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Law valedictorian Hope Forsyth wins W. Lee Johnson Award

Hope Forsyth was recently honored by The University of Tulsa College of Law for graduating with the highest cumulative grade point average. The W. Lee Johnson Award was presented to Forsyth at the TU Law Hooding Ceremony, Friday, May 4, 2018, where she also served as class valedictorian.

As a law student, Forsyth received the highest grade in 11 classes including Basic Corporate Law, Agency & Partnership, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law II, Professional Responsibility, Evidence, Selling & Leasing, Criminal Law, Legal Writing, Civil Procedure I and Torts. She also received the George and Jean Price Award for Excellence in Legal Writing and the OBA Award for Outstanding Student.

Forsyth served as the executive editor of the Tulsa Law Review, is a  student member of the Johnson-Sontag/Council Oak Chapter of the American Inns of Court and is a member of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society.

During her time at TU, Forsyth gained experience at multiple levels of the federal court system as a judicial extern for Senior Judge Stephanie Seymour on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and as an intern for Chief Judge Gregory K. Frizzell, former Magistrate Judge T. Lane Wilson and Magistrate Judge Paul J. Cleary, all of the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Before law school, Forsyth’s essay “Forum” was published in “Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture” by Princeton University Press. Her law review comment, “Mutually Assured Protection: Dmitri Shostakovich and Russian Influence on American Copyright Law,” is forthcoming in the Tulsa Law Review. In her free time, Forsyth is an America’s Test Kitchen home recipe tester and a volunteer sacramental catechist for her Catholic parish. Forsyth will join the law firm of GableGotwals as an associate attorney in September.

Hamidi receives Crowe & Dunlevy Diversity Scholars Program scholarship

Fareshteh Hamidi, first-year law student at The University of Tulsa University College of Law, was recently honored with Crowe & Dunlevy’s Diversity Scholars Program scholarship, an honor awarded to one outstanding TU Law candidate each year who qualifies based on academic achievement, financial need and commitment to the law. The scholarship totals $10,000, with $2,000 installments granted each semester based on the student’s excellent progress and performance.

Hamidi graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Oklahoma City University. Since that time, she has held a legal internship and worked in the health care and hospitality industries. Today, she is seeking a health law certificate from the University of Tulsa College of Law, where she is a member of the Immigration Law Society and won first place in the Board of Advocates Redbud Invitational Competition. In her spare time, Hamidi is an active community member, volunteering with the Junior League of Oklahoma City, Emergency Infant Services, NewView Oklahoma, OK Kids Korral at the Toby Keith Foundation and more.

Crowe & Dunlevy offers comprehensive transactional and litigation services from early mediation to alternative dispute resolution through 30 practice groups and can be found at crowedunlevy.com.

Cybersecurity law scholar Ido Kilovaty joins TU Law

Cybersecurity scholar Ido Kilovaty joins TU as the Frederic Dorwart Endowed Assistant Professor of Law.

Ido Kilovaty has been appointed to hold the Frederic Dorwart Endowed Assistant Professor of Law position at The University of Tulsa College of Law. He will teach cybersecurity law, internet law and international law.

Kilovaty comes to TU from Yale Law School where he was a Cyber Fellow for the Center for Global Legal Challenges, a Resident Fellow for the Information Society Project, and involved in co-teaching a course titled, “The Law & Technology of Cyber Conflict” offered both to law students and computer science majors.

“I am delighted to be joining The University of Tulsa College of Law,” said Kilovaty. “I am very much looking forward to be working with the outstanding faculty and students at Tulsa.”

Focuses on domestic and global cybersecurity.

Kilovaty studies the connection between technology, law and policy, with a focus on domestic and global cybersecurity. His recently authored “Freedom to Hack” which proposes a solution of ethical hacking for the improvement of smart-device security is forthcoming in the Ohio State Law Journal. He has also written on election interference through cyberspace, “Doxfare: – Politically Motivated Leaks and the Future of the Norm on Non-Intervention in the Era of Weaponized Information” appearing in the Harvard National Security Journal (2018).

Kilovaty’s recent scholarship includes – “NATO, ICRC, and the U.S. –Direct Participation in Hacktivities under International Humanitarian Law” (Duke Law & Technology Review); “World Wide Web of Exploitations—Peacetime Cyber Espionage under International Law” (Columbia Science & Technology Law Review); “Virtual Violence: Disruptive Cyber Operations as ‘Attacks’ under International Humanitarian Law” (Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review). Kilovaty has also published op-eds and essays in the Harvard Law Review Blog, Lawfare, Just Security, WIRED, and TechCrunch.

At Yale Law, Kilovaty developed a project to connect the legal and technical aspects of cybersecurity.

At Yale Law School, Kilovaty developed a cross-disciplinary project on cybersecurity bringing together lawyers, policymakers and technology experts to engage in constructive discourse on the current state of affairs on cybersecurity law and policy. The project was a collaboration between Yale Law School and Yale University’s Department of Computer Science designed to bridge the gaps between the legal and technical aspects of cybersecurity.

Kilovaty earned his Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree from Georgetown University Law Center, his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of California Berkeley School Of Law, and his Bachelor of Laws LL.B.) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

TU Law given an “A” for facilities

The University of Tulsa College of Law has been selected as one of the “Best Law School Buildings” by preLaw Magazine, March 2018. TU Law received an “A” for its campus facility, aesthetics, technology, library and amenities.

Tyler Roberts, editor of preLaw magazine noted in the article, “When applying to law school, it is important to consider the academic rigor of each school, its employment statistics and its bar-passage rate. But don’t forget that once law school starts, you could be spending 40-60 hours a week there. You may spend more time – at least awake time – there than you do at home. This is why preLaw magazine started its evaluations of law school buildings in 2014.”

TU Law building’s points-of-interest include:

MABEE LEGAL INFORMATION CENTER (LAW LIBRARY

The Mabee Legal Information Center (MLIC) is a resource-rich and technologically advanced facility giving students and the Tulsa legal community access to the highest standard in legal study and research. The MLIC has a 400,000-volume collection and is staffed with three professional librarians. The building also provides space for three law journals, certificate programs and the school’s alumni office. Features include an electronic classroom, compact shelving, and digital access to electronic and alternative research sources. During regular business hours, students, faculty and staff may reach a reference librarian at 918- 631-2404 or mlic@utulsa.edu.

TU LAW DIGITAL COMMONS

The University of Tulsa College of Law preserves and allows users to access the intellectual output of our community in the TU Law Digital Commons. This repository is a joint project of the Mabee Legal Information Center (MLIC) and the college’s Department of External Relations.

CLASSROOMS

Classrooms are equipped with the latest technology including HD projection systems, touchscreen controls, computer and laptop connections (VGA and HOM1), integrated audio systems with wireless capabilities, Sympodiums, Blu-ray players, document cameras and built­-in classroomcapture/recording systems. See the classrooms in our TU Law virtual tour. All classrooms are linked together with a full HD mesh that allows audio and video to be transmitted between rooms. The Pit, a student lounge, is equipped with a fully integrated audio system and a quad screen video wall used for digital signage applications and event broadcasts.

WM STUART PRICE AND MICHAEL C. TURPEN COURTROOM

The Price and Turpen Courtroom at TU Law is designed for the future of legal instruction. The courtroom boasts a state-of-the art sound system, broadcast and HD recording capabilities, HD video conferencing equipment and a wireless network. The courtroom is used for moot court competitions, classroom instruction and a number of symposia and lectures throughout the year.

BOESCHE LEGAL CLINIC

The Boesche Legal Clinic houses the Immigrant Rights Project, the Tulsa Immigrant Resource Network and the Lobeck Taylor Community Advocacy Clinic. The facility allows law students the opportunity to meet real clients and face challenges in a workplace setting. Students are able to put legal skills and classroom education to the test while under the close supervision of a staff attorney.

ACCESSIBILITY

Elevators

  • An elevator is located in the Mabee Legal Information Center (MLIC) to provide easy multi­level access to the various research facilities.
  • An elevator is also located in the College of Law lobby for access to the Pit and lower level of the MLIC.

Classrooms

  • All classrooms at the College of Law are accessible without having to use stairs.

Restrooms

  • All of the restrooms at the College of Law and in the MLIC are ADA compliant.
  • The restrooms in the MLIC and on the east side of College of Law are larger and more accommodating for persons with disabilities.

SUSTAINABLE FEATURES OF THE LAW SCHOOL BUILDING

The University of Tulsa Law building contains a number of modern sustainable features including:

  • Building automation for temperature and humidity controls
  • Occupancy sensors for lighting
  • Efficiency optimization of existing light fixtures in remodeled areas
  • Variable frequency drives on key air handlers and heating water pumps
  • Recycling stations for students, faculty and administrators

 

 

International student calls upon experience as an immigrant in her legal studies

Aisosa Arhunmwunde is a third-year law student at The University of Tulsa College of Law who is working towards a career in immigration law. Originally born in Nigeria, Arhunmwunde immigrated with her family to Canada where she earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Manitoba.

After college, she decided to continue her education in law school. “I realized early that laws are dormant until a person is there to enforce and interpret them for people,” said Arhunmwunde. “It was then that I realized I wanted to be the voice of those who needed help with their legal rights.”

“TU Law allowed me to start school in the spring semester.”

Originally, Arhunmwunde looked at TU Law because she wanted to begin law school in the spring semester and TU offers spring, summer and fall starts. After she compared schools, she realized that TU’s robust experiential learning program, excellent academics, diverse student body and the affordable cost of obtaining a legal education was right for her.

She worked with asylum-seekers in Ireland.

During law school, Arhunmwunde has focused her interests on immigration law by working at TU’s Immigrant Resource Network and Immigrant Rights Project. During the summer months, Arhunmwunde took her studies abroad through TU’s Study Abroad program and interned at the Irish Refugee Council in Dublin helping clients who were seeking asylum.

Elizabeth McCormick, JD, associate dean of Experiential Learning and director of the Clinical Education Program at TU Law said, “Aisosa brings the unique and valuable perspective of her own experience as an immigrant and international student to her work with immigrant clients. She has seized on every available opportunity to gain first-hand experience in immigration law and in representing real clients. The combination of her intellect, passion and empathy will be a great benefit to her and her clients in the future.

After completing her internship, Arhunmwunde traveled to Ghana which was funded by TU Law’s Public Interest Board. Based in Accra, she conducted interviews with citizens on the street who were displaced in order to help them find living spaces. She was one of a cadre of students from around the world there to conduct human rights work in the field.

“Law school is challenging but worth it if you choose the right one for you.”

“It is truly rewarding to have a client whose case you’ve work on call and tell you their asylum is approved and they no longer fear going to jail. It is so worth it,” said Arhunmwunde. “Law school is challenging like everything worthwhile, but it is easier and more enjoyable if you choose a law school that gives you the tools and sets you up for success before you put a foot out of the door.” During her time at TU Law, Arhunmwunde served as the associate editor of the Energy Law Journal, secretary of the Black American Law Students Association and was a member of the Women’s Law Caucus, Board of Advocates and the West African Students Association.

For more information on the TU College of Law, visit us online.

Book reviews featured in this issue of Tulsa Law Review

The annual book review issue of the Tulsa Law Review is now available for reading. Editor-in-Chief and TU Law student M. Dalton Downing prefaces the issue with the following comments about the tradition of publishing book reviews relevant to law.

“In an essay published by the Texas Law Review nearly a decade ago, Sanford Levinson lamented the degree to which law journals were abandoning book reviews. He felt that law journals—the legal profession’s chief scholarly fora—had a duty “to serve as a venue for serious discussions of important books relevant . . . to thinking about law.” The following year, in collaboration with Levinson and Mark Graber, the Tulsa Law Review published its inaugural book review issue.

So began our rich tradition of publishing book reviews that not only offer careful, evaluative criticism of prominent books, but that also bridge disciplinary divides. As you will see in the nearly two dozen essays that follow, both the books under review and the reviewers come from an array of disciplinary backgrounds—from law, of course, but also from sociology, philosophy, political science, and history. Skillfully pairing thought provoking books with astute reviewers, our co-editors, Professors Julie Novkov and Stuart Chinn, assembled a collection of reviews that capture the depth and complexity of each book, stimulate interdisciplinary conversation, and offer original insights. ‘

The Tulsa Law Review owes a debt of gratitude to all who made this issue possible: to Sanford Levinson (whose book is reviewed herein) and Mark Graber for inspiring and establishing this tradition; to Professors Novkov and Chinn for their thoughtful, diligent editorship; and to the reviewers for crafting insightful, fascinating essays that educate and inspire our readers.”

To read this issue of the Tulsa Law Review click here.

Law students study local response to nonemergency calls

TU Law students Morgan Vaughn (l), Billy Boyd and Valerie Hays.

As Oklahoma’s budget crisis threatens funding for critical medical, mental health and social services programs, first responders are feeling the pressure. When core services are cut, Tulsa’s most vulnerable residents have only one option – calling 911.

In 2017, the Tulsa Fire Department responded to calls from a single residence 21 times in one month. Such “high-utilizers” may need help getting out of bed, getting to a medical appointment, picking up medications or buying food. Some high-utilizers have chronic medical problems such as diabetes, heart conditions, alcohol and prescription drug overuse or long-term mental health issues. Some people call simply because they are lonely. Vulnerable Tulsans lean on the fire department when they can’t access other forms of assistance.

Law students from The University of Tulsa College of Law’s Lobeck Taylor Community Advocacy Clinic have been working with the Tulsa Fire Department and studying the high-utilizer problem. The students—Morgan Vaughn, Billy Boyd, and Valerie Hays—have found that the high-utilizer crisis is a serious problem not just for the fire department but for the entire Tulsa community. Nonemergency calls drain resources from the fire department’s core emergency services mission.

The fire department is not a long-term healthcare provider, but people call 911 when they have nowhere else to turn. And when people must use emergency care for nonemergency needs, their underlying health problems will not be resolved. They will continue to call on first responders for help. Because of possible state budget cuts, some medical and mental healthcare providers may have to shut their doors. This will increase demands on first responders and could cause an increase in crime, suicides and drug abuse.

See article published by the Tulsa World here.

The fire department is tackling the high-utilizer problem through the Community Assistance, Referrals & Education Services (CARES) program that is managed by Emergency Medical Services Chief Michael Baker. “We connect people to the social and medical services they need,” Baker explained.

Through partnerships with Tulsa-area agencies like the Mental Health Association, Family & Children’s Services and St. John’s Hospital, the fire department is bridging the gap between high-utilizers and service providers. The fire department is taking a proactive approach because, if these treatable or preventable situations are not taken care of early, they may become emergencies.

With proper funding, providers could do more outreach to connect people to services.  Firefighters wouldn’t have to play the role of social workers and could focus on real emergencies. And people would get the help they need rather than relying on emergency care.

Student authors solutions for Oklahoma’s overcrowded jails

Leslie Briggs, right, shown with TU Law Dean Lyn Entzeroth at the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship reception.

TU Law student Leslie Briggs is working towards a career to “help people with pressing problems that seem insurmountable.” To achieve that goal, Briggs has been heavily involved in rights-oriented work including serving as an intern at the Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office and the OK Policy Institute and as the Tulsa-area organizer for Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform. Recently, Briggs’ article titled, Bail reform should be the solution for Oklahoma’s overcrowded jails, was published on the OKPOLICY.org website and is included below.

Oklahoma voters know that the time is right for criminal justice reform for our state, and they showed it by passing State Questions 780 and 781 by wide margins last November. Not all stakeholders were on board: Just before the questions took effect on July 1, some Sheriffs and District Attorneys raised concerns about rising county jail populations, since many low-level drug and property offenders are no longer eligible for terms in state prisons. While overcrowded jails are a real problem, the state can do much more to solve it by reforming bail practices than by undoing recent reforms.

Like state prison populations, both urban and rural local jail populations have dramatically increased to a point that is breaking our ability to operate them safely. Oklahoma County jail, for example, was originally designed to hold 1,200 inmates; its average daily population has reached twice that size in recent years. But the vast majority of jail inmates in Oklahoma County – about 80 percent – are being held pretrial, which means they haven’t yet been convicted of a crime but can’t afford bail to get out of jail before their case is resolved. Nationwide, about 9 in 10 pretrial inmates have a bail amount set but are unable to meet the financial burden to be released from jail.

Jurisdictions across the country have shown that we can reduce that number by implementing an evidence-based, pretrial release program that relies on individual risk assessments rather than money bail. Doing so at the state level would save counties huge amounts of money without risking public safety.

Pretrial detention doesn’t just contribute to jail overcrowding. It also creates big problems for defendants, their families, and taxpayers. It costs over $51 a day to house an inmate in jail. In many counties, this cost falls on the inmates themselves through jail fees — and if they can’t afford bail they aren’t likely to be able to pay off the fee debt, either. When those fees can’t be collected, the costs must be covered by city and county taxpayers.  An extended pretrial stay in jail may also result in a defendant losing their job, losing their children to state custody, and being evicted from their home. That’s part of why defendants who are detained before trial are much more likely to plead guilty and take a plea bargain — whether or not they are actually guilty — to obtain faster release from incarceration.

We have better options to make this system more just and less expensive. Instead of using money to secure bail, courts should use the information available to them to determine who is at most risk to reoffend or fail to appear for their court date. Strong, empirically-based pretrial risk assessments have been developed and put into use federally and in several states. The Arnold Foundation’s Public Safety Assessment (PSA) is one risk assessment tool that estimates the likelihood that the defendant will commit a new crime, commit a new violent crime, or fail to appear for their court date. These policies save taxpayer dollars, improve public safety, and reduce unjust outcomes for low-income defendants.

For example, Allegheny County (PA) Jail saw a a 30 percent decrease in the number of defendants sent to jail after preliminary arraignment once they integrated a risk assessment tool into their bail setting process, among other reforms. Washington D.C. has gone even further by eliminating money bail in favor of pretrial release that may come with conditions like GPS monitoring, regular drug testing, and checking in at court by phone or in person. Over the last five years, 90 percent of those released under D.C’s system have remained arrest free before their cases were resolved.

“This creates a paradox for those sitting in jail: bond out and be required to hire an attorney who charges $350 per hour, or stay in jail and risk losing your job, home, and children, only to then feel pressured to take a plea deal for less time in incarceration.”

In the absence of these reforms, private bail bondsmen often play the role of facilitating release by paying off bail and supervising defendants in exchange for high interest charges on the bail amount. Proponents of the current money bail systemcontend that bail bondsmen save taxpayers money and do the job of making risk assessments in the interest of public safety. But bail bondsmen do not have a standardized, evidence-based system for determining who is a potential threat to public safety, and they do not consider the type of crime committed in their assessment of who they will bond out. They also don’t face a penalty if the defendant they bond out commits a new crime after release. These incentives mean that bondsmen are primarily concerned whether defendants are a flight risk and whether they will be able to pay off the interest, not whether they are likely to commit a new crime.

The second major issue is access to justice for low income defendants. Only those who cannot afford to hire an attorney are eligible for representation by a Public Defender. Under Oklahoma law, when a defendant posts bail it creates a “rebuttable presumption” that the defendant is not indigent, making it more difficult for them to be represented by a Public Defender. This creates a paradox for those sitting in jail: bond out and be required to hire an attorney who charges $350 per hour, or stay in jail and risk losing your job, home, and children, only to then feel pressured to take a plea deal for less time in incarceration.

Just this month, 67 former District Attorneys and Department of Justice officials from across the country – groups that are rarely outspoken proponents of reform – filed a brief detailing how money bail harms the criminal justice system and urging wider adoption of individual assessment of defendants. In Congress, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) showed the bipartisan support for bail reform with a bill that would provide grants to local justice systems that implement risk assessments. With criminal justice reform remaining at the center of attention in Oklahoma, the time is right for bail reform. We should not let State Questions 780 and 781 stand alone. We should build upon them with evidenced-based reforms.

This article was originally published August 16, 2017.

Rising scholars published in prestigious law journals

From left: Anna Carpenter, Matt Lamkin and Stephen Galoob.

The University of Tulsa College of Law is a Top 100 law school that provides a dynamic doctrinal and experiential legal education. The faculty at TU not only impact students’ experiences through their classrooms and clinics, but also through publishing high-level scholarly articles, papers and opinions.

Most recently, TU faculty published or have articles forthcoming in prestigious law journals including Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Arizona Law Review, BYU Law Review, University of Illinois Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Hastings Law Journal and Lewis & Clark Law Review. TU Law’s prominent scholars include Anna Carpenter LL.M, J.D.; Stephen Galoob, Ph.D., J.D.; and Matt Lamkin, J.D.

“I am very proud that The University of Tulsa College of Law boasts such diverse and groundbreaking scholarly articles by its faculty,” said TU Law Dean Lyn Entzeroth. “Our professors provide deep and meaningful value to our law students and to the legal community.

Carpenter is an associate clinical professor of law and director of the Lobeck-Taylor Community Advocacy Clinic. Her scholarship includes empirical and theoretical work on access to justice and the role of lawyers, non-lawyers and judges in the civil justice system. Professor Anna Carpenter’s most recent article, “Active Judging and Access to Justice,” is forthcoming in the Notre Dame Law Review and another, “Measuring Clinics” is forthcoming in the Tulane Law Review (with Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark, and Jeff Selbin).

She also recently published “Trial and Error: Lawyers and Nonlawyer Advocates” in the peer-reviewed journal, Law and Social Inquiry; “Lawyers, Power, and Strategic Expertise” in the Denver Law Review; and “Can a Little Representation Be a Dangerous Thing?” in the Hastings Law Journal (all three with Colleen F. Shanahan and Alyx Mark).

Galoob is an associate professor of law whose scholarly work examines fundamental questions in criminal law, torts, contracts and professional responsibility. He is currently writing articles concerning blackmail, the nature of norms, fiduciary concepts, reparation and political legitimacy.

Galoob’s essay (with Ethan Leib), “Fiduciary Political Theory: A Critique,” was published in the Yale Law Journal in 2016. In 2017, Galoob published “Coercion, Fraud, and What Is Wrong With Blackmail” in Legal Theory; “Retributivism and Criminal Procedure” in New Criminal Law Review; “The Ethical Identity of Law Students” (with coauthors) in International Journal of the Legal Profession; and “Living Up To (and Under) Norms” in Tulsa Law Review.

Galoob’s forthcoming publications include “The Core of Fiduciary Political Theory” (with Ethan Leib) in Research Handbook on Fiduciary Law; “Fiduciary Principles and Public Offices” (with Ethan Leib) in Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law; “Fiduciary Political Theory and Legitimacy (with Ethan Leib) in Fiduciary Government; and “Climbing the Mountain of Criminal Procedure” in American Journal of Comparative Law.

Lamkin is an associate professor of law whose scholarship explores the intersection of health care, law and ethics with a focus on how the increasing commercialization of medical care is reshaping our understandings of disease and disability, informed consent and personal responsibility, and the role of government in regulating medical care.

Lamkin’s article, “Medical Regulation as Social Control,” was published in the BYU Law Review (2016). He has coauthored a series of articles with philosopher Carl Elliott at the University of Minnesota, including “Avoiding Exploitation in Phase I Clinical Trials: More than (Un)Just Compensation,” Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics (forthcoming 2018); “Involuntarily Committed Patients as Prisoners,” University of Richmond Law Review (2017); “Restrict the Recruitment of Involuntarily Committed Patients for Psychiatric Research,” JAMA Psychiatry (2016); and “Curing the Disobedient Patient: Medication Adherence Programs as Pharmaceutical Marketing Tools,” Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics (2014).

Visit us for more information on TU Law, our faculty and admission opportunities.

 

 

TU Law’s Hope Forsyth selected as 2017 OBA Outstanding Law Student

Hope Forsyth, a 3L at The University of Tulsa College of Law, has been selected as the college’s Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) Outstanding Student in 2017. Annually, each law school in the state selects a graduating student to receive the award at the OBA meeting in November.

2017 OBA Outstanding Student, Hope Forsyth

“I’m honored and excited to be selected as TU’s representative for this great honor,” said Forsyth. “I greatly appreciate the stellar education, mentorship and opportunities I have received throughout both my law and undergraduate education at TU.”

Forsyth is the executive editor of the Tulsa Law Review, a student member of the Council Oak/Johnson-Sontag Inn of Court and a member of Phi Delta Phi. She has earned eight CALI Excellence for the Future Awards for the highest grade in various classes, and the George and Jean Price Award for legal reasoning, research and writing.

During her time at TU, Forsyth has gained experience at multiple levels of the federal court system through internships for Chief Judge Gregory K. Frizzell, former Magistrate Judge T. Lane Wilson and Magistrate Judge Paul J. Cleary, all of the Northern District of Oklahoma. In the spring of 2018, Forsyth will extern for Tenth Circuit Senior Judge Stephanie K. Seymour.

Forsyth’s law review comment, “Mutually Assured Protection: Dmitri Shostakovich and Russian Influence on American Copyright Law,” will be published in the Tulsa Law Review Spring 2018 issue. Prior to law school, her examination of the historical and current use of the word “forum” was published in Princeton University Press’ Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture.

Forsyth grew up in Cushing, Oklahoma, where her father practices law. She earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in communication and media studies with minors in English and philosophy from The University of Tulsa, where she was a research fellow for the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, Honors Scholar, Presidential Scholar and National Merit Scholar. Outside of law school, Hope is an America’s Test Kitchen home recipe tester and a volunteer sacramental catechist at her Catholic parish.

After graduation, Hope will be an associate attorney at GableGotwals in Tulsa.

Rex J. Zedalis: A pragmatic caution to disciples of principle

This editorial was first seen in the Oct. 13, 2017 issue of the Tulsa World written by TU Law Professor Rex J. Zedalis, Director of the Comparative and International Law Center and fellow in the Sustainable Energy & Resources Law program. 

The debates surrounding NFL players and the national anthem, the Las Vegas shootings and guns, and, among some, the recent Ken Burns Vietnam War documentary, have Americans retreating to ideological silos. This raises the hold core principles have on life.

Contrast, for a moment, Jefferson’s statement that “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock,” with that of the master of political parody, Groucho Marx, who reportedly quipped, “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them well, I have others.”

Are we to remain unmovable on principles, as Jefferson suggests? If so, what room exists when dealing with others who, because of culture, religion, or race see the world differently? Or are we, as some might argue Marx observes, always to put our principles, our ideology, up for negotiation? In that case, aren’t we left rudderless in a world of ideas that prey on the uncertain and uncommitted?

I’m ill-suited to answer such complicated philosophical questions. Nonetheless, it strikes me that whether we react by heading for an ideological silo when the NFL, Las Vegas or Vietnam is raised probably reveals whether our personality inclines more toward Jefferson’s or Marx’s view of principles.

Given the tribal character of today’s politics, untold numbers of liberals and conservatives alike surely subscribe to basic principles as commanding of unswerving commitment. Disciples of that stripe need be repeatedly cautioned of two things.

First, virtually all of what the original architects of any ideological belief warned were dangers embedded in those very beliefs has been forgotten. Virtues are emphasized; risks ignored. In light of the human habit of “cherry-picking” what we like; we turn a blind eye to what’s inconvenient.

Second, and more important, it is stunning how any absolutist commitment to principle can lead us astray from socially positive outcomes. Too firm a devotion to principle results in obliviousness to how it works out in the real world. Political psychologists might style this the “blind-spot of ideological anchoring.”

With respect to warned about dangers embedded in ideological beliefs, examples abound. Poking at devotees of small government, market-based solutions, for the moment, when did you last hear them, after waxing eloquent on the marketplace, remind us that the father of capitalism, Adam Smith, warned repeatedly of the need to guard against the market? Illustrative is his statement that laws proposed by business ought to be examined with great suspicion, for “such comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public.”

And lest such reminders lead economic interventionists to believe gleefully John Maynard Keynes was no friend of free markets, it must equally be noted he professed no objection to “private self-interest … determin[ing] what … is produced … and how the value of the final product will be distributed.”

With respect to the obliviousness brought on by unalterable devotion to principle, one need only look around the globe at tragedies proceeding from the view that there’s but one “true way” in matters of religion, ethnicity, or politics. Refusal to see the world through any lens other than our own risks the worst of outcomes.

And never should we be so arrogant as to believe American democracy inoculates us from such risks. While on an entirely lower order of magnitude than what exists in some overseas locations, just look around at budget situations of state governments whose guiding tax cut ideology promised to bring unparalleled prosperity, or at the unintended consequences of certain activist social programs thought guaranteed to offer a hand up.

Governance, as life, requires juggling inconsistencies and contradictions. Whether principles are divine word or starting point, we must heed the warnings their architects called to attention, and remain open to deviations that help us steer clear of the disasters that inflexible adherence present.

Rex J. Zedalis is in his 37th year as a law professor at the University of Tulsa, having served, during that time, as director of the Comparative & International Law Center, fellow in the Sustainable Energy & Resources Law program and Phyllis Hurley Frey Professor of Law.

2L Leslie Briggs values working in TU Law’s Community Advocacy Clinic

Pursuing a legal career in public interest work is the goal for many TU Law students. The same is true for Leslie Briggs, a Schweitzer fellow and TU Law 2L who is already serving the community by working at TU Law’s Community Advocacy Clinic.

 

“TU has given me the opportunity to get real life experience by working at the Community Advocacy Clinic where we represent real clients including individuals, organizations and public interest groups,” said Briggs. “We work in teams to solve legal and policy problems to benefit people in the community. Right now, we’re working with Mental Health Association Oklahoma o identify barriers to housing and health care for people aging with serious mental illness, and eventually, to develop recommendations for change.”

TU Law currently operates three legal clinics including the Community Advocacy Clinic, Immigrant Rights Project and Solo Practice Clinic.

Community Advocacy Clinic students represent client organizations in systemic advocacy projects in the fall semester and individual clients in cases before state courts and administrative agencies in the spring semester. Many students find that their clinic experience is the most valuable and challenging aspect of their legal education.

“As an attorney, I want to help people with pressing problems that seem insurmountable,” said Briggs. “TU Law does a great job of focusing on experiential learning opportunities by allowing law students to work directly with clients through the clinics. I believe my clinic participation has been one of the most beneficial things I’ve had the opportunity to do in law school.

Briggs is also creating and implementing a related program focusing on restorative justice in public schools through her Albert Schweitzer fellowship. “I’m working on changing the way we think about discipline,” Briggs said. Her project will introduce restorative justice practices to public high school students in Tulsa who have been involved in school-based conflicts with a goal to lower rates of school suspension, dropouts and incarceration. The goal of her project is to lower rates of school suspension, dropouts and incarceration.

Seeing Briggs’ heavy involvement in public interest work, TU Law Dean Lyn Entzeroth helped fund her trip to the annual conference of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ). NACRJ was created in 2007 with the goal to promote effective forms of justice that are equitable, sustainable and socially constructive. This past conference hosted 1,319 attendees and held 300 sessions. “While I was there, I learned from people working in the field including educators, folks in the criminal justice system and even attorneys. I also learned how to affect policy change on a macro- and micro-level change,” said Briggs.

Prior to choosing law, Briggs worked for a nonprofit in Tulsa, the Peace Corps  in Ethiopia and taught English in Mexico.

Mimi Marton: TU Law’s incubator program filling critical need among law students

Mimi Marton is the director of Tulsa Immigrant Resources Network with The University of Tulsa College of Law. The following article was first published in the Tulsa World.

The last decade has seen a sharp increase in the number of legal incubator programs.

Inspired by the business incubator model, the goal of the legal incubator movement is to decrease the serious gap in access to justice in the United States while supporting new solo lawyers. Incubator attorneys are fierce in their commitment to serve underserved populations and rave about the collegiality, training and access to senior lawyers that are inherent in incubators.

In 2008, with a generous grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, The University of Tulsa College of Law launched Tulsa Immigrant Resource Network, the second legal incubator program in the U.S. TIRN is a fellowship model of an incubator program in which a recent graduate works closely with the TIRN director providing direct representation and community education programs.

In the summer of 2015, GKFF approved a proposal to expand TIRN’s incubator program. With space provided by TU in its newest location, the Oxley College of Health Sciences, TIRN opened two new programs to support TU law students and graduates dedicated to building financially sustainable solo practices: the TU Law Co-op (TLC) and the Solo Practice Clinic.

TLC participants must commit to providing legal services to traditionally underserved populations, including people of modest income who typically do not qualify for assistance from a legal aid program but cannot afford conventional hourly rates.

TLC then provides its incubator attorneys with support such as law office management and client interviewing training, office space, practice advisory support and networking and client building opportunities. Participants stay in TLC for 18 months and must also complete a significant amount of pro bono representation, a requirement that increases access to justice while giving participants legal experience as their practices grow.

Recognizing that there is a need to increase the access to justice in rural areas and smaller communities in Oklahoma, TLC also offers remote support to incubator attorneys who wish to practice outside of a city. TLC currently has two incubator attorneys, one who runs a practice in Bartlesville and another who runs a practice out of the Oxley building space provided by TU.

Two new participants are anticipated for a Spring 2018 start. This is an exciting time in legal education and for TU Law, as we lead a growing number of programs around the country that seek to reduce the access to justice gap while simultaneously supporting our innovative entrepreneurial graduates.

Here are what our TLC lawyers are saying:

Dani Weaver: “After law school, like many others, I realized how much I still had to learn in order to actually practice law. The majority of my time is spent researching laws and procedure. I do not have extra hours or days to research the best office management system, accounting system, office best practices or advertising, all of which are necessary to be successfully self-employed.

“After participating in the Solo Practice Clinic (the student program of the TLC) and graduating from law school, I decided to sign up for the first Incubator program at TU Law. I believe there is a great need for affordable legal services in Oklahoma, and many people go without crucial representation simply because they cannot afford to hire an attorney. I felt that I would be able to offer limited scope representation and immigration services to those in need and have found that most people are willing to set up payment plans or agree to replenish low retainers frequently. I hope to provide consistent services to under-represented communities and encourage other new attorneys to do the same.”

Kasey Curry: “I went to law school with the goal of opening up my own practice. After three years of law school, I realized not only did I have no practical knowledge of how to run a business but also had no idea of how to be a lawyer. Within a few weeks of swearing in, I attended a one-day seminar covering the basics of opening a solo practice. While informational, I still had some uncertainties about what I needed to do to get my business going. Meanwhile, events occurring across the nation spurred a desire to help. I reached out to a friend in Oregon who has been practicing immigration law for over 20 years. How, I asked, does one get started with immigration law? ‘You’re going to have to find a good mentor,’ he replied. Then I heard about TU’s incubator program. I requested some information from Mimi Marton, and I liked everything about the program: its mission to help Tulsa’s underserved immigrant community while simultaneously affording me the support I needed to practice law and manage my solo practice.”

“As an incubator attorney, I have access to intensive training for the day-to-day practicalities of running a solo practice as well as the support and expertise of local attorneys who have graciously offered to mentor me during this critical first year. TU’s incubator program is giving me the on-the-job training that is missing from the law school curriculum. Going forward, I can use the information I am learning to optimize my practice and develop a healthy income while simultaneously providing legal services to the many people who cannot afford to pay high hourly rates.”