Howard University

Faculty Highlights-Archive-September 2006

September 2006

Covering period from May-August 2006

Ballard-Thrower, Rhea
Professor Ballard-Thrower’s Making Diversity a Goal through Strategic Planning, (written with Grace M. Mills) in Achieving Diversity: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians 16 (Barbara I. Dewey and Loretta Parham eds., (2006) was published over the summer.

Professor Ballard Thrower also presented, “Newer Academic Law Library Directors Workshop,” The program (with Paul George, Director, University of Pennsylvania Law School Library; Nancy Johnson, Director, Georgia State University Law Library; Penny Hazelton, Director, University of Washington Law Library and Karl Gruben, Director, St. Thomas University Law Library) was presented for the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting, St. Louis, in July 2006.

Black, Derek
Professor Black’s article Equal Protection: How the Court Lost it and How to Get It Back was accepted for publication in the upcoming issue of the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal.

Blum, Peter
Professor Blum attended the 12th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute on July 7-10 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Crooms, Lisa
In July 2006, Professor Crooms was the Senior Coordinator for the Bringing Human Rights Coalition, a group of more than 144 organizations and 32 individuals who lobbied the U.N. Human Rights Committee in Geneva regarding the U.S. Second and Third Periodic Reports under Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. She also submitted comments on the preliminary draft of the Inter-American Convention against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance.

cunningham, christi
Professor cunningham attended the 12th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute on July 7-10 in Atlanta, Georgia.

DeMaio, Patricia
Professor DeMaio attended the two-day 2006 Northeast Regional Academic Support Workshop at the Roger Williams School of Law in Rhode Island. She also attended the 12th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute on July 7-10 in Atlanta, Georgia. In June 2006, Professor DeMaio was the featured speaker at the Women In Legal Education Breakfast at the New Law Teachers’ Conference. Professor DeMaio’s topic was “Advice for New Law Teachers.”

Echols, Marsha
On August 28, Professor Echols was interviewed by a group from Auburn University on behalf of the UN World Food Program. The group interviewed Professor Echols about the World Food Law Institute.

Francois, Aderson
Professor Francois conducted a week-long training seminar for new “Lawyering Faculty” at New York University on June 24, 2006. The theme of the seminar was “Teaching as an Act of Intellectual Friendship.” Professor Francois got the idea of teaching as an act friendship from literary theorists who argue that reading is an act of intellectual friendship between writer and reader. He applied the idea to teaching in the sense that teaching is an act of intellectual friendship between student and teacher.

Professor Francois’s article, Seeing the Ghost behind the Word will be included in a book titled Affective Lawyering. The book will be published by North Carolina Academic Press in January 2007.

Gavil, Andrew
Professor Gavil acted as an academic advisor to the competition law authorities in Barbados, who spearheaded a study of the experiences of young competition agencies. The report was presented in May at the Fifth Annual meeting of the International Competition Network in South Africa. See International Competition Network (“ICN”); Competition Policy Implementation Working Group, Subgroup 2: Enhancing the Stature of Competition Authorities with Businesses; Report: “Lessons to be Learned from the Experiences of Young Competition Agencies,” May 3, 2006.

Gilmore, Brian (Supervising Attorney, Fair Housing Clinic)
On August 29, 2006, Attorney Gilmore was a guest speaker at the HUD noontime speaker series on the topic “Landlord Tenant Law and the Fair Housing Act in the District of Columbia.”

Attorney Gilmore’s article Love You Madly: The Life and Times of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia was accepted for publication in the UDC L. Rev. in the Symposium Issue devoted to “Strategies to End Poverty and Inequality.”

Jamar, Steven
Professor Jamar was consulted by two newspapers on the scope of free exercise of religion in the workplace for articles on the subject arising out of local events.

King, Rachel
Professor King attended a course on restorative justice at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She also attended 12th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute on July 7-10 in Atlanta, Georgia. Professor King completed an article – No Due Process: How the Death Penalty Violates the Constitutional Rights of Death Row Family Members. Finally, she has written a regular opinion column for the Rutherford Institute on criminal justice issues.

Lawson, Warner
Professor Lawson attended AALS Conference on New Ideas for Law School Teachers: Teaching Intentionally, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, June 10-14, 2006.

He (along with Professors Nolan and Nichols) will lead a faculty colloquy about teaching on September 12, 2006.

McClain, Russell
Professor McClain attended the 12th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute on July 7-10 in Atlanta, Georgia.

McDougall, Harold
Professor McDougall gave the keynote speech for the Annual General Meeting of the South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) in Eastern Cape, South Africa, on July 9. The topic was the life of late anti-apartheid “struggle journalist” Nathaniel Nakasa, who was a college friend of Professor McDougall.

He also gave the keynote speech for a conference on Affordable Housing sponsored by the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University on August 26. His topic was “Baltimore: A Sustainable City?”

Professor McDougall’s “Invisible College” venture, discussed in a Faculty Colloquium in spring 2006, begins with a course teaching civil rights to ninth-grade students in Montgomery County on Saturday, September 9, in collaboration with the county chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (IUL). The project will continue through the year in “Saturday School” format. Several Howard Law students will participate as tutors.

Meekins, Tamar
Professor Meekins’ recent article, Specialized Justice: The OverEmergence of Specialty Courts and the Threat of a New Criminal Defense Paradigm, has been accepted for publication in the Suffolk Law Review and should be published in the fall issue.

She also published an article in the ABA Criminal Justice Magazine as part of their Summer 2006 Sentencing Symposium Issue. The article is entitled, You Can Teach an Old Defender New Tricks: Sentencing Lessons from Specialty Courts.

Professor Meekins has been appointed to the ABA Criminal Justice Section Diversion Task Force, which is a part of the Criminal Justice Standards Council. The Task Force will be charged with drafting national standards for specialty and drug courts.

She attended the Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Policy Conference held in Anaheim, CA June 26-29, 2006.

She also moderated a Panel Discussion at the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, entitled “Innocence Clinics and Wrongful Convictions Scholarship.” The conference was held in Palm Beach, Florida from July 16 through July 23, 2006.

Finally, she served as a member of the teaching faculty at the Trial Skills Training Workshop of the Georgia State Public Defender Training Council, and led a skills session on Direct Examination, conducted a demonstration and led a working group. The Workshop was held in Athens, Georgia from July 23-28, 2006.

Mtima, Lateef
Professor Mtima will be on Sabbatical for 2006-07.

Motala, Ziyad
Professor Motala ran another highly success South African Aboard Program during the summer 2006. Professors Gresham and McDougall also taught in the program this summer.

Newsom, Michael
Professor Newsom’s article, The Case for Local and State Settlement of Question of American Church-State Law: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Gone, and is Still Gone, 2 Forum on Public Policy 97 (2006) has been published. It is the fourth article in his Protestant Empire series and he is currently working on the fifth article.

Professor Newsom was also elected to the Faculty Grievance Commission, a branch of the Faculty Senate.

Nichols, Cheryl
Professor Nichols attended the Teaching Summer Conference sponsored by the Institute for Law School Teaching and ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, IL from June 2-3, 2006. The title of the conference was “Conference On Inspiring Students & Facilitating Learning.” Some of the workshops held at this conference were on Inspiring Students, Metacognition: Getting Students to Think About How They Learn, Nurturing Multiple Intelligences and the Ethics of Teaching.

Nolan, Laurence
Professor Nolan attended the AALS Conference on New Ideas for Law School Teachers: Teaching Intentionally, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, June 10-14, 2006.

She published the second edition of her casebook, Fundamental Principles of Family Law, co-authored with Professor D. Lynn Wardle in August 2006.

Rogers, Sherman
Syracuse University is requiring Professor Rogers’ article The Black Quest For Economic Liberty: Legal, Historical and Related Considerations (48 Howard L.J.1 (2004) for its course titled “Minority and Women’s Entrepreneurship: Race, Gender, and Entrepreneurial Opportunity.”

The Director of Entrepreneurial Studies at Ann Arundel Community College has also proposed to use Professor Rogers’ article “in several disciplines and specifically in one of [its] interdisciplinary learning clusters.”

Professor Rogers was part of a five-person university-wide committee (ELI Institute Faculty Research Committee) which produced a report in July 2006 entitled: An Entrepreneurial Education Needs Assessment Research: Findings of a Pilot Study.

Taslitz, Andrew
Over this past summer, Professor Taslitz published four articles: (1) Temporal Adversarialism, Criminal Justice, and the Rehnquist Court: The Sluggish Life of Political Factfinding, 94 Geo. L.J. 1589 (2006); (2) Eyewitness Identification, Democratic Deliberation, and the Politics of Science, 4 Cardozo J. Pub. Law, Pol’y, & Ethics 271 (2006); (3) Sentencing Reform and Practice: Lessons from the Innocence Movement, 21 Crim. J. 6 (2006); and (4) Loyalty, Race, and Criminal Justice: the Lay of the Land, 49 Howard L. J. 405 (2006).

Professor Taslitz also published the 2006 supplement to his text, Constitutional Criminal Procedure (3d ed.), and the Teachers’ Manual to his text, Criminal Law: Concepts and Practice. Moreover, he signed a contract with Carolina Academic Press to co-author a two-volume hornbook on criminal procedure, the first volume entitled, Mastering Criminal Procedure: the Investigatory Phase, the second volume entitled, Mastering Criminal Procedure: the Prosecution Phase.

Additionally, he has been invited to submit an essay on the Thirteenth Amendment and Criminal Justice for a forthcoming anthology on the Thirteenth Amendment to be published by Yale University Press. He was also invited by the Criminal Justice Forum to author a piece on confessions, the Texas Tech Criminal Justice Institute to author a piece on citizen ignorance and criminal justice, and the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law to guest-edit a symposium on race and criminal justice.

He gave two talks at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Law and Society, one on judicial misunderstanding of the role of the subconscious in substantive criminal law and the law of evidence, the other on group loyalty in the recent work of sociologist Katheryn Russell-Brown. He spoke as well on “Privacy as Personal Struggle” at a “Criminal Justice Stories” conference at Harvard Law School.

Further, Professor Taslitz attended his first meeting as a member of the American Law Institute’s Consultative Group on Revising the Sentencing Provisions of the Model Penal Code and has been appointed as the first Co-Director, Division of Communications, American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section.

Finally, he recently completed the final edits on his forthcoming book, Reconstructing the Fourth Amendment: A History of Search and Seizure, 1789-1868, scheduled for release on October 1, 2006 and already available for pre-order on

Welcome New and Visiting Faculty!

Ellis, Atiba
Professor Atiba R. Ellis graduated from Duke University School of Law in 2000 and received both his Juris Doctor and a Masters in History. From 2000-01, he clerked for Judge James A. Beaty, Jr., United States District Court in the Middle District of North Carolina in Winston-Salem, N.C. From 2001-02, he clerked for Judge Theodore McKee on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, PA. Following this clerkship, Professor Ellis joined the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C. where he worked on complex civil litigation. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar. He will teach Legal Research, Reasoning and Writing I and II and Legal Writing II for the 2006-07 academic term.

Thomas, Alice Martin (Visiting Professor)
Professor Alice Martin Thomas is visiting at Howard from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law where she teaches Federal Individual Income Taxation, Nonprofit/Tax-Exempt Organizations and Contracts. She is a graduate of Howard University’s JD/MBA program. Professor Thomas received her Juris Doctor cum laude and was Editor-in-Chief of the Howard Law Journal. Professor Thomas was engaged in private practice for approximately 7 years where she specialized in tax, commercial transactions, nonprofit law and employment discrimination. She has been a full time member of the law faculty at UDC since 1996. She is a prolific scholar publishing on commercial law and tax, among other topics. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Illinois and United States Supreme Court bars. Professor Thomas will teach Contract I, Contracts II and Secured Transactions and Sales during the 2006-07 academic term.

Highlights from the Deans’ Corner

Dean Kurt L. Schmoke
Dean Schmoke led several discussions and participated on a panel during the ABA Seminar for New Law School Deans on June 14-June 16 in Columbus, Ohio.

On July 14, Dean Schmoke was a panelist for the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute at an event in New York sponsored by HUSL Alumni William Snipes and Professor Charles Ogletree. The panel was entitled, “Winning Strategies for Young Black Men: A Forum for Exploring Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap.”

He was the keynote speaker at a luncheon on August 4, during the 2006 Strategy Retreat for the Alliance for School Choice in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Dean Schmoke attended the National Bar Association convention in Detroit on August 8 and 9. He will be the keynote speaker at the opening of the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center in Anne Arundel County, Maryland on September 8, 2006.

Associate Dean Okianer Christian Dark
As a member of the LSAC Board of Trustees, Associate Dean Dark attended the LSAC Annual Meeting and Educational Conference from May 31 through June 3, 2006, in Toronto, Canada. The theme of the conference was “Celebrating our Differences: Diverse Law Schools in a Standardized Era.

She attended the ABA Associate Dean’s Conference sponsored by the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar from June 8 to 11, 2006, in Englewood, Colorado. Some of the topics covered at this conference were “Managing for Effectiveness,” “Managing for Mission,” “Managing Multiple Roles,” “Disruptive students & Professionalism,” “Adjuncts,” “Troublesome Faculty,” and “Part-Time Programs.” At this conference, Associate Dean Dark was a presenter on the panel titled “Managing for Effectiveness” along with Dean Eisler, University of Toledo and Associate Dean Paul M. Kurtz, University of Georgia.

Associate Dean Dark was a presenter on “Teaching Methods” at the AALS New Law Teachers’ Conference in Washington, D.C. from June 22-25, 2006. The title of her presentation was “Teaching Methods: Building a Learning Community in the Large Classroom. “

She was recently appointed to a three year term on the Diversity Subcommittee of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Assistant Dean Reginald McGahee
Dean McGahee is the featured speaker at the Second Annual Black Pre-law Student Conference in Dallas Texas on September 8, 2006. He has also been asked to speak to the Tarrant County Bar Association Scholarship Banquet on Friday September 8, 2006 about the law school and our efforts to recruit the best and brightest students.

Dean McGahee received a proclamation from the Alabama State legislature and the key to the city of Anniston, Alabama at the Youth Empowerment Symposium (YES) conference where he gave a formal address. The conference dealt with issues of education, self esteem and future choices. He has also been appointed to a standing advisory committee for the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

More Information- September 2006

ADA-Related Statement for All Course Syllabi A reminder from the Office of the Dean for Special Student Services

Please include the following statement on each of your course syllabi:

“Howard University is committed to providing an educational environment that is accessible to all students. In accordance with this policy, students in need of accommodations due to a disability should contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Records, Denise L. Spriggs ((202) 806-8006) or the Office of the Dean for Special Student Services (ODSSS) and to provide documentation of disability and determination of reasonable accommodations immediately after admission to the University or as soon thereafter as possible. The Office of Special Student Services is located in Suite 725 of the Howard Center and may be reached at (202) 238-2420.”

This statement is in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Questions related to this statement should be directed to Dean Barbara W. Williams, PhD, Office of the Dean of Special Student Services at (202) 238-2420.

A Special Thank You

Alum Vernon Jordan, ’60, donated copies of Dr. Genna Rae McNeil’s book, Groundwork for each member of the Class of 2009. Dr. Genna Rae McNeil, the author of Groundwork, was the keynote speaker at the Pinning Ceremony. She also personally autographed each copy of Groundwork for every member of the first year class. As a part of the two-week extended orientation program, discussion groups were held with the first year students and each group was led by a faculty facilitator. Many thanks to the following Professors who led a discussion group on Groundwork for the first year orientation:

  • Professor Peter Blum
  • Professor Lisa Crooms
  • Professor Andrew Gavil
  • Supervising Attorney Brian Gilmore
  • Professor Steve Jamar
  • Professor Warner Lawson
  • Professor Russell McClain
  • Professor Laurence Nolan

These Professors took time out of their busy schedules during the first week of classes to help with the orientation process and we are truly grateful to each of them for their leadership in these discussion groups.

Our ABA/AALS site visit is scheduled for the spring of 2008. The Fair Housing Law for the People: The Civil Rights School, September 22-23, 2006. This is an innovative program for community members to learn about their rights to Fair Housing. There will be special seminar sessions on the History and Future of the Fair Housing Movement, The Environmental Justice –Fair Housing Connection and Equal Justice After Hurricane Katrina. The Civil Rights School will have a special Saturday Session on “The State of Fair Housing in the Metropolitan Area.” In addition, there is an essay contest for D.C. High School Students and an information fair with many local housing resource information.

Continental Breakfast and Buffet Lunch will be served. The programs will be held in the Moot Court Room from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on both days. Everything is free and open to the public.

Please encourage your students to attend some of the seminars over the two-day program.


  • HU Constitutional Law Day, September 18, 2006.
  • The Fair Housing Law for the People: The Civil Rights School, September 22-23, 2006.
  • Welcome Reception for Entering LL.M. Students, Faculty Lounge, October 10, 2006, 3:00 p.m.
  • The Annual C. Clyde Ferguson Lecture, October 11, 2006 @ 4:00 p.m.
  • The Second Alumni Weekend, October 13-14, 2006.
  • The District of Columbia Court of Appeals Day, October 17, 2006.
  • The Third Annual Wiley Branton Symposium, October 20, 2006.

COURT DAY ON OCTOBER 17, 2006 Chief Judge Eric T. Washington, of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, has invited Howard University School of Law to participate in the court’s education outreach program by being the host site for a set of oral arguments on Tuesday, October 17, 2006. The Court of Appeals will hear arguments on three actual cases in our Moot Court Room from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Following the arguments, the judges will meet with students. The activities for this day are being coordinated with Professor cunningham and the LRRW Program. We encourage all faculty and students to sit in on one or more of the arguments scheduled for that day. More information to follow.

BUILDING EXCELLENCE (BE) SURVEY. Each member of the first year class took an on-line survey called the Building Excellent Learning Skills Survey to help them to identify their learning style. The survey takes between 15-20 minutes to complete. Each member of the faculty will be able to take this on-line survey as well. You will be sent instructions on how to access the survey on line along with the pass code. The assessment is done immediately. The on-line survey will be available to full-time faculty until September 30, 2006. For those who are interested, Professor DeMaio and Associate Dean Dark will conduct a short session after September 30th about how to interpret the results of the BE survey. More information to follow.

News from the Civil Rights Clinic. Students in the Civil Rights Clinic are working on an amicus brief to file with the United States Supreme Court in support of respondents in Parents Involved in Community Schs. V. Seattle Sch Dist. No. 1 and McFarland v. Jefferson County Pub. Schs. These two companion cases are scheduled for argument in this term and are involving voluntarily efforts on the part of public school districts to desegregate or maintain integration. The students are being supervised by Professor Derek Black and Professor Aderson Francois. The brief is due on October 10, 2006.

FYI: Conference Proceedings on “Race and Law Curriculum Workshop,” held at the University of Florida School of Law. In February 2005, a Race and Law Curriculum Workshop was held at the University Of Florida School Of Law. The materials with the proceedings from this conference encompass two volumes and are located in the Office of the Associate Dean For Academic Affairs. The first volume includes an opening address, invited conference papers, and summaries of the break out sessions on “Telling Our Stories: The Consequences of Teaching Race” and “Research on Race and Teaching.” The second volume includes a bibliography of material on race and legal education and a collection of race and law syllabi. Please see me if you would like to borrow these materials to review.