On September 14, 2019, your favorite student-run newspaper, The Commentary, set out with benches, signs, and very little sunscreen, to pick up trash between the sandy grains of Ocean Beach. Our mission was twofold: (1) raise awareness for the need to keep our beaches clean, and (2) educate people that their garbage can be a hinderance for the myriad of creatures that also inhabit our planet.
California Western School of Law is home to an enviable history of producing fine oral advocates. From the tribulations of the jury box, to the finesse of standing at a lectern before judges of the Courts of Appeal, we’ve seen these advocates grow and learn. As members of the Moot Court Honors Board (MCHB), we’ve helped build the foundation for these advocates, when they were just law students. From organizing the Gafford competition for our 1L’s to administering the logistics for our competitive teams, at every step of the way, the MCHB has been there, ensuring that our school always puts its best foot forward.
Students excelled this trimester in both external (inter-school) and internal (intra-school) competitions:
Law Review: Samantha Sneen, Editor-in-Chief; Natalie Holtz, Executive Editor; Lindsey Cherpes, Executive Lead Articles Editor; Katherine Norton, Executive Editor of Notes & Comments; Chelsea Staskiewicz, Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach; Mollie Levy, Executive Director of Notes & Comments
International Law Journal: Rojina Haririparsa, Editor-in-Chief; Emily Ferman, Executive Editor; Mary Grace Jalandoni, Executive Lead Articles Editor; Carlos Gomez, Executive Editor of Notes & Comments; Sophia De La Rocha, Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach; Mollie Levy, Executive Director of Notes & Comments
Symposium: Border Myths
On Saturday, March 9, the journalshosted a symposium to explore myths surrounding America’s borders. The symposium, attended by about 150 people, featured a dynamic array of distinguished speakers. Meagan Nettles (ILJ’s Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach) and Janna Ferraro (Law Review’s Executive Director of Symposia & Outreach) coordinated the event, assisted by symposium committee members Ommar Chavez, Giovanni Dolleton, Elisa Pineda, Mark Simpliciano, and Amanda Thom.
Students defend Arkham Asylum in Batman mock trial
Claudia Salinas (1L) and Ching-Yun Li (3L) were selected from among law student applicants nationwide to participate in a Batman-themed mock trial at San Diego Comic Fest on March 9.
Joined by teammate Zachary Sterling from the University of Kentucky College of Law, Salinas and Li served as defense counsel for Arkham Asylum, the psychiatric hospital featured in the Batman comic books. Arkham Asylum was on trial for alleged civil rights violations against comic book supervillain Two-Face (former lawyer Harvey Dent).
What made you go to law school? Some of
us came to law school with a particular pursuit or passion in mind. Perhaps the
plight of the planet played a part in your decision to study law, or you’ve
simply contemplated the problem.
On March 25, the Environmental Law Society (ELS) created an online petition to continue environmental law classes at CWSL. So far, 59 people have signed the petition urging the administration to consider hiring another environmental law professor in light of Professor Richard Finkmoore’s retirement after the Spring 2019 trimester. Prof. Finkmoore has been CWSL’s only environmental law instructor, and currently no new environmental law classes are planned due to his departure.
Campus life was vibrant this past month, with numerous student org events by groups including the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, South Asian Law Student Association, Women’s Law Caucus, Black Law Students Association, and Child Advocacy Law Society.
APALSA Judicial Roundtable — By Chae Kim
Students were able to meet and network with Asian-American judges at a judicial roundtable Feb. 15 hosted by the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA). Judge Selena Epley, a San Diego Superior Court judge, led the panel with a light and fun tone as she questioned the other judges. First to be introduced was Judge Truc Do, the first Vietnamese judge appointed to the San Diego Superior Court bench. The second was Judge Rohanee Zapanta, the second-ever Filipino judge appointed to the San Diego Superior Court. And last but not least was Judge Dana Sabraw, a U.S. District Court judge who recently gained notoriety when he ruled to reunite separated migrant families along our southern border.
California Western School of Law has a tradition of hosting a panel with the constitutional law professors, where they comment on current and upcoming cases that have made their way to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). On March 5, the American Constitution Society (ACS) and the Federalist Society continued this tradition by holding the “SCOTUS at Halftime: Review of the Current Court Session” panel event.
More than 60 students were in attendance as Professors William Aceves, Jessica Fink, and Glenn Smith all presented a case that has either been decided or is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Each professor explained the significance that the case will have not only on society, but on constitutional law.