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News for alumni and friends of Indiana Law

June 2020

In this issue:

From the Dean

The spring semester is now behind us, and we have turned to the challenging task of planning for a new academic year in uncertain times. On June 5, we introduced to our incoming first-year class an innovative fall schedule that enables them to choose between in-person and online learning for their doctrinal courses, depending on their personal circumstances. You’ll read about this schedule—which our faculty unanimously approved—in this issue.

Needless to say, the current environment required us to celebrate the class of 2020 in an unusual way, but our enthusiasm for their achievements was just as strong. If you’ll visit our Commencement page, you can read about their accomplishments, watch tributes from faculty and staff, and join us in raising a glass to their future. We are planning an in-person commencement ceremony as soon as conditions permit us to have one.

In this issue, we also update you on the many ways in which we have provided a meaningful summer experience for our students despite limits on face-to-face contact. The Stewart Fellows program, the Rural Justice Initiative, and other public service programs all provided virtual externship opportunities.

Finally, I would like to share with you my statement to the Law School community in the wake of the death of George Floyd. I am grateful for the tremendous work of our student leaders, who have come together to host some wonderful programs over the last few weeks and are inviting additional important speakers in the fall. Faculty and staff continue to work together to reaffirm our own long-standing commitment to issues of equity, and several of our faculty through their research are engaging in national conversations in their areas to move us forward toward positive change.

Austen Parrish

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Update on receptions, reunions, and other events

Because of the pandemic, the school’s in-person events during the spring and summer were canceled or postponed. However, we are gradually making plans to greet alumni and celebrate the school, either in-person or virtually, as the public health picture takes shape this fall. Here is a summary of what lies ahead:

  • September 25: Virtual Alumni Board summit with presentation of Distinguished Service Awards
  • October 30: Virtual Board of Visitors meeting
  • Spring 2021 (tentative): Naming of the Leonard D. Fromm Office for Student Affairs
  • Class reunions: Postponed until fall 2021. Watch your email and ergo for updates
  • Annual African American/Black and Latino alumni and student reception at the home of Prof. Kevin Brown: postponed until fall 2021

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Fall 1L course schedule offers options

On June 5, the Law School introduced an innovative first-year academic calendar that meets the health-and-safety requirements set by the university in its Restart Report while providing options tailored to students’ individual circumstances.

The plan enables students to choose between in-person and online learning. Whatever option is chosen, students will experience the intellectual debate and important interaction that occurs with classroom discussions. The online courses will be engaging, rigorous, and of exceptional quality.

In addition, the sequence of the first-year courses has changed. Instead of taking Torts, Civil Procedure, and Contracts throughout a 13-week semester, students will take one course at a time in concentrated four-week blocks, with a final exam at the end of each block. The Legal Research and Writing course and Legal Profession courses will meet throughout the semester concurrently with the block courses. If students’ plans change at the end of one of the blocks, they can switch channels at no charge.

Dean Parrish introduced the plan to the incoming 1L class in a series of Town Hall meetings, and the initial response has been favorable. The school sent a survey to assess student preferences, and initial responses are leaning heavily toward in-person attendance. In-person and online options for the upper-division courses will be announced later this summer.

To read the full plan, visit the Law School’s fall schedule web page

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Summer externships shift to virtual experiences

In response to the COVID–19 pandemic, the Law School and its partners worked closely throughout the spring to create online summer externships that resembled the in-person experience as closely as possible.

As a result of the support of our alumni and partners—and as a testament to how much they believe in the program—remarkably twelve students were still able to participate this summer as Stewart Fellows. Despite travel bans and other restrictions, they worked remotely and effectively in global law firms and nongovernment organizations in six countries.

Established by Milton ’71 and Judi Stewart through the Milt and Judi Stewart Center on the Global Legal Profession, the Stewart Fellows program is now in its 11th year. More than 200 students have served as Stewart Fellows since the program’s inception. This year’s Stewart Fellows were:

  • Cassandra Allen, Tilleke & Gibbins, Phnom Penh
  • Kacey Bengel, Helsinki Foundation, Warsaw
  • Kacey Cook, Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), Mexico City
  • Rebeca Dorantes, Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI), Mexico City
  • Catherine Hutwagner, Tilleke & Gibbins, Bangkok
  • Connor Marcum, CEMDA, Mexico City
  • Ari Meza, Tilleke & Gibbins, Hanoi
  • Olivia Potter, Wardynski & Partners, Warsaw
  • Tyler Riedinger, Tilleke & Gibbins, Hanoi
  • Olivia Stevens, CEMDA, Mexico City
  • Anne West, Marval O’Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires
  • Lin Ye, Tilleke & Gibbins, Bangkok, Thailand office

Lin Ye’s thoughts on her experience reflect those of many of the other fellows. “My supervisor at Tilleke put a lot of effort into teaching me the merits and responsibility of a lawyer,” she said. “I appreciate his teaching and have been reflecting more on my role in my personal life and career. Although I don’t get to travel to Thailand this summer, I think this is the time to celebrate humankind in remembrance of all the lives we lost because of a virus and because of injustice and brutality from humans.”

Special thanks go to Tom Treutler, ’01, for his assistance in arranging fellowships at Tilleke & Gibbins, and to Łukasz Lasek, LLMT ’15, for the placement at Wardynski & Parnters and for introducing the school to numerous other contacts in Poland.

Meanwhile, back in Indiana, the Rural Justice Initiative provided hands-on experience to students working for county trial court judges in rural and smaller-town settings throughout Indiana. Ten students—twice as many as last year—participated in the second year of this program, which is part of the Law School's judicial externship programs. Indiana Supreme Court Justice Christopher M. Goff, ’96, led the recruitment of judges, along with Prof. Inge Van der Cruysse, ’04, who leads the program and who worked with the IU Center for Rural Engagement to fund four of the students this summer.

The Rural Justice Fellows assisted the courts in many ways, both in-person and online, from assisting with research to drafting local trial rules for procedures in the post-pandemic environment. The fellows and the courts and judges they worked for are as follows:

  • Jozie Barton, Hon. Peter R. Foley, Morgan County Superior Court #1
  • Raeanna Carrell, Hon. Charles D. (Denny) Bridges, Putnam County Superior Court
  • Nathan Danish, Hon. Amymarie Travis, Jackson County Superior Court #1
  • Alex Dowland, Hon. John M. Plummer III, Lawrence County Superior Court #1
  • Josh Lynch, Hon. Lakshmi (Lucky) Reddy, Vigo County Superior Court #2
  • Heather Migdon, Hon. Lori Thatcher Quillen, Owen Circuit Court
  • Stephen Morris, Hon. Dena Martin, ’99, and Hon. Erik (Chip) Allen, Greene County Circuit Court
  • Elena Roper, Hon. Mary Wertz, ’90, Brown County Circuit Court
  • Logan Tedrow, Hon. Gregory Smith, Daviess County Circuit Court; Hon. Dean A. Sobecki, Daviess County Circuit Court; and Hon. Lynne Ellis, Martin County Circuit Court
  • Jake Vent, Hon. Steven Roger Kitts II, Cass County Circuit Court; Hon. James K. Muehlhausen, ’89, Cass County Superior Court #1; Hon. Lisa Swaim, Cass County Superior Court #2

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Faculty news

Prof. Amy Applegate co-presented on “Mediation and IPV: What the Research Tells Us,” at an Association of Family and Conciliation Courts webinar on May 6.

On June 12, Prof. Jeannine Bell spoke at a webinar sponsored by the University of California Berkeley Law School with human rights expert Paul Hoffman on “Civil Remedies of Police Brutality.”

Prof. Robert Fischman’s recent article based on the inaugural lecture he delivered for the George P. Smith II Distinguished Professorship has been recognized by a peer review panel as one of the 15 best articles published in 2019 on the topic of environmental law. Published by our very own Indiana Law Journal, “Letting Go of Stability: Resilience and Environmental Law” argues that the concept of resilience offers a better framework for reconceiving environmental law than stability or sustainability. The article's analysis grew from his involvement in Indiana University's “Prepared for Environmental Change” grand challenge. This is the seventh time since 2002 that one of Fischman's articles has been named a finalist by the Land Use and Environmental Review, an annual compilation of the best scholarship in the field begun by former Indiana Law Professor A. Dan Tarlock.

Prof. William Henderson moderated a talent panel for Sandpiper Partners’ New York legal market conference on May 20.

On May 6, Prof. Sarah Jane Hughes moderated and spoke at an American Bar Association Business Law Section “Business Law Breaking News” webinar on “Payments in Pandemics and Natural Disasters.”

Prof. Leandra Lederman co-hosted (with the University of Leeds) a summer tax workshop. More than 140 participants from three continents participated in the 13-week series.

Read The Docket for faculty quotes and op-eds in state and national media.

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Class notes now available on line

Keep in touch with your friends and classmates by visiting our new online Class Notes feature. You can also submit your own class notes on line. A semi-annual compilation of all class notes will continue to be published in the print editions of ergo. If you’re a member of the Class of ’85, you may want to join their new Facebook page: Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington) Class of 1985.

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