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  Law School News - Legal News

Supreme Court 101 in session at high court

  Law School News  -   POSTED: 2012/02/28 14:36

George Mason University law student Matthew Long still has three months of schoolwork before graduation, but this week he and two classmates had a case before the Supreme Court.

The group of students is part of a new class dedicated to Supreme Court work at the Fairfax, Va., school. Nationwide, more than a half dozen law schools offer similar courses.

The students don't get to argue the cases. They aren't even lawyers yet. But students participating in the so-called Supreme Court clinics get to do everything else: research issues, draft briefs and consult with the lawyer actually presenting the case to the high court.

"We're all very much aware that you can go your entire legal career without ever being on a case before this court, and it's unbelievable that we'd have this experience as law students," Long, 26, said as he stood outside the Supreme Court after Monday's arguments in a case about a man in prison for murder in Colorado and time limits involved in his case.

Stanford University started the first Supreme Court clinic for students in 2004 and is still involved in the most cases. But schools with clinics now include Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Virginia and the University of Texas. In the past three years, clinics report that students have been involved in about 1 out of every 6 cases argued before the court. This week, students are participating in two of the court's cases.


A federal judge in Philadelphia has reduced a $5 million punitive damage award to two law school professors who said they were defamed by a legal publishing firm that released a book addendum bearing their names even though they didn't work on it.

U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam said there was little dispute about the facts. But he said the $2.5 million awards to University of Pennsylvania professor David Rudovsky and Widener Law School professor Leonard Sosnov exceeded the actual damage to their reputations.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says Fullam cut the award for each man to $110,000, which combined with $90,000 in compensatory damages means that each would get $200,000.

A spokesman for West Publishing Corp. hailed the ruling but said it did not go far enough.



Sixty-nine law school deans from around the country are endorsing Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. The deans are praising Kagan, herself a onetime dean of the Harvard Law School, saying she is superbly qualified.

In a letter to the chairman and top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the leading legal academics say Kagan has first-rate legal skills, a respected body of work on constitutional law, enormous intelligence, and a flair for forging coalitions.

The Judiciary panel is set to begin hearings on Kagan's nomination on June 28. She's drawn praise from liberals and a handful of conservatives, including Miguel Estrada, a failed federal appeals court nominee chosen by former President George W. Bush.


Phoenix School of Law Boot Camp Program

  Law School News  -   POSTED: 2010/05/26 09:10

There’s an old expression about what to expect in law school:  “The first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death, and the third year they bore you to death."  The Phoenix School of Law is doing everything it can to take the fear out of law school by preparing incoming students for what lies ahead.

The PhoenixLaw Summer Boot Camp will help students sharpen their critical thinking, writing and analytical reasoning skills, and lay the groundwork required for success in law school and beyond.  The four-day program begins July 28th - two weeks before the start of the fall semester, and is intended to ease the transition from undergraduate students to law school and motivate students to succeed.

According to the American Bar Association, almost 50,000 students enrolled in law schools during the 2008-2009 academic year, but as trends show, less than a third of those students will actually graduate with their law degree.  Most students bring old study habits they used in college – or a natural intellectual ability that got them by.  These habits don’t always work in law school.  Understanding the material and memorizing is not enough, since there is a tremendous amount of written analysis in a specific legal form that must also learned.    Students who begin law school with less proficient study skills find law school difficult, and may possibly end their first year on academic probation or worse – dropping out.  PhoenixLaw’s Summer Boot Camp is aimed at students who may need the extra help in getting prepared for the three-year (or longer) road ahead.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. This program is the start of the journey for these students as they begin their pursuit of a J.D.,” says Jasmine Crowe, PSL Boot Camp Creator.  “My hope is that participants will gain valuable knowledge and tips to help them be successful in their journey ahead.”

Crowe adds that this Boot Camp is a pilot program, and that attendance is limited to fifty students.  Because PSL has rolling enrollment (new classes begin in fall and spring), more Boot Camps may be added each semester.

During the boot camp, students will learn the essential study skills for law school; build a basic understanding of the law; understand how to brief a case; and learn the skills of reading, writing and thinking like a lawyer.  The courses will be taught by PSL professors, and will give the students and faculty a head start on building a mentoring relationship.   While attending the boot camp, students will also become familiar with the school’s many features, and out-of-state students will get a chance to discover the Phoenix area.   

The $99 registration fee covers all meals, housing (Hilton Garden Inn), transportation and program materials.  More information and registration for the Phoenix School of Law Boot Camp is available at www.phoenixlaw.edu/lawbootcamp

About Phoenix School of Law

Phoenix School of Law is Arizona’s only law school offering full-time, part-time day, and part-time evening programs. The School received provisional approval from the American Bar Association in June 2007.  PhoenixLaw’s mission pillars are to provide student outcome-centered education, produce professionally prepared graduates, and serve the underserved. For more information about PhoenixLaw, visit www.phoenixlaw.edu or call 602-682-6800.



The rising cost of law school is becoming a sore subject as the number of high-paying jobs shrink.

With large numbers of unemployed or underemployed lawyers who borrowed heavily to pay for their educations, legal educators face growing skepticism about the value of a law degree. Anonymous critics have started blogs with harsh names such as "Big Debt, Small Law" or "The Jobless Juris Doctor."

With three-year programs at top schools costing nearly $150,000, not including room, board or even books, some of the criticism is coming from inside the legal profession. Christine Hurt, a law professor at the University of Illinois, suggests that the market for legal education is strikingly similar to the subprime mortgage market. Her theory, which she posted on "The Conglomerate Blog" last week, goes like this:

Double-digit tuition increases in the last 25 years have priced law schools out of reach for many. Yet the promise of a career at a big law firm with its six-figure paychecks kept boosting enrollment. Easy credit allowed more students to finance their law degrees. All of a sudden law firms lay off droves of attorneys and limit the number of new hires, leaving graduates out of work with more than $100,000 in loans to repay.


Phoenix School of Law News

  Law School News  -   POSTED: 2010/04/19 09:23

The Law Review Staff of the Phoenix School of Law wanted to find a way to publish a law journal, and recognize the Centennial Anniversary of the writing of Arizona’s Constitution at the same time.  The result was the printing of The Arizona Government Book, a compilation of articles written by prominent judges, attorneys and legal minds within and around Arizona Government, including the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, Rebecca White Berch,  Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute, and more.  The theme of the book is “The Past, Present and Future of Arizona Government.”

“Because we’re a new law school, it was difficult to solicit articles for our law journal,” says Editor-In-Chief Anthony Tsontakis.  “But we persisted, and the results were submissions of extraordinary articles from Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch (Arizona Supreme Court) and many prominent government attorneys – some of whom argued cases before the Arizona Supreme Court.”

A Symposium / Reception to celebrate the publishing of The Arizona Government Book will be held on Tuesday, April 27th from 5:00 PM-7:00 PM at the Phoenix School of Law, Room D-110.  Speakers include Vice Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court Andrew Hurwitz and Arizona Senate President Robert Burns.  

Hors d'oeuvres will be served.  CLE credit may be earned for this event.   The event is free, but RSVP is required by registering at www.phoenixlaw.edu.


Arizona Government Book Symposium

  Law School News  -   POSTED: 2010/04/16 11:29

WHAT:            Symposium reception to launch the Arizona Government Book, published by the Law Review of The Phoenix School of Law

WHEN:            Tuesday, April 27, 2010
                       5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 

WHERE:          Phoenix School of Law
                       4041 N. Central Ave. (Indian School and Central), Room D-110, Phoenix

CONTACT:      Juliet Falevitch, Manager of Marketing and Communications
                       Office: 602-682-6877 / Mobile: 480-335-8546

The Law Review Staff of the Phoenix School of Law wanted to find a way to publish a law journal, and recognize the Centennial Anniversary of the writing of Arizona’s Constitution at the same time.  The result was the printing of The Arizona Government Book, a compilation of articles written by prominent judges, attorneys and legal minds within and around Arizona Government, including the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, Rebecca White Berch,  Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute, and more.  The theme of the book is “The Past, Present and Future of Arizona Government.”

“Because we’re a new law school, it was difficult to solicit articles for our law journal,” says Editor-In-Chief Anthony Tsontakis.  “But we persisted, and the results were submissions of extraordinary articles from Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch (Arizona Supreme Court) and many prominent government attorneys – some of whom argued cases before the Arizona Supreme Court.”

A Symposium / Reception to celebrate the publishing of The Arizona Government Book will be held on Tuesday, April 27th from 5:00 PM-7:00 PM at the Phoenix School of Law, Room D-110.  Speakers include Vice Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court Andrew Hurwitz and Arizona Senate President Robert Burns.  

Hors d'oeuvres will be served.  CLE credit may be earned for this event.   The event is free, but RSVP is required by registering at www.phoenixlaw.edu.


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