News from Michigan Law School
Vol. 11.8  I  12.2018

Professor Chris Whitman, ’74, Teaches Last Class at Michigan Law

By Lori Atherton

The 1Ls in Professor Christina Whitman’s Torts class weren’t sure what to make of the professors lining up at the back of the room. Toward the end of class, however, it became apparent why they were there: to applaud—or “clap out”—Whitman, who was teaching her last class on December 5. Whitman, ’74, is the first female faculty member to have joined the Law School, so it’s only fitting that her colleagues showed up to laud her 42-year teaching career.

Whitman, the Frances A. Allen Collegiate Professor of Law, started teaching at Michigan Law in fall 1976—just two years after graduating from her alma mater. That same year, she was joined on the faculty by Professor Sallyanne Payton, who is now retired from the Law School. It would be another eight years, Whitman noted, before the Law School hired two more female professors—Rebecca Eisenberg and Jessica Litman.


Kurt Johnson, ’15, to Clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch

By Lori Atherton

Kurt Johnson, ’15, will start the new year looking forward to a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship with Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. Johnson’s one-year clerkship is for the October 2019 term. He will start the job next summer.

“I’m of course beyond excited to have the chance to clerk for the Justice,” said Johnson, who is a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley Austin LLP. “It will be fascinating to see how the Supreme Court makes its decisions, and how the justices individually and collectively think about the law. The training and experience that I’ll get from Justice Gorsuch is going to be invaluable.”


A Renewed Commitment to the Veterans Legal Clinic

By Jordan Poll

The Bob Woodruff Foundation announced an increase to its support of the Michigan Law Veterans Legal Clinic with its recent contribution of a $100,000 grant, which supplements a previous gift that helped to launch the clinic in 2015 and inspired support from many alumni and law firms.

“The grant is a renewal of the Foundation’s commitment to the Veterans Legal Clinic,” said Professor Matthew Andres, ’02, director of the clinic. “It will help us expand the services we provide to veterans in Southeast Michigan while also enriching the educational opportunities for students, giving them the chance to do more complex and interesting work during their time with the clinic.”

ICYMI: Jeffries’ Commit $33 Million to Michigan Law
Lisa and Chris Jeffries, ’74, have committed $33 million to the Law School, with the entirety of the gift dedicated to student support, including scholarships and other forms of financial aid, summer funding programs, and debt management. By approval of the U-M Board of Regents at its December 6 meeting, the Law School's South Hall—opened in 2012—has been named Jeffries Hall. Read more.
Prof. Nick Rine's Last Class 
Clinical Professor of Law Nick Rine taught his last class on December 3. Michigan Law faculty gathered at the start of Rine’s class to applaud his long teaching career, which began at the Law School in 1989. Rine, who has taught in the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic for numerous years, will retire on December 31.
Give the Gift of Maize and Blue
Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Give the gift of maize and blue. The Law School and the M Den make it easy to purchase specialized Michigan Law apparel online through the MLaw Marketplace. A percentage of all sales on both MLaw Marketplace and the general M Den website (when it’s accessed through MLaw Marketplace) comes back to the Law School to help support the activities of our student groups.

Coming Up

December 21: Senior Day

February 23, 2019: Michigan Technology Law Review Symposium: Data Privacy and Portability in Financial Technology
March 23, 2019: 34th Annual Juan Luis Tienda Scholarship Banquet

April 5, 2019: 14th Annual Asian Pacific American Law Students Association Origins Banquet

Recent News Mentions

James Hathaway, the James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law and director of the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law, wrote an opinion letter for The New York Times, “Dropping the Ball on Asylum.”

Barbara McQuade, ’91, a professor from practice, regularly appears as a commentator on MSNBC. She also co-authored a piece for The Daily Beast, “The Worst Thing Manafort Could Do Is Lie to Mueller: So Why Did He Do It?;” was interviewed by NPR, “What Michael Flynn's Sentencing Memo Means In Context To Mueller's Investigation”; and was quoted in The Washington Post, “Losing Cooperators is a Blow, But Not a Fatal One, for Mueller, Analysts Say.”

Clinical Professor of Law David Moran, ’91, director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law Imran Syed, ’11, assistant director of the clinic, were quoted in various news sources, including The Detroit News, about the exoneration of two clients who served 20 years for a 1999 Mother’s Day killing they did not commit.

Assistant Professor Nicholson Price was quoted in Time about an Apple Watch software update that turns its latest model, the Series 4, into a personal ECG.
Richard Primus, the Theodore J. St. Antoine Collegiate Professor of Law, authored the Politico piece, “Here’s What Trump Will Do With His Big New Senate Majority.”

Adam Pritchard, the Frances and George Skestos Professor of Law, was quoted by Reuters, “Does Delaware Law Preclude Mandatory Arbitration of Federal Securities Claims?

Clinical Professor Vivek Sankaran, ’01, was interviewed by The Chronicle of Social Change about the Family First Prevention Services Act, the legal framework of the child welfare system, and the right way to make decisions about drug and maltreatment cases.

Margo Schlanger, the Wade H. and Dores M. McCree Collegiate Professor of Law, was quoted in The Detroit News article, “Iraqi Detainees Targeted for Deportation Ordered Released.”

David Uhlmann, the Jeffrey F. Liss Professor from Practice and director of Michigan Law’s Environmental Law and Policy Program, authored a New York Times op-ed, “Trump Wants to Weaken Clean-Water Rules.
Have a story of interest to fellow alumni? Contact Amicus editor Lori Atherton at