I am delighted to announce the winners of this year's Distinguished Service Awards, which will be formally presented this fall during Alumni Weekend on Oct. 1. (Next month, I'll be announcing the new Academy of Law Alumni Fellows as well.)
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes Indiana law graduates who have distinguished themselves in service to their communities or to the Law School. This year's winners are Andy Buroker, JD'89, of Krieg DeVault, who has provided exceptional service to the American Heart Association; Jeff Pankratz, JD'91, (photo not available) whose practice at Venable focuses on affordable housing and community development transactions, and who is currently on a year-long leave of absence working in southern India with the International Justice Mission, an international human rights organization focusing on the problem of bonded slavery; Rapheal Prevot, JD'84, of the NFL, who is being honored for his extraordinary commitment to the Law School, manifested in his service on both the Alumni Board and Board of Visitors and in the internships and mentoring he has provided to countless students and graduates; Jeff Richardson, JD'77, of Abbott Laboratories, who helped develop and now runs Step Forward, an Abbott program dedicated to providing health services to children affected by HIV/AIDS; and Taylor Segue, JD'83, of Howard & Howard, who serves on the board of directors for Fannie Mae and is chair of the board of Orchards Children's Services, Michigan's largest private foster care and adoption agency.
As I look forward to traveling around the country this summer to meet with fellow alumni, I am especially excited to note that Jeff Richardson will be at our June 2 reception in Washington, D.C., and Taylor Segue will be joining us in Grand Rapids on June 24. If you are in the area, I hope to see you as well.
All my best,
Lauren Robel, JD'83
In this issue:
- Commission chaired by Hoffmann releases death penalty recommendations
- Bell, Johnsen receive tenure
- New clinic to focus on mental health, disability, and law
- Williams's book offers feminist reading of First Amendment
- Alumni News
Earlier this month, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney unveiled a report by the Governor's Council on Capital Punishment outlining 10 recommendations, many unprecedented in the history of the American death penalty, for creation of a "nearly foolproof" capital punishment system.
Speaking to the New York Times, Professor Joseph L. Hoffmann, who co-chaired the commission, said that, taken together, the safeguards the report seeks to institute make it "virtually inconceivable" that an innocent person could be put to death. "I don't have any question in my mind that we accomplished what the governor wanted us to do," he said.
At the heart of the commission's report are recommendations that the death penalty be applied only to a narrow list of cases and that each case include scientific evidence, such as DNA, fingerprints, or footprints.
The Law School is pleased to announce that two faculty members, Professors Jeannine Bell and Dawn Johnsen, have been granted tenure and promoted to the rank of full professor through a vote of the Indiana University Board of Trustees.
With an academic background in government and law, Bell brings to the classroom the perspectives of both disciplines. A member of the law faculty since 1999, she is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science. Her courses include Criminal Process and seminars on the First Amendment and Law and Society. She is the author of Policing Hatred: Law Enforcement, Civil Rights, and Hate Crimes (New York University Press 2002) and is a co-author of Gaining Access: A Practical and Theoretical Guide for Qualitative Researchers.
Johnsen joined the faculty in 1998, following a distinguished career in Washington, D.C. After five years as legal director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, Johnsen was a deputy assistant attorney general and then the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, where she advised the attorney general, the White House counsel, and the general counsels of all the executive departments and agencies. Her courses include Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, and a seminar in the Separation of Powers. Johnsen has testified before Congress, is a frequent speaker at national conferences, and has appeared on many national television and radio news programs. She recently joined the national board of the American Constitution Society.
This spring, Johnsen was the recipient of the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award.
A new clinical option for students interested in mental health and disability law will be added to the Law School's curriculum next year. Professor Michael Jenuwine, who has been the associate director of the Law School's Child Advocacy Clinic, will head the new clinic.
Under Jenuwine's supervision, students enrolled in the new clinic will work on cases in which the legal system overlaps with the mental health system. They might, for example, work on civil commitments, representing family members who are trying to have a mentally-ill relative hospitalized in order to receive treatment. Or conversely, they might represent patients who are contesting unnecessary commitments. Students enrolled in the clinic will help families with mentally retarded or mentally ill relatives in jail transfer those inmates to treatment facilities. They will also work with mentally ill youth involved in juvenile delinquency cases, as well as helping to set up guardianships.
Jenuwine, who has been doing pro bono work in the area since he came to Bloomington in 2002, says that he expects the clinic to answer a real need in the community.
Among students, as well, interest is high. Jenuwine has taught a class on Law and Mental Health, and a number of students are already working under Jenuwine's supervision doing independent study. In addition, a new student organization, the Disability Law Society, has recently been formed.
Truth, Autonomy, and Speech: Feminist Theory and the First Amendment, by Professor Susan H. Williams, has just been published by New York University Press. Written from a feminist perspective, the book draws on work from several disciplines, including law, political theory, philosophy, and anthropology, to develop alternative accounts of truth and autonomy as the foundations for freedom of expression. Frederick Schauer, of Harvard University, describes the book as a "well-written work of careful scholarship [that] is an important contribution to free speech literature."
The national Court Appointed Special Advocates association has named Viola J. Taliaferro, JD'77, as Judge of the Year, in honor of her work on behalf of children. Taliaferro plans to retire at the end of the year from the Monroe Circuit Court in Bloomington, where she has been a judge since 1995. A member of the Law School's Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, Taliaferro was a teacher and social worker before attending law school. She has received many awards for her work on behalf of children's rights, including the ISBA's Service Award and the Women in the Law Achievement Award.
Jeanne Miller, LLB'48, of New Haven, Ind., has been selected as the winner of the 50-Year Award given by the Fellows of the Indiana Bar Foundation. Miller returned to her hometown of New Haven, Ind., after graduation and established a general civil practice at a time when there was little support for women in the law. Throughout her career, Miller was a force for change in the legal profession. She served as president of the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum and as a member of the Disciplinary Commission on the Indiana Supreme Court. In her home county, she advanced the idea of a unified court system, drafted the Allen County Superior Court Act, and lobbied effectively for its enactment. She chaired state and national committees on judicial selection and administration of justice, and in 1988 became the first woman president of the Indiana State Bar Association.
Support for annual fund sustains tradition of excellence
There is still time to contribute to the Law School's Fund for Excellence! Please make your contribution by June 30 to be recognized in this fall's Dean's Report. State funding and tuition combined now pay for little more than the building and salaries. Therefore, every gift — at any level — is critical to the Law School's ability to maintain and improve crucial programs ranging from law journals to moot court to scholarships. Your participation will also send a strong message to the legal community that you believe strongly enough in your Law School to make a financial commitment to preserve its status as a premier institution and also to build a foundation for its future. Your support increases the reputation of the school and the value of your degree. So please make your donation today online or send a check to Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington, Indiana University Foundation, P.O. Box 2298, Bloomington, IN 47402. Help us set another record for alumni support of the Law School.