Gonzaga University School of Law

American Legal System 101 for Spokane refugees

When Gonzaga Law Professor Megan Ballard organized a half-day workshop for refugees on American law and justice, 180 newcomers turned out to hear from a judge, police officer, public defenders and a prosecutor (several of them Gonzaga graduates). Law students served as volunteers. One refugee said he had never before felt comfortable in the presence of the police. Helping “reduce their fears was quite powerful,” said Ballard. A refugee aid organization now plans to make the workshop an annual event.

 

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Experiential learning gives Denver Law graduates an edge

Denver Law professor Robert Corrada’s students learn labor law by forming a union and engaging in collective bargaining, and grapple in administrative law classes with how to regulate a real life Jurassic Park. Corrada’s innovative methods have helped make Denver Law an exemplar of experiential learning where students learn real world skills in simulations, legal clinics and externships as well as classrooms. He now holds the nation’s first legal “Modern Learning” chair.

 

University of Baltimore School of Law

Computer mapping provides insights into Supreme Court decisions and dissent

Numerical scorecards on Supreme Court rulings abound, but University of Baltimore law professor Colin Starger has created a visual way to understand the high court’s decisions and dissents. His novel mapping software produces sophisticated, almost genealogical charts that plot relationships between majority, concurring and dissenting opinions extending over decades.

 

University of Utah Quinney College of Law

Role model for students and advocate for victims of crime

When Paul Cassell teaches criminal law, procedure, and crime victims’ rights to University of Utah law students, he brings the perspective of one who has been a federal judge, prosecutor and advocate before the Supreme Court for child pornography victims. Once a clerk for Chief Justice Warren Burger, Cassell also has spoken out forcefully against cuts in funding for public defenders. His career stands as a model for those committed to the pursuit of justice.

 

St. Thomas University School of Law

Former federal prosecutor leads fight for drug sentencing reforms

St. Thomas University law professor Mark Osler is among the country’s most successful advocates for criminal justice reform. He won the 2009 Supreme Court case that vindicated a judge’s refusal to impose a sentence for selling crack cocaine 100 times longer than for selling the drug in powder form. Author of Jesus on Death Row, he’s staged mock trials of Christ to dramatize opposition to the death penalty. Letters from prisoners inspired him to found the first law school clinic that works to obtain commutations or pardons for federal prisoners.

 

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

Professor Alexandra Natapoff Delves Deep into Misdemeanors: “Petty is the New Big.”

With one sentence, Professor Alexandra Natapoff summarized the thesis of her newest scholarly pursuit: examining the often-underappreciated area of misdemeanor crimes and the consequences of their disproportionately low profile convictions as compared to felonies.

For more information, see: http://www.lls.edu/resources/newsroom/loyolaspotlightarticles/delvingdeepintomisdemeanors/

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To submit a law teacher for consideration for Faculty Highlights, contact Jim Greif, Director of Communications at jgreif@aals.org.