About the Economy…

January 28, 2011

by Brett Twitty

This summer, I attended a presentation by National Association of Legal Career Professionals (NALP) Executive Director, Jim Leipold, on the state of the legal economy. As you might imagine, the picture was rather bleak. The past two years have been a tumultuous time for legal employers, and all signs point to an economy in the midst of significant, structural shifts.

For those of you considering law school, this is probably anything but surprising, but as an admissions officer, sitting there, listening to Jim’s presentation, I began to wonder just what to do with all of this information? How do I tell prospective students just how tough things are right now? How do I get them to think about these issues before they get to law school, before they ever embark upon a job search? Needless to say, these are not the easiest questions.

Nevertheless, they are important questions, and if you are currently contemplating law school, you absolutely have to think about these things (as, undoubtedly, a great many of you are). At W&L Law, we feel you deserve to know this information. And not just in a macro-economic sense. Of course it’s important to understand what’s happening with the legal economy generally, but you also need to know how these larger economic trends have affected our students, and what the average employment search looks like for a W&L student right now. After all, in less than a year’s time, you will be searching for a job, and it will be you who is personally experiencing the impact of many of these hiring and economic trends.

Consequently, we have created a new webpage detailing the state of the legal economy generally, how our students have been affected by these economic trends, what their job searches currently look like, and what we, as a school, are doing to help them.

However, lastly, as an admissions officer, let me leave those of you currently thinking about law school with this general piece of advice: Understand and be realistic about what you are getting yourself into. There are still law jobs out there, but certainly not as many as there were two or three years ago. And the kinds of jobs that are available and where they are has most certainly changed during this period. A legal education is a tremendous experience and it certainly opens doors, but these are challenging times for lawyers. All the numbers and information point to a legal economy in the midst of significant systemic changes, and it will likely be a few years before the market truly stabilizes. Consequently, you will need to come to law school prepared to work, hustle, network and take initiative. Give yourself the time to consider whether law is really the right path for you. And if you decide that it is, take the time to understand what is really going on with legal employers, law schools, post-graduate debt and any number of other factors that will likely bear upon your law school experience. A little research on the front-end can save you a lot of heartache on the back-end.

Preview of the Supreme Court Preview…

October 19, 2010

A preview of a preview? Well, at W&L Law, anything is possible. It’s kind of like that Land of Lakes butter container. You know the one with that  picture of a woman holding a box with a picture of a woman holding a box with a picture of a woman holding a box. Sally Draper. Child genius.

Tonight marks the occasion of our annual Supreme Court Preview. As part of this yearly event, members of our faculty highlight and discuss interesting cases before the Supreme Court of the United States in the upcoming term. This year’s Preview promises to be particularly entertaining. Discussion topics include: funerals, protests, violence, video games, Arnold Schwarznegger, gender discrimination, custody battles and evidentiary issues, to name a few. And that’s all in about an hour. In fact, there is a great post about this very event (as well as video clips of our faculty members previewing their, er, preview) on our Faculty Scholarship blog. Check it out:


Law Faculty Recognized for Teaching and Scholarship

April 28, 2010

Five members of the faculty have been awarded faculty fellowships this year, to recognize their outstanding achievements in teaching and scholarship. The faculty and awards are:

  • Jim Moliterno, John W. Elrod Law Alumni Fellowship in Teaching Excellence
  • Tim MacDonnell, Law Alumni Association Fellowship in Teaching Excellence
  • Tim Jost, Law Alumni Faculty Fellowship in Scholarly Excellence
  • Erik Luna, Law Alumni Faculty Fellowship in Scholarly Excellence
  • Christopher Bruner, Ethan Allen Faculty Fellowship in Scholarly Excellence

In addition, the School announced the inaugural recipient of the Monaghan Fellowship, established by Jessine Monaghan ‘79L to provide faculty support for faculty members seeking to improve Washington and Lee’s third year curriculum. This year’s fellow is J.D. King, director of the Criminal Justice Clinic. Prof. King will explore options and design systems for the clinical education program at W&L, which soon becomes mandatory for third year students.  King, who has been a visiting professor at the School since 2008, was invited to join the permanent faculty this year.

Law Journals Announce Leadership

April 19, 2010

We reported earlier on the announcement of the W&L Law Review Editorial Board. The Law School has three other law journals, all of which have also recently announced the student leadership for the coming year.


Sabina Thaler

Sabina Thaler '11L will lead the JCRSJ next year.

Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

The Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice is a biannual scholarly publication focusing on legal issues that affect historically underrepresented classes of persons in a wide variety of subject matter that includes real estate, education, healthcare, environment, and public welfare.  JCRSJ publishes articles submitted by leading scholars and practitioners as well as student notes. The Journal also sponsors an annual symposium on a topic relevant to the Journal’s focus.

The senior staff for the 2010-2011 school year are Editor-in-Chief Sabina Thaler; Executive Editor Jennifer Nguyen; Managing Editor Massie Payne; Managing Events Editor Kate Silvers; Editors Robbie Clarke, Christy Harrison, Christina Hud, Kate Lester, T.J. Moran, and Amanda Streff.

The Journal also announced that the following student notes will be published in 2010-2011:

Louise A. Halper Award Winner for Best Note –  Jennifer Nguyen, “The Three P’s of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act:  Unaccompanied Alien Children and the Forgotten P in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Prevention Reauthorization Act.”

Robbie Clarke, “Reaffirming the Role of the Federal Courts: How the Sixties Provide Guidance for Immigration Reform.”

Gail Deady, “The Girl Next Door: A Comparative Analysis of Criminal Vice Laws and Sex Trafficking Victim Identification within the Prostitution Industry.”

Christina Hud, “The Virginia Gardasil Law:  A C onstitutional Analysis of Mandated Protection for Schoolchildren Against the Human Papillomavirus.”

Kate Lester, “The Aftermath of Apprendi v. New Jersey on the Use of DNA Evidence at Sentencing:  Can DNA Alone Convict of Unadjudicated Prior Acts?”

T.J. Moran, “Bittersweet Consequences:  California’s Proposal to Legalize Marijuana and its Potential Effects on Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities.”

Sabina Thaler, “Citizens United and Forced Speech:  Why Disclosure of Corporate Political Expenditures is Necessary to Protect the Dissenting Shareholder after Citizens United v. FEC.”

Journal of Energy, Climate and the Environment

The Washington and Lee School of Law Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment  is a student-edited periodical published at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. The Journal includes articles, notes, case summaries, and legislative summaries from professors, practitioners, and students focused primarily on the areas of law surrounding energy and the climate, including, but not limited to, energy generation, energy usage, and climate impacts.

The senior staff for the 2010-2011 school year are Editor-in-Chief Christopher Hirsch; Executive Editor Sheri Hiter; Managing Editor Scott Corley; Managing Events Editor Fadil Bayyari; Senior Articles Editors Kelley Bodell and Stacey Valentine; Legislation Editor Anthony Glover; Case Editors Annalisa Gutierrez and Efe Ukala; Lead Articles Editors Matthew Baker, Trista Kang, Rachel Mack, and Anha Vo.

German Law Journal

The German Law Journal is an online journal that publishes commentary and scholarship in the fields of German, European and international law. Its English-language treatment of comparative and international law attracts more than two million site visits from more than 50 countries each year. W&L students have the opportunity to write book reviews, case comments, short articles, and, following instructional learning, assist in discussing and assessing submissions for the Journal. 

The senior staff for the 2010-2011 school year are Executive Editor Richard Bruno; Managing Editor Jennifer Nguyen; Senior Articles Editor Jonathan Foley; Events Editors Kaitlin Abplanalp and Daniel Goldman; Lead Articles Editors Ryan Brimmer, Robbie Clarke, and David Gundlach. The staff writers are Brian Calabrese, T. Peter Choi, Susanna Fultz, Stephen Harper, Hanna Jamar, Caliandra Lanza-Weil, Rae Mueller, Alexandra Price, and Mary Katherine Vigness.

2010-11 Moot Court Board Members Announced

April 9, 2010
Jessica Guzik

Jessica Guzik '11L will head the 2010-11 Moot Court Board


The outgoing Moot Court Executive Board, headed by Andrew Fadale ’10L, has announced the membership for the 2010-11 Executive Board. Jessica Guzik will chair the Board, and Katharine Lester and David Mackenzie will serve as vice-chairs. 

The Moot Court Board administers all competitions for the Moot Court Program, which includes the Robert J. Grey, Jr. Negotiations Competition, the John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy competition, Mock Trial, Mediation, and Client Counseling. Details about each competition are available on the web at law.wlu.edu/mootcourt

The specific competition administrators are as follow: 

Davis Competition Administrator
Margaret Hannapel
Rachel Vargo 

Mock Trial Administrator
Bill Larson
Claire Morneau 

Negotiations, Client Counseling, and Mediation Administrator
Chas Holder
Whitney Lomax
Stacey Valentine

Law Review Announces 2010-11 Editorial Board

April 1, 2010

Brandon Hasbrouck named editor in chief of the W&L Law Review

The Editorial Board for Volume 68 of the Washington and Lee Law Review has been announced. Next year’s editor in chief is Brandon Hasbrouck. Executive editors are Andrew D. Atkins and Maryl C. Sattler. The rest of the board includes:

Managing Editors

Lindsay A. Hitz
Aaron R. Sims

Senior Article Editors

Micah P.S. Jost
J. Nathaniel James

Symposium Editor

Robert M. Vrana

Lead Articles Editors

Ryan B. Brimmer
Katherine A. Brings
Katherine M. Brockmeyer
Amelia R. Guckenberg
Christopher J. Hartsfield
Eric C. Howlett
Meghan E. Monaghan
Lauren M. Snyder
Lauren B. Tallent

Additionally, the following student notes have been selected for publication during the 2010–2011 school year:

Andrew D. Atkins, A Complicated Environment:  The Problem with Extending Victims’ Rights to Victims of Environmental Crimes

Katherine M. Brockmeyer, State Regulation of Resale Price Maintenance on the Internet:  The Constitutional Problems with the 2009 Amendment to the Maryland Antitrust Act

Brandon Hasbrouck, If It Looks Like a Duck . . .:  Private International Arbitral Bodies Are Adjudicatory Tribunals Under 28 U.S.C. § 1782(a)

Lindsay A. Hitz, Protecting Blogging:  The Need for an Actual Disruption Standard in Pickering

J. Nathaniel James, The Church Amendment:  In Search of Enforcement

Micah P.S. Jost, Independent Contractors, Employees, and Entrepreneurialism Under the National Labor Relations Act:  A Worker-by-Worker Approach

Alexander L. Merritt, Confession of Error by Administrative Agencies

Maryl C. Sattler, The Problem of Parental Relocation:  Closing the Loophole in International Child Abduction Law

Aaron R. Sims, SIGTARP and the Executive-Legislative Clash:  Confronting a Bowsher Issue with an Eye Toward Preserving the Separation of Powers During Future Crisis Legislation

Lauren B. Tallent, Through the Lens of Federal Evidence Rule 403:  An Examination of Eyewitness Identification Expert Testimony Admissibility in the Federal Circuit Courts

Robert M. Vrana, The Remix Artist’s Catch 22:  A Proposal for Compulsory Licensing for Transformative, Sampling-Based Music

Transnational Law at W&L

March 17, 2010

We’ve posted previously about some of the transnational law offerings at W&L Law. Not only is Transnational Law now a required first year course, but there are ample opportunities for students to engage with the international legal community both abroad and in Lexington throughout their three years in school.

cambodian-fieldsTo learn more about one such opportunity, jump over to the blog maintained by several 3L students in the International Law Practicum, a set of clinic style courses that put students to work with lawyers in Liberia, Serbia, or Cambodia, often involving international travel. In February, the students traveled to Cambodia to work with the Defense Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which was created by law in 2001 by the Cambodian National Assembly to try serious crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime. In addition, W&L’s project in Liberia , which you can read more about here, was recently featured by the International Bar Association as a “best practice” in academic clinics.

On the home front, W&L attracts an array of international law scholars throughout the year for lectures and symposia. On Monday, March 22, David Caron, President-Elect of the American Society of International Law, will deliver the Washington and Lee Transnational Law Institute Distinguished Lecture for spring 2010. Outgoing ASIL President Lucy Reed delivered the fall address, which you can watch here.

Ms. Reed will be back on March 29 for a symposium focused on International Investment Treaties and Alternative Dispute Resolution. The symposium, which is a joint project between W&L and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), will bring academics, governments, practitioners, investors, and representatives from international and non-governmental organizations from around the world to Lexington to explore the prevention and efficient management of investment treaty disputes. You can learn more about the issues at play and the conference itself at the project website investmentadr.wlu.edu. And for you Twitter fans out there, you can follow updates on the conference, including day-of coverage, by searching on the #WLUADR hashtag.