Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ASU Law Moving to Downtown Phoenix


Arizona State University recently announced that it will be moving its Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law from Tempe to downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The Phoenix City Council and Arizona Board of Regents have approved plans for development of ASU’s Arizona Center for Law and Society. ASU will reportedly spend between $100 and $120 million to build the law center. Phoenix city will give ASU $3 million when construction starts and another $9 million as development progresses to sweeten the deal.

The new center could eventually house as many as 1,000 ASU law students downtown. The law school will be built on a city owned parking lot bounded by Polk, Taylor, First and Second Street and is just southeast of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Construction on the new law school is slated to start in early 2014 with the completion expected in late 2015. The school is expected to be up and running for the Spring semester of 2016. The ASU building will be six stories tall and encompass 250,000 to 300,000 square feet.

“This is an investment that makes sense for ASU College of Law, its students and the city of Phoenix,” said Phoenix Councilman Bill Gates in a statement. “The move will position one of our nation’s top public law schools within walking distance of local, state and federal courts, our state’s top law firms and business headquarters.” ASU’s law school is currently public though rumor has it that they are trying to privatize the law school. Maybe this new building is part of the privatization plan...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

JRCLS is Recruiting Law Students to Participate in an Externship

The J. Reuben Clark Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies is recruiting law students with demonstrated academic excellence to participate in its 2013 Spring/Summer Externship Program. Selected student scholars will spend eight to ten weeks at Brigham Young University working on a range of projects related to the Center’s Mission “to help secure the blessing of freedom of religion and belief for all people.” More information about the mission and activities of the Center is available at www.iclrs.org.
 
Past summer externs have been involved in a number of projects that have permitted them to obtain credit from their own law schools, including assisting in the preparation of Supreme Court briefs, reviewing pending religion-related legislation from many countries, and working on books and articles in progress. In summer 2013, the Center will be heavily involved in producing a legal encyclopedia that will describe church-state systems in all countries on earth. In addition, many externs will assist in the preparation of a new edition of an important ongoing Center project, the four-volume treatise Religious Organization and the Law (available online at Westlaw.com under the database RELORGS). While the Center’s primary focus is on religious freedom issues, work on the annual treatise updates and revisions permits students to explore the interface between religion and other practice areas, as they make extremely valuable contributions to research and writing on a broad range of subjects, including constitutional law, employment law, litigation, tax law, intellectual property, healthcare, social services, bankruptcy, risk management, corporate choice and organization, fiduciary duties, immigration law, marriage and family law, public and private education, mergers and dissolutions, land use, and charitable grants and fundraising.
 
To apply for an externship, please submit a cover letter and resume to Deborah Wright, Coordinator and Administrative Assistant for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at wrightde@law.byu.edu by 12 p.m. MST on Monday, January 14, 2013. If you are accepted, you will be notified on Thursday, January 31, 2013. We will need to know of your commitment to the externship by Thursday, February 28, 2012. The Center will work with you to schedule the dates of your time with us, and we will work with your school to explore whether credits for the externship can be arranged.
 
We would also like to notify you that each year the Center, in cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, sponsors a writing competition for law students on the subject of religious freedom. Last year’s winner received a cash award of $1,500 and traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive his award at the 2012 International Religious Liberty Award Dinner. The papers, of 9,000-13,300 words, are due each year by August 1. Award recipients have published their papers in journals following the competition. Information about the contest appears on the Center’s website in January.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Reflections After Three Semesters

It's official! I am in my second semester of my 2L year now, which means I am "over the hill." Maybe it's the spirit of the new year, or maybe it's simply a natural occurrence for someone who is halfway done with a difficult task, but I'm feeling nostalgic. As I ponder on the things people told me about law school two years ago, I am struck by how inaccurate some of it was. Here are a few samples:

1. "All your tests will be essay." FALSE. I have had more multiple choice questions in my first three semesters of law school than I did in my last two years of undergrad. A few of my finals have even been purely multiple choice, and some have been a combination of multiple choice and short answer.
2. "All your classes will be taught with the Socratic Method." FALSE. This was true for the first few weeks of my 1L year, but the professors backed off of it as time went on. It's almost non-existent now in my second year.
3. "On the first day, take a look at the person on your left and the person on your right. One of you won't be there on graduation day." FALSE. Although this may have been true in past years, I just don't see it happening. While I know of a couple people that have dropped out, it is nowhere near 33% of people that were at orientation.
4. "Volunteer somewhere during your 1L summer. 1Ls can't get paid jobs." Somewhat false. It certainly is more difficult for 1Ls to get a paid summer job than it is for 2Ls, but it is not impossible. If I can find a paid summer job after my first year, so can you.
5. "Law school is exciting and fun!" OK, I never actually heard anyone say that, but that seems to be the idea that Hollywood perpetuates about law school. Have you ever noticed that the law students in the movies and on TV never spend much time studying? I've often wondered what kind of grades they get. Sometimes classes and readings can be interesting and possibly even dramatic. Your first time in a courtroom during a hearing or trial is pretty fun, too. It's nothing like Hollywood, though; it's a lot of quiet nights reading cases and composing outlines.

I'm sure there are other myths about law school out there that can be put to rest, but these are the main ones I've noticed. Feel free to comment on your own experiences.