Sept. 22, 2008
Contact: John Masson, 734.647.7352, firstname.lastname@example.org
A third-year student at Michigan Law was honored by the State Bar of Michigan Sept. 19 with the Wanda Nash Award for dedication to the cause of Animal Law.
Annise Maguire was nominated for the award by Prof. Joseph Vining, who has been teaching courses in Animal Law at Michigan for many years.
“She was outstanding in my course, and has done important work in public interest litigation on behalf of animals after the Katrina disaster,” Vining said. “She has been part of the change at the federal level, requiring inclusion of companion animals in disaster relief planning.”
Maguire is also the head this year of Michigan Law’s chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.
The award is given each year to a student from a Michigan law school, in memory of Wanda Nash, who founded the State Bar of Michigan’s Animal Law Section in 1995. Nash pioneered the topic of Animal Law in the 1980s, when she attended law school specifically to learn how to use the legal system for the betterment of animals.
The State Bar of Michigan’s Animal Law Section is considered the first such statewide section in the country. Vining said 16 states now have similar sections, with Illinois set to become the 17th.
Sept. 15, 2008
Contact: John Masson, 734.647.7352, email@example.com
You’d have been welcome to argue constitutional technicalities with the guest instructor for Prof. Joan Larsen’s recent Constitutional Law class -- although it must be stipulated that Justice Anthony Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court has a legal right to insist upon the last word.
Justice Kennedy pulled off the robe and put on the academic mortarboard -- figuratively speaking, at least -- during his visit to the Law School Sept. 11 and 12. Besides the Con Law class, the Justice also dined with faculty, sat in on a seminar led by Prof. Ellen Katz, and conducted question-and-answer sessions with students and faculty.
The visit was timed to allow Justice Kennedy to administer the oath of office to one of his former clerks, newly appointed Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Raymond M. Kethledge -- a 1993 Michigan Law graduate and one of the youngest appellate judges ever appointed.
Prof. J.J. White introduced Judge Kethledge to the crowd of family, friends and colleagues gathered in the Honigman Auditorium in Hutchins Hall. It was a classroom, the new judge told the group, in which he had encountered Prof. White before.
“It’s very special for me to be in this room to have this happen, Judge Kethledge said. And I want to thank Jim White … he is, truly, exactly what a professor should be.”
Judge Kethledge’s investiture ceremony also featured speeches from Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ralph Guy, Jr. (for whom the new judge also clerked) and one of his former law partners, Patrick Seyferth of Bush, Seyferth & Paige PLLC, in Troy, Mich. The ceremony was followed by a reception, hosted by the law firm and held on the Quad.
The investiture ceremony, which was also attended by more than a dozen of Judge Kethledge’s fellow jurists, capped two busy days for Justice Kennedy during which he gave generously of his time in a series of warm and humorous off-the-record sessions with students.
On one end of the spectrum was the question-and-answer session, led by Prof. Daniel Halberstam, which packed Honigman Auditorium and was attended by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. Even more students watched on television monitors in two overflow rooms.
On the other end of the spectrum was Prof. Katz’s small seminar, with only about two dozen students, some of whom sat elbow-to-elbow with the Justice at a round table.
Regardless of the setting, however, Professor Halberstam said “faculty and students remarked afterwards how impressed they were by the thoughtfulness and candor with which the Justice approached every single question.” As Halberstam sees it, “The visit was simply a treat.”
Sept. 4, 2008
Contact John Masson, 734.647.7352, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – They build sailboats, win Olympic medals, and can keep up on the violin with Itzhak Perlman. They hold patents, drive Zambonis, and one of them came out number one on an exam in a pool a mere 1.3 billion people deep.
The 361 new first-year law students who arrived this month at Michigan Law come with the usual wide variety of backgrounds. Some information about the 95 summer starters and 266 fall starters who make up the class:
- The median LSAT is 169 (97+%), tied with last year's LSAT for the highest ever. The median GPA is 3.7, also the highest ever.
- About one in five applicants gained admission.
- Between 20 and 23 percent are Michigan residents (that is, 23 percent say they are; 20 percent have had the Residency Office agree with them).
- 22 percent are racial or ethnic minorities, including 4 percent African Americans; 4 percent Latinos; 13 percent Asian Americans; and 1 percent Native Americans.
- The gender breakdown: 57 percent male, 43 percent female.
- About a third come from families where at least one parent never got a college degree – including 13 percent where both parents did not.
- They come from 43 states and the District of Columbia (we’re missing Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming).
- They represent 12 countries – Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, and South Korea.
- Age range is 21 to 43, with a median of 24 and a mean of 24.5 Nearly three-quarters have taken a year or more off after completing undergraduate degrees to do something else before entering law school.
- Fifteen percent already have advanced degrees.
But those are simple numbers. On the more human side, the class also includes five Fulbright scholars, seven Peace Corps veterans, six members of Teach for America, six members of Americorps, 10 veterans of the military, one Truman Scholar; the Internet consultant to Jerry Springer; an Olympic silver medalist (fencing); a violinist who played with Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern; someone who built his own 20-ton schooner after working for the United Nations; someone with eight patents; a Zamboni operator; the manager of China Policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Guatemalan national rugby team; someone who was named to the “Top 5 under 25” music executives by People magazine, and, finally, someone who scored No. 1 on China’s National College Entrance Exam.
We wish them all luck. But we suspect they won’t need any.