Howard University

Faculty Highlights-March 2007

March 2007

Covering period from February 2007-March 2007

Ballard-Thrower, Rhea
On Tuesday, February 20th, Professor Ballard-Thrower was a presenter at last month’s faculty colloquy.

Crooms, Lisa
On February 1st, 2007 Professor Crooms was the keynote speaker at the 10 year anniversary celebration for the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development for Human Rights in San Francisco.

She was also elected as the Scholarship Caucus representative for the Coordinating Committee of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN), a group of more that 240 U.S. based human rights/social justice organizations.

Professor Crooms will also serve as the Senior Advisor for the USHRN’s shadow report project in connection with the United States’ Second Periodic report under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. This follows a similar effort for which she served as the Senior Coordinator for the U.S. civil society shadow reports regarding U.S. compliance with the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2006.

Echols, Marsha
Professor Echols was re-appointed to the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law and attended the first 2007 meeting of the Advisory Committee.

Professor Marsha Echols was a panelist at the 2007 Symposium of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. The Symposium concerned International and Domestic Regulations to Secure the Food Supply. Her presentation was titled “Paths to Local Food Security: A Right to Food, A Commitment to Trade”.

Gavil, Andrew
During the week of March 5th, Professor Gavil testified at the latest installment of ongoing hearings on monopolization. This information can be found at the following link:

Jamar, Steven
Professor Jamar was instrumental in implementing the 4th Annual CLE of the Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice. His contribution was supported by Esther Lim, a partner in the Finnegan, Henderson IP law firm, with special assistance from Shewana Skinner ‘08 and Tiffany Tucker ‘09.

La Rue, Homer
Professor La Rue served as a member of the faculty member for the 3rd Annual ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Arbitration Training Institute: A Comprehensive Training in Commercial Arbitration. The Training Institute was co-sponsored by the ABA Section of Litigation. Participants, numbering more than 100, came from all over the country to New York City for the training. Professor La Rue conducted the workshop on pre-hearing issues for arbitrators and advocates.

Professor La Rue also attended the Mid-Year Meeting of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution in Miami, Florida. He serves as the Budget Officer for the Council of the Section of Dispute Resolution. The Council is the governing body for the Section of Dispute Resolution.

Professor La Rue facilitated a focus group for the Task Force on Improving Mediator Quality (“TFIMQ”) in Miami, Florida during the Mid-Year Meeting of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. The TFIMQ is a project of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. The TFIMQ is conducting focus groups discussions among the users of ADR services to determine what the consumers of alternative dispute resolution processes like and those things that they believe need improvement. The work of the TFIMQ is a multi-year endeavor in which focus group discussions are being conducted all over the country and in Canada.

McDougall, Harold
Professor McDougall’s article, “Environmental Protection and Civil Society: The Case of Jamaica,” 15 Penn. State L. Rev. 1 (2007), was published in February.

Mtima, Lateef (On Sabbatical)
On Thursday and Friday, March 1-2, 2007, Professor Mtima planned and hosted (along with Professor Jamar) the 4th Annual CLE of the Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice at HUSL. About 60 people attended and presented, including practitioners, academics, in-house counsel, judicial law clerks, HUSL law students, and federal judges.

Attorneys from sponsoring law firms, including Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP; Foley & Lardner LLP; Howrey LLP; Shearman & Sterling LLP; Sughrue Mion PLLC; Venable LLP; Weil Gotshal & Manges, LLP, attended and presented at the conference as did in house counsel from Microsoft, Shell Oil (from the Netherlands), BF Goodrich, DuPont, and others. A number of students made some contacts with firms and companies for potential internships of summer associateships. Students contributed their time and efforts for all aspects of the event to help make it a success.

Newsom, Michael
Professor Newsom will conduct a seminar for the first year class on preparing an outline. This two hour session will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2007.

Nichols, Cheryl
On March 5th, Professor Nichols was a guest lecturer for the seminar conducted in connection with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s law student observer program in its Atlanta district office. This is the same seminar taught in connection with the HUSL SEC Externship in Washington, DC. This seminar is taught by senior SEC staff and partners of the private securities bar. Professor Nichol’s topic was “American Preeminence in the Global Securities Market.” At the conclusion of her seminar, she was invited to be a permanent guest lecturer for the entire academic year.

On March 5th, Professor Nichols was asked to participate in an SEC task force to establish a program at Howard University School of Law for a securities/corporate enhanced curriculum supported by senior staff at the commission. Task Force members include Ron Crawford, Associate District Administrator for the SEC’s Atlanta district office; Roenesha Butler, Staff Attorney, Market Regulation (HUSL grad); Chris Agbe-Davies, Staff Attorney, Enforcement (HUSL grad); Mark Kreitman, Assistant Director, Enforcement; and Nancy Burnett, Senior Attorney, EEO.

Nolan, Laurence
Professor Nolan recently submitted an application to the ABA Commission of Law and Aging titled “An Interdisciplinary Partnership to Promote the Functional Capacity of Decisionally-Impaired Elders.” The project director is Dr. Simhoni, Occupational Therapy Department at Howard University and in addition to Professor Nolan for the law school, the other primary project partner is the National Guardianship Association. The objective of this grant is to develop a web-based course on therapeutic interventions for guardians of decisionally-impaired persons.

Rogers, Sherman
During Entrepreneurship week from February 26th to March 3rd, Professor Rogers was a guest speaker at the program on the spirit and power of entrepreneurship.

Ross, Josephine
Professor Ross’s recently published her article: After Crawford Double-Speak: “Testimony” Does Not Mean Testimony And “Witness” Does Not Mean Witness, 97 CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 147 (2007).

Highlights from the Deans’ Corner

Dean Kurt L. Schmoke

  • Dean Schmoke attended the ABA Dean’s Workshop at the ABA Mid-Year Meeting in Miami on February 8. On February 20th, the Dean moderated a debate between Professor Lani Guinier and journalist, Juan Williams at the Yale Law School. The topic of the debate was “Black Responsibility: By Whom, For What”.
  • On February 21 Dean Schmoke was invited by the British Ambassador to a special screening of “Amazing Grace: The William Wilberforce Story” at the Embassy.
  • On February 24, the dean was the keynote speaker at the 81st luncheon of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH). The theme was “From Slavery to Freedom, the History of Africans in the Americas”. The event was held at the Grand Hyatt.

Associate Dean Okianer Christian Dark

  • Associate Dean Dark was a member of the ABA Site Team for a reaccreditation visit at the University Of Alabama School Of Law.
  • She recently served as a member of the LSAC nominating committee for the Board of Trustees.
  • On March 6, 3007, Associate Dean Dark gave a presentation on behalf of the Montgomery County Commission on Health before County Executive Leggett and his senior staff. County Executive Leggett asked all of the Boards and Commissions that advise the Department of Health and Human Services to give a presentation setting forth their top priorities.

More Information- March 2007

“The Details and Acknowledgements”

Academic Achievement Program
On February 5th, Professor Patricia DeMaio hosted a program on “How To Succeed at Howard Law School” with the Kirkland & Ellis law firm. The program was well attended by approximately 70 to 90 students. There was also a partner from the firm in attendance at the program. Many thanks to Professor DeMaio for helping to make this program a success!

Charles Hamilton Houston Lecture
On Thursday, February 15th, the Annual Charles Hamilton Houston Lecture was a great success. This year’s guest lecturer was Chokwe Lumumba who is the National Chair and a co-founder of the New Afrikan People’s Organization (N.A.P.O.). He has served as NAPO’s chairperson since its inception in 1984 having been re-elected to the position in 2004. As national chair of the organization, Lumumba now resides in Jackson, Mississippi. Lumumba was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.

The lecture’s topic was “21st Century New Afrikan (Black) Lawyers: Serving Our People in the Tradition of Charles Hamilton Houston. The program was well attended and Chokwe Lumumba delivered a fascinating talk on the subject.

Thank you to Professor Crooms and Nichols for requiring your students to attend the lecture and thanks to the student volunteers who met with the speaker prior to the lecture.

“Preparing for the Bar” Program
On Thursday, February 27th, the SBA and the Office of Academic Affairs hosted a program titled “Preparing for the Bar.” The program featured the Honorable Bryan R. Williams, HUSL ’81, a member of the New York State Board of Examiners and the Board of Trustees for the National Bar Examiners.

Mr. Williams gave an overview if the components of a typical bar exam, provided tips to students on how to avoid fatal mistakes on the bar and how to answer difficult questions. Mr. Williams’ presentation was followed by a Q & A session. The program was very informative and well attended with over 60 students inclusive of 1Ls, 2Ls and 3Ls. Students have asked the law school to bring Mr. Williams back to the law school next year.

A Report on Katrina Related Events
During the first week of January 2007, Professor Josephine Ross secured the promise of a bus to take students to New Orleans from the main campus provided she found 25 students willing to go. A group of students began working with Professor Ross to create a trip that would offer legal work to students during the spring break. The Alternative Spring Break project at the law school was initiated from these efforts.

On January 17, a film. “Prisoners of Katrina” was shown on HUSL monitors. This film is a documentary on the abandonment of many prisoners during the Hurricane and the way the resulting chaos in the justice system has caused widespread neglect of court dates and release dates for thousands of prisoners. Two weeks later, students also showed a segment of “When the Levees Broke” (Act II) on HUSL monitors to garner attention to the housing crisis.

On January 22, Professor Douglas Colbert, University of Maryland School of Law, was a speaker on the Katrina Project. He talked about the role that law students can play in addressing the rights of prisoners affected by Katrina. Over 40 students attended this lecture and many students stayed late asking questions.

On Friday, February 9, Professor Meekins and Professor Ross hosted a talk on the state of the Orleans criminal justice system and the effect of Hurricane Katrina on its current reform. The Guest speaker was Stephen Singer, the current trial Chief of the Orleans Parish Public Defender. Mr. Singer discussed the public defender and criminal justice crisis in the New Orleans and the current reform efforts underway.

On February 26 and again on March 4, there was a mandatory training for students going to New Orleans to learn about interviewing techniques. Westlaw training on Louisiana law was also provided on March 4. Clinical law students worked with Professor Meekins and Professor Ross in designing training exercises for these days.

Over 75 students expressed interest in going to New Orleans during spring break. Currently, 65 students are confirmed to attend the Alternative Spring Break.

The following faculty members are scheduled to go to New Orleans: Atiba Ellis, Christi Cunningham, Tamar Meekins and Josephine Ross. Attorney Brian Gilmore and Associate Dean Dione Duckett will also accompany the faculty and students to New Orleans.

Currently, students are signed up to work in the following places:

  1. The Baker Project – interviewing displaced poor people who are housed in a FEMA trailer park ringed with barbed wire.
  2. Public Defender’s Office
  3. District Attorney’s Office
  4. Innocence Project
  5. Succession Project (helping home owners secure title)
  6. Housing complaints (helping individual clients. Some students are placed with the UCC, some with Loyola Law School)
  7. Habitat (8 students doing non-legal work building houses)

We wish all the students and faculty a safe and highly productive trip!