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BU School of Law Alumni Newsletter Spring 2010

in this issue:
Save the Date and stay connected: Reunion Weekend Oct. 29–31
U.S. Atty. Gen. Holder to speak at BU Law 2010 Commencement
BU History brochure is coming your way
BU Law rankings roundup: US News & World, National Law Journal, National Jurist
PLI partnership offers new alumni benefit
PIP auction raises funds, awareness
BU donor issues $1M Annual Fund Challenge
Scholarship in memory of Smith ('79) granted to 2L
Young Alumni Council news
Everychild Foundation is an alumni affair
Class Notes: On the Record
Class Notes: Awards and Achievements
Faculty focus: Podcast Series
Recent and upcoming events

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Save the Date! Reunion and Alumni Weekend at BU is October 29–31

alumni weekend

Though the character-building law school years, all-night study sessions and the introduction to Marbury v. Madison may be a distant memory, the friendships and connections you made here endure. We invite you to take this opportunity to reconnect with your classmates and professors, enjoy autumn views of the Charles River and take advantage of a return to your Boston home once again.

Mark your calendar for Reunion Weekend, the Silver Shingle awards and the Gala Dinner, where you can mingle with friends and applaud your fellow alumni award winners. More details will be posted as available at www.bu.edu/law/reunion -- the new site should be live by June.

But it's not just your attendance we want.

  • Your classmates want to know what’s going on with you! Please submit a brief class note to be included in class yearbooks which will be handed out at the Reunion Gala Dinner. We’d love to hear from you whether or not you’re coming to Reunion. To be included in the yearbooks, class notes must be submitted by October 1. To read and post class notes, simply log into your BU Law Connection here.
  • Join your Class Reunion Committee now! Please contact Erin Elwood, Alumni Officer, via e-mail or at 617.358.4873 for details.
  • To receive the latest Reunion updates via e-mail, please provide the Alumni Office with your e-mail address, either online or at 617-353-3118.

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U.S. Atty. Gen. Holder to speak at BU Law 2010 Commencement

BU Law is honored to welcome U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. as the 2010 Commencement Speaker. Nominated by President Barak Obama and confirmed by the Senate, he was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on February 3, 2009, becoming the 82nd US Attorney General and the first African American to hold this powerful and prestigious position. Holder will also deliver Boston University’s 137th Commencement address. >>View more about Holder and Commencement.

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BU History brochure coming your way

Watch your mailbox for our new BU Law History at a Glance brochure, a beautiful snapshot of some of the highlights in our School's past and present. It also contains a sampling of notable BU Law alumni. While we regret not having enough room to include all of our alumni and their accomplishments, we hope you enjoy the brochure.

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BU Law ranking roundup

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PLI partnership offers new alumni benefit

BU Law has partnered with the Practising Law Institute (PLI) to offer alumni the opportunity to join PLI at a reduced rate and receive unlimited access to PLI's live and online training programs. This opportunity will provide participating BU Law alumni an all-access pass to more than 260 live PLI seminars and 2,500 hours of live and on-demand online CLE, as well as weekly audio briefings focusing on the most topical issues concerning the legal community.

PLI's legal intelligence is drawn from its expert faculty comprised of members of leading law firms, corporate counsel, and select U.S. government offices, and supports major practice areas. The special alumni reduced rate is an annual fee of $1,500, a portion of which is returned to Boston University School of Law. (Compare this to a regular individual membership of $3,495.) Click here for membership, or call 800.260.4754.

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PIP Auction raises funds, awareness

auction

Alumni and students came out in droves for the 19th Annual Public Interest Auction Gala March 24. The bidding was for auction items that included Red Sox tickets, vacation rentals, restaurant gift certificates, gift certificates for a BARBRI bar review course, a Justice David Souter bobblehead, and nights out in Boston with BU Law professors. A group of 1Ls bid for a basketball game with faculty (see photo below). While all in good fun, the fundraiser supports PIP grants—$4,000 summer stipends for first- and second-year law students who work in otherwise unpaid public interest and government summer internships. The auction raised $60,000, which was $7K more than last year.

Students who receive PIP grants participate in many forms of public interest work, including working for prosecutors, public defenders and U.S. attorneys; counseling low-income families dealing with divorce, custody arrangements, medical disabilities, and job loss; advising those facing foreclosure and eviction; and advocating for improved civil rights in India and China. For example, Anuj Khetarpal ('10) spent three months working with International Bridges to Justice, an independent, nonprofit organization, as well as with members of the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, where he subsequently interned, to improve the public defender system in India.

PIP fundraisers also include phone-a-thons, LSTAR hotel voucher program and alumni support. If you didn't get a chance to attend the auction and would still like to make a donation to PIP, go here.

basketball game

The PIP student/faculty basketball game, at right, was based on a successful bid by a group of 1Ls. Their signage assures us that the game's intensity was "just shy of serious bodily harm." The students won, "mostly by wearing down the faculty in the second half," said Professor David Rossman, who was the referee.

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BU donor issues $1M Annual Fund Challenge

cohen challenge

Picture what a million dollars can do for BU students. Now double it. This spring, BU Trustee Richard Cohen (CGS’67, SMG’69) is giving all Boston University alumni and friends the opportunity to double the value of their gifts, in an effort to raise $2 million for BU students. But he wants you to act quickly.

During the Cohen Challenge, which runs only until June 30, 2010, Cohen will give one dollar to student scholarships for every dollar the BU community contributes in new and increased donations to the University’s Annual Funds, up to a total of $1 million. Gifts to the BU Law Annual Fund will support financial aid, the Public Interest Project, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program, faculty retention and recruitment, and other initiatives that help BU Law maintain the high quality of education for which it is known.

For more information about the Cohen Challenge, or to make your contribution—and let Richard Cohen match it—visit www.bu.edu/doubleit.

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Scholarship in memory of Smith ('79) granted to 2L

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (’79) announced that the first recipient of the Loretta Smith Scholarship will be Abraham “Avi” Robinson (’11). The scholarship was named for BU Law alumna Loretta Smith (’79), a widely respected lawyer who chose to leave a successful career in private practice in order to pursue a career in public service.

The Loretta Smith Legal Internship scholarship is awarded to a single summer intern at the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. It is reserved for a second-year law student with high academic standards who is committed to public service. Coakley, a BU Law classmate, friend and colleague of Smith’s, recommended Robinson for the award.

“I am hoping to learn about how the criminal process can help build a just society,” said Robinson. “I have developed an interest in restorative justice through a course taught at BU Law this spring.” That course is taught by Thomas W. Porter Jr. ('74).

Robinson is a Newton native who now lives in Brookline. A graduate of Maimonides School and Yeshiva University in Manhattan, Robinson is an ordained Orthodox Rabbi who has worked as a rabbinic intern and teacher in Columbus, Ohio, New York, and Brookline, and served as a guest rabbinic lecturer in Minneapolis. Said Robinson, “It is from this work experience that the AG properly deduced my commitment to public service.”

Last summer he worked for M. Robinson & Co., a boutique tax law firm in downtown Boston, where the managing partner is his father, Morris N. Robinson ('70, Tax '71).

Loretta Smith graduated from BU Law and served as a law clerk for Associate Justice Robert Braucher of the Supreme Judicial Court, before becoming an associate and later a partner at  Goodwin Procter. She subsequently became an assistant attorney general in the AG’s Administrative Law Division, was a director of the New England Legal Foundation and was an instructor in BU Law’s first year writing program from 1995 to 1997. In 2001 she was named an assistant district attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, when Coakley was district attorney. Smith later rejoined the Attorney General’s office, becoming chief of its Government Bureau.  The wife of BU Law Professor William E. Ryckman, Smith passed away in June of 2009.

“I am honored and awed to accept the (scholarship),” said Robinson. “I thank the Attorney General especially for bestowing upon me this beautiful connection with an inspirational public servant. Righteous people, according to the Talmud, are considered alive even after they pass on, because those who act righteously in their names preserve their memories. By working this summer in Loretta’s name, I too feel that she remains alive, in some spiritual capacity, through my service.”

At BU Law, donations in Smith’s name are being accepted toward the BU Law Michael W. Melton Scholarship Fund, which can be sent to the Esdaile Alumni Center.

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Young Alumni Council news

The Young Alumni Council, open to all who graduated from BU Law in the last 10 years, organizes professional networking, social and community service events. Some recent news:

  • Soon-to-be alumni were invited to join the YAC at the first stop of the Class of 2010 Pub Crawl on May 10.  This event gives members a chance to mingle with some of BU Law’s graduating students, and to let them know what the YAC is all about.
  • The YAC is also launching a monthly social, to be held on the third Thursday of each month at a Boston-area restaurant or bar. The social provides an opportunity for alumni to get together in a relaxed, agenda-free setting each month. Check out the YAC Facebook page for announcements on when these and other events are taking place.

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Everychild Foundation is an alumni affair

every child foundation group

Boston University alumnae recently gathered before a board meeting of the Everychild Foundation in Santa Monica. Members of the Everychild Foundation, from left, Rosa Sinnott (CAS ’76), Lisa Finkelstein (spouse of William Finkelstein (’70), Jacqueline Jacobs Caster (’83), Diane Berliner (’80), Betsy Newman (SDM ’85), and Nancy McCabe (parent CGS’11).

Created by Jacobs Caster in 1999, the foundation is a Los Angeles nonprofit women's charity dedicated toward alleviating suffering of local children, due to disease, disability, abuse, neglect or poverty. The Foundation was recently selected "Outstanding Private Foundation of Los Angeles" by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

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Class Notes: On the Record

Among some of the recent highlights of alumni in the media:

>>View all alumni news here

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Class Notes: Awards and Accomplishments

Among some of the recent highlights

  • The Boston University Asylum and Human Rights program, working with 2005 JD alum Elizabeth Badger of Human Rights USA, succeeded March 18 in a petition for habeas corpus before the Middle District of Pennsylvania. >>See story.
  • Ober Kaler’s Christi Braun ('01) named An “Outstanding Healthcare Antitrust Lawyer." >>See press release.
  • Kevin M. Brennan ('00) named "Young Irishman of the Year" by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Oranges.
  • Darragh Davis ('80) named finalist in "2009 Corporate Counsel." >> San Diego Source
  • William H. Groner ('80) named a super lawyer by New York State Super Lawyer.
  • Tom Gunning ('87) named a "Leader in the Law" by New England In-House and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. >>See press release.
  • Cynthia Larose ('88) of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.'s Corporate section, and Laura Lonsdale ('01), Ombudsman for Tyco International, were selected by Boston University Woman's Law Association as the recipient of this year's Leila Josephine Robinson Award. The award, named after the first female law school graduate in Massachusetts and first woman admitted to the Massachusetts bar, was presented on April 8 at a reception hosted by Mintz Levin, including Richard Mikels ('72), chair of the firm's Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Commercial Law section.
    >>View press release.
  • Laura Maechtlen ('02) became a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in San Francisco.
  • Michael Menkowitz ('90) awarded "Leaders in Law" ranking in the 2010 Chambers USA Guide.
  • Michigan tax attorney Alan “the Horse” Miller (’65) was exonerated in a lawsuit that involved his client, race car driver and Dancing with The Stars winner Helio Castroneves. While in law school, Miller was an MVP football player for the Patriots and the Raiders. >>See story.
  • Brent O'Leary ('96) named in "Top 40 under 40" in Irish Echo
  • Justin Rand ('00) named Illinois Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers.
  • Peter Resnik ('70) named recipient of McDermott's 2010 Award for Outstanding Achievement and Commitment to Pro Bono and Service to the Community. >>See story.
  • Mount Ida College in Newton hired Jo Ann Rooney (LL.M.'91) as its sixth president. >>The Daily News Tribune.
  • Mark Scott ('95) became a partner at Duane Morris LLP's Miami office.
  • Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson (’76) is the first black person and the second woman on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. She was the first black woman appointed associate justice for the Rhode Island Superior Court, and the first black woman to serve on the R.I. District Court. >>See story.
  • Amy Komoroski Wiwi ('02) named to 2010 New Jersey Rising Stars List of Up-And-Coming Attorneys. >>See story.

>>View all alumni news here

About Class Notes:

  • Alumni features here are automatically populated by a news alert system. But please keep us in the loop! Have you had your work published recently? Win any awards? Did you become a partner? Do you have other news you would like to share with us for the next newsletter? To read and post class notes, simply log into your BU Law Connection here.
  • Share a memory: What was your favorite "watering hole" during your BU Law years? Email your answers to lawalum@bu.edu. We'll publish the results in the next newsletter.

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Faculty Focus

farnsworth

Our Faculty Podcast Series recently posted an interview with Ward Farnsworth, who talks about Supreme Court voting behavior in an interesting conversation with host and former WBZ news reporter Dan Rea ('74). Next, Mark Pettit discusses the first year of law school—what professors expect and what students need to know—and talks about his unique musical talents in the classroom.

Our podcast series is professionally produced by Legal Talk Network, and hosted by Dan Rea. Past podcasts include:

  • December: Professor Jay Wexler talks about his book Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars
  • January: Professor Linda McClain discusses women’s justice issues and gender law, as well as her recently published book Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women’s Equal Citizenship
  • February: Professor Michael Meurer shares his critically acclaimed book Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk
  • March: Professor Jim Fleming discusses his book Constitutional Interpretation: The Basic Questions.

To hear a podcast or subscribe to the series, go to the Legal Talk Network site or to the BU Law web site's multimedia section.

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Recent and upcoming events

You can find more details as well as a full listing of all upcoming events at BU Law by checking our online alumni calendar or the BU Law events calendar.

  • March 12–13 “Rights, Equality and Justice: A Conference Inspired by the Moral and Legal Theory of David Lyons” Hosted by BU Law and sponsored by the Boston University Humanities Foundation, this conference focused around the scholarly work of Law Alumni Scholar and Professor of Law David B. Lyons. If you have academic questions about the program, please contact Professor James E. Fleming.
  • March 18 Public Service Alumni Reception. Featuring the Public Service Award presentation. Hosted by Scott Frederickson ('77) and Sandy Winer ('74) at Foley & Lardner LLP Washington, D.C. 202.295.4799.
  • May 5 BU Law Professor Linda McClain discussed “From the White House to Your House: Negotiating Work, Love, and Family” at the BU Women's Guild annual meeting and scholarship award ceremony. Terrace Lounge, George Sherman Union 4 p.m. $35 for BUWG members; $40 for nonmembers. Cash bar. Register online by April 29.
  • May 10 Class of 2010 Pub Crawl: soon-to-be alumni joined in at the YAC-sponsored first stop. The YAC is also launching a monthly social, to be held on the third Thursday of each month at a Boston-area restaurant or bar.  Find more information about both at the YAC Facebook page.
  • May 16 School of Law Commencement 2010 9 a.m. Agganis Arena. A reception will follow at the Fitness and Recreation Center. The All-University Commencement is at 1 p.m.
  • July 17 It's BU Law Alumni Day at Fenway. Email lawalum@bu.edu for Red Sox tickets.

Please visit the alumni web site for the most recent event listings. For more information, please contact the Esdaile Alumni Center at 617.353.3118 or e-mail lawalum@bu.edu.

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