School of Law News

School of Law Hosts Journalist and Guantanamo Activist Andy Worthington 

Posted Sunday, February 1, 2015

Western New England University School of Law hosted a presentation by Andy Worthington on Wednesday, January 14, in the Blake Law Center. Worthington’s talk was titled, “Closing Guantanamo and Seeking Accountability for Torture.” 

guan_3jpgAndy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, and film-maker, who has researched and written about Guantanamo Bay Prison since 2006. He co-founded the Close Guantanamo campaign and is the author of The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. 

“Like many people around the world, I had seen the images of the shackled, blind-folded, ears covered prisoners held in Guantanamo, and thought something just didn’t look right. So I decided to learn more,” explained Worthington. “The Bush administration did all they could to keep information about the prisoners from the public, but once the first few low level prisoners were released, we began hearing stories of the torture that was occurring. That’s when I knew I had to learn more and do something about it,” Worthington added.

Worthington also co-directed the documentary Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo. His website,, features regular blogs about Guantanamo. His articles have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera. 

This event was sponsored by the Western New England University Law School chapter of The National Lawyers Guild.


University Law Students Headed to National Tax Competition in Texas

Posted Monday, January 26, 2015

Western New England University School of Law students Jean Derderian and Peter Chikov were selected as semi-finalists in the American Bar Association’s (ABA), National Law Student Tax Challenge. The competition asks two-person teams of law students to solve a cutting-edge and complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. 

“This year’s team carries on a tradition of Western New England University School of Law Tax Challenge teams doing very well in the national competition,” says School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin.  “The competition is difficult and demands that students engage the problem at the level of a tax professional. Jean and Peter make a great team and I am proud to have them represent our School.”


Each year, nearly 100 law student teams compete in the competition. Based on their written work product during the first phase of the competition, the top ten teams are given a free trip to the American Bar Association’s midyear meeting on Taxation, held this year in Houston, TX. The teams will complete the competition January 29 through 31, by defending their work product before the country’s top tax practitioners and tax court judges.

Jean Derderian, a Public Interest Scholar, was born in Worcester, MA. After graduating summa cum laude with multidisciplinary honors as a Commonwealth Scholar from UMASS Amherst in 1995, she served in local public office for 20 years as a municipal planner, preservationist, and New Salem MA, Assessor. Currently living on a small farm in New Salem, with her five children, she plans to continue to work locally in community development and hopes to work nationally in tax policy 

“Tax law is dynamic, multidisciplinary, and evolving,” explained Derderian. “I am grateful to Western New England University School of Law for the many opportunities it provides to study the intersection of law and public policy, which prepared us well for our submission to the ABA Law Student Tax Challenge. We are looking forward to representing our School and presenting our research in Texas and to meeting some of the finest tax attorneys and judges in the country,” Derderian added 

Peter Chikov was born in Moscow, Russia, and is now living in Quincy, MA. After graduating from Thayer Academy in Worcester, he graduated from UMASS Amherst in 2004, with Bachelor of Science in Math, Physics, and Computer Science. He currently works for Agero, in Medford, MA. Although an avid hockey player, scuba diver, and downhill skier, his commitment to his local community is paramount.

“I am very grateful to my faculty mentor, Professor William Metzger, and my Tax Challenge partner Jean Derderian, for guiding me through the complex and intriguing world of tax law,” remarked Peter Chikov. “I look forward to exploring this discipline further at the ABA Law Student Tax Challenge and am proud to represent Western New England Law School.”


Cutting-Edge Cyber Security Presentation to be Held

Posted Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Western New England University School of Law and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will present a cutting-edge program highlighting current legal issues in privacy, data security, and cyber security law, on Tuesday, February 3, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. in the Blake Law Center, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119. The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. 


The panel will explore current and evolving legal, insurance, and regulatory trends affecting this rapidly changing and growing area of law. The speakers will identify emerging issues to prepare for in 2015 and beyond, and will discuss legal concerns that keep them awake at night.

For law students and practitioners, who are not yet involved in this area of law, the speakers will also share how they came to practice in this field, and offer suggestions on how to gain experience and pursue a career in privacy, data security and cyber security. As part of this discussion, the panel will note available training and certification programs at IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals), to increase your profile and build your knowledge.

kporte_2jpgThe program presenters will include attorneys:

Kathleen M. Porter, (photo left), Partner, Robinson & Cole LLP, CIPP/US (Program Chair) L '90

Elena M. Gervin, Vice President, Claim Legal and Specialized Services, Travelers L '88

Andrew Levchuk, Counsel, Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, CISSP 

Richard R. Reynolds, Privacy Counsel,  Boston Scientific Corporation, CIPP/US L'95



School of Law News Headlines:

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

Dial-A-Lawyer Program Serves Community
Thursday, November 20, 2014

New U.S. Citizens Take Oath at Law School
Monday, November 3, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Review Conference Held 
Thursday, October 30, 2014

Senate Candidates Spar During Western New England University Debate
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Law Students Raise Funds by Chasing Ambulance
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Domestic Violence and the NFL Forum Held
Friday, October 3, 2014

Standing Room Only At Constitution Day Event 
Thursday, September 25, 2014

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

Constitution Day to Explore Ferguson MO
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Four District Attorney Candidates Debate At Western New England University
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Law School Hosts Legal Institute for Local Students
Friday, July 18, 2014

Kandace Kukas Joins School of Law Staff
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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