Spotlight

Torts Illustrated: Students vanquish faculty in hard-fought annual hoops game.

Focus

Prof. Bridgette Carr, ’02, discusses in a podcast the Human Trafficking Clinic she’ll be founding this fall.

Prima Facie

Convergence or Cataclysm: Asia Law Society holds symposium on Corporate Governance and Market Development in Asia.


Gone to the dogs
2008 grad mushes his way to Iditarod Rookie of the Year honors

Maybe it was the moment when the 40-mile-per hour wind and the horizontal snow made the frozen Yukon River feel like the surface of Jupiter.

Or it might have been the moment, clinging to the back of his dogsled, when 2008 Michigan Law grad Chad Lindner found himself cramming Folger’s instant coffee crystals into his mouth in a desperate gambit to stay alert.

But whatever moment solidified his decision, Lindner is more than comfortable with being a "one-and-done” participant in the grueling, 1,100-mile Iditarod dogsled race.

"I really wanted to experience it, but it’s not really my passion," said Lindner, who finished in 30th place after a 12-day run and was named the 2009 Iditarod’s Rookie of the Year. "Unless you can truly think of nothing you enjoy more than being out there on the trail with the dogs – it’s not that I don’t love it, but you really do have to love it more than just about anything else."

Lindner, who will head off to Boston March, 2010 to begin as an associate at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, comes by his interest in the race honestly. His father, Sonny Lindner, finished the race 11th this year and has run the Iditarod since 1978, when he, too, was named Rookie of the Year. The elder Lindner helped introduce his son to mushing and taught him how to survive in the unforgiving climate.

"For me, being out there is pretty comfortable," Lindner said. "But I still think the Yukon River was pretty hairy."

An Alaskan’s version of "pretty hairy" means a giant storm descended on the mushers as they worked their way toward Nome, where the race ends.

"I wasn’t worried that I wasn’t going to make it, but … the wind was blowing 40 miles per hour, you couldn’t see, it was a whiteout. So your face is getting frostbitten from the wind, your eyes are stinging, it was pretty unpleasant."

That unpleasantness, ironically, also reminded Lindner of one of the things that attracted him to the race in the first place.

"There was a group of us going through it, and when we made it to (the checkpoint at) Kaltag, we were giddy," Lindner said. "We were giggling like schoolchildren, we were so happy to be off the Yukon. That camaraderie is one of the best aspects of running the race."

It also exemplifies what Lindner regards as an Alaskan outlook on life – an outlook that students at Michigan Law might recognize from their experiences at law school.

"It was a moment when we weren’t in competition, we didn’t care who got there first. We all just wanted to get off the Yukon. We took turns breaking trail. That’s the spirit of the Iditarod to me, and it’s like the spirit of Alaska. In Alaska, when people go out in the wilderness, they stick together and help each other out."

Bids and blood
Ann Arbor’s SFF and NYC’s AFF auctions bring in cash for public-interest interns

Even in a sagging economy, it’s tough to resist the appeal of a book on cannibalism, signed by the author in his own blood.

Always a popular item in the annual Student Funded Fellowships (SFF) auction at the University of Michigan Law School, Professor A.W. Brian Simpson’s highly regarded Cannibalism and the Common Law garnered extra attention this year because the popular professor is retiring this spring. The book brought in $2,000, which will contribute to the SFF grants to Michigan Law students who take unpaid or low-paying public-interest summer internships.

Thanks to the auction and other programs, SFF will give out approximately $245,000 to students this year. "As a result of all of our fund-raising efforts and other resources, we are able to give slightly more this year than in 2008—an exciting result, considering the difficult economy," notes Lindsay Wolter, this year’s auction chair.

The organization’s other fundraisers are LSTAR, a hotel voucher program in which SFF receives $215 every time a Michigan Law student stays with a friend rather than in a hotel and $35 each time a student forgoes a cab ride to the airport when on a callback with a participating firm; and Donate A Day’s Pay, in which law students, graduates, and others donate one day’s summer pay.

The auction remains the organization’s most popular event, with 168 items donated this year by professors, alumni, students, and others. Participants had the chance to bid on dinner, golf, or fishing trips with Michigan Law professors; a tour of the Sports Illustrated office in New York City; or a white Fender guitar signed by Alice Cooper.

Additionally, a similar auction was held in New York this year by Alumni Funded Fellowships (AFF), with a goal of furthering efforts of SFF to provide grants to Michigan Law students who take public-interest jobs.

About 150 people attended the first-ever "Hutchins in New York" auction event in February and bid on items such as a Darth Vader helmet signed by U-M alumnus James Earl Jones and a backstage tour of Good Morning America, donated by ABC News President David Westin ’77.

Rainmaking 101: Tips for bringing in a flash flood of new clients

Steven H. Sunshine knows some rainmakers who look like they’ve slept in their clothes, who drop the F-bomb in nearly every utterance, and who tuck themselves away in quiet corners at parties.

That doesn’t fit many people’s image of rainmakers as gregarious back-slappers who recruit clients on the golf course, he noted during a March 31 event about building and maintaining relationships with clients.

“Everyone in this room—you could all do it,” Sunshine, a partner with Bryan Cave in Irvine, Calif., told the standing-room-only audience. “There is no model for rainmakers.”

Tips from Sunshine and Herb Kohn, ’63, a partner with Bryan Cave in Kansas City, included:

The program was supported by the Richard W. Pogue Endowment to Support Studies of the Business of Law. Pogue, ’53, also joined the panel and answered students’ questions afterward.


In the News

Incoming faculty member Prof. Julian Davis Mortenson pens analysis on Slate.com of Spain’s ongoing investigation of Alberto Gonzales, among others, for allegedly enabling Gitmo torture.

United Nations Human Rights Council appoints Prof. Christine Chinkin, Michigan Law Affiliated Overseas Faculty Member and professor of international law at the London School of Economics, to its Gaza fact-finding mission.

Incoming Michigan Law Prof. Sonja Starr guest blogs on Concurring Opinions.

Tax expert Prof. Reuven Avi-Yonah has kept the national media outlets busy over the last few weeks:


2003 grad Travis Townsend co-authors straight-talking book reminding teens that what a teen might see as a childish prank can be seen in a somewhat more felonious light by law enforcement – and how that difference in interpretation can carry lifelong consequences.


Michigan Supreme Court sides with Michigan Law professor and 2001 graduate Vivek Sankaran in child removal case.

Prof. Nina Mendelson on the Center for Progressive Reform blog examining what a draft of the Waxman-Markey energy bill would do to a citizen’s right to bring suit against polluters – or against regulators who refuse to enforce the law..

World Economic Forum names 2006 grad Adria Green a young global leader.

New ranking details the effects law schools have on each other and calls Michigan Law third most-influential, U.S. News & World Report says.

1974 alum Patricia White picked to lead University of Miami law school.

President Barack Obama nominates 1993 grad Luis de Baca for ambassador-at-large post monitoring human trafficking.

1999 grad and Indiana University School of Law Prof. Jeannine Bell earns prestigious Princeton fellowship.

2007 grad Josh Tetrick writes in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on how the economic downturn could just help save the world – and your bottom line.

Prof. John Pottow in USA Today on failure of bankruptcy reform.

Coming Up

May 8: Honors Convocation

May 9: Senior Day