(L-R) Ari Diaconis ‘14 and Lynne Kolodinsky ‘14

The Cornell Law Library announced that Ari Diaconis ’14 and Lynne Kolodinsky ’14 were the first- and second-place recipients of the Robert Cantwell Prize for Exemplary Student Research.

Diaconis cast a wide net in compiling his research for The Religion of Alcoholics Anonymous: Applying the Clergy Privilege to Certain AA Communications, drawing from over 180 sources including in-person interviews, Bible scripture and empirical studies while also using traditional legal research and analysis.

Diaconis argued for the application of the clergy privilege to Alcoholics Anonymous (“AA”) by constructing a detailed history of AA from its origins to present day, relying on a variety of primary and secondary sources including interviews with current members. He then used that historical research to argue that AA constitutes a religion under Supreme Court precedent, providing analysis of the Court’s jurisprudence dating to the 19th Century.

“I learned a tremendous amount from conducting the research necessary for this Note,” he said of the process. “The most important of which include: (1) take things one piece at a time (even sentence by sentence at times); (2) pick topics that genuinely interest you; (3) do not always look for sources that support your thesis; rather, seek the truth; (4) do not trust everything you read; and (5) ask for help.”

For The Law Review Divide: A Study of Gender Diversity on the Top Twenty Law Reviews, Lynne Kolodinsky designed an original study to explore the apparent gender disparity among top law review journals and possible explanations for that gap. Building on previous scholarship on gender diversity in legal academia, her goal was to produce “the first comprehensive statistical analysis of independently reported and verified data on the gender diversity of law review membership.”

Kolodinsky collected school enrollment data from the archives of the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools and also gathered information on law review admissions processes as the basis for her study. She then combined her findings with a broader discussion of women’s evolving experiences in the traditionally male-dominated law school setting using a variety of more traditional legal scholarship sources.

“Without this experience, I doubt I would have had any exposure to [statistical] software in law school,” she said. “I also learned how to effectively synthesize empirics with theory to make an original argument that contributes to the broader sphere of academic studies relating to women’s experiences in the legal field.” 

About the Cantwell Prize:

A review panel comprised of Librarians Amy Emerson, Nina Scholtz and Mark Williams selected the winners from among 29 competitive entries. Submissions are judged on the sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of research materials; exceptional innovation in research strategy; and skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis.

Funding for the Prize is provided by an endowment given to the Law Library by Barbara Cantwell in honor of her late husband, Robert Cantwell ’56.

In addition to receiving a monetary award, the winners are invited to publish their papers in Scholarship@Cornell Law, the Law Library’s digital repository, and to feature their papers in Reading Room displays.

—Mark Williams

Students Examine Customary Law Up Close in South Africa Trip

For Law School students enrolled in LAW 6655: Customary Law and Social Change in Africa this past fall term, comparative law meant comparing up close, not just in the classroom. For three weeks, the 10 students taking the class traveled to South Africa with Muna B. Ndulo, professor of law and director of the Institute for African Development; it was the first time a Law School class had included a field trip component.

“You understand your own system better when you get exposed to other systems,” said Ndulo. “The students, I think that was a game-changer for them in terms of their perception of life and law.”

One of those students, Ebony Ray 2L, wholeheartedly agreed. “My experience in South Africa has changed my life,” she said. “The history was fascinating, infuriating, and encouraging all at the same time. It was incredibly eye-opening to learn so much about South Africa’s history and legal system while visiting and touring the very places where its history unfolded.”

Customary Law and Social Change in Africa focused on the plural law systems that are widespread throughout Africa, where customary law derived from indigenous practices coexisted with British Common Law and other legal systems that had been imported by European colonizers. The course examined how the two systems interacted and clashed in the courts, and also looked at issues like gender discrimination and land reform.

For the first part of the term, Ndulo taught the course in Ithaca with Cynthia Grant Bowman, the Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Law. However, while Bowman was supposed to travel to South Africa with the rest of the class, she was unable to go because of illness. In South Africa, the class was held at the University of Johannesburg, with the Cornell students taught in the mornings by Professors Elmien du Plessis and George Mphedi. Classes were only part of the trip though. “They were also immersed in society,” said Ndulo.

“They spent a whole day in Soweto, meeting the community there and discussing what the challenges are and the issues that they face,” Ndulo said. “And then they spent a whole day at the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in South Africa, learning its jurisprudence and how the court functions. And then they got immersed in a village to see the different cultures in South Africa, what they are about and that sort of thing.” Students also visited the Southern African Litigation Centre, a legal group that does high-profile human rights work throughout the region, and the leading South African woman’s organization Gender Links, as well as Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum and the Mogalakwena Game Reserve near South Africa’s border with Botswana.

The 2Ls and 3Ls that went to South Africa specialized in a variety of different fields, but Ndulo sees value in the class for all lawyers in training. “Increasingly, in the world there’s really so much interaction,” he says. “If you look at the challenges of the environment, you know, the environment impacts everywhere. You’re not immune to what China’s doing or South Africa’s doing. And in order to really address environmental issues you have to understand what the challenges are elsewhere. So I think that it’s something that increasingly is going to be very important for everybody.”

Ray says that her experiences in South Africa have had a lasting impact on her outlook on the world, and her future in legal field. “I now see the world as a global citizen, not just as an American. I now have a better understanding of the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world and am interested in working to meet these challenges,” she said. “In fact, when selecting a practice group for my law firm summer program, I chose Project Development and Finance, which advises on infrastructure projects all over the world. I am particularly interested in the ways lawyers manage political and financial risks while balancing client needs with sustainability and the long-term goals of developing nations.”

The Customary Law and Social Change in Africa was so successful that it has gone back onto the calendar for this coming fall. Ndulo says he has seen a lot of interest in the class both from within the Law School, and from the rest of Cornell University. For the upcoming class, he said, students from the wider university will be able to register, but only if there are not enough Law students to fill the course.

 

  Students Examine Customary Law Up Close in South Africa Trip

For Law School students enrolled in LAW 6655: Customary Law and Social Change in Africa this past fall term, comparative law meant comparing up close, not just in the classroom. For three weeks, the 10 students taking the class traveled to South Africa with Muna B. Ndulo, professor of law and director of the Institute for African Development; it was the first time a Law School class had included a field trip component.

“You understand your own system better when you get exposed to other systems,” said Ndulo. “The students, I think that was a game-changer for them in terms of their perception of life and law.”

One of those students, Ebony Ray 2L, wholeheartedly agreed. “My experience in South Africa has changed my life,” she said. “The history was fascinating, infuriating, and encouraging all at the same time. It was incredibly eye-opening to learn so much about South Africa’s history and legal system while visiting and touring the very places where its history unfolded.”

Customary Law and Social Change in Africa focused on the plural law systems that are widespread throughout Africa, where customary law derived from indigenous practices coexisted with British Common Law and other legal systems that had been imported by European colonizers. The course examined how the two systems interacted and clashed in the courts, and also looked at issues like gender discrimination and land reform.

For the first part of the term, Ndulo taught the course in Ithaca with Cynthia Grant Bowman, the Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Law. However, while Bowman was supposed to travel to South Africa with the rest of the class, she was unable to go because of illness. In South Africa, the class was held at the University of Johannesburg, with the Cornell students taught in the mornings by Professors Elmien du Plessis and George Mphedi. Classes were only part of the trip though. “They were also immersed in society,” said Ndulo.

“They spent a whole day in Soweto, meeting the community there and discussing what the challenges are and the issues that they face,” Ndulo said. “And then they spent a whole day at the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in South Africa, learning its jurisprudence and how the court functions. And then they got immersed in a village to see the different cultures in South Africa, what they are about and that sort of thing.” Students also visited the Southern African Litigation Centre, a legal group that does high-profile human rights work throughout the region, and the leading South African woman’s organization Gender Links, as well as Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum and the Mogalakwena Game Reserve near South Africa’s border with Botswana.

The 2Ls and 3Ls that went to South Africa specialized in a variety of different fields, but Ndulo sees value in the class for all lawyers in training. “Increasingly, in the world there’s really so much interaction,” he says. “If you look at the challenges of the environment, you know, the environment impacts everywhere. You’re not immune to what China’s doing or South Africa’s doing. And in order to really address environmental issues you have to understand what the challenges are elsewhere. So I think that it’s something that increasingly is going to be very important for everybody.”

Ray says that her experiences in South Africa have had a lasting impact on her outlook on the world, and her future in legal field. “I now see the world as a global citizen, not just as an American. I now have a better understanding of the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world and am interested in working to meet these challenges,” she said. “In fact, when selecting a practice group for my law firm summer program, I chose Project Development and Finance, which advises on infrastructure projects all over the world. I am particularly interested in the ways lawyers manage political and financial risks while balancing client needs with sustainability and the long-term goals of developing nations.”

The Customary Law and Social Change in Africa was so successful that it has gone back onto the calendar for this coming fall. Ndulo says he has seen a lot of interest in the class both from within the Law School, and from the rest of Cornell University. For the upcoming class, he said, students from the wider university will be able to register, but only if there are not enough Law students to fill the course.

 

  Students Examine Customary Law Up Close in South Africa Trip

For Law School students enrolled in LAW 6655: Customary Law and Social Change in Africa this past fall term, comparative law meant comparing up close, not just in the classroom. For three weeks, the 10 students taking the class traveled to South Africa with Muna B. Ndulo, professor of law and director of the Institute for African Development; it was the first time a Law School class had included a field trip component.

“You understand your own system better when you get exposed to other systems,” said Ndulo. “The students, I think that was a game-changer for them in terms of their perception of life and law.”

One of those students, Ebony Ray 2L, wholeheartedly agreed. “My experience in South Africa has changed my life,” she said. “The history was fascinating, infuriating, and encouraging all at the same time. It was incredibly eye-opening to learn so much about South Africa’s history and legal system while visiting and touring the very places where its history unfolded.”

Customary Law and Social Change in Africa focused on the plural law systems that are widespread throughout Africa, where customary law derived from indigenous practices coexisted with British Common Law and other legal systems that had been imported by European colonizers. The course examined how the two systems interacted and clashed in the courts, and also looked at issues like gender discrimination and land reform.

For the first part of the term, Ndulo taught the course in Ithaca with Cynthia Grant Bowman, the Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Law. However, while Bowman was supposed to travel to South Africa with the rest of the class, she was unable to go because of illness. In South Africa, the class was held at the University of Johannesburg, with the Cornell students taught in the mornings by Professors Elmien du Plessis and George Mphedi. Classes were only part of the trip though. “They were also immersed in society,” said Ndulo.

“They spent a whole day in Soweto, meeting the community there and discussing what the challenges are and the issues that they face,” Ndulo said. “And then they spent a whole day at the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in South Africa, learning its jurisprudence and how the court functions. And then they got immersed in a village to see the different cultures in South Africa, what they are about and that sort of thing.” Students also visited the Southern African Litigation Centre, a legal group that does high-profile human rights work throughout the region, and the leading South African woman’s organization Gender Links, as well as Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum and the Mogalakwena Game Reserve near South Africa’s border with Botswana.

The 2Ls and 3Ls that went to South Africa specialized in a variety of different fields, but Ndulo sees value in the class for all lawyers in training. “Increasingly, in the world there’s really so much interaction,” he says. “If you look at the challenges of the environment, you know, the environment impacts everywhere. You’re not immune to what China’s doing or South Africa’s doing. And in order to really address environmental issues you have to understand what the challenges are elsewhere. So I think that it’s something that increasingly is going to be very important for everybody.”

Ray says that her experiences in South Africa have had a lasting impact on her outlook on the world, and her future in legal field. “I now see the world as a global citizen, not just as an American. I now have a better understanding of the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world and am interested in working to meet these challenges,” she said. “In fact, when selecting a practice group for my law firm summer program, I chose Project Development and Finance, which advises on infrastructure projects all over the world. I am particularly interested in the ways lawyers manage political and financial risks while balancing client needs with sustainability and the long-term goals of developing nations.”

The Customary Law and Social Change in Africa was so successful that it has gone back onto the calendar for this coming fall. Ndulo says he has seen a lot of interest in the class both from within the Law School, and from the rest of Cornell University. For the upcoming class, he said, students from the wider university will be able to register, but only if there are not enough Law students to fill the course.

 

  Students Examine Customary Law Up Close in South Africa Trip

For Law School students enrolled in LAW 6655: Customary Law and Social Change in Africa this past fall term, comparative law meant comparing up close, not just in the classroom. For three weeks, the 10 students taking the class traveled to South Africa with Muna B. Ndulo, professor of law and director of the Institute for African Development; it was the first time a Law School class had included a field trip component.

“You understand your own system better when you get exposed to other systems,” said Ndulo. “The students, I think that was a game-changer for them in terms of their perception of life and law.”

One of those students, Ebony Ray 2L, wholeheartedly agreed. “My experience in South Africa has changed my life,” she said. “The history was fascinating, infuriating, and encouraging all at the same time. It was incredibly eye-opening to learn so much about South Africa’s history and legal system while visiting and touring the very places where its history unfolded.”

Customary Law and Social Change in Africa focused on the plural law systems that are widespread throughout Africa, where customary law derived from indigenous practices coexisted with British Common Law and other legal systems that had been imported by European colonizers. The course examined how the two systems interacted and clashed in the courts, and also looked at issues like gender discrimination and land reform.

For the first part of the term, Ndulo taught the course in Ithaca with Cynthia Grant Bowman, the Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Law. However, while Bowman was supposed to travel to South Africa with the rest of the class, she was unable to go because of illness. In South Africa, the class was held at the University of Johannesburg, with the Cornell students taught in the mornings by Professors Elmien du Plessis and George Mphedi. Classes were only part of the trip though. “They were also immersed in society,” said Ndulo.

“They spent a whole day in Soweto, meeting the community there and discussing what the challenges are and the issues that they face,” Ndulo said. “And then they spent a whole day at the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in South Africa, learning its jurisprudence and how the court functions. And then they got immersed in a village to see the different cultures in South Africa, what they are about and that sort of thing.” Students also visited the Southern African Litigation Centre, a legal group that does high-profile human rights work throughout the region, and the leading South African woman’s organization Gender Links, as well as Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum and the Mogalakwena Game Reserve near South Africa’s border with Botswana.

The 2Ls and 3Ls that went to South Africa specialized in a variety of different fields, but Ndulo sees value in the class for all lawyers in training. “Increasingly, in the world there’s really so much interaction,” he says. “If you look at the challenges of the environment, you know, the environment impacts everywhere. You’re not immune to what China’s doing or South Africa’s doing. And in order to really address environmental issues you have to understand what the challenges are elsewhere. So I think that it’s something that increasingly is going to be very important for everybody.”

Ray says that her experiences in South Africa have had a lasting impact on her outlook on the world, and her future in legal field. “I now see the world as a global citizen, not just as an American. I now have a better understanding of the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world and am interested in working to meet these challenges,” she said. “In fact, when selecting a practice group for my law firm summer program, I chose Project Development and Finance, which advises on infrastructure projects all over the world. I am particularly interested in the ways lawyers manage political and financial risks while balancing client needs with sustainability and the long-term goals of developing nations.”

The Customary Law and Social Change in Africa was so successful that it has gone back onto the calendar for this coming fall. Ndulo says he has seen a lot of interest in the class both from within the Law School, and from the rest of Cornell University. For the upcoming class, he said, students from the wider university will be able to register, but only if there are not enough Law students to fill the course.

 

 

Students Examine Customary Law Up Close in South Africa Trip

For Law School students enrolled in LAW 6655: Customary Law and Social Change in Africa this past fall term, comparative law meant comparing up close, not just in the classroom. For three weeks, the 10 students taking the class traveled to South Africa with Muna B. Ndulo, professor of law and director of the Institute for African Development; it was the first time a Law School class had included a field trip component.

“You understand your own system better when you get exposed to other systems,” said Ndulo. “The students, I think that was a game-changer for them in terms of their perception of life and law.”

One of those students, Ebony Ray 2L, wholeheartedly agreed. “My experience in South Africa has changed my life,” she said. “The history was fascinating, infuriating, and encouraging all at the same time. It was incredibly eye-opening to learn so much about South Africa’s history and legal system while visiting and touring the very places where its history unfolded.”

Customary Law and Social Change in Africa focused on the plural law systems that are widespread throughout Africa, where customary law derived from indigenous practices coexisted with British Common Law and other legal systems that had been imported by European colonizers. The course examined how the two systems interacted and clashed in the courts, and also looked at issues like gender discrimination and land reform.

For the first part of the term, Ndulo taught the course in Ithaca with Cynthia Grant Bowman, the Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Law. However, while Bowman was supposed to travel to South Africa with the rest of the class, she was unable to go because of illness. In South Africa, the class was held at the University of Johannesburg, with the Cornell students taught in the mornings by Professors Elmien du Plessis and George Mphedi. Classes were only part of the trip though. “They were also immersed in society,” said Ndulo.

“They spent a whole day in Soweto, meeting the community there and discussing what the challenges are and the issues that they face,” Ndulo said. “And then they spent a whole day at the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in South Africa, learning its jurisprudence and how the court functions. And then they got immersed in a village to see the different cultures in South Africa, what they are about and that sort of thing.” Students also visited the Southern African Litigation Centre, a legal group that does high-profile human rights work throughout the region, and the leading South African woman’s organization Gender Links, as well as Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum and the Mogalakwena Game Reserve near South Africa’s border with Botswana.

The 2Ls and 3Ls that went to South Africa specialized in a variety of different fields, but Ndulo sees value in the class for all lawyers in training. “Increasingly, in the world there’s really so much interaction,” he says. “If you look at the challenges of the environment, you know, the environment impacts everywhere. You’re not immune to what China’s doing or South Africa’s doing. And in order to really address environmental issues you have to understand what the challenges are elsewhere. So I think that it’s something that increasingly is going to be very important for everybody.”

Ray says that her experiences in South Africa have had a lasting impact on her outlook on the world, and her future in legal field. “I now see the world as a global citizen, not just as an American. I now have a better understanding of the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world and am interested in working to meet these challenges,” she said. “In fact, when selecting a practice group for my law firm summer program, I chose Project Development and Finance, which advises on infrastructure projects all over the world. I am particularly interested in the ways lawyers manage political and financial risks while balancing client needs with sustainability and the long-term goals of developing nations.”

The Customary Law and Social Change in Africa was so successful that it has gone back onto the calendar for this coming fall. Ndulo says he has seen a lot of interest in the class both from within the Law School, and from the rest of Cornell University. For the upcoming class, he said, students from the wider university will be able to register, but only if there are not enough Law students to fill the course.

 

 

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School


“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”
Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives. 
A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.” 
Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 
With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.
Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.
“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

“The Fall of Prop 8”: Plaintiffs of Hollingsworth v. Perry  Visit the Law School

“I think we were chosen because we were so ordinary,” said Kris Perry, namesake of the landmark Supreme Court case Hollingsworth v. Perry, as she addressed members of the Cornell Law community on April 23. Joined by wife and fellow plaintiff Sandy Stier, Perry was at the Law School for “The Fall of Prop 8,” a conversation on the legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The event was organized by Lambda, Cornell Law’s Association for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally community, and moderated by Michael Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law. In his introduction, Dorf, who edits the Constitutional Law Stories book series, remarked, “For me this is a special treat, to have an actual constitutional law story come to life before us.”

Perry and Stier, who have been together since 1997 and are the parents of four sons, first tried to marry in 2004, when the city of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Four years later, after California’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry, the two thought they had another chance. Shortly thereafter, however, the Proposition 8 ballot initiative passed, effectively rolling back the court decision. When a legal team seeking to challenge Prop 8 approached Perry and Stier to be plaintiffs, they agreed, signing on to a case that would make its way through district and appellate courts before finally appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Presenting before a packed lecture hall at the Law School, Perry and Stier shared the behind-the-scenes details of the four-year case, from the campaign’s three-tiered strategy of legal action, public education, and depoliticization, to the ways that being plaintiffs affected their personal lives.

A major topic was the preparation Perry and Stier underwent before the district-court deposition and subsequent trial. The couple stressed the trust and support that developed between them and their legal team, which Perry referred to as “this incredible partnership between legal minds and regular people.” After their “very grueling but also satisfying” testimony concluded and the legal team moved on to its expert witnesses, “we could let our hair down and just enjoy the process,” said Stier. “We felt like, over the next twelve days, we got a Ph.D. in the history of marriage and marriage equality.”

Seven months after that trial ended, the district court ruled in Perry and Stier’s favor. Reflecting on the August 2010 decision, Perry told the audience of law students that, as someone who had typically felt excluded, “it really changed my whole perspective on being an American” to confront an injustice through the legal process and to feel that the process actually worked. “I know that’s not always the case,” she added, “but I know that’s why you’re here—because you believe that it does work.” 

With proponents of Prop 8 appealing the district-court ruling and a subsequent appellate-court ruling that upheld it, Hollingsworth v. Perry ultimately landed before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 26, 2013, the same day it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the court ruled that the proponents of Prop 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court decision in the plaintiff’s favor. The victory, based as it was on standing rather than merit, was “bittersweet,” said Perry. It did, however, have the effect of legalizing same-sex marriage in California, and that month she and Stier returned home to become the first same-sex couple to wed in the state.

Following their presentation, Perry and Stier took audience questions, which touched on diverse aspects of their experience, from the initial skepticism of mainstream LGBT-rights groups toward the case, to the logistics of being involved in such a lengthy legal process (“We used all of our vacation days for five years,” noted Perry), to which actresses should play the two in the event that a movie is made of the story (“Naomi Watts,” volunteered Stier). Asked about the next frontier for LGBT litigation, Perry pointed to employment non-discrimination, and Stier added that there are “endless opportunities” at the international level.

“The Fall of Prop 8” was cosponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Finance Commission, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, Cornell Law Students Association, Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic, and the California Law Student Association.

4
justia:

A Limiting Principle for the Donald Sterling CaseCornell law professor Michael Dorf proposes a limiting principle to explain the NBA’s treatment of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. If private speech can be the basis for employment decisions generally, then Sterling’s example could be highly problematic. If, however, Sterling is understood as having created a hostile work environment under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, then the potentially broad and troubling employment implications of disciplining private speech are appropriately curtailed.

justia:

A Limiting Principle for the Donald Sterling Case

Cornell law professor Michael Dorf proposes a limiting principle to explain the NBA’s treatment of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. If private speech can be the basis for employment decisions generally, then Sterling’s example could be highly problematic. If, however, Sterling is understood as having created a hostile work environment under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, then the potentially broad and troubling employment implications of disciplining private speech are appropriately curtailed.

Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”
“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”





Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”
“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”





Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”
“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”





Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”
“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”





Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”
“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”





Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”
“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”





Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”
“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”





Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”
“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”

Law School Honors Dean Schwab

On April 23, students, staff, and faculty came together to celebrate the tenure of Stewart J. Schwab, Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, and to formally open the new academic wing, one of his most significant accomplishments in ten years leading the Law School.

“It is fitting that these two events should be combined, as it is due to Stewart’s vision, leadership, and tireless efforts that this building project has come to fruition,” said Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law, delivering the opening speech in the school’s new 170-seat auditorium. “The need for the space had been obvious for years before Stewart became dean. But he made sure it actually happened.”

Following a slide show of Schwab’s career, beginning with his arrival as a young, bearded, newly appointed professor in 1983, and closing with an older, wiser dean addressing the graduating Class of 2013, Holden-Smith offered her list of Schwab’s major achievements. He oversaw the renewal and growth of the faculty; improved the Law School’s connections with the rest of the university; increased its academic partnerships to more than two dozen institutions around the world; created clinics in international human rights, juvenile justice, labor law, LGBT rights, and securities law; expanded the business law curriculum and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and helped found the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and Africa, and the Cornell e-Rulemaking Institute.

Stepping up to the lectern, Kevin Clermont called Schwab “our Sun King” and described the new addition as “not quite the Versailles of Louis XIV, but pretty darn nice.”

“From the envisioning to the groundbreaking to today, Stewart has gotten his hands dirty with work, to be sure,” said Clermont, Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and chair of the building committee. “He prioritized the need for new space. He explored the very diverse alternatives for satisfying the need. He assembled the teams to realize his choice. And he pushed this Phase I to completion. It is only Phase I, but it achieves a lot: It dramatically reorients our building and finally integrates the courtyard into the structure. It facilitates way-finding, as architects like to say. And it fosters that sense of community that Stewart has done so much to enhance.”

Next came Alex Harris, past president of the Cornell Law Student Association, with another list of Schwab’s accomplishments: inviting the entire entering class into his home; starting the weekly perk; making himself available during office hours; adding deals seminars to the curriculum; creating a transactional lawyering competition; linking with the ILR School’s Scheinman Institute to support international arbitration; establishing Meridian 180; offering internships with judges in international courts; doubling the number of faculty members in international and comparative law; and tripling the number of international exchange programs.

“None of these would have been possible without Dean Schwab’s support,” he said. “No amount of words could ever account for all that Dean Schwab has done, but I’ll try: Dean Schwab, your selfless dedication to this school has made it a better place for all of us, and we will all be better lawyers because of you.”

Finally, it was Schwab’s turn, and after a hearty round of applause, he launched into a metaphor borrowed from one of his mentors: that being a dean is like driving a car. You have four tires—students, faculty, alumni, and administrators—and you keep moving forward until the tires wear out, or blow out, and if you’re lucky, you can switch them to the next dean with some tread still remaining. (He hesitated to call the staff a fifth wheel, and suggested they were more like the engine that kept the car running.) Then, turning serious, he talked about the new addition.

“I agree with those who say it is more important who is in the building and what goes on in the building, than the building itself,” said Schwab. “But a great building can inspire, can create connections, can bolster what we do. The hallmarks of our new East Wing are its openness, its clarity, its accessibility. These are metaphors for what we aspire to in law as well as in the Law School.”

Moving the party upstairs, with architect Ann Beha, Clermont, Harris, Holden-Smith, Associate Dean Richard F. Robinson, and a pair of big red scissors, Schwab cut the ribbon in the school’s new entrance and adjourned for coffee and pastries. By then, he must have thought the celebrations were over—but instead, they continued the next weekend, when he and his wife, Norma, met with the Law School Advisory Council in New York City, where they received another surprise.

In honor of both Stewart and Norma, the lawn above the new wing has been officially designated the Schwab Lawn. In addition, with a total gift of more than $800,000, collected from close to 100 donors, an endowed scholarship has also been established in their names. “When we undertook this project, I was told that our goals were aspirational and that I was in for a frustrating experience,” said Franci J. Blassberg ’77, chair of the Advisory Council, presenting the Schwabs with a planted rendition of the lawn and a cake covered in grassy green icing. “That could not be further from the truth. It was not a hard sell at all. I recall telling one relatively young alumna that she didn’t have to stretch to make this gift. She said, ‘I want to. It’s for Stewart and Norma. They’re the best.’ She’s right.”

“Generations of students, faculty, and alumni will be walking across the Schwab Lawn for years to come,” continued Blassberg, highlighting the space as the Law School’s link to the rest of the university. “We hope that some of them will think about the incredible contributions that Stewart and Norma have made to the spirit of our school as a haven for scholarship, teaching, public service, and intellectual engagement.”

Jeremy Amar-Dolan ’14 (left); Greg Large, Union President, ICWU/UFCW Local 192-C; and Benjamin Hawkins ’15

 

The Labor Law Clinic at Cornell Law School achieved a victory in a labor arbitration students tackled this semester. Jeremy Amar-Dolan ’14 and Benjamin Hawkins ’15 handled the case on behalf of Deborah Sobotka, who was terminated from her job at a plant in Auburn, New York, for being late. The neutral arbitrator of the case ruled that Sobotka was fired unjustly and that she be reinstated with full back pay.

Amar-Dolan and Hawkins handled all aspects of the evidentiary hearing for the case, including the opening, cross-examinations of the company’s witnesses, direct examinations of their witnesses, evidentiary issues, and the post-arbitration brief. Under the collective bargaining agreement between the company and its unionized employees, the company is obliged to provide employees with warnings before firing them. The parties disagreed on the contract language at issue in the case, but the arbitrator was persuaded by the students’ arguments and presentation of the case that the termination was inconsistent with just cause.

In commenting on the case, Hawkins said, “This was one of the most enjoyable and educational experiences of my law school career. I feel incredibly lucky to be attending a law school that offers its students the opportunity to gain practical skills in the field of labor law.” Amar-Dolan added, “it was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had in law school. Most of all, it was great that we were able to help reach such a good result for our client.”

The students first mediated this dispute with the help of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.  However, when the parties could not agree on the settlement, the case then went on to final and binding arbitration.

The Labor Law Clinic provides a unique opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of the substantive law and procedures that govern workers who organize collectively into unions. In the clinic, students regularly address a range of traditional labor law inquiries. Some of the most demanding cases for students are the arbitrations that address whether a worker’s termination was consistent with just cause.

1
Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed
La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda. 
Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.
Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”
“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”
The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.
The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   
Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.
Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.” 
—Ian McGullam Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed
La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda. 
Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.
Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”
“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”
The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.
The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   
Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.
Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.” 
—Ian McGullam Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed
La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda. 
Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.
Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”
“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”
The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.
The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   
Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.
Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.” 
—Ian McGullam Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed
La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda. 
Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.
Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”
“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”
The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.
The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   
Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.
Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.” 
—Ian McGullam Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed
La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda. 
Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.
Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”
“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”
The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.
The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   
Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.
Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.” 
—Ian McGullam Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed
La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda. 
Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.
Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”
“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”
The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.
The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   
Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.
Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.” 
—Ian McGullam Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed
La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda. 
Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.
Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”
“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”
The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.
The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   
Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.
Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.” 
—Ian McGullam Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed
La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda. 
Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.
Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”
“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”
The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.
The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   
Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.
Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.” 
—Ian McGullam

Professional Development Boot Camp Gives Minority Students Skills and Connections to Succeed

La Tourelle Resort and Spa buzzed with conversation on Friday night as dozens of black, Latino, and Native American Cornell Law students mingled with lawyers who had made the trip up to Ithaca for the weekend. A fun start to the weekend, yes, but also serious business—the third-annual Professional Development Boot Camp was getting underway, and networking was definitely on the agenda.

Organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA), and the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the boot camp, held March 21 and 22 at La Tourelle and Myron Taylor Hall, aimed to connect first- and second-year law students with lawyers who had shared their experiences, and to help them hone the skills they will need to succeed in the legal job market. During the weekend, students participated in workshops and panels with seasoned lawyers from law firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to learn about career options, get advice for networking with potential employers, and participate in mock interviews. Law School upperclassmen also spoke to students about how to prepare for the August Job Fair and how to make the most of the summer associate experience.

Len Kennedy ‘77, a former BLSA member whose varied career has included serving as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first general counsel, gave the keynote address to boot camp attendees at La Tourelle. Kennedy, who is currently general counsel and vice president at Neustar, spoke about a friend of his who had joined the military and gone through a very different type of boot camp, volunteering for one new training program after another. “Now, I’m sure you’re not likely to have an experience like that during this weekend,” he said. “Nevertheless, you should extend yourself, in role-play, in rehearsals, in concentrated thought about the skills you’d like to acquire here and present to potential employers in just a few months. Do remember that the very premise of boot camp is that all who exert themselves will find the resources and skills to thrive, not just survive.”

“The professional development boot camp is an opportunity for first-year law students who are members of our organizations to really get an insight into the recruitment process for law firms,” says Nora Ali ‘15, the president of BLSA and a boot camp organizer. “Minorities have a challenging time knowing what law firms are looking for. A lot of us are the first in our families to go to law school. Boot camp is an opportunity for them to get a head start on the recruiting process.”

The Professional Development Boot Camp was started in 2012 by LALSA, with BLSA joining that first year. This year, LALSA and BLSA were pleased to have NALSA participate for the first time. “We all have similar experiences as underrepresented minorities going into a law firm that has no Native American, black, or Latino partners. I think part of the purpose of the boot camp is to create allies in that experience,” said NALSA President Rose Nimkiins Petoskey ‘15.

The boot camp’s popularity has grown each year: over seventy-five students attended this year’s event. The majority of them were first-year students, and the program was largely geared towards preparing them for fall recruiting. However, said LALSA Vice President Oscar Lopez ‘15, “We have panels for second-years so they can be prepared for the summer that’s coming up. That’s usually the year you’re going to be working for a law firm or in the public interest sector. And so third-year students and some recent graduates who recently went through that second summer come to those panels and speak about the experiences they had and how to better prepare for them. Just to give you advice on whatever it is they feel that you should know that no one told you.”   

Some 28 attorneys spoke on the panels, both Cornell alumni and other diverse attorneys, eager to expose boot camp participants to various legal career paths and assist them with preparing for the legal recruiting process. Organizers also said they had a record number of firms sponsoring the boot camp. “”We are extremely grateful to all the firms and attorneys for their generosity and willingness to participate,” said Ali.

Ali and the other organizers say that participants have had nothing but good experiences over the weekend. “While I came in with high expectations on the benefits we would derive from interacting with legal professions on an intimate basis, they were far exceeded,” said Zellnor Myrie ‘16, a BLSA member. “Not only was it helpful to get candid personal and professional advice from men and women at the top of their profession, it was particularly powerful to see successful lawyers that looked like me.”

Ian McGullam

At a reception in the Berger Atrium on April 22, Professor Charles K.Whitehead received the 16th annual Anne Lukingbeal Award. Named after its first recipient, Associate Dean and Dean of Students Anne Lukingbeal, the award is presented to a member of the faculty or staff who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the women of Cornell. The Women’s Law Coalition (WLC), a student organization that advocates for women at the Law School and in the legal profession through educational outreach and philanthropic activities, established the award in 1999. Recipients are selected through a vote of the students. Past recipients include Professor Sheri Lynn Johnson, Professor Bernadette Meyler, Vice Dean and Professor Barbara Holden-Smith, Assistant Dean Karen Comstock, Professor Sherry Colb, and Professor Michelle Whelan.

“[Professor Whitehead] is a wonderful professor, advisor, and mentor,” said former WLC president Christine Kim, speaking at the reception. Kim recognized Whitehead “for the commitment he has demonstrated to advancing women in the legal profession” and made special note of his “invaluable” contributions to the WLC’s annual “Raising the Bar” conference. 

Accepting the award, Whitehead told attendees, “I was touched and honored to learn I would receive the Anne Lukingbeal Award. Few things are as important to teachers as the impact they can have on the lives of the students they have the privilege of knowing and teaching. And, at Cornell, it is a real privilege, one that my colleagues and I have the honor of sharing every day.” 

He added, “There is a strong sense of community here that outside these walls is a lot less common than you might expect. Perhaps it’s because we’re in Ithaca or perhaps it’s the weather, but I’m certain it’s in no small part due to the strength of character that brought you to Myron Taylor Hall in the first place. I’ve had the chance to get to know many of you, and it would be hard to assemble a more decent, a more thoughtful group of people.  And so I’m particularly proud to be a part of this community, studying with and learning from a remarkable group of young professionals.”