School of Law News
Law School Hosts Legal Institute for Local Students
Friday, July 18, 2014
Western New England University School of Law partnered with MassMutual Financial Group and the Just The Beginning Foundation, to bring the Summer Legal Institute to western Massachusetts for a second year.
Forty high school students from throughout Greater Springfield participated in the week-long institute. The programing involves a curriculum that is highly interactive and fun. Program activities are designed to motivate and encourage students on a path toward academic and personal success while immersing them in many aspects of the legal and judicial systems.
Throughout the week, students watched legal proceeding in Hampden Superior Court, asked questions of a panel of State and Federal Court judges, learned the art of negotiating from staff attorneys at MassMutual, visited major law firms in Springfield and Hartford CT, attended a networking reception with judges and attorneys, and then each student prepared and engaged in a mock trial.
L to R: J.D. Candidate and Team Leader Phelipe Johnson, high school students: Raekwon Wheeler, Caroline Andros, Simone Aldridge-Moore, Alice Swan, Chaise Guardino, Tinsae Erkailo, Laura Ramsey, and J.D.Candidate and Team Leader Tatenda L. Chitemerere
"Much of what young people know about our judicial system they learn from television, which can be quite distorted. This program helps demystify what attorney's really do and how our court system really works. It's an eye opening experience for many of these young students" said Eric Gouvin, Dean of the Western New England University School of Law. At the end of the week, the student's families joined them for an awards ceremony where students were awarded certificates and prizes for their accomplishments and for their mock-trial performances in the courtroom.
Kandace Kukas Joins School of Law Staff
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
On July 1, Kandace Kukas joined Western New England University School of Law as the Assistant Dean and Director of Bar Admissions Programs. Dean Kukas will design, administer, and oversee the Law School’s bar examination preparation efforts and activities, including teaching classes, counseling bar applicants, and working with students on an individual and group basis. “We are thrilled to have Kandace Kukas join the School of Law community,” said Dean Eric J. Gouvin. “With her impressive experience in student bar preparation strategies, I’m confident Kandace will make a significant contribution to the success of our graduates.”
The Director of Bar Admission Programs position was created to assist Western New England School of Law students with the increasingly complex process of applying to and preparing for the bar examination. Working closely with faculty, staff and commercial bar preparation companies, Dean Kukas will be responsible for implementing a comprehensive bar passage program commencing in a student’s first year of law school and continuing throughout the law school program.
Kukas’ professional background has prepared her well for this unique role. She has worked in test preparation for the Kaplan and PMBR (Pre-Multistate Bar Review) organizations for 18 years, specifically focusing on bar review for nearly 10 years. She has created curriculum for bar preparation courses, taught bar review programs at several law schools as well as tutored and lectured in commercial bar classes. She practiced law for five years before moving into academic support roles. Dean Kukas received her J.D., with honors from Suffolk University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, with honors from Salem State University.
Law Student Receives National Scholarship
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Lenore Montanaro, a student at Western New England University School of Law, is one of only two winners of the national DRI Diversity Scholarship Competition. DRI was founded as the Defense Research Institute in 1960 and is the leading organization of defense attorneys in the country. At the School of Law, Montanaro serves as president of the Women’s Law Association. She has been selected for the Dean’s Best Brief award and Best Oral Advocate for her legal research and writing section.
John E. Cuttino, DRI Second Vice President and Lenore Montanaro
When presenting the award, Mr. John E. Cuttino, Second Vice President of DRI said, “Each year, I really look forward to this presentation because I think that the scholarships demonstrate one of the most inspiring of DRI’s core values and give us such optimism for the future of our profession. These scholarships are well deserved.”
Montanaro has clerked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield, Massachusetts and upon graduation, would like to practice defense litigation in medical malpractice suits. Montanaro is a published poet, and, as a Mellon Foundation Fellow, authored the book “The Morning Within the Dark,” and is working on her second book. The $10,000 scholarships were presented at the organization’s June 12th Diversity Seminar in Chicago.
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