INADR International Mediation Competition at Loyola Chicago 2014

13th Annual INADR International Law School Mediation Competition at Loyola Chicago School of Law.

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Amie B: Habarana

Back on the overnight train and the stop this time, Habarana! Habarana is a great location to access both Sigiriya and Minneriya National Park.

I spent the morning at UNESCO Heritage Sight of the Ancient City of Sigiriya . This 180 meter or nearly 600 foot granite rock, has been inhabited since the 3rd Century BC. First it was home to Buddhist monks. Then in 495 King Kassapa turned Sigiriya into the capital, built his palace and fortified the rock. It is rumored that he even filled the surrounding moat with hundreds of crocodiles. Today, Sigriya is famous for its beautiful water gardens, ancient ruins, and “Maidens of the Clouds” frescos.

View of the rock from the lower water gardens. It’s over 1,200 stairs to get to the top!
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Lilies and lotuses in one of the King’s gardens.
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This is one of the 21 women that make up the “Maidens of the Clouds.” Painted by monks and meant to be seen from far distances, it is still unknown who the women are. Some say they are the women of the king. Others suggest they are women participating in religious ceremonies. IMG_0994

 

Made it all the way to the top!
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Quick coconut stop with the driver to rehydrate from the climb.
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After a bit of rain, short nap, and a delicious lunch, I spent the afternoon in Minneriya Wildlife National Park. This is genuinely one of my favorite places in the whole world. I road around in a jeep for 4 hours simply enjoying the beauty of the land and sky.
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The park is famous for its over 400 wild elephants! I probably saw at least 100 in one afternoon. IMG_1043

The elephants prefer to eat the grass by the water because it is greener and better tasting. This fine lady is enjoying her afternoon snack with her heard. IMG_1053

Fun elephant fact: Asian elephants have smaller ears than African elephants. Why? African elephants live in hot climates and need big ears to use as fans. Whereas Asian elephants tend to live in cooler jungles and therefore have little need for the massive flappers.
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Amie B: Shashi’s Wedding

I am writing to you from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. It is my third day in this country, though it feels like I have been here a week. Let me explain why.

On a mid-internship vacation, I flew to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on the afternoon on June 24 and met my good friend Helen at her office. Helen and I became friends while we were teaching at Asian University for Women (AUW) in Bangladesh in 2012. Currently, she is in grad school and is spending her summer internship working in Colombo for Save the Children.  I got to meet her boss and see the office. Next, we went to get a drink (because there is alcohol in Sri Lanka) and watched the sunset over the Indian Ocean. After enjoying a delicious Sri Lankan meal, we went back to her apartment.

Tuesday June 24, 2014

11PM: Bridesmaid pick up. Shashika Ambepitiyage, one of our students from AUW and who we call Shashi, came to pick us up for her wedding! Helen was a bridesmaid and needed to leave early to get ready. I wanted to be part of the all the pre-wedding festivities so I tagged along. We drove and checked into the hotel where the bridal party was to prepare.

Wednesday June 25, 2014

1 AM:  Dance rehearsal. The groom’s party came over to the hotel to practice the dance to be preformed at the wedding. I had the important job of turning the music on and off.

2AM: The beauty team arrived. Time for hair, make up, jewelry adornment, and sari wrapping. I took pictures and painted forty toes and fingers.

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Before

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After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:30 AM: Informal photo shoot.  I was the main photographer.

5:00 AM: Formal photo and video shoot. This photo session took over two hours. Admittedly, I took a nap.

8:30 AM: Pack and leave. We traveled to the next hotel where the Buddhist wedding would be held.

9:08 AM Wednesday, June 25, 2014: The wedding began. IMG_0946

Shashi is Buddhist and in Buddhism the couple goes to see a religious leader who will determine based on a number of factors, the auspicious time and auspicious day the couple should be married (I know this is vague, but it is the explanation I received and I do not wish to elaborate into inaccuracies). The leader determined that Shashi should be married at 9:08 AM on a Wednesday.

This was my first Buddhist wedding and the ceremony was beautiful and very different from the Catholic weddings of my family: a coconut was cracked, leaves were passed around, and gifts were exchanged between the families. As you can see from the pictures, Shashi looked beautiful in her traditional Buddhist clothing. (You can’t imagine how heavy the sari and all the jewelry are.) Though I can’t understand Sinhala, I could tell which were the very special moments and was happy to witness such a dear friend get married.

IMG_09409:30 AM: The President of Sri Lanka arrived. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a friend of the groom’s family and the President of Sri Lanka, came to be the witness on the marriage certificate.

 

 

10:00 AM: More pictures, toasts, greetings, and the special dance performed by the wedding party.

12:00 PM: Lunch and dancing.

IMG_22902:30 PM: Shashi changes dresses and takes more pictures. Mashitha Perera, her husband and who we call Mashi, is Catholic. (Yeah, Shashi and Mashi, don’t they come branded to be a celebrity couple?) Now that they are married in Buddhism and registered with the state of Sri Lanka, they must also be married in the Catholic Church. To respect the Catholic tradition, Shashi changed out of her Buddhist clothing and prepared for her final “I dos.”

 4:30 PM: Catholic wedding.

5:30 PM: Second reception. Shashi finally got to take off her shoes and sit down.

9:00 PM: Our train leaves for Trincomalee. Helen has a two-day work conference in Trinco that begins Thursday morning and it takes about nine hours by train. We had no choice but to leave the wedding and go catch the overnight train to get her here in time.

Fortunately we were able to get first class “sleeper” tickets so that we could finally sleep! As you can see by the photo we had our own compartment and beds. Even though the train was pretty bumpy and I slipped into some scary lucid dreams, it was quite the luxury. (I know this might sound like sarcasm, but genuinely this was a very nice way to travel relative to what Helen and are used to.)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

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Treat for the ride!

5:30 AM: Arrive in Trinco. We checked into our hotel and grabbed a couple more hours of sleep. Helen left for work and I headed to breakfast and the beach.

Though it has been a crazy couple of days, it was packed with fun! I got to see so many of my AUW students, experience rich Sri Lankan culture, see the president, and support a wonderful person on her wedding day.  But it has worn me out! I am looking forward to spending the next four days in Trinco. As you can see it is quite beautiful here. I think I will recover nicely.

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Amie B: Narir Joye Shobar Joy

As a refresher, I am spending ten weeks in Dhaka, Bangladesh working on a couple of projects for my summer internship. A couple days of the week I work at BLAST as a legal intern and I spend another couple of days working with a US-based attorney doing research on domestic worker’s rights or people who are employed in the home, such as cleaners and cooks.

Fortunately while over here, an amazing opportunity popped up for me to work with Democracy International (DI). DI “provides analytical services, technical assistance, and project implementation for democracy and governance programs worldwide… Unique among consulting firms, DI’s core capabilities and principal focus are in international democracy and governance (DG) assistance.” They are currently in Bangladesh with funding from USAID to work with political parties to decrease corruption and increase democracy.

I specifically get to work with Norir Joy Shobar Joy, a “targeted campaign to expand and strengthen women’s political leadership within political parties and in elected positions.” I have been asked to develop best practices or an advocacy brief on ways political parties and women can improve women’s effective leadership. In order to obtain these best practices, I will be interviewing 20 female leaders who already hold positions in political parties and government. Based on their collective experience and wisdom, I will draft a document they can use to advocate for change.

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So far I have been able to interview amazing grassroots leaders, Members of Parliament, and political party leaders. One of my favorites, stopped corrupt officials from stealing money from dam repairs, ultimately saving her village’s farms and fisheries. I got to speak with the only female mayor in Bangladesh and hear how she navigates a tough political climate to serve her people.

It has been truly inspiring. Every interview I ask women to identify obstacles to women’s effective participation and also solutions to those barriers. I ask what political parties could do and what other women can do to facilitate women’s active leadership. Then at the end I always ask, “Despite all these challenges, how have you become a successful leader?”

Almost every single woman said to make the politics about service to the people: “You have to be in the community and with the people.” “You have to hear the people’s needs and bring them back and fight for them.” “I am always going to funerals and weddings so that my people know that I care.” “People have to trust you and know that you are there to serve them.” One woman even said, “I am not good at being a politician, but that’s ok because I am good for my people.”

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Bangladesh, like many other countries, is plagued with corruption. Government officials are usually out for power and wealth. Very rarely is there an emphasis on service. Yet, all the women I spoke with were determined to represent the people, provide education to girls, and work to make Bangladesh a great nation.

Though so much of their experience as women in government and politics is incredibly frustrating and defeating, they keep going. One of the women, who must be in her late sixties, is currently earning a PHD. Her dissertation: women’s role in Bangladeshi politics. I walk away from these interviews inspired. In all that these women face, they continue to keep pushing forward. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and have been able to learn so much as a researcher, an advocate, and an aspiring change-maker.

Questions for Amie? Email law-admissions [at] luc [dot] edu with the subject “Ask Amie” and she will make sure to answer them.

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Amie B: Amar Desh Bangladesh

Hello readers! I know it has been a while. In our time apart, I took my finals, applied to journals and tried out for moot court. Days later, I moved back to Bangladesh and began my summer work. Now with finals over, move complete, and internship commenced, I am back to being able to share my musings and adventures.

First I would like to welcome you to my country; “Amar desh Bangladesh” (My country is Bangladesh). Bangla, the national language, is written using the Sanskrit alphabet so what you are seeing here is my personal transliteration. Bangla is central to the country’s identity, as you can see Bangladesh literally means “Bangla-country.”Bangladesh Flag

Today’s Bangladesh was part of the British Indian Empire. Once the British pulled out in the mid-20th century, the Muslims migrated to the north and the Hindus moved south and the two states of Pakistan and India were formed. Originally, Pakistan was two pieces of land split by India, Pakistan and East Pakistan (modern day Bangladesh). Though united through Islam, the split country had many conflicts, particularly over the use of Bangla and Urdu.

Eventually the issues lead to civil war and in 1971 Bangladesh became its own state with Bangla as the defining national identity. On the flag, the green represents the plush country and the red represents the blood that was shed to gain independence during the Liberation War. Consequently, the country is immensely proud of their language and it has been internationally recognized for its beautiful prose.  Most notably, Rabindranath Tagore won a Noble Prize in literature for his Bangla poetry.

So in a land where the language is sacred, how much Bangla do I know? Well, I would say a two-year old and I could have a pretty decent conversation. No, it’s a little better than that but the language I know is very practical for life in The ‘Desh (a little term of endearment). Because it is written Sanskrit, I can’t read or write it. Consequently, I learn through conversation and necessity. I can give directions to a rickshaw wallah, haggle over the price of fruit, and ask if it is going to rain. However, when the conversation elevates to sentences with more than three or four words, I am out. Despite my limited vocabulary, Deshies (Bangladeshi people) always appreciate attempts and love that I am making an effort to honor their language.

Today, Bangladesh is probably most famous for its overcrowding and poverty, as it is the most densely populated country in the world. It is about the size of Iowa but has 160 million people. To put that into perspective, Chicago has about 2.7 million in the city proper. So imagine about 60 Chicagos in Iowa! Bangladesh-physical-mapTo complicate its population issues, Bangladesh is a delta located at the bottom of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers. So while it may be about the size of Iowa, it has significantly less landmass because so much of the country is comprised of rivers and lakes or is too saturated to be habitable. Beyond the already large amount of water, every year during the monsoon season the floods further take up more of the land forcing the millions of people into even less square footage. Check out this great article that discusses the climate change and its impact on Bangladesh: Will Climate Change Spark Conflict in Bangladesh?

Despite its challenges, Bangladesh was home to my first job out of college and always seems to draw me back in. The many people make the city buzz with excitement and diversity. As I walk to work, I share the road with CNGs, rickshaws, goats, cows, trucks, cart pullers and vehicles. Everyday is always an adventure and constantly challenges me to grow and adapt.

Questions for Amie? Email law-admissions [at] luc [dot] edu with the subject “Ask Amie” and she will make sure to answer them.

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Advice: What to do the summer before law school

“The most important thing to do the summer before you start law school is take care of yourself and spend as much time as you can doing what you love.  You will still be able to find time to do those things while you’re in school, but not at as leisurely a pace as your pre-law school days!  Don’t worry about reading any supplements or anything before you start.  The one thing I would do as far as school planning is get your books as soon as possible so that you can get better deals whether you are renting or buying.”

Elise Robie, 2L

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“Hi incoming 1Ls!! The best advice I can give you before you start school in the fall is to enjoy your free time this summer! Visit family and friends, travel, read (for fun!), play sports, and try to do all of the things that you look forward to on the weekends. Additionally, if you know or meet any law students or lawyers this summer, pick their brains for tips and suggestions for success in law school- they really are happy to share their experiences and their advice is extremely helpful! “

Gail Janowski, 2L
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“Enjoy your summer! Law school is about to take over your life, so enjoy beautiful Chicago without stress. Also buy your text books early online at gettextbooks.com. The earlier you shop, the better the deals.”

Amie Bauer, 2L (Read her blog post about buying books here)

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“The resounding response to “what should I do to prepare for law school” is this – don’t worry about it, just enjoy yourself! But, that’s not what you want to hear. I know – I was just as eager to do anything to get a jump start on my legal career. So, if you must do something besides binge-watch Netflix and eat gelato on Navy Pier, this is what I suggest.

1). Try to read about cases, either by reading the cases directly, or articles about Supreme Court decisions in the paper or online. You don’t have to understand all or much of what you read. The idea is to expose yourself to concepts, current questions, and to gain an overall impression of the legal system.

2). Meet your classmates. Go to the Facebook meet-ups. Suggest your own meet-up. I cannot stress enough what a great community of students Loyola attracts. You’ll get to know everyone in your section by name anyways – so do it early. Consider your “who to sit by on the first day” anxiety problem solved.”

Katelyn Sprague, 2L
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Outside Scholarships for Incoming JD Students

Polish American Advocates Scholarship Foundation

Deadline: June 15

The Polish American Advocated Foundation will award a scholarship to a U. S. citizen of Polish heritage or documented legal alien of Polish heritage or affinity who is a Chicago Metro area resident for at least 4 years prior to application. See application for further requirements.

The Oscar Rittenhouse Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: June 15, 2014

The County Prosecutors Association will award $2,500 to a New Jersey resident with an interest in pursuing a career as a prosecutor.

The Andrew Ruotolo Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: June 15, 2014

The County Prosecutors Association will award $2,500 to a New Jersey resident with an interest in pursuing a career as a prosecutor.

Reiff and Bily Legal Scholarship 2014

Deadline: July 1, 2014

The Philadelphia law firm of Reiff and Bily will award a $1,000 to a student pursuing a legal career. Must include a short 650 word essay on what goals he or she hopes to accomplish through eventual employment in the legal field.

Davis Levin Livingston Scholarship Promotes Public Interest Law

Deadline: July 1, 2014

Davis & Levin Livingston will award of $3,000 to a student seeking a career in public interest law. Applications are available here.

The Console & Hollawell $1‚000 Legal Leaders Scholarship 

Deadline: July 15, 2014

Award of $1,000 to a student that working towards their Juris Doctorate in any concentration of the law.  A 500 word essay on how he or she intends to impact his or her community through the law is needed.

Brett Murphy $2,000 Future Leaders Scholarship 2014

Deadline: July 15, 2014

Available to law school students who have an interest in personal injury law and are working towards their Juris Doctorate degree.

2014 Vision Zero Auto Accident Prevention Scholarship for Law Students

Deadline: July 31

The Sheehan Personal Injury office will award a $1,000 scholarship to a student pursuing a legal career (including incoming students). Must write a one page to three page essay about why you choose to drive safely.

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Alumni Spotlight: Keri L. Schaubert, Intellectual Property

Keri Schaubert - photoWhere do you work?
I am currently an associate in the Intellectual Property Department at Cozen O’Connor. My practice focuses on representing both innovator (patent-owning) and generic pharmaceutical companies in complex pharmaceutical patent litigation.

How did you get your job?
I found my job through the Patent Law Interview Program, which is hosted each year by Loyola. This is an exceptional program that brings together students and top intellectual property law firms from all over the country. I took part in this program the summer before my third year and was thrilled to receive several offers. I decided to accept an offer to join Cozen O’Connor as an associate following graduation, as well as their offer to work there part time as a law clerk during my third year of law school.

Why Loyola?
I would recommend Loyola first and foremost because it is a law school that cares deeply about its students. At Loyola you’re not simply a face in the crowd—the professors make an effort to get to know you and your personal and professional goals. And this relationship continues long after you have graduated. Loyola maintains a strong relationship with its alumni and this is a key resource for many students

From an academic standpoint, Loyola was the perfect choice for me because it offered a variety of IP law classes, including those directed to patent law. Prior to coming to law school, I received my PhD in immunology. When I chose to return to school I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in patent law. Therefore, it was important to me to find a school with a strong patent program; and Loyola was that school. As a 1L at Loyola, students have the unique opportunity to hone their legal writing skills in a specialized intellectual property writing section, which focuses on topics in IP law. Additionally, 1Ls are given the chance to take a seminar on the impact of patent rights on global access to medicine. During 2L and 3L years, Loyola offers numerous specialized IP courses such as IP advocacy, IP legal research, Patent Law Litigation, Patent Prosecution, Advanced Copyright Law, and an IP survey course concerning patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

In addition to course work, Loyola also offers extracurricular activities with an IP specific-focus. For example, Loyola students have the opportunity to take part in moot court competitions with IP-dedicated problems. Further, each spring Loyola jointly sponsors and hosts the Chicago IP Colloquium. This program brings nationally renowned IP scholars to Chicago to discuss their current research.

Given the student-friendly atmosphere, the diversity of IP law classes, and the IP-focused extracurricular opportunities, Loyola provides the perfect environment to begin a career in intellectual property law.

Did you have a favorite class in law school?
One of my favorite classes in law school was Bioethics and the Law. Once a week a small group of students would meet to discuss controversial and cutting edge bioethics topics including reproductive rights, end-of-life issues, and genetic technology. The class provided an opportunity to observe the way in which medicine and/or science interacts with the law.

What is your favorite Loyola law school memory?
One of my favorite experiences in law school was taking part in the Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition. Although this was a challenging and time-consuming competition, it was a rewarding experience. Our coaches, former Loyola alumni, really pushed us to excel and take ownership of the process. Not only did I gain confidence in my ability to speak to the “court” on issues related to patent law, but I also developed a bond with my teammates that will continue well past our time at Loyola.

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Congratulations Loyola University Chicago School of Law Class of 2014!!

Loyola University Chicago conferred the following law degrees at the 2014 School of Law Commencement on Saturday, May 17: 1-SJD, 68-LLM, 108-MJ, and 263-JD degrees. The Honorable Ruben Castillo (BA ’76), Chief Judge, Northern District of Illinois delivered the commencement address. Michael Tien, President, Student Bar Association was the student speaker. View the full 2014 School of Law Commencement Album here.

Dean Yellen

Dean Yellen

The Honorable Ruben Castillo (BA '76), Chief Judge, Northern District of Illinois delivering the commencement address.

The Honorable Ruben Castillo (BA ’76), Chief Judge, Northern District of Illinois delivering the commencement address.

Michael Tien, President, Student Bar Association

Michael Tien, President, Student Bar Association

Class of 2014!

Class of 2014!

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Alumni Spotlight || Ann Park (JD ’13)

Ann_parkAnn Park, who completed her JD at the Loyola School of Law in May 2013, has won a U.S. Fulbright student research grant to South Korea.  She will work with Professor Ho-Joong Lee at Sogang University to assess Korea’s child welfare laws and system.  Specifically, she hopes to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the child protection system and offer a set of suggestions to strengthen children’s legal representation.

 

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