Three distinguished members of the Pitt Law Class of ’57 returned to campus to present a provocative panel discussion on the “Ethical Challenges facing Attorneys and Law Schools.”
Dick Thornburgh, Derrick Bell and Norman Rubash spoke before a capacity crowd at the Barco Law Building’s Teplitz Memorial Courtroom, offering more than 150 years of collective legal experience in legal education, politics, government, and business.
Thornburgh is a former U.S. attorney general, governor of Pennsylvania and Undersecretary General of the United Nations. He is presently a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Pittsburgh and is of counsel with the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP.
Derrick Bell is a visiting professor of constitutional law at New York University School of Law and renowned author of several books, including Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth. Professor Bell was the first African-American to receive tenure at Harvard Law School.
Norman Rubash is the former international executive vice president of Amoco Corporation.
Third-year Pitt Law students Todd Pappasergi and Ryan Stewart won the Gourley Mock Trial Competition, sponsored by the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County. The Pitt Law team faced competition from teams from American University, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, Penn State-Dickinson, and William and Mary.
This past year, the Pitt Law Environmental Moot Court team also advanced to the quarterfinals—a first in Pitt Law Environmental Moot Court team history—in the Twentieth Annual national Environmental Moot Court Competition at Pace Law School in White Plains, New York. The Pitt Moot Court team consisted of second-year student Patrick Grenter, second-year student Ned Mulcahy, and third-year student Matthew Hicks. Moot Court team member Ned Mulcahy won “Best Oralist” for his third preliminary round. The team was coached by Tim Wolfson, ’92, shareholder at Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir and K. Mark Hall, ’94, Law Clerk to the Honorable Terrence F. McVerry.
And third-year Pitt Law student, Bill Godfrey, won “Best Oralist” award at the National Health Law Moot Court Competition. Godfrey and second-year Pitt Law student Jennifer Knops also won both preliminary rounds and advanced to the elimination rounds.
Professor Jessica Litman, a leading expert on intellectual property and trademark law, delivered the 2008 distinguished intellectual property Lecture on “Copyright Reform” on March 20 at the School of Law.
An acclaimed author and lecturer, professor Litman teaches copyright law, trademark law and internet law at the University of Michigan School of Law. Before joining the faculty at Michigan, she also taught law at Wayne State University, NYU and American University Washington College of Law. She is the author of the book, Digital Copyright, and co-author of the casebook, Trademark and Unfair Competition Law: Cases and Materials.
Professor Litman is a trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA and a member of the advisory board for Public Knowledge, a Washington, D.C.-based public advocacy organization. She is also a member of the Intellectual Property and Internet Committee of the ACLU.
if the name sounds familiar, that’s because Professor Litman is part of a family of distinguished attorneys. She is the daughter of Roslyn M. Litman, ’52, founder of the Litman Law Firm, an adjunct faculty member and a member of the School of Law’s Board of Visitors, and the late S. David Litman, ’51. Professor Litman’s brother, Harry, is a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Scotland Duncan, a second-year student at the School of Law, won third prize in the American Bar Association Section of Business Law’s 2007–2008 Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest.
Andrew Shyjan, a third-year student at the School of Law, received two honors from the Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association. He was awarded the “Student Leadership Award” for Intellectual Property students at Pitt Law, and he also received the Writing Award for the “best student paper on Intellectual Property produced by a student studying in Pittsburgh.”
Helping lawyers and academics think about how their values shape their roles in the profession and in society was the topic of a conference at the School of Law this February.
George Lakoff, a prominent professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, was the keynote speaker at the day-long program entitled, “The 21st Century Brain: Why It Matters for the Academic and Political Worlds.” Prof. Lakoff is the author of several influential books, including Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think and Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate.
He is perhaps best known for recognizing the role that values play across the political spectrum and the different ways that values can be “framed” to elicit a positive response.
The program included two panel discussions consisting of faculty members in law, English and linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh as well as Carnegie Mellon University, Wayne State University, the University of Oregon and Vanderbilt University. Professor George H. Taylor, Professor of Law at Pitt; Steven L. Winter, Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law at Wayne State University; and Edward L. Rubin, Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law at Vanderbilt were among the program panelists.
When you entered Pitt Law, what did you really want to do with your law degree? Many students are committed to working in public interest careers, but skyrocketing educational debt and low public interest salaries have created tremendous obstacles to pursuing such goals. At Pitt Law, the average law school debt has risen to a staggering $72,000, with many students carrying significant additional debt from their undergraduate schools.
Pitt Law is pleased to announce that the generous pledge of Rick Zomnir, ’73, has allowed the Law School to establish a pilot Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). LRAPs, such as Pitt Law’s pilot program, assist graduates working in public interest jobs by repaying a portion of their educational debt. The Pitt Law LRAP Planning Team, composed of faculty, staff, students and alums, is developing the pilot LRAP, with plans to present the first awards this spring.
This is only the first step in helping our graduates pursue their public interest careers. With your help, we hope to build upon the pilot LRAP and establish a sustainable program that will provide significant levels of debt relief to alumni working in public interest careers. If you would like to know more about the LRAP initiative and how you can help, please contact the Development & Alumni Affairs Office at 412-648-1305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pitt Law Magazine is already attracting international honors after just one year in publication. This spring, the Magazine won Gold Awards in the categories of Alumni Magazines and Feature Article Writing in the 21st Annual International Mercury Awards competition, honoring excellence in professional communications. The Magazine also won a Bronze Award in the category of University Magazines. The awards were presented at the 21st Annual International Mercury Awards in New York City.
Pitt Law Magazine was one of nearly 1,000 entries submitted from 23 countries. More than forty distinguished public relations, marketing, and advertising agencies, as well as corporate communications departments and public affairs offices participated in the judging involving more than 100 professionals from Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Mexico, and the United States.
Pitt Law together with the University of Washington School of Law launched the Legal Scholarship Blog, http://legalscholarshipblog.com, featuring the most recent listing of conferences, workshops, and calls for papers, as well as offering general resources for the law scholar. Spearheaded by Pitt Law Professor Peter Oh, the blog is managed by Pitt Law Faculty Services Librarian Valerie Weis and Pitt Law student Nathan Beaudry, ’08, together with librarians from Washington School of Law's Gallagher Law Library.