Throughout the year, Tulane Law School will be posting happenings on or around campus.
Well, the summer flew by and we're back to school already! Last week, we welcomed the Class of 2015 to the Law School with a week-long orientation program. The program featured a lot of interesting presentations put on by various departments within the Law School. As always, the Career Development Office hosted a morning program on two days. Putting together this orientation program is always one of my favorite tasks of the year. This year, I was more excited about it than ever, since I have been given the job of serving as 1L counselor. After a very brief introduction from me, we invited six upperclassmen from the Law School to chat about their summer work experiences and provide the 1Ls with job search tips. The students had worked in such varied areas, everything from BigLaw in New York to smaller firms in various cities, from judicial internships, to government, to sports law and public interest. My favorite story was from a 2L who worked as an intern in the General Counsel's Office at Land O' Lakes in Minneapolis. She learned all about contracts and butter this past summer, an excellent experience, no doubt.
After the student panel, we ushered in some of our most esteemed Tulane Law School alumni to share about their careers with the 1Ls. The panel included the managing partner at one of the larger law firms in New Orleans, a newly-elected Louisiana state court judge, an assistant United States Attorney, director of a local non-profit organization, and in-house counsel for a human resources company in the area, among others. The alums are always great ambassadors for Tulane, and spent as much time discussing how much they enjoyed their Law School experiences as they did chatting about careers. I was pleased when the 1Ls asked insightful questions and participated in the discussion. One of the judges even gave out a copy of her favorite book, "The Happy Lawyer" as a gift to the first brave 1L to ask her a question. I think the students really enjoyed hearing from these members of the alumni community, and though I've put on this program for the past five years, I always enjoy hearing from them as well. You always learn something new. Judging by the success of orientation, I think this is going to be a great year.
Now time to get down to the business of the Fall semester. Monday marked the first day of school, and we welcomed the 2Ls and 3Ls back from their summer job experiences. It's so much more interesting here at the Law School when our students are walking the halls. I'm looking forward to seeing what this year brings.
I commend to you the TLS Sports Law Blog. In fact, the entire TLS Sports Law website has a lot to recommend it. Personally, I have learned more about what's going on in the sports law world (and maybe even in sports generally) from the weekly Tulane Friday Sports Links than from any other source. All very interesting.
I should post to this blog more often, I really should. Interesting things happen here virtually every day, but I often feel that I need to post something LONG, and time being what it is, there is rarely time to post something LONG. So this will be quick.
Today I read that the New Orleans law firm of Jones Walker is opening a New York office. This might not sound like that big a deal, but it is unusual for an old-line New Orleans firm to do something like this. There are, in fact, New Orleans offices of New York firms (e.g., Proskauer), but Jones Walker may well be the first New Orleans firm with a New York presence.
Completely unrelated, but neverthess very interesting, I learned recently from Professor Joerg Fedtke (co-director of our Eason Weinmann Center for International and Comparative Law) of a new weekly lecture series being planned for the coming academic year. The overall title of the series is US Law in Context: Comparative and International Perspectives, and here is Professor Fedtke's description of the program:
This series of lectures gives students first insights to the practical relevance of comparative and international law in today's globalized legal world. Instructors from the ranks of the Faculty each dedicate a class to present and discuss their particular area of interest. Topical issues drawn from contemporary legal, political, and economic debates form the backdrop of each event. A very short text, case, news item, or statute will be distributed to introduce the theme and facilitate discussion.
The weekly topics include International Environmental Law, Law and Development, International Organizations, European Union, Employment Discrimination, and many more. I am tempted to list them all.
A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be present at a most interesting event at Tulane Law School. Professor Edward Sherman (who happens to be a former TLS Dean) and his wife, Alice Sherman, have endowed the Dean Edward and Alice Sherman Law & Literature Room in the Tulane Law Library (more about that in a moment). In honor of the dedication of this facility, a roundtable discussion of "Law & Public Figures in Louisiana Fiction" took place. Speaking were Harry Hardin, partner at the Jones Walker law firm and a 1971 graduate of TLS; New Orleans author Jason Berry; and New Orleans author and TLS '85 graduate Tony Dunbar. The conversation was enormously entertaining, touching on Robert Penn Warren's novel All the King's Men and real-life Huey P. Long, on Jason Berry's The Last of the Red Hot Poppas and real-life Edwin Edwards, and finally on the purely fictional Tubby Dubonnet of the Tubby Dubonnet mystery series. Strangely, the fictional Tubby Dubonnet can seem more real than the real-life Huey P. Long and Edwin Edwards.
Now about the new Law & Literature Room, which I think could be unique in American legal education. With the advice of an advisory committee including five faculty members, the Director of the Law Library, and our Senior Reference Librarian, a space was carved out of the public area of the Law Library, solely to provide a place for law students to read, browse, and check out fiction and literature related to the law. Dean and Mrs. Sherman view this space as a place of refuge, complete with comfortable chairs and access to electronic media. There will be a collection of movies and documentaries on DVD, with others available through cable and streaming internet. Faculty may use this space to undertake projects, such as recording interviews with interesting or prominent legal figures. The plan is for this space to adapt to changes in technology as they take place. For now, however, the Sherman Law & Literature Room is my new favorite place in Weinmann Hall.
Last week the Tulane Law Career Development Office (CDO)
held our annual Summer & Fall Interview Program Orientation. Our
Summer Interview Programs take place in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Los
Angeles, and Atlanta, and our Fall Interview Program takes place on
campus. This year’s orientation program included a panel of associates
from the Houston office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Panelists included Laura Barbour (Litigation), Dave Pasarelli (Energy), and
Jennifer Stevens (Corporate). The panelists were also joined by Skadden
recruiting staff Ali-Shaun Sugalski and Deena Marsh. This program was extremely
informative and beneficial to our students. Topics covered included tips for
the summer associate application and interview process and advice on how to
succeed as a summer associate. The panelists were very candid about their
own summer associate experience and what they look for in prospective summer
associates. Following the program and panel, Skadden hosted a cocktail
reception at Cure. Tulane Law students were able to meet and talk with Skadden
recruiters, associates, and partners, while enjoying hors d'oeuvres
and cocktails. Students had the opportunity to learn about life as a
Skadden associate, the Houston legal market, and what they should be doing now
to prepare for life after law school. Students expressed that this was
one of the best CDO programs that they’ve attended, and we are extremely
grateful to Skadden for contributing their time and resources. We look forward
to seeing Skadden representatives again in the Fall when they return to
interview students in our Fall Interview Program.
Article submitted by Lezlie Griffin, Class of 2014 Career Counselor
From CDO Government Counselor Amanda Moeller:
Last week, we were very lucky to host
two representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency to discuss careers
with their organization. Over 20 students attended the information
session and learned that working for the CIA could encompass more than a career
in Clandestine Operations. The “agency” is looking to hire lawyers,
analysts, operators, researchers, and many other positions. Our speakers
shared that the skills learned in law school are directly relevant and
applicable to a career with the CIA. The research, writing, analysis,
thought process, and ability to articulate information are some of the most coveted
skills among the employees of the CIA. The representatives were extremely
excited about the opportunity to meet our students and learn about their
interests while also informing them of the opportunities available with the
CIA. We may even have a future Jason Bourne or Sydney Bristow in our mix!
Every year, the Young Lawyers Division of the New Orleans Bar Association holds an event known as the New Orleans Bar & Grille. This year marked the 10th annual such event, and my only regret about this is that I didn't know about it until the 5th annual event! The motto of the event, which is a fundraiser for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, is "Where there's a fork in the road, pick it up and start eating!"
Now, the most important thing about this event--of course--is the fundraiser aspect. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services is a non-profit corporation serving individuals and families who, without the legal assistance that SLLS provides, would lose a critical human need--food, shelter, income, medical care, personal safety, or parental care. Tulane students participate in externships with SLLS, and many of our alumni have gone on to work for SLLS. It is one of those entities that provides a critical service and that deserves more support than it receives.
Teams of amateur chefs from local law firms and other companies participate in a cook-off and compete for Best Local Favorite, Best Dessert, Most Creative, and so on. Over the years, I have seen the competition ratchet up to the point that much of the food is as good as that at our finest restaurants in New Orleans--and that's saying a lot.
A few months ago, I was asked if I'd consider spending 90 minutes as a "celebrity bartender" at the event. Celebrity? Me? Why, of course! And then, a couple of weeks ago, one of our alums (who is now one of my very favorite people) mentioned that if I could spend the entire afternoon at this event, I could be (are you ready?) a Food Judge! Naturally, I immediately cleared my calendar. My co-judges included two REAL judges, one of whom (a Tulane alum) formerly ran the Domestic Violence & Family Law department at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, is now the first Orleans Civil District Court judge whose docket is limited to family law issues, AND who won the grand prize at the New Orleans Bar & Grille several years ago for her lamb curry.
So that's what I did yesterday. I tasted 36 entirely wonderful dishes! It was hard work, but somebody had to do it. This is a particularly nice event for Tulane law students to attend, because of the networking potential. Beautiful weather, great food, and a lot of very friendly members of the New Orleans Bar, all in one place. And who knows...someday maybe you, too, could be a food judge!