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					                                                         s ta n f o r d

                           THE NECESSITy
                       OF CLINICAL EDUCATION                                                          large part, from confidence in the vision and
                                              By Larry Kramer

                                                                                                      leadership of professor Larry Marshall, the
                             R i c h a r d E. L a ng Pr o fe s s o r o f L a w a n d D ea n
                                                                                                      new David and Stephanie Mills Director
                                                                                                      of Clinical Education, who will become our
                                                                                                      first associate dean for clinical education and
                                                                                                      public interest programs. Larry has accom-
                                                                                                      plished extraordinary things, having found-
                                                                                                      ed and directed the world-renowned Center
                                                                                                      on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern
                                                                                                      University. He has bold and exciting plans
                                                                                                      for the Stanford clinics, and I am excited
                                                                              EgAL EDUCATION          about working with him to develop and

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                has come a long way since Christopher Columbus Langdell instituted the case           implement them. [See story p. 14.]
                method. Plainly, Langdell’s idea of teaching law through analysis of appellate              One of those plans recognizes that

                                                                                                                                                        S p r i n g
                opinions remains invaluable and will continue to play a major role in helping stu-    our current clinics all focus on litigation,
                dents learn to “think like lawyers.” But teaching students to be great lawyers and    despite the fact that most of our students
                leaders calls for a variety of methods; we need to offer students skill sets beyond   are destined for careers that will not take

                                                                                                                                                        L a w y e r
                those honed by the Socratic method. • My last column highlighted the role of          them into court. Within the next year, we
                interdisciplinary study in preparing our students for the challenges that await       hope to launch a clinic that represents small
                them. This time I want to talk about another imperative: clinical education.          businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit                            3

                                                                                                                                                        S t a n f o r d
                Law schools must recognize what other professional schools have long under-           organizations that cannot otherwise afford
                stood—that proper training requires closely supervised, pedagogically driven          high-quality legal counsel. This clinic will
                opportunities to work with actual clients. Experiential learning is and ought to      not only provide vital practical training for
                be an essential part of every student’s legal education. It provides a crucial        our students, it will also drive home the
                bridge between the classroom and the courtroom or boardroom. As our alumni            lesson that there are plentiful opportunities
                who have worked in clinics often say, traditional classes taught them to think        for pro bono work in nonlitigation settings.
                like lawyers, but clinical courses taught them how to act and feel like lawyers.      We hope that our graduates take this point
                     We cannot and should not rely on employers to provide this vital com-            to heart and that their experience in this,
                ponent of a proper legal education. That’s our job, not theirs. Law firms and         as in all our clinics, will generate a lifetime
                agencies are set up to serve clients, not teach. They do not choose cases for         commitment to pro bono representation.
                their pedagogical value. Nor can they purposely maintain low caseloads to                   We have also begun work on renovat-
                ensure that each case is used as an effective teaching tool. No law firm has a        ing our clinical space to make it an effective
                weekly seminar in which lawyers meet to reflect on the practical and theoreti-        environment for teaching students and
                cal lessons gleaned from their work with clients.                                     serving clients. The revamped space will
                     Stanford has seven clinical programs providing our students a range of           allow us to launch several new clinics
                opportunities to work on cases under the supervision of an extraordinarily            within the next several years. Construction
                talented clinical faculty. The law school takes immense pride in their accom-         should be completed this fall, and I hope
                plishments. Some of our clinics handle more high-profile cases than others,           you will stop by for a tour when you next
                and in recent months a number of our clinics have made national headlines.            visit the campus.
                But the measure of a clinic’s work is not whether it handles newsworthy cases               Achieving our goals in clinical educa-
                or even whether its clients prevail. The measure of our clinics’ success is their     tion will take great effort from many of
                educational value to students, which is immense.                                      our constituencies. The same low teacher-
                     We must not rest on our laurels, however. One of the law school’s key            student ratios (generally 8 to 1) that make
                priorities during the next several years is to enhance the scope and excellence       clinical teaching so effective also make
                of our clinics: by adding programs in new areas, by increasing staffing so we         clinics very expensive. For many years,
                can make our clinical offerings universally available, and by improving and           law schools concluded that they could not
                expanding our physical facilities.                                                    afford to operate robust legal clinics. The
                      My optimism about what we can achieve in the clinical arena stems, in           truth is, we cannot afford not to. SL
                       clini c                                                                         news
                                   the Power of ProsecUtion
                                                                             By Sharon Driscoll

                                                                                   M            i c h a e l a . h e s t r i n r e m e m b e r s v i v i d ly h i s
                       first day in coUrt. it was 1996, and he was Part of the first groUP of stUdents to                            take the criminal Pros-
                       ecution clinic. he was assigned an evidence hearing and spent hours researching—then the moment he’d been anticipating came.
                       “i stood up and addressed the judge, and i just knew. it felt absolutely right. it was transformational for me,” says hestrin ’97 (ma
                       ’97). now a senior deputy da in his 13th year with the riverside county district attorney’s office, he was named “outstanding
                       Prosecutor” by the california district attorneys association in 2009. • Up until that point just over a decade ago, hestrin had
                       no idea that trial work would be his passion. “i had all sorts of other plans. i speak other languages—i thought perhaps i’d do
                       international law,” he says. “law school had been a process of finding out what i didn’t want to do. there were moments when i
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                       was discouraged, but then i found the clinic.”
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                           hestrin’s first case was a motion to suppress evidence—his
                       job was to fight the motion. “Until then everything had been

                       theoretical. then i took the clinic and was assigned a case. to
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                       me it was the biggest case ever. i handled it all myself, calling
30                     witnesses, everything. it’s funny looking back now—i was so
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                       nervous, i wanted to throw up.”
                           watching hestrin make his courtroom debut were george
                       fisher, Judge John crown Professor of law and faculty co-di-
                       rector of stanford’s criminal Prosecution clinic, and the other
                       five clinic students, including truc t. do ’97.
                           “afterwards, we were all so happy that mike won his mo-
                       tion,” says do, who recently ended a 10-year career in the ma-
                       jor crimes division of the los angeles county district attor-
                       ney’s office as one of the lead prosecutors on the Phil spector nation’s top scholars of criminal law and evidence. he’s also a
                       retrial and is now of counsel with munger, tolles & olson llP. well-regarded teacher who has been elected by students three
                       “and i said, ‘yeah, one for the team.’ but george said no, ‘not times to receive their highest praise, the John bingham hurlbut
                       one for the team, one for justice.’ i remembered george’s words award for excellence in teaching at stanford law school.
                       when i became a prosecutor. it’s not about who wins. a guilty            but fisher faced some steep hurdles in launching the clin-
                       verdict is not something to pat yourself on your back about. it’s ic. the first step was to convince a local district attorney to
                       about seeking justice, not personal victories. i learned so much allow the students into the da’s office—taking up valuable time
                       about how to practice law and what it means to be a lawyer working with students and appearing with them in court. it
                       from george. every lesson in george’s class came with a mes- was a lot to ask. he found the perfect partner for the venture
                       sage about how to be a responsible, ethical lawyer.”                 in margo dianne smith ’75 and the santa clara office of the
                                                                                            district attorney.
                       getting started                                                          then a santa clara county deputy district attorney,
                       that fisher was the one to start the stanford criminal Prosecu- smith negotiated the agreement in 1996 to launch this—the
                       tion clinic is not surprising. he joined the faculty in 1995—mov- area’s first criminal prosecution clinic—with the da’s office.
                       ing to california from boston college law school where he she had organized internships with local law schools before,
                                                                                                                                                                     noah woods

                       was a clinical professor. a former massachusetts assistant attor- but fisher’s proposal would require significantly more effort
                       ney general and assistant district attorney, fisher is one of the from their staff. “not everyone in the office supported the
c              l              i            n               i            c              n              e              w                s
idea of a student clinic,” says smith. however, george Ken-             he says. at times, students report, this perspective causes some
nedy, who was the santa clara da at the time, got behind the            tension with the da’s office.
idea quickly. “Kennedy saw working with the clinic students                “we had some thorny issues with police evidence, which
as our duty, as community outreach,” says smith. and so a               was met with a fairly hard line at the da’s office,” says david
partnership between the santa clara county office of the                gonzález ’99, a partner at sumpter & gonzález llP, the firm
district attorney and stanford law school was formed—                   he co-founded with his wife, corinne sumpter ’99, right out of
and is now entering its 15th year.                                      law school. “in the end, that too was a good lesson. we learned
                                                                        the difference between theory and the realities of a busy office
Pedagogy and Practice                                                   with tons of cases where there isn’t a lot of time to have scholarly
the clinic combines practical legal training with classroom             discussions. but one of the great benefits of the clinic is that we
lessons. students spend three days a week at the da’s office            as students did have time for that discussion, and it was led by
working with a deputy da, primarily on evidence hearings,               george. we were allowed to be part of that office and also part of
and then one to two evenings in a seminar with fisher. one              an academic culture.”
day is unscheduled and open for private meetings with fisher               “it’s really a question of experience,” says smith, who retired
to discuss specifics of a case.                                         from the da’s office in 2005 after almost 10 years of supervis-
    “this is one of the most trial-focused of stanford’s clinics.       ing stanford clinic students. “seasoned das have a good idea
students can make seven court appearances over the course of            about when to question things and when to trust. the students

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the twelve-week clinic. and there’s a lot of supervision. i moot        are new to this. and coming from a top-tier school like stanford,

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their cases with them—they handle the prosecutor’s role, and i          they’re used to questioning things. but they are still learning.”
play witness and defense lawyer. students arrive at court very             that the partnership between stanford law and the santa

well prepared,” says fisher. “they also receive on-location             clara county da’s office has lasted 15 years—despite occa-

                                                                                                                                               l a w y e r
training and guidance from the deputy das. in court the stu-            sional differences—is testament to the dedication each group
dents usually argue their cases unaided, without much hand-             has for the endeavor and to its valuable lessons.                                        31

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holding by the das. that’s partly a measure of their peace of              “i’ve done a lot of trials and cases, and i’ve been in situations
mind and how well they know our clinic students.”                       where prosecutors will say we don’t have to give evidence now, or
                                                                        they’ll lean in a direction that i find questionable. and i’ll say—
ethical tension                                                         no—why hold something back? share it as soon as you have it. i
a key underpinning of this clinic is the framing that fisher            go back to george’s lessons all the time,” says hestrin.
offers on ethics, which emphasizes the power of the prosecu-               “in defense, there is a freedom you have to zealously defend
tor’s position.                                                         your client. it’s lonely being a prosecutor, a harder job,” adds
    “Prosecution work is all about using power morally. there is        gonzález. “there are some things police do that you may not like,
a strict ethical code that prosecutors must follow,” says fisher.       but what the defendant does may be worse. in defense, there’s
“they are supposed to serve justice, not advocate for victims.          only one thing—your client.”
however the law and the facts break, they control the case.
Prosecutors merely follow the law and the facts, even if that           lasting lessons
means advocating for a prisoner’s release.”                             andrea batista ’10 describes a common practice in a local
     “People sometimes ask me how i can send people to prison,”         county courthouse permitting attorneys to sit while question-
says hestrin. “but i remind them that i also clear many people.         ing witnesses. but “george insisted we stand—he found sitting
Prosecutors keep people from going to prison all the time. it’s a       to be completely inappropriate,” says batista, who currently is
very important part of our job.”                                        clerking for Judge Jorge a. solis of the U.s. district court
    this idea is reinforced in fisher’s instruction to stu-             for the northern district of texas before joining vinson & el-
dents: the da is boss on calls of strategy; but on ethical calls,       kins’ dallas office next year. “george taught us formality—to
the student is his or her own boss. fisher explains that police         present as though we’re arguing in a federal court.”
evidence is a constant focus in the prosecutor’s job: was it gotten         “george is such a gifted teacher,” says hestrin. “he has made
lawfully? is it sufficient to prosecute? and so on. when there is a     a lasting impact on so many of us. and while the clinic students
problem, it’s equally important for the prosecutor to sit down with a   don’t all go on to become prosecutors, those of us who do bring
police officer and review why a case won’t go forward, what the         his lessons with us—we train new lawyers, we influence those
officer missed, and how their investigation should be changed,          we work with. so there is a multiplying effect.” SL
                       clini c                                                                       news
                                                   EnvironmEntal law
                                                                        By Sharon Driscoll

                                                                                  E        nvironm Ental litigation can takE a lon g t i mE t o

                       f u l ly rE s o lv E . lar gE ly f o cu s E d o n administrativ E law, thEs E cas Es can go up and down th E j u d i c i a l

                       l a ddE r fo r d E cadE s , f i n ally r E achi n g rEsolution on onE point only to bE ch allEngEd on a not hE r .

                       one example is the Pit River Tribe case, which has been with stanford’s Environmental law clinic almost since the start of the
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                       clinic itself. challenging the bureau of land management’s failure to undertake adequate environmental review and tribal
                       consultation for industrial-scale energy development in the sacred medicine lake highlands of northern california, the case
     s p r i n g

                       was brought to deborah a. sivas in 1998 when the tribe needed legal assistance to protect the area’s environmental and cul-
                       tural values. • “medicine lake is a good illustration of the complexity of some of our cases—how issues can develop, going from
                       one academic year to the next, from one court to the next. it’s
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                       been 12 years and we’re still working on this one, and learning gunther, sivas & walthall, helping to establish environmental
                       from it,” says sivas ’87, luke w. cole professor of Environ- practices at each firm. while working in the seattle office of
                       mental law and director of the Environmental law clinic.           Earthjustice, she also launched a legal program for the forest
     s t a n f o r d

                           sivas has been at the cutting edge of environmental law since conservation nonprofit the lands council. her first love was
                       her days as an associate with heller Ehrman and a partner at science (she holds a master’s in ecology) but she chose to pursue

                                                                                                                                                           christoph neimann
c             l              i            n               i            c             n               e             w                s
a law degree. “i felt like my talents and my interests were a better   with new clinic clients in Europe and latin america.
fit for the advocacy side than the pure sciences,” she says.               “students work on both policy projects and litigation proj-
     today, many of the big firms have an environmental practice       ects over the course of a clinic, so they have exposure to a range
and with climate issues at the forefront of national debate, there     of issues,” says sivas, adding that the clinic liaises closely with
are myriad opportunities for new lawyers—some that didn’t              other faculty within the law school and other programs across
even exist when sivas graduated from law school.                       the university. “with the addition of michael wara ’06 to the
     “there wasn’t an environmental law program here when i            faculty, and his international climate change scholarship and
was studying law. and the field was just getting going after i         connections, we’re seeing an opportunity to get involved in
graduated, so there was a lot of excitement and opportunity—           policy discussions at the international level. it’s very exciting.”
but it was new. i was in on the ground floor of the environmen-            james williams ’10 signed up for the Environmental law
tal practice group at heller,” she says. “today, i think again         clinic at his first opportunity—the beginning of his 2l year.
there’s a lot of opportunity across all sectors in this field.”        “we were writing an amicus brief for a supreme court case on
                                                                       behalf of a coalition of basically every significant environmen-
Environm Ental law program                                             tal group in the country. our client representatives were the
takEs off                                                              top 30 clean water act attorneys at these groups—and when
w hilE wor k ing in thE fiEld, sivas admired the efforts               it came time to write a brief, they gave it to the stanford law

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of faculty members as they established the environmental pro-          clinic. that’s the reputation of this clinic,” he says. “that’s why
gram at stanford law school, particularly the work of barton           i came here.”

                                                                                                                                             s p r i n g
h. “buzz” thompson, jr., jd/mba ’76 (ba ’72), robert
E. paradise professor in natural resources law and perry               making thEir cas E bEforE

l. mccarty director of the woods institute for the Environ-            thE ninth

                                                                                                                                             l a w y e r
ment, and margaret “meg” caldwell ’85, senior lecturer in law,         now a n adva ncEd clinic studEnt,             williams argued
director of the Environmental and natural resources law &              the Pit River Tribe v. Bureau of Land Management case before                            33

                                                                                                                                             s t a n f o r d
policy program, and executive director of stanford’s center for        the u.s. court of appeals for the ninth circuit on march
ocean solutions, woods institute for the Environment. when             10, 2010.
they launched the Environmental law clinic in 1997, sivas re-              “the opposing side had something like a combined 65 years
turned to stanford law to become its first permanent director.         of experience between the two very seasoned attorneys—one
    since that time, the clinic has developed a national and in-       from the department of justice, the other formerly at justice
ternational reputation for its involvement in much of the major        and now in private practice working on behalf of calpine. and
environmental litigation in the country, with its expertise sought     i think the calpine attorney had argued more than 100 cases.
on issues such as public land use, marine and coastal resources,       they were certainly formidable,” says williams.
biodiversity, water quality, and global climate change. the clinic         but much more intimidating to him were the members of the

                  “what we’re really trying to do is prod these administrative agencies
  to follow the law and do what they’re supposed to do, which is to undertake proper
                                      environmental reviews or enact proper policies.”
                                                                                                              jameS williamS ’10

juggles a full workload, with sivas, a teaching fellow, and 14 to      pit river tribe who had made the journey to san francisco to
16 students (typically 12 full-time 2ls and a handful of continu-      hear him make their case—the courtroom was packed, as was
ing advanced students). they work on approximately two dozen           an overflow room. also in attendance were his colleagues in the
cases and various policy questions in each quarter, representing       clinic. at stake: further development at medicine lake, a site
a variety of nonprofit organizations, from national groups like        held sacred by the tribe for more than 10,000 years.
the sierra club, the natural resources defense council, and                this was the clinic’s second appearance before the ninth
the ocean conservancy to such regional and local grassroots            circuit on the question of whether leases that expired in 1998
groups as the center for biological diversity, california coast-       could be extended: the clinic lost before the u.s. district court
keeper alliance, and turtle island restoration network. and            for the Eastern district of california in 2002 and then won on
sivas is taking on policy projects outside of the national borders,    appeal before the ninth circuit in 2006. but the tribe disagreed
                       c             l              i            n               i             c              n               e             w                 s
                       with the way in which the Eastern district court interpreted            dural—policing regulatory agencies,” he says. “what we’re really
                       the ninth circuit’s order, so this second hearing before the            trying to do is prod these administrative agencies to follow the law
                       ninth circuit sought clarification on the original ruling.              and do what they’re supposed to do, which is to undertake proper
                           williams arrived for his argument well prepared, having             environmental reviews or enact proper policies. it’s a difficult pro-
                       mooted the case with sivas, clinic teaching fellow robb                 cess that involves continual give and take.” williams will begin an
                       kapla (ba ’99, ms ’00), as well as lawrence c. marshall,                honors fellowship with the santa clara county counsel’s office
                       professor of law, associate dean for clinical education, and the        after the bar exam.
                       david & stephanie mills director of the mills legal clinic,                 as for sivas and her newest crop of clinic students, the
                       and several clinic directors. williams also benefited from the          work continues. indeed, the clinic now has two separate
                       work of dozens of students before him.                                  medicine lake cases, and pending litigation in the u.s. dis-
                           “i did review previous students’ files and was grateful to have     trict court of Eastern california, so it’s likely that this client
                       that research. but this was a very narrow issue: did the district       will be on its docket for a while longer. but that’s the nature
                       court err in interpreting and applying the ninth circuit court’s        of this work—looking at the big picture and the very nar-
                       2006 decision? so, while the larger issue is about environmen-          row question, the local and the international, the grassroots
                       tal preservation and development, this particular hearing was           and the national—environmental law from every angle, for
                       all about procedure and jurisdiction,” he says. fortunately for         as long as it takes to get the job done.
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                       williams, he was taking Administrative Law with daniel E. ho,               To watch a video of the interview with Deborah Sivas and to hear
                       associate professor of law and robert E. paradise faculty fel-          James Williams’ oral argument before the Ninth Circuit on March 10,
     s p r i n g

                       low for Excellence in teaching and research, at the same time           2010, go to SL
                       as the clinic and had the benefit of ho’s expertise as he prepared.

                       “it’s a perfect illustration of how law school should work: the
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                                                                                                      mills legal clinic of stanford law school
                       practical skills from the clinic complemented by classroom les-                           Environmental Law Clinic
34                     sons,” he says.                                                          KEy faCts:
     s t a n f o r d

                           after looking at the case from every conceivable angle—and           •  founded in 1996; permanent director hired in 1997
                       mooting the case with some of the best litigators in the coun-           •  maintains a caseload of approximately 30 administrative,
                                                                                                litigation, and policy matters
                       try—he was ready to face the three-judge panel.                          • 14-16 students participate each quarter
                           “i probably practiced a dozen opening statements,” he says,          KEy CasEs:
                                                                                                • protection of Joshua tree national park
                       adding that the outcome of the case may not be known for                 • regulation of discharges of invasive species from ships
                       several months. while williams found oral argument “exhila-              • conservation of the endangered mojave desert tortoise
                       rating,” he hopes to focus on policy issues in his career rather         • protection of sea turtles from harmful fishing practices
                                                                                                • conservation of endangered vernal pool species and habitats
                       than on litigation.                                                      • preservation of public trust tidelands
                           “we resort to litigation when there’s a failure of the policymak-    • climate change litigation
                       ers to properly consider environmental issues. it’s largely proce-
                       clini c                                                                            news
                                                          Three Strikes:
                                                    OuT BuT NOT FORgOTTeN
                                                                                 By Sharon Driscoll

                                                                                      G         RaSpiNg THe SHeeR eNORmiTy OF THe

                       Ta Sk THaT T H e T H Ree S T Ri k eS pROjeC T Ha S Ta k e N O N iS a C Ha L L e N g e . • Co-founded in 2006 by Law-

                       rence C. marshall and michael Romano ’03 as the main focus of the Criminal Defense Clinic, the Three Strikes project is the only legal

                       organization in the country devoted primarily to representing individuals facing life imprisonment for nonviolent offenses under

                       California’s “three strikes” law, a voter-approved initiative that was enacted in 1994. and the numbers behind the initiative tell an in-

                       teresting story: approximately 4,000 prisoners in California are serving life sentences under three strikes for minor, nonviolent third
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                       crimes—each at a cost of about $48,000 per year, excluding medical care. and the clinic has been inundated with requests for help from
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                       three strikes prisoners—with more than 1,000 logged so far. yet a small group of approximately 15 students each quarter is chipping

                       away at these numbers under the careful supervision of attorneys Romano and galit Lipa. So far, they have successfully represented
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                       seven clients whose sentences were reduced, and all are now out of prison. But with 17 cases in various stages of litigation
                       and hundreds or perhaps thousands more worthy of attention, this clinic is just touching the tip of the three strikes iceberg.
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                           “The part of three strikes that
                       allows life imprisonment for non-
                       violent, petty conduct is probably
                       the largest unaddressed problem
                       in our criminal justice system,”
                       says Romano, a lecturer at the
                       law school. He explains that cli-
                       ents represented by the clinic
                       have been sentenced to life in
                       prison for such third offenses as
                       stealing a pair of socks, taking a
                       dollar in change, and possession
                       of trace amounts of drugs.
                           “Between 2001 and 2009 the
                       three strikes population of lifetime
                       prisoners has grown from 7,000 to
                       about 8,500,” says Lipa, a clinical
                       lecturer and former public defend-
                       er. “The fact is that California laws
                                                                                                                                                                   christopher silas neal

                       were already quite severe for vio-
                       lent crimes—those criminals were,
                       by and large, going away for a long
                       time regardless of three strikes. So
                       now we have a growing population
c              l              i             n               i             c              n                e              w                 s
of nonviolent, mostly drug-addicted offenders caught up in three          Norman Williams, at Folsom State prison. i’d never been to a
strikes.”                                                                 prison before,” says mark melahn ’09, who is currently clerk-
    Lipa explains that the clinic is a last resort for these prisoners.   ing for judge Richard Clifton on the Ninth Circuit in Hono-
    “inmates do not have a right to free legal representation after       lulu and plans to join morrison & Foerster as a litigation associ-
their first appeal. So that is when we step in,” she says.                ate next year. “and when it became clear that we were the only
    The clinic also tries to get information about their cases out        visitors he’d had in about ten years, it was pretty emotional.”
to the public as part of its advocacy efforts on behalf of clients.           But starting with a prison visit sets the tone for the work
and they’ve had great success this year with articles and opin-           ahead.
ion pieces appearing in The Economist, The New York Times, Los                “i think it’s good that students are aware of how much re-
Angeles Times, and elsewhere. But given the number of non-                sponsibility a lawyer has, how any mistakes you make fall on
violent three strikes lifers in prison, the clinic is also adding a       your clients. you get to go home—but the stakes are very high
public policy component to the program to explore ways to ad-             for them,” says Lipa.
vocate relief for its clients on a legislative level.                         Over the course of two semesters, melahn and his clinic
    Students taking the clinic are thrown into the deep end—              partner jesse goodman ’08 conducted a thorough social his-
immediately taking the lead on cases and learning how to be               tory of their client and discovered that his prior offenses were
defense lawyers.                                                          all for nonviolent residential burglaries and that his third strike
    “in addition to the immense value this program provides its           was for petty theft of a few tools from the back of an unattended

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clients, it also serves as a wonderful vehicle for educating stu-         tow truck.

                                                                                                                                                    Fa l l
dents about the practice of law in a variety of settings and about            “The experience woke me up to the importance of that
the power that lawyers have to transform individual clients’              ground work. most cases rise or fall on the facts and how they

lives and public policy,” says marshall, the David and Stepha-            are presented,” says melahn.

                                                                                                                                                    L a w y e r
nie mills Director of Clinical education, and associate dean for
public interest and clinical education.                                   HiS Day iN COuRT                                                                            29

                                                                                                                                                    S t a n f o r d
                                                                          They also discovered that Williams had a substantial his-
ReaL LegaL pRaCTiCe                                                       tory of family neglect, mental illness, and drug addic-
Working in groups of two, the students are in charge of all               tion—none of which had been presented in early trials.
client work including managing the clinic relationship with               melahn and goodman built their brief as well as a rapport
the client, his or her family, and all witnesses. They travel             with their client. The case was resolved the following year
throughout the state to conduct interviews and carry out in-              with kathleen m. Fox ’10 seeing it through and preparing
vestigative work. They write briefs, file pleadings in court,             a rehabilitation plan. Fox and Romano first met with the
and represent their client in court when a case does come                 Los angeles Da and the judge on the case to agree on the
to hearing.                                                               rehabilitation plan. They then joined Williams at the supe-
    “most of our students will not become public defenders—               rior court in L.a. Fox was well prepared for the resentenc-
they will work in a firm specializing in any number of areas.             ing hearing, and the judge very quickly granted habeas
But the skills they learn in this clinic are invaluable to any as-        relief—agreeing to strike one of the prior convictions. So
pect of the law. and we’re finding that our graduates want to             after more than 12 years served, Williams was ordered re-
continue with public defense work in their pro bono practice,             leased from prison on the very day of the hearing—though
which is tremendously important,” says Romano.                            the actual release took another few weeks to wind its way
    “it was incredible to dive in, to do this very thorough case          through prison bureaucracy.
and social research, and also to file a cert petition to the u.S. Su-        “i don’t think he dared to imagine that his day would come.
preme Court,” says ashley m. Simonsen ’10, whose case is still            He’d been in prison for so long,” says Fox, who plans to join
in the appeal process. and while she plans to focus on securities         Latham & Watkins in San Francisco after graduation.
and antitrust law, she’s sure the skills she honed in the clinic will        Then Fox and Romano had the opportunity to perform
help her “more than anything i’ve done in law school.”                    one of the most rewarding clinic jobs: escorting their client
    While thorough research is a key component of building                out of prison. sl
their cases, the first step for the students is typically a visit to         To read press coverage of this case, learn more about the clinic’s
prison to meet their client.                                              other cases, and hear recordings of interviews from this article, go to
    “i was a bit nervous before our first visit with our client,
                                                                                                           law. What we know of Alex consists of
                                                                                                           a collection of numbers: eight—the num-
                                                                                                           ber of years he has served already in
                                                                                                           Soledad; thirteen—the number of past
                                                                                                           convictions on his record; zero—the
                                      SolEDAD, rEvISITED                                                   number of violent offenses on his record;
                                                By Jessica K. Feinstein ’10                                sixty-one—his current age; three—the
                                                                                                           number of strikes it takes to receive a
                                                                                                           minimum term of 25 years for possession


                                                                                                           of 29 milligrams of heroin—the equiva-
                                                                                                           lent of one cotton ball.
                                                                                                               It is mid-morning, and the highway
                                                                                                           is mostly empty. We drive south past the
                                                                                                           Correctional Training Facility, past the

                                                                                                           “It’s happening in Soledad” sign and the
                                                                                                           housing development, and exit to Sole-
                                                                                                           dad’s main drag in search of breakfast.
                                                                                                           There are tacquerias and liquor stores,

                                                                              InETy mIlES SouTh oF

                           SAn JoSE, CAlIFornIA, bEyonD WhErE u.S. 101 mErgES with El Camino               but no diners and few shoppers.
                           real and the highway narrows to four lanes, a billboard seeks to lure truck         Sleepy from the drive, I stare out
     2 0 0 9

                           drivers and motorists off the road. • “It’s happening in Soledad.” • It’s an    at the desolate landscape. I have been
     Fa l l

                           odd sign, immediately belied by the vistas surrounding it: flatlands, aspara-   here before.

                           gus and lettuce fields, speckled with the bent figures of farm laborers. The        Every fourth-grade student in Califor-

                           occasional dust cloud billows here and there, obscuring the tractor creating    nia learns about the Spanish missions, the
     l a w y e r

                           it. Some way down the highway, an incongruous housing development pro-          beginning of the state’s sparse history as
38                         trudes out of the fields. In the middle distance, the Sierra de Salinas rises   an annex of the West. The missions form
     S t a n f o r d

                           steeply from the floor of the Salinas valley, overshadowing this moonscape. •   a chain of 21 outposts from San Diego to

                           This is Steinbeck’s California. george and lennie, the migrant field work-      Sonoma, founded more than a century ago
                           ers in Of Mice and Men, settled a “few miles south of Soledad”—the first line   by Franciscan missionaries from Spain. To-
                           of the novella—to pursue their ultimately unsuccessful and tragic dream         day, they are the locations of California’s
                           of an independent life. • one gets the immediate impres-

                           sion that not only is it not happening in Soledad but it has
                           never been happening.
                               There are, however, two stops of note in Soledad: the
                           aptly named mission nuestra Señora de la Soledad, our
                           lady of Solitude, circa 1791, and the inaptly named Cor-

                           rectional Training Facility, circa 1951, one of the many
                           prisons that occupy remote towns and cities throughout
                           my home state. These two landmarks are historical book-
                           ends; between them runs a particular strain of Califor-

                           nia’s history. This is not the history of manifest destiny,
                           land of recreation and opportunity, where the misfit be-
                           comes the mainstream. rather, it is the underside of that
                           sunny vision: about failed missions, about the gradual
                           erosion of the rehabilitative spirit and the entrenchment

                           of isolation.
                               A few miles north of Soledad is situated my destina-
                           tion on this trip, the Correctional Training Facility. To-
                           day, a fellow law student and I are scheduled to meet our
                                                                                                                                                         lenny gonzalez

                           client, a man named Alex. Alex is an inmate at Soledad

                           serving 25 years to life under California’s “three strikes”
p e r s p e c t i v e s
oldest cities. Each fourth-grader makes a       I drive back north on the highway and take     rounding it. Isolation, wrote michel
report on one of the missions.                  the exit, proceeding past an unmanned          Foucault in Discipline and Punishment, is
    Fifteen years ago, in a classroom at Wal-   guardhouse, sycamore trees, and staff          the first disciplinary principle around
ter hays Elementary School, just down the       buildings, until the prison reveals itself.    which the modern prison is organized.
street from Stanford, by luck of the draw,          Created in response to Earl                Alcatraz is surrounded by water; Sole-
I got unlucky number 13: Soledad, saddest       Warren’s investigation of the state’s          dad, by fields. Society thus safely exiles
and least successful of all the missions.       outdated prison system, the facility           its miscreants. And, in a sense, the Cali-
    To help me with my research, my             was, in 1951, a “model” prison. Con-           fornia missions were themselves intend-
family took a trip to Soledad. A small,         sisting of a series of interconnected          ed as correctional facilities—stations for
beige sign at an exit just south of Sole-       rectangular buildings, five or six plain-      the recruitment and transformation of
dad’s downtown advertised the mission.          faced replicas in a row, today the white       the native Indians from heathen hunter-
We followed a road away from the high-          stucco buildings look like mid-century         gatherers to Catholic laborers.
way, farther and farther into the fields        military barracks, unmistakably insti-              And the mission baptism logbook
for an almost uncomfortably long period         tutional in character. According to the        amounted to a careful statistical record
of time. Finally, considerably closer to        California Department of Corrections           of souls saved. The missions saved
the foothills of the mountains, we came         website, inside those squat buildings          many souls during their prosperous
upon a small, plain church, surrounded          are housed some 6,667 inmates—                 years, in the process transforming the

                                                                                                                                              2 0 0 9
on all sides by fields and orchards. The        more than twice the design capacity.           California landscape.

                                                                                                                                              Fa l l
parking lot was dirt.                           A barbed-wire fence circumscribing the              California prisons keep detailed logs,
    To my dismay, we were soon in-              perimeter of the buildings is the clearest     too—of souls incarcerated: Each prisoner

formed that the neat little church was          indication that the inhabitants of these       has a “C-file,” some larger than others,

                                                                                                                                              l a w y e r
not, in fact, the mission but a 20th cen-       barracks are not free to come and go.          filled mostly with checked boxes and unin-
tury replica. Someone directed us to-               We check in at the guardhouse and          telligible handwriting. Alex has a large C-                      39

                                                                                                                                              S t a n f o r d
ward the front of the chapel to view the        are soon escorted into the compound. In-       file. From the age of 29 to the age of 61 he
remnants of the original.                       side the electric gate, we walk past flower    has served multiple prison terms, totaling
    I remember standing before the melting      beds and rose bushes that line the con-        more than 21 years of incarceration.
adobe wall marking what remains of the          crete walkways. These, I think, are the             We finally meet our client, Alex, in a
authentic mission and being overwhelmed         most obvious vestiges of the prison’s once     small interview room inside one of the bar-
by that respectful yet eerie feeling that at-   utopian intentions.                            rack-like buildings. The room is bare ex-
tends cemeteries. only the outline of a             As far as I can tell, the Correctional     cept for one desk and three chairs. There is
building, a disintegrating mud ruin, stood      Training Facility does very little correct-    one window, high above eye level, through
between me and the oblivion of eternity.        ing or training. Although the website          which the noise of the prison yard filters.
    “Such an alien place,” my mother re-        speaks of vocational and academic pro-

marked. We were glad to leave Soledad.          grams, inmates serving indeterminate
                                                sentences like Alex are placed at the bot-

                                                tom of long wait lists for programs, even                               lEx WAlkS InTo

                                                such basic rehab services as narcotics         the room unhandcuffed, shakes our
                        E T by WhATE vE r       Anonymous. The onetime single-inmate           hands, and gives a slight nod of the head.
twist of fate, I have returned to Soledad       cell no longer exists, as the system strains   his face is wrinkled but pleasant; his
again.• unlike mission Soledad, marked          under an entire population of men be-          goatee is grey. he wears baggy blue
by only a small historical site sign, the       hind bars. In such a system, a sentence        state-issued pants and an oversized grey
Correctional Training Facility, or CTF,         of 25 to life translates into wasting as few   sweatshirt, through which the outline
has its very own “Correctional Facility”        extraneous resources as possible: The          of his body appears surprisingly fragile.
exit off 101. It’s a dead-end exit, leading     state has already deemed such inmates          he recently had hip surgery, so we chat
to a “conservation camp” (minimum se-           beyond the reaches of rehabilitation.          about his health for a while. Although
curity detention center), the new Salinas            It was not an accident that the CTF       criminal activity is a pastime of youth, our
valley State Prison, and the CTF.               was built a few miles from the ruins of        prisons today are filled with old men.
   Finished with breakfast, my friend and       a mission named for the solitude sur-             When he was a young man, Alex was
                       p e r s p e c t i v e s
                       drafted to serve in vietnam. before that,     he says, is the empty stretch of time.           Family members stop driving the miles
                       he worked as a field hand to help sup-            “As long as I keep busy, I do all right,”    to visit. Sons and daughters stop writing,
                       port his family in bakersfield. he served     he tells us. “It’s hard to get a job here,       grow up, move on.
                       12 months of active duty in vietnam and       hard to keep busy.”                                   I wanted to come away from our trip
                       returned home a changed man. night-               Where I would scream, where I would          to Soledad with some knowledge of Alex
                       mares and paranoia soon translated into       cry, where I would throw chairs, or laugh        the person, not Alex the conglomeration of
                       a heroin addiction that would come and        with relief, Alex is silent. We are undoubt-     numbers. but what struck me on our first
                       go for the next 30 years. like many men       edly the first visitors he has had for a solid   encounter and would remain in my mind
                       of his generation, Alex fell through the      six months. he has not seen a family mem-        throughout his case was the sense of a man
                       cracks. The institutions that were sup-       ber in more than eight years. his two chil-      whose character had been twisted by soli-
                       posed to catch his fall—the Army, the         dren are estranged. Three of his brothers        tude. he is a man entombed by years of
                       prison doctors—never did. In the 1980s,       passed away while he was in prison. only         calcified loneliness, layer upon layer.
                       he was caught twice stealing toolboxes        his older sister sometimes calls.                     “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got no-
                       from open garages. These were his first           I think that once, many years ago,           body,” says george in Of Mice and Men.
                       two strikes. It was only in 1997 that the     Alex was not so inured. In the 1980s,            “Don’t make no difference who the guy
                       veterans Administration finally diag-         he wrote a jailhouse letter to the veter-        is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a
                       nosed him with severe post-traumatic          ans Administration: “I am desperately            guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.”
     2 0 0 9

                                                          “PoPular culture is full of stereotyPical images
     Fa l l

                                        of Prison life ... But a more Basic reality of everyday Prison life,

                                                    the one that movies don’t dePict, is an intangiBle yet
     l a w y e r

                                                                               all-Permeating loneliness.”
                                                                                                                                   Jessica Feinstein ’10
     S t a n f o r d

                       stress disorder (PTSD). Two years later,      seeking your help. Please show me the                A man can be very alone among 6,667
                       he locked himself into a bathroom in his      way that I may have peace of mind, that          inmates. he can be obscured and smoth-
                       sister’s house; police officers found him     I may better myself and get away from            ered by the numbers from which he can
                       with a syringe and a cotton ball with her-    all these nightmares. I sincerely hope to        never break free.
                       oin residue. For this, he was sentenced       hear from you as soon as possible and                I don’t believe it is too late for Alex. I
                       to life: collateral damage of indifferent     pray that I’m not forgotten.”                    hope, despite doubts, that he might some-
                       bureaucracies.                                    Popular culture is full of stereotypi-       day obtain that “independent life.”
                           Alex is a subdued, quiet man. his re-     cal images of prison life: of fights in mess         The two trips to Soledad have
                       actions are always muted, as if someone       halls; of knives hidden between bed              framed my own formal education. It is
                       has turned the volume down on the tele-       planks; of escape plans, iron bars, locking      unrealistic to expect, I know, that one
                       vision. he answers our questions directly,    doors, and catcalls. but a more basic re-        day I will revisit Soledad once again
                       pausing to search for words and phrases.      ality of everyday prison life, the one that      and see twin ruins: melting adobe wall,
                       he is not stupid: he earned his gED           movies don’t depict, is an intangible yet        rusted wire fence. SL
                       during one of his stints in prison and        all-permeating loneliness. A prisoner can            Last spring, the clinic was successful in its
                       writes coherent letters in sloping cursive.   do his best to avoid the violence, avoid         efforts and Alex was resentenced to time served
                       his smile emerges once or twice through-      the large disruptions. but he cannot             and released from prison. This is an excerpt
                       out the interview, like a lone bar of light   avoid the isolation. If he faces an indeter-     from Criminal Defense Clinic student Jessica
                       breaking through grey clouds.                 minate term of years, there is almost no         Feinstein’s longer essay, which can be read at
                           his greatest frustration with prison,     punctuation. roommates come and go.    
                       clini c                                                                         news
                                           and transactiOns clinic:
                                                        Vital lessons in law and Business
                                                                                By sharon driscoll

                                                                                    T      e a c h i n g l aw wa s n O t i n Jay M i t c h e l l’ s

                       fiVe-year plan. But the fOrMer chief cOrpOrate cOunsel                                 at levi strauss & co. and one-time
                       partner at heller ehrman was exploring the next stage in his career and, with both corporate and law
                       firm experience, his cV was tailor-made for the director position at stanford law school’s newest addi-
                       tion to the Mills legal clinic. he left the corporate world in august 2007 and embraced the opportunity
     2 0 0 9

                       to lead the new Organizations and transactions clinic. with his third semester of teaching under way,
     s p r i n g

                       Mitchell (Ba ’80) is the antith-
                       esis of an absent-minded professor,
     l a w y e r

                       his office the picture of business-
                       tidy, with stacks of binder-clipped
     s t a n f o r d

                       documents and three whiteboards
                       ready for brainstorming.

                       the aBc’s Of
                       transactiOnal law
                       dressed in jeans, Mitchell’s casual attire
                       belies the keen attention to detail that is
                       the hallmark of the clinic. he spent a se-
                       mester drawing up a plan and developing
                       clients from among the Bay area’s many
                       not-for-profit organizations. at the start of
                       each semester, students are presented with
                       a playbook in the form of a well-organized
                       binder, complete with a course plan and syllabus, the califor-      missing? does this need to get board approval? what are the
                       nia rules of professional conduct, a summary of risk manage-        implications of doing X, y, or z? how do we best communi-
                       ment and quality control guidelines, and other useful tools. it’s   cate the data? it’s the stuff corporate lawyers deal with every
                       a crash course in how to actually be a transactional attorney       day. But our students have the opportunity to learn it here
                       with a detailed plan setting out the objectives, methods, and       first, to ask all the questions they want and to reflect on what
                       timeline for the work. and it all happens in the context of rep-    they’ve seen.”
                       resenting not-for-profits.                                              although the clients for this clinic are nonprofits, the work
                           “it’s like a med student taking anatomy,” says Mitchell. “we    includes a range of business projects such as comprehensive
                       look at lots of contracts, financials and other documents. we       governance reviews, mergers, fiscal sponsorship arrangements,
                                                                                                                                                               Gary Taxali

                       run through questions that lawyers need to ask themselves and       leases, and licensing agreements. client interaction is with ex-
                       their clients: what are we trying to accomplish here? what’s        ecutive directors and board members. here too, Mitchell and
c             l              i           n               i            c              n               e              w                 s
alicia e. plerhoples, the Orrick herrington & sutcliffe clinical      an advisory board charter for the newly established group. the
teaching fellow, ensure they are prepared.                            organization is one of a number of clinic clients active in sustain-
   “working in the corporate world you quickly see how                able agriculture and food system reform.
important it is to understand the company’s priorities. at
levi’s it was all about the product and the brand. every-             prO BOnO Business lawyer
thing we did had to support business strategy and execu-              another agricultural organization clinic students worked
tion,” says Mitchell. “it’s important for our students to get         with was collective roots, an east palo alto nonprofit fo-
to know the organizations that they are representing, to              cused on engaging youth and the community in food system
really understand their mission, resources, and constituen-           reform. here Brent harris ’09 (Ba ’04, Ma ’04) and Melissa
cies. and when giving advice, they have to get out of the             Magner ’08 helped to establish the first farmers market in
weeds and understand what needs to be communicated to                 east palo alto, a city that doesn’t even have a supermarket
organizational leadership.”                                           for residents to purchase fresh produce.
                                                                          “this wasn’t just a legal challenge. there were many practi-
presenting tO the BOard                                               cal challenges like how best to make the business function and
an essential part of the first half of the clinic semester is the     how to help people understand how it functions,” says harris.
mock senior management presentation, when students learn to               part of the project involved establishing a plan for the new farm-

                                                                                                                                               2 0 0 9
“think like a client.” students are presented with a fictional ap-    ers market and a set of market rules to run it—making recommen-
parel company that’s considering a sale of one of its businesses.     dations for issues such as how many farmers could be accommo-

                                                                                                                                               s p r i n g
they then study the transaction and present a plan to a “man-         dated, other activities at the site, dispute resolution, and the like.
agement team” composed of local business leaders and lawyers,             “we understood that the rules governing the new market’s

which has included senior executives from levi’s.                     management would set the tone for the venture, so we worked

                                                                                                                                               l a w y e r
   “it’s our equivalent of a court appearance,” says Mitchell.        hard to design a straightforward, accessible document,” says
“the students put together a presentation and take the group          Magner, now an associate at latham & watkins llp in san                                    31

                                                                                                                                               s t a n f o r d
through their analysis. identifying relevant assets and audi-         francisco, who visited the farmers market last summer along
ences, third-party approvals, employee reactions, impact on the       with some 7,000 customers.
business—it’s basic project assessment and planning. these are            in addition to the practical lessons of transactional law, clin-
essential skills for a good transaction lawyer.”                      ic students gain a keen understanding of the importance of legal
   “it’s one thing to look at the law and come up with a              counsel to the nonprofit community and how business-focused
recommendation. it’s another to present it to a board and             Jds can engage in pro bono lawyering after graduation.
have the chief financial officer of the company sitting across            “the clinic highlighted the importance of pro bono business
from you raise something you didn’t consider,” says ashley            legal counsel and motivated both my clinic partner, alice yuan,
hannebrink ’10. “practical considerations are sometimes lost on       and me to pursue such work at our respective firms,” says su-
young associates. Jay and the clinic did a great job of emphasizing   san dawson ’08 (Ba ’03), an associate specializing in public
how important they are.”                                              finance at Orrick, herrington & sutcliffe llp, who worked on
   “the management presentation really drove home the point           a merger of seven Bay area charter schools into a single organi-
that we need to know the client and our audience,” says ryan          zation. “working on a successful merger improved my ability to
loneman ’09, who teamed up with hannebrink during last se-            manage transactions effectively, and receiving such preparation
mester’s clinic to work with the farmer-Veteran coalition, an         before leaving stanford law was incredible.”
educational nonprofit that trains veterans for a career in agricul-       “it was a great precursor to the work i’m doing now,” agrees
ture. the students drafted a fiscal sponsorship agreement and         yuan ’08, an associate at Kirkland & ellis llp. SL
                       clini c                                                                        news
                                      immigrantS’ rightS cLinic:
                                                     SucceSS LieS in pLanning
                                                                                 By Sharon Driscoll

                                                                                      B       eing a v ictim oF domeStic v ioLence iS devaS-

                       tating, but h av ing a v ioLent SpouSe thr eaten to h av e you                   deported from the country can make an already

                       difficult situation much worse. Sadly, this is an all too familiar scenario encountered by students working in Stanford Law’s immi-

                       grants’ rights clinic (irc), but one for which there is a legal remedy—and a learning opportunity. • “marta,” an immigrant from

                       mexico, had been with her husband, a u.S. citizen, for several years before he became physically violent. he’d promised to file her
     2 0 0 8

                       application for permanent resident status but never did. When she finally left him he threatened to report her to the immigration
     Fa l l

                       authorities if she didn’t return. So her situation was bleak when she brought the case to the irc. not only was she afraid of her

                       husband, she was afraid of being thrown out of the country and separated from her children. • the first thing that Ling Lew ’09
     L a w y e r

36                     and her clinic partner mindy Jeng ’09 did when they were assigned marta’s case was to come up with a strategy. they worked
     S t a n f o r d

                       closely with irc director and associate professor of Law
                       Jayashri Srikantiah and cooley godward Kronish clinical
                       teaching Fellow Jennifer Lee Koh to develop a detailed case
                       plan that included a play-by-play outline of everything from
                       client interviews to a list of witnesses to a legal brief. • “prepa-
                       ration is everything,” says Lew. “it’s something that professor
                       Srikantiah drilled into us.” • during class time, they readied
                       for their case by reviewing—and reviewing again—their case
                       plan. they prepared for interviews by videotaping role-playing
                       exercises—each taking a turn at interviewing the “client”—and
                       then studying their work in playback. they wrote numerous
                       drafts of the letter brief that they ultimately submitted to the
                       immigration authorities on marta’s behalf.
                           and they met with a Stanford psychiatrist, a faculty member
                       at the School of medicine who works regularly with the irc.
                           “this was my first time working in depth with someone who
                       had experienced domestic violence,” Lew says. “having the
                       benefit of professional psychiatric advice was invaluable. We
                       eased into the discussion of abuse and didn’t even ask our client
                       about it in our first interview. We had to build trust.”
                           Lew and Jeng filed a petition for legal status for marta un-
                                                                                                                                                             christian northeast

                       der the violence against Women act and, thanks to their ef-
                       forts, she has been granted a work authorization permit and is
                       waiting for the results of the petition.
c               l               i              n               i              c                 n              e                w                  s
    the clinic targets two areas of great need in northern cali-              an opinion piece on unlawful immigration raids. the piece was
fornia and ones which were not being fully addressed by existing              published in may 2008 in the San Francisco Daily Journal.
legal services organizations—assistance for immigrant survivors                   “i think it’s important to help individuals, but it’s equally
of domestic violence and immigrants facing deportation from the               important to advocate on behalf of a whole group and to get
united States because of past criminal convictions. Started four              the message more widely known,” says Sylvester. “this is par-
years ago by Srikantiah, Stanford Law’s irc is now working                    ticularly relevant to immigration cases, which can be so emo-
at capacity with many more clients seeking representation than                tionally charged, and a lot of that comes out in the media. it’s
the clinic can take on. “We’re constantly inundated with requests             important for lawyers with some training and experience in the
for help,” says Srikantiah. “it’s gratifying to see students graduate         field to put forward an informed view.”
from the clinic and go on to assist immigrants in their practice,                 now in the advanced clinic—and her last year at Stanford
whether on a pro bono basis or full time.”                                    Law—Lew is thankful she had the opportunity to cut her law-
    along with direct service client cases, students in the clinic            yerly teeth in the supportive environment of the irc.
are also assigned to work on legal advocacy projects represent-                   “i feel well prepared,” says Lew. “and learning in the clinic,
ing immigrants’ rights organizations ranging from the american                we had the luxury of teachers who gave us good feedback and
immigration Lawyers association to local nonprofits on every-                 ensured we learned the skills we will need. We also had the luxury
thing from developing know-your-rights materials to impact                    of time—time to absorb the lessons, and time to reflect on them. it
litigation. For alison Sylvester ’09 and Julia Weiland ’09, that              has been a tremendous experience, both rewarding in helping our

                                                                                                                                                            2 0 0 8
meant putting aside more traditional lawyerly work to write                   client and in learning how to be a good lawyer.” SL

                                                                                                                                                            Fa l l
case roundup

                                                                                                                                                            L a w y e r
the Community Law Clinic’s Larisa Bowman               Blumenthal and schanning investigated            susan cameron ’08 (Ba ’03) and alice Yuan ’08                         37

                                                                                                                                                            S t a n f o r d
’09 and christina rubalcava ’09 successfully        the case and filed a habeas corpus petition in      played a central role in planning and document-
represented a client who faced eviction be-         state court.                                        ing a pending merger of six nonprofit charter
cause his disability benefits had ended and he         the Environmental Law Clinic recently re-        schools; and Brent harris ’09 (Ba/Ma ’04) and
could no longer afford to pay rent. in addition     ceived summary judgment in a suit seeking a         Melissa Magner ’08 worked with an east Palo
to negotiating a move-out date that coincided       fee waiver for the center for Biological Diversi-   alto nonprofit to draft contract documents for
with his entry into a substance-abuse treat-        ty under the Freedom of information act. noah       establishing a new farmers market in the city.
ment facility, Bowman and rubalcava obtained        Long ’08 argued the case and convinced the             the Youth and Education Law Project suc-
a $1,000 judgment for their client. Peter Bach-     court that the office of Management and Bud-        cessfully handled a case involving an elemen-
Y-rita ’09 filed and was granted a motion in        get had unlawfully denied the fee waiver.           tary school student with a traumatic brain inju-
the santa clara county superior court to have          in June, the International Human Rights          ry and severe visual impairments whose school
the records of a client expunged. his client was    Clinic, acting as co-counsel with the interna-      was trying to move her to a classroom without
convicted of a misdemeanor in the 1970s, but        tional Justice network, filed a lawsuit against     support for visually impaired students. thanks
has since turned his life around and become a       the United states government on behalf of           to alexis casillas (visiting student) and inbal
leader in the local aa community.                   canadian journalist Jawed ahmad. ahmad has          naveh ’09, who interviewed teachers, parents,
   Criminal Defense Clinic faculty and stu-         been held without charge in military custody        and administrators, reviewed medical reports,
dents, including Jordan Blumenthal ’09 and          at the detention facility at the U.s. air Base in   and located a national expert who conducted
erin schanning ’09, obtained a new hearing          Bagram, afghanistan, since october 2007. [to        a vision analysis of the student, the school vol-
for a client whose attorney failed to present       read about the clinic’s recent work in namibia,     untarily withdrew its claim against the student
powerful mitigating evidence. the client was        see page 40.]                                       and her parents.
sentenced to life imprisonment under califor-          the newly launched Organizations and
nia’s “three strikes” law following a felony con-   Transactions Clinic’s first semester last spring
viction for making violent threats in a verbal      reaped significant results. among them, Bev
altercation.                                        Moore ’09 and Jon novotny ’08 designed a
                                                    model contract for a Bay area county to use
                                                    when engaging mental health care providers;
                                                                                                             Namibia’s most prominent national parks,
                                                                                                             home to the iconic red dunes. The short-
                                                                                                             term economic interest in extracting ura-
                                                                                                             nium, with its invasive removal processes,
                                                                                                             stood in direct opposition to Namibia’s
                                           LeARNINg LAW IN                                                   long-term interest in developing its eco-
                                               NAMIbIA                                                       tourism industry, and to the welfare of
                                            By Andrew Ardinger ’09 (BA ’06)                                  those who call the region home.
                                                                                                                 A new democracy and a developing na-


                                                                                                             tion, Namibia achieved independence from
                                                                                                             South Africa in 1990. However, laws that
                                                                                                             had been in place over the preceding de-
                                                                                                             cades under South African rule were still
                                                                                                             being used as Namibia developed its own

                                                                                                             laws. Such was the case with the water law:
                                                                                                             Although Namibia had passed an enlight-
                                                                                                             ened Water Resources Management Act
                                                                                                             in 2004, difficulties in executing that law

                                                                                  AST DeceMbeR, I

                           bUMpeD INTo TWo fRIeNDS oUTSIDe THe LAW ScHooL. oNe SUg-                          meant it relied upon the old South African
                                                                “I can’t swing lunch today,” I said. “but,   water law, promulgated and passed for a
     2 0 0 8

                           geSTeD We gRAb A SANDWIcH.

                           hey, when we’re in Namibia?” • The casual glibness of my remark under-            physical and political climate completely
     fa l l

                           scored how fortunate the three of us felt that we would be spending the second    different from present-day Namibia.

                           half of spring semester immersed in international human rights law, working           Despite these contradictions, I was

                           on a variety of projects in and around Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. The ex-       impressed by the lack of cynicism in the
     L a w y e r

                           perience that we shared with seven other International Human Rights (IHR)         government officials with whom we in-
40                         clinic students, a coordinator, our instructor professor barbara olshansky        teracted. They treated the litigation as a
     S t a n f o r d

                           ’85, and clinic fellow Kathleen Kelly seemed so distant then but feels so in-     collaborative effort to determine the con-

                           dispensable today. • In Namibia, we not only addressed pressing legal issues,     tours of the legal regime governing water,
                           we also experienced the country. We visited the dunes at Soussevlei,
                           rode next to elephants in etosha National park, and watched rhino,
                           zebra, and wildebeest drink from watering holes. We got to know

                           University of Namibia students, as they attempted to teach us the
                           local language oshiwambo and some phrases in Damara and Af
                           rikaans. on Sundays, we ate grilled meats at a weekly braai. The
                           bungalows we called home for our six-week stay were comfortable
                           and wired for Internet access. Despite its size, Windhoek retains

                           the feel of a small colonial town where it seems everyone knows ev-
                           eryone else, so by the end of our time there, it felt like home. • The
                           first part of the semester was spent at Stanford preparing for the
                           trip. We discussed the possibilities and pitfalls inherent in various

                           approaches to international human rights work, explored social and political      BarBara Olshansky ’85, andrew ardinger
                           issues unique to Namibia, and began laying the foundation for the work that       ’09 (Ba ’06) and JOsh kretman ’09 meeting
                                                                                                             with namiBia’s OmBudsman JOhn walters
                           we would do once there. • for one project, Josh Kretman ’09, bola olupona
                           ’09, and I worked with the Legal Assistance centre, a Namibian Ngo, in            and the mining controversy an opportu-
                           its efforts to invalidate water-extraction permits that the government had        nity to assess and weigh the comparative

                           granted a canadian uranium mining company. While Namibia is rich in               advantages of water extraction for min-
                           uranium, it is not rich in water—a vital tool for extracting uranium ore.         ing to the nation as a whole. Ultimately, a
                           Despite the shortage of water, the company had received rights to remove 1        court invalidated the permits. Now, when
                           million liters of water per day that flowed beneath the dunes of the Namib        mining companies apply for permits, the
                           Desert where only squat succulents and blue beetles seemed to survive. •          process will prove much more rigorous
                                                                                                                                                           esther ng

                           Worse still, the area designated for mining included major portions of one of     and include all stakeholders—local com-
p e r s p e c t i v e s
munities, the government, Ngos, and the         and how it had broken down. We combed          Namibia. The commission included
mining concerns—in a greater capacity           through years of newspaper reports to as-      the prosecutor-general, the ombuds-
than before. I have faith that as laws and      certain how, if, and when torture or other     man, and other high-ranking officials.
regulations regarding water usage develop,      cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment         I spoke to the assembled dignitaries,
they will reflect more fully Namibia’s pub-     arose in the Namibian context, and we          falteringly at first, and then answered
lic interest.                                   surveyed the current law of Namibia to         questions.
     for my second project, Josh and I,         look for gaps that could be filled. finally,       before we left, Tousy Namiseb, the
with a University of Namibia LLM stu-           we met with the national ombudsman, the        head of the commission, addressed the
dent, drafted legislation that would imple-     person in charge of investigating reports of   group. “This is a blessing,” he said, pointing
ment Namibia’s obligations under the            government impropriety in Namibia. He          to our draft. Then, while detailing plans to
convention Against Torture. Josh and I          suggested we edit the draft legislation into   workshop and edit the bill, he turned to us
researched our way through the libraries        short, medium, and long versions for the       and added, “You are a blessing.” I hope it
at Stanford, the University of Namibia’s        Law Reform and Development commis-             does not come across as overstatement to
Human Rights and Documentation cen-             sion (LRDc), the body in charge of draft-      say I felt the same way about my experi-
tre, and the Namibian parliament. We re-        ing laws for consideration by parliament.      ences with the IHR clinic.
viewed legislation from several countries, as      our research and drafting finally               To learn more about the IHR Clinic and
well as the effectiveness of such legislation   complete, we presented our findings            to view a slideshow from the Namibia project,

                                                                                                                                                2 0 0 8
and, more importantly, where and when           to the LRDc on our last full day in            please go to SL

                                                                                                                                                fa l l
                                                                                                                                                L a w y e r

                                                                                                                                                S t a n f o r d
                       clini c                                                                           news
                                      Stanford community Law cLinic
                                                             representing those in need
                                                                                By Sharon Driscoll

                                                                                     r          oSa knew She waS being cheated out of

                       wageS. after being fired from a SmaLL grocery in redwood city,                               rosa, a pseudonym, did something that

                       would help prove her case: She photocopied a stack of her timecards before leaving the grocery for good. the second thing rosa

                       did certainly influenced the outcome of her claim: She took it to Larisa bowman ’09 and the Stanford community Law clinic in
     2 0 0 8

                       east Palo alto. • this wage and hours case typifies the many taken on by the clinic each year—ordinary citizens versus the em-

                       ployer or landlord. the clinic practices in three areas: wages and hour enforcement, landlord-tenant, and criminal expungement.
     S p r i n g

                       bowman won this one, having spent countless hours poring

                       over the employer’s records and her client’s photocopies. bow-        litigation and negotiation—often within a matter of weeks.
     L a w y e r

                                                                                                 “this was my third hearing and by now i feel like an old
30                     man filed the case in the state enforcement agency, where the
                                                                                             hand,” says mark t. finucane ’09, who has already secured
     S t a n f o r d

                       official immediately saw that the employer had tampered with          three successful judgments for clients just two months into the
                                                                                             spring semester. while the work done at ScLc is fast-paced,
                       the records. a substantial settlement was negotiated on the
                                                                                             he explains, the first step of meeting the client is crucial.
                       spot. • established to provide legal services to low-income

                       residents of the area surrounding the law school, the Stanford

                       community Law clinic (ScLc) is one of the few, often only,

                       legal services options available. its storefront home is busy

                       with a steady flow of potential clients seeking help as they veer

                       into the often intimidating world of courts and legal notices.

                       Little Case Model “i am very committed to the ‘little case’
                       model of clinical education,” says Juliet brodie, who joined
                       the law school faculty in 2006 as an associate professor of law
                       and ScLc’s new director. “we chose our three practice areas
                       because they give rise to cases that tend to be manageable for
                       students, and that move quickly.” while the clinic also gets in-
                       volved in policy-level projects—chris kramer, Jd/mba ’08,
                       and brodie have been working on behalf of a client this legisla-
                       tive session on a workers’ rights bill—the legal services cases
                       are the “bread and butter” of the practice.
                           with a constant flow of cases, there’s opportunity. Students
                                                                                                                                                               greg clarke

                       sharpen their legal skills on an average of six cases (per student)
                       each semester, taking them from the initial interview through to
    “People often come to us in a state of extreme anxiety and                low Jessica Steinberg ’04—they are given a lot of leeway
part of our counseling job is to give them the confidence they                as they work their way through their first real lawyering
need to assert their rights,” says finucane. “everything be-                  experiences.
comes less scary if you have somebody you can trust to explain                    bowman observes that the faculty typically answer stu-
your rights and to defend you in court.”                                      dents’ questions with a question: “what do you think is
    brodie has put her 10 years of clinical legal education expe-             the best way to handle this?” though sometimes answering
rience to work—expanding the reach of this important train-                   that question requires more than legal skills. bowman, who
ing ground with the addition of eviction work, or “unlawful                   hopes to be a “new take of an old-school poverty lawyer,”
detainer” cases as they are called in california.                             describes one recent eviction case as particularly challenging
    “no one was doing unlawful detainer work, so we saw a need                because of the client’s undiagnosed mental illness. “i didn’t
in the community for this kind of representation,” says brodie,               see the world in the way that she did,” says bowman. “but
who before joining the Stanford Law faculty was an assistant                  i’ve learned so much from her.” the case highlighted issues
attorney general for the state of wisconsin and then an associate             specific to dealing with clients who are struggling with the
clinical professor at the university of wisconsin Law School.                 stresses of poverty and illness. but the reward of represent-
                                                                              ing clients in need is clear.
Learning by Doing Students are responsible for their in-                          “ScLc offers the chance to do very real work for real people
dividual client cases from intake through disposition. and                    with real problems,” says finucane. “if the housing client we rep-
while they are supervised by brodie, along with law school                    resented hadn’t found a lawyer, she and her son would almost cer-
lecturer danielle Jones, and (current) Jay m. Spears fel-                     tainly have been homeless.”

                                                                                                                                                        2 0 0 8
                                                                                                                                                        S p r i n g
case roundup

                                                                                                                                                        L a w y e r
The Community Law Clinic has scored several        this context,” says lawrence c. Marshall, the       gas mileage standards for SUVs and pickup
wins for clients threatened with eviction. In      David and Stephanie Mills Director of clinical      trucks. Noah long ’08 and Ben ratner ‘08                           31

                                                                                                                                                        S t a n f o r d
one case, the clinic successfully settled a case   education and associate dean for public             helped research and draft the opening and
for a low-income couple, elderly egyptian          interest and clinical education.                    reply briefs. California Lawyer named clinic
immigrants who spoke very little english, who                                                          director and lecturer in law Deborah a. “Deb-
were threatened with eviction because of a         The Ninth circuit ruled in favor of the position    bie” Sivas ’87 one of california’s “attorneys
cooking fire. alexis rickher ’08 and genevieve     that the Cyberlaw Clinic took on behalf of          of the Year” based on her contributions as
Fontan ’09 conducted a fact investigation and      its client, the electronic Frontier Founda-         counsel in this case.
took depositions to work up their defense.         tion (eFF), as an amicus curiae in DirecTV v.
                                                   Huyhn, a case involving a federal provision         The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic successfully
The Criminal Defense Clinic’s alisha Beltramo      prohibiting the “assembly” or “modification”        handled cases involving undocumented wom-
‘09 and David Simpson ‘09 (Ba ’06) suc-            of equipment designed to intercept satellite        en from Mexico who had been abused by their
cessfully argued that a life sentence for their    signals. The clinic argued that the provision       partners, including one in which the clinic
client, who had picked up three strikes by         should not apply to computer scientists             obtained relief under the Violence against
committing nonviolent crimes, was inap-            and others working on legitimate scientific         Women act on behalf of an undocumented
propriate. Beltramo and Simpson presented          research. David Price ‘06 and Trevor Dryer ’06      woman from Mexico who survived physical
evidence in a two-hour sentencing hearing          assisted in the case.                               and psychological abuse by her U.S. citizen
with Beltramo delivering closing arguments.                                                            husband. Thanks to the advocacy of Hewan
at the end of the proceedings, the judge           The Environmental Law Clinic celebrated a           Teshome ‘08 and Peter Schermerhorn ‘08,
imposed the least severe punishment by law         victory for its client, the center for Biological   the client was allowed to remain in the United
(14 years). “Judge ray cunningham noted ...        Diversity, which along with several states and      States with her children and family.
that David’s and alisha’s presentation was         public interest groups won a fuel-emissions
the best defense work he had ever seen in          case against the National Highway Traffic
                                                   Safety administration (NHTSa). On Novem-
                                                   ber 15, the Ninth circuit court of appeals
                                                   ruled that the NHTSa violated the law by
                                                   ignoring global warming when it set national
                       c             l             i           n               i            c             n              e             w                s
                                    SuPreme court Litigation cLinic
                                                              a record-Setting Semester
                                                                               By Sharon Driscoll

                       T       he haLLowed haLLS

                       of the u.S. SuPr eme cour t

                       are starting to feel like a sec-
                       ond home to members of Stan-
                       ford’s Supreme court Litigation
                       clinic. Launched in January of
                       2004 by Pamela S. karlan and
                       thomas c. goldstein as the first
     2 0 0 8

                       clinic of its kind anywhere, it has
                       quickly matured into a respect-
     S p r i n g

                       ed institution in the small world
                       of the Supreme court bar. and

                       its mission is simple: pro bono
     L a w y e r

                       lawyering at the highest court in
32                     the land. now this nimble team
     S t a n f o r d

                       is besting its own stats. during
                       the spring ’08 semester alone
                       clinic instructors will argue a record six cases before the court—a number rarely               and four years on, the ScLc’s
                       reached by even the most active Supreme court litigation firms. • “we don’t sleep,”         reputation for excellence has spread
                       says karlan, kenneth and harle montgomery Professor of Public interest Law and              beyond the Supreme court bar to the
                       Supreme court Litigation clinic (ScLc) founding director. “we have 24-hour cov-             broader legal community. today many
                       erage between our east coast instructors, our students and Jeff, who tend to stay up        cases are directed to the clinic by lo-
                       late, and me—i get up at 5 a.m. there literally isn’t an hour of the day when the clinic    cal attorneys. four of the six merits
                       isn’t working somewhere.” • the team expanded in fall 2006 with the addition of Jef-        cases scheduled this semester, includ-
                       frey fisher as karlan’s co-director. no stranger to Supreme court litigation, fisher        ing Kennedy v. Louisiana and Meacham
                       came to Stanford Law with more than 20 cases and four arguments before the court            v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, were
                       already under his belt including wins in the landmark cases of Blakely v. Washington        referred to the clinic.
                       and Crawford v. Washington.
                           “it’s an absolute privilege to be able to pick and choose the work that you want        The Art of the Brief
                       to focus on based only on the criteria that you think it’s worthwhile and interesting,      crafting is their business, as members
                       meaningful work that will provide a valuable learning experience,” says fisher.             of the ScLc draft and redraft briefs 10,
                           Strategy at all stages—in writing a brief, in laying out an argument, in setting up     12, and 14 times, fine-tuning points—
                       client teams, and in choosing cases—is an important element of the clinic’s success.        reviewing strategy, turning each phrase
                       the instructors have been particularly adept at identifying cases at the cert stage that    of their argument until it’s pitch-perfect.
                       are ripe for the court’s review.                                                            the process can be grueling—particular-
                           “many people cannot find representation from Supreme court insiders, who often          ly for Stanford Law students who are ac-
                       have a leg up in the court,” says fisher, who notes that this is particularly challenging   customed to getting things right the first,
                       at the cert stage before the court has taken a case. “tom and Pam were the ones to          or perhaps the second time.
                                                                                                                                                                 Mel cUrTIS

                       identify this gap in the Supreme court bar and that is certainly one of the reasons for         “it took three months to work on a
                       the clinic’s ongoing success.”                                                              section of one brief that was only four or
c               l               i             n                i              c               n               e             w                s
five pages long. every word mattered,”             court we’re putting the reputation of the           “it was an extraordinary opportunity to
says andrew dawson ’08 (ba ’03). “the              entire clinic and all the instructors on the        work with people who are at the top of
level of strategic thinking is amazing.”           line,” says karlan. “we cannot make mis-            their game. and all while trying to solve
    Students know that this clinic, while          takes or push things beyond the bound-              really important issues in the nation’s
certainly high profile, is not right for ev-       aries of what is a credible argument.”              highest court.”
eryone. for starters, it’s a big time com-             the intensity of the research and writ-             Just five months into her associate
mitment—one worth a full seven units               ing required to ready briefs for the court,         position, Lipez has already worked on
of credit. and it is a legal research and          while challenging, does have tangible re-           two Supreme court briefs at her firm.
writing program at its core. everyone              sults. “these students make huge gains in           “the experience of working in teams in
contributes to the process with not only           their writing and advocacy skills,” notes           the clinic, of learning to put my ego to the
instructors editing students but students          fisher. “the difference in the level of             side and not feel overly possessive of the
editing students and instructors editing           strategy and writing between the begin-             piece–that has been tremendously ben-
instructors. by the time a brief is final no       ning and the end of a semester is really            eficial to me here, as it was when i was
one student or instructor can claim au-            impressive.”                                        clerking,” says Lipez. “when you clerk
thorship. “the final briefs are seamless—              Skills sharpened while participating            or work at a firm, it’s all about teamwork.
and should be,” says karlan.                       in the clinic certainly help newly gradu-           the clinic was great training for collab-

                                                                                                                                                      2 0 0 8
    “it was definitely a bonding experi-           ated alumni get up to speed in the work-            orative working.”
ence,” says dawson. “it’s so collabora-            place.                                                  this kind of intense learning can only

                                                                                                                                                      S p r i n g
tive. each person will have a new idea,                “the clinic is akin to a research and           take place in the small-scale environment
and that idea will be edited by someone            writing boot camp, in the best way. the             of the clinic, where the ScLc’s five in-

else.” and this is serious business. each          lessons i learned are extremely useful              structors (including goldstein, who co-

                                                                                                                                                      L a w y e r
student’s 110 percent commitment to the            to me now,” says Julia Lipez ’06 who                directs akin gump’s Supreme court
clinic’s work is crucial to the success of a       since graduating has clerked on the u.S.            practice, and the principals of d.c. bou-                        33

                                                                                                                                                      S t a n f o r d
Supreme court argument.                            court of appeals for the fourth circuit             tique firm howe & russell, P.c., amy
    “we’re constantly stressing to the stu-        and now works at wilmer cutler Pick-                howe and kevin russell) work with 15
dents that every time we go in front of the        ering hale and dorr LLP in new york.                students in groups of three, cases divided
                                                                                                       among them.
                                                                                                           but students do come up for air at
may it please the court...                                                                             least once during their semester for an
One minute into his oral argument in Riley v. Kennedy alan Bakowski ‘08 is interrupted.                optional field trip to d.c. where they
• “So what makes a state law go into effect? at what moment does it become a new baseline?”
asks Jeffrey Fisher, co-director of Stanford’s Supreme court litigation clinic and one of five “jus-   can see the clinic’s cases brought to life,
tices” sitting at the judge’s bench in the law school’s moot courtroom. • The moot court session       argued by their instructors before the
of Riley v. Kennedy is a unique learning opportunity for Bakowski to test-drive the arguments that     Supreme court. “it’s an opportunity
he and his clinic classmates had labored over for weeks, all before the instructors who would be
taking it to the very real stage of the Supreme court. He’d spent two semesters immersed in the        you can’t get anywhere else,” says ra-
case, researching and writing briefs. • In typical moot sessions, a student presents a 10-minute       chel Lee ’09.
argument before a group of faculty and clinic students who serve as judges. This is followed by the        applications for the clinic hit a record
instructor’s argument, after which judges provide feedback to both counselors.
    lively exchanges are the norm.                                                                     high this semester with 46 students vying
    “a lawyer in the Supreme court does not typically get to speak more than two or three sen-         for its 15 spots. with dozens of cases in
tences before being interrupted,” says Fisher of the rapid-fire nature of oral argument.               the various stages that define Supreme
    One day after the Riley v. Kennedy moot session, Scott Stewart ’08 is standing at the podium,
arguing Burgess v. United States before the bench. Fisher, who represents the petitioner, is sitting   court litigation work flow—three argu-
to his right. after it’s done, Stewart waits to hear how he fared.                                     ments are already confirmed for the fall
    “You did great,” says Fisher. “But make sure you have a couple transitions in your head so         semester—they don’t appear to be break-
when there’s a dead moment you have somewhere to go.”
    On March 24, Fisher found himself in Washington, D.c., making his own transitions. as it so        ing their stride.
happened, Fisher and the clinic’s co-director Pamela S. karlan presented Burgess v. United States          “we aim to develop a reputation for
and Riley v. Kennedy, respectively, on the same day in a rare Supreme court doubleheader. Five         expertise in which the justices come to
clinic students took the cross-country flight to catch the action.
    “Watching the arguments live was gratifying because it was the culmination of all our hard         think that if the Stanford clinic takes a
work on the case,” says Bakowski. “But it was also nerve-wracking because we were anxious to see       case, it’s something they should listen to,”
how the justices would respond to our arguments.” —aMY POFTak (Ba ’95)                                 says karlan.
                       c            l             i           n                i                c                  n                e              w                s

                              youth and education Law Project
                                 offers hands-on Practice
                                                  By Amy Poftak (BA ’95)

                                                           T       h i S S P r i n g , 1 6 -y e a r - o L d J . c . w i L L   the cde to assume greater responsibili-
                                                                                                                              ties in ensuring that children in rcSd
                       join a new class at the california School for the deaf (cSd) in fremont, calif.,
                                                                                                                              receive necessary services.
                       that is specially designed for deaf children with disabilities. the class is a wish                        while yeLP students provoke
                       come true for J.c.’s parents, who fought to keep their daughter at cSd after the                       change at the district and state level, they
                                                                                                                              also spend much of their time advocat-
                       school tried to place her in a program for hearing children with autism in the fre-                    ing for individuals. they attend count-
                       mont unified School district. it was also a triumph for the law school’s youth and                     less meetings with school administrators
                                                                                                                              to discuss their clients’ individualized
                       education Law Project (yeLP), which reached a settlement with cSd and the
                                                                                                                              education plans (iePs), which public
     2 0 0 8

                       california department of education last September.                                                     schools are required to develop for stu-
                           “from brief writing to deposition rience in things i want to do in the future                      dents with disabilities. in one notable
     S p r i n g

                       practice to participating in mediation, was a great opportunity.”                                      case, students successfully secured a
                       our students made extraordinary contri-        Sometimes cases are resolved in a mat-                  teenager’s return to high school after be-

                       butions to this case,” says william koski ter of months; others are much more long                     ing expelled for fighting.
     L a w y e r

                       (Phd ’03), eric and nancy wright Pro- term. currently, the clinic is involved in                           “this was a classic piece of lawyering
34                     fessor of clinical education and director a case that began with a 1996 class-action                   and what the clinic is all about: students
     S t a n f o r d

                       of yeLP. “it’s a victory not just for J.c., suit against the ravenswood city School                    working creatively and using problem-
                       but for all children who are deaf and de- district (rcSd) in east Palo alto and                        solving skills to advocate for their cli-
                       velopmentally disabled.”                    the california department of education                     ents,” says koski.
                           the cSd case is a perfect example of (cde) for failing to provide appropri-                            Public policy is another way yeLP
                       yeLP’s raison d’être: to ensure that dis- ate services to students with disabilities.                  presses for change. one recent proj-
                       advantaged youth have access to “equal koski helped broker a settlement in 1999                        ect was for the coalition for adequate
                       and excellent” educational opportunities that resulted in a consent decree and self-                   funding for Special education, which
                       while providing a compelling training improvement plan that put rcSd back                              asked yeLP to develop a legal argument
                       ground for future lawyers. toward that on track, but a recent staffing shortage at                     for why districts should receive more
                       end, the clinic handles 10 to 12 cases at the district has brought the issue to the                    money for special education. together
                       any one time. while the work takes a va- fore again. u.S. district judge thelton                       with koski, clinic students Jesse hahnel
                       riety of forms, from litigation to advocacy henderson has asked yeLP to brief him                      ’08, william rawson ’08, and whitney
                       to policy research, the common denomi- on possible remedies.                                           Sado ‘09 (ba ’06) presented their find-
                       nator is the client.                           one question the case turns on is                       ings to the coalition in Sacramento on
                           “having a client you can put a face whether the state is required to provide                       december 6.
                       to—and whose future is in your hands— services if the district cannot. rachel Vel-                         hahnel, who transferred to SLS from
                       is very motivating,” says Jonathan coff ’08 and craig Zieminski ’08 spent                              harvard Law School after being in-
                       olinger ’08, who joined yeLP in fall hours poring over cases and statutes to                           spired by a talk koski gave at harvard’s
                       2006 when the clinic was in the initial find the answer.                                               kennedy School of government, says it
                       stages of building J.c.’s case. in addition    “we found cases where in certain dire                   was a productive collaboration between
                       to attending several client meetings with situations the state is required to step in                  unlikely partners.
                       J.c.’s parents, olinger drafted discovery and make up the difference,” says Velcoff,                       “normally the coalition is the type
                       requests and helped prepare depositions. who drafted a brief filed before a novem-                     of organization we sue,” he says. “they
                           “i want to be a litigator,” he says. ber 14 hearing. that brief was central in                     got to thinking ‘maybe these guys can
                       “getting a chance to gain hands-on expe- persuading Judge henderson to compel                          help us instead.’ and we did.” SL
                       clini c                                                                           news
                                  SUPREME COURT LITIGATION CLINIC
                                   ARGUES PAY DISCRIMINATION CASE
                                                                                      T         he students knew it was going to be a close call. “I thought we
                       had four justices but wasn’t sure we could get a fifth,” says David Moskowitz ’07, describing how he felt after sitting through oral
                       arguments in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, an employment discrimination case taken up by Stanford Law’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic
                       and heard by the Supreme Court. While the Court’s May, 2007 decision was a blow to the clinic team, the case put a spotlight
                       on pay discrimination and brought the issue to the attention of Congress • It all began with an anonymous note addressed to the
                       clinic’s client, Lilly Ledbetter. The letter revealed that Ledbetter had been making nearly 20 percent less than her male counterparts
                       throughout her 19-year career at a Goodyear tire factory in Alabama. After a jury trial found that Goodyear had violated Title
                       VII, which prohibits pay discrimination, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, stating that Title VII requires
                       employees to sue within 180 days after the discrimination begins. In other words, Ledbetter was too late. • The question before the
     2 0 0 7

                       Supreme Court, then, rested on when the clock starts. Does the 180-day time limit kick in when the employer initiates the discrimi-
     Fa l l

                       nation (sets a salary), as the 11th Circuit Court ruled, or after the last act of discrimination (the employee’s most recent paycheck)?
                       • Moskowitz and his fellow clinic students argued that both were true. Working under the watchful eye of clinic co-instructor and

                       Howe & Russell partner Kevin Russell, lead counsel in the case, students helped draft the petition for certiorari to the Supreme
     L a w y e r

                       Court. • “I felt like a private investigator,” says Scott Reents ’07, who wrote the petition’s factual statement after sifting through
30                     hundreds of pages of trial transcripts. “In doing my research I got the sense that the working environment at Goodyear was from
     S t a n f o r d

                       another era. It’s remarkable Lilly stuck it out given the discrimination she was facing.” • The petition was granted and students set
                       to work on two documents: the merits brief and later a reply brief. Moskowitz worked on a section of the reply brief arguing that
                       the court should defer to the Equal Employment Opportunity
                       Commission, which filed an amicus brief in favor of Ledbetter
                       in a lower court. Jennifer Liu, JD/MBA ’07, who also worked
                       on the brief, researched similar cases that were decided in the
                       plaintiff’s favor. • On November 27, 2006, the students were in
                       Washington, D.C., awaiting Kevin Russell’s oral argument before
                       the Court when they met Lilly Ledbetter for the very first time.
                       “She’s a real fighter,” says Liu. • In the end, the court decided 5-4
                       in favor of Goodyear, holding that employees must file a claim
                       within 180 days of a “discriminatory decision” even “if the effects
                       of the initial discriminatory act were not immediately apparent
                       to the worker and even if they continue to the present day.” In a
                       rare move, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read the dissent from
                       the bench. • “It was frustrating,” says Moskowitz. “It seemed like
                       such a big change from how the law had been interpreted for the
                       past 30 or so years.” • “Even though the result was disappoint-
                       ing, it was a great opportunity to participate in an important case,”
                       says Liu, who is quick to point out that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair
                       Pay Act of 2007 was passed by the House of Representatives in
                       late July and is awaiting a vote in the Senate. The act would over-
                       turn the Supreme Court’s much-criticized decision. • “I hope the
                                                                                                                                                                  greg clarke

                       bill in Congress is some consolation to her that her case has pre-
                       vailed in the court of public opinion,” says Reents.
c               l               i               n            i             c              n               e               w                 s
Case Roundup                                         The Youth and Education Law Project           Individuals with Disabilities education act,
The Environmental Law Clinic won a case           (YelP) celebrated a win for its client—a deaf    Section 504 of the rehabilitation act, and
against the california Department of              child with autism who was excluded from the      the americans with Disabilities act. Over the
Fish and game, whose practice of putting          california School for the Deaf (cSD) because     course of the last year, clinic students ruth
hatchery-raised, non-native trout into water      of her additional disabilities—when the case     Barnes ’07, Hope Bennett ’08, Brian Bilford
bodies throughout california put native frog      against the school was settled out of court      ’08, erica Blachman ’07, laura Johnson ’07,
and fish species at risk. In an order issued      in august. as part of the settlement, cSD will   Peter khalil ’07, esther kim, ’07, Jonathan
July 18, 2007, the court found that the           create an environment for developmentally        Olinger ’08, Will rawson ’08, rebecca
agency’s failure to prepare an environmental      delayed students at the school. This settle-     Thalberg ’07, Julie Wahlstrand ’08, caitlin
review for its trout stocking program violated    ment comes after a U.S. District court judge     Weisberg ’08, and ashley Yeargan ’08 have
the california environmental Quality act.         denied cSD’s motion to dismiss, clearing the     done everything from motion practice to
Paul Spitler ’07, Sierra Martinez ’08 (Ba ’03),   way for YelP to pursue claims under the          discovery to expert witness work in the case.
and Justin Barnard ’08 litigated the case
from start to finish.
   The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic filed an                   New OrgaNizatiONs aNd
amicus brief on behalf of the organization               traNsactiONs cliNic Offered at
Human rights Watch (HrW) arguing that                          Mills legal cliNic

                                                                                                                                                     2 0 0 7
the U.S. immigration policy mandating the         T HE LAW SC H O O L’ S     newest clinic will open for business in spring 2008. Serving

                                                                                                                                                     Fa l l
deportation of Wayne Smith and Hugo ar-           nonprofits and small enterprises in the Bay Area, the Organizations and Transactions
mendáriz, legal immigrants who committed          Clinic will provide students with opportunities to work on contracts and collaborations,

drug crimes in their youth, violates interna-     assist with funding and financing projects, advise on governance, compliance, commer-

                                                                                                                                                     L a w y e r
tional human rights standards. The case was       cial, and reporting matters, and provide general corporate support to its clients. • “Non-
heard by the Inter-american commission on         profits have governance, finance, and commercial needs just as large corporations do,”                               31

                                                                                                                                                     S t a n f o r d
Human rights July 20 in Washington, D.c.          says Jay A. Mitchell (BA ’80), who directs the clinic. “The work we do in the clinic will
lin chan ’07 and gloria Borges ’07 wrote          provide practical help to our clients, give the students opportunities to build knowledge
the brief in support of petitioners Smith and     and experience in these core areas, and demonstrate how corporate lawyers can use
armendáriz.                                       their skills to serve the community.” • Mitchell, a former partner at Heller Ehrman
   The Community Law Clinic’s Margaret            White & McAuliffe in San Francisco, comes to Stanford Law after 15 years as chief
cohen ’08 filed and argued several criminal       corporate counsel at Levi Strauss & Co., where his work focused primarily on gover-
record expungement motions in the superior        nance, finance, stockholder, and disclosure matters and on a wide range of commercial
courts of Santa clara and San Mateo coun-         transactions. Mitchell will be joined for the 2008–2009 academic year by the Orrick,
ties. In one notable case, the client’s minor     Herrington & Sutcliffe Teaching Fellow. • Mitchell expects the clinic to draw students
convictions barred her from job promotions        interested in careers in corporate law, business, and finance—a subset of students not
and other professional opportunities. cohen       currently being targeted by the law school’s other litigation-focused clinics. He also
persuaded the judge of her client’s entitle-      hopes to attract students planning careers in litigation or public policy who want experi-
ment to expungement, despite the opposition       ence in organizational work. • Alumni who are board members, officers, volunteers, or
of the probation department.                      otherwise affiliated with organizations that might be appropriate clients for the clinic as
                                                  well as alumni who are interested in learning more about the teaching fellowship are
                                                  encouraged to contact Mitchell (650-724-0014;

Two New Teaching Fellowships Established
TWO l aW FI rMS k N OWN for their commitment to pro bono work are supporting two new teaching fellowships at the Mills legal clinic of
Stanford law School. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has pledged $250,000 over five years to support a fellowship for the newly established
Organizations and Transactions clinic and cooley godward kronish has committed $250,000 over five years to support a fellowship for
the Immigrants’ rights clinic. The Organizations and Transactions clinic provides legal assistance to nonprofits and small businesses. The Orrick,
Herrington & Sutcliffe Fellow will join the clinic for the 2008–2009 academic year. The Immigrants’ rights clinic represents immigrants on matters
ranging from humanitarian relief from deportation to asylum protection. attorney Jennifer H. lee, who has extensive experience working
with immigrant domestic violence issues, is the inaugural cooley godward kronish Fellow. “These fellowships allow us to offer more students
closely supervised clinical training and the opportunity to enable students to reflect deeply on the work they do,” says lawrence c. Marshall,
David and Stephanie Mills Director of clinical education and associate dean for public interest and clinical education.
                       clini c                                                                               news
                                                 cLinic program gainS
                                                                                       W        alk into the Stanford Legal clinic and you’ll find students
                       hard at work conducting research, interviewing clients, and developing case strategies. Some are obtaining asylum protection for
                       immigrants; others are representing elementary and high school students in special education proceedings. in short, not only are
                       they learning to think like lawyers, they are learning to act like them—and improving the lives of others along the way. • clinical
                       legal education has become an increasingly important priority for the law school, which aims to offer this practical experience to
                       every student who wants one. Helping to jumpstart these efforts are Louis Lupin ’85 and his wife, margarita, who recently do-
                       nated $1 million to support clinical education at the law school. • “clinical education serves as a vital link between the classroom
                       and the real world of practice; it’s also a significant vehicle for cultivating students’ commitment to public service,” says Louis
     2 0 0 7

                       Lupin, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm. “this is an extraordinary opportunity to build a program that
                       will become a national model for excellence.” • the Lupins’ pledge comes during a time of tremendous growth for the current
     S p r i n g

                       clinical program, which began in 2005 with the generous support of David and Stephanie mills, who made possible the appoint-
                       ment of Lawrence c. marshall, David and Stephanie mills Director of clinical education and associate dean for public interest

                       and clinical education. this was followed by the endowment
     L a w y e r

                       of a clinical professorship, the eric and nancy Wright profes-
32                     sor of clinical education, to which William Koski (phD ’03)
                       was appointed in 2006. the mills also recently committed thinking and acting globally
     S t a n f o r d

                       an additional $1 million in expendable funds to the clinics. • When Craig Segall ’07 was an undergraduate at the University of
                       providing an additional boost are James “    Jim” and catherine Chicago, he spent his summers on a mountaintop studying the effects
                       “cathy” Koshland, who have pledged $350,000 in expendable of climate change on high-alpine snow. What he discovered alarmed
                       clinic funds. Both Koshlands have strong ties to Stanford: Jim him. rising temperatures were shrinking the snow packs, severely
                       ’78 serves on the law school Dean’s advisory council and the disrupting the food sources of the surrounding bird and plant life.
                       campaign Steering committee; and cathy (mS ’78, phD ’85)                  Today, amid a groundswell of attention being paid to global warm-
                       earned advanced degrees in mechanical engineering. • addi- ing, Segall is one of several students at Stanford’s environmental law
                       tionally, peter D. Staple ’81 (Ba ’74) and Harise Stein (BS ’74) Clinic representing clients who are working on solutions. Through
                       have pledged $250,000 to support clinical work and outreach multiple legal tacks, the clinic is representing organizations and indi-
                       relating to domestic violence.                                        viduals trying to effect changes in public policy and ultimately bring
                           other recent gifts include commitments of $250,000 each global warming even further into the public consciousness.
                       from cooley godward Kronish and orrick, Herrington & Sut-                 in February, the clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of U.S.
                       cliffe to fund two clinical fellowships over a five-year period. Senator John Kerry and U.S. representative Jay inslee in support
                       cooley’s gift is earmarked for the immigrants’ rights clinic; of environmental groups suing the Bush administration (Center for
                       orrick’s will fund a new general counsel clinic focusing on as- Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace, Inc. v. Bren-
                       sisting nonprofits.                                                   nan, et al.). The brief contends that the administration failed to issue
                           “clinical education is a very expensive endeavor. the critical data about climate change in violation of the global Change
                       school’s long-term commitment to it requires we garner sub- research act of 1990.
                       stantial resources to meet immediate growth needs as well as              Under the guidance of the clinic’s director, Deborah a. “Debbie”
                       secure permanent endowment funding to ensure its future vi- Sivas ‘87, Segall worked with Senator Kerry’s office to outline and
                       ability,” says catherine “rinnie” nardone, associate dean of write the brief. along the way, Segall tracked down a key figure in the
                       external relations. “these gifts help the school tremendously in climate change debate: rick Piltz, a former government scientist who
                       both respects.”                                                       has alleged that a White house official selectively edited scientific
                   c              l               i             n               i             c               n               e               w                 s
                   documents on climate change. Piltz agreed to be a declarant in the            On a more local level—with a potential ripple effect nationally—
                   case this april—a major coup for the clinic’s clients.                     clinic students are representing clients grappling with the implica-
                      “Partly this case is about visibility,” says Sivas. “it’s also about    tions of the California global Warming Solutions act of 2006, which
                   trying to get information out there to the public, policymakers, and       requires the state to turn back greenhouse gas emissions to 1990
                   lawmakers. Our clients are fighting to have federal agencies internal-     levels and also to prevent utilities from buying energy from high-
                   ize these issues and do something about them.”                             pollution producers. On behalf of its clients in this matter, the clinic
                      another line of attack is fuel standards, also known as CaFe            will be offering comments to the California air resources Board,
                   (Corporate average Fuel economy). The clinic represents the lead           which is responsible for implementing the legislation.
                   petitioner, the Center for Biological Diversity, in a suit being brought       “We represent clients trying to push the government toward ac-
                   against the national highway Traffic Safety administration. The suit       tion in different ways. Our students are learning that creative lawyer-
                   alleges that nhTSa’s new mileage standards for light trucks are well       ing means looking for any lever we can,” says Sivas.
                   below what is technologically possible and fails to address global cli-
                   mate change. More specifically, the suit contends that the standards
                   violate the national environmental Policy act.

                                                                                                                                                                         2 0 0 7
                                                                                                                                                                         S p r i n g
                                                                                                                                                                         L a w y e r
                   Shining a                             life imprisonment seems wildly                                            rejected a proposed life sen-                           33

                                                                                                                                                                         S t a n f o r d
                   Light on three-                       disproportionate.                                                         tence for one of the crimi-
                   StrikeS Law                               thought to be the first in                                            nal Defense clinic’s clients,
                                                                                                       LouiS Lupin ’85
                                                         the nation, the three-Strikes                                             a transient who had failed
                   earlier this year, the criminal       project took in 12 students this     nature of the criminal acts so       to promptly update his sex-
                   Defense clinic launched an            past semester who worked on          the judge, who is allowed to         offender registration after
                   initiative focused on prison-         six cases, under close supervi-      depart from the three-strikes        becoming homeless. carly
                   ers sentenced to life impris-         sion by marshall and by San          scheme, has adequate infor-          Kaufman ’07 and Lauren Sun
                   onment under california’s             Francisco defense attorney mi-       mation,” marshall says.              ’08 researched the client’s
                   three-strikes law.                    chael romano ’04.                        another aim of the proj-
                       “this is an area in which             one goal for the project is      ect is to educate the public
                   there has not been a focus on         to present a full picture of the     about the law itself. “if the
                   in-court advocacy and where           defendant to the sentencing          people of california decide
                   in many parts of the state de-        judge—a common practice              that they wish to maintain the
                   fendants are not getting access       in death penalty cases that          current three-strikes law—by
                   to appointed counsel follow-          marshall and romano seek             far the harshest in the united
                   ing their direct appeals,” says       to apply in three-strikes sen-       States—that decision should
                   Lawrence c. marshall, Da-             tencings. “in cases where a          be an educated one, in which              LaWrence c. marSHaLL
                   vid and Stephanie mills Di-           defendant is being threatened        voters understand the com-
                   rector of clinical education          with a life sentence based on        plexities of the issue and the       history and established his
                   and associate dean for public         beliefs about the way in which       toll that these sentences play       failure to register was due to
                   interest and clinical education.      the person led his life and the      on families and communities,”        mental limitations. the judge
                   marshall notes that for many          nature of the crimes he com-         says marshall.                       ultimately accepted the clin-
STeve glaDFelTer

                   defendants, their “third strike”      mitted, there must be a mean-            the project is already see-      ic’s proposed sentence—pro-
                   is for minor crimes like petty        ingful investigation into the        ing results. on march 19, a          bation under the supervision
                   theft, for which the penalty of       defendant’s life story and the       Santa clara county judge             of the mental Health court.
                       p               e               r                s               p              e            c               t         i          v           e           s

                       GoinG Before
                                                 “I had, of course, never argued a case before any court, much less the ninth circuit.
                                                 and if that were not enough, soon before the hearing an excited court clerk called to inform us
                                                 that retired Supreme court Justice Sandra day o’connor would be sitting on
                                                 the three-judge panel that would hear our case.” PauL SPItLer

                       matthew j. sanders ’02
                       “I’ve argued before JuStIce Sandra day o’connor.” thIS IS the LIne I have

                       uSed to deLIberateLy mISLead my coLLeagueS,               friends, and, yes, even my fam-
                       ily members into thinking that fewer than five years out of law school I have argued in
                       the u.S. Supreme court. of course I haven’t; the closest I’ve come is standing in the
     2 0 0 7

                       surprisingly narrow space between nina totenberg and Justice Stephen breyer (ba
                       ’59), while I was sworn in as a member of the Supreme court bar. (In other words,
     S p r i n g

                       not close at all, although I do feel supremely important when I bypass the public line                             paul spitler ’07
                       on my way to the special people line to attend arguments at the court.)                                            we were gathered In the u.S. court

                           no, my line about Sandra day o’connor ’52 (ba ’50), while true, pertains to the dif-
     L a w y e r

                                                                                                                                          of aPPeaLS buILdIng In San francIS-

                       ferent but no less thrilling experience of arguing before Justice o’connor while she was                           co—a SettIng fIt       for a hollywood
36                     sitting by designation on a panel in the ninth circuit court of appeals, where I do most                           courtroom drama with its ornate marble
     S t a n f o r d

                       of my work as an appellate lawyer with the environment division at the u.S. department                             walls and floors, mosaic ceilings and mu-
                       of Justice. the case concerned a long-running dispute between snowmobilers and skiers                              rals. the courtroom was standing room
                       who share a prime recreation area in the humboldt-toiyabe national forest, just south of                           only, so full that the hearing was being
                       Lake tahoe, california. by the time the case reached my desk, the legal issues concerned                           televised in the court’s cafeteria, which
                       whether the ninth circuit had jurisdiction to hear the appeal and, if it did, whether my                           was also full. when the bailiff bellowed
                       client, the u.S. forest Service, had taken reasonable steps to resolve the conflict and deal                       “all rise!” and announced our case, I took
                       with the thorny legal status of a road that runs through the area.                                                 my last sip of water and stood. “madam
                           the briefing was tough and Justice o’connor was making me sweat before I even                                  Justice, your honors, may it please the
                       saw her, but fate had thrown me yet another twist. my opposing counsel was deborah
                       a. “debbie” Sivas ’87, the director of the Stanford environmental Law clinic, under
                       whom I had worked as a clinic student just four years earlier. and now, I had to litigate
                       against her? fortunately our good relationship was saved by 3L Paul Spitler, who
                       stood between our zealous glares as he eloquently made his clients’ case. Stanford’s
                       margaret “meg” caldwell ’85, and a number of current students, also attended.
                           Stanford’s representation at the argument that day—on the bench and on both
                       sides of the podium—reminded me of the law school’s excellence, of the stellar educa-
                       tion I received in the environmental curriculum and clinic, and, most important, of
                       the kind and collegial people who direct and participate in those programs. and did I
                       mention that I argued before Justice o’connor?

                       matthew J. SanderS ‘02 practices in the Appellate Section of the Environment & Natural
                                                                                                                                                                                       MICHELLE MCCARRON

                       Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. The views expressed in this article are
                       Sanders’s personal views, not necessarily those of the Department of Justice.

                                                                                                           PauL SP ItLe r ‘07
             p           e           r            s           p           e           c           t             i            v               e              s

                                                                                                          matthe w J . Sa nde rS ‘0 2

                                                                                                              on the Supreme court, Justice
                                                                                                          o’connor was renowned for pushing
                                                                                                          counsel to apply their argument to hy-
                                                                                                          pothetical scenarios she created. another
                                                                                                          judge on our case, Judge Susan P. gra-
                                                                                                          ber, was known for asking extremely de-
                                                                                                          tailed questions about the administrative
                                                                                                          record for the case. the last judge, Judge
                                                                                                          richard g. tallman, was not known as
                                                                                                          a tough questioner but was considered

                                                                                                                                                                   2 0 0 7
                                                                                                          conservative on environmental suits.
                                                                                                              I had to be ready for it all. with the

                                                                                                                                                                   S p r i n g
                                                                                                          assistance of environmental Law clinic
                                                                                                          director debbie Sivas ’87, I tore into

                                                                                                          preparations—setting out a lengthy list

                                                                                                                                                                   L a w y e r
                                                                                                          of potential questions—which my wife
                                                                                                          quizzed me on during breakfast. and                                        37

                                                                                                                                                                   S t a n f o r d
                                                                                                          lunch. and dinner.
                                                                                                              mere seconds into my opening state-
                                                                                                          ment, Judge tallman interrupted me.
                                                                                                          “do we even have jurisdiction over this
                                                                                                          case?” he asked. I coolly responded as
                                                                                                          if I had heard the question a thousand
                                                                                                          times before. It was the first question on
                                                                                                          my list.
             court. . .” then, I launched into the first    discussions and an unsatisfactory district        a month after the argument, the court
             argument of my legal career, before the        court decision, the case landed in the        dismissed our appeal. because the man-
             ninth circuit court of appeals, with re-       ninth circuit in fall 2006. under special     agement plan had been sent back to the
             tired Justice Sandra day o’connor ’52          rules, the ninth circuit allows students      forest service for revision, the court con-
             (ba ’50) sitting on the bench.                 to receive certification to argue cases. as   cluded that our appeal was pre-mature.
                 It took this case six years to reach the   a third-year student in the environmen-           the result was, of course, disappoint-
             ninth circuit, wending its way from a          tal Law clinic, I had helped to develop       ing, but it took nothing away from the
             small swath of national forest land south      the appellate briefs and was selected to      experience. I learned an immense amount
             of Lake tahoe where snowmobilers were          argue the case.                               about how to think through a case and
             competing with skiers for space. In 2000,          I had, of course, never argued a case     how to prepare and present an argument.
             the Stanford environmental Law clinic          before any court, much less the ninth         those valuable skills are difficult, if not im-
             filed suit on behalf of the skiers, known      circuit. and if that were not enough, soon    possible, to learn in a classroom and will
             as friends of hope valley, against the         before the hearing, an excited court clerk    serve me well in my future career. SL
             u.S. forest Service, alleging that the         called to inform us that retired Supreme
             forest service management plan for the         court Justice Sandra day o’connor             PauL SPItLer plans to join Shute, Mihaly &

             area was unlawful in allowing snowmo-          would be sitting on the three-judge panel     Weinberger after graduation where he hopes to continue
             bile use. after years of failed settlement     that would hear our case.                     practicing environmental and land use law.

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