Ribbon Cutting and Celebration Weekend


American University Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW - Claudio Grossman Hall, Washington, DC 20016

Time Event
8:30 a.m. Opening Breakfast with Guest Speaker, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group
Welcome by Dean Claudio Grossman
10:00 a.m. Building Connections
Connect with alumni, faculty, students, and other practitioners in your field.
10:45 a.m. Discussion Groups on Relevant Local, National, and International Topics with Faculty and Alumni Leaders in their Fields: An Opportunity for Networking and Sharing Information and Expertise


Attend one group during each session.


Session One: 10:45 a.m. - Noon

  • Law, Politics & Government: Who Counts in American Political Democracy?
    Beginning with an examination of the Evenwel case in the Supreme Court, which concerns whether decennial reapportionment must be based on total voter population numbers or can include children and noncitizens, this discussion asks the question of who counts in American democracy, why, and how. Other topics will include noncitizen voting, redistricting and gerrymandering, the electoral college and National Popular Vote, and the meaning of “We the People.”

    Organizer: Professor Jamie Raskin
    Panelists: Paul Strauss (’93), U.S. Shadow Senator, District of Columbia; Katherine Culliton-González ('93), Senior Attorney and Director of Voter Protection, Advancement Project
    Student Ambassadors: Kaitlin Bruno (’16) and Michael Maroni (’19)

  • International Human Rights Becomes Local
    Today the legal profession is comprised of a significant number of attorneys trained in international human rights (“IHR”) ready to use IHR instruments and to apply IHR standards in local courts. The use of international law in local courts may be one of the most important developments in IHR with the greatest potential for strengthening the protection, promotion and fulfillment of rights worldwide. The discussion group will address the following question: How have IHR instruments, principles, and arguments influenced local practice of law? The group will convene a panel of faculty and alumni who will briefly address this question from different areas of law, such as family law, criminal law, corporate law, and environmental law, among others.

    Organizer: Professor Macarena Saez
    Panelists: Professors Deena Hurwitz, Amy Myers, Jayesh Rathod, Juan Mendez, Claudia Martin, and Susana SaCouto; Elizabeth Abi-Mershed (’91), Deputy Executive Secretary, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of the American States; Christie Edwards (LLM ’10), Director of International Humanitarian Law, American Red Cross
    Student Ambassador: Jasmine Jackson (’17)

  • Trends in Global Mergers and Acquisitions
    The volume of major global mergers and acquisitions has been growing and growing in recent years, driven by a variety of factors shaped by the legal landscape. Please join an illustrious panel of AUWCL alumni in a discussion of recent developments in global mergers and acquisitions. We will have experts addressing issues in securities, anti-trust, and tax law.

    Organizer: Professor Benjamin Leff
    Panelists: Scott Levine (’97), Partner, Jones Day; Sara Razi (’00), Partner, Simpson, Thatcher; Geoff Willard (’96), Partner, Cooley LLP
    Student Ambassador: Courtney Taylor (’18)

  • Addressing the Gap in Civil Legal Services: Serving Underrepresented Clients & Communities
    Discussion of the range of public interest law activities and jobs that students and graduates engage in, focusing on how people engage in public interest law at different stages of their careers. Additional topics may include the place of public interest law at the law school, the challenges and rewards of doing public interest work, and how lawyers can find meaning and fulfillment through work and service.

    Organizers: Professor Ezra Rosser and Jasmeet Kaur Sidhu (’12), Assistant Director, Office of Public Interest
    Moderator: Professor Susan Bennett
    Panelists: Jeanne Atkinson (’91), Catholic Legal Immigration Network; Lisa Dewey (’93), Pro Bono Partner, DLA Piper; Antonia Fasanelli (’01), Executive Director, Homeless Persons Representation Project; Lora Rath (’91), Director, Office of Compliance and Enforcement, Legal Services Corporation; Naznin Saifi (’92), Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center; Zafar Shah (’08), Staff Attorney, Public Justice Center; Bradford Voegeli (’11), Staff Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services Program
    Student Ambassadors: Alejandra Arias (’19) and Jordan Helton (’18)

  • Dismantling the Prison Part of the Criminal Justice System Pipeline: Institutional Advocacy and Strategy
    This panel will address key strategies in addressing reform of adult and juvenile correctional institutions - including media, advocacy campaigns, litigation, legislation and public education.

    Organizer: Professor Brenda Smith
    Panelists: Sheila Bedi (’01), Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern University Law School & Attorney, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center; Will Harrell (’90, LLM ’97), ACLU Southern Regional Policy Counsel; Ashley Prather Guzman (’12), Staff Attorney, D.C. Public Defender Service
    Student Ambassadors: Chanel Chasanov (’18) and Brianna Lozito (’18)

  • Family Law for Modern Families
    Discussion of cutting edge family law issues, with an emphasis on defining who is a parent in this age when 40% of children are born to unmarried women and use of assisted reproductive technology is on the rise.

    Organizer: Professor Nancy Polikoff
    Panelists: Kristina Badalian (’05), Partner, Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein & Bouquet, Chartered; Cody Perkins (’14), Associate, Zavos Juncker Law Group, PLLC
    Student Ambassadors: Melissa Garcia (’16) and Elizabeth Teter (’16)

  • Recent Developments in International Anti-Corruption Law & Practice
    The negative impact of corruption on government accountability, business integrity and effective development, so evident in headline grabbing cases, has inspired a global legal regime and a burgeoning global demand for skilled public and private sector attorneys. The discussion will consider recent developments in foreign bribery enforcement and compliance practice as well as how international financial institutions are raising the bar through investigations and cross-debarment.

    Organizer: Professor Nancy Boswell (’86)
    Panelists: Frank Brown (AUWCL Anti-Corruption Law Certificate ’13), Value Chain/Anti-Corruption Program Team Leader, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE); Douglas Paul (’90), Partner, Hogan Lovells; Carolina Soledad Rudnick Vizcarra, AUWCL Humphrey Fellow; Stephen Zimmermann, Director of Operations, Integrity Vice Presidency of The World Bank Group
    Student Ambassadors: Janie Williams (’17) and Dionne Lindsay (’18)

Time Event

Noon - 12:30 p.m.

Break with light lunch provided by Whole Foods Market

Session Two: 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

  • The Future of International Trade and Investment Law: A Discussion of Recent Developments and Opportunities for Legal Professionals
    A roundtable discussion on recent trends and developments in international trade and investment law, in the aftermath of mega-regionals, Nairobi, regulatory convergence and expressions of concerns involving investment arbitration models and developments in multilateral dispute settlement. What are the effects of these developments on current and future lawyers? What are possible areas of practice and specialization that are likely to grow?

    Organizer: Professor Padideh Ala’i
    Moderators: Kathy Ibarra (’16) and Joy Marie Virga (’16)
    Panelists: Scott Anderson (’79), Partner, Sidley Austin; Matthew Nicely ('91, AUWCL Adjunct Professor), Partner, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; John Magnus (AUWCL Adjunct Professor), President, TradeWins LLC; Guadalupe López ('10, LLM '11), Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    Student Ambassadors: Andrew Mutavdzija (’17), Aditya Patel (’18), and Eugene Shim (’18)

  • New Directions in Intellectual Property Law: Redefining Boundaries, Institutions, and Practice
    AUWCL professors will moderate a discussion of recent and proposed changes in intellectual property (“IP”) legislation, court decisions and administrative practice that will profoundly affect the field. Topics for discussion may include proposals to re-organize the Copyright Office and amend the Copyright Act, recent and pending legislative reform in patent law, developments in trademark law, including recent jurisprudence of the federal courts, and proposals for changes in international IP law through trade agreements and in the World Intellectual Property Organization. Attendees will be invited to reflect on how these and other changes are affecting their practice and what advice they have for students entering the field.

    Organizers: Professors Sean Flynn and Victoria Phillips
    Panelists: Professors Michael Carroll, Christine Farley, and Peter Jaszi
    Student Ambassadors: Rachael Stelly (’16), Darlene Tzou (’16), and Alexandra Wilson (’16)

  • Fixing Our Broken Criminal Justice System
    The numerous wrongful convictions, the unwarranted racial and ethnic disparities, and the phenomenon of mass incarceration all demonstrate that our criminal justice system is broken. At each stage of the criminal process, criminal justice officials make critical discretionary decisions regarding how the case will proceed. How these officials exercise their discretion can have an adverse impact on the integrity of the process and the fairness of the outcome. We will examine two such decisions: the prosecutor’s decision to file criminal charges and what the charges should be and the judge’s decision to grant bail or subject a defendant to pretrial detention. We will explore how these decisions can result in unjust outcomes and discuss reforms that can bring about meaningful improvements in our criminal justice system.

    Organizers: Professors Angela Davis and Cynthia Jones
    Panelists: Brittany Gail Thomas (’12), Assistant Public Defender, Maryland Office of the Public Defender; Leila Levi (’10), Attorney-Advisor, U.S. Department of Agriculture, former DC Assistant United States Attorney
    Student Ambassadors: Layla Medina (’17) and Aspen Smith (’16)

  • Climate Change, Energy & Environment: Strategies and Opportunities in a Post-Paris World
    The session will discuss emerging domestic and international trends that affect the practice of law in the field of energy and the environment. The discussion will likely emphasize the impacts of the Paris climate negotiations and President Obama’s domestic climate action plan on the future regulation of energy and the environment.

    Organizer: Professor David Hunter
    Panelists: Paul Hagen (’90), Principal, Beveridge & Diamond PC; Erika Lennon (’08), Program Coordinator, AUWCL Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law; Kenneth Markowitz (’89), Senior Clean Energy & Environmental Consultant, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Professor William Snape; Charles Di Leva (AUWCL Adjunct Professor), Chief Counsel, Environmental and International Law Unit, The World Bank; Claudia de Windt (LLM ’01), Senior Legal Specialist, OAS Department of Sustainable Development; Carla Garcia Zendejas (LLM ’97), Director, Center for International Environmental Law
    Student Ambassador: Lauren Tavar (’17)

  • Gender, Migration, and the Workplace: Contemporary Challenges for Female and LGBT Migrants
    Discussion of current legal issues at the intersection of immigration, labor & employment and gender. Topics may include government responses to migration flows of Central American women and children, labor trafficking in the U.S. and overseas, and legal issues affecting LGBT immigrants in the U.S.

    Organizers: Professors Susan Carle, Janie Chuang, Daniela Kraiem, and Jayesh Rathod
    Panelists: Cori Alonso-Yoder (’11), Supervising Attorney, Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services Program; James A. Ferg-Cadima (’01), Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights; Rachel Micah-Jones (’03), Founder and Executive Director, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.; Jennifer Podkul (’06), Senior Program Officer, Migrant Rights and Justice, Women’s Refugee Commission
    Student Ambassadors: Michael Craig (’16) and Christina Potter (’16)

  • Is Health, Safety, and Environmental Regulation at Risk in Congress and the Courts?
    Strong voices contend that there is an undue regulatory burden on the economy, that “the administrative state” is out of control, and that we need “regulatory reform.” This is not a new refrain, but now these voices are emanating from Congressional leaders, Presidential candidates, and even Supreme Court Justices. Is there a basis for this concern? Are the pending legislative proposals reasonable? Is the Supreme Court undergoing a shift in its judicial review of agency decision-making?

    Organizer: Professor Jeffrey Lubbers
    Panelist: Amit Narang (’07), Regulatory Policy Advocate, Public Citizen
    Student Ambassador: Caitlin Myron (LLM ’16)

  • The 2016 Presidential Election and the Supreme Court: What’s at Stake?
    The 2016 presidential election promises to be one of the most consequential in our history for the direction of the Supreme Court. The Court is sharply divided along ideological lines. Each of the five justices appointed by a Republican president is more conservative than each of the four justices appointed by a Democratic president. During the first term of the next president, four justices will be in their 80’s - two from each side of the ideological divide. Their replacements will determine the Court’s direction on such matters as race, abortion, voting, access to courts, worker’s rights, the death penalty, guns, and executive power. The group will discuss how these areas may be affected by changes in the Court’s composition.

    Organizers: Professors Stephen Wermiel (’82) and William Yeomans
    Panelists: Julie Fernandes, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundations; Tom Goldstein (’95), Founder, SCOTUSblog; Joe Johns (’02), CNN National Correspondent (Tentative)
    Student Ambassador: Naomi Ahsan (’16)

  • 2:00 p.m.   Campus Tours

Registration is free (including CLE) but required
WCL will apply for free CLE credit upon attendee request.
Office of Special Events & Continuing Legal Education - 202-274-4075 - secle@wcl.american.edu