Touro professor Jack Graves and Pitt Law professors Ron Brand and Harry Flechtner during a field trip to Split, Croatia;
In July 2010, Pitt Law joined with Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and the University of Zagreb Faculty of Law to launch a new summer law program in Croatia. The Institute of International Commercial Law & Dispute Resolution is a four-week program, taught by leaders in the field including Pitt Law Professors Ronald Brand and Harry Flechtner. It provides a broad introduction to international business transactions, followed by a focused examination of the law governing international sales of goods and international commercial arbitration. Starting with three weeks of instruction, the program culminated with a weeklong simulation of a dispute to develop students’ skills.
Ten Pitt Law students joined twenty-one other students from the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovena, Brazil, Croatia, India, Kosovo, Oman, and Tunisia for the inaugural program. Many of these students will use this experience as preparation for participation in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. Dean Mary Crossley said of the program, “Partnering with two fine law faculties to present this collaborative Croatian summer program gives Pitt Law and the Center for International Legal Education a wonderful opportunity to build on our established strength in the area of international sales law and our experience in coaching students who are competing in the Vis Moot competition.”
Sheila Vélez Martinez, who joins the School’s faculty as a visiting clinical assistant professor of law, will lead the clinic.
This fall the School of Law launches its newest clinic: an Immigration Law Clinic focusing on asylum and deportation proceedings. Sheila Vélez Martinez, who joins the School’s faculty as a visiting clinical assistant professor of law, will lead the clinic.
Professor Vélez served recently as the director of the Immigration Clinic at the Hostos Law School in Puerto Rico, where she has been a pioneer in raising the issue of domestic violence and immigrant women. She has also served as the executive director of the Puerto Rico Bar Association and has provided immigration law training at the Judicial Academy of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. She received her J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico Law School and her B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico.
In developing the Immigration Clinic, Professor Vélez will partner with community groups including Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Catholic Charities, and a new initiative created to increase diversity as the Pittsburgh region emerges as a world-class city. That initiative, which has provided seed funding for the clinic, is a collaboration of the civic, corporate, academic and foundation communities and will launch this fall. Working with these organizations, Professor Vélez will address the legal needs of local immigrants in asylum and removal proceedings. Her goal is to expose students to the impact that law and legal institutions have on the lives of immigrants, while fostering students’ ability to integrate their theoretical knowledge with professional judgment.
Jessie Allen joins the faculty of the School of Law this fall as assistant professor of law. She will teach legal process and professional responsibility in her first year at Pitt. Her other teaching interests include civil rights, voting rights, jurisprudence, federal courts, and race and law.
Professor Allen’s scholarly interests likewise cover a broad range, addressing problems in civil procedure, civil rights, and torts, and are grounded in her extensive experience litigating federal civil rights and voting rights cases and in public policy research, analysis, and advocacy through positions as senior attorney with the Voter Protection Program of the Advancement Project and associate counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Professor Allen has also served as acting assistant professor and as lecturer at NYU.
Professor Allen received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School. Following law school she was a Bristow Fellow with the Office of the U.S. Solicitor General, and clerked for both the Honorable Pierre N. Leval of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Edward R. Korman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She received her J.S.D. from Columbia University Law School and holds an M.F.A. in theater from New York University School of the Arts.
Bringing two decades of experience in higher education, placement and executive recruiting to his new post, Don Rieley has been named Pitt Law’s new director of career services. Rieley describes his primary tasks as “alumni and employer outreach, looking all around the mid-Atlantic region. We’ll certainly collaborate on utilizing resources to facilitate helping students — in the building, at the University and beyond.”
In addition to 13 years in administration at Virginia Tech, where he earned his undergraduate and M.B.A. degrees, Rieley was most recently a consultant for higher education and marketing clients with the Gerson Lehman Group in New York City. Don’s priorities include increasing the number of employers who either recruit at the Law School or otherwise consider Pitt Law students for positions, increasing the level of student engagement with CSO and participation in its offerings, and employing innovative approaches to help students develop effective job search strategies.
Professor Bart De Schutter, president of the Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (third from left), speaking at Pitt Law’s E.U.-U.S. Rule of Law conference.
On May 6–7, 2010, the University of Pittsburgh’s European Union Center of Excellence, Pitt Law’s Center for International Legal Education (CILE), and the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel cosponsored a conference on “Promoting the Rule of Law: Cooperation and Competition in the EU-US Relationship.” Participants at the Pittsburgh conference included representatives from, among others, the Council and Commission of the European Union, the European Court of Justice, the Council of Europe, the International Bar Association, the ABA Section of International Law, the U.S. Army JAG Corps, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as academics, including four members of the Pitt Law faculty. According to CILE Director and conference coordinator, Professor Ronald Brand, “The conference was unique in both the effort to identify the various rule of law programs sponsored by the U.S. and the E.U. and to consider the benefits of coordinating those programs.” Papers from the conference will be published in Volume 72, issue 2, of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review.
Ali Saras has joined the Law School Development and Alumni Relations Office as the new director of constituent relations. Her responsibilities include building relationships with graduates from the Law School by establishing individual connections, developing alumni programs, and coordinating law school alumni events.
A Pittsburgh area native, Saras returns to the city from Villanova University School of Law, where she served as assistant director of development. She previously served as assistant director of the university’s annual fund and earned a master’s in public administration from Villanova in 2009. She is a 2006 graduate of Penn State University.
Among the first projects on her fall calendar is coordinating a September reception for Washington D.C. alumni. The honorary host for the event is U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, ’62, (R-Utah). She will also oversee the Pitt Law alumni weekend Oct. 29–30 and will work with the University’s Pitt Panther On the Road series, which connects alumni at out of town football games.
Saras calls her homecoming “a very exciting opportunity. The alums here are very involved and want to be engaged.”