UT Law News - The Electronic Newsletter of the University of Texas School of Law

Volume 1 Issue 3
August 2004


  UT Law Welcomes Freshlaws
On August 23 the Law School welcomed the class of 2007 with a two day orientation. Distinguished professors discussed law, U.S. Courts, the first year curriculum, and the School's honor code. Texas Supreme Court Justice Wallace Jefferson, '88, welcomed the students to the profession. The class members also participated in book discussions and were treated to a barbeque and live music courtesy of the Student Bar Association. On Wednesday, August 25, the new school year began.

The 429 students represent a talented, diverse, and accomplished group: a Fulbright fellow; two physicians; numerous poets, musicians, Eagle Scouts, and marathon runners; 25 Aggies from Texas A&M; a former professional baseball player (Atlanta Braves); and a licensed FAA Private Pilot. Twenty-three different languages are spoken among the students and numerous members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Services will be represented.

  UT Law Announces New Society System; David S. Sokolow and Allyson Childs, '95, to Administer the Program
This summer the Law School created a Society System for first-year students. Its goals are to foster a stronger sense of community among students and to further improve student access to UT Law faculty members. Each first-year section will be divided into two societies of approximately sixty students each. Each society will have a faculty advisor and a student program coordinator. David Simon Sokolow, one of UT Law's most popular teachers, has been named Director of Student Life, and Allyson Childs, a 1995 graduate of UT Law, has been hired as Director of Student Programs.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/071204_societies.html

  UT Capital Punishment Clinic Wins Case in U.S. Supreme Court
A June ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving the Law School's Capital Punishment Clinic could lead to the reversal of dozens of death sentences imposed in Texas before 1991. In Tennard v. Dretke, the Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that a death-sentenced inmate could continue with his claim that his jury was unable to give effect to evidence of his 67 IQ as a mitigating factor in the penalty phase of a capital trial. Before 1991, Texas juries were not directly asked to consider mitigating evidence in deciding whether a defendant should live or die. UT Law professors Rob Owen and Jordan Steiker along with six law students (Kimberly Carter, Leslie Conant Thorne, Heather Fraley, Haverly Rauen, Amanda Tyler, and Mitria Wilson) took a leading role in this Texas death penalty case, challenging the fairness of Texas death row defendant Robert Tennard's 1986 trial.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/062404_tennard.html

In Memoriam

  Corwin W. Johnson, a law professor at UT-Austin for almost six decades and a national expert on property law and water law, died Thursday, July 29, after suffering a stroke. He was 86 years old. President Faulkner ordered the University's flags to be flown at half-mast on Thursday, August 5. "Corwin was a pillar of the Law School community for over half a century. He was a great teacher and scholar. But even more than that, he was a great friend. We will all miss him," said Dean Bill Powers.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/073004_johnson.html

Faculty Awards and Honors

  Torres Honored by MALDEF
Gerald Torres has been given the 2004 Legal Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for his work to advance the legal rights of Latinos. Torres, who also serves as president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), will accept the award at MALDEF's 36th Anniversary Gala on Friday, September 10, at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio. "The Legal Service Award is presented annually to an individual for his or her exemplary advancement of the legal rights of Latinos," said Luis Figueroa, legislative staff attorney at MALDEF. "Professor Torres is being recognized in particular for his academic contributions to critical race theory. His book, The Miner's Canary, is one of the more powerful pieces dealing with everything from affirmative action and race theory to the importance of advancing the causes of minorities."

Full Story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/081304_maldef.html

  Bobbitt Named One of Britain's Top 100 Public Intellectuals
Professor Philip Bobbitt was named by Britain's Prospect Magazine as one of the 100 top public intellectuals in Great Britain. The magazine, which celebrated its 100th issue this July, selected Bobbitt and others by virtue of their "intellectual or cultural endeavour(s) coupled with an ability to communicate well to generalist audiences through the written or spoken word" and their "current contribution by which we mean the past five to ten years."

Full Story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/062504_bobbitt.html

  Emeritus Professor Lebowitz Receives the Legion of Honor Medal for His WWII Service
On August 15 in a ceremony held in the American Cemetery in Draguignan, France, Leon Lebowitz received France's Legion of Honor medal. Lebowitz is the Law School's Joseph Hutcheson Professor Emeritus in Law. The ceremony was held sixty years after he, and the U.S. 3rd Infantry division, invaded southern France to provide support to troops already in Normandy.

The Legion of Honor is France's highest award given for outstanding service to France. It is widely considered one of Europe's most prestigious civic honors.

Full Story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/081704_lebowitz.html

  Oren Bracha Joins UT Law Faculty
UT Law has hired Oren Bracha as an assistant professor of law. His primary scholarly interests are intellectual property, cyberlaw, and legal history. As a visiting assistant professor of law this past year, Bracha's classes were enthusiastically received by his students. "We are delighted to have Oren in Austin on a permanent basis. His scholarship and his proven ability to connect with students will be great assets to our community," said Dean Bill Powers.

Full Story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/081104_bracha.html

  Schiess Named Director of Legal Writing; Elizabeth Chestney, '02, and Elizabeth Youngdale, '94, Hired
Dean Bill Powers has named Wayne Schiess Director of Legal Writing at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law. He announced the hiring of Beth Youngdale, formerly Head of Student Services at the law school's Jamail Center for Legal Research, and Betsy Chestney, who recently completed her second year as a clerk to the Honorable Sam Sparks of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Full Story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/070104_schiess.html

  In the News:
  Book Releases

Student Honors

  UT Law Students and Recent Alumnus Earn Coveted Internships at Rwanda Criminal Tribunal
Two recent graduates of The University of Texas at Austin School of Law and one current student have been selected by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania to serve as interns in the Office of the Prosecutor this fall. The Law School has been sending students and graduates to the Tribunal since 2000, but this fall will mark the first time it has sent three at one time.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/080304_ictr.html

Conferences Classroom and Library

  Tarlton Library Wins Library Public Relations Award
The Tarlton Law Library has received an LPeRCy award from the Library Public Relations Council. The Library received the LPeRCy award for the series of brochures that were designed and distributed by the Library to the following groups who utilize the Library's services and resources: UT-Austin law students, members of the UT Law faculty, members of the UT-Austin community, lawyers, and the public. Each of the brochures describes particular services of interest to those Library patrons and highlights both traditional and online services and resources.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/062504_lpercy.html

  Legal Eagles 50th anniversary, October 17
This fall the Legal Eagles invite all alumni to attend the beer bowl on October 17 in celebration of their 50th team. As is traditional, the losing team will buy the winning team a round of beer at a local tavern. For information contact faculty sponsor Brian Rider at (512) 329-0100.

  A Look Ahead to Fall '04
This fall the Alumni Association will host a tailgate party, the Keeton and Clark Fellows Dinner, and regional receptions. You'll receive more information about these events as they draw closer. We look forward to seeing you!

  At the Jamail Research Center
The library is hosting an exhibit both online and in Townes Hall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. This exhibit focuses on what one can learn about the case from the papers of U.S. associate Supreme Court justice Tom C. Clark, '22, and will include handwritten conference notes, internal memoranda, and photographs of the plaintiffs and defendants. For more information contact Michael Widener at (512) 471-7262 or mwidener@law.utexas.edu.

Exhibit Link: http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/clark/brown.html

  Curtis Meadows Named Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Alumnus Curtis W. Meadows, Jr., UT Law class of 1962, was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the highest academic honors in the United States. Meadows received both his B.B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/062104_meadows.html

  Joe K. Longley, '69, and Philip K. Maxwell, '69, Donate Legislative History Materials to the Texas Legislative Reference Library
Dean William Powers and Professor Roy M. Mersky recently facilitated an important donation of legislative history materials from the archives of the firm of Longley & Maxwell, LLP to the Texas Legislative Reference Library. The donation includes both personal and firm documents relating to the drafting and adoption of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the private remedies amendments to the Texas Insurance Code.

Full story: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/062304_longley.html

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UT Law News is a bi-monthly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends to keep you informed about The University of Texas at Austin School of Law and its impact on the world. Please share your comments and suggestions by emailing the UT Law communications office director Allegra Young at ayoung@mail.law.utexas.edu.

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