School of Law News

University Law Students Excel in American Bar Association Competition

Posted Friday, December 11, 2015

By sophomore Gabrielle Kiss

christopher_rousseau_emily_dubuc_2jpgLaw students Emily Dubuc and Christopher Rousseau

The Law School was in full session a few weeks ago as Western New England University hosted the American Bar Association (ABA) Region 1 Negotiation Competition. This annual competition gives law students a chance to sharpen their skills as the students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of complex legal problems.

Over the two days of intense competition, 20 regional teams of two students each went head to head to sell their arguments to eleven panels of judges. The Western New England Law School entered the competition with three two-person teams including Egzon Beha and Melissa McGavin, Emily Dubuc and Christopher Rousseau, and Matthew Minniefield and Kimberly Roche.

On day one, Egzon Beha and Melissa McGavin held their own against future first-place and runner-up teams hailing from Osgoode Hall Law School and Western University Law School, both in Ontario, Canada, while Matthew Minniefield and Kimberly Roche negotiated successfully through two very lengthy problems and complex rounds. Emily Dubuc and Christopher Rousseau placed second overall by the end of day one, resulting in an all-night team practice session with their coach and mentor, Law Professor René Reich-Graefe, to prepare for the second-day final round.

aba_teamsjpgProfessor René Reich-Graefe, Melissa McGavin, Egzon Beha,  Emily Dubuc, Christopher Rousseau, Kimberly Roche, and Matthew Minniefield

By the end of the weekend, the Western New England team of Emily Dubuc and Christopher Rousseau came in third place among the 20 teams competing, and was invited by the American Bar Association to compete in the National Negotiation Competition in San Diego, CA, in February 2016. 

“All three of our student teams have worked very hard during the last two months in preparation for their negotiations,  and finished well," Professor René Reich-Graefe said after the final round, “and I am delighted to see how well and how professionally our six students represented Western New England Law School over the entire course of the two-day competition.”

To view more photos of the competition click here.


Daniel J. DePasquale Wins First Prize in National Writing Competition

Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015


Law student Daniel J. DePasquale won first prize in the annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition, sponsored by the American Planning Association’s Planning and Law Division for his paper titled "Land Use Planning—A Pragmatic Proposition: Regionally Planned Coastal TDRs in Light of Rising Seas."

DePasquale argues that the use of Transferable Development Rights (“TDRs”) programs can and should be used in a regional capacity by coastal communities throughout the country in order to prepare for sea-level rise.

The article follows TDR programs from their inception in 1916 New York City, walking the reader through more modern day creations. The idea of using TDRs for coastal communities is not a revolutionary idea; however, the article proposes the use of these programs in a regional capacity, thus evolving into more comprehensive and capable programs that can better withstand changing markets.

Moreover, the article steps away from the premise of forcing people living in coastal communities —by ways of mandatory programs—to take part in these TDR programs. Instead it suggests a voluntary program that effectively bypasses any legal takings issues. This creates a model that is more robust by advocating for the end of federal subsidization of flood insurance policies.

If regionally planned coastal TDR programs were created, they would have the potential to engender greater environmentally efficient cities that garner stronger economies, which will no doubt bypass the many problems of impending sea-level rise.

DePasquale, currently a third year law student, received a $2,000 prize and publication of his winning paper in The Urban Lawyer, the law journal of the American Bar Association's Section of State & Local Government Law.

DePasquale is the second Western New England Law student in the past three years to take top honors.


Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies to Host Workshop on New Transgender Rights Law

Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The new Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies at Western New England University School of Law will host a workshop on “Massachusetts’s New Transgender Rights Law: Strategies for Compliance and Advocacy” on Tuesday, February 14. The workshop will take place at the Blake Law Center Commons beginning at 12:00 noon, featuring a panel of experts discussing the new law and how it will be enforced. The event is free and open to the public.

The workshop will explore steps that employers, landlords, lenders, and others should take to ensure their compliance with this new law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Panelists include Julian Tynes, Chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination; Susan Fentin, Partner at Skoler, Abbott, and Presser, P.C.; Whitney Holovach, Civil Rights Specialist at the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center; and Jennifer Levi, Professor at Western New England University School of Law.

Established in 2012, the Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies is a resource for students, alumni, and faculty of Western New England University School of Law, the legal community, and the general public. The Center works to engage with the legal community, with the University, and with members of the School of Law on core issues of gender and sexuality across a broad spectrum of law, including criminal law, immigration, employment, family law, health law, discrimination, prisoners’ rights, legislation, leadership and business, and international and comparative law.


School of Law News Headlines:

Resolution Supports Nondiscrimination Protection for Transgender Individuals
Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Law School Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies Supports Transgender High School Student
Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Clason Speaker Explores Race, Gender, and Democracy
Monday, November 2, 2015

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Inspiries local Students
Sunday, November 1, 2015

Several New U.S. Citizens Take Oath at School of Law Naturalization Ceremony
Friday, October 23, 2015

Professional Etiquette on Law School Lunch Menu
Thursday, September 10, 2015

School of Law to Help Sponsor Visit by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thomas ’76 Named to Board of Trustees at Western New England University
Monday, July 20, 2015

Western New England University Hosts Legal Summer Camp for Local Students
Thursday, July 16, 2015

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