Presenting our final spring edition (4/12/18)!

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SBA Election Update: Original Election Outcome Remains Intact Despite SBA Split on Election’s Validity

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

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Dean Dizon Demystifies the Grading Curve

By Shane Dizon, Assistant Dean of Academic Achievement

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Editors’ message
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New Elective This Fall:
Q&A with Professor Ebrahim
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Pro Bono & Public Service Honor Societies Recognize 90+ Students for 12,000+ Collective Volunteer Hours
By Erin LeClair
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In this final spring edition of The Commentary:

**SBA ELECTION UPDATE** – Original Outcome Remains Despite SBA Split on Election’s Validity

*PRO BONO/PUBLIC SERVICE AWARDS* – 90+ Students Volunteered 12,000+ Hours Collectively

*PROFESSOR Q&A* – Meet Prof. Ebrahim and Learn about his New Fall 2018 Course

*BUSTING GRADING MYTHS* – Dean Dizon Demystifies the Curve

Also be sure to read our Letter from the Editors, written by Editors-in-Chief Chris Lawson and Sara Gold. It has been a pleasure to serve California Western this year!

 

SBA Election Update: Original Election Outcome Remains Intact Despite SBA Split on Election’s Validity

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

The outcome of the 2018/19 SBA election, which named Edgar Lopez and Sahar Hassanzada as SBA President and Vice President, will remain unchanged — now that SBA candidates Jeff Linton and Mark Simpliciano have withdrawn their calls for a re-election stemming from allegedly unfair election practices that resulted in Linton’s disqualification the night before the election.

Linton, an original candidate for the vice president position alongside Hassanzada, was disqualified from the election because he discussed his candidacy inside a CWSL classroom and discussed his candidacy after 5 p.m. March 22, both of which were contrary to the rules in the candidate instructions packet that all SBA candidates received roughly two weeks before the election and submitted signed consent to.

The election took place as planned on March 23 — with only Hassanzada running for vice president, and Simpliciano and Lopez vying for the president position. Lopez and Hassanzada were unofficial runningmates, as were Simpliciano and Linton, prior to Linton’s disqualification. Lopez and Hassanzada both won their respective positions.

Vice President Candidate’s Appeal

After the election, Linton submitted a complaint appealing his disqualification. In his complaint, Linton first argued that the two rules he violated were unenforceable because they are not included in the SBA By-Laws, which includes Section 14.3 delineating SBA campaign regulations. Second, Linton claimed that SBA Vice President Valerie Gurrola enforced the campaign regulations discriminatorily by not also disqualifying candidates Lopez and Hassanzada, who allegedly campaigned outside of the permissible time period and affixed a promotional poster to a campus fixture in violation of the rules. Continue reading “SBA Election Update: Original Election Outcome Remains Intact Despite SBA Split on Election’s Validity”

Dean Dizon Demystifies the Grading Curve

By Shane Dizon, Assistant Dean of Academic Achievementshane_dizon

It is with mixed emotions that I write this Commentary article, knowing it is one of the last (if not the last) opportunity I will get to address all of you while still playing the role of Dean Dizon. For those of you who do not know, I will be moving on to Brooklyn Law School to join its faculty as the Director of its Academic Success Program. It was a difficult decision for my family and me to reach, and I will dearly miss working with you, the faculty, and the staff of this great learning community.

But there is, at present, no time for tears. Only for “sweat equity,” as they call it in the business world – earning and owning a piece of the enterprise – in this case, your success as a law student and your solid foundational preparation for the bar exam.

Yet rather than bombard you with platitudes of how you should be doing every practice exam in sight and be prepared to put in the long hours to earn every point, I’m writing this article at your editors’ request to explain the grading curve in a bit more detail (for more information, you can also see Cal Western’s Academic Policies in full). Continue reading “Dean Dizon Demystifies the Grading Curve”

From Chris & Sara — Editors’ message

Dear Readers,

It has been our absolute honor and privilege to bring student journalism into the digital era at California Western. The Commentary started in 1973 as a print newspaper, carried forward by the hundreds of students over the past four decades who were willing to invest their time and talent into making student journalism a reality. We thank those students for their commitment to student journalism and for sustaining this valuable publication, bringing The Commentary into its current age.

This year, we decided to do something different. In November of last year, we launched the first-ever Commentary website. Although we value the importance of print journalism, we first and foremost wanted to make the news accessible, shareable, and interactive — and we felt that the online platform was the best way to do so, given the ubiquity of the Internet and social media.

With the support of a group of students who believed in us and our mission, we were able to launch our site and bring school and legal news into students’ lives. We were able to show you funny pictures of Professor Smith at the SBA Halloween auction. We were able to inform students on important legal issues such as California education reform, Cal Western student satisfaction statistics, and SBA elections. And we were able to highlight the awesome talent of our own students, such as our Moot Court teams that competed last fall, as well as our student organizations and journals that have hosted successful and impactful events, both on and off-campus. Continue reading “From Chris & Sara — Editors’ message”

New Elective This Fall: Q&A with Professor Ebrahim

Ebrahim headshotIn late June 2017, Tabrez Ebrahim, a Texas-raised patent attorney born in India, began his weeklong road trip from Houston, Texas, to San Diego, California. Just weeks later, he would begin teaching classes at California Western, marking the start of his first full-time teaching position.

Before pursuing a career in law, Prof. Ebrahim was a R&D engineer in Silicon Valley and attended Stanford University to attain his Master’s in mechanical engineering, as well as a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship.  He later earned both his JD and MBA from Northwestern University, before returning to his home state of Texas to eventually attain his LLM in Intellectual Property and Information Law from the University of Houston Law Center. Prof. Ebrahim also worked as a full-time patent attorney in Texas prior to joining the Cal Western faculty.

The Commentary sat down with Prof. Ebrahim to ask him about his journey, his experience at Cal Western, and his new IP elective course, Transactional Intellectual Property, that he will be offering in Fall 2018. Continue reading “New Elective This Fall: Q&A with Professor Ebrahim”

Pro Bono & Public Service Honor Societies Recognize 90+ Students for 12,000+ Collective Volunteer Hours

By Erin LeClair

The Career and Professional Development Office held the annual Pro Bono and PublicIMG_0580 Service Honor Society induction ceremony on April 5. The Pro Bono Honor Society recognized 60 students who each volunteered more than 50 hours to help nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or private interests groups dedicated to the needs of persons of limited means. These 60 students collectively worked 6,118 hours, averaging double the required number of hours. The Public Service Honor Society recognized 38 students who each volunteered with city, county, state, and federal government organizations, including the judiciary. These 38 students collectively volunteered over 5,972 hours, completing well beyond the required 50 hours per student.

It is clear that students at California Western go above and beyond the call to service.  They are students who serve their community—volunteering more than 12,000 hours—in addition to going to classes and taking part in CWSL community events. Continue reading “Pro Bono & Public Service Honor Societies Recognize 90+ Students for 12,000+ Collective Volunteer Hours”

SBA elections corner – Vote 3/23/18!

UPDATE: Edgar Lopez was announced as next year’s SBA President, winning the only contested position. All other candidates won their respective positions. Students interested in filling the vacancies in the positions of Treasurer, Administrator, Ombudsman, Federal Bar Association Representative, Intramural Athletics Director, Activities Director, or Alumni Representative can apply to be appointed to these positions for 2018-2019. More details to come.

Vote for next year’s Student Bar Association (SBA) members on Friday, March 23 via an email sent out by SBA! Voting is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please note that The Commentary,  a program of SBA, does not endorse any particular candidates. All candidates were given an equal opportunity to submit materials to The Commentary. Continue reading “SBA elections corner – Vote 3/23/18!”

Presenting our third spring edition! (3/15/18)

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Spotting the Issue: Confessions of a “Half-Blood” 1L (Pt. 3)

By Tandis Taghavi

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Symposiums recap: artificial intelligence, Indian land rights, net neutrality, and more

Entertainment & Sports Law Society Symposium -- JP Rankin, ESLS Vice President

Law Review & International Law Journal Symposiums -- Sara Gold, Commentary Editor-in-Chief

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Registration opens soon – A look into exciting summer offerings

Trademark Clinic, Experiential Course -- Prof. Hedayati/W 1:30-3:30 p.m. (2)

Food Law, A New Course in Summer 2018 -- Prof. Sax/MW 12:45-2:10 p.m. (3)

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Networking tips for every setting

By Matthew Lab, Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development Office

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Barrister’s Ball – A Dream Come True

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

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Attend our next Commentary meeting on MARCH 20 at 12:45 p.m. in Room 2B. During this free event, co-hosted by the Student Intellectual Property Law Association, a practicing IP attorney will talk to students about a Public Interest IP Scholarship. We also will be discussing Commentary ideas and ways for students to get involved! Free food will be provided. After the meeting, grab special cuisine from TASTE OF ASIA in the first-floor lobby before 2 p.m., and be sure to pre-order tickets March 15 or March 16.

In this edition of The Commentary:

NEW Harry Potter column – The Prisoner of Azkaban (aka oral arguments)

Weinstein named Professor of the Year, and more Barrister’s Ball coverage (plus photos!)

Symposiusms recap: Artificial intelligence, Indian land, net neutrality, and more

Registration opens soon: A look into Trademark Clinic and Food Law

Networking tips for every setting, from the Career Office

Our final spring edition will come out in mid-April, so please submit your content and ideas to commentary@law.cwsl.edu!

 

Barrister’s Ball – A Dream Come True

 

By Sara Gold, Editor-in-Chief

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Organizing Barrister’s Ball had been a dream for Student Bar Association (SBA) vice president Valerie Gurrola since her 1L year.

“I was on the Barrister’s Ball committee as a 1L and 2L, and I knew this was a big part of why I wanted to be Vice President of the SBA as a 3L,” she said. “I got to work right after Barrister’s Ball 2017, reaching out to venues, even without knowing whether I’d be elected as VP. After I won the election, I formed the Barrister’s Ball committee, open to all students.”

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SBA Vice President Valerie Gurrola

Gurrola and the committee started touring venues last summer and finalized a contract in the fall.

“I wanted an upscale venue, indoors, with one common area, in Downtown, and that fit our budget. From reaching out to 32 venues, we found the one.”

Barrister’s Ball 2018, themed “Enchanted Forest,” took place March 3 at Parq, an upscale venue on Broadway in Downtown. Tickets for the event initially sold out within two days during fall tabling. In response to the high popularity, Gurrola was able to adjust the contract with Parq to secure a few more tickets. Continue reading “Barrister’s Ball – A Dream Come True”

Spotting the Issue: Confessions of a “Half-Blood” 1L (Pt. 3)

Tandis 3By Tandis Taghavi

Chapter 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban (read Chapters One and Two)

As a 1L, you may have thought your first semester of Legal Skills wasn’t that bad…after all, how hard can writing formal and informal memos be? You may have boogied into your Legal Skills II class with the same impression. However, as you cheerfully picked out your seat on the first day of class and briefly glanced at the syllabus, suddenly your palms became sweaty, your knees were weak, your arms were heavy, and you were trying not to vomit your mom’s spaghetti (in the words of Eminem). While the words, “Oral Argument Assignment,” violently jumped off the page, only 2% of your class seemed to rejoice. If you are like most, you were probably ignited with a prickly case of hives and suddenly had a “Sirius” urge to grab your backpack and run to the unplottable graveyard of Azkaban.

I felt weird, like I’d never be cheerful again…”—Ron Weasley

Like Harry (and myself), you may have felt chills as the windows turned to ice and a cloaked, dreary dark creature (Oh no…. Dementors!!) hovered behind you and slowly began to suck the happiness, hope, life, and peace out of you.

But don’t fear, Professor Remus Lupin is here! Continue reading “Spotting the Issue: Confessions of a “Half-Blood” 1L (Pt. 3)”