Feature Stories Campus Events

W&L’s Accounting Faculty Win Four Awards at Major Conference

At the American Accounting Association’s (AAA) 19th annual conference in Atlanta, Ga., in August, four members of the accounting faculty at Washington and Lee University won awards—Stephan Fafatas, Ge Bai, Raquel Alexander and Megan Hess.

The AAA is the professional organization for accounting professors, and between two and three thousand accounting professors and graduate students attend the conference each year from schools throughout the world.

“Considering that we have only eight faculty members, I think it is fairly amazing that little Washington and Lee has these active young faculty members winning national awards,” said Elizabeth Oliver, the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Accounting and department head at W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics.

Oliver credited both the abilities of the faculty and the teacher-scholar model at W&L that emphasizes teaching but also values scholarship and creative endeavors that enrich teaching and are essential to instruction of the highest quality.

“We look for faculty members who are going to be very good in the classroom but who also have an internal need to do some kind of research and, at the same time, are very collegial,” continued Oliver. “All the people in our department work on research that they find inherently interesting and then they follow those paths.”

Stephan Fafatas, the Lawrence Associate Professor of Accounting, was awarded the 2014 Innovation in Accounting History Education Award by the Academy of Accounting Historians in recognition of his innovative class, “History through Accounting.” As part of the class, students made extensive use of the University’s Special Collections to research a topic related to local business or economic history. “It’s very unusual to have somebody use the archives to pull accounting into our day to day lives and tie it to the history that surrounds us,” said Oliver.

Oliver described Ge Bai, assistant professor of accounting, as a “research powerhouse.” Bai was awarded the 2014 IMA Research Foundation’s Emerging Scholar Manuscript Award by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). The award recognizes the accomplishments of the newest members of the management accounting academic community and acknowledges the exceptional manuscript contribution of a scholar or lead author. Bai was lead author on the manuscript “The Role of Performance Measure Noise in Mediating the Relation between Task Complexity and Outsourcing.”

Raquel Alexander, associate professor of accounting, and Megan Hess, assistant professor of accounting, won the Best Contribution to Teaching award for their paper on the ethics of multi-national corporate tax strategy. The award was presented by the Public Interest section of the conference.

Trustee Jack Vardaman ‘62, Law Council Secretary Darlene Moore Honored by W&L Law

Jack Vardaman ’62, an emeritus member of the Washington and Lee Board of Trustees, was inducted recently as an honorary member of the Washington and Lee Chapter of Order of the Coif, a scholastic society that celebrates excellence in legal education and the profession.

Also honored during the event was long-time law school employee Darlene Moore, who earlier this year retired from her position as secretary to the Law Council, the governing board of the Law Alumni Association.

After graduating from W&L, Vardaman attended law school at Harvard and then clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. He practiced law at Williams & Connolly for over 40 years, with extensive experience in complex civil and criminal litigation. He has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on several occasions and before state and federal courts throughout the U.S.

Vardaman devoted himself to his alma mater, serving on reunion committees, search committees, and campaign cabinets. Most recently, he served as the chair of the Law Committee of the W&L Board of Trustees. He lectures on his professional experiences each year at the law school and serves as mentor to students as they embark on their careers. As a part of his gift in honor of his 50th college reunion, Vardaman endowed a scholarship in the law school.

Darlene Moore has been a member of the staff at the law school for 39 years. Hired in 1975 as a secretary in the word processing center, Darlene served as secretary to Dean Roy Steinheimer until assuming the duties of director of faculty services, where she managed the department providing support to the faculty in their academic and scholarly endeavors. In addition, she served tirelessly as the executive secretary of the Law Alumni Association for 34 years until her retirement from that position in April of this year.

Darlene was the first recipient of the John and Ruth Huss Award in 2003, in recognition of her “exemplary and dedicated service” to the law school. Recently, an anonymous donor chose to honor Darlene and her work ethic by creating the Darlene T. Moore Law Scholarship to provide financial aid to a worthy law student.

W&L’s New and Visiting Faculty for 2014-2015

The teaching interests of the new and visiting faculty at Washington and Lee University range from directing Shakespeare to Scottish history, from real estate finance to Middle East studies.

The new faculty members include Michelle Brock, assistant professor of history, who has already written an op-ed for the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the Scottish vote for independence. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas and previously taught at Bridgewater College.

Jemma Levy is assistant professor of theater and the head of acting and directing. She has directed various plays off-off-Broadway, in regional theater and with middle school students. She received her M.F.A. from Mary Baldwin College in association with the American Shakespeare Center.

Sid Rosenberg is a visiting associate professor in finance who has written books and articles on international real estate finance. A 1968 graduate of Washington and Lee, he then earned his M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Georgia State University.

Seth Cantey, assistant professor of politics, earned his Ph.D. from Duke University. In his last teaching assistantship at Duke, he taught The Politics of Iran, Israel and Turkey. Fluent in Arabic, he teaches global politics at W&L.

The rest of the new and visiting faculty:

Jeff Barry, associate University Librarian, M.S., University of Tennessee; Nayana Bose, visiting assistant professor of economics, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University; Mackenzie Brooks, assistant professor and metadata librarian, Masters in Library Science, Dominican University; Kelly Brotzman, W&L Class of 1995, visiting assistant professor in the Shepherd Poverty Program, Ph.D., University of Chicago; Phil Byers, visiting assistant professor of organic chemistry, Ph.D., Florida State University; David Carson, W&L Law Class of 1988, law professor of practice, J.D., W&L Law School; Aly Colón, Knight Professor of Journalism and Media Ethics, M.A., Stanford University;

Michael Dager, associate professor of PEAR (physical education, athletics, recreation) and women’s cross country couch, M.S., Wilkes University; and Caleb Dance, assistant professor of classics, Ph.D., Columbia University; Lara Di Luo, visiting instructor of history, M.A., Beijing Normal University; Charles Dorsey, W&L Law Class of 1979, law professor of practice, J.D., W&L Law School; Michael Duncan, visiting assistant professor of biology, Ph.D., Montana State University; Matthew Engle, interim director of W&L Law School’s Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, J.D., W&L Law Class of 2001;

Kevin Finch, assistant professor of journalism, M.A., University of Illinois-Springfield; Gavin Fox, assistant professor of business administration, Ph.D., Florida State University; Kyle Friend, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Ph.D., Yale University; Diane Fruchtman, visiting assistant professor of religion, Ph.D., Indiana University; Chris Gavaler, assistant professor of English, M.F.A., University of Virginia; Andrew Hess, W&L Class of 1997, associate professor of business administration, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology;

Megan Hess, assistant professor of accounting, W&L Class of 1997, Ph.D., University of Virginia; Julie Jenkins, visiting assistant professor of sociology/anthropology, Ph.D., University of Sussex; Jess Keiser, assistant professor of English, Ph.D., Cornell University; Eric Koch, W&L Class of 2005, assistant professor of PEAR and assistant men’s lacrosse coach, M.S., Stevens University; Logan LaBerge, assistant coach of men’s and women’s swimming, M.S., Miami University (Ohio); Bradley Lamphere, visiting professor of biology, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Jill Leonard-Pingel, visiting assistant professor of geology, Ph.D., Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California San Diego;

Elizabeth LeRose, W&L Class of 2003, associate athletic director and assistant professor of PEAR, M.Ed., Virginia Commonwealth University; Kristen Luery, visiting assistant professor of mathematics, Ph.D., University of Florida; Suzette Malveaux, visiting professor of law, J.D., New York University School of Law; Stephen McCormick, assistant professor of French, Ph.D., University of Oregon; Seth Michelson, assistant professor of Spanish, Ph.D., University of Southern California; Rocky Parker, visiting assistant professor of biology, Ph.D., Oregon State University;

Trevor Richards, visiting assistant professor of mathematics, Ph.D., University of Florida; Michael Singleton, head men’s soccer coach and associate professor of PEAR, M.S., Purdue University; Donna Smith, instructor in chemistry, M.S., University of Virginia; Stephanie Stillo, Mellon Junior Faculty doing a post-doc in history and digital humanities, Ph.D., University of Kansas; and T.J. Tallie, assistant professor of African history, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Glasgow Endowment to Sponsor Poetry Reading at W&L

Poets Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo will give a poetry reading at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. They will read from their recent work.

The event is free and open to the public and there will be books for sale after the reading. It is funded by the Glasgow Endowment at W&L.

Also an essayist and editor, Satterfield’s books include “Her Familiars” (poems, Elixir Press, 2013); “Daughters of Empire: A Memoir of a Year in Britain and Beyond” (Toronto: Demeter Press, 2009); and “Assignation at Vanishing Point” (poems, Elixir Press, 2003; winner of Third Annual Elixir Press Book Awards).

Her honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry and three Maryland Arts Council Individual Artists Awards, the William Faulkner Society’s Gold Medal for the Essay; the “Florida Review” Editors’ Prize in nonfiction; and the 49th Parallel Poetry Prize from “The Bellingham Review,” as well as residencies in poetry or nonfiction from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Satterfield is literary editor for Canada’s “Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement” and is an associate professor of writing at Loyola University Maryland.

She earned her B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Loyola College and her M.F.A. in English (poetry) from The Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa.

Balbo’s “The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems” (Story Line Press, 2010) was awarded the Donald Justice Prize and the 2012 Poets’ Prize. His two previous books are “Lives of the Sleepers” (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2005; Ernest Sandeen Prize and “ForeWord” Magazine Book of the Year Award, Gold Medal in Poetry) and “Galileo’s Banquet” (Washington Writers Publishing House, 1998; Towson University Prize co-winner).

His reviews of contemporary poetry appeared in most issues of “Antioch Review” from 1999-2009, and his essay, “A Jester’s Truth: Faith, Humor and Vision in the Poetry of Andrew Hudgins,” appeared in “Birmingham Poetry Review.” A version of Baudelaire’s “Le Mort joyeux” shared the 2013 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize; and Balbo’s poetry, prose and translations may be found in “Able Muse,” “Cimarron Review,” “Poetry Ireland Review,” “Shenandoah” and elsewhere.

Balbo has received three Maryland Arts Council grants, the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award and the John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize.
He earned his A.B. from Vassar College, his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.

For questions, contact Lesley Wheeler, Henry S. Fox, Jr. Professor of English and head of the English Department at W&L, at wheelerlm@wlu.edu.

Pergola to Speak at W&L on Healing Wisdom of Maasai People of Africa

Dr. Tanya Pergola, an author, inspirational speaker, community development orchestrator, healing safari guide, and yoga and meditation instructor, will speak at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons.

A 1990 graduate of Washington and Lee University, Pergola’s talk is free and open to the public. The title of her talk is “Traditional Healing Wisdom of Africa for Modern Day America.” It is sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at W&L.
There will be a book signing immediately following the lecture. Books will be available for purchase at that time. In addition to the public speech, Pergola will be a guest lecturer at several W&L classes.

Pergola is the author of “Time is Cows: Timeless Wisdom of the Maasai.” The book was written by Pergola in collaboration with Lekoko Ole Sululu, her guide and teacher in Tanzania, who will accompany her at her public lecture.

Pergola undertook a 10-year apprenticeship with Maasai traditional healers, led by Lekoko Ole Sululu, in exchange for implementing sustainable development projects in Tanzania. In “Time is Cows,” she shares the mind-body-spirit medicine of the Maasai, the proud pastoral people of East Africa.

In “Remembering Robert E. Lee,” Dr. Christian Keller '94 Focuses on the Military Education of a Civilian Leader

Lee Chapel and Museum presents “Remembering Robert E. Lee” with a speech by noted historian, professor and author Dr. Christian B. Keller ’94 on Monday, Oct. 13, at 12:15 p.m. in the Lee Chapel Auditorium. The public is invited at no charge.

The title of Keller’s talk is “Robert E. Lee, Great Captain: The Military Education of a Future Civilian Leader.”

The event will be broadcast live online.

There will be a book signing of Keller’s book, “Chancellorsville and the Germans: Nativism, Ethnicity, and Civil War Memory” at 10:30 a.m. in the Lee Chapel Museum Shop on the morning of his talk. The book will be available for purchase at that time.

Along with many scholarly articles focusing on the ethnic experience in the Civil War, Keller is co-author of “Damn Dutch: Pennsylvania Germans at Gettysburg” (Stackpole, 2004).

He is currently working on a study of Confederate strategy in 1862-1863 and a military history of Pennsylvania (Westholme Publishing, forthcoming).

Keller is professor of history in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. He previously served as professor of military history for five and a half years at the Army Command and General Staff College in Ft. Belvoir, Va.

He has taught at numerous civilian institutions, including Shippensburg University, Gettysburg College, Dickinson College and Washington and Lee University. In 2001-2002, Keller was a Fulbright Professor of American History at the University of Jena in Germany.

W&L Law Student Lara Gass ‘14L Honored by Friends and Family during Philadelphia Half-Marathon

Classmates of Washington and Lee law student Lara Gass, a member of the Law Class of 2014 who died in a car accident earlier this year, joined other friends and family in Philadelphia last Sunday to run a half marathon in her honor.

The accident that took Gass’s life is the subject of a front page story in the New York Times examining a General Motors recall notice involving an ignition switch defect that could result in a loss of power to braking and air bag systems. The Times story also covers her friends’ efforts to honor her memory, including raising over $65,000 for a scholarship fund in her name.

“We made a decision early on not to mourn Lara but to celebrate Lara,” her father told the Times.

More than 20 friends and family members ran the half-marathon, wearing bright shirts that said “Live Like Lara.” Her classmates wore ribbons with the same words at their graduation in May, during which Gass received a posthumous “Presidential Degree,” the first of its kind awarded by the University.

Related //
Tagged //

What's Up in Lexington/Rockbridge, plus Pig Roast Report

3L Hannah Shtein reports on the annual Pig Roast, a quintessential law school event that kicks off the school year.

Pig Roast is a W&L Law tradition, an induction of sorts for 1Ls into the law school social scene, and a kickoff to the new school year. Pig Roast itself takes place on Saturday, and the whole school is invited to enjoy barbecue and yes, a whole roasted pig, on the vacation property of a W&L Law alum.

The night before the event, a group of 2L boys (chosen by 3Ls) and the 3Ls camp out on the property. The 2L boys are responsible for roasting the pig, and the 3Ls are responsible for having a memorable night (it’s a hard life).

This year’s Roast lived up to expectations. Scott Burton, Julian Harf, Brian Livingston, and Luke Stone valiantly stayed with the giant roasting pig all night to make sure it was cooked to perfection, and the 3Ls busied themselves with grilling, playing 90s and Christmas music (never too soon to start), and singing songs around a bonfire (highlights: Tom Petty, the Backstreet Boys).

Saturday morning, most 3Ls left to take a break from the great outdoors, and to catch up on sleep that had been interrupted by an infinite loop of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” at 4:15am.

Pig Roast officially began at noon, and by 1pm it was in full swing. SBA had cleaned up the majority of the 3Ls’ damage from the night before, and set up tents with tables of food (pulled pork, mac and cheese, ribs) and space to sit down to enjoy it and talk with other attendees. The Foothill Mamas, a bluegrass band, played outside the tent, and a few brave souls danced, while others sat inside the tent or along the river and looked on.

Although some of the 3Ls who returned to Pig Roast after camping out and going home were a little zonked out, the class made an impressive showing. Most 2Ls and plenty of new 1Ls also showed up, so there were opportunities to spend time with old friends and meet new people.

Part of the reason Pig Roast is such a hyped up event at W&L Law (not to say that the fact that it’s a party focused on roasting an entire pig is not enough) is because it’s a relaxed, daytime event, and a good chance for the different classes to spend time together, and for the 1Ls to meet their classmates and 2Ls and 3Ls in an informal environment. It’s a perfect introduction to the W&L community, and to the sometimes unusual—but always entertaining—Lexington life. #herepiggypiggy

Coming Up this Week

9/25-9/27

14th Annual Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival. Glen Maury Park. Advance Tickets (online): 3-Day – $70/person | Thu – $25/person | Fri – $25/person | Sat – $30/person | FREE/children (under 12 with paying adult). Day-Of Tickets: 3-Day – $85/person | Thu – $30/person | Fri – $30/person | Sat – $35/person | FREE/children (under 12 with paying adult). 540-261-7321. Enjoy a Bluegrass concert made up of both local and nationally known Bluegrass bands, including Rhonda Vincent, Lonesome Will Mullins, The Bluegrass Mountaineers, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, James King, Larry Stephenson Band, The Bluegrass Brothers, Reno & Harrell, Bill Yates, Jr. Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Remington Ryde, and host band Nothin’ Fancy!

Law Revue Auditions, 6:30pm. Last year, W&L Law got second place in the national law revue submission contest. This year, we’re getting first (obviously). Email wheeler.n@law.wlu.edu for more information.

Friday, 9/26

Friends and Family Day! Family and Friends weekend is an opportunity for relatives and friends of W&L law and undergrad students to see campus and get a feel for the W&L community. Family and Friends Day costs $35 per attendee. If you will be joining your guests for lunch and/or the reception, please be sure they include you in the attendees they register for the event. https://colonnadeconnections.wlu.edu/law/service-pages/2014-law-family-and-friends-weekend

Cooking Class: Fall Foraging. 10am/Class; 12:30pm/Luncheon. Wade’s Mill. $30/Class; $17.50/Luncheon. 800-290-1400. We will begin our Fall season with a local meal from Rockbridge County. We will start with Fresh Roasted Tomato Soup, followed by Sauntéed Chicken Breasts accompanied by corn salad and we’ll conclude with Asian Pear Tart and Mountain View Farm Cheese.

Saturday, 9/27

Football Game: VMI v. Mercer, 1:30pm. Foster Stadium, Virginia Military Institute. 540-464-7517. Also check out www.generalssports.com for a full line up of home contests for the Generals.

Sunday, 9/28

Monticello trip! Law students will be taking a trip to Thomas Jefferson’s historic home all day Sunday.

The Railroad Propelled W&L to National Status

Old account ledgers might seem a dry subject to most people, but to a class at Washington and Lee University they offered a rare opportunity to shine new light on local history.

Researching ledgers and records in Special Collections at W&L’s James G. Leyburn Library, as well as other primary source materials, the students selected various local historical topics to investigate, including how the railroad propelled W&L to national status.

Read the full story >

For Washington and Lee University, at that time a small local college, the arrival of the railroad in 1881 and 1883, led to increased economic, social and academic developments.

Junior Michael Stovall is an accounting and business administration major with a minor in computer science from Darien, Conn. He researched historical sources such as the W&L minutes of board of trustees meetings, treasurer’s reports, local and university newspapers, historic magazines, admissions records, student essays and railroad pamphlets.

He said that the post-railroad minutes from the board’s meetings between 1881and 1885 provided an overview of what the administration considered important issues at W&L at that time.

After the railroads arrived, W&L made a point to advertise to prospective students and their parents that the railroad made Lexington much more accessible. As a result, Stovall found that from 1879 (pre-railroad) to 1890 (post-railroad), the student body at Washington and Lee doubled from 101 to 210 students.

During that period, the diversity of W&L students also increased, with the number of “notable” states and countries sending students to W&L expanding from 13 in 1879 to 22 in 1890 (an increase from 4.95 percent to 17.14 percent). Stovall defined “notable” as non-Confederate or distant states and countries, such as California, Florida and Japan. This effectively made W&L a national university.

W&L’s new ability to attract diverse students exposed the campus community to different cultures and contributed to unity between the former Union and Confederate states.

The railroads also affected student activities, especially athletic events. Nearly every weekend, students took the train to various places, enhancing their cultural experiences and exposing them to a wider range of people and activities.

The amount of money both going into and out of the university also increased around the arrival of the railroad. Stovall notes that while other factors beyond the railroad may have impacted his results, the pattern of change he finds in his research matches the arrival of the railroad in Lexington.

As the railroad began to haul construction materials and other freight, W&L could carry out various construction projects. In an Oct. 18, 1883, article, “Almost Here,” the Lexington Gazette stated that “the first train through Staunton will bring material for construction of Lexington Depot, which is to be Baltimore pressed brick.”

At the same time, W&L’s investments increased, not only because of improved communication and connectivity, but also because W&L invested heavily in railroad bonds.

“Old accounting ledgers give an interesting snapshot of a particular time period, because they show what people were spending their money on,” said Stovall. “You can then make assumptions as to what was important to people of that era and how culture has changed in comparison to the present day.”


How the Railroad Changed Lexington

Old account ledgers might seem a dry subject to most people, but to a class at Washington and Lee University they offered a rare opportunity to shine new light on local history.

Researching ledgers and records in Special Collections at W&L’s James G. Leyburn Library, as well as other primary source materials, the students selected various local historical topics to investigate, including how the railroad changed Lexington.

Read the full story >

The advent of the railroad in 1881 and 1883 had a profound effect on both the secluded community of Lexington.

Two W&L students used Special Collections and other secondary sources to research two separate papers that detail the changes — for example, a wider variety of goods in the town’s stores and the transformation of W&L into a national university with a greatly expanded student population.

The railroad was introduced to Lexington on Oct. 20, 1881, with the completion of a small branch extending into town on the Richmond and Allegheny (R&A) line that ran from Richmond to the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) line at Clifton Forge.

Two years later, in late October 1883, the Valley Railroad (VRR) that extended from Harrisonburg was completed, with Lexington as the southern terminus.

Bereket Mechale, a senior accounting and business administration major from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, researched accounting records from the 1840s to the 1890s from the general store Dold’s Corner. Owned and run by Calvin M. Dold, the store was operational both before and after the arrival of the railroad. The store Pumpkinseeds currently occupies the building on the corner of East Washington and Main streets.

Dold’s account books from 1863 and 1865 show that, prior to the railroad, barters and sales on credit were prevalent. Mechale noted bacon had been paid for with coffee, and sugar had been paid for with barley and rye. Bartering decreased after railroad service arrived, but the account books show that the practice continued for years.

Before the railroad, the main products Dold’s Corner sold in large quantities were coffee, sugar, corn and oats. Post-railroad, new products that made life easier, more enjoyable and healthier for Lexington consumers became available. Some examples: the laundry product blueing, Worcester sauce, anchovy paste and chow-chow, a pickled relish made from a combination of vegetables — all goods that would have been classified as luxuries.

Medicines became popular in post-railroad times, shown by a noticeable spike in the number of advertisements for drug stores. After the 1883 Valley Railroad extension, citizens also saw a dramatic increase in their choices of clothing items and accessories.

Mechale noted a “clear shift from products one would expect to be produced on a farm or small plant in the city to products that required raw materials from elsewhere, the transfer of knowledge from one part of the nation to another, or production and packaging done elsewhere due to the complexity of the product itself.”

Despite all the changes, records showed no indication of changes in prices directly related to the introduction of railroads. Mechale wrote in his paper that “the increase of new items for sale that had a plethora of uses alone is testament to the fact that businesses in Lexington must have benefitted greatly from .”

Mechale noted that his results are limited to a single store’s account books and the research could be extended to other businesses in order to draw more definitive conclusions.


The Origins of the Lexington Golf Club

Old account ledgers might seem a dry subject to most people, but to a class at Washington and Lee University they offered a rare opportunity to shine new light on local history.

Researching ledgers and records in Special Collections at W&L’s James G. Leyburn Library, as well as other primary source materials, the students selected various local historical topics to investigate, including the origins of Lexington’s golf club.

Read the full story >

When its founding members formed the Lexington Golf Club in 1902, golf was not yet a popular sport, and early financial statements show that the club carried out very simple operations, had a single clubhouse and offered few amenities. Yet the club, one of the oldest in Virginia, survived through the years.

In researching the club’s history, Matthew Smith, a junior accounting and business administration major from Little Rock, Ark., researched early maps, ledgers and member lists in W&L’s Special Collections. He also researched title deeds stored in the Rockbridge County Court House, which helped him find names associated with the land and maps with outlines of lots and valuations. A significant portion of the biographical information in the Glasgow Family Papers, a series of bank accounts and personal letters from the Glasgow family, also aided Smith’s research.

Smith found that the club endured a modest start led by an influential group of 14 founding members, who created its charter. Frank T. Glasgow, an attorney from a prominent Rockbridge family, was a founding member, as was Harrington Waddell, for whom Waddell Elementary School is named. Another recognizable founding member was W. S. Hopkins, acting president of the Lexington Mutual Phone Company — Hopkins Green on Nelson Street bears his family name.

A local real estate boom and bust in the 1880s resulted in a considerable amount of undeveloped land in the area. So in April 1903, the club purchased approximately 22 different lots just outside of Lexington for the location of their new club house and links.

Smith noted in his paper that the golf club ledgers, while informative, showed “a largely unorganized and simple form of accounting,” including pasture accounts, house accounts, membership fee collections and financial statements from 1910 and 1911.

The pasture accounts refer to the golf club supplementing its revenues when the course was not in operation by renting the grounds to local farmers for grazing cattle.

The 1910 financial statement shows that the club relied heavily on that revenue in the early years. Income receipts show $161.48 from pasture rent, compared to $265 from regular members ($369 from all golfers, including the non-member sundry players). Smith explains in his paper that the loss of that monthly income may have been an additional cause for increased membership fees in 1915, citing the book by John Seymour Letcher, “Only Yesterday in Lexington,” published in 1974.

The pasture accounts end after 1914, around the time the golf course was redesigned and expanded.

Smith also cites Letcher’s book in noting that, soon after the expansion, Matthew Paxton, a Lexington native and club member, won the 1915 Virginia State Championship at the Roanoke Country Club, bringing the small Lexington club statewide fame.

In 1930 the club acquired a 98-acre lot known as Tribrook Farms and in 1935 opened a 9-hole golf course on the site. Then in 1969, the club purchased an additional 66 acres and designed the 18-hole golf course still in use today.

To give perspective to the challenges of a small-town golf club, Smith also compared financial statements from Lexington’s golf club to statements from the much larger Country Club of Virginia, obtained from the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond. For example, member dues in 1910for the Richmond club totaled $8,855.13 (excluding initiation fees) compared to $265 for the Lexington club.


19th-Century Accounting Ledgers at W&L Illuminate Local History

Old account ledgers might seem a dry subject to most people, but to a class at Washington and Lee University they offered a rare opportunity to shine new light on local history.

Some of the ledgers and records are part of the Rockbridge Historical Society collection housed in Special Collections at W&L’s James G. Leyburn Library.

“It doesn’t occur to people that these are more than just ledgers full of facts and figures,” said Tom Camden, special collections librarian. “You can look at cultural, economic and social trends all in one ledger. We have a substantial collection for a university our size and it documents what was going on in the region in all walks of life—cabinet makers, saddle makers, undertakers, the hotel industry, railroads. It’s just amazing what these untapped treasures reveal.”

The 10 students took a four-week spring term course, “History through Accounting,” a blend of subjects rarely offered at undergraduate universities in the United States. Stephan Fafatas, who taught the course, is the Lawrence Associate Professor of Accounting at W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. He was awarded the 2014 Innovation in Accounting History Education Award by the Academy of Accounting Historians in recognition of the innovative class.

“In my nearly 40-year career as an archivist and special collections librarian, I have always felt that account books, ledgers and day books are among the most overlooked and underutilized resources in an archive,” Camden said.

The students selected various local historical topics to investigate, including The Origins of the Lexington Golf Club, How the Railroad Changed Lexington and How the Railroad Propelled W&L to National Status.

But before they could begin their research they faced the challenge of deciphering the account books.

“Each system of accounting demonstrated by an individual or proprietor of a business is unique,” explained Seth McCormick-Goodhart, senior library assistant. “In many cases there is no legend or key to how the accounting procedure was laid out. Also, although it wasn’t coded language, there are all sorts of abbreviations.”

“And, of course, these accounts are in early script writing and, while some of the written words are legible, some are on the verge of impossible to decipher. There’s an art to being able to read these accounts without transcriptions,” he continued.

There was the additional challenge of understanding terminology, for example a “twist of tobacco,” with which Camden and McCormick were glad to assist.

“I think the experience, as an undergraduate, of looking at original source materials was almost revelatory for the students,” said Camden. “But it was also a rediscovery for us. Although we knew some of these account books superficially, we had never looked at them in depth. Oftentimes that only happens in the course of working with a class, student or researcher.”

Fafatas said that once he became aware of the records stored in Special Collections, some of which date back to the early 1800s, he formed the idea to use historical accounting records to get an idea of what society, business and economic activity were like in a particular time period.

“I asked a great deal of the students — to basically start from scratch and do a research project and submit it at the end of four weeks,” Fafatas said. “I was impressed with their efforts and creativity, especially since this was a new course without an existing roadmap to follow. The Special Collections staff were very helpful and really went out of their way to help me and the students. I’m also grateful to local historian Ed Dooley, who began studying Lexington ledgers more than 30 years ago and gave a presentation to my class on his research.”

In addition to examining historical accounting records, the course covered a variety of other topics including the origins of double-entry accounting and the significance of railroads in the development of modern financial reporting. The class visited the headquarters of Norfolk Southern Corporation and met with several officers including current Vice President and Controller Thomas Hurlbut (W&L class of ’87).

Since the course involved economic, business and cultural history, Fafatas tapped the resources of fellow faculty members Scott Hoover, associate professor of business administration; Alison Bell, associate professor of archaeology; and Paul Youngman, professor of German, who presented some of his research on the history of railroads in Germany to the class.

Harvard Professor to Give Mudd Distinguished Lecture in Ethics at W&L

Charles Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard University, will give the Mudd Distinguished Lecture in Ethics for 2014-2015 at Washington and Lee University. Ogletree’s talk will be Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The title of his lecture, which is free and open to the public, is “My Brother’s Keeper: Incarceration and African American Men.” The talk will be streamed live on the W&L website.

Ogletree, also the founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law.

He is the author of two books: “The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America” (2010) and “All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education” (2004).

Ogletree has also co-authored or co-edited five books, including his most recent publication “Life Without Parole: America’s New Death Penalty?” (ed., 2012); “The Road to Abolition: The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States” (ed., 2009); “When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice” (ed., 2009); “From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America” (co-authored, 2006); and “Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities” (co-authored, 1995).

Ogletree was awarded the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award and the National Law Journal named him one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America. He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the National Black Law Students Association, where he served as national president from 1977-78.

He also received the first Rosa Parks Civil Rights Award given by the City of Boston, the Hugo A. Bedau Award given by the Massachusetts Anti-Death Penalty Coalition and Morehouse College’s Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize.

Ogletree opened the offices of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice (www.charleshamiltonhouston.org) in September 2005 as a tribute to the legendary civil rights lawyer, mentor and teacher of such great civil rights lawyers as Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill. The Institute has engaged in a wide range of important educational, legal and policy issues.

Ogletree earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in political science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

James C. Rees IV, Honorary Degree Recipient, Dies at 62

James C. Rees IV, who received an honorary degree from W&L in 2012, died on Sept. 9, in Markham, Virginia. He served as president and CEO of Mount Vernon, the historic home of George Washington, from 1994 until retiring in 2012. A native of Richmond, he held a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.P.A. from George Washington University. Before joining Mount Vernon in 1983, he held positions at the Daily Press, William and Mary and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He is credited with increasing the number of visitors to Washington’s home, doubling the staff, raising millions of dollars, and renewing the public profile of the first president (and W&L benefactor). Rees also wrote a 2007 book, “George Washington’s Leadership Lessons: What the Father of Our Country Can Teach Us About Effective Leadership and Character.”

Mount Vernon has posted a thoughtful website, “In Memory of James C. Rees,” which is well worth a look.


New Book by W&L’s Mayock Explores Immigration in Contemporary Spain

An accelerated pace of immigration has brought profound ecological effects, cultural change and a plurality of languages to the streets of contemporary Spain. A new volume of essays co-edited by a Washington and Lee University professor explores the overall issue in depth: “Toward a Multicultural Configuration of Spain: Local Cities, Global Spaces” (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2014), co-edited by Ellen Mayock, the Ernest Williams II Professor of Romance Languages at W&L, and Ana Corbalán, associate professor of Spanish at the University of Alabama.

“We thought that this compelling and contemporary topic would interest our readers: How immigration is changing the representation of what is Spanish, how the Spanish language is evolving, who Spanish people are and how Spanish religious traditions are changing and expanding,” said Mayock. The 16 essays examine literature, documentaries and fictional films to see how, through the arrival of new residents from across the globe, Spanish cities are experiencing transformation in architecture, popular customs and festivals, economics, family dynamics, and social and political agency.

Mayock and Corbalán found that in 1995, immigrants composed less than 1 percent of the total population of Spain. By the end of 2005, that figure had risen to 8.5 percent. “The influx from the Andean region—Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia—and Argentina has been enormous,” said Mayock, “but also from African countries, especially Nigeria, and Romania in Eastern Europe.”

One essay studies a documentary about Ecuadorians who worship at a Catholic church in Madrid but need to pray to their own symbol of a virgin from their small town in Ecuador. The film follows the journey of the symbol of the virgin to Spain, illustrating how Ecuadorian immigration has transformed religious and civic space in Spain. “It looks at the need of local people for a global symbol, something from their old place to make the new space their own,” said Mayock. “It’s also linked to cultural, religious and linguistic practices.” Using documentary film in literary studies is new and a welcome practice these days,” she added.

Another essay examines a documentary about the changing landscape of Barcelona and about which people have free access to public spaces such as plazas, parks and sidewalks. It shows that, for the most part, the less you appear to be a Spanish national, the less free access you have to public spaces without attention from the police.

A different migratory pattern is explored in an essay about the British in Murcia, a Spanish region on the Mediterranean popular with British tourists and retirees. It examines the effect of this influx on local resources, particularly water use by golf courses, as depicted in the documentary “Golf Wars.”

Mayock found an essay that questioned the value of the term “multiculturalism” particularly interesting, because “we don’t want to say, ‘This is the way it is, and there is no other way.’ The author questions the legitimacy of the term itself, saying that sometimes it’s dangerous to think in reductionist terms about multiculturalism,” she said. “As soon as you say that Madrid is now a totally multicultural city, people ask what you mean by that. Do you mean that many cultures exist, or that cultures are mixing together, that there’s total harmony, or that there’s no longer a supreme power of those born in Spain? Multiculturalism sometimes transmits the idea of harmony among peoples that can be false.”

Mayock is the author of “The ‘Strange Girl’ in Twentieth-Century Spanish Novels Written by Women” (University Press of the South, 2004) and co-editor (with Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance languages at W&L) of “Feminist Activism in the Academy. Essays on Personal, Political, and Professional Change” (McFarland, 2010).

Her latest co-edited volume is “Forging a Rewarding Career in the Humanities. Advice for Academics” (forthcoming Sense Publishers, Nov. 2014). Mayock has also translated a play, published poetry, written many articles and book reviews and co-authored a Spanish textbook supplement.

Mayock teaches Spanish language, literature, culture, translation and cinema. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and French from the University of Virginia; an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College; and a Ph.D. in Hispanic literature from the University of Texas.

Career Paths: 3L Tunde Cadmus on Researching and Writing at Pepper Hamilton

Tunde Cadmus is a 3L at Washington and Lee School of Law. He will join the law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP as an associate following graduation. At W&L, Tunde is editor in chief of the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. He is the recipient of the Fishwick Family Scholarship.

This past summer I worked as a Summer Associate at the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP. Not only was working at Pepper the best job I’ve ever had, living in Philadelphia for ten weeks has been my most memorable summer experience to date.

As a rising 2L, I knew that I wanted to work at a law firm during my second summer. My Civil Procedure, Torts and Contracts courses drew me toward commercial litigation, and I knew that I would gain the most exposure to that kind of work at a firm. I interviewed with Pepper through W&L’s regional interview program in Charlottesville, and I travelled to the firm’s headquarters in Philadelphia for my callback. Once I received an offer, I couldn’t wait to start working.

A typical workday at Pepper consisted of getting to my office around 8:30 A.M., grabbing breakfast at the firm’s amazing cafeteria, checking emails and voicemails, and working on my assignments. Assignments were posted online by associates and partners and typically involved researching narrow questions of law and providing an answer—either orally or in a memorandum—to the assigning attorney. I worked on a wide range of assignments, including (1) identifying and analyzing the legal issues surrounding different types of “collaborative sharing” companies, (2) researching judicial interpretations of amended portions of the False Claims Act, (3) researching available remedies for breach of a settlement agreement under Pennsylvania law and (4) summarizing a state’s products liability law in order to value a claim brought against a pharmaceutical company.

It wasn’t all work, though. The other Summer Associates and I enjoyed an array of firm-sponsored outings, such as attending a Phillies game, touring the Barnes Foundation, bowling and doing a scavenger hunt. The firm also hosted several professional development programs, my favorite of which being the mock deposition and mock negotiation exercises. I even had the opportunity to organize a firm-wide toy drive to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia—an endeavor that Pepper fully supported.

Before starting at Pepper, I was concerned that I would not be prepared for the kind of practical work performed at law firms because I had largely done nothing but read cases and take exams for two years in law school. I quickly learned, however, that the skills I employed the most at Pepper—research and writing—were skills that I had already developed and honed while at W&L. I was always researching something while at work, including case law, statutes, news articles and even scientific studies. Writing was also an integral part of my work, as most of my assignments called for a written work product. The techniques I learned from my 1L research and writing course served as foundations that I later built upon through research and writing assignments in other courses. Consequently, I was well prepared for the extensive legal research and analysis that I had to conduct while at Pepper.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have spent my summer at a firm where I could see myself working after graduation. The work was challenging yet intellectually stimulating. The attorneys and staff were brilliant and were genuinely interested in my success as a Summer Associate. I am happy to say that I will be working as an associate at Pepper Hamilton after graduation and, again, I can’t wait to start working!


Career Paths: 3L Michelle Gibson Gets Practice Experience in Alaska

Michelle Gibson is a 3L at Washington and Lee. She worked this past summer as a legal intern at the Alaska Public Defender Agency in the Palmer office. She is a Lead Articles Editor for the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. She serves as Vice-Magister for Phi Delta Phi. Upon graduation, she hopes to work as a public defender.

I’ve been fortunate enough to know that I wanted to be a Public Defender from my very first day at Washington and Lee. My first summer, spent at a public defender’s office in Virginia, only served to cement that desire. I knew that I would spend my second summer in a Public Defender office. The only question was where. The Office of Career Strategy encouraged me to apply to jobs at Equal Justice Works, a public interest career fair held every year in Washington D.C. One of the offices I applied to was the Alaska Public Defender Agency. I was fortunate to receive an interview and an offer. The Office of Career Strategy put me in touch with an alumna from Washington and Lee who had previously spent the summer in the Palmer office of the Alaska Public Defender Agency. She had only great things to say about her experience with the office.

I decided to accept a summer internship with the Palmer office of the Alaska Public Defender Agency because I wanted to get as much hands on legal experience as possible. I do not know for sure yet where I want to practice, so I wanted to summer somewhere where I could get experience that would transfer anywhere. Alaska allows legal interns to appear and participate before any District Court without a supervising attorney. Legal interns may also appear and participate in Superior Court with a supervising attorney. This is a much more liberal student practice rule than many other jurisdictions.

As an intern in the Palmer, I was given my own small misdemeanor caseload. I was responsible for cases from start to finish. First, I would have an initial interview with the client, hearing from them what had happened and what their priorities were. If a client was still in custody, I would file for a bail hearing. I appeared as their attorney at the bail hearings and would argue to the magistrate or judge why and under what circumstances it was appropriate for the client to be let out on bail. I would also attend all status hearings for the client. I negotiated plea agreements for my clients with the District Attorney’s office. If a client decided to take a plea agreement, I argued to the judge why the plea offer was an appropriate resolution for the case. If a client did not want a trial and a plea agreement could not be made with the District Attorney, I argued sentencing before the judge. I was also able to be first chair a trial, conducting the voir dire, opening statement, direct and cross examinations, and closing myself.

I’ll never forget the first time I was in court alone with no supervising attorney. It was a change of plea hearing. Everything had been agreed upon beforehand, all I had to do was read the agreement into the record. The worst thing that could have happened was the judge not accepting the agreement or the client changing her mind, but even knowing that, I was so nervous. That was the first time I felt the weight of being an attorney. I knew that even in this low risk situation, my words mattered and were affecting the life of my client. I felt the weight of being an attorney even more when I was first chairing my first jury trial. During that trial, being a student could no longer be an excuse for making mistakes. I needed to zealously advocate for my client and hold myself to a higher standard.

This summer I was able to put what I’ve learned at W&L into practice. Cases like Terry v. Ohio and Crawford v. Washington were no longer just things I studied to pass Criminal Procedure but cases that were binding precedent I could use to persuade the judge in my motions to find for my side. Nothing compares to the thrill of winning my first motion, knowing that I had put the concepts, legal writing, and legal research skills I learned at W&L successfully into real life practice.

The best part of my summer was that I was able to gain all of this amazing experience with the beautiful backdrop of Alaska. I was able to spend my weekdays helping clients and my weekends kayaking on glacier lakes with icebergs, whale watching, and exploring abandoned copper mines in the middle of the United State’s biggest national park. I could not have wished for a better summer experience.


W&L Music Faculty Play Rare Clementi Grand Piano, Record CD

Only seven grand fortepianos built by Muzio Clementi, sometimes called the father of the piano, are known to have survived in the world—and one of them, restored to its former glory, now resides in the Department of Music at Washington and Lee University. Playing that treasured instrument, three faculty members have recorded a CD, “Clementi Grand: His Works, His Fortepiano” (Navona Records), to celebrate that piano’s 200th birthday.

Washington and Lee also owns an 1807 small square piano by Clementi that was more common, smaller, had fewer keys and was much less expensive. Most recordings on Clementi instruments have been made on such square pianos rather than on the rare grand fortepiano.

Muzio Clementi (1752–1832) was an Italian composer who was also a pianist, teacher, conductor, music publisher, editor and piano manufacturer. He was among the first to compose works expressly for the fortepiano.

W&L’s Clementi grand fortepiano is hand-carved, with brass inlay, 7′ 8″ in length. Its 1814 construction is confirmed by the serial number on the instrument. “We can’t identify the original owner, but from the decorativeness and elaborateness it must have been a very wealthy person,” said Timothy Gaylard, professor of music at W&L, who played on the recording.

The other faculty members on the recording are Shuko Watanabe, instructor of music, who played piano, and Byron Petty, lecturer in music, who played flute to piano accompaniment.

The main difference in the Clementi grand fortepiano is the shallowness of the touch, noted Gaylard. “This creates more of a challenge for the modern pianist to be able to control the dynamics, because the differences between the softs and louds are much more subtle,” he said.

“It’s close to the sound of the harpsichord,” added Watanabe.

The Clementi grand fortepiano was a gift from Dr. Lawrence Smith, W&L Class of 1958, and his wife, Ganelle, who purchased it from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1995. Dr. Smith, an amateur musician who collects musical instruments, had the instrument restored to its original state by re-covering the hammers, re-wiring the strings and re-decorating the elaborate cabinet. The Smiths then donated the piano to Washington and Lee to benefit students of music.

“It was very generous,” said Gaylard. “So many instruments in museums are seen but never heard. But this instrument will be used as a learning tool for students, so that when they play Mozart or music of the Classical or early Romantic period, they will know what the sound of the piano was at that time and have an idea of what the composer heard.”

The recording features only works by Clementi, including two piano duets for four hands played by Gaylard and Watanabe. “It’s really exciting,” said Gaylard, “because you get a better sense of the range of the instrument and a fuller sound when you have four hands playing instead of two.”

Gaylard also plays Clementi’s “Piano Sonata in B-flat Major,” which Clementi included in his famous 1781 piano duel with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in front of Emperor Joseph II. “The emperor was aware of Clementi’s fame at that time,” noted Gaylard, “and since the Italian pianist was a bit of a rival to Mozart, the emperor wanted to see them together. It’s interesting to note that the opening theme from the first movement of Clementi’s sonata is also the beginning of Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute Overture,’ composed 10 years later.” There was no copyright law at that time and, as the CD’s liner notes state, no one knows whether this was a direct steal, a subliminal swipe or an underhanded compliment to Clementi.

Also included on the CD are the rarely recorded “Character Pieces,” in which Clementi donned the mantle of six of his contemporaries. Gaylard plays the two composed in the style of Mozart, and Watanabe plays the two pieces in the style of Haydn.

Watanabe also plays a set of sonatinas that Clementi wrote to help his students develop their skills. “Piano students usually play these pieces at some point in their training,” noted Watanabe. “It’s a great teaching tool for them to hear Clementi’s works on this instrument instead of on the modern piano.”

“Clementi Grand: His Works, His Fortepiano” is available at Navona Records.

Related //,
Tagged //,

Scotland Votes 'No,' but Dreams Persist

The following opinion piece by Michelle Brock, assistant professor of history, appeared in the Sept. 22, 2014, edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and is reprinted here by permission.

Scotland Votes ‘No,’ but Dreams Persist

by
Michelle Brock
Assistant Professor of History

Driving to work Thursday, the morning of the referendum, I spotted four Scottish flags along U.S. Route 11. One hung from a fence, two flew atop flagpoles, and the fourth added blue to the bumper of a Ford pickup.

In the Shenandoah Valley where I live and work, many residents have a deep attachment to Scotland. For some, this connection stems from their Scottish ancestors who settled this part of Virginia. For others, myself included, the love of Scotland emerged from a first trip to the cobbled streets of Edinburgh or the mountains and glens of the Highlands. When the world awoke Friday morning to the news that the independence movement had failed, and decisively at that, many of these Virginia Scotophiles likely felt a twinge of disappointment (perhaps only curable by a dram or two).

In my estimation, three primary reasons motivated these Americans to cross their fingers for a “yes” vote in solidarity with the Scots who yearned for an independent nation.

First — and this is especially relevant in the American South — the campaign for Scottish independence enticed those who advocate states’ rights and disdain big government in all of its guises. That President Obama and both Clintons vocalized support for continued union was just icing on the cake. The irony is that the progressive goals of the Scottish National Party and many “yes” voters would make tea party types blanch, but the principle of further decentralized power was applauded nonetheless. On the flip side, many on America’s political left identified with the “yes” campaign’s desire to build in Scotland the sort of liberal, socialized democracy one finds in Scandinavia. All logistics aside, Scottish independence appealed, and will continue to appeal, to those in this country who dream of a better, more prosperous society, however that might be defined.

What has struck me most, though, amid the entire independence hullabaloo is the extent to which we Americans buy into a largely romanticized version of Scottish history that reinforces our own. When discussing the referendum with friends and colleagues in the days leading up to the vote, I inevitably heard references to tartans and kilts, to the Celtic language and bagpipes, and to William Wallace crying “Freedom!” in perhaps the most historically inaccurate movie of all time.

These symbols, however, were for centuries generally eschewed in the Scottish Lowlands by a substantially Anglicized population intent on oppressing remnants of Gaelic culture in the Highlands. Only in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when across Europe nationalism crept into its heyday, were such symbols of Highland life revived, assumed and even fabricated as core components of broader Scottish identity. In the decades after the contentious parliamentary union of 1707, Scots throughout Britain embraced a culture they had long demeaned, appropriating the Jacobite or Highlander cause as the last stand of an independent Scotland. This starry-eyed and often revisionist retelling has captivated many Americans who look to the Scottish past (and present) for reflections of their own romanticized story of independence and nationhood.

Even across the pond, much of the Scottish public has embraced a perception of their history that is idealized and inspiring in equal measure. Though endlessly frustrating for historians, this romancing of the past serves a distinct purpose for independence movements. This is not to say that the “yes” campaign overtly promoted such simplistic narratives of the Scottish past or that Scots do not understand their own history. I am suggesting, however, that historical imagining, even subconsciously, imbued more than 1.6 million people in Scotland with the confidence to vote “aye” in the face of serious uncertainty and unanswered questions. The image of the proud, free, tartan-clad and bagpipe-loving Scot as a fixed, unchanging icon may be far from historically accurate, but it is as powerful and unifying as the mythology surrounding Paul Revere’s ride or George Washington chopping down the cherry tree.

For much of the campaign leading up to the referendum, the “no” camp spoke primarily to the left-brains of Scots, making arguments about finance and defense that were at best practical and at worst condescending. Only in the eleventh hour, when the tide appeared to have shifted toward independence, did the political elite in Britain make sincere emotional appeals to the Scottish public. But history ebbs and flows not according to rationality and empiricism alone. It depends, too, on the heart and on the power of personal and communal sentiments that often belie what is practical.

Though cooler heads decisively prevailed on Sept. 18, the “no” vote will not quell calls for further political and social autonomy. It will not erase the yearning for change in so many Scottish hearts. Looking back on the years that led up to 1776, John Adams observed that before any actual break from Britain, the American Revolution already existed “in the minds and hearts of the people.” Adams’ words about our own romanticized past might yet foretell the future of the Scottish nation, though their revolution may mean manifest transformation rather than total independence.

Annual German Law in Context Seminar to Examine German-American Relations in the Wake of the NSA-Scandal

The 2014 German Law in Context program, an annual research seminar led by Washington and Lee professors Russell Miller and Paul Youngman, will explore the German legal framework for privacy and intelligence gathering in the wake of the NSA spying scandal.

The seminar, now in its sixth year, involves W&L law and undergraduate students in an interdisciplinary examination of German legal issues by exploring how history, politics, social institutions, the economy, and culture help illuminate and explain German law and legal doctrine. Many of the law students participating in the seminar are associated with the work of the German Law Journal, which is based at W&L.

This year, the focus is on German and American relations following the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showing that for many years the U.S. has been pursuing massive intelligence gathering operations in Germany, including the collection of Germans’ telecommunications data and content. Miller has said that America’s good faith and trust in the world have been some of the casualties of these disclosures.

“America’s global surveillance and data collection programs have deeply angered many of America’s allies and the disillusion may be felt most strongly in Germany,” says Miller. “On one hand, Germans have very high expectations for privacy. On the other hand, Germans thought that their long-standing, close alignment with American security policy would buy them a greater measure of respect.”

Germany’s leading paper Der Spiegel called the NSA Affair “a serious threat to the transatlantic partnership.” In response the German Parliament convened an investigative committee and the Federal Public Prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation into the American intelligence gathering activities. Miller testified on these matters before the special committee in June.

The seminar series will conclude on December 8 with a keynote address by Dr. Konstantin von Notz, a member of the German Parliament serving on the special committee investigating the NSA affair. A complete schedule of events can be found below.

Alongside regular seminar discussions of the relevant legal framework, a series of interdisciplinary events is planned, including guest lectures from historians, political scientists, and experts in German cultural studies. The program also includes a film series.

Past German Law in Context programs include: “Defending Democracy: German Law and the Struggle against Extremism,” “Parliament’s Army: Lessons from Germany on Law and War,” “The Immigrant in German Law and Culture,” “The German Social State,” and “Germany’s 1968 and the Law.”

For more information, contact Prof. Russell Miller (millerra@wlu.edu).

German Law in Context Seminar Schedule

9/17 – The “Right to Forget” – European Data Protection
Prof. Bernd Holznagel
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
5pm, Classroom C

9/24 – A Theory of Privacy and Surveillance – Foucault’s Panopticon
Prof. Sarah Horowitz
History Department
Washington and Lee University
5pm, Classroom E

9/30 – History of Surveillance and Privacy in Germany
Prof. Wolfgang Krieger
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Department of History
5pm, Classroom E

10/7 – Screening: “The Lives of Others” / “Das Leben der Anderen”
5pm, Classroom E

10/10 – “The Lives of Others” and How the Legacy of Tyranny Shapes Present Notions of Privacy
Prof. Laura Heins
Tulane University
Germanic & Slavic Studies
3pm, Classroom D

10/20 – Judicial Control of Surveillance / Protection of Data in Europe
Prof. András Jakab
Max Planck Institute (Heidelberg)
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
4pm, Classroom A

11/4 – Screening: “The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse” / “Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse”
Time and Location TBD

11/11 –  Legislative Control of Surveillance – German Oversight of Intelligence Community
Nicole Schreier
Ph.D. Candidate
Justus Liebig Universität Giessen
5pm, Dean’s Conference Room

12/3 – Book Discussion “Every Man Dies Alone” by Hans Fallada
Led by Prof. Roger Crocket
Washington and Lee University
German Department
4pm, Classroom C

12/8 – Keynote Address Dr. Konstantin von Notz
Member German Bundestag
German Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen)
Bundestag Committee Member – Digital Agenda
Bundestag Committee Member – NSA Committee of Inquiry
5pm, Location TBD

What's Up in Lexington/Rockbridge, plus Lower Gauley Report

3L Kelsey Peregoy reports on a recent law student outing for a whitewater rafting trip on the Lower Gauley in West Virginia. The trip was sponsored by the SBA and the Office of Student Affairs.

Details:

• What: White Water Rafting Trip
• When: September 13, 2014
• Total Time: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
• Where: Adventures on the Gorge, New River Gorge, West Virginia
• On the Water Time: Six hours
• Rapids: Everything from class one to class five.
• Rating: 10/10 stars, would definitely go again!

The Experience

Nervous energy was palpable when I exited my car in the lower level parking lot in front of the law school. It was 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning in September, and about two dozen law students stood in the lot, waiting for large white vans to swoop in and gather us all.

Today was the day – Washington and Lee Law greatly subsidized the cost a trip to go white water rafting in West Virginia. Most students, between the cost of travel and the trip itself, would not have been able to make the trip otherwise.

The vans finally showed up, and we all piled in. The vans were driven by three older gentlemen from the Lexington community. The driver of my van, who asked us to call him “Wink,” insisted on listening to the most popular radio station in the area for “us kids.” He took us nearly three hours away, deep into West Virginia.

Our trip began at Adventures on the Gorge, a multi-faceted adventure company located deep in the rugged area of West Virginia near Fayetteville, flirting with the edge of the New River Gorge. Adventures on the Gorge is a series of large buildings, all designed to look like log cabins with a dark cedar coloring. All around the outside, playfully strung through the trees, are obstacle courses with every thing from tight ropes to wooden shaped tubes, ladders, tightropes and bridges. An attendant directed us to make our way toward another part of their compound, where we got wetsuits. Twenty-three law students squirming and pulling their bodies in unnatural directions in a great effort to get into the wetsuits was the first of many great sights on the trip.

After we signed release forms, Dave, the trip leader, gave a thorough and entertaining run-down of the trip, and how to ensure our safety. Hesitant faces occasionally snuck glances at one another as he mentioned several procedures to follow if one of us were to fall out of our raft. After this presentation, we went to their storage unit, grabbed helmets and paddles, and loaded up into a converted school bus. We took another thirty-minute drive with the adventure company to the edge of the rivers we were going to be traveling, what is known as the Lower Gauley.

After getting off the bus, we met our raft guide – every raft included 7-8 students, and one guide – grabbed our rafts, and entered the water. As we began paddling down the river in numbered, simultaneous strokes at the instruction of our guide, we had our first opportunity to survey the landscape. The water of the river moved quickly, as the river cut through the side of a mountain, a sight that resembled prehistoric skyscrapers lining a watery street. Rocks in the river jutted up through the water, blocking it and causing the water to spill over it in what our instructor called “pour overs,” creating small whirl pools and under-cuts in the river.

We spent six hours navigating the underwater terrain, using only teamwork and the hollered instructions of our guide. We made our way through everything from class one to class five rapids, each of us in the pinnacle moments feeling the power of the river trying to pull us from our rafts. As we went down the easier rapids, we smacked our paddles against close rocks, and yelled in wild excitement.

After a short – but hot and filling – lunch halfway through the trip in a pre-made camp, we jumped back in our rafts for the remainder of the trip. Paddling down the river, with the indecisive September weather varying from warm to cool, one could not help but feel endless possibilities. The natural landscape above the water, and the rocky expanse that lay just below the surface, was truly wild and wonderful, and a welcome reprieve from the classroom. By the time we all exited our rafts, not a single voice sounded relieved. Every student, and especially this writer, was reluctant to leave our adventure behind.

Coming Up this Week

Here’s some fun stuff to do this week, plus stay tuned for a report on a quintessential law school event, Pig Roast!

Saturday, 9/20

Law Council/Class Agent: Making Connections Breakfast. 9am-10am in the Moot Court Lobby. Join Law Council members, Class Agents, Reunion Volunteers, and the Young Alumni Council, during a “Making Connections Breakfast.” All students are encouraged to attend for casual conversation, networking, and breakfast! A RSVP is not required, but would be greatly appreciated to help with catering prep. You may RSVP in Symplicity under EVENTS (Law Council/Class Agent: Breakfast Connections). 1Ls may RSVP to Lawcareer@wlu.edu. Business Casual attire is recommended.

PIG ROAST! (undisclosed location—the suspense builds!): Vans will run from the Law school to the site of Pig Roast. For the 1Ls that have no real idea what this event is–all will soon be revealed.

Sunday, 9/21

Honor Advocate applications due today! The Honor System is a key part of W&L’s culture and community. Take part in fostering and strengthening this unique aspect of the W&L experience, and apply to be an Honor Advocate! Applications are due Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 8:00pm and are available at:http://bit.ly/1o4uSJw. Any questions regarding the program or application may be directed to Stephen Pytlik, Head Honor Advocate, atpytlik.s@Law.wlu.edu.

Monday, 9/22

Race and Justice in America: The W&L Mudd Center for Ethics speaker series kicks off on Sept. 22 at 4:30pm in Stackhouse Theater with “The Nature of Race: Investigating Concepts of Human Difference” by Joan Miller, Professor of Sociology at NYU. Check out a complete list of topics and speakers here: http://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center/programs-and-events/2014-2015-race-and-justice-in-america/public-events

Nathaniel Deutsch, “‘The New is Forbidden by the Torah’: Minhag and the Radical Roots of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism.” 5pm, Lewis Hall, Classroom B
Nathaniel Deustch, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is also the Co-Director of the Center for Jewish Studies and the Director of the Institute for Humanities Research, will give a talk on the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jews) relationship to key concepts such as tradition, Law, and progress, as well as their parallels to, and differences from, other religious communities typically, if misleadingly, identified as fundamentalist.

Mudd Public Lecture: Ann Morning, Monday 9/22/14; 4:30-6:00 p.m. at Stackhouse Theater. Ann Morning is an Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University and a faculty affiliate of New York University Abu Dhabi. Her research interests include race, demography, and the sociology of science, especially as they pertain to census classification worldwide and to individuals’ concepts of racial difference.

Lenfest Season opens with Aquila Theatre’s “Wuthering Heights”, 7pm, Keller Theatre. The Lenfest Center for the Arts is proud to be the first stop on the Aquila Theatre’s annual performance tour with Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights on September 22, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the Keller Theatre. Through this tour, the group will bring its bold reinterpretation of Brontë’s classic work to thousands of arts patrons, and you can be among the first to witness the passionate love story come to life. Visit lenfest.wlu.edu or call 458-8000 to purchase tickets.

Wednesday, 9/24

Council on Foreign Relations Lunch Series, 12-1pm, Chavis Boardroom (undergrad side). Listen to a conference call with the Council on Foreign Relations. Discuss the topic afterwards with faculty, staff and students..Topic: The Impact of Technology on International Security and Geopolitics. Jared Cohen, Adjunct Senior Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations, Founder and Director, Google Ideas Space is limited. Please RSVP. E-mail ritterk@wlu.edu by the Monday prior to each lunch.

Career Paths: 2L Julianne Freeman on her Summer Handling the Business of Major League Baseball

Julianne Freeman is a 2L at Washington and Lee. She spent this past summer as a legal intern at Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. in New York, NY. She is a staffwriter for the Washington and Lee Law Review, and serves as the treasurer for the Latin American Law Students Association. Next summer, she will work at Norfolk Southern Corporation in Norfolk, VA as a Law Clerk.

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to work as a legal intern at Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball takes about a hundred interns, mostly undergraduate students and a few law students, across the Office of the Commissioner and its other entities. I was a legal intern at Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., which handles the “business side of baseball.” I worked in the Legal and Business Affairs Department, which handles matters like trademark enforcement and licensing agreements for Baseball.

Some of my projects included drafting cease and desist letters to be sent to parties infringing Baseball’s trademarks, drafting license agreements, and researching developing copyright issues such as exceptions to rights of publicity. All of these projects entailed intensive legal research and writing. I was exposed to a wide variety of work done by the Legal & Business Affairs Department, which was a valuable part of the experience because I saw the many ways that such a department impacts a company.

One of the most important new skills I developed during this experience was the ability to accurately and efficiently identify a client’s needs in a given matter. While this may seem self-explanatory, I learned the importance of considering both long- and short-term needs before acting on behalf of a client. This ability to identify a client’s needs was important in an in-house position, where attorneys represent the client in a wide variety of matters, but it would be incredibly valuable in nearly any legal position.

The legal education I received during my first year was invaluable this summer. Because so many of my projects required research, I was grateful for the intensive training I received from my Burks Scholars, and I had countless opportunities to further develop my research skills. Additionally, I was able to draw upon my first year writing courses when drafting documents, understanding the importance of word choice, sentence structure, and conciseness. Drafting these documents, which were largely unfamiliar to me before this summer, allowed me to understand in practice the different tones required for different audiences. Having never taken any trademark or copyright law courses, I learned those concepts while doing the work. However, the critical thinking skills I developed during my first year at W&L helped me to learn these new concepts and apply them to whatever matter I was working on.

I was drawn to this position because I had heard wonderful things about the internship program at Major League Baseball, and my expectations (which were incredibly high) were far exceeded. Aside from providing interns with interesting and challenging work, Baseball conducted programming nearly every week that enhanced the summer experience. Executives from different departments spoke to the class of interns over lunch, providing insights and answering questions. These events were valuable because it gave each intern a sense of what other departments did, and the speaker would often detail his or her career path. Additionally, within my department, the attorneys were wonderful, providing mentorship and always available to answer questions.

My legal internship with Major League Baseball confirmed my idea that I would like to work as in-house counsel in the future. I enjoyed working for one client, and I thrived in an environment where the legal work was part of a larger organization and not the sole source of profits, while still being interesting and challenging work.

NYU Sociology Professor to Lecture about the Nature of Race

Ann Morning, associate professor of sociology at New York University, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on Monday, Sept. 22, at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

The title of Morning’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “The Nature of Race: Investigating Concepts of Human Difference.”

Her talk is sponsored by W&L’s Mudd Center for Ethics and is the first lecture in W&L’s 2014-2015: Race and Justice in America, a year-long interdisciplinary symposium.

Her doctoral thesis was a co-recipient of the American Sociological Association’s 2005 Dissertation Award and was published in 2011 by the University of California Press with the title “The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference.” She is also the author or co-author of over 18 articles.

During the academic year 2014-15, Morning will be a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City. She is currently a member of the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations.

Morning was the recipient of a 2008-09 Fulbright research award to visit the University of Milan-Bicocca and has consulted on racial statistics for the European Commission in Brussels. She was a member of the National Academies of Science 2007-2011 Standing Committee on Research and Evidentiary Standards.

She holds a B.A. in economics and political science from Yale University, an M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.

The annual Mudd Distinguished Lecture in Ethics on Oct. 1 brings to W&L Charles Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and director of the Charles Hamilton Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University.

Career Paths: 3L Jamison Shabanowitz on his Summer Working for PEER

Jamison Shabanowitz is a 3L at Washington and Lee. He spent his past summer in Washington, DC working for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Jamison is the current President of the Public Interest Law Student Association (PILSA) at W&L. This fall, he will serve as an extern at the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Chapel Hill, NC office.

Advocating on behalf of a healthy and safe environment takes many different forms. Some represent plaintiffs harmed by specific local incidents. Others work on a national or global scale and call for better policies on a macro level.

Neither will achieve long-term success unless public employees are able to perform their duties as required by law and enforce environmental law.

Sitting at this nexus of labor and environmental law is Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), my workplace this past summer. PEER is a national non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. representing local, state, and Federal employees when environmental and ethics violations are committed within their workplaces. The organization provides legal protection for employees reporting potential environmental violations of their employer, covers Freedom of Information Act issues related to environmental protection, and ensures that all public employers follow applicable environmental law.

I discovered PEER while attending the 2013 Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair. PEER drew my attention because of the specificity and importance of its functions and also because of the interdisciplinary nature of its intern program.

By “interdisciplinary,” I do not just mean different fields of law, but also different roles a lawyer at a non-profit may perform. For instance, in addition to typical legal intern duties (legal research on topics related to the current caseload, drafting complaints, handling FOIAs, and performing client intake), I dedicated a significant portion of my summer to a second role as an investigator. In an effort to provide resources for the employees PEER serves, I had the task of contacting 11 different Offices of Inspector General within federal agencies to discover if they had implemented new protocols concerning whistleblowers.

Larger organizations, firms, or government agencies would not usually put a legal intern on a task that required the intern to represent them externally, but PEER trusted me to represent its name. I even visited the Department of Justice to talk with members of their Office of Inspector General. Everyone there assumed I served as a full-time “legal analyst” for PEER. Not until after the 90 minute meeting ended did I have to reveal my intern status.

W&L’s curriculum catalyzed my internship experience at PEER. A first-year small section class on Professional Responsibility in particular allowed me to feel comfortable communicating with others in a professional, lawyer-like manner. After one semester of strictly learning black-letter law and researching, it is easy to forget that lawyers play vital roles other than just “researcher.” The Professional Responsibility course in the spring semester reminds us of who we are becoming and what rules of professionalism we are bound to as lawyers. I also had the fortune to have this course as my small section under Professor Jim Moliterno. I developed my persuasive writing and oral advocacy skills in the same subject under his tutelage.

Although W&L offers a labor law class every spring, I did not have a chance to take the class (I opted instead for a seminar on statutory interpretation). Even without the specific academic background, I combined my personal interest in labor and environmental law with the legal training of W&L and had a highly successful internship at PEER last summer. I helped to make bureaucracy work so that better environmental protection and enforcement is attained.

Related //
Tagged //

Nathaniel Deutsch, Co-director of Center for Jewish Studies, to Lecture at W&L

Nathaniel Deutsch, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is also co-director of the Center for Jewish Studies, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on Monday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. in Sydney Lewis Hall, classroom B.

The title of his lecture is ” ‘The New is Forbidden by the Torah’: Minhag and the Radical Roots of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism.” The talk will be followed by a dialogue on “Jewish and Muslim Legal Fundamentalisms” with Deutsch and Joel A. Blecher, assistant professor of religion at W&L, followed by a Q&A period. The talk is free and open to the public.

Deutsch’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Religion Department’s Stanford L. Schewel Fund, the Institute of Transnational Law, the History Department, the Politics Department and Washington and Lee University School of Law, Office of the Dean.

Deutsch, also the director of the Institute for Humanities Research, is the author of six books, including “The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement” (2011), for which he received the 2013 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award from the Association for Jewish Studies; “Inventing America’s ‘Worst’ Family; Eugenics, Islam and the Fall of the Rise of The Tribe of Ishmael” (2009); and “The Maiden of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World” (2003).

A specialist in Judaism, Gnosticism and early Christianity, Deutsch received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist and received an honorable mention for the Merle Curti Award from the Organization of American Historians for Best Book in Social and/or Intellectual History.

Deutsch’s areas of expertise are Jewish history, Hasidism, African American Islam and the history of eugenics in the United States.

He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Inside the 3L Litigation Immersion – Motions and Trial Prep

Hannah Shtein is a 3L from Milwaulkee, Wisconsin. She’s blogging about her experience in W&L’s fall litigation skills immersion, one of the key components of the School’s innovative third-year curriculum.

Monday – Motion Hearings

After the easing in of week one, week two is more focused on the actual trial: how it will be structured, how we are to conduct ourselves, and how we will present our cases. Monday is the first time we have to go in front of a “judge” (small section professor) for a motion hearing.

Over the weekend, we were assigned to draft either a motion to exclude certain testimony, or a memo in opposition to the other side’s motion. In my case, the defendant filed a motion to exclude the testimony of a witness who, like my client, claimed that she had caught defendant illegally fixing prices while working for him. I of course wanted evidence that corroborated my client’s similar claim, so I filed a memo in opposition to defendant’s motion to exclude.

Once the memos and motions were in, we were scheduled for thirty-minute time slots to argue our motions in front of our judges. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am not the strongest public speaker (and by “not the strongest,” I mean “not good at public speaking at all”), so I was naturally nervous to argue the motion in front of the judge, who happened to be my small section professor, Professor Perkins. Surprisingly, though, the motion hearing ended up being less scary than I had expected. Because I had had a chance over the weekend to familiarize myself with the material I would be arguing, as well as the defendant’s case, I didn’t feel like I was speaking in gibberish when I walked up to the podium to present my arguments and respond to Professor (Judge) Perkins’s questions.

Our homework for tonight is to prepare opening and closing arguments for the trial, which is coming up on Friday (!!).

Tuesday – Opening and Closing Arguments and Direct Examination Presentation

8:00am-1:00pm – Practice Opening and Closing Arguments

Tuesday’s morning session consists of presenting the opening and closing arguments we wrote on Monday night in front of our small section instructors and classmates.

As each student presents, we offer commentary to one another on what we can improve in terms of substance, and also in terms of performance and presence. I find this a helpful way to receive feedback on my arguments before I present them at trial, and it gives me a couple of days to work the suggestions into my opening and closing, so I don’t feel crunched for time.

As students present, Professor Perkins spends some time talking about the different approaches to opening and closing arguments. An opening statement should not be argumentative, and its purpose is to lay out the facts of the case and outline what the evidence will aim to show.

The opening is also the time for us to weave in the “theme” of the case that we talked about earlier in the week, to attempt to hook the jury with a persuasive narrative. For instance, we may want to say in our opening: “plaintiff is a hardworking woman who was punished for attempting to do the right thing. You will hear testimony demonstrating that her supervisor fired her for an impermissible purpose.” (I’m still new at this! I need to work on my psychological hooks).

The closing, on the other hand, allows the lawyer a little more leeway to be argumentative, and is also a good time to restate the elements of the claim and summarize how the evidence has shown that these have been met. For example, my closing should point to the parts of my evidence that have shown that the defendant had knowledge that plaintiff was encouraging customers to report defendant to the Consumer Fraud Agency, and that defendant’s belief in plaintiff’s reporting him caused him to fire the plaintiff.

Tomorrow and Thursday, we practice direct and cross-examination and finish preparing for trial. I’m nervous, obviously.

Wednesday

10:00am-11:45am – Cross-Examination Presentation and Exercises

Wednesday morning, we listen to a brief presentation about cross-examination, and then break up into small groups to practice cross examining our instructor.

Cross-examination, unlike direct examination, allows the attorney to ask the adverse witness “leading” questions in order to control the narrative. As Professor Belmont tells us in her presentation, it essentially allows counsel to testify and the witness to confirm. In order for cross-examination to be most effective, we should ask questions as narrowly as possible, and proceed in “baby steps” to get the witness to confirm or deny what we want him/her to. For example, “wasn’t there an investigation on May 20?” followed by “didn’t you fire plaintiff on May 24?” is better than “didn’t you fire plaintiff soon after the Consumer Fraud Agency inspected your gas station?”. The less room the witness has to change the story, the better (for counsel).

We practice this technique in our small groups by cross-examining Professor Perkins on her outfit, and work on making our questions as pointed and narrow as possible: “isn’t it true you’re wearing a necklace with three strands” is better than “are you wearing jewelry today?”. You get the point.

12:30pm-3:00pm – Practice Direct Examination

In the afternoon, we practice direct examination for our actual cases. Our homework for the previous night included writing these questions out, and we now go in front of our small section with a volunteer witness to practice our questioning.

In direct, we are dealing with our own witness, so we have less room to “lead” them with certain questions, and are supposed to focus on more open, journalistic who/what/where/when/why/how questions (otherwise, opposing counsel may object). So, “where did you work last year?” is appropriate, while “didn’t you work at FastGas last year?” is not.

We again have an opportunity to give and receive feedback from our small section professors and classmates, which gives me a better idea of how to change my direct examination for Friday’s trial, and makes me feel a little less like I have no idea what I’m doing. Every little bit counts!


Inside the 3L Litigation Immersion – The Trial

Hannah Shtein is a 3L from Milwaulkee, Wisconsin. She’s blogging about her experience in W&L’s fall litigation skills immersion, one of the key components of the School’s innovative third-year curriculum.

“I found immersion valuable because it teaches skills that are not only “lawyering”, but also life skills whose reach extends across different careers, and also across personal relationships.”

Thursday: Cross-Examination and Trial Prep

10:00am-1:00pm – More Cross-Examination Practice and Closing Session

Thursday morning, we practice the cross-examination tactics we discussed on Wednesday in the same format as with direct. Cross-examination ends up being a little easier because it tends to be shorter, and of course allows us to lead the witness and to be a little more aggressive.

We then have a closing session, and Professor Moliterno congratulates us on being almost done with immersion, but to be honest I fidget in my seat the entire time because I am having daytime nightmares about fainting or forgetting how to speak English at my trial.

1:00pm-COB – Trial Prep

The rest of the day is spent preparing for trial on our own. My trial is at 7:45am on Friday, and I have “jury duty” for other students’ trials, as well as my trial in my client role, later in the day.

I meet with opposing counsel to go over which parts of the depositions we have been provided with each of us wants to admit into evidence on Friday, and discuss which parts we will object to, so we can prepare our responses. For example, I tell my opposing counsel that I will object to a portion of testimony in which someone calls my client a busybody (she is, but we don’t want the jury to know that) as impermissible character evidence.

I also meet with my client to discuss her direct examination and to go over the questions opposing counsel may ask her on cross examination, so that she is prepared. Then I make a binder with all of my materials, go over my opening, closing, direct and cross a few times, and try not to have any actual nightmares about trial. Wish me luck!

Friday – Trial: The Fateful Day

7:45am-9:00am – TRIAL

I walk into our “courtroom” clutching my binder to my chest and taking strategically deep breaths (to avoid the daytime-nightmare-faint), but the trial ends up being less frightening than anticipated. I had not been looking forward to being observed by a jury of my classmates, but I actually find their presence comforting. Also, I don’t faint or forget how to speak English, so all is well!

I also find that opening, closing, direct, and cross go much more smoothly than I anticipated, because I have a better idea of how to conduct myself from having practiced it in my small section. I am still not an effective public speaker, but I feel much more confident and comfortable than I expected, because I’ve had the opportunity to practice.

Once we finish closing arguments, Professor (“Judge”) Moliterno gives us feedback on the substance of the presentation and our arguments, and makes suggestions for other ways we could have argued, or objections to opposing counsel that we could have made. We also hear from our classmates on the jury about how we could have improved, and what we did well.

10:30am-2:30pm – Witness and Juror Roles

I spend the rest of the day watching my fellow classmates as a juror and a witness, so I have the opportunity to watch and learn from my “co-counselors” and to observe their trial demeanor and strategy, and to decide what I want to emulate or avoid, and also floating on cloud nine because I survived my trial.

Final Thoughts

I suppose I have been completely immersed—or perhaps now that it’s over I’m un-immersed?—so I can speak from the Other Side.

Although Professor Moliterno told us at the very beginning of immersion that some of us may change our minds about whether we want to litigate. I haven’t. I still don’t want to litigate, and in fact I may not seek a traditional legal career at all.

Nonetheless, I found immersion valuable because it teaches skills that are not only “lawyering”, but also life skills whose reach extends across different careers, and also across personal relationships.

Public speaking, for example, may be a little bit terrible for some of us, but is also something most of us will likely have to do in some capacity or another. We may not be presenting at large academic conferences or in front of a courtroom, but the ability to express oneself articulately and effectively in front of a group of people extends to smaller groups, too, and helps us broaden the ways in which we engage others. And that’s a pretty universal skill.

Similarly, negotiation is something we use daily. Every day we ask someone for something in a thousand different ways, without even thinking about it. Negotiation allows us to do that more effectively, both in a career sense (a business deal that closes the way you or your client had hoped), and in our daily lives (how can I get someone to give me a free piece of candy? Just kidding—kind of.).

Also, speaking of business deals, transactional immersion is next. See you next semester, when we will learn how to “A) Always B) Be C) Closing” (quote credit: Alec Baldwin, Glengarry Glen Ross). #immersed!


W&L Junior Wins Entrepreneurship Award and Grant

Matthew Kordonowy, a junior business administration major at Washington and Lee University, was awarded a $15,000 grant by the venture capital fund Entrepreneurs of New York this summer. Kordonowy and co-founder, Viktor Mak, a student at Colgate University, were also provided with office space in central New York to grow their company, Vern.

Vern, launched in July 2013, provides fair trade and socially-responsible apparel such as hand-woven neck ties, bowties, belts, scarves, bags and accessories online and in independent boutiques across the country.

The company works with The Association of Highland Women based in Quetzeltenango, Guatemala, a weaving cooperative of more than 4,000 women weaver-members in 17 villages. The cooperative pays them a fair wage and provides a secure venue to sell their textiles. Vern also donates 10 percent of its profits back to the community to help fund an education program for the weavers’ children.

“There are a lot of fair trade organizations that sell clothing items, but our goal is to connect upscale college students and young professionals with a socially-responsible company,” explained Kordonowy in a 2013 interview.

The Guatemalan civil war of 1960–96 claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Guatemalans, mostly men. With little access to education, the women had few opportunities to earn money and turned to weaving elaborate textiles to support their families.

According to Kordonowy, the weavers’ backstrap loom is an ancient technique that has been practiced for hundreds of years in the Guatemalan highlands and requires much skill, patience and creativity. “The women use dyes from plants and berries, and the items they produce are beautiful, brightly colored and unique. We think they will be popular with American shoppers,” said Kordonowy.

The two entrepreneurs, both from Fort Myers, Fla., have a long history together of generating ideas for businesses, but this is the first one to generate revenue. The idea for Vern came in summer 2012 after Mak, his co-founder, volunteered at the Guatemala weaving cooperative and introduced the concept of selling the weavers’ textiles to Kordonowy.

“We were touched by their story,” said Kordonowy, “and our mission is to help these women reach American customers so they can stay off the streets of Guatemala.”
In a press release from Entrepreneurs of New York, Kordonowy said “We were heartbroken by the current immigration crisis. By partnering with fair wage cooperatives we hope to provide people with opportunities to stay in their country and succeed economically.”

Vern began with a $1,500 investment by the co-founders. “The hardest part of building something is having the nerve to get started,” said Kordonowy. “And the biggest positive thing we’ve learned is that it never hurts to start something. Don’t be afraid to jump in, because that’s what we did and it’s been pretty successful so far.”

Vern can be found at http://www.vernclothing.com/ and on Facebook.

Photography Exhibition to Open New Year in W&L’s Williams Gallery

An exhibit of photographs, “Women Beyond Western Borders,” by Florinda Ruiz, will be the first exhibit of the 2014-2015 academic year in Williams Gallery in Huntley Hall at Washington and Lee University. The show will run from Sept. 15 through Jan. 15, 2015.

The exhibit is sponsored by W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics and is free and open to the public.

During her three years in the Middle East, Ruiz pursued her passion for photography in her travels. Her collection offers a glimpse of the diverse roles and images of the women she encountered throughout India, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Kenya, Egypt, Nepal, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

She was an associate professor at Roanoke College and Washington and Lee University until her departure for the UAE (Sharjah) in 2010, where she worked as a translator for the Sheikh of her emirate.

Ruiz, a native of Spain, studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and at the Universidad de Salamanca. She obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

The Williams Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Constitution Day Speaker Danielle Citron to Speak on Hate Crimes in Cyberspace

Danielle Citron, the Lois K. Macht Research Professor and Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, will speak at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

The title of the talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace: Constitutional Issues and Challenges.” Citron is this year’s Constitution Day (Sept. 17) speaker at W&L.

Citron is the author of “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace” (Harvard University Press, 2014). Her articles and essays have appeared in the “California Law Review,” “Michigan Law Review,” “Minnesota Law Review,” “Southern California Law Review,” “Washington University Law Review,” “Boston University Law Review,” “George Washington Law Review,” and many others.

Citron has been interviewed in dozens of media broadcasts and articles, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Al-Jazeera America, Barrons, the Atlantic, NPR and Fox News, among others.

Citron is an affiliate fellow at the Yale Information Society Project and an affiliate scholar at the Stanford Center on Internet and Society. She serves on the board of directors of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and is on the advisory boards of Electronic Privacy Information Center, Future of Privacy, Teach Privacy and Without My Consent. She is a contributor Forbes and Concurring Opinions.

She writes about and teaches information privacy law, administrative law and civil rights at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

W&L Graduate Directs Play at Lime Kiln

“Spring Awakening,” a play produced by (540) Productions, is directed by Washington and Lee University graduate Jenna Worsham ’10. The play opened on Sept. 10 at Lime Kiln Theater and will run until Sept. 20. “Spring Awakening” is based upon Frank Wedekind’s play of the same name, which premiered in 1906.

When asked what part Washington and Lee played in influencing her toward directing as a career, Worsham said, “What was great about Washington and Lee for me was that it encouraged me to pursue all things I was passionate about. So when I decided to double major at the end of my sophomore year by adding theater, the department over at Lenfest welcomed me with open arms. I started directing as a junior, and knew then that directing was the perfect way for me to fulfill my love of story-telling. And that, I think, is what directing is.

“I’ve been in New York for four years now—I moved right after I graduated in 2010, mainly because the connections that W&L helped me build while a student made it possible for me to find work. I have assisted Tony- and Obie-award-winning directors, both on and off Broadway, and have directed over five productions in the city, among many other readings and workshops for companies like Yale Repertory and Primary Stages.”

Worsham said that coming back to Lexington to direct the play “was like coming home.” She believes in the mission and vision of (540) Productions and artistic directors Eileen Small ’15 and Josh Harvey ’00.

“Community theater is so important for any community, to give life to local culture and provide opportunities for local artists,” Worsham said. “Lexington has a rich artistic history, and I am so grateful that Lime Kiln is back up and running due to the generous efforts of people like Spencer McElroy. I directed ‘The Fantasticks’ there while a senior at Washington and Lee, under the guidance of the incredible Kim Renz, and it was a production that helped prepare me for moving to New York and starting a career in theater.

“Lime Kiln holds a special place in my heart, as it does for many, and returning here to create a show with 540 has reminded me why I fell in love with theater to begin with.”

W&L Law's Josh Fairfield on Virtual Currency and the Digital Wallet Revolution

Washington and Lee law professor Joshua Fairfield, along with Indiana University media professor Edward Castronova, address the implications of Apple Pay and digital wallet payment systems in a commentary in today’s (Sept. 11) New York Times.

Fairfield and Castronova argue that the distinction between different kinds of currency is eroding and that soon digital payment systems will allow consumers to exchange everything from airlines miles to loyalty points offered by retailers.

“The idea is that you can buy anything, with anything. The wallet will find the best deal and execute it. In so doing, it will ignore the historical and cultural differences between dollars, points, coins and virtual property. It’s all bits anyway.”

This revolution, they write, will create enormous purchasing power for consumers, but also create regulatory challenges for governments around the world.

“Consider the tax implications. If you get caught cheating on your taxes and flee the country, the government could compel your bank to freeze your assets and cough up the money. But what if there’s no bank?”

The entire commentary is available online. In the video below, Fairfield expands on the commentary by examining the good and the bad of this revolution and how government regulators should react.

Remembering 9/11

The W&L community remembers today those whose lives were lost 13 years ago on September 11, 2001. Those losses include two members of the Washington and Lee family — Rob Schlegel, of the Class of 1985, who died in the Pentagon, and James Gadiel, of the Class of 2000, who died in the World Trade Center.

Rob was on the staff of the chief of naval operations at the Pentagon and had been promoted to commander just weeks prior to the attack. James worked in the equities department of Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 103rd floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center.


W&L Among Top 20 Small Colleges and Universities Sending Grads to Teach for America

Washington and Lee University has contributed 13 graduates to Teach for America’s 2014 teacher corps, placing it among the top 20 small colleges and universities in the country for the second straight year.

They join the most diverse corps in the organization’s 25-year history, which includes graduating seniors from a range of backgrounds and experiences, as well as a growing number of individuals with professional experience. Totals include both 2014 graduates and alumni of previous classes who are transitioning to teaching from another field or joining the corps as experienced educators.

A third of Teach for America recruits are the first in their families to attend college; nearly half were Pell Grant recipients (an indicator of low-income status); and half self-identify as people of color.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the wide range of colleges, universities and professional backgrounds that our corps members are coming from,” said Elisa Villanueva Beard, co-chief executive officer of Teach For America. “This is our most diverse corps yet — we really value the breadth of experience and identity that they’ll bring to the classroom.”

This fall, 10,600 first- and second-year corps members will teach in high-need classrooms across 50 regions. The 5,300 incoming corps members represent more than 850 colleges and universities and 49 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to the corps, Teach For America’s network of more than 37,000 alumni continue to work toward educational equity, with 86 percent working full-time in education or with low-income communities.

W&L Law’s Digital Repository Tops One Million Downloads

Scholarly Commons, the online institutional repository at Washington and Lee University School of Law, hit one million downloads on Sept. 5. The repository achieved this milestone in less than three years, faster than similar online collections at much larger institutions. W&L’s archive is one of only 14 Digital Commons law repositories to break the million-download threshold.

Scholarly Commons preserves and disseminates the intellectual output and history of the law school. It includes access to the faculty’s scholarship and the content of the school’s student-run journals. In addition, materials digitized from the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives, home to the papers of the former U.S. Supreme Court Justice and W&L graduate, are available. Justice Powell’s Supreme Court Case files have been downloaded over 6000 times.

Content from Scholarly Commons has been downloaded by users in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa and in a total of 74 countries. W&L Professors Nora Demleitner, Joshua Fairfield, Lyman Johnson, Timothy Jost, David Millon, and Doug Rendleman have authored the most downloaded faculty scholarship. Together these authors account for 14,052 of the total 67,011 downloads in this series.

The bulk of the downloads come from the student journal archives. In all, 924,938 articles have been downloaded from the Washington and Lee Law Review, the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, and the Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment. The most popular article is “Privacy and Freedom” by Alan F. Westin, published in the Washington and Lee Law Review in 1968. It has been a downloaded 7,546 times.

“It is exciting to see our faculty’s scholarship and our student’s work consumed on a world-wide basis,” said Caroline Osborne, Assistant Dean for Legal Information Services. “You can literally see in real-time via the readership map persons around the world downloading our content.”

Other schools in the one-million download club include Duke, Yale, UC Berkeley, Boston College and William and Mary.

Mudd Center for Ethics Focuses on Race and Justice in America

To ignite serious inquiry and thoughtful conversation about the complex issue of racial justice in America, the new Mudd Center for Ethics at Washington and Lee University will host a year-long lecture series, “Race and Justice in America,” bringing prominent speakers and discussions to campus. The series begins Sept. 22 and is free and open to the public.

The idea for the programming, the first such annual theme sponsored by the Mudd Center, was sparked by the 50th anniversaries of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. An interdisciplinary planning committee was formed in the fall of 2013 to work on putting together a slate of speakers and events to explore current issues of race and justice in the United States. All the speakers will be at W&L for two days and will be guest lecturers in W&L classes on the second day.

“It seems like the visibility of incidences of conflicts over race, for example in Ferguson, Mo., this summer, is increasing,” said Angela Smith, The Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics, professor of philosophy and director of the Mudd Center. “It seems like an appropriate time to sit down and address some of these longstanding issues about race.

“If you look at the statistics of racial inequalities across education, healthcare, incarceration rates and household wealth, among many other areas, they are massive. It’s a continuing legacy from slavery and the Jim Crow era that we still have not dealt with in this country. The point of this year’s programming is to look carefully at that longstanding legacy. What are some of the causes of the continuing inequality? What are some of the mechanisms that continue to enforce these inequalities? What can and should a just society do about them, if anything?” Smith continued.

Ann Morning, associate professor of sociology at New York University, will give the first talk Sept. 22 on “The Nature of Race: Investigating Concepts of Human Difference.” Smith explained that the planning committee that organized the series wanted to begin with someone who could clarify what we mean when we talk about race. “I think many of us are confused about this,” she said, “which can hamper fruitful discussion. Some people take race to refer to a biological or genetic essence, while others insist that is a socio-political construct that can have certain biological effects—for example, on health outcomes—but that has no meaningful genetic basis. Professor Morning will be giving a talk that addresses some of these competing conceptions.”

Charles Ogletree will give the Mudd Distinguished Lecture in Ethics, “My Brother’s Keeper: Incarceration and African American Men,” on Oct. 1. He will discuss the high percentage of black men who are now either jailed or under some other state-sponsored supervision. Ogletree is the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Director of the Charles Hamilton Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University.

“This issue is coming to the attention of public policy makers more and more,” noted Smith. “In fact, you see President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder starting to act on this. One of the big drivers of mass incarceration has been the so-called “war on drugs,” which was initiated in the 1980s and has had a disproportionate effect on blacks. This is due largely to the greater enforcement of drug laws in black communities and to higher mandatory sentences for certain types of drugs, such as crack cocaine over powder cocaine.”

Martha Nussbaum will speak about “Anger and Revolutionary Justice” on Oct. 22. She is the Ernst Freud Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago and is a well-known intellectual who has written on issues of justice across the board — racial and gender injustice, and the law and disability.

Nussbaum will look at the role of anger and how, in some of the great social movements of the 20th century, leaders such as Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela advocated for non-violence and, as far as possible, lack of bitterness and anger in responding to great social injustices.

Phillip Atiba Goff, a psychologist from UCLA, will speak Nov. 6 on policing and implicit bias. His talk will be followed by a mini-conference Nov.7 featuring a law professor to talk about how implicit bias operates in the law, a sociologist who will explore implicit bias in healthcare and a philosopher asking questions about who is to blame for these implicit biases?

“With the election of President Obama, some people think we’re now in a post-racial society and that racism is no longer a problem,” said Smith. “I think there’s a lot less overt racism than we had in the past but, as many people realize, racism has taken on more subtle forms such as implicit bias. Oftentimes people don’t even realize that they’re doing it, but they have underlying assumptions or stereotypes that lead them to treat people in discriminatory or unjust ways.”

Smith cited the example of shooter-bias studies, where researchers flash videos of people who are either holding a gun or some harmless object such as a cellphone. The studies show that subjects are much more likely to mistakenly think that the object being held is a gun when the person is black than when he is white.

On Nov. 12, the series will explore the personal experience of novelist Jesmyn Ward, a black woman who grew up in a small Mississippi town. The Paul and Debra Gibbons Professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University, Ward won the National Book Award for her novel, “Salvage the Bones,” about the lives of a black family in Mississippi dealing with Hurricane Katrina.

Ward’s recent memoir, “Men We Reaped,” also the title of her talk, discusses the lives of five black men (one of them her brother) who in the space of five years either died or were killed for various reasons in a small Mississippi town. “Her thought in the book is that, in one way or another, all of these deaths were attributable, though not always directly, to the continuing racial inequalities in America,” said Smith.

In the winter, the Mudd Center will host several additional talks, and will co-sponsor a major interdisciplinary conference with the Law School on the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. The center is also supporting the Staniar Gallery in its exhibition entitled “The Strangest Fruit,” by artist Vincent Valdez.

This first year of programs will continue through April 2015, and Smith hopes it will involve as many disciplines as possible. “Everyone has something to contribute,” she said.

The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the University from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. When he made his gift, Mudd said that “given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is the fitting home.”

For full details of this series, visit: http://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center/programs-and-events/2014-2015-race-and-justice-in-america/public-events.

Inside the 3L Litigation Immersion – Complaints and Negotiations

Hannah Shtein is a 3L from Milwaulkee, Wisconsin. She’s blogging about her experience in W&L’s fall litigation skills immersion, one of the key components of the School’s innovative third-year curriculum.

“I find the negotiations practice to be the most helpful part of immersion so far. It’s an exercise in understanding human behavior, which is essential to lawyering but also broadly applicable to any career (e.g. making a sale) or personal relationship (e.g. managing conflicting schedules), so it’s helpful to be able to practice such an essential soft skill in a classroom setting, without actually having $20,000 on the line.”

Wednesday

8:30-3:00pm – Submitting, Discussing, and Amending Complaints and Counterclaims

Our complaints are due Wednesday morning by 8:00am. Lots of students are a little frazzled by this assignment, largely because we don’t know what to expect. How long should the complaint be, how many claims should we assert, should we draw on the cases in our research packet or will they not be applicable until later, etc? I, like other students, have some experience with complaint drafting from my summer internship at a District Attorney’s office, but this is different because we are making a complaint “from scratch”, rather than using a form complaint and/or working with a familiar area of law (for instance, my internship dealt only with criminal law in domestic violence cases, so most complaints were very similar to one another).

I talk to several other students who share my sentiment that this process feels a little rushed, and she relates an important point from her small section professor—that this is an exercise in understanding process as well as substance. Of course, part of what we’re learning is how to incorporate substantive claims into a complaint, but part of it is also understanding that drafting a complaint in an area of law with which I’m not familiar will feel rushed if I attempt to do it in one night. So it’s an opportunity to understand that this would be a mistake in the “real” (job) world, without having to learn the hard way by making that mistake in our careers.

3:45-COB

The assignment for that night is to file an answer or counterclaim (depending on which side we are representing), and to respond to discovery requests. For the discovery, we are given hypothetical requests for documents and information (e.g. one request asks to provide a factual basis for the claims in my complaint), and are to respond either by producing the documents or objecting if we decide an objection is applicable. For instance, some students object to the factual basis request by arguing that it’s redundant because it’s already in the complaint.

Thursday

12:45-4pm – Negotiation Theory and Exercises

After submitting our discovery responses, we spend most of the day talking about negotiation strategy, and practicing drills with our small sections.

Professor Moliterno gives a presentation on negotiation tactics, and lays the groundwork for the drills by providing a basic framework on how to approach it: we should always be considering why the other party wants what it wants, and finding ways to address the underlying interest, rather than focusing only on their immediate request. For instance, a person’s client may have an emotional reason for making a certain request, and understanding that reason may mean that you can come up with an alternative solution that suits the opposing party’s needs but is also workable for your client.

We see this in practice when we break into small groups to work on negotiation drills. We rotate through several partners, each side receiving information regarding what their client will settle for (e.g. a monetary amount, or a certain amount of visitation in a custody case). In a family law problem we are given, for example, the opposing party’s client insists on having custody every Sunday, but my client also prefers Sunday. However, talking with my opposing counsel reveals that our clients want Sunday custody for different reasons that are not in opposition to one another (his client would like to take her son to church in the mornings, while my client would like to watch football with him, which does not start until later in the day), so we are able to come up with an arrangement in which we split the day in half.

Our homework that night is to use the skills we’ve practiced to come up with a negotiation strategy for our client (the same client and opposing counsel we’ve been working with throughout the week). Again, we receive information regarding what sort of settlement our respective clients will take (my client wants either $20,000 in back pay, or to be reinstated to her job with an apology and certain contractual obligations on the part of her employer).

Friday

8:30-12:00pm – Negotiation with Opposing Counsel in Employment Discrimination Cases

After having talked with our clients the night before, we are assigned a thirty minute time slot to meet with opposing counsel to attempt to negotiate a settlement. My opposing counsel and I have a good rapport, and we decide to sit down before our scheduled negotiation to get a better idea of what our clients want before we have to talk numbers and contractual terms. We both decide that we want this to be a painless process and that we would ideally like to avoid a trial, so when it comes time for our actual negotiation, we end up settling fairly quickly because neither of us draws a hard line. Because we met beforehand, we have a better idea of our clients’ and each others’ expectations, so instead of arguing about why our clients want what they want, we are able to start throwing numbers out until we find one that works for both of us. Professor Moliterno, who supervises our negotiation and takes notes for later feedback, tells us that our negotiation took much less time than most people’s (we use only seven of our assigned thirty minutes).

Once the negotiation is over, we briefly meet with our clients to tell them whether we were able to settle, and our clients let us know if they are happy with the settlement, or would like to go to trial to obtain a better result. My client is pleased, because I was able to have the other side pay her the $20,000 she asked for (she’s somewhat of a busybody employee, so I chose not to attempt to get her reinstated—but don’t tell her that!).

1:15-2:00pm – Debrief Negotiations

Once everyone has had their negotiation, we meet in small groups with the professors who observed our negotiations and discuss our results. My opposing counsel and I are one of few groups who were able to settle—other groups share that they had a more difficult time agreeing with their opposing party about what their clients deserved, while my opposing counsel and I spent almost no time discussing each party’s claims, and just started discussing numbers right away.

Overall, I find the negotiations practice to be the most helpful part of immersion so far. It’s an exercise in understanding human behavior, which is essential to lawyering but also broadly applicable to any career (e.g. making a sale) or personal relationship (e.g. managing conflicting schedules), so it’s helpful to be able to practice such an essential soft skill in a classroom setting, without actually having $20,000 on the line.

Despite our relative ease in coming to a settlement, this jurisdiction (aka immersion rules) still requires us to go to trial, so the next phase of immersion is trial preparation (which naturally means public speaking—I’m nervous).


Washington and Lee to Host Third Annual Entrepreneurship Summit

Washington and Lee University will host its third annual Entrepreneurship Summit on Friday, Sept. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 27.

The event, which is run by the J. Lawrence Connolly Entrepreneurship Center and student-run Venture Club, is open to students, faculty, and staff as well as alumni and parent entrepreneurs. Last year’s event drew participation from 60 alumni and 200 students.

The summit features two full days of keynotes, panels, roundtables and networking sessions. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

Friday begins with an 8:30 a.m. breakfast. Sessions to follow include:

Leveraging Social Media

  • Dan Birdwhistell, ’01 – Founder, Studio Publishing
  • Kelly Dyer, ’98 – Founder, SourceFuse and Inventory Source
  • Al Dominick, ’99 – President, Bank Director

Non-traditional Sources of Capital

  • Tom Swenson – Founder, Bank of Montana and Montana Business Capital
  • Matt Wallace, ’06 – Co-Founder, ‘Chups
  • Kevin Bowles, ’82 – Entrepreneur in Residence, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network

Attracting, Hiring and Managing an “A” Team

  • McGowin Patrick, ’86 – Founder, Tap Resources
  • Larry Connolly, ’79 – Retired, Connolly, LLC
  • Sean O’Rourke, ’93 – Founder, Syzygy 3
  • Chris Williams, ’85 – Founder, Harris Williams

Startup and Intellectual Property Law

  • Tom Dunlap, ’99L – Co-Founder, Dunlap/Weaver and Co-Founder, Ceres Nanosciences
  • Doug Panzer, ’98 – Founder, Douglas Panzer Law
  • Billy Poynter, ’98 – Partner, Kaleo Legal

Raising Capital and Managing Investor Relations

  • Doug Burns, ’95 – Partner, Court Square Ventures
  • Evan MacQueen – Vice President, Core Capital
  • Alex Tarumianz, ’79 – Consultant

A reception and networking event will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday in the Reeves Center.

Saturday’s sessions include:

  • Intellectual Property Roundtable Discussion
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic and Analytical Tools for Entrepreneurs
  • Women’s Entrepreneurship Panel
  • Startup Accounting

On Saturday there will also be two pitch sessions—an alumni new venture pitch session and the Fourth Annual Student Pitch Competition. Alumni participants will be invited to conduct interviews with students for either internships and/or permanent jobs, and will also offer consultations to participants in the student pitch competition. A student showcase will round out the day, with a closing reception and dinner to follow on Saturday night.

To register or for more information about the Entrepreneurship Summit, visit entrepreneurship.wlu.edu/entrepreneurship-summit or contact Jeff Shay, Johnson Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership, at (540) 458-8280 or shayj@wlu.edu.

Submarine Named for Sen. John Warner '49 Christened

It’s hard to think of a more fitting tribute to a former secretary of the Navy than having a submarine named for you. That’s just what happened this past weekend, on Sept. 6, when former Sen. John W. Warner, Washington and Lee Class of 1949, attended the christening of the John Warner (SSN 785) in Newport News, Virginia.

Warner, who served Virginia for 30 years as a U.S. senator, had plenty of company—about 9,000 people—at the festivities, including his wife, Jeanne Warner, the sub’s sponsor, who got to crack the bottle of bubbly against the hull; Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy; current Virginia senator Mark Warner; and officials of Newport News Shipbuilding, which built the vessel. Among the tunes that attendees enjoyed were “The W&L Swing” and “Shenandoah.”

We blogged about the keel-laying ceremony in March 2013, pointing out that “naming the boat for Sen. Warner was a major break with tradition. For years, the U.S. has named its two large classes of attack submarines for cities and states.”

Warner served in the Navy during World War II, and in the Marines during the Korean War. He became undersecretary of the Navy in 1969 and took the top post in 1972. He kicked off five terms in the U.S. Senate in 1978; when he retired in 2009, it was as the second-longest-serving senator from Virginia in the entire history of that legislative body.

He attended W&L under the GI Bill. He has served his alma mater in many ways, including a stint on the Board of Trustees and the 2008 Mock Con Advisory Board, donating his law library to the University, and giving funds for scholarships for African-American students and for the John W. Warner Public Service Award.

The University gave Warner an honorary degree in 2005 and bestowed upon him the Washington Award, its highest honor, in 2009. The alumni magazine profiled him that same year.

Lots of media, including the Navy, covered Saturday’s ceremony, and you can see their coverage at these links:


What's Up in Lexington/Rockbridge this Week – 9/8

Everyone’s recovering from Patio Party and Wine Festival this week…but law students have to be resilient, right?

–compiled by Hannah Shtein ’15L

Monday, 9/8

All day/ongoing – Clarence Morgan: Conversing with Time, Lenfest Center. Clarence Morgan’s paintings, drawings and prints reflect a sophisticated understanding of abstraction and composition. His vocabulary of marks ranges from invented shapes to organic forms, which he uses to create layers of lyrical networks and dense patterns. Morgan’s prints, paintings and works on paper can be found in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Asheville Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art and Weisman Art Museum, as well as in many private collections throughout the United States. Morgan resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he maintains a studio and is a Professor of Art at the University of Minnesota.

Tuesday, 9/9

6:00pm – Old Time Music Jam at Virginia Horse Center (every second Tuesday of the month). 540-464-2950.

Compiler’s Note: Who doesn’t have a little nostalgia in their hearts, especially when it comes to music? Bring an instrument to play, or bring a friend and listen to others!

Wednesday, 9/10

8:00pm – “Spring Awakening” at Lime Kiln Theater. $12/person 360-631-8564 (ALSO PLAYING ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY!).
(540) Productions is proud to present the Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and New York Drama Critics’ Circle award-winning musical Spring Awakening. Based on a controversial and banned 19th Century play, this mega-popular rock musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater deals with the failures of communication between parents and children, the harsh repression of failed education, the tragic repercussions of lust and sexual repression, and the growth from teenage selfishness towards community. This work is one of the most widely performed musicals in the world and has already been presented by regional universities like JMU, UVA, and Virginia Tech, as well the Virginia Repertory Company. Quips Harvey: “Our outdoor production is a poetic way to close both our and Lime Kiln’s new ‘awakening.

Compiler’s Note: from a purely subjective standpoint, “Spring Awakening” has an amazing soundtrack. AND Duncan Sheik sang the 90s classic “Barely Breathing.” Does anyone not like that song?

Friday, 9/12

5:00pm– 7:30pm – Music in the Garden Series featuring The Killing Coprolites. BYOB (bring your own picnic), Boxerwood Nature Center. 540-463-2697. Pack a picnic and bring the whole family out for live musical entertainment at the beautiful Boxwerwood Nature Center & Woodland Garden. Music from 6-7:30. Music is good, nature is good (if you’re wearing bug spray). Good things should go together. Also, the Coprolites are a group of VMI professors who play electric rock oldies from the 70s-90s. Soooo all of the best music ever.

7:30pm – SVU Play: “Martin Margaret & the M.I.N.D.S.W.A.P. Chandler Hall, SVU. $8/person. 540-261-8464 (ALSO ON SATURDAY, 9/13!). Enjoy a clever and hilarious spoof that debuted at the University of Virginia. Martin and Margaret are up against the cunning henchmen of the evil Mr. X as Europe teeters on the brink of World War II. The good guys and the bad guys fight for control of a weapon that could save or destroy civilized Europe, and mystery-adventure-farce of perilous chases and mistaken identities ensue. Bring your family and enjoy the hysterics!

Saturday, 9/13

All Day – Whitewater rafting at Lower Gauley, WV, sponsored by SBA. Not for the faint-at-heart.

1:30pm – College Football: VMI vs. Davidson (First Reunion). Foster Stadium, Virginia Military Institute. 540-464-7517. Are you ready for some football?

Compiler’s Note: W&L students get to root for whoever they want, because we don’t go to VMI or Davidson. Everybody wins if you’re us (or rather, we always win).

Sunday, 9/14

2:00-5:00pm – Sunday Uncorked. FREE Wine Tasting Event with Plank Road. Rockbridge Vineyard. 888-511-9463. Save the Date for our popular series, Uncorked & Unplugged. Music by various local artists, more details to come. Lunch available for purchase or bring your own picnic. Free Admission.

Compiler’s Note: Wine Fest was last week. Law students are resilient. And everyone likes free stuff.


Inside the 3L Litigation Immersion – Day 2

Hannah Shtein is a 3L from Milwaulkee, Wisconsin. She’s blogging about her experience in W&L’s fall litigation skills immersion, one of the key components of the School’s innovative third-year curriculum.

Tuesday, September 2

I’m late for my second post, but I have a good excuse, I promise! Tuesday night, we had to draft complaints for our clients to turn in to our Senior Associates (small section professors) by 8am the next morning. My finished complaint was only three pages, but by the time I had decided what should go into it and what should be excluded, what was relevant and what was not, I had spent longer than the hour I had initially anticipated it would take. But this happened on Tuesday night, so I’ll rewind to the morning.

9:00am-11:00am – Debriefing Interviews and Client Counseling Presentation/Demo

First thing in the morning, we meet with our small section instructors/senior associates to discuss the interview process from the day before. Several people echo concerns that are similar to mine, such as the difficulty of keeping the client on track when he/she goes off on a tangent that may not be relevant to the case, or forgetting to ask the client certain questions because we are so busy writing things down.

Next, we move to the client counseling presentation and demonstration. The client counseling meeting is generally the second meeting after the interview, when we, as lawyers, have decided to take the client on, and have had a chance to do a little legal research on the facts he/she has given us. At this point, we are able to ideally come into our second meeting with the client with a little bit more strategy regarding how we are planning to approach his/her case, and to discuss the implications of the research we’ve had a chance to do.

For instance, when I interviewed my client, she told me she was an at-will employee who was hired with a handshake and a promise of fair treatment. At the time of the meeting, I did not know what that meant for the status of my client’s potential claim. At the time of the client counseling meeting, I would have been able to research laws relating to termination of at-will employees in our assigned jurisdiction, so I could approach my second meeting with a strategy.

We see some of this play out in the client counseling demonstration that a couple of our small section professors act out. The professor playing the lawyer informs the professor playing the client that the client’s status as an at-will employee makes it more difficult for her to claim that she was terminated unfairly, because at-will employees can usually be terminated at any time, with or without cause. This of course has consequences for the strength of the case, and whether a settlement agreement can be reached.

12:30pm-2:05pm – Pretrial Strategy and Case Development/Theory Exercises

After the client counseling presentation, we listen to Professor McDonnell present on pretrial strategy. Professor McDonnell draws on Aristotle’s Triangle (maybe my philosophy major isn’t completely useless?) to note the importance, in our pretrial strategy, of covering all three of its sides: ethos (establishing credibility), logos (appealing to logic), and pathos (appealing to emotion). He also discusses the need to avoid several types of bias in information gathering (as we research our case) that we are all prone to: confirmation bias (we find and rely on information that supports our existing perspective), availability bias (placing too much emphasis on information that’s available to us at the time we are researching), and aversion bias (we avoid doing things we find unpleasant). I’m guilty of all of these, so the point is well taken.

Next, we break up into small sections to discuss the theory and theme of our cases. The theory of the case is the actual legal aspect of how it is proved (cases, witnesses, etc.). The theme of the case is the psychological hook that a lawyer uses to persuade the jury—it’s the lawyer’s time to be creative. This is the fun part of developing the argument, but it’s also harder than I expect to come up with convincing themes for our cases when we practice in our small groups.

As our example, we use Goldilocks and the Three Bears (a still-unsolved legal mystery for the ages). We are prosecuting Papa Bear, and we decide that our narrative should be based on Papa Bear’s predatory nature and irrationally violent response to finding Goldilocks in his bed—he is a predator and a threat to society.

Of course it’s entertaining to brainstorm about a children’s tale, but it’s more difficult to find a theme that sticks in the jury’s minds when you’re dealing with real people, who are more nuanced than storybook characters (not that bears aren’t nuanced). I want the jury to think that my client is an innocent employee who has been taken advantage of by a price-fixing fraudster (her boss, the defendant, has supposedly been marking the food prices at his grocery store higher than their list prices), but there’s also evidence that the Fraud Agency’s examination of the grocery store did not make any conclusive findings, and my client isn’t the most credible persona. There are a lot of factors to consider.

2:05pm-COB – Complaint Drafting

We now have the night to do our homework, which is to draft a complaint to send to our Senior Attorneys and opposing counsel by 8am the next morning. Naturally, I decide to do every other possible errand before sitting down to write the complaint (diagnosis: aversion bias), and it takes longer than I expect, not least because of formatting (I hate you, Microsoft Word!). But more on that later.

John McCardell ’71 to Deliver 2014 Hendricks Law and History Lecture

On Thursday, September 18, John McCardell, vice chancellor of the University of the South and president emeritus of Middlebury College, will deliver the 2014 Hendricks Lecture in Law and History. The title of Dr. McCardell’s talk is “The Civil War and the Constitutions(s).”

The lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons on the campus of Washington and Lee University. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. McCardell is a distinguished historian and respected national leader in liberal arts education. He is the author of “The Idea of a Southern Nation,” as well as many essays, chapters, articles, and book reviews. His specialty is U.S. history in the 19th century with special emphasis on the Old South and on American historiography.

A 1971 graduate of Washington and Lee University, Dr. McCardell did his graduate work at The Johns Hopkins University and then at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in history in 1976. He joined the history faculty at Middlebury in 1976 and served as Middlebury’s president from 1992 until he stepped down in 2004. He was elected in January 2010 to be the University of the South’s 16th vice-chancellor.

Dr. McCardell served as chairman of the Division III Presidents’ Council of the NCAA in 2003-04 and led a successful, comprehensive reform effort. In 2007, Dr. McCardell founded Choose Responsibility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage the public in informed and dispassionate debate about the effects of legislation mandating a legal drinking age of 21. In 2008 he co-sponsored the Amethyst Initiative, a statement signed by 135 college and university presidents that challenges the effectiveness of current drinking-age laws.

The Law and History lecture series at W&L was endowed by alumnus Pete Hendricks (’66A, ’69L), who has a private practice in Atlanta specializing in land use zoning and government permitting. A history major himself, Hendricks also endowed the Hendricks History Major Stipend Fund and the Ollinger Crenshaw Prize in History at the University several years ago in honor of his favorite professor.

R.T. Smith’s Book of New and Selected Poems Reflects the Arc of his Career

R.T. Smith’s new book of poetry, “In the Night Orchard: New and Selected Poems” (Texas Review Press, 2014), reflects the arc of his exploration as a poet for the past 33 years, during which he has been acclaimed as “a 21st-century master” (David Huddle). The Georgia Review calls him “one of the most vital voices in American poetry,” and describes his writing as “a richly metaphorical style that encourages the reader to proceed slowly and savor each carefully placed word.”

“I started off writing how a lot of young poets did then and are still doing today, kind of narcissistically—’I went out today, and I did this, and it was meaningful, and aren’t I sensitive and clever with language?’,” recalled Smith.

Smith knew, however, that he didn’t want to write about the nuances of culture or politics. He liked to cut down trees while observing wildlife, worked in New Mexico one summer, and on the Appalachian Trail he built shelters. He described the ensuing poems as “not bookish but filled with dogs, gardens, horses and axes.”

“I just followed the smell of the most recent polecat that went through the yard to see where it went, and I watched the seasons,” said Smith. “But eventually it wasn’t enough for me, as a mature reader, unless there was a cultural context. So I began to expand and, as my poems became stories, I began to really like what I was doing and to get some attention for it.”

Smith continued, “The first poet I ever read who did that was Robert Browning, who wrote about Victorian England and artists in the Renaissance and aristocrats engaged in shameful behavior. His poems tell stories, but they often rhyme, and they are in meter and stanzas and make allusions and elegant metaphors. So I went back to Browning and said, ‘That’s what I want to do’.”

Of the poets who influenced Smith, perhaps James Dickey had the most galvanizing effect. “I went to hear him give a reading when I didn’t know much about poetry,” remembered Smith. “But when I walked out of that auditorium, I knew that writing poetry was what I wanted to do. I was a schoolteacher at the time, and within two weeks I had handed in my resignation, effective the end of the year, and started applying to graduate schools.”

Smith has never taken a creative writing class, and explained that it forced him to follow other, probably less efficient ways, to discover his own style. In an interview with Southern Quarterly (Spring, 2014), he said, “I’ve never been in a bona fide poetry workshop. Trial and error, catch and release, hide and seek: those were my methods as I learned about prosody.”

Although he has an undergraduate degree in philosophy and an M.A. in American literature, Smith said he doesn’t throw his learning around and sometimes tries to conceal it in his poetry. In fact, he said, he suspects that, because of the subjects of his poems, people find it easy to think of him as “another hick poet.”

Smith said that of all his poems, he would most want to be remembered by the title poem of his new book, “The Night Orchard.” “It shows me at my most unguarded about having real country farm roots on the one hand and being educated on the other hand, to the point that my family will say college ruined me.”

Smith continued, “Yes, I grew up on a chicken and pig farm, but I also did other things and learned other things, and I don’t think they are incompatible. In the poem, I talk about being in the woods, seeing the deer, trying to understand how they are like us, but I also talk about the Bible and St. Augustine’s confessions.”

Smith sees three main ingredients in his poetry: Southern culture, the relationship of human beings to the natural world and historical narrative. At this point in his career, he also includes “talking to the dead.”

The three penultimate poems in “Night Orchard” feature Mary Lincoln as the speaker. One, “Summoning Shades,” refers to the spiritualism that Lincoln pursued. “Why wouldn’t she, with the Civil War going on, and so many people dying so fast, and so many of those left behind who wanted to talk with them,” said Smith. “She was trying to conjure up her dead children and then her dead husband.”

Smith said he has been summoning dead artists, writers and soldiers from the Civil War for the past 15 years, as well as his own personal dead—grandparents and great-grandparents. He has titled a poetry-book-in-progress “Summoning Shades” because it begins with the Mary Lincoln poems and goes on to assemble his other poems about the dead.

“I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to find publishers and readers for my work for a long time,” said Smith. “One of the things that I think contributes to, maybe not happiness but satisfaction in the world, is to have work that you like and to be able to do a lot of it. And writing poems is work that I like.”

Smith won the 2013 Carole Weinstein Prize in Poetry. He has twice won the Library of Virginia Poetry Award, for “Messenger” (2002) and “Outlaw Style: Poems” (2008), and is nominated this year, for “The Red Wolf: A Dream for Flannery O’Connor.” The award will be presented on Oct. 18.

His poetry has been published in “Best American Poetry,” and his stories have appeared in “Best American Mystery Stories,” “The Pushcart Prize Anthology,” “New Stories from the South” and “Best American Short Stories,” as well as in three earlier collections.

His books of fiction are “Faith,” “Uke Rivers Delivers,” “The Calaboose Epistles” and “Sherburne.” He has edited “Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review” since 1995 and was named writer-in-residence at W&L in 2009, where he also teaches courses on fiction writing and literature.

Washington and Lee First-Year Students Set Records for Qualifications and Financial Aid

When fall semester undergraduate classes begin Sept. 11, Washington and Lee University will enroll its most qualified first-year class, selected from a near-record number of applicants. And nearly half will receive direct financial aid from the university in the form of grant assistance.

The 239 women and 234 men were admitted from 5,801 applicants. Their SAT scores averaged above 700 for the first time — 707 in critical reading and 704 in math — and their average composite ACT score was a record-high 32. Almost 95 percent completed advanced placement coursework or the international baccalaureate diploma. They represent 390 secondary schools in 40 states and 18 countries.

Tying a record amount, 47 percent will receive direct financial aid from W&L, with the average grant at $42,980. The university continues its policy of not making loans part of its financial aid packages. And 68 members of the Class of 2018, or 15 percent, are the first to benefit from the W&L Promise, a program that provides at least full tuition scholarships to admitted students whose family income is less than $75,000 a year.

The class includes 46 Johnson Scholars, selected to receive W&L’s prestigious scholarship recognizing academic achievement, exceptional leadership potential and personal promise. Now in its seventh year, the Johnson program, established through a $100 million gift, covers tuition, room and board in full. Just under 3,000 students applied for the award. (See the infogram below on W&L trends in financial aid.)

In its efforts to attract and enroll a diverse class, Washington and Lee continued its partnership with QuestBridge, a non-profit organization that assists low-income, high-achieving students with college applications. QuestBridge’s National College Match Program connects those students with admission and scholarships at some 27 partner colleges and universities. Twenty-four QuestBridge students are members of the class.

Some 21 percent — 99 entering students — are either Pell Grant recipients or domestic minority or first generation college students.

Twenty-nine W&L first-years are National Merit Scholars; 311 are National Honor Society or Cum Laude Society members; 65 were student body or class presidents or vice presidents; 65 were editors of their high school newspapers, yearbooks or literary magazines; and 18 are Eagle Scout or Gold Award recipients. Also among the class are 241 varsity team captains, and 286 completed more than 100 hours of verifiable community service.

Geographically, 13 percent hail from Virginia, 6 percent each from North Carolina, Texas and Maryland, and just under 6 percent each from Florida and New Jersey. The 18 international students come from Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Greece, Mexico, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea and Vietnam.


Inside the 3L Litigation Immersion – Day 1

Hannah Shtein is a 3L from Milwaulkee, Wisconsin. She’s blogging about her experience in W&L’s fall litigation skills immersion, one of the key components of the School’s innovative third-year curriculum.

“As law students, we are frequently encouraged to talk at—rather than to—people…. In a conversation with a client, we are looking for answers that the client may not yet know how to give, so we have to learn a certain finesse, a conversational art, that will help us get the answers we need from our clients but that is also responsive to our clients’ questions and concerns.”

Monday, September 1

9:00-9:45 am – Opening Session

Our first immersion event is an introductory session by Professor Moliterno. I’m still waiting for coffee to kick in, so I’m happy not to have to to form any of my own sentences for at least another couple hours, but I’m also thankful for a primer on what we will be doing that day before having to jump right into it. I wish that happened more often in the real world. Professor Moliterno gives an overview of what we will be doing in the next couple of weeks, and reminds us of the importance of getting to practice before we dive into actual law practice.

This semester’s immersion is all about litigation (next semester’s will be transactional). Professor Moliterno says he knows some of us already know we are not interested in litigation, but that some of us may change our minds after having an opportunity to give it a try. I’m feeling fairly certain that I will not be part of the group of mind-changers—I can feel my rising heart rate in my ears every time I have to give a five-minute PowerPoint presentation, so the prospect of presenting a client’s case to a judge and a jury is more than a little frightening. But at the end of the day, the ability to get a taste of what real-life practice, beyond theory, is really like, is what drew me to W&L and its curriculum. If I confirm that I hate litigation, fine, but entering the work world with that knowledge is an opportunity few law students have upon graduation.

9:45-12:00 pm – Presentation on Interviewing a New Client, and Practice Interview Exercises 

Dean Natkin next talks with us about how to interview clients. We’ve received a packet of information with roles each of us will play and a backstory for when we will be interviewed by other students who will be our lawyers, as well as the names of the students who will be our clients. Later that day, each of us is to interview the student who has been assigned as our client, and we are to be interviewed by the students who are playing our lawyers. This will help us better understand the cases we have been assigned, and later to draft the complaint and other legal documents for representation.

Dean Natkin gives us several strategies for client interviews, and reminds us that interviewing a client is not the same as having an ordinary conversation like the kind we have daily. This seems like an obvious point, but—as I experience firsthand later that day—interviewing clients is not as intuitive as it may seem. As law students, we are frequently encouraged to talk at—rather than to—people. Exams and cold calls do not reward us for having a conversation with the professor; they reward us for articulating an answer of a certain kind. We learn to know what kind of answer is expected and to give it. In a conversation with a client, we are looking for answers that the client may not yet know how to give, so we have to learn a certain finesse, a conversational art, that will help us get the answers we need from our clients but that is also responsive to our clients’ questions and concerns. This requires engaging with the client in a particular way that we may not be used to.

At 11:00am, after Dean Natkin finishes her presentation, we break into small sections to practice the techniques she has taught us. For instance, asking open-ended where/how/why/questions (E.g., “Tell me about why you are here.”) at the beginning of the client interview to get the client to open up and tell his/her story, and gradually moving toward more narrow questions to close in on details (E.g. “Didn’t you say that the incident occurred on Tuesday?”). At one point in our practice sessions, my phone goes off, and for the five seconds I focus on registering who is calling me and turning the sound off, I miss what my “client” is saying, and have to ask again, which of course would not make the best impression in a real-world context. Of course rookie mistakes happen to everyone, and I am usually smart about keeping my phone turned off during school or work, but this is a good reminder to be doubly sure that I will not be interrupted by annoying personal technology before I sit down with a potential client.

1:30-6:00 – Client Interviews

During this part of the day, students have been scheduled for two 30-minute time blocks—one to interview a client played by another student, and one to play the client for a student serving as our lawyer. Both interviews are recorded so we can watch them later and reflect on our performance in our homework. We prepare for our client roles by reading the information we have been given about our situation, but we are instructed not to bring the information into the interview, so that we may be more natural and conversational with our “lawyer”, rather than reading our narrative verbatim from the handout. I do my best to stay true to my role of Gerry Mancini, a gas station owner who is being sued by a former employee for wrongful termination—the employee claims he was fired for exposing the environmentally dangerous practices of my gas station. While I am mentally judging my character for not having any understanding of environmental regulations affecting her (my) business, I am thankful for her political connections to the state regulatory agency. I tell my lawyer that perhaps my powerful political allies will get me out of this mess of a lawsuit. If only.

My role as lawyer is more difficult. I try to focus on the techniques Dean Natkin has taught us, but when I watch my interview I notice that I am so worried about getting all the facts of the case from my client that I find it harder to express the empathy and responsiveness necessary to make my client comfortable. I come off as rushed, because I am trying to get to the bottom of the situation (and because I’m nervous!). My client is a detailed storyteller, and I am tempted several times to interrupt her to go back to a previous part of the story, or to direct her toward one issue rather than another less relevant one. By the time I wrap the interview up at 5:30, I’m more than ready for a break (but am not looking forward to homework). This active learning thing is more intense than the classroom. Tomorrow, we learn about client counseling and case development. Until then!

W&L Faculty Participate in 200-Mile Relay to Raise Funds for Teenagers with Cancer

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5 and 6, three faculty members at Washington and Lee University will take part in the 200-mile Blue Ridge Relay to raise funds for the “Be Loud! Sophie Foundation.”

Jon Eastwood, associate professor of sociology, Christopher Bruner, professor of law, and Paul Youngman, professor of German, are members of a 12-person team that will run through the mountains around the clock until they have completed the 200 mile relay.

The “Be Loud! Sophie Foundation” is named in honor of Sophie Steiner who died of cancer on August 30, 2013 at the age of 15.

“One of the things that Sophie drew attention to is the very few age-appropriate support services for teenagers, since services are either for younger children or adults” said Eastwood. “The foundation is trying to raise funds to fill this gap.”

The foundation website notes that adolescent and young adult cancer patients have unique needs: to maintain their identity, to keep in touch with friends and to be treated as the emerging adults they are. It also supports complementary medicine such as massage, yoga, meditation and acupuncture to improve the treatment and outlook for young adult cancer patients.

The W&L connection to the foundation is Youngman’s friendship with the Steiner family. He also serves on the foundation’s advisory board.

The Blue Ridge Relay is one of the longest-running relay races in the United States and takes place in the Blue Ridge and Black Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina.

The Raleigh News and Observer wrote about Sophie in a Sept. 1 article: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/01/4115110_chapel-hill-girls-dream-may-lead.html?sp=/99/102/110/&rh=1

Donations may be made on the Be Loud, Sophie Foundation website.

W&L Alum Joins Alabama Media Group as Columnist

Cameron Smith ’04 has been hired as a regular columnist by The Alabama Media Group, a digitally focused news and information company that aggregates news from The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, Mobile’s Press-Register and The Mississippi Press with its own original content.

Smith previously worked as vice president and general counsel of the Alabama Policy Institute while publishing occasional opinion columns in the Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile newspapers. He served from 2006-11 as legislative counsel in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. He remains a senior fellow of the R Street Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank, where he focuses on energy and environmental issues. The Vestavia Hills, Ala., resident is a 2007 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law.

Read more about Smith >


A Q&A With SBA President Ryan Redd

Ryan Redd, Student Bar Association President, is a third-year student from Charlotte, NC. He attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and earned degrees in both Music and Political Science.

Here at W&L Law, Ryan is a member of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, an articles editor on the Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment, and a competitor on the Black Law Students Association Mock Trial team.

Ryan spent his 1L summer working at the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center in Charlottesville, VA and also served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Donnie Hoover in the 26th Judicial District of North Carolina. This past summer, Ryan interned at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria. Ryan wishes to pursue a career in criminal defense.

How and why did you get involved in the SBA?

I first got involved with the SBA by joining the organization’s Risk Management Committee as a 1L. I did not run for an elected position my first year, but I wanted to play a role in keeping our social events safe. I loved student government in high school and college and thought I could contribute new ideas for my class and the law school as a whole. In my second year, I served as SBA 2L Class President and was later elected SBA President in the spring. Representing and serving my classmates and the entire student body has been both fun and rewarding.

Why is student government important at W&L Law?

Most people who come to W&L Law expect to be a part of a tight knit community. People here want to socialize and form friendships with other law students. The SBA plays a pivotal role in providing opportunities for social and professional interactions between students. We plan parties and facilitate events that make it possible for law students to get to know each other outside of the classroom. Student government is also important at W&L because students have important concerns, suggestions, and interests that deserve to be heard and considered. The SBA’s main mission is to respond to the will of the law student body and communicate ideas and issues to faculty, staff, and administrators.

What are some of your major goals or initiatives for the year?

The SBA is looking forward to a very exciting year. We are evolving as an organization to become more accessible and effective at school and in the community. This year, my first main goal is to strengthen the service aspect of SBA. We recently hosted our annual Service Day, and it is our plan to continue to offer opportunities for service and involvement in the Lexington community throughout the entire year. Second, the SBA is looking forward to partnering with Student Affairs to offer more varied activities and programming both in the law school and outside of Lexington. Some activities we have planned are a whitewater-rafting trip in West Virginia, a charter bus trip to DC, a trip to Monticello, and tickets to concerts, plays, and festivals in Charlottesville, Roanoke, and Staunton. Third, the SBA is working to provide more financial support for professional development and travel (i.e. job fairs, conventions, conferences, and interviews). Finally, the SBA plans to strengthen and develop cross campus connections between the law school and undergraduate campus.

Any other special messages to convey as SBA President?

I am very excited about this year and the opportunity to serve as SBA President. W&L Law is a special place where students have a say in developing the law school experience. I am optimistic about where we are going as a school and as a community. As we undergo structural renovations to the building, we are also improving socially, educationally, and interpersonally.

“Shenandoah” Names Assistant Editor

“Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review” (shenandoahliterary.org) is pleased to announce the appointment of William Wright as assistant editor. Wright, a poet, teacher and independent editor, has served for two years as a contributing editor to the journal, and in his new capacity he will be responsible for assignment of reviews and recommended readings and will work closely with the editor on special issues and art design.

Wright is the author of four full-length volumes of poetry, including “Tree Heresies” (forthcoming) and “Night Field Anecdote” (2011), as well as several chapbooks. He is series editor and volume co-editor of the multi-volume “The Southern Poetry Anthology” from Texas Review Press. Wright is currently co-editing “Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry” (USC Press) and is founding editor of the web-based “Town Creek Poetry.”

His own poems appear in “The Kenyon Review,” Five Points,” “The Oxford American” and others. Holder of a Ph.D. from The University of Southern Mississippi, he currently teaches at the University of West Georgia.

Of Wright, “Shenandoah” editor R. T. Smith says, “Will brings a rare combination of enthusiasm and experience to this position. He’s a resourceful and meticulous editor, and I respect his poetry and critical prose, as well as his understanding of publicity and the aesthetic space of the internet. He’s already my most active and trusted advisor, and it seems only fair to acknowledge him with this title. Anyone curious about his imagination and scholarship and the grace of his expression can find both his poems and reviews in our archives, as well as many other publications.”

Wright will assume his new responsibilities by working on the spring 2015, issue of “Shenandoah,” currently in the developmental stages.

“Shenandoah” was founded as a print quarterly in 1950 by W&L students and faculty and continues to provide readers with fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, interviews and an assortment of contests and an active blog. It became a digital journal in 2011.


What's Up in Lexington/Rockbridge this Week

Editor’s note: We’re happy to launch a new blog series highlighting various diversions happening in and around Lexington. Because everyone needs a break from time to time!

compiled by Hannah Shtein ’15L

Wednesday, September 3

Farmer’s Market (ongoing)
Lexington’s Wednesday Morning Farmer’s Market features locally produced seasonal produce, plants, eggs, meats baked goods, coffee and handcrafted goods using natural materials from our farms. 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 3rd Wed. in April through Thanksgiving at the McClure’s Parking lot, downtown. Don’t miss it this Wednesday!

Friday, September 5

Annual Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Festival at Glen Maury Park. See website for schedule, ticket prices, and events.

Live Music & Dancing at Clark’s Lumber Co (weekly)
7:30-10pm, every Friday. Clark’s Ole Time Music Center, $8/person, $15/couple.

Washington Street Purveyors Free Wine Tasting (weekly)
Free wine tasting at Washington Street Purveyors from 5-7 pm every Friday. 540-464-9463.

Lexington Gallery Walk
Visit the galleries along Washington Street from 5-7:30 pm. 540-464-4440, website. Free!

Saturday, September 6

Annual Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Festival at Glen Maury Park. See website for schedule, ticket prices, and events.

20th Annual Rockbridge Beer and Wine Festival
Noon-5pm. Virginia Horse Center. $15/adult (in advance), $20/adult (at gate), $10/non-taster/designated driver (photo ID required). See website for details and buy tickets.

18th Annual Hospice Hustle 5K Benefit Glow Run
6-10pm at Lexington Golf and Country Club, $30/person. The Glow Run supports Rockbridge’s Area Hospice. See website for more information.