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.”

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AJMLS Students Make a Difference Within the First Semester of the Immigration Law Clinic

Thanks to Jacky Clements and Crystal Tran, two interns from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, the U.S. Asylum Office has approved an asylum claim in a unique legal case. The Client was a severally physically and mentally disabled twenty-two year old citizen of an Asian country. Jacky Clements is an intern at the AJMLS/CCA Immigration Law Clinic. Crystal Tran is an extern at AJMLS Adjunct Professor Joseph Rosen’s Immigration Law Group.

Asylum generally requires persecution based upon religion, political activities, race, or nationality. Asylum or refugee status can also be granted if it is determined that an individual has or is likely to be persecuted based on their membership in a particular social group. The physically and mentally disabled are usually not deemed to be in such a group. For a grant of asylum, it must also be shown that the persecution of the group was by the government or that the government did nothing to deter it.

The asylum applicant, although twenty-two years old, functioned at a behavioral level of an eight year old. Through countless hours spent with him and his family, Ms. Clements and Ms. Tran were able to document a childhood spent continually drugged while attending school, a childhood continually abused by his caretakers,  a child banned from public parks and libraries, and a lifetime filled with harassment and abuse by the public. Through extensive research, Ms. Clements and Ms. Tran documented the extreme exploitation, human trafficking, and abuse of the disabled in his home country, despite that country’s assertions of support for the disabled.

Through extensive time spent with the client, Ms. Tran and Ms. Clements developed a rapport with him. They developed evidence and small illuminating anecdotes. They discovered that after being in school in his home country for twenty years, he could not count to 10 nor identify the days of the week. After only 6 months in the U.S., he showed off to the two interns one afternoon by counting to 10 in English and naming the days of the week.  Skills that no one took time to teach him in twenty years of life in his home country. The client would greet Ms. Tran and Ms. Clements with hugs and smiles each time he saw them.

On occasion, there were tears of frustration from the advocates over the lack of legal support for their arguments and the paucity of supporting research documentation.  Hours of work resulted in a moving brief written by the interns and three-hundred pages of supporting documents.  The Asylum Office interviewed the client over a three-hour period and then was presented with the developed arguments. After a month of consideration, the client’s asylum application was approved. Thanks to the work of Crystal Tran and Jacky Clements, a young man has been saved from a life of desperation, abuse, and exploitation. He will now have an opportunity to live a free and independent life in the U.S.  A job well done by two of AJMLS’ students.

AJMLS Students Among Gate City Bar Foundation Scholarship Recipients

AJMLS students and faculty recently attended the 13th Annual Gate City Bar Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony. Students – Tannyka Bent, Sharee Tumbling, and Uchenna Uzoka were among the six recipients of the 2012 Gate City Bar Foundation Scholarship.  The scholarship is awarded annually to minority law students who are either currently enrolled in a Georgia law school, or who are Georgia residents enrolled in an out-of-state law school.

There were several notable attendees and inductees into the Gate City Bar Hall of Fame. The Gate City Bar inducted Miles J. Alexander; M. Gino Brogdon; Teresa Wynn Roseborough; and Larry D. Thompson. The inductees were honored for their commitment to the legal profession and community.  The keynote speaker was Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.

Established in 1948, the Gate City Bar Association is the oldest African American Bar association in the State of Georgia.  For more information on the organization, visit www.gatecitybar.org.

AJMLS Holds Annual Swearing-In Ceremony for Alumni

On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, the Alumni Office welcomed AJMLS graduates to the annual group swearing-in ceremonies at the Blackburn Conference Center. Forty-seven alumni were admitted to practice before the Georgia Supreme Court, while 34 alumni took their oath for admission into the Fulton County Superior Court. We were honored to have Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein and Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford administer the oaths. After the ceremonies, Dean Lynn, faculty and staff, joined the new lawyers, their families and friends for a reception celebration.


Yashica Marshall Becomes First AJMLS Student to Receive GHA Fellowship

AJMLS student Yashica Marshall was recently offered a fellowship from the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) affiliated society, Georgia Academy of Healthcare Attorneys (GAHA). The summer 2013 fellowship is awarded to two students annually. The fellowship, which began in 1999, has previously been awarded to students at the other Georgia law schools. AJMLS is proud to announce Ms. Marshall is the first student from John Marshall to receive this fellowship.

The 10 week fellowship is designed to allow students to spend half the time working for the GHA and remainder of the program working for the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. The fellowship involves working with GHA legal staff on a wide range of issues from assisting in drafting legislation to be proposed for enactment during an upcoming session of the Georgia General Assembly to meeting with attorneys and healthcare executives who are involved in matters affecting GHA. The fellowship also provides an opportunity to work with in-house counsel at CHOA on a variety of legal projects, such as Medicaid managed care appeals and hospital policy development.

On behalf of AJMLS, congratulations Ms. Marshall on your outstanding accomplishments. Continue to strive for new heights in your legal education and career.

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.

AJMLS Professor Appointed Magistrate Judge in Fulton County

Last week, AJMLS professor Renata Turner was appointed as a part-time magistrate judge of the Fulton County State Court.  Professor Turner teaches Domestic Violence and is the Director of the Office of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning.

Magistrate judges conduct first appearances and preliminary examinations of felony charges and hear felony arraignments. They also can authorize search warrants, set bond on criminal defendants and handle criminal misdemeanors, traffic infractions, traffic misdemeanors, cigarette and tobacco infractions, and fish and game violations.

On the civil side, they are authorized to handle limited actions seeking judgment for some unsecured debt; evictions; replevin; small claims; all probate proceedings, including treatment of the mentally ill, substance abusers, guardianships and conservatorships; protection from abuse and stalking; making temporary orders in domestic relations cases; performing marriages; and child support enforcement.

They also may handle any juvenile proceedings, including children in need of care, juvenile offenders and adoptions. As a rotating part-time magistrate Judge Turner will more than likely handle a variety of matters.

Professor Turner has a wealth of experience serving the people of Atlanta and will make an excellent magistrate judge for the Fulton County State Court.