Spotlight

A Detroit News op-ed explains how Barack Obama wouldn’t have been possible without Jackie Robinson – and how 1911 Law School grad Branch Rickey helped make sure Robinson got his chance to put an end to Major League Baseball’s Jim Crow era.

Focus

Headnotes hit the high notes for Valentine's Day.

Prima Facie

Around the Quad

Career Corner

In calamitous economic times, take comfort in Michigan Law’s rankings near the top as a source of talent for legal employers. And stop by our Career Services website for more information about career assistance that’s available for you throughout your career.


Chief Justice to headline gala Sesquicentennial weekend

Michigan Law's commemoration of a 150-year history of legal education will make history of its own this fall when John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, visits the Law School as part of its Sesquicentennial celebration.

The appearance of the Chief Justice will highlight a gala weekend September 10-13, and reflects Michigan Law’s importance to American legal education. Other components of the celebration will include a discussion panel featuring all living former Michigan Law deans; a celebration of the new academic building and Law School Commons, for which planning is nearly complete; and even the first-ever on-Quad viewing of a Wolverines home football game (against Notre Dame, for those keeping score at home).

Apart from the more formal events during the weekend, other planned activities include a welcome reception on Thursday afternoon, a series of special alumni speakers, panel events covering events of global interest, and a special gala event and dinner.

The weekend also will include special recognition of members of the emeriti classes of 1949, 1954, and 1959. More information is available at www.law.umich.edu/AlumniandFriends/150.

Remembering, reflecting, and restoring

Michigan Law's commemoration of a 150-year history of excellence in legal education will make fresh history of its own this fall when John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, visits the Law School as part of its Sesquicentennial celebration.

The appearance of the Chief Justice will highlight a gala weekend September 10-13, and reflects Michigan Law’s position as a pre-eminent locus of American legal education. Other components of the celebration will include a discussion panel featuring all living former Michigan Law deans; a celebration of the new academic building and Law School Commons, for which planning is nearly complete; and even the first-ever on-Quad viewing of a Wolverines home football game -- this one against Notre Dame.

Apart from the more formal events during the gala weekend, other planned activities include a welcome reception on Thursday afternoon, a series of special alumni speakers, panel events covering events of global interest, and a special gala event and dinner. The weekend also includes special recognition of members of the emeriti classes of 1949, 1954, and 1959.

During this anniversary year, the Law School celebrates its long tradition of renowned legal scholarship, collegial and collaborative learning, and its distinguished role in public service, as well as the outstanding professional accomplishments of all our alumni throughout the United States and the world. The Chief Justice's visit will help highlight Michigan Law graduates’ long and distinguished history of public service.

More information about the Gala Weekend is available at www.law.umich.edu/AlumniandFriends/150.

SIAS Summer Institute coming to Michigan Law

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Post-doctoral scholars interested in convening in Berlin and Ann Arbor for an elite Summer Institute session covering "Comparative Perspectives on Federalism and Separation of Powers: Lessons From – and for – National, Supranational, and Global Governance" have until Feb. 27 to apply.

The seminar, sponsored by the SIAS coalition of several institutes for advanced study, is being organized by Michigan Law's Prof. Daniel Halberstam and Prof. Dr. Christoph Mollers of Georg-August-Universitat in Gottingen, Germany. The sessions come at an important time, as federalism gains new importance in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom and Iraq, and as supra-national organizations such as the European Union establish a new model for its possible application in other parts of the globe.

The first of two summer sessions will be held this year in Berlin and is slated to cover such topics as the origin and structures of federations; federal powers and individual rights; federalism and citizenship; the free movement of goods; and several more. In 2010 the sessions will come to Michigan Law in Ann Arbor.

The Summer Institute program, in general, is designed to develop scholarly networks and collaborative relationships among junior scholars from Europe and the United States, before, during, and after the seminars themselves. Each seminar is designed for post-doctoral students and Ph.D. candidates who are studying or teaching at an institution of higher education either here or in Europe. The Federalism seminar, in particular, will explore theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues, and its organizers also hope to examine fruitful areas for future research.

The program is supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The costs of travel, meals, and lodging, plus a personal stipend, are covered for all participants. More information is available at http://www.wiko-berlin.de/index.php?id=112&l=0.

Parson and Ratner hold new
Sax and Simma professorships

Michigan Law is celebrating two distinguished former faculty members, Joseph. L. Sax and Bruno Simma, with the creation of new professorships bearing their names. And on Thursday, the University Regents approved the appointments of Professors Ted A. Parson and Steven Ratner to fill the respective chairs.

The Joseph L. Sax Collegiate Professorship honors Sax, a world-renowned environmental law expert who taught at Michigan from 1966-1986 as the Philip A. Hart Distinguished University Professor. Sax’s scholarship, particularly on the public trust doctrine and on takings law, has frequently been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and remains definitive in the field.

In his 1970 landmark book, Defending the Environment: A Strategy for Citizen Action, Sax developed the idea of citizen enforcement of environmental laws. He worked as a policy advocate and legislative draftsman to turn this concept into practice in the "citizen suit" provisions of several federal environmental laws and in the Michigan Environmental Protection Act, popularly known as the "Sax Act."

From 1994 to 1996, he served in President Bill Clinton's administration as the counselor to the secretary of the interior and deputy assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Sax is on the faculty of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor Emeritus of Environmental Regulation.

The first Sax Professor is Edward A. (Ted) Parson, who joined the Michigan Law faculty in 2003, in a joint appointment with the School of Natural Resources and Environment. His research examines international environmental policy, the role of science and technology in public policy, and the political economy of regulation. Parson's most recent books are The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change, co-authored with Andrew Dessler, and Protecting the Ozone Layer: Science and Strategy, which won the 2004 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award of the International Studies Association.

The Bruno Simma Collegiate Professorship honors Simma, a leading figure in public international law who has been a judge on the International Court of Justice since 2003. Simma came to Michigan Law in 1986 as a visiting professor and held a joint appointment on the faculty from 1987-1992, while also serving on the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and as vice president of the German Society of International Law. Simma was a professor of international law and European community law from 1973-2003 at the University of Munich, where he was also director of the Institute of International Law.

In 1995, Simma was both a visiting professor at the Law School and a lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law. Since 1997, he has been a member of the Law School's Affiliated Overseas Faculty.

Simma's outstanding reputation in the field of public international law began with his textbook “Universelles Völkerrecht” of 1976, co-authored with his teacher and mentor Alfred Verdross and still widely cited in German literature and jurisprudence. Over a career that spans more than three decades, Simma has focused on the relationship between human rights law and general international law.

The first Simma Professor is Steven R. Ratner, who joined the Law School in 2004 from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin, where he was the Albert Sidney Burleson Professor in Law. His research has focused on new challenges facing new governments and international institutions after the Cold War, including ethnic conflict, territorial borders, implementation of peace agreements, and accountability for human rights violations. His books include The New UN Peacekeeping: Building Peace in Lands of Conflict after the Cold War, Accountability for Human Rights Atrocities in International Law: Beyond the Nuremberg Legacy, of which he is co-author, and International Law: Norms, Actors, Process, of which he is co-author.

Alumni Funded Fellowships group holds fundraiser in NYC

A genuine Darth Vader helmet autographed by University of Michigan alumnus James Earl Jones. Backstage VIP tours from Michigan alumni performers in seven of Broadway’s hottest shows packaged with prime orchestra seats. And a one-of-a-kind framed lithograph of the Law Quad signed by the current and living former Deans of the Law School.

All these items and many more can be had for the right bid at "Hutchins in New York," a gala auction sponsored by Alumni Funded Fellowships (AFF), on Thursday, February 26, at the Grand Ballroom of Manhattan Center, 311 W. 34th St., New York City. All alumni and guests are invited.

The event, AFF's first fundraiser, will begin at 7 p.m. with a cocktail reception, silent auction, and live music from the Hayes Kavanagh ('73) Jazz Band. The live auction will take place from 8:45-9:30 p.m., and the evening will continue with live music until 11 p.m.

Net auction proceeds will benefit the Student Funded Fellowships program at the Law School, which recently celebrated its 30th year of supporting student public interest fellowships.

"We envision the evening as a wonderful opportunity for all alumni to reconnect with classmates while supporting public interest fellowships at Michigan Law," says Scott Wilcox, '08, AFF board president.

AFF was launched last year by six members of the class of 2008 and 2009, including Wilcox. The initiative’s mission is to help the Law School and SFF in their ongoing effort to ensure that any Michigan Law student who wants to spend a summer or two working in the public interest can afford to do so.

Alumni who can't make the trip to New York can bid on items by proxy, with bidding instructions as well as other event details available on AFF's website, www.affmichlaw.org.

Honorary chairs for the event are Randy Mehrberg, '80, who will welcome guests, Bob Fiske, '55, and Kelli Turner, '97.

Tickets are $75 general admission and $150 reserved seating and are available through Ticketmaster, (212)307-7171, or at the door. To purchase tickets without paying a handling charge, call the Law School's Office of Development & Alumni Relations Office at (734)615-4535 by February 24. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster, (212)307-7171, and at the door.


In the News

The New York Times takes note of Prof. David Moran’s new Innocence Clinic, which uses non-DNA methods to exonerate the wrongly convicted.

Prof. Jessica Litman in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog on copyright infringement.

The beat goes on for drummer and 2001 grad Luis Sanchez, whose work with the Detroit Pistons Drumline helps keep NBA crowds entertained.

The Washington Post reports on 1982 grad David Sandalow’s role in the Obama transition.

He’s round, he’s green, and that’s how he rolls: Anmarie (Currier) Mabutt, ’91, pens tennis-ball-based children’s book.

Bloomberg Asia cites Prof. Nicholas Howson in story on deaths from tainted milk.

Republican former Congressman and 1984 grad Rob Portman declares for Ohio’s soon-to-be vacated Senate seat.

The Associated Press quotes Prof. Len Niehoff on the curious way the Fifth Amendment is friendlier than the First for a Detroit Freeit Press reporter threatened wh jail for refusing to reveal sources.

It must be that famous Amicus bump: 1984 grad Meg Waite Clayton, featured in our July electronic newsletter, is doing well with sales of her novel The Wednesday Sisters.

Bankruptcy expert Prof. John Pottow teams up with Prof. Peter Ubel, director of U-M’s Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences, in Psychology Today blog entry on why the Big Three desperately need a rebranding of bankruptcy.

Michigan Law’s librarian (and resident historian) Margaret Leary is featured on the Legal History Blog.

Coming Up

March 7: Juan Tienda Scholarship Banquet

March 9: March 13: Women’s Week at Michigan Law

March 19: Student Funded Fellowships auction.



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