Law School News

Updated: 2 hours 43 min ago

Student Voices: What I Learned from Kapnick

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 10:49
Hannah Loo, '17 Law School Communications January 20, 2017

Staring at the small two-by-two-foot elevated wooden box before us, I couldn’t imagine how we were going to fit all sixteen people on it long enough to sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

I know: it’s a strange problem to have at the beginning of law school, but the Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative was always meant to challenge us in new ways. And I was certainly challenged. I was part of the first Law School class to participate in Kapnick—and, two years later, I was part of the first class of Kapnick facilitators to have experienced the program as a 1L.

Before coming to law school, I had participated in a low ropes course like the one we visited at the beginning of the roughly two-week program, and I’d even helped guide others through them. But this time, as a new 1L surrounded by new faces, I had no idea what to do. Somehow we needed to crowd onto that platform, but so many ideas were being tossed around—small people in the middle with everyone else squeezing on the outside, students piggybacking on other students, and various other support scenarios intended to minimize the amount of space each person took up. I wondered: How would we succeed?

In the end, we figured it out by learning to work as a group: the two smallest hugged in the center to act as an anchor, while the rest of our group held hands and balanced on one foot. After rapidly singing through the lines, we separated and gave each other real hugs.

Two years later, as a facilitator, I watched a new group of 1Ls going through the same thought processes and testing out the same ideas, but singing “Happy Birthday to You” in honor of a classmate’s birthday. And while observing them—and occasionally asking questions to help them think about strategies, just as my facilitator had done for us—I thought to myself that this could be their moment to remember, as one of many Kapnick experiences.

Kapnick has taught me many things, but in particular, Kapnick taught me that there are many different ways to be a leader, and even more ways to be a good leader. As a 1L, Kapnick taught me the theories—the importance of action skills (sometimes termed soft skills), the significance of different perspectives, and the ways to approach different group roles. In the box activity, there were leaders who suggested ideas and leaders who tested them and refined them. As a 3L facilitator, there were also leaders who observed and strengthened discussions by asking additional questions. As a facilitator, Kapnick gave me the opportunity to practice those action skills and teach them to the 1Ls. And though Kapnick is focused on leadership and learning, Kapnick is also an incredible bonding experience and a chance for the facilitators to give back to the Law School and help shape the Law School community.

The Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative was created in 2014 as the result of a $2 million joint gift to the Law School and Booth School of Business by Scott, JD/MBA ’85, and Kathleen Kapnick, ’84. Kapnick is based on Booth’s experiential Leadership Effective and Development (LEAD) course, but is tailored to the Law School and law students to help them hone interpersonal skills that are increasingly significant in the professional world. All first-year law students participate in the Kapnick modules, which include personality and leadership, public speaking (Captivate the Audience), practicing self-awareness (Self-Awareness and Building Relationships), and more.

As a 1L, Kapnick was just one of many great unknowns. I knew it was a new program designed to teach leadership skills, but I did not know what exactly we would be doing. One of the few things I did know was to arrive at the Law School on Monday morning with a bag packed for an overnight trip. But as I worked through a low ropes course with my Bigelow section and practiced my public speaking skills within my Littlelow (my small group of eight 1L students and one facilitator), I started to appreciate the opportunity we had been given. By tackling challenges on the low ropes course, I learned to trust others, communicate better, listen more, and work collaboratively. By presenting to my Littlelow and watching a playback of my speech, I watched myself unconsciously over-gesture with my hands and realized I could speak a little louder and more slowly when presenting. By taking the Hogan Personality Inventory test and examining the results, I saw that, although I was among the most introverted students in my Bigelow, I already felt comfortable enough to share that fact with them—and to joke about my apparent lack of assertiveness despite my comparatively high score for directness.

And throughout all of it, I made friends, bonding with my Littlelow, my Bigelow, and the entire Class of 2017.

As a 3L and a member of the first class of facilitators who had participated in Kapnick as 1Ls, the Kapnick experience was very different. For all of us who chose and were chosen to be Kapnick facilitators, each of us had our own reasons for becoming a facilitator. As the president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), part of me wanted to be involved with Kapnick because my two predecessors had done the same. I also recognized how important it is to be involved with the 1Ls early on in their Law School careers, as Kapnick helps set the tone for the 1L year. But like many of the other facilitators, I believed that Kapnick helped shape our law school experience and our sense of community. We wanted to be a part of creating that for the next class of students.

To prepare ourselves to be facilitators, we spent Spring Quarter of 2L year working with our Booth co-facilitators developing the modules and honing our personal leadership skills through presentations and meetings. We returned to campus in early September and spent two more weeks organizing and prepping for our 1Ls to arrive. And although I remembered how unsure I felt going into Kapnick as a 1L, I was intentionally vague when I was asked questions by my Littlelow—I wanted the 1Ls to maximize their experience trying new things and learning new skills without expectations.

The uncertainty, I now understood, had a purpose.

Many parts of Kapnick have changed over the years, and many aspects will continue to change. The needs of facilitators and participants will change, as will their approach to Kapnick and to the Law School. The modules of Kapnick continue to be developed and are updated every year. And every year, the facilitators and the Law School attempt to improve on the last. The structure of Kapnick—for instance, whether it is part of orientation or distinct from it—continues to be adjusted. As such, Kapnick may no longer be a 1L’s very first Law School experience, as it was for me. But it is still a very distinct UChicago experience. I am truly glad to have been a part of Kapnick, both as a 1L coming into law school and as a 3L preparing to leave law school for professional life.

Above: A group of students works through a challenge on the low ropes course, one of the first modules they experience as part of the Kapnick leadership Development Initiative.

Photo in the story: Hannah Loo, '17, (far right) gathers with the other Kapnick facilitators in her group.


Professor Martha Nussbaum to Deliver 2017 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 11:10
Becky Beaupre Gillespie Law School Communications January 18, 2017

World-renowned philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum, the University of Chicago’s Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, will deliver the 2017 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities on May 1 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. 

World-renowned philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum, the University of Chicago’s Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, will deliver the 2017 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities on May 1 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Her talk, “Powerlessness and the Politics of Blame,” will draw on her years of work on the role of emotion in politics to explore the emotional dynamics at play in American and other societies today—including the ways in which uncertainty leads to the blaming of outsider groups.

The lecture, established by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1972, is the highest honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

Previous speakers include jurist and law professor Paul Freund, writer Saul Bellow, historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., literary critic Helen Vendler, and filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Leon Kass, the University of Chicago’s Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus of Social Thought and in the College, was selected in 2009.

“I'm deeply honored to be invited to deliver the Jefferson Lecture, and happy to have this chance to speak for the humanities at a time when they are under threat, both in our nation and all over the world,” said Nussbaum, who last year was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for contributions that include developing a measure of global welfare that focuses on human capabilities rather than only on economic growth.

NEH Chairman William D. Adams said: “We are deeply honored that Martha Nussbaum has agreed to give the 2017 Jefferson Lecture, and we look forward to learning her thoughts on ‘Powerlessness and the Politics of Blame’. Across her long and immensely productive career, Martha has been a tireless and peerless advocate for the role and utility of philosophy in our public life. With this honor, we celebrate at once her philosophical achievements and her example as an engaged and passionate public philosopher.”     

Nussbaum, who is appointed in the Law School and Philosophy Department, has earned international acclaim for her work on moral and political theory, emotions, human rights, social equality, education, feminism, and ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. She also is an associate in the Classics Department, the Divinity School, and the Political Science Department, as well as a member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a board member of the Human Rights Program.

Her Jefferson Lecture will draw from her latest book project, which brings a philosophical view to political crises in America, Europe, and India by offering a deeper understanding of how fear, anger, disgust, and envy interact to create a divisiveness that threatens democracy.

“It is urgent for us to understand ourselves better, to see why we have arrived at this state of division, hostility, and non-communication,” Nussbaum said. “A philosophical approach, focused on a close look at human emotions, offers that understanding of ourselves … I believe it also offers us strategies of hope and connection.”

Dean Thomas J. Miles, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics, said he was pleased to see Nussbaum and her achievements honored by the NEH.

“Martha joins an esteemed list of thinkers, writers, humanitarians, and artists who have been chosen to deliver this important lecture,” he said. “It is a well-deserved recognition, given her influential contributions on a range of issues, including social justice, equality, and human dignity. Martha’s longstanding and passionate support for humanities education makes her selection for the Jefferson Lecture especially fitting.”

Nussbaum, who has written and edited dozens of books and written more than 400 papers, received her MA and PhD from Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Chicago, she was a University Professor at Brown University. From 1986 to 1993, while teaching at Brown, Nussbaum was also a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, a branch of the United Nations University. She is a founding president of the Human Development and Capability Association, and she has received 57 honorary degrees from universities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. In addition to the Kyoto Prize, Nussbaum has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in 2012, the Nonino Prize in 2015, and the Inamori Ethics Prize, also in 2015, among others.

The Jefferson Lecture is free and open to the public and will stream live online at Tickets will be available to the public beginning in April. Click here to sign up for ticketing notification updates.

Faculty:  Martha C. Nussbaum

Photo by Jeff Brown.

Ticketing and Viewing Information

Tickets to the Jefferson Lecture will be available to the public beginning in April. Click here to sign up for ticketing notification updates. The lecture is free and open to the public and will stream live online at It airs on May 1 at 7:30 p.m. EST.


Brian Leiter on Rethinking the Justification of Tenure

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 10:12
Academic Ethics: Rethinking the Justification of Tenure Brian Leiter The Chronicle of Higher Education January 17, 2017

In the neoliberal world, tenure looks like an unusual institution.

Tenure for professors has been under pressure, and even the subject of outright attacks, for a long time. But the pace of the assault has accelerated lately, and there is no more significant canary in the coal mine than events in Wisconsin over the past two years.

Tenure protections have been systematically eviscerated by the Republican-dominated government in Wisconsin — the former home of progressivism and still home to one of the nation’s most distinguished research universities in Madison and to many popular branch campuses throughout the state. Tenure protections were removed from state law, watered-down protections became part of system policy subject to regents’ control, and administrators gained greater power over posttenure reviews.

In the neoliberal world, tenure looks like an unusual institution — and it is, especially in the United States.

Read more at:

Faculty:  Brian Leiter

RegBlog on Daniel Abebe's "Cyberwar, International Politics, and Institutional Design"

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 16:08
Regulating International Cyberwarfare Alex Kang RegBlog January 13, 2017

This past weekend, U.S. intelligence agencies released a report asserting that the Russian government hacked into email servers belonging to the Democratic National Committee, in what the Office of the Director of National Intelligence called a “campaign to influence the election.”

The cyberattacks on an American target marked what some commentators called an “unprecedented” intrusion into the American political system, underscoring the threat of cyberwarfare and its effects. Daniel Abebe, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School explores how these kinds of state-to-state exchanges could be regulated—how the United States government might choose to curtail, or expand, the President’s authority to engage in cyberwarfare—in light of cyberwarfare’s nascent, but increasingly important status within the international community.

In his forthcoming paper, Abebe argues that in determining the appropriate level of control for cyberwarfare—a new type of conflict that could challenge existing norms of conventional warfare—policymakers must consider not only internal institutional constraints, such as the U.S. Constitution, but also the direct relationship these internal constraints have with external constraints created by the competing interests and cyber capabilities of other countries.

Read more at:

Faculty:  Daniel Abebe

Craig Futterman on Chicago Tonight: Will DOJ Report Finally Force Reform at the Chicago Police Department?

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 14:13
Will DOJ Report Finally Force Reform at the Chicago Police Department? Paul Caine Chicago Tonight January 16, 2017

In a damning report, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed what many in minority communities had been saying for years.

In a damning report, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed what many in minority communities had been saying for years. That, based on the evidence, the Chicago Police Department engages in a pattern and practice of using excessive force in violation of the Constitution.


Joining us to discuss the report’s findings are: Lori Lightfoot, president of the Chicago Police Board and a member of the mayor's Police Accountability Task Force; Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor and founder of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project; and Shari Runner, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League which works to foster economic, educational and social progress in the African-American community.

Read more at:

Faculty:  Craig B. Futterman

Five Questions with Tom Ginsburg

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 10:30
Five Questions with Tom Ginsburg I-CONnect January 13, 2017

1. Tell us about something you are working on right now.

With my colleague Aziz Huq, I’m working on constitutional retrogression, that is situations in which democratic constitutional orders degrade, though do not collapse. It seems, sadly, relevant to our time but maybe it will be a purely theoretical project. Mila Versteeg and I have a project on constitutional origins, and Rosalind Dixon and I are working on a paper on various forms of political insurance.

2. How and when do you write? Do you have a routine or do you write whenever and wherever you find the time?

I’m also very interested in how people organize their time—constantly looking for a good formula. Let me know if you hear of one. Personally I’ve had enormous writers’ block the last few months. Very frustrating. It took me all fall to draft a book review and a short conference paper. Maybe a routine would help.

Read more at:

Faculty:  Tom Ginsburg

Craig Futterman on Chicago Police Investigation: Mayor Must be Committed to Working With Federal Government

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 10:12
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Plans to Embrace DOJ Report Sarah Schulte and Liz Nagy ABC 7 Chicago January 12, 2017

Futterman said for real change to happen, the mayor must be committed to signing an agreement with the federal government that would put the city on the path to a court ordered consent decree, which would make reform overseen by an outside monitor.

"That's why there is an historic opportunity for this mayor right now and this DOJ to say, 'yes we are firmly committed to addressing civil right in Chicago,'" Futterman said.

Read more at:

Faculty:  Craig B. Futterman

Craig Futterman on the DOJ Investigation into Chicago Police Department

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 10:05
DOJ Finds Civil Rights Abuses in Chicago Police Department Paris Schutz Chicago Tonight January 12, 2017

“I expect them to find that there are patterns of police abuse in Chicago and discriminatory policing in Chicago, that there is a code of silence, and that there is an utter lack of political will to hold these officers accountable.”

Craig Futterman is a police watchdog who was instrumental in the release of the Laquan McDonald video. He has worked with the DOJ on this investigation and says he expects the final report to be tough medicine.

“I expect them to find that there are patterns of police abuse in Chicago and discriminatory policing in Chicago, that there is a code of silence, and that there is an utter lack of political will to hold these officers accountable,” he said. “These systems have been designed to fail.”

Read more at:

Faculty:  Craig B. Futterman

Bakhtawar Soofi, LLM '17, Publishes Op-Ed on the Complexities of the Case Against the Pakistani Prime Minister

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 15:55
The Deeper Points Bakhtawar Bilal Soofi Dawn January 10, 2017

THE Panama case has become a deeply polarising issue in our political discourse. On one hand is the PTI whose leadership has cultivated the impression that the disclosures made in the Panama Papers make a ‘closed and shut’ case. For Imran Khan and his followers, the Sharifs are all but doomed. On the other hand is the PML-N claiming that the PTI has failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove its allegations against the prime minister and his family. For them, the Panama case is only the latest embodiment of PTI’s politics of agitation.

A decision either way will be perceived as a failure to do justice by at least one group of citizenry. This erosion of the public’s confidence in our judiciary’s ability to dispense justice is deeply worrying. It is important for people to appreciate that the issue is not as simple as the PTI and PML-N might want us to believe.

The Panama case raises finer and more intricate points than many people realise. It is not just about the Sharif family or the accountability of our political elite as they are not the only two things that the case turns on. There are many additional factors the court must carefully consider before reaching a definitive conclusion.

Read more at:

Tom Ginsburg's New Edited Book: "Constitution Making"

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 13:22
The Complexities of Constitution Making Elgar blog January 11, 2017

Sujit Choudhry and Tom Ginsburg examine the many issues involved in the making of constitutions.

Sujit Choudhry and Tom Ginsburg examine the many issues involved in the making of constitutions.

The making of constitutions is both ubiquitous and poorly understood. It is ubiquitous because constitutions are a central feature of the modern nation-state, but do not generally last very long. It is poorly understood in part because of the sheer diversity of environments in which constitutions are produced. Consider a few examples from the recent wave of constitution-making in the Arab spring. Six countries have engaged in some form of constitutional revision, but in only one, Tunisia, is the outcome anything like the consolidation of a new political order. Other cases have been more successful. In some countries like South Africa and Spain, constitution-making provided a discrete moment of national reconstruction. We also observe calls for new constitutions in stable democracies like Chile, where some yearn for a new document untainted by the shadow of the past.

Constitutions play many different functions and roles: political bargains, social contracts, sources of benefits for interest-groups, devices for the protection of fundamental rights, embodiments of core values, and signals to external actors. Yet regardless of the way in which a constitution is conceptualized, there is now an almost standard set of decisions that must be made, with choices about form of government, rights, judicial power and other features all embodied in a single text. Constitution-making is the process of producing these texts; constitution-building is the temporally extended process of creating functioning institutions and processes of governance. Our new volumeConstitution-Making, collects some of the most important academic contributions on constitution-making.

Read more at:

Faculty:  Tom Ginsburg

Faculty Members Sign Sessions Letter

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 10:54
Twenty-Two Law Professors Sign Letter Opposing Trump Attorney General Pick Jeff Sessions Lee Harris University of Chicago Maroon January 10, 2017

Twenty-two University of Chicago Law School faculty members have joined law professors nationwide in signing a letter urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. 

A total of 1,424 law school professors from universities in 49 states (Alaska does not have a law school) have signed the letter. 

The statement begins by referencing Sessions’s nomination to a federal judgeship in 1986, which was rejected on the basis of perceived prejudice against African Americans, including his prosecution of black civil rights activists for voter fraud in 1985, and goes on to list numerous concerns about his suitability to head the Justice Department.  

“Some of us have concerns about his support for building a wall along our country’s southern border. Some of us have concerns about his robust support for regressive drug policies that have fueled mass incarceration. Some of us have concerns about his questioning of the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change. Some of us have concerns about his repeated opposition to legislative efforts to promote the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community. Some of us share all of these concerns. All of us believe it is unacceptable for someone with Senator Sessions’ record to lead the Department of Justice,” the statement reads. 

Read more at:

Faculty:  Alison Siegler Faculty:  Aziz Huq

Todd Henderson's Analysis of Lewis v. Clarke on SCOTUSblog

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 16:29
Argument analysis: Court unlikely to resolve complex issues about scope of sovereign and tribal immunity Todd Henderson SCOTUSblog January 10, 2017

There are some oral arguments in which it becomes apparent that the court made a mistake in granting certiorari.

There are some oral arguments in which it becomes apparent that the court made a mistake in granting certiorari. Monday’s argument in Lewis v. Clarke is one of those cases. As described in my argument preview, the case involves a car accident in Connecticut in which the defendant was an employee of an Indian tribe, which asserted a defense of sovereign immunity. The case exposes some interesting problems in the court’s jurisprudence regarding sovereign immunity generally, the characterization of claims for sovereign immunity purposes and the scope of Indian tribe immunity. But the oral argument leaves the impression that the court may have bitten off more than it can chew. Given the absence of a ninth vote, the most likely result is a punt.

Read more at:

Faculty:  M. Todd Henderson

William Baude Elected to American Law Institute

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 14:47
Law School Communications January 9, 2017

William Baude, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, has been elected to the American Law Institute. He is one of 58 new members, including Charles Senatore, '80, and former Bigelow Fellow Shyamkrishna Balganesh.

ALI said, "These highly regarded judges, lawyers, and law professors will bring a wide range of perspectives and areas of expertise to ALI’s work of clarifying the law through Restatements, Principles, and Model Codes."

“I have the great luck of welcoming each class of new members,” said ALI President Roberta Cooper Ramo. “Each group of lawyers, accomplished in their own fields and professions, brings new experience and new perspectives to our work of clarifying the law. I look forward to greeting our new members as I hand over the gavel to Dean Levi in May.”

Election of these new members raises ALI's total number of elected members to 2,900. Visit the Newly Elected Members page to view biographical sketches of the new members.

Read more at:

Faculty:  William Baude

Giving Back at the Woodlawn Clinic

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 11:46
Claire Stamler-Goody Law School Communications January 11, 2017

Students who volunteer at the Woodlawn Clinic help address the need for free legal representation in their surrounding community  

On the second Wednesday of October, with just two weeks of classes under her belt, Whittney Barth, ’19, volunteered for the first time at the Woodlawn Legal Clinic—a community resource that offers free legal services to those in need. When she arrived, she saw that every seat in the lobby was filled. Many had shown up hours early just to ensure they’d have the chance to meet with a lawyer.

Right away, Barth was paired with volunteer attorney, and when they sat down to gather facts on their first case, she was struck with an overwhelming feeling of vulnerability and responsibility—especially when she considered how difficult it must be for clients to share the intimate details of their lives with strangers. As she listened to their stories, took notes, and asked questions, she grew more confident, encouraged by the trust both the client and the volunteer attorney had given her.

In the span of three hours, they analyzed cases involving housing issues, medical bills, employment discrimination, and divorce. After gathering the facts of the case, Barth and the attorney consulted with the clinic’s attorneys from LAF, the largest provider of free civil legal aid in Cook County. The team then returned to the client to offer advice, and after each meeting, the client shook her hand. As they left, Barth hoped that she had made a difference in their lives. Navigating the chaos and coursework of her 1L year, it was the best reminder of why she went to law school in the first place.

“It was rewarding to meet people who’ve been struggling with a particular issue for a long time and have them realize that maybe there is hope in their case, and that they do have allies,” Barth said.

There is a need for low-cost legal representation in the Woodlawn neighborhood, and Law School students help address that need, clinic coordinators said. Clients who visit the clinic may do so after struggling with a particular issue for years—for them, it is often the first time they feel supported in tackling that issue.

“The clinic allows students to get involved and be responsible members of their community,” said Zeshawn Qadir, ’17, who is on the Law School's Pro Bono Board and coordinates student volunteers. “As future lawyers, we have the capability to make a profound impact for people facing challenging life situations and who have no one else to turn to.”

The Woodlawn Clinic—which meets at the AKArama Community Service Center in the Woodlawn neighborhood—began in 2010 as a partnership between LAF and DLA Piper that sought to make free legal assistance accessible to a community they felt was underserved. Regina Hernandez, the attorney with LAF who coordinates the clinic, is grateful for the Law School students who volunteer each month and help with the growing number of clients.

“Having the students consistently present, consistently eager, and committed to the work that we do makes a huge difference,” Hernandez said. “A Law School student partnered with an attorney helps both parties immensely in getting to what the real issue is—they end up being really valuable fact finders.”

Many cases are straightforward wins for the client, but others are tougher and could easily remain unresolved without the time and attention to detail that volunteers at the Woodlawn Clinic provide, Qadir said.

“With a lot of these cases, it was obvious that they were being mistreated,” he said, “but they didn’t know it, or didn’t know what to do about it. So when they came to the clinic, we knew we could really help them.”

Learning firsthand the impact that pro bono work can have on people’s lives is a crucial experience for law students—and one they should have as soon as possible in their law school careers, Hernandez said.

“Getting this kind of face-to-face client contact early on is giving students the most practical experience they can get,” she said. “I think the skills that law students develop when working with real people and putting a face to the case file—they stay with them in a meaningful way.”

The clinic’s location, just a few blocks from campus, offers Law School students a unique opportunity to make an impact through pro bono work in the surrounding community.

“I found the Woodlawn Clinic particularly attractive because it was right here in our own neighborhood,” Barth said. “We have a responsibility to learn from each other and be as of much assistance to our neighbors as we possibly can.”

After graduation, Qadir will stay in Chicago to do corporate work at Sidley Austin LLP. Providing legal services through pro bono volunteering will continue to be a priority in his career, he said.

“I think many law students believe that they have to choose between a career in public interest or working for corporate clients,” Qadir said. “But honestly, you can make a meaningful impact regardless of the career path that you ultimately choose.”


William Baude: Is it Time to Hold Police Officers Accountable for Constitutional Violations?

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 09:46
Is it Time to Hold Police Officers Accountable for Constitutional Violations? William Baude The Volokh Conspiracy January 10, 2017

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued a summary opinion in the White v. Pauly case. A police officer was sued for killing a man during an armed standoff during which the officers allegedly never identified themselves as police. The Supreme Court, however, concluded that the officer had “qualified immunity.” That is, he was immune from a suit for damages, because his conduct — while possibly unconstitutional — was not obviously unconstitutional.

Read more at:

Faculty:  William Baude

William Baude on the Foreign Emoluments Clause

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 10:09
Some misgivings about the Foreign Emoluments Clause arguments William Baude The Volokh Conspiracy January 9, 2017

I keep getting asked questions about whether Donald Trump’s foreign business dealings will run afoul of the Foreign Emoluments Clause.

I keep getting asked questions about whether Donald Trump’s foreign business dealings will run afoul of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which says:

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

I ultimately do not have a firm view on this question, which means I have not been wholly convinced by the very firm views I have seen bandied about on both sides. But here are a few thoughts...

Read more at:

Faculty:  William Baude

Three Recent Law School Graduates Secure Clerkships on the Supreme Court

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 09:50
Claire Stamler-Goody Law School Communications January 9, 2017

Three recent Law School graduates have earned clerkships on the Supreme Court beginning in October.

Three recent Law School graduates, Krista Perry, ’16, Nick Harper, ’15, and Gilbert Dickey, ’12, have earned clerkships on the US Supreme Court beginning in October. Perry and Harper will clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Dickey will clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas.

“We are tremendously proud of Krista, Nick, and Gilbert,” said Dean Thomas J. Miles, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics. “They will be outstanding clerks on the Supreme Court, and their accomplishments are a testament to the extraordinary students we have here at the Law School.”

Perry, who is currently clerking on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit for Judge William H. Pryor Jr., said she was excited to learn that two other Law School graduates will be clerking on the same term.

“I am so thrilled, and I’m incredibly grateful for all of the people at the Law School who helped make it happen,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to doing valuable, interesting work for such a good man and conscientious jurist.”

As a student, Perry was Topic Access Editor of the Law Review, served as president of the Federalist Society, participated in the Edward W. Hinton Moot Court Competition, and worked as a research assistant for Senior Lecturer Richard Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Law.

Senior Lecturer Dennis Hutchinson, chair of the Law School’s Clerkship Committee, said that Perry couldn’t be more deserving of the clerkship.

“Krista is one of the most impressive students I have taught in the last several years,” he said. “In class, she always listened and responded carefully, and between serving on the Law Review, being president of the Federalist Society, and being an active member of the Law School community, she was just an all-around fantastic student.”

Nick Harper currently works in the Appellate Group at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Washington, DC. He found out that he would be clerking for Kennedy on the same day that he interviewed.

"Justice Kennedy is a brilliant jurist, and from what I’ve heard from his previous clerks, he’s also a very caring and thoughtful person,” Harper said. “I’m really looking forward to learning from a justice who has such a broad range of legal knowledge and experience. And now that I found out that Krista is going to be there, I’m even more excited.”

Harper is grateful for the Law School’s continuing emphasis on the Socratic Method, which he hopes will prepare him for hashing out difficult issues and engaging in rapid-fire legal analysis during his clerkship. William Baude, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Law, taught Harper in his Federal Courts course and said that Harper was an incredibly quick study who within weeks of learning about a new legal subject could master it completely.

“Nick is one of the strongest students in the history of the Law School, and yet has such an easygoing, mature demeanor that you might miss it,” Baude said. “His judgment and intellectual firepower are a perfect fit for the job of a Supreme Court law clerk.”

Harper—who participated in the Federalist Society, was Comments Editor on the Law Review, and was a member of Amicus—is especially excited to confront the unique hurdles that clerking on the Supreme Court will offer.

“I'm excited to grapple with extremely difficult and important legal issues, and I'm hoping to learn how the Supreme Court's unique institutional role affects the way legal issues are presented and analyzed,” he said. “It's going to be a completely different challenge, and that's something I'm really looking forward to.”

Dickey secured his clerkship with Thomas shortly after he interviewed, and said that when he found out, “it was really incredible—it’s a great opportunity that I never expected I would have, and it was just an amazing day.”

Like Perry, Dickey also clerked for Pryor after graduating from the Law School. Afterward, he worked for a private firm in Birmingham, Alabama, and currently is an assistant attorney general in West Virginia. 

“I remember when I was at the Law School, I would read some of Justice Thomas’ opinions for class,” he said, “and I always found him to be a very thoughtful and principled jurist. I am really excited to see first-hand how he works through a case and to learn from him.”

As a student, Dickey participated in the Hinton Moot Court Competition, was an officer in the Federalist Society, and was a member of the Edmund Burke Society as well as the Christian Legal Society. Looking back on his time as a student, he remembers the Law School being a place filled with bright students, outstanding faculty, and serious discussion—it was environment, he said, that will prepare him for working in the Supreme Court.

Lecturer in Law Adam Mortara clerked for Thomas after graduating from the Law School, and taught Dickey in his Federal Jurisdiction and Federal Habeas Corpus courses.

“I was not at all surprised that Gilbert received a clerkship offer from Justice Thomas,” Mortara said. “He has a quality that Justice Thomas looks for but sadly few with Gilbert's incredible legal intellect possess, which is genuine humility. Gilbert’s success is proof that nice people do finish first and he provides a great example for our Law School community.”

Dickey was happy to learn that two other Law School graduates will be clerking on the same term as him. “I know Krista because we both clerked for Judge Pryor,” he said. “And I know of Nick Harper. We haven’t met yet, but we will.” 

Faculty:  Thomas J. Miles Faculty:  Dennis J. Hutchinson Faculty:  William Baude Faculty:  Adam Mortara Faculty:  Richard A. Epstein clerkships-image.jpg