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Miami Law Makes Its Presence Felt at AALS Conference in New Orleans

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Left to right: Gretchen Bellamy, Jennifer Zawid, Marni Lennon, Alexis Martinez at the AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service in New Orleans on Sat., Jan 5th, 2013.

Left to right: Gretchen Bellamy, Jennifer Zawid, Marni Lennon, Alexis Martinez at the AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service in New Orleans on Sat., Jan 5th, 2013. (Photo: Miami Law) Full-Size Photo

Miami Law's Marni Lennon was sworn in as Chair of the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities at the organization's annual conference in New Orleans last week. She had served as Chair-Elect this year and had served previously as Secretary. She will be working with the executive committee to foster pro bono opportunities for law students and help law schools bridge gaps in access to justice.

"This is a critical time for the Pro Bono section to facilitate collaboration across schools and service providers, in the public and private sector," said Lennon, who is Assistant Dean for Public Interest and Pro Bono at Miami Law. "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with a dynamic and dedicated group of pro bono advocates and educators."

Also at the conference were Miami Law's Professors William Blatt, Kenneth Casebeer, Donna Coker, Charlton Copeland, Mary Anne Franks, Francisco Valdes, as well as Assistant Dean Georgie Angones and Gretchen C. Bellamy, Director of International Public Interest and Pro Bono.

Professor Blatt moderated a panel on "Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts," and served as chair of the "Legislation and Law of the Political Process" discussion. Professor Casebeer spoke on the panel "Workers After the Ascendancy of Global Financial Capital" and Professor Coker participated in "Rethinking State Intervention in Intimate-Partner Violence." Professor Copeland moderated on the "Law, Humanities and the Vulnerable Subject" panel with Professor Franks as one of the speakers. Professor Valdes was a speaker in the plenary session "The goals of the Statement of good Practices for the retention for Minority Law Teachers and Students." Assistant Dean Angones served as moderator of the panel "Communicating with Donors and Everyone Else: What Works and What Doesn't."

Bellamy participated in a panel titled "Pro Bono Without Borders: Public Service Projects in an International Context," where she presented information about how to launch and sustain international public-interest projects and how to support students with an interest in serving in such projects overseas.

Conference attendees also benefited from a presentation by Michele DeStefano, an Associate Professor at Miami Law, and Michael Bossone, Special Advisor to Dean Patricia D. White, about their program LawWithoutWalls, which will launch its third academic year on Jan. 19-20 in Segovia, Spain.

Anthony Alfieri is on the Committee on Curriculum Affairs. Miami Law Dean Soia Mentschikoff was President of the Association in 1974.

AALS is the principal representative of legal education to the federal government, higher-education organizations and international law schools. The organization aims to improve legal education by providing networking opportunities, information and resources to law school deans, faculty and staff. The theme of this year's AALS conference was "Global Engagement and the Legal Academy."