We are looking forward to working with students and preparing them to interact directly with clients. It is my hope that after the completion of the Immigration Law Clinic, John Marshall students will continue to seek pro bono opportunities.”

Students will gain real-world legal experience in an academic environment, while providing assistance to CCA clients. Students will develop skills in problem-solving, client interviewing, collaborating and cross-cultural awareness, and they will also meet with detainees at immigration detention facilities.

“Students who possess a strong interest in immigration affairs are ideal candidates for the Immigration Law Clinic,” said Renata Turner, Clinic Director and Associate Professor at AJMLS. “As the school’s first clinic, we are excited to introduce students to real-world cases as a part of their legal education.”

AJMLS Featured in Spring Issue of PreLaw Magazine

In the Spring 2012 issue of PreLaw Magazine, Dean Lynn was interviewed about the rapid expansion AJMLS has experienced in the last year.

In addition to the physical-size of the school expanding with the construction of new classrooms and the Blackburn Conference Center, AJMLS has added a J.D. Honors program in Criminal Justice, an LL.M. in Employment Law, and even a branch campus in Savannah, GA. “We’re trying to continuously improve the environment for students and make them comfortable in this location with its great access to resources,” said Lynn.

For the full article on our growing school, click here.

John Marshall Law School Volunteers with the Atlanta Community Food Bank

On April 14, 2010, volunteers from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School helped the Atlanta Community Food Bank to distribute 3,448 pounds of food to 2,298 families. Volunteers included faculty, staff and students of the school, with Professor Renata Turner, Shannon Keef, Randi Moore, Anne Bowerman, Carlos Nauedo, Alpa Amin, Barbara Herzberg, Lauren Wallace, Cliff Turner and Gregory Gelpi all lending a hand to this great cause. The Atlanta Community Food Bank works with more than 800 nonprofit partner agencies including food pantries, community kitchens, childcare centers, night shelters, senior centers and other service programs to distribute almost two million pounds of food each month to low-income Georgians. To learn more about The Atlanta Community Food Bank, please visit their website at www.ACFB.org Volunteers pictured (from left to right): Barbara Herzberg, Shannon Keef, Alpa Amin, Randi Moore and Greg Gelpi

John Marshall Law School Volunteers with the Atlanta Community Food Bank

On April 14, 2010, volunteers from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School helped the Atlanta Community Food Bank to distribute 3,448 pounds of food to 2,298 families. Volunteers included faculty, staff and students of the school, with Professor Renata Turner, Shannon Keef, Randi Moore, Anne Bowerman, Carlos Nauedo, Alpa Amin, Barbara Herzberg, Lauren Wallace, Cliff Turner and Gregory Gelpi all lending a hand to this great cause.

The Atlanta Community Food Bank works with more than 800 nonprofit partner agencies including food pantries, community kitchens, childcare centers, night shelters, senior centers and other service programs to distribute almost two million pounds of food each month to low-income Georgians. To learn more about The Atlanta Community Food Bank, please visit their website at www.ACFB.org

Volunteers pictured (from left to right): Barbara Herzberg, Shannon Keef, Alpa Amin, Randi Moore and Greg Gelpi

Blackburn Conference Center Opens as Midtown’s Newest Destination for Meetings, Special Events

Whether you’re planning a small, intimate reception or coordinating an extravagant event, the message is the same – Meet at Blackburn! That’s the Judge G. Alan Blackburn Conference Center (BCC) on the campus of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS).

Named after one of AJMLS’s most influential alumni and former board member, Judge G. Alan Blackburn, the BCC, at the corner of 18th and Spring Streets, features contemporary conference, board and seminar rooms, a spacious reception and exhibit hall, kitchen and a 350-seat auditorium.

“The Blackburn Conference Center will provide a convenient meeting place for businesses, organizations and individuals looking for a Midtown Atlanta location to host meetings, receptions and a range of events,” said Hilary Patrick, the BCC’s new Director of Meeting and Conference Services. “The center is a 16,500-square foot facility that fuses stylish amenities with the ability to meet any educational, entertainment or special event need.”

The BCC includes the following meeting spaces:

Room                 Capacity         Seating Type
Auditorium          350                 Fixed,Theater
Reception Hall     100/225           Banquet or Reception
Seminar Room    65                   Flexible, Classroom
Conference A      8-12               Conference with Credenza
Conference B      6                    Conference
Conference C      6                    Conference
Board Room        16                  Conference

The amenities include:
• Open lobby and wide corridors
• Kitchen
• Photocopy capabilities
• Phone and conference services
• Projectors and drop down screens
• Roaming, lapel and free-standing microphones, portable podiums
• On-site technology, AV and maintenance support

Conveniently situated in Atlanta’s thriving Midtown district, the BCC is at the epicenter of Atlanta business and living. The BCC is only minutes from Atlantic Station to the west, downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north with its trendy shops and boutiques, the best in Southern cuisine, hotels, and easy access to Interstates 20, 75 and 85. Parking is convenient and within walking distance to public transportation.

“Reserving the BCC is simple,” Patrick said. “Meeting planners, public relations firms, administrative assistants and others responsible for securing space can reserve the facility directly from our new webpage at www.blackburncenter.com.”

Savannah Law School Announces First Faculty Appointments

Savannah Law School (SLS), a branch of the ABA-accredited Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS), today announced the first faculty appointments to the school that will open later this year.

Marc Roark, currently an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of LaVerne College of Law in Ontario, CA, was named Associate Professor to teach Property and serve as the Director of the Office of Academic Achievement. Roark brings to SLS years of real-world and classroom experience from previous faculty positions at the University of Missouri and University of Tulsa and as a practicing attorney at federal and commercial litigation firms. Roark earned an LL.M. from Duke University School of Law, a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and a Bachelor’s from Louisiana State University.

SLS also named Elizabeth Megale, currently an Assistant Professor of Law at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, FL, as an Associate Professor to serve as the Director of the Legal Skills and Professionalism Program and teach Legal Research and Writing. Prior to teaching, Megale was a trial lawyer with the Office of the Public Defender in Florida where she represented clients in both misdemeanor and felony cases. Megale holds a J.D. and Bachelor’s degree from Mercer University.

“Both Elizabeth and Marc bring tremendous legal practice and academic achievements that will benefit Savannah Law School and its students,” says Richardson Lynn, Dean and Professor of Law at SLS. “We will continue to make faculty and staff appointments as we prepare to open in the fall.”

Prospective students can learn more about admissions, financial aid and career development at the school’s first Open House from 9 a.m. to noon, March, 3, 2012, at the Armstrong Center, 13040 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA, 31419.

AJMLS Goes to the UN!

On September 20, 1963, in the closing remarks of his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President John F. Kennedy stated, “My fellow inhabitants of this planet: Let us take our stand here in this Assembly of nations. And let us see if we, in our own time, can move the world to a just and lasting peace.” On February 10, 2012, in the same General Assembly Hall where that speech was made, two students represented Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, and affirmed their commitment to embracing the challenge set forth by our 35th President.

Xavier A. Cunningham (2L), President of the International Law Society, and David Borum (2L), Vice President of the International Law Society, attended the 2012 Year of Decision: The UN in American Foreign Policy Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York City.  This year, the conference was hosted by the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA).  The conference provided them an opportunity to meet with high ranking UN officials and engage in topical discussions with some of the most prominent foreign policy-shapers of our time, such as Dr.Jeffery Sachs of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative with the United States Mission to the United Nations, and Congresswoman Nita Lowey.

As law students, Xavier and David were able to perceive the global challenges discussed at the conference through a judicial lens. Whether discussing the evolution of UN Peacekeeping operations, or the growing assertiveness of the Security Council in dealing with peace and security in the 21st century, it is clear how courses such as Constitutional Law, Public International Law, Conflicts of Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and others, prepare law students to confront global challenges with an extensive arsenal of knowledge.  Thank you Xavier and David for representing AJMLS with intelligence, confidence and professionalism.

For more information about this conference and its host,please visit,unausa.org/membersday.

Congratulations to the AJMLS Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition Teams!

On January 19, 2012, AJMLS’ BLSA Moot Court Teams competed in the Southeast Regional Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition in Birmingham, Alabama. The Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition is an annual, national competition that coincides with the National Black Law Students Association’s (NBLSA) regional and annual conferences. There were two teams selected from AJMLS who competed in the Southeast Regional competition.

Team one, consisting of Ashley Barnett (2L) and Sharee Tumbling (3L), won the Best Respondent Brief Award. Team two, consisting of Lauren McAlpin (2L) and Sarah Redparth (2L), advanced to the final four and placed 4th out of 24 teams in the overall competition. Team two member, Sarah Redparth, won the Best Oral Advocate Award.

Congratulations to all the ladies for their hard work and stellar performances at the NBLSA Southeast Regional Moot Court competition!

AJMLS Negotiations Team Places Third in National Competition

The AJMLS Negotiations Team placed third in the nation at the ABA’s National Negotiation Competition, held this weekend at the ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Out of an initial field of 228 teams, AJMLS was among the 24 teams that advanced out of the regional rounds to compete at the national competition. Competing at the national level for the first time, the AJMLS team continually knocked out its competitors to reach the semi-final round and then the championship round.

Congratulations to AJMLS team members Torrey Rainey and Christina Scott, assisted by Joyce Adelugba and Zach Pritchard. And a special thanks to the AJMLS alumni coaches, Charles Barry and Shaun Adams, who led this year’s team to an unprecedented success.