School of Law News

School of Law Offers Unique Opportunity to Study Gender and Law in Israel

Posted Monday, June 29, 2015

Western New England University School of Law is running a 2-week comparative gender law course (2 credits) in Israel from December 21-31, 2015. It is a unique program featuring a three-way comparison between U.S., Israeli, and Jewish law on gender discrimination issues, to be held at a law school near Tel Aviv.

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This course will focus on three contemporary examples of challenges to gender segregation- at worship spaces, on public buses, and in restrooms. Students will examine, compare, and explore the basic principles of gender, discrimination, equality, and justice across three different legal regimes: American, Israeli, and Jewish. They will focus on the structure of these legal systems that support or sometimes conflict with principles of equality, nondiscrimination, and pluralism.

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Program Director Jennifer Levi is a Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law and has dedicated her career to fighting for the rights of women, children, the poor, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients. She served as counsel in the first United States court ruling permitting same-sex couples to marry and is one of our nation’s leading legal experts on transgender legal issues.

The program is open to J.D., graduate, and undergraduate students who can demonstrate the potential for academic success. The course will be taught in English and will offer the opportunity for American students to interact with Israeli law students. Participants are not required to have background in Israeli or Jewish law.

Applications are due October 1, 2015. Space is limited. To apply, email israelprogram@law.wne.edu.

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School of Law Student Honored for Ethics

Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel recently held its 11th annual Law Student Ethics Awards dinner at The State Room in Boston, MA. David Gergen, senior political analyst for CNN and advisor to four U.S. presidents, gave the keynote address. Western New England University Law student Ryan Scott of Buckland, MA, was among the award winners.

20140403_w_0150jpg “As a student assistant district attorney in the Springfield District Court, Ryan prosecuted persons charged with both misdemeanors and felonies. During one difficult case, I watched as Ryan tried to encourage the victim to testify while still appreciating the victim’s very real fear of reprisal if he testified against the gang member defendant,” explained Law Professor Tina Cafaro. “When Ryan learned that the defense counsel was trying to convince the victim to assert his 5th Amendment right to not testify even though there was no allegation that the victim had done anything wrong, Ryan realized that this was an attempt to thwart the justice system. I watched as Ryan grappled with the ethical considerations of knowing the victim was being encouraged to assert a right that did not apply, yet understanding the very real fear the victim had,” Cafaro added. “At all times during this case and throughout the semester, Ryan handled himself with professionalism and in a highly ethical manner.”

The awards program recognizes and encourages the ethical practice of law at the earliest stages of a young lawyer’s professional career. It also shines a spotlight on ethics more generally, demonstrating that the legal community values lawyers who are guided by ethical principles. The award, which also includes a scholarship, is given to one student from each participating law school, who has demonstrated a commitment to ethics as recognized by the law school’s faculty.

“Working in the District Attorney’s office was eye opening,” explained law student Ryan Scott. “I believe deeply that ethical behavior is essential to the functioning of the justice system. It is important that we practice law with honesty and professional responsibility, because our work affects the lives of so many people.”

In his keynote address, Gergen emphasized that just because something is legal doesn’t make it ethical. He also focused on the importance of a commitment to ethics as a guide for how to act in the future.

The Awards Dinner was attended by many prominent judges of the state trial and appellate courts in Massachusetts, including Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, as well as faculty from the participating schools, the presidents of numerous bar associations, general counsel from prominent local companies, and senior partners from law firms.  

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Law Professor Erin Buzuvis Awarded 40 Under Forty Class of 2015 from BusinessWest

Posted Monday, June 15, 2015

buzuvisejpgWestern New England University School of Law Professor Erin Buzuvis, is a recipient of this year’s “40 Under Forty” award from BusinessWest Magazine. BusinessWest presents the award to forty "rising stars" in local business and nonprofit communities who have demonstrated extraordinary business and civic leadership in Western MA.

“Professor Buzuvis is one of the nation’s leading authorities on Title IX law. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on the statute, and has been quoted on the subject in a number of media outlets, including the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and the Chronicle of Higher Education,” according to BusinessWest editor George O’Brien.

Buzuvis teaches courses on administrative law, employment discrimination, Title IX, torts and property. She is co-founder and contributor to the Title IX Blog, an interdisciplinary resource for news, legal developments, commentary, and scholarship about Title IX's application to athletics and education. She serves as the Director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies at Western New England University School of Law.

Exploring the wide range of issues involved with gender and sexual equality is the informal mission of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies at Western New England School of Law, which Buzuvis helped launch in 2012. The center serves as an educational resource for the law school, the University, the legal community, and the general public, she explained, adding that it enables the School of Law to provide students with unique opportunities to learn about gender and sexuality legal issues — and there are many of them — and graduate with a concentration in that emerging area of the law.

“We recently held a workshop about housing discrimination issues, and the legal response to those issues for the LGBT community, and we had a program last fall on domestic violence issues in the NFL,” she said, adding that the center was created to shine a spotlight on such matters — and keep that light on.

The 40 Under Forty Gala honoring Professor Buzuvis and the othert 39 shinning stars will take place Thursday, June 18, 2015 at The Log Cabin in Holyoke.

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School of Law News Headlines:

New Intensive Language and Cultural Program Partnership Announced for International Students
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

University Holds First Combined Doctoral, Law, Pharmacy, Master's Commencement Ceremony
Monday, May 18, 2015

School of Law Holds Housing Discrimination Conference
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mini-Law School Program Has Major Impact
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

School of Law Presents Medical Malpractice Discussion
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Law Students Honored as Best Oral Advocates in National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Duggan Middle School Students Go to Court With Help From School of Law
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Katherine A. Robertson Appointed Springfield U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge
Sunday, February 8, 2015

Western New England University School of Law to Host Federico Fabbrini on September 15
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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