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News and Events @ American University Washington College of Law April 2012

Tenley Campus Update

This month the D.C. Zoning Commission approved the plans for American University Washington College of Law to relocate from Spring Valley to American University's Tenley Campus. The approval of plans for further processing and zoning variances for the law school was handed down after American University's full campus plan was approved in March. Moving forward, the law school's Space Committee will be working with offices, departments, programs, faculty, and staff to move to the design phase. Construction is expected to begin summer 2013, with relocation of the law school to the new campus projected for 2015.

Valerie Jarrett will be 2012 Commencement Speaker

American University Washington College of Law will welcome Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, as the spring 2012 commencement speaker. Graduation will take place May 20, 2012, at 1 p.m. The law school is also pleased to once again invite graduates, their families, and friends to a reception in honor of commencement. The reception will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at the Organization of American States (OAS), located at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. MORE

Influential Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law Celebrates 20 Years of Publication

This year the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law (JGSPL) is celebrating 20 years of publication. "We still fill a void in legal scholarship," says Rafael Roberti, 3L and current editor-in-chief of the Journal. "We're known for publishing non-traditional legal pieces, which some journals would not accept. We publish articles that educate and empower people--even if they're not a lawyer. We provide a forum for them." MORE

Two Students Chosen as Fulbright Scholars

The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually, and only 1,600 of these grants are awarded to U.S. students and 4,000 to foreign students. This year, American University Washington College of Law students Doug Keillor and Natassia Rozario were chosen to participate in the prestigious Fulbright Student Program. MORE

Seven Students Awarded Peggy Browning Fellowships

The law school is proud to announce that The Peggy Browning Fund has awarded prestigious 10-week summer fellowships to seven American University Washington College of Law students. The fellows will work at a number of labor unions and a union-side labor law firm. The students are: Julie Cantor, Marcella Coyne, Kyle deCant, Rachel Kaplan, Carter Meader, Pascal Moleus, and Ezinwanyi Ukegbu. This is the highest number of Peggy Browning Fellowships awarded to students of a particular law school in a single year. MORE

Teach-In and Town Hall Addresses Trayvon Martin Tragedy

The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) hosted a teach-in and important legal discussion about the Trayvon Martin case, April 9. Professors provided mock opening and closing statements in addition to legal analysis of the issues. The program featured remarks and a town hall discussion by several high-profile civil rights experts and activists. Read the Washington Post's coverage.

Dean Grossman Attends Meeting on U.N. Human Rights Treaty Body Strengthening

Dean Claudio Grossman attended a meeting in New York of states parties to U.N. international human rights treaties. The consultation, hosted by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, built on consultations held in Geneva in February and prior meetings in Sion, Switzerland, and Dublin, Ireland, where Grossman participated. The consultation process included presentations by Navy Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, president of the 66th Session of the U.N. General Assembly. As part of the consultation process, state representatives and experts discussed the "Efficient and Effective Functioning of the Treaty Body System," "Strengthening the Membership of Treaty Bodies," and "Preparation of States Parties Reports and the Dialogue between States Parties and Treaty Bodies."

Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic Helps Low-Income Clients

As the calendar approached tax day and millions of Americans scrambled to prepare their annual tax returns, a group of American University Washington College of Law students stood ready to help. Student attorneys in the Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic typically assist low-income individuals in their disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. Students make a pro bono commitment of at least 20 hours to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program as part of the clinic. MORE

30 Years of ILSP- Gustavo Alanis Ortega '92

This year, the International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Each month the American University Washington College of Law e-newsletter will spotlight one of the program's alumni. Not long after graduating from ILSP alumnus Gustavo Alanis Ortega '92 took the helm at the Mexican Environmental Law Center (CEMDA), a non-profit organization in Mexico City that seeks to improve and enforce compliance with environmental laws and to create a greater awareness about environmental issues. READ his story.

Last Chance for Summer Abroad Applications; Enrollment Opens for D.C. Summer Programs

Late applications are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for the law school's specialized summer programs abroad. A few spots remain so students are encouraged to act now. Also, enrollment for AUWCL's domestic summer programs is open. Several programs such as Environmental Law and Arbitration start in May; Intellectual Property and Health Law and Policy start in June. Students and Alumni are encouraged to enroll online soon to secure their spot.

Dean Grossman Visits Area Law Firms

Dean Claudio Grossman, in conjunction with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, recently hosted alumni luncheons at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP and Hogan Lovells LLP as part of the Dean's Firm Visit Program. Dean Grossman updated alumni on new programs and the general state of the law school. The Dean's Firm Visit Program promotes continued excellence in legal education by engaging alumni at law firms in fundraising, career development, and outreach efforts. He will host another reception at BucklySandler LLP on Thursday, April 26. For more information, contact

Alumna Shares New TV Series Inspired by Her Career

Four days before its prime-time television premiere, Judy Smith '86 treated the law school community to a sneak peek of the first two episodes of ABC's Scandal, whose main character, Olivia Pope, is based on Smith's career. Students were given a glimpse into her high-powered career as a Washington problem-solver and crisis manager. MORE

Law School Hosts 16th Annual Sylvania Woods Conference

The law school and legal community came together for the 16th Annual Sylvania Woods Conference on April 12 to address matters of law and associated issues that affect African-American life and culture. This year three African-American federal district judges, all distinguished alumni, participated in a discussion on how the law relates to the African-American community. MORE

Puppies Visit Campus for Wellness Day

In March, nearly 250 students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to interact with puppies in the law school lobby, as part of American University Washington College of Law's Wellness Day. The puppies were provided by A Forever Home, a non-profit dog rescue group. The event, coordinated by the Office of Student Affairs, was part of a day of activities meant to explore and promote health and wellness.