Welcome Back (August 25, 2014)

Author: Nell Jessup Newton

Dear students,

On behalf of all faculty and staff: Welcome back to NDLS! As we start a new academic year, here is an update on new people, programs, and activities at the Law School.

Faculty News
First, although she is not new to us, Professor Veronica Root is assuming a new role as an associate professor. For the past two years, Professor Root was a visiting assistant professor, having left her practice at Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., to come to NDLS in order to explore an interest in going into teaching. When she decided to become a law professor, we were delighted that she chose NDLS from an impressive list of schools interested in her. Professor Root will be teaching both Contracts and Professional Responsibility this year.

The James J. Clynes chair enables us to bring distinguished jurists and professors to the Law School and this year we are delighted the former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, will be in residence for three weeks this spring and teach a short course on Children’s Rights.

President McAleese served two terms as the eighth President of Ireland (from 1997 to 2011). President McAleese was a law professor before becoming president. A law graduate of Queen’s University of Belfast, she taught criminal law at Trinity College Dublin and subsequently directed the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University of Belfast, where she was also the first female pro-vice chancellor.

On October 2 the Law School will be hosting a launch party and reception in the Commons for an important new book co-authored by two of our professors. Professor Margaret F. Brinig and Professor Nicole Stelle Garnett’s book, “Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools’ Importance in Urban America” (University of Chicago Press) is already drawing both strong reviews and strong sales (we are having serious trouble keeping the book in stock). Please keep an eye on the NDLS website and your weekly NDLS Update newsletter for more information about these and other events.

Visiting Professors and Adjuncts
We have two additional visiting faculty with us this fall. Visiting Professor Woody Hartzog of Cumberland School of Law at Samford University is teaching Contracts and a new course, Information Privacy Law, which is being taught as a seminar, and Visiting Professor Andrea Pin, of the University of Padua is teaching European Union Law, another new course that serves as an introduction to the EU’s legal system and covers EU constitutional, administrative and trade law.

Professor Hartzog is an expert in in the areas of privacy, media, contracts, and robotics and Professor Pin focuses his research and teaching on constitutional law, comparative public law, and Islamic law.

This spring will, indeed represent something of an Irish invasion, with Diarmuid Phelan of Trinity College Dublin joining President McAleese. Professor Phelan will teach Comparative Competition Law. In addition, Professor Tihamer Toth, a Fulbright Scholar from Pazmany Peter Catholic University in Budapest, will teach a course on comparative misleading advertising law.

New adjunct professors recruited from the ranks of respected scholars and successful practitioners are also helping us expand our curriculum. This year’s new adjuncts include Susie Wine, NDLS ’10, who is currently with Faegre Baker Daniels in South Bend and will be teaching Deposition Skills and Trial Advocacy Intensive in both the fall and spring terms. Other skills courses include Intensive Contract Drafting, which is being taught this fall by Kenneth Adams, author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting (ABA 3d ed. 2013), and previously a Lecturer in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Intensive Transactional Law, which is being taught by Matthew Wirig, NDLS ’06, who is currently with Chapman & Cutler in Chicago.

In addition, Adjunct Professor Zachary Calo, previously an Associate Professor at Valparaiso University Law School, is teaching Catholic Social Thought this fall while James Zieba, Lt. Colonel and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, Indiana Army National Guard, is co-teaching Military Law along with Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David.

As we welcome these new professors, we also congratulate Professor Bob Rodes, who retired this summer after serving the Law School with great distinction for 58 years. We wish Professor Rodes a very happy and well-earned retirement.

Staff Changes
Congratulations to Kevin O’Rear, who was promoted to the position of Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs and thereby assumed supervisory responsibility for the Law School’s Registrar and Student Services offices. Dean O’Rear will also continue to oversee both the Admissions and Career Development offices so as to coordinate the numerous administrative policies that affect you on your journey from admission to graduation and employment.

In other good news, Professor Lloyd Mayer has agreed to serve as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for another year. During this time Dean Mayer will continue oversight of certain matters concerning adjunct faculty and a variety of other academic issues including the curriculum and the Honor Code.

Additionally, we have continued to make key hires in both our Admissions and Career Development Offices to ensure we have all the resources we need to continue enrolling the most outstanding 1L candidates while giving every one of you the tools and counseling you will need to conduct an effective and rewarding job search.

Distance Learning
The Law School’s distance learning technology enables our faculty to be in two places at once and allows you more curricular choices. Among the fall courses making use of this technology are:

· Business Torts, co-taught by Adjunct Professors Paul Peralta and David Pruitt, with Professor Peralta teaching by video from North Carolina;
· Comparative Law, taught by Adjunct Professor Efstathios Banakas from London and open to NDLS students in both London and South Bend;
· Federal Criminal Practice, taught in Chicago by Adjunct Professor John Gallo and open to NDLS students in both Chicago and South Bend;
· Immigration Law, also taught in Chicago by Adjunct Professor Chuck Roth and open to NDLS students in both Chicago and South Bend;
· Labor & Employment Law, taught in South Bend by Associate Professor Barbara Fick and open to students in both Chicago and South Bend;
· Military Law, co-taught by James Zieba in South Bend and Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David in Indianapolis; and
· Patent Law, taught in South Bend by Professor Stephen Yelderman with our London-based students joining by video.
Distance learning courses that are already set or in the works for the spring semester include:
· Federal Indian Law, which will be co-taught by Adjunct Professors David Smith and Paul Shagen, with Professor Smith teaching from North Carolina;
· International Dispute Resolution, which will be taught from Princeton University by Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell;
· International Law and the Use of Force, which will also be taught from Princeton University by Professor O’Connell; and
· Legislation and Regulation, which will be taught in South Bend by Professor Bill Kelley with students in Washington, D.C., joining by video (tentative).

Externships and Skills Courses
I urge you to take advantage of the many opportunities to make new contacts and to explore new areas of law that are made available by our expanded externship and skills programs. There was a substantial increase in externship participation in 2013-14 (105 students took externship courses last year compared to 68 the previous year), and we expect that trend to continue as word of the value of these experiences spreads. (Be sure to talk to Associate Dean Bob Jones about any questions you may have about our experiential programs). We are also witnessing a big jump in participation in skills courses other than clinics or externships: there were 430 slots filled in such courses last year by second- and third-year students compared with 337 slots filled in 2012-13 and 334 slots in 2011-12.

Programs of Study
Finally, if you are interested in specializing in a particular area but do not want to be confined to a rigid progression of required courses, you owe it to yourself to take full advantage of the outstanding curriculum counseling and advice available from the faculty who have volunteered to participate in the NDLS programs of study. We have recently approved two new programs: the Environmental Law program, which will help prepare you for legal practice involving a wide array of environmental issues, and the Intellectual Property and Technology Law program, which will guide you in the study of both the core doctrines of intellectual property —patent, copyright, trademark and unfair competition—and related fields including design, cyberlaw, and antitrust.

The addition of these programs brings our total number of programs of study to seven. Full descriptions are available on our website.

LLM News
Our graduate programs are thriving as well, with 25 new LLM students enrolling this year. Seventeen of these students are pursuing a Human Rights LLM with the Center for Civil and Human Rights and 8 have enrolled in the general LLM that is now being offered here on our South Bend campus. The general LLM is designed for foreign lawyers who are interested in studying American law, and the 8-member class is accordingly international: 3 arefrom China, 1 is from Chile, 1 is from Lebanon, 1 is from France, 1 is from Hungary, and 1 is from South Korea.

To orient our general LLM students to U.S. law, NDLS Research Librarian Trezlen Drake will be teaching a new course, LL.M. Legal Research, Writing and Analysis, and Adjunct Professor Alexandra Levy will be teaching Introduction to the American Legal System (in addition to continuing to teach her Human Trafficking course).

Student Issues
I very much look forward to working with SBA President Amy Povinelli and all the student organizations that seek to enhance your law school experience, and as always my door is always open to all students. Feel free to email me or to drop by the Dean’s suite in 2100 Eck Hall to see my assistant Julie Shook. She will be happy to fit you into my schedule for a private meeting to discuss any matter — or just to introduce yourself.

I hope you have a great fall semester, and good luck with your studies.

Nell Jessup Newton
Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law
Notre Dame Law School
2100 Eck Hall of Law
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 631-6789