School of Law News

University Holds First Combined Doctoral, Law, Pharmacy, Master's Commencement Ceremony

Posted Monday, May 18, 2015

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On Sunday, May 17, Western New England University conferred Doctoral, Law, Pharmacy, and Master’s degrees to 343 students during its 2015 Graduate Commencement Ceremony in the Alumni Healthful Living Center on campus. Degree candidates received their diplomas and traditional degree hoods.

Law alumna Gale Candaras L’83 delivered the grad_5jpgcommencement address and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Senator Candaras, a Democrat, served in the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives for nearly two decades.

Senator Candaras told the graduates, “You have entered the helping professions, law, pharmacy, psychology, business or sciences. Be a leader as well as a practitioner. Fight for the people you serve. Fight for higher standards and more resources. Don’t just complain about problems you find in your profession, fight for the solutions.”  

As the College of Pharmacy conferred Pharm.D. degrees upon its first graduating class, Dean Evan Robinson remarked to the students, “ Over the past four years, you’re shared your hearts with us, your inner compass. You’ve allowed us to experience your passion, drive and professionalism. You’ve allowed us to be a part of your personal development, and for that you have our heartfelt gratitude.”

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School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin explained to the gathering, “As you sit here you may think you know what your professional journey holds in store for you, but don’t forget the wisdom of John Lennon who said, ‘Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.’ Or, the Jewish proverb, “People make plans – and God laughs.”

Gouvin added, “I do hope your dreams come true, but, it’s your journey – you own it, you are responsible for making the most of it.”

To view/download more photos click here.

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School of Law Holds Housing Discrimination Conference

Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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Western New England University School of Law held a conference on Thursday, April 16, titled, “Fair Housing Rights: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues.”  The impetus for holding the confab is the recently released findings by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, that clearly documents higher rates of discrimination against potential renters when they disclose that they have a same-sex partner moving in. That data shows that it doesn’t matter if a person lives in a state with strong protections or not, which suggests that there remain much work, and education, to do around enforcement on this particular discrimination problem.

“The problems that occur concerning discrimination in housing for LGBT people, has not received a lot of enforcement yet,” explained Law Professor Erin Buzuvis. “We already have a lot of precedent for dealing with other forms of discrimination in the context of housing, such as race and religion, but there has been very little attention focused on LGBT housing discrimination up until now.” 

The featured speakers included Meris Berquist, Executive Director, Massachusetts Fair Housing Center; Assistant Attorney General Ann Lynch, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office; Lauren Wilhote, Esq., U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; and Commissioner Sunila Thomas-George, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

For more information about the Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies at Western New England University School of Law click here.

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Mini-Law School Program Has Major Impact

Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2015

mini_law_22_jpgLaw Professor Barbara Noah and Judge Kenneth Neiman

Western New England University School of Law opened its doors to the community with a five-week interactive lecture and discussion program focused on demystifying the law. The Mini-Law School Program was held on five Tuesday evenings in February and March, drew a crowd of nearly 200 participants, and generated a wait-list of over 100 people for the next program series. 

“We live in an increasingly complex world filled with laws,” remarked Associate Dean for Library and Information Resources Pat Newcombe. “People want to be better informed in order to make better decisions.”

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The Mini-Law School Program was designed to provide practical knowledge to assist ordinary citizens in understanding how laws are applied, why disputes occur so frequently, and how courts mediate this process. Each class was taught by law school faculty and moderated by recently retired Federal Court Judge Kenneth Neiman, who served as the “Dean” of the Mini-Law School.  

“I came because I love every aspect of the law, and because it affects everything in our lives, and I can’t wait for the next series of classes to be offered,” explained Portia Axiotis of Wilbraham, MA.

Tyler Alves explained, “I came along with my grandmother, Portia Axiotis, but I really came because I’m planning on a career in law enforcement and I thought this would be a great way to get a taste of law fundamentals, and better prepare myself.” 

The focus of each class was on how the courts and law are relevant to citizens’ everyday lives. Blending theory and practice, the five sessions included; Family Law with Professor Jennifer Levi, Health Law with Professor Barbara Noah, Constitutional Law with Professor Bruce Miller, Environmental Law with Professor Julie Steiner, and An Inside View of Law School and the Courts with Judge Kenneth Neiman and Law School Dean Eric Gouvin. 

“My daughter is a freshman in law school and I thought this would help me have conversations with her and better understand what she is learning,” explained Ellen Rowles of East Longmeadow, MA. “It’s been very helpful and I’ve learned a great deal.”

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“Having strong connections with the community is an important part of the Law School’s mission and we strive to serve as a resource in the community,” said Beth Cohen, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. “The goal of the Mini-Law School is to increase civic engagement and awareness and provide opportunities for people to better understand the legal system,” Cohen added 

Deans Newcombe and Cohen, co-chairs of the Program, are planning the next Mini-Law School for Fall 2015.  

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School of Law News Headlines:

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

Students Explore Corporate Law with Attorneys from LEGO and Smith & Wesson
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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

University Law Students Headed to National Tax Competition in Texas
Monday, January 26, 2015

Color of Law Roundtable to Feature Labor Attorney Edward Pichardo
Thursday, December 18, 2014

Western New England University Law Professor Assists Guantanamo Bay Prisoner 
Friday, December 12, 2014

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

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