UCLA Law EBrief

September 2015

Dean’s Message

It’s now the beginning of a new academic year at UCLA School of Law, and I'm so delighted to have the opportunity to help lead this remarkable school. Although I’ve been part of UCLA Law for more than a decade, since beginning my deanship in August I have already felt warmly welcomed into this new role by the entire law school community.

I know that the greatness of an institution is based on its people—and you, our distinguished and dedicated alumni, truly help make UCLA Law special. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with you to build an even stronger future for this extraordinary institution. In my first few months as dean, I am spending a great deal of time listening and talking to as many people as I can who are part of the UCLA family, from students, to faculty and staff, to alums and other friends. I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months, and in the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading the recent law school highlights below.

Jennifer L. Mnookin
Dean and David G. Price and Dallas P. Price Professor of Law

Gift Establishes Chair in Legal Ethics

Professor Scott Cummings Named Inaugural Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics

UCLA School of Law has received a $2 million gift from Meyer Luskin, a UCLA alumnus and the chairman, president and CEO of Scope Industries, to establish the Robert Henigson Endowed Chair in Legal Ethics. Luskin made the gift to commemorate his longstanding relationship with his friend and attorney, Robert Henigson, a prominent lawyer and philanthropist. Professor Scott Cummings, a distinguished member of the faculty since 2002, has been named the inaugural Robert Henigson professor of legal ethics in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of legal ethics and the legal profession. Meyer Luskin and his wife, Renee, are longtime supporters of UCLA. In 2011, they donated $100 million—the second largest gift ever to the campus—to support academic programs and capital improvements.

UCLA Law Launches Initiatives to Connect Alumni

UCLA Law recently launched new initiatives to help alumni connect and foster networking and mentoring opportunities. In January, the law school hosted an intimate discussion with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ’91 to mark the official launch of UCLA Law Women LEAD, an intergenerational network of distinguished alumnae aimed at empowering and supporting them in their careers. In March, the law school celebrated the launch of UCLA Law Unite, an initiative to connect alumni of all backgrounds with students from many of the organizations and journals focused on the diverse student community for mentoring, professional development and other engagement opportunities. UCLA Law Connect, a digital networking platform exclusive to UCLA Law alumni, was also created to provide a meaningful, seamless way for alumni to stay in touch with the law school and with each other. If you haven't already done so, please consider joining UCLA Law Women LEAD and/or UCLA Law Connect, as well as participating in an upcoming UCLA Law Unite event.

Professor Ingrid Eagly’s Research Expands Understanding of Immigrant Representation

Professor Ingrid Eagly, the newly-appointed faculty director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, has authored two groundbreaking forthcoming articles based on new data related to immigration courts and the representation of immigrants. In the first national study of access to counsel in immigration courts, “A National Study of Access to Counsel in Immigration Court,” 165 University of Pennsylvania Law Review (forthcoming, 2015), Professor Eagly and Steven Shafer ’15 analyzed more than 1.2 million immigration cases decided between 2007 and 2012. They found that only 37% of all immigrants, and a mere 14% of detained immigrants, were represented by counsel. Obtaining a lawyer was especially difficult in small cities and rural areas, where only 11% of immigrants had attorneys. Moreover, having an attorney made a difference—for example, immigrants in detention won their cases at a rate 10.5 times greater than those who proceeded pro se.

In addition, Professor Eagly’s article “Remote Adjudication in Immigration,” 109 Northwestern University Law Review (forthcoming, 2015), is the first empirical study of the use of televideo technology to adjudicate immigration court cases over a television screen, rather than in a traditional, in-person courtroom. Professor Eagly's articles are, of course, one example among many of the remarkable contributions to scholarship and knowledge produced by the UCLA Law faculty. 


UCLA Law Celebrates 2015 Alumni of the Year Recipients

UCLA Law honored Congresswoman Linda T. Sanchez ’95 and Sandra Stern ’79 as the law school’s 2015 Alumni of the Year. Congresswoman Sanchez was recognized with the award for Public and Community Service and Sandra Stern with the award for Professional Achievement. The awards were presented at the annual Alumni of the Year luncheon in May, held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Linda T. Sanchez, who has represented California’s 38th Congressional district since 2013, has broken many barriers in Congress, including becoming the first Latina to serve on the House Judiciary Committee and the first Latina to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee. Sandra Stern, president of Lionsgate Television Group, is one of the industry’s most visionary strategists and creative dealmakers. She has been instrumental in forging new relationships and business models that have paved the way for Lionsgate’s successes.

International Human Rights Clinic Students Document Human Rights Violations in Los Angeles County Jails

Students in UCLA School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic drafted a report that documents human rights violations resulting from medical neglect of women of color incarcerated in the Los Angeles County jail system. On behalf of the nonprofit organization Dignity & Power Now, the students conducted research, developed an interview protocol and surveyed ex-inmates to document access to health care, including mental health care, in the jails, as well as the consequences inmates faced when treatment and medicine were not made available. The report, “Breaking the Silence: Civil and Human Rights Violations Resulting from Medical Neglect and Abuse of Women of Color in Los Angeles County Jails,” released in August, details how Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputies and other personnel regularly denied the women interviewed vital mental and physical health care services. “Breaking the Silence” underscores that the medical neglect violates domestic civil rights law, regional human rights law and international human rights law. Assistant Professor Tendayi Achiume, who leads the clinic, supervised the students’ research and edited the report.

Williams Institute Research Impacts Marriage Equality

Williams Institute Research Director Gary Gates was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision legalizing marriage equality nationwide.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires marriage equality, extending “equal dignity” to one million same-sex couples nationwide. One of the four central pillars of the historic decision rested squarely on Williams Institute research on the families of same-sex couples, citing an amicus brief by Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director Gary Gates. The institute’s research was cited in more than half of the briefs filed in the Supreme Court case. The decision legalized marriage equality in the last 13 states that still banned it, states in which same-sex couples are more likely to have children, to earn less and to be racial or ethnic minorities, according to Williams Institute analyses. Approximately 70,000 same-sex couples are expected to marry in these states in the next three years.

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Petition in UCLA Law Supreme Court Clinic Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted the petition for certiorari filed by Professor Stuart Banner and UCLA Law’s Supreme Court Clinic on behalf of Torres v. Lynch. Professor Banner and students in the clinic drafted and filed the petition in March and a reply brief in the case in May. The case addresses whether the conviction of a crime of arson under state law is an “aggravated felony” that can lead to deportation of a lawful permanent resident in the United States. The granting of cert was a first for the clinic, which was launched in 2011 to offer students the opportunity to work on cases before the Supreme Court. The students who worked on the case have graduated, but Professor Banner, who leads the clinic, has continued the work and plans to involve a new set of students this fall in the reply brief and preparing for the oral argument.

Commencement 2015

On May 15, 2015, more than 400 UCLA School of Law students joined the alumni community as they were awarded J.D. and LL.M. degrees at the school’s 64th annual commencement ceremony. It was a celebration not only of their achievement of this major milestone but also of the impact that is now possible in their future careers. The law school was honored to welcome entrepreneur and UCLA School of Law alumna Martine Rothblatt ’81, chairman and CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation, as this year’s commencement speaker. Rothblatt shared examples from her life that have shaped her personal and professional development, and encouraged the graduates to be curious, to question authority and to improve the law and pass on the improvements.

Professors Crenshaw and Nanda and Alumna Priscilla Ocen ’07 Publish Report on Impact of Zero Tolerance Policies on Girls of Color

Girls of color are disproportionately impacted by school discipline policies and excluded from current efforts to address the school-to-prison pipeline, according to a report authored by UCLA School of Law Professors Kimberlé Crenshaw and Jyoti Nanda, along with UCLA Law alumna Priscilla Ocen ’07, a professor at Loyola Law School. The report, “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected,” is based on a review of national data and personal interviews with young women, and makes recommendations for policies and interventions that address the challenges facing girls of color. The report developed out of a critical dialogue about the various ways that women and girls of color are channeled into pathways that lead to underachievement and criminalization. It was released in February by the African American Policy Forum and the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School.

Susan Akens Named Executive Director of Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law Program

Susan Akens, previously executive vice president, business affairs, at CBS Studios International, has been appointed executive director of UCLA School of Law’s Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law Program. She joined the law school in July, replacing David R. Ginsburg who retired in June.

Akens was named executive vice president, business affairs, at Paramount Pictures International Television in 2003, a division that was merged into CBS Studios International in 2006. In this position, she oversaw all international business and legal affairs, set strategy for the division and led a team based in the United States and Europe. She previously served as special counsel for the entertainment department of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, representing clients in a broad variety of entertainment and multimedia transactions.

New Lowell Milken Institute Programs and Student Initiatives

In June, the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy released a report detailing the institute’s programs, initiated during the past academic year, that support students and law faculty members connected with the Business Law and Policy Specialization. Examples include the launch of the Program on In-House Counsel, which will provide UCLA Law students with courses on the role of in-house counsel; and the development of a Transactional Skills Course for students to learn how to negotiate and structure a transaction, and to practice these skills in a simulated setting. The report also features a video about the Business Law and Policy Specialization, and discusses upcoming plans, including the launch in 2015-16 of a major initiative in entrepreneurship and the law and the inaugural competition for the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs.

Inaugural UCLA-Harvard Food Law and Policy Conference Focuses on Transparency in the Food System

In October 2014, the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy and the Food Law Lab at Harvard Law School hosted the first annual UCLA-Harvard Food Law and Policy Conference, “Transparency in the Global Food System: What Information and to What Ends?” The sold-out conference brought together notable academics and practitioners for a discussion of the issue of transparency in the food system. Panel topics addressed the meaning of transparency, the role of the consumer in driving changes in the food system and whether transparency can help address problems in the food industry. Dr. David A. Kessler, former commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration and current professor at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School, delivered the keynote presentation on “The End of Overeating.”

J.D. Specialization in International and Comparative Law

In the spring, UCLA Law’s International and Comparative Law Program launched a specialization in International and Comparative Law for J.D. students. The specialization is designed for students pursuing advanced study in international and comparative law, including international human rights law, and for those who intend to practice in those fields. To date, six J.D. students have graduated with the specialization and more than 40 2L and 3L students are enrolled for the 2015-16 academic year.

UCLA Law Team Emmett Participates in Climate Hike

A UCLA Law team of faculty, alumni, administrators and friends recently participated in Climate Hike, a charitable hiking challenge. The team spent four days in August hiking through Glacier National Park, covering more than 40 miles across the park and traversing alpine mountain passes and glacier lakes and waterfalls. The event, which is designed to raise awareness of climate change issues and support for those engaged in climate advocacy, raised more than $34,100 for the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. All dollars raised for the institute from the event will be matched by Dan Emmett, chairman of Santa Monica-based Douglas Emmett, Inc. and the founder of the Emmett Institute.

The intrepid Climate Hike team included Professor Ann Carlson, Former Assistant Dean for Students Liz Cheadle ’81, Emmett Institute supporter Jeanne Fugate, Cara Horowitz ’01 of the Emmett Institute, Assistant Dean of Career Services Beth Moeller, Shirley Sanematsu ’01 and Associate Dean for External Affairs Lindsey Williams. Visit the Team Emmett page for more information on how to participate in an upcoming event and support the Emmett Institute.

Reunions 2015!

The extended law school family gathered in May to celebrate alumni from the classes of ’65, ’70, ’75, ’80, ’85, ’90, ’95, ’00, ’05 and ’10. Alumni returned to campus for the special reunion reception and class dinners, where alumni reconnected and had fun posing for pictures in the photo booth and viewing a photo slide show. In addition, this year’s events included an MCLE panel, a reception celebrating public interest at UCLA Law and a UCLA Law Women LEAD alumnae brunch, hosted by alumnae Nancy Abell ’79 and Heather Morgan '94 and featuring Stacey Snider '85. Reunions 2015 marked the sixth year of the Reunion Challenge. The challenge continues to grow in both scale and scope, raising more than $1.4 million this year and adding to the law school’s alumni participation rates.

The Blue and Gold Standard


The next time you are looking to hire on a full-time, part-time or contract basis, turn to the UCLA Law Office of Career Services to connect you to talented UCLA Law students and alumni. The Office of Career Services provides employers with an opportunity to post job listings or collect resumes, free of charge, for UCLA Law students and alumni. To find your next stellar candidate, please contact: Beth Moeller, assistant dean of career services, at 310.206.1117 or careers@law.ucla.edu.

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