Howard University

Faculty Highlights-April 2008

April 2008

Covering period from March 2008 - April 2008

Ballard-Thrower, Rhea
Professor Ballard-Thrower served as Co-Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2008 Annual Meeting of SEAALL (the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries). The SEAALL meeting was held in Alexandria, Virginia from March 27 – 29, 2008. The meeting was attended by over 200 law librarians from 13 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Boyer, Spencer
Professor Boyer will be honored by the Georgetown Law Brother’s Forum at its first annual “Celebration of Black Men in Law.” The event is designed to highlight the great achievements of black men in the legal field and will feature three distinguished awardees chosen by the Georgetown Law Brother’s Forum. The awards will be given to men who have been committed to excellence in three different legal areas: academic, government, and private practice.

Professor Boyer will receive the academic award for his many achievements as a professor of law, for being a trailblazer and setting a great example for young brothers in the legal field to follow. The event will take place on April 25, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Crooms, Lisa
The Washington Post featured a great picture of Professor Lisa Crooms in the Style section on Monday, March, 24, 2008. The article also provides selected quotes from Professor Crooms in a very interesting article titled: A vote of Allegiance?: In the Obama-Clinton Battle, Race & Gender Pose Two Great Divides for Black Women. The Post also quoted Professor Alice Thomas in the article.

Ellis, Atiba
During this year’s Alternative Spring Break program in New Orleans, LA, Professor Ellis and six law students worked with the Louisiana Justice Institute. They participated in the Holly Grove Community Mapping Project sponsored by LJI. The mapping project is designed to create an independent assessment of how many people have returned to New Orleans, how much of the housing stock had been repaired, and what the needs of particular communities are currently in the New Orleans area.

Howard law students worked alongside students from half a dozen law schools in performing this house-to-house survey of the Holly Grove neighborhood. In particular, the students spoke to many residents of the community and got a first-person sense of the challenges related to displacement from and returning to New Orleans. The work the students did takes on heightened significance in light of recent census estimates concerning New Orleans which, according to city leaders, underestimate the current population of the area.

For additional details on the Alternative Spring Break Program, see the Past Program Details and Acknowledgment section in this report.

Gavil, Andrew
On March 28, Professor Gavil was quoted in a New York Times article on the potential applicability of the new Chinese Anti-monopoly law to Microsoft’s hostile takeover bid for Yahoo:


He was also quoted on March 28th in an Associated Press article (published by covering comments made by U.S. and European antitrust officials at the annual meeting of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association. The article addressed relative enforcement priorities in the two jurisdictions.


Professor Gavil will be presenting a paper on the Supreme Court’s treatment of intrabrand competition under the antitrust laws at New York University Law School on April 11, 2008. The paper will be delivered as part of a conference on the theme: “One Year Later: The Antitrust Modernization Commission’s Report and the Challenges That Await Antitrust.”

On April 18, 2008, Professor Gavil will moderate a panel at the American Bar Association, Young Lawyers’ Division, Spring Conference in Washington D.C., on “Twombly and Leegin in the Trenches: What Has Changed in Antitrust Law” (Co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Antitrust Law). This event is being organized by Eric Grannon (HUSL ‘98), who practices antitrust law at White & Case, where he recently became a partner. Eric is also the Chair of the Antitrust Committee for the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA.

Gresham, Alice
The National Association for Equal Opportunity In Higher Education (NAFEO) held its 33rd conference on Blacks in Higher Education at which Professor Gresham was a presenter. She spoke on the subject Plugging the Leaky Pipeline and Expanding the Legal Profession Pool. She noted many of the leaks along the pipeline to include K-12, College/University, Law School, Transition to Practice and Law Practice. Professor Gresham discussed a number of suggestions for HBCUs to help break down barriers and develop opportunities for increasing diversity in the legal profession.

Mtima, Lateef
The HUSL Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice was invited by the Washington DC City Council to provide testimony in connection with proposed “anti-spam” legislation, on March 11, 2008. Professor Mtima appeared on behalf of the Institute, and has copies of the proposed legislation and his testimony for anyone who might be interested.

Taslitz, Andrew
Professor Andrew E. Taslitz has been named the incoming Chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Book Publications Committee, where his primary charge is to increase the number and profitability of publications.

He is also pleased to report two especially positive reviews of his recent book, Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment: A History of Search and Seizure, 1789-1868 (N.Y.U. Press 2006), one by historian Daniel Hamilton, in the March 2008 edition of the Journal of American History, and a second by political scientist Priscilla Zotti in volume 17 of The Law and Politics Book Review, at page 282.

Additionally, Professor Taslitz wants to note that his previously-reported paper symposium on the Jena 6 case, to be published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties L. Rev., has been expanded to include a live conference, organized with his co-editor, Professor Carol Steiker, to be held at Harvard Law School March 13-14, 2009.

On April 3-4, 2008, he will be speaking at the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta on the topic of race and innocence.

Thomas, Alice
Professor Thomas arranged for a special speaker for her Nonprofit Organizations’ class. Mrs. Velma R. Hart, National Finance Director and CFO of AMVETS, spoke to Professor Thomas’ Nonprofits Organizations class on April 1, 2008. AMVETS is one of the larger nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Worthy, Patricia
The Howard University School of Law had its fourth annual “Pearls of Wisdom: An Intimate Discussion” on Tuesday, March 25, 2008. The program was sponsored by the ladies of Epsilon Sigma Iota Sorority, Inc. and its faculty advisor is Professor Worthy. The program attendees consisted of approximately 20 second and third year women students that have secured positions at various law firms and African-American women partners from major law firms in the area.

In attendance was Grace Speights (newly designated managing partner at Morgan Lewis), Claudette Christian (Hogan & Hartson), Sandy Chamblee (Steptoe). Leslie Thornton (Dickstein Shapiro), Florence Prioleau (Pillsbury Winthrop), Wilma Lewis (former partner- Crowell & Moring), and Judge Phyllis Thompson (former partner-Covington). The “off-the-record” session allowed the women students to ask such questions as what is really meant by “business attire” for young minority female lawyers, how does one go about successfully becoming a partner, what should you do with a partner that is making improper overtures, when, if ever, is it appropriate to start a family, and what should you do if you do not drink alcohol but the law-firm culture imposes pressure. The evening that started at 6:00 p.m. proved a great success as the discussion continued until 9:00 p.m.

Professor Worthy also moderated a panel entitled, Diversity as a Critical Element of a Fair, Impartial and Independent Judiciary hosted by the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. The panel consisted of the Honorable Leonie M. Brinkema, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Honorable Susan G. Braden, U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Honorable Vanessa Ruiz, District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

The panel addressed some of the following issues: is diversity in the judiciary important and why; what are the statistics and what constitutes diversity; is the judiciary sufficiently diverse and what does that mean; does it match the population and what of the candidate pool; do clients hire women/minority litigators based on the judges; are those litigators getting the same caliber of cases and does that impact an impartial judiciary?

Highlights from the Deans’ Corner

Kurt L. Schmoke
Dean of the Law School

On March 19, 2008, Dean Schmoke gave greetings and welcomed the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia to the School of Law. The organization held their spring event entitled, “Creating Pathways to Success: Women of Color Initiative”. The program was designed to advance the dialogue about how to become change agents with respect to issues impacting women of color in law firms.

On March 25, 2008, the Dean hosted the Fifth Annual James M. Nabrit, Jr. Lecture. This year’s speakers were Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears of the Supreme Court of Georgia and Professor Angela J. Davis of the Washington College of Law at America University.

On March 29, 2008, Dean Schmoke was the guest lecturer at the 2008 Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity in Graduate Education sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Yale University.

On April 1, 2008, Dean Schmoke attended a luncheon announcing Trustee Richard D. Parsons, Esquire as the first holder of the Colbert I. and Gwendolyn S. King Chair in Public Policy at the HU Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library.

Reginald McGahee
Assistant Dean of Admissions
Assistant Dean Reginald McGahee was recently selected to be on the board of the National Black Pre-law Advisory Conference. The National Black Pre-Law Conference is one of the largest information conferences for aspiring attorneys of color in the nation. Founded in 2005, the conference serves as a venue to educate potential law students about the admissions process, law school and the profession.

A unique feature of the conference is the access to practitioners, legal scholars, judges and admissions professionals. Dean McGahee has served in an advisory and planning capacity for the National Black Pre-law Advisory Conference since fall 2007.