Larry Johnson talk on Lawyering in the UN Video

October 14, 2014

Can’t make it to the Larry Johnson talk on Lawyering in the UN at noon today? Watch it here.

Denver Post Article by Professor Nanda on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

October 13, 2014

The Denver – Opinion

Ved Nanda: India’s Modi is a Visionary

During his recent five-day, high-profile visit to the U.S., India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, had a distinct message for the various groups he addressed. These included the Indian diaspora, the international community, the U.S. administration, and top American CEOs.

I was among the more than 18,000 mostly Indian-Americans welcoming Modi at Madison Square Garden in New York, where he responded to chants of “Modi, Modi” by saying, “You have given me such a warm and loving welcome that I am deeply indebted to you. I want to repay the debt by promising you that you will be proud of the new India.”

More than 30 lawmakers from the U.S. House and Senate were also in attendance. The crowd loudly cheered when Modi pledged to speed the visa process for visitors from the United States. The Indian American Community Foundation orchestrated the entire show.

As Modi addressed the U.N. General Assembly and the Council on Foreign Relations, his message was clear: India is able and willing to shoulder its duty to be a responsible member of the world community.

As Modi and President Obama met in the Oval Office, Obama said, “We have so much in common, it is critical for us to deepen and broaden the existing framework and partnership that already exists.” Modi reciprocated, saying he expected the economic partnership between the U.S. and India “to grow rapidly in the coming years.” The Obama administration cleared the way for India to purchase American technology for clean energy projects with $1 billion in financing from the Export-Import Bank of the Untied States.

At a dinner given by President Obama in Modi’s honor at the White House, Modi drank only warm water as he was fasting in observance of the annual nine-day Hindu religious festival, Navaratri. In a joint statement, the two governments pledged to expand cooperation in multiple fields, including defense. Defense cooperation relates to maritime security, naval technology, and military exercises. They acknowledged the “need to use the institutions and expertise of the Montreal Protocol to reduce consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons.”

They said they will work jointly on efforts to “boost manufacturing and expand affordable renewable energy, while sustainably securing the future of our common environment.”

Earlier, Obama and Modi jointly authored a commentary in The Washington Post, saying that “as global partners, we are committing to enhancing our homeland security by sharing intelligence, through counterterrorism and law-enforcement cooperation, while we jointly work to maintain freedom of navigation and lawful commerce across the seas.” This language unequivocally shows shared concern with Chinese sovereignty claims and naval exercises and activities in the South China Sea.

For American business, Modi’s message was that India welcomes foreign direct investment with its vision of a transformed, business-friendly country free of bureaucratic red tape. And for people back home in India, the media played Modi’s image as a rock star who has given India’s status a well-deserved boost. The signal was clear that India is assuming a leadership role in the international arena.

While this visit succeeded in its intention to mend the strained relations between the U.S. and India, differences remain that cannot be glossed over. On the economic front, intellectual property rights remain a vexing issue. So are India’s rules on civil nuclear liability. On global trade, India’s dissatisfaction with progress on food security measures scuttled the World Trade Organization’s proposed trade facilitation agreement. The agreement would have reformed cumbersome customs procedures.

On the political front, differences exist, as well. The U.S. and India do not see eye-to-eye on many critical matters, such as Ukraine, Iran and Syria. Working groups from both countries are meeting to bridge these differences.

The visionary but also pragmatic Modi has reopened the door for further meaningful cooperation between the oldest democracy and the largest democracy in the world.

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Denver Law at the 2014 SALT Teaching Conference

October 11, 2014

Denver Law sent a strong and vocal contingent to the 2014 SALT (Society of American Law Teachers) Teaching Conference, held October 9 thru 11 at the University of Nevada Law Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law.

SALT is “a community of progressive law teachers working for justice, diversity and academic excellence,” goals falling squarely in line with the aims of Denver Law attendees, all members of RPL – the Rocky Mountain Collective for Race, Place and Law. And Denver Law’s RPL members shined at the Conference:

Margaret Kwoka, assistant professor at Denver Law, received the inaugural SALT Junior Faculty Teaching Award, recognizing “an outstanding, recent entrant into the legal academy who demonstrates a commitment to justice, equality and academic excellence through teaching.” Read more about Professor Kwoka’s award here.

At Thursday’s Twelfth Annual LatCrit-SALT Junior Faculty Development:

  • Roberto Corrada spoke on a panel devoted to “Professionalism & Balance: Academic and Personal Success.”
  • Margaret Kwoka participated in that day’s Mock AALS Interview panel.

At the Friday/Saturday Conference entitled “Legal Education in a Time of Change: Challenges & Opportunities”:

  • Roberto Corrada, Alexi Freeman, Rashmi Goel and Lindsey Webb described the formation of and the the many activities undertaken by RPL at Denver Law.
  • Beto Juárez contributed to a panel discussing “Curricular Innovations in a Time of Crisis: How to Move Law Schools to Embrace the Intercultural.”
  • Patience Crowder and Alexi Freeman led a panel devoted to “Lawyering for Social Justice Movements: How the Legal Academy Can Maximize Impact.”
  • César García Hernández and Chris Lasch’s panel discussed “Teaching Crimmigation Law.”
  • Randy Wagner and Susannah Pollvogt (law professor at Washburn University and RPL member) presented their ideas on “Progressive Pedagogy in a Box: Using the Multistate Performance Test as an Inclusive Teaching Tool” at the Progressive Marketplace of Ideas.

It was a busy and excellent three days for Denver Law, for RPL, for LatCrit and for SALT.

Margaret Kwoka Wins SALT Teaching Award

October 10, 2014

Margaret Kwoka, assistant professor at Denver Law, received the SALT Junior Faculty Teaching Award at the Society of American Law Teachers 2014 Teaching Conference. The award, given for the first time, honored Professor Kwoka as “an outstanding, recent entrant into the legal academy who demonstrates a commitment to justice, equality and academic excellence through teaching.”

SpearIt, Associate Professor at the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, presented the award, offering these words:

“I served as the chair of the selection committee for this award and saw firsthand how our winner impressed the entire committee. For its very first selection for this award, the committee wanted to set a high bar wanted to set a high bar, and in doing so unanimously chose Professor Margaret Kwoka from the University of Denver.

“Professor Kwoka was selected from a pool of 12 strong nominations. To the committee her work embodied SALT’s commitment to teaching excellence, social justice, and diversity.

“She impressed the committee by demonstrating:

• a deep commitment to teaching social justice concepts, focusing on diversity and access to justice;
• strong support for students outside the classroom; and
• scholarship that aims to improve student education and further social justice teaching.

“Testimony to her approach in the classroom is found in these comments from a student:

Professor Kwoka did not show up, teach, and go home. She imbued even the most abstract and dry legal concepts with significance, showing her students that law does not exist in a vacuum, but, on the contrary, has great consequences upon individual lives’ and should be used as a tool to improve those lives.

“From another student came these words:

Civil Procedure certainly is not one of the glamour subjects of law school, but through the use of interactive exercises and small group discussions, Professor Kwoka conveyed the importance and significance of civil procedure in litigation. As a litigator, taking Professor Kwoka’s classes had an undeniable impact on the attorney I turned out to be.

“I could go on describing more about her. But I am here to say that SALT stands proud in awarding Professor Margaret Kwoka the First Annual Junior Faculty Teaching Award. Congratulations!”


SpearIt (Thurgood Marshall School of Law), Olympia Duhart (Shepard Broad Law Center), Margaret Kwoka (Denver Law), and Ruben Garcia (UNLV Law)

Justice Sotomayor: Valuing her personal approach

October 07, 2014

NPR Morning Edition spoke with Joan Biskupic, author of “Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice.” From the report (read or listen here): “Her heritage is central to her identity. True, her odyssey in the legal profession was a cautious one; even after winning appointments to two lower federal courts, Sotomayor avoided controversy and continued to build alliances. But at the same time, she made no attempt to tamp down her unreserved personality or her Latina sense of style.”

We are reminded that four years ago, Justice Sotomayor spoke at Denver Law to an audience of law students joined by high school and middle school students, an early pipeline event at the law school. “It was amazing,“ recounts Catherine Smith. “She was so accessible, so warm. The students loved her. They were in awe.”

Read about Justice Sotomayor at Denver Law in 2010 here. C-Span broadcast Justice Sotomayor’s address that day. See the video-recording here.

Kimberlè Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University, reviewed Joan Biskupic’s Sotomayor biography in the New York Times Book Review, October 12, 2014. Professor Crenshaw praised the book for capturing “Sotomayor’s remarkable up-by-the-bootstraps performance that propelled her to the front of the competition,” but found it wanting where it “fails to fully capture the complex contours of Sotomayor’s life story, or the deeper element of racial politics that exists under its surface. Biskupic reveals but does not address how the intersections of race, gender and class continue to drive skepticism about her competence and performance. Nor does she examine how judicial politics have become ground zero in the struggles to demonize integrationist visions of diversity.” Read the review here.

Catherine Smith: Gay marriage bans deny children of same-sex couples critical benefits

September 29, 2014

Catherine Smith, Denver Law’s Associate Dean for Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness, and Susannah Pollvogt, Associate Professor at Washburn University of Law, argue in Slate that The U.S. Supreme Court should recognize that gay marriage bans have “a deeply detrimental effect . . . on gay couples’ children,” violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause.

See Dean Smith’s recent scholarship on the topic here.

On the Road at CU-Denver

September 26, 2014

Casey Smartt (3L) and Shaquille Turner (2L) met with undergraduates comprising the CU-Denver Prelaw Society on the CU-Denver Campus at Auraria. Prelaw Society President Sharice Bass introduced Casey and Shaquille. They spoke about their interest in the law, offered advice on applying to law school, and discussed their experiences at Denver Law.

The 2014 Henry and Mary Bryan Lecture: A Huge Success!

September 22, 2014


The Henry and Mary Bryan Lecture took place on September 18, 2014. The speaker was Dr. W. Douglas Jackson, President and CEO of Project C.U.R.E. Each week, Project C.U.R.E. delivers approximately three semi-truck loads of donated medical supplies and equipment to desperately needy people around the world. Since 1987, Project C.U.R.E. has delivered equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics in over 130 countries. Project C.U.R.E. is consistently recognized with the highest Four Star ranking from Charity Navigator, and was named by Forbes as one of the top 200 charities in America.


Dr. Jackson was presented a certificate in recognition of the Gift of Life he has given to countless people around the world. Dr. Jackson’s lecture was inspirational as well as informative. He talked about his father’s journey of founding Project C.U.R.E. and how he himself joined Project C.U.R.E. and in 1997 became its President and CEO. Dr. Jackson graduated magna cum laude from Northwest Nazarene University in 1982, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. In 1985, he earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in the study of law. In 1992, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and econometrics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, authoring a dissertation on leveraged buyouts and secondary public offerings. Dr. Jackson is a member of the Alpha Delta Sigma and the Beta Gamma Sigma national honor societies.

The Nanda Center was honored to welcome Mr. Douglas Scrivner and Mrs. Mary Scrivner, who have sponsored this annual event.


Denver Law’s CED Clinic honored by CLLARO

September 20, 2014

At the 50th Anniversary Celebration for CLLARO — the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization, an organization whose predecessor was LARASA — Denver Law’s Community Economic Development Clinic (CEDC) was presented the CLLARO Alianza Award, “presented to organizations that exemplify the power of alliances by building and nurturing effective partnerships and coalitions in the Latino community.” Pictured below, left to right, are Kontar Tonee Mwamba, Chair of CLLARO’s Board of Directors; Patience Crowder, assistant professor and CEDC Director, who joined Denver Law in 2010 and pioneered the CEDC; third-year Denver Law student Meredith Spears; and Denver Law ’14 grad (and CEDC alum) LaLonnie Villa-Martinez. The award, said Ms. Villa-Martinez, “demonstrates that the Clinic is succeeding it its vision of assisting community-oriented entities. It is an appreciated recognition that our work matters.” Learn more about Denver Law’s CED Clinic here.


New Statehood and the Law: the 2014 Scottish Referendum

September 17, 2014

On September 16, 2014, the International Law Society hosted an interesting lunchtime lecture concerning the secession of Scotland. It was attended by numerous students and faculty members wanting to learn more about the implications of the secession for the UK and the rest of the world.

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