Katherine Mereand-Sinha Editor-in-Chief Opinions Writer Photographer 2011-2012 Nota Bene

A GW Law Publication

Class Year 2011-2012
As Editor-In-Chief of Nota Bene this year

I have written articles
✴  Profiling SBA President Nick Nikic ✴  Profiling GW Law attendance at Indian moot court competitions ✴  Regarding the role of privacy in society ✴  Profiling Justice Scalia’s speech at the Law Review Symposium ✴  Advocating individual lockers for 1Ls ✴  Discussing hate and racism in today’s society ✴  Discussing journalistic integrity ✴  Profiling all GW Law student groups ✴  Profiling the thankless work of the SBA ✴  Encouraging students to network

I have photographed
✴  SBA President Nick Nikic ✴  The SBA Town Hall Debate ✴  Justice Scalia ✴  Empty Halls of the Law School ✴  Student lockers laden with Umbrellas ✴  George Washington & the Quad

I have fund-raised
✴ Advertisements from AdaptiBar and Barbri

I have advocated
✴  To maintain the Nota Bene budget ✴  To recruit staff ✴  To solicit articles from student groups

I have created
✴  Crosswords on Constitutional Law, Property Law, Classes at GW Law, & Legal Latin ✴  384 Tweets, and counting

I instituted
✴ Distributing Nota Bene to all faculty, adjunct faculty, and staff via email

Profile of an SBA President: Nick Nikic
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha February 19, 2012 On the last day of 1L orientation in 2009, he was still on the wait list of other law schools, hoping. Today, without hesitation Nick Nikic will say "I love this school." In twenty years he hopes that when he looks back he will remember people and how friendly everyone was. GW Law took him by surprise. It captured him with hellos in every hallway, and with strangers becoming friends when times where tough. Second semester 1L year his grandfather passed away, and before he even made it home his Legal Research & Writing small section had sent a basket of food.

Photo by Katherine Mereand-Sinha Nick's warm reflection of the nature of his peers is only paralleled by his immediately apparent extreme busyness. Law school is filled with students who work insane hours. Nick may or may not beat them out, but as Student Bar Association (SBA) President he answers dozens of emails a day, tweets incessantly, and keeps several running tasks in his head. The formalized and now personalized weekly emails he sends to the student body alone take two hours to compile each week.

He’s tried to use organizational systems like computer programs for project planning, but he finds no matter what he tends to live and breath the tasks he’s doing. The two hours I sat with him in the hard lounge for this interview he was subject to a constant barrage of questions from those passing by. Many of his discussions with fellow SBA members or student group leaders were continuations of other conversations that were clearly ongoing referencing only pronouns without any proper nouns to be heard. It is hard to separate how much this constant buzz of energy is inherent to the nature of being SBA President and how much is inherent to the man. But the energy speaks to something rather key about his tenure. His habit is to create and build community and he has a very hands on approach. As Dean Renee DeVigne notes, “‘he will graduate with much more than his degree as he leaves a lasting legacy of improving the well being of the Law School community”. Community at the law school means many things. But to Nick Nikic, community matters, whether it is as Dean DeVigne mentions, his efforts to promote and launch Wellness Wednesdays by finding space and working closely with the University Counseling Dept., or whether it is simple things like marketing the SBA so that students know what services are available to them. Nick took special care this year with the SBA logo, with flyers, and with supporting the redevelopment of the web site. While at first that may not sound groundbreaking, his support allowed talented individuals in the SBA, like Mr. Sam Dillon, to completely revamp the site and now even host student group profile pages. Facilitating the amazing work of other law students is part of the role that Nick saw for himself as SBA President. The President has a VP board that, other than the Executive Vice President, is appointed. The process of appointments is based on interviews of students who step forward, but Nick indicates that an important part of being President is finding and then helping the right people to share the burdens of running the SBA. Because at the end of the day, everyone on the board and in the SBA has their law school career and their life to deal with as well, and leaders of student groups in law school can only ask so much of their peers who truly are their equals in every way. Given that, perhaps the best and most challenging lesson Nick says he learned was learning to listen, and learning how to accept opposing view points or even change his mind. Talking to Nick today, he speaks of the role of SBA President as one of service, specifically constituents services, which he performs often by helping to connect students to the appropriate individuals in the administration or reporting when rows of electrical sockets are broken in a class room. Dean Berman praised Nick’s concern for substantive and positive change at the law school, but also noted that he was “particularly impressed by his dedication to students”. And Dean Molinengo mentioned that Nick kept the administration on their toes and made sure that they “knew what the students were thinking and what their concerns were”. Nick did not come to law school planning to be SBA President, and he did not hold an SBA elected office 1L year. His goal sounds familiar. He was going to be top of his class and therefore would not have time for such things. But he found himself hosting barbecues for Section 13, and organizing the section to help raise over thirty-five hundred dollars for Haitian Earthquake relief.

Much as he had always done, Nick gravitated towards leadership. He has a has a habit of becoming involved. He started with student government in the eight grade as then class president. (He was treated to a taste of the vagaries of politics, too, when eighth grade factions chose to boo or cheer him at assemblies.) But the leadership roles that meant the most to him in his years before coming to GW Law were those in the Albanian Student Society when he was an undergraduate at Boston University which grew and became more active while he was there. Nick hails from a close knit Albanian immigrant community in New York City. He came from a very close community, and he hopes to return to it shortly after law school to build a career and a life. Nick came to law school because after getting a journalism degree and working for a couple of years; he thought he would like litigation. He does, in fact, like the process of litigation and would also consider a future in business. While his parents came to the US from Yugoslavia where his father’s farmhouse had a packed dirt floor and wax paper windows, through education and experiences like those at GW Law he has been able to build a bright future for himself. Some people are disappointed with what they find in law school, but not Nick. As he put it, “I do feel transformed. I have learned so much, and in the best way think like a lawyer.” What it means to think like a lawyer means different things to different people. But perhaps Nick helped the class of 2012 think like lawyers of our generation. As Dean Molinengo said, “2012 is a great class - socially and environmentally conscious and to my eyes, they are good to each other. I think Nick had something to do with that. ” *****

GW Law Students Expand Horizons at Indian Moot Court Competition
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on February 14, 2012 Third year students Elizabeth Saxe and Puja Bhatia brought home the first and second place oralist (speaker) awards from the Eight Annual KK Luthra Memorial Moot Court Competition held in New Delhi, India this January. This is the second year that a George Washington University Law School team attended the Luthra competition, and the second year that a GW team was honored with an award. Last year Shauna Johnston, now a third year student, and Anne Sidwell, who graduated in the class of 2011, won the tournament and brought home the award for best brief. Ms. Johnston returned this year with Assistant Dean David Johnson, Director of Advocacy Programs, to lead an informational session about appellate advocacy skills. Nota Bene interviewed Ms. Saxe and Ms. Bhatia about their success at the competition and the exciting trip halfway across the globe. Neither had been to India prior to this trip, but both would be excited to return to see more. We also spoke with Ms. Johnston, Assistant Dean Johnson, and Dean Susan Karamanian  about the unique experience that is the Luthra competition, which is one of two Indian moot court competitions that GW Law students are attending this year. This week third year student Christy Milliken and second year student Sam Stone are attending the Gujarat National Law University Moot Court Competition and thus were not available to be interviewed for this article. GW Law teams attended, and won, the Gujarat competition for the last two years. We got in touch with the 2012 team just after they landed in India and were adjusting to the significant time difference. The Gujarat Competition will close on February 12, and we wish the best to Ms. Milliken and Mr. Stone. Dean Karamanian  worked with the team to prepare for the Gujarat competition, but the team traveled to the competition on their own. As Dean Johnson noted, GW is fairly unique among its peer law schools in that we rarely send advisors to advocacy competitions, but that allows us to send more teams to more competitions each year. That decision is made by each of the skills boards, but given how well GW teams perform generally it seems to be a system that works. His and Ms. Johnston’s attendance this year was by special invitation of the competition, and so no one is sure whether such presentations will be invited again should GW return to compete in future years. GW Law’s attendance at the Luthra competition owes its genesis to Mr. Aditya Singla, who earned an LLM from GW last year. He advocated for and arranged for sponsorship of the 2011 team. We understand that Mr. Singla is now working with the Virginia-based Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy to help support peace building programs between India and Pakistan along the border in the Punjab region. GW was the only American school to send a team to the Luthra competition this year. Although most of the teams were Indian, a team from Pakistan and a few other international

teams from the UK attended. The international aspect of the competition benefitted our students not only by focusing their efforts on international law, but also by allowing them to meet and interact with international students and practitioners. For students interested in pursuing careers in international law, the opportunity to speak to students from other countries about “law school and what the first few years of practice are like”, as Ms. Johnston noted, are invaluable. Ms. Saxe described this year’s problem as  “a comparative criminal law problem arising in a new, hypothetical common law jurisdiction”. In comparing the problems from each year, Ms. Johnston noted that this year’s problem was particularly challenging including a lot of local law and “and an entirely fake constitution modeled very closely off of the India constitution”. In contrast, last year’s problem focused on International Criminal Court Statute. Ms. Bhatia suggested that the nature of the problem presented an additional challenge that national competitions do not present: finding good sources for the appropriate law early in the research process. She stated that it was critical to success and noted the the staff at the GW Law Library were particularly helpful in tracking down the best sources. Those sources are not only used to compile the brief, but are compiled into a binder that competitors bring on site for use and reference during the competition. How to build and use the binder to the greatest advantage was part of the focus of Ms. Johnston’s presentation, and, as Dean Johnson mentioned, part of GW Law’s continuing success at the competition. Through competitions like KK Luthra and Gujarat, the GW Law community is able to learn more, and share more, about diverse appellate advocacy skills and approaches. As Ms. Bhatia noted, GW teams were more likely to incorporate and address their opponents arguments into their responses during the competition and as Dean Johnson noted were more likely to rely upon case law. Traditional Indian appellate advocacy, in contrast, is more likely to reply upon direct readings from law treatises. But law students in India appear keen to sharpen their appellate advocacy skills by incorporating lessons from GW Law students and faculty, if the jam-packed room for Ms. Johnston and Dean Johnson’s joint presentation is any indication. While Ms. Johnston’s presentation focused specifically on how to succeed in the Luthra competition, Dean Johnson spoke for about 45 minutes about pure advocacy skills regardless of jurisdiction. While future participation in the Luthra competition is not guaranteed, there are many reasons for GW to continue with it in specific and with engagement with Indian law schools in general. Both the competition and the reception for the presentation underscore the immense value of GW Law connections with Indian law schools. As Dean Karamanian  noted, the law school has a significant incentive to continue to engage with “the world’s largest democracy”. Particularly given GW Law’s impressive IP portfolio and India’s booming tech sector, avenues for future growth are many. But as Ms. Bhatia, Vice President for External Affairs of the Moot Court Board, also highlighted, all external competitions are of great value to the students who are able to attend. All students interested in increasing their advocacy skills should be persistent in trying to make the board and find external competitions to attend.

For more information about these competitions see www.kkluthramoot.org and http:// gnlu.ac.in/gimc/gimc2012.html. 
*****

Property Law Basics
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1. 3. 8. 11. 13. 16. 18. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. Created in a parking garage Rule in whose case? Permanent interest in land Ownership for unbroken bloodlines Open and notorious, and five other things Form in which property law conceptually packaged Finders keepers only when stuff is Intent + Delivery + Acceptance = A legal action to get your stuff back Tangible personal property Government granted monopoly for 20 years Private property for public use

Down
1. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10. 12. 13. 14. 15. 17. 19. Innocent purchaser of stolen stuff Pierson v. Post Right of way to get to the beach Property can always be transferred as a ____ If a freehold is not absoluate then it is Authorized devitation from zoning ordinance Under the fifth amendment government can use Making someone's elses property a lot better can result in ______ Land regulation Title independent of everything except the government Rights for water allocation Creating multiple parcels from one Promise about land use Doctrine of as good as you can get

Property Law Basics
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1. 3. 8. 11. 13. Created in a parking garage [BAILMENT] Rule in whose case? [SHELLEY] Permanent interest in land [FEESIMPLE] Ownership for unbroken bloodlines [FEETAIL] Open and notorious, and five other things [ADVERSEPOSSESSION]

Down
1. 2. 4. 5. Innocent purchaser of stolen stuff [BONAFIDE] Pierson v. Post [CAPTURE] Right of way to get to the beach [EASEMENT] Property can always be transferred as a ____ [GIFT]

16. Form in which property law conceptually packaged [BUNDLE] 18. Finders keepers only when stuff is [ABANDONED] 20. Intent + Delivery + Acceptance = [INTERVIVOS] 21. A legal action to get your stuff back [REPLEVIN] 22. Tangible personal property [CHATTEL] 23. Government granted monopoly for 20 years [PATENT] 24. Private property for public use [TAKINGS]

6. If a freehold is not absoluate then it is [DEFEASIBLE] 7. Authorized devitation from zoning ordinance [VARIANCE] 9. Under the fifth amendment government can use [EMINENTDOMAIN] 10. Making someone's elses property a lot better can result in ______ [ACCESSION] 12. Land regulation [ZONING] 13. Title independent of everything except the government [ALLODIAL] 14. Rights for water allocation [RIPARIAN] 15. Creating multiple parcels from one [SUBDIVISION] 17. Promise about land use [COVENANT] 19. Doctrine of as good as you can get [CYPRES]

On Privacy
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on January 25, 2012 A tall skinny man wearing a TSA uniform bore his eyes into mine. A crowd of 400 Washingtonians looked on in hushed silence. I had never met him before. He did not even have a copy of my I.D. Nonetheless, he knew my name, my new fully hyphenated married name that isn’t on my I.D. or almost any documentation yet. He knew where I was born. He knew I was a law student in my third year at this law school. He knew where I was working and where my last three internships had been. He knew that I had recently lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan and in Baltimore. He knew that I had taken a trip to Scotland last August. And he knew the date on which my now husband had proposed. The crowd gaped and gasped in horror as I verified that fact after fact he rattled off was perfectly correct. As it turns out, I have a penchant for sitting in the first row of plays, and thus I was the target of a Second City sketch at the Woolly Mammoth theater during the semester break. The box office had apparently given the comedy troupe my name before the show, and the actor in the TSA costume had researched (read: Googled) then memorized me. For all that I was a little startled to have my life on parade as lines in a play, I was nonetheless nonplussed. With a few flourishes he had essentially told about 400 potential employers my résumé; it is hard to quibble with free advertising. He knew nothing much more than the default public identity that I have consciously curated for public consumption. I only wish I could better search engine optimize myself–a task Google just made more difficult with “Search, plus Your World”. This incident underscored that my personal privacy threshold is low, but I may be fairly unusual in that. I had attended the show with six or seven close friends, most of whom were horrified by what had just happened. They were terrified that the person on display might just as easily have been them instead of me. I do not want to presume to suggest that I have an answer for how our generation, or generations, should be addressing the burning question of personal privacy in the internet age. Nor do I feel it necessary to inform anyone that the decisions society makes now about privacy may have fundamental, world-shifting impacts on the future of society and humanity. At the law school we have entire classes and internships dedicated to exploring some of the foremost legal scholarship and thought on this very topic. And for months and years to come we may be dissecting the opinion and concurrences in this Monday’s Supreme Court decision in US v. Jones in which even Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, upheld Judge D. Ginsburg’s reasoning from the DC Circuit to find in favour of an individual’s  “reasonable expectation of privacy” when going about daily travels. Currently, what is available about me on Google is quite distinct from ubiquitous police surveillance. This incident has, however, forced me to examine, evaluate, and defend to those six or seven friends why I choose what to post when I post it. Because I am part of

the market of socially available information, and my market behavior affects their valuation of appropriate online behavior whether or not they directly agree with my strategies. This incident crystallized an idea in my mind that many have suggested before me. How privacy is shaped over our lifetime may have less to do with Supreme Court decisions about the Fourth Amendment, promulgated rules, or enacted legislation than the collective behavior we all exhibit. We participate in a market; our actions collectively build norms.  Our actions and reactions add up to “reasonable expectation[s] of privacy”.  In light of that, do we create and protect curated identities? Do we hide and refuse to engage in privacy-threatening activities (like Facebook)? Or do we let it all hang out? And what do we do if someone maliciously interacts with that identity however it is presented: if they stalk, harass, or simply attempt to be friendly but are by our own estimations a bit weird and overly friendly? There are strong institutional advocates for privacy: actions by agencies like the FTC, private groups, and scholarship. But the idea of privacy, amorphous as it seems to be a global world, could easily die the death of a thousand cuts. Advocates can only do so much to staunch the bleeding if we consciously or negligently refuse to defend it, allowing the evolving standard of reasonableness to evolve to virtual extinction. I do suggest that we should all know–personally and individually–whether, why, and how we believe privacy should be addressed through our own actions and interactions. If you don’t know where to start in creating your own standard, imagine you are being grilled about what Google says about you in front of 400 perfect strangers–like a cold splash of water it might help clarify your thinking. *****

Justice Scalia Gives Keynote Speech at Law Review Symposium
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on November 9, 2011

Photo by Katherine Mereand-Sinha

Opening this year’s Law Review Symposium last Thursday, Justice Anton Scalia addressed George Washington University Law students and faculty regarding “The Methodology of Originalism”. As Dean Berman aptly stated in his remarks, such an honor is one that students at other law schools would “kill for” but not an uncommon occurrence at GW Law. Indeed, Justice Scalia was not the only judicial luminary gracing this year’s symposium. Several appellate court judges took part in a panel discussion on day two, including Easterbrook, Kavanaugh, Lettow, Raggi, Sutton, and Diane Wood. Students on the law review and those who secured the lottery tickets for the keynote or rsvp’d to the panels on Friday were treated with discussions relating to the 100th Anniversary of Farrand’s Records of the Federal Convention. The late Max Farrand, a Professor of History at Yale and a  president of the American History Association, reconstructed records from the Federal Convention in 1787. The compilation relied heavily on individual notes of the official secretary and other attendees such as James Madison; the three volume collection was published in 1911. Farrand’s Records, which were meticulously constructed, have long been cited as a primary source for determining the framer’s “original intent”.

Reading the 200-year-old tea leaves of original intent, however, is something Justice Scalia emphatically rejects. He went as far as to say “I detest the term” intent. In his remarks and during an audience Q&A he more than once stated “I don’t care” what law makers, from any era, intended. Words have “fair meaning” and there is “nothing but the text” to determine the true purpose of a law. If the drafters of a law did not look up the meaning of the language at the time, too bad because they should have. How, then, might the Justice find the Records, the Federalist Papers, or even Blackstone’s useful? He admits that intent is of no judicial import and the meaning of words change overtime, but also proudly highlighted that he used definitions from Blackstone in the Court’s recent “originalist opinion” in Heller. He walked the audience through several aspects of Heller, including the fact that Blackstone’s definition of the right to bear arms considered it one of the “fundamental rights of Englishmen” at the time of the founding of America. He drew a fine but clear line when during the Q&A many questioners attempted in vain to catch him in a logical fallacy or inconsistency for relying on ancillary historical texts in some opinions. The meaning of words, under his theory of originalism, is reliant upon a framework of their meaning in the context of law at the time they were written. Thus the meaning of words is not what “99 percent of people” think and we cannot expect the “Joe the Plumber” equivalent in any era to understand such technical meaning. Instead, he says, it is uniquely the judge or the lawyer’s role to determine the “reasonable” meaning within the context of the law. And while no source is definitive, “clues in mysteries always point in different directions” he explained, determining the appropriate weight of historical authority is eminently judicial. He likened his role to that of the Oxford English Dictionary, albeit for a smaller, more focused lexicon. A few reasons underpin the important distinction between Justice Scalia’s brand of originalism and all other legal theories, most particularly the legitimacy of judicial power and the “ease of lawyerly application” of the law. The first speaks to the distinction between legislative and judicial power. Citing issues such as abortion, sodomy, assisted suicide, capital punishment, and capital punishment applied to minors, he finds that these are not new phenomenon that the framer’s did not or could not have contemplated, in sharp contrast to the Internet. It was in fact, common, he reminded the audience, for children as young as 12 to be put to death in late eighteenth century. For the judiciary to stray into addresses settled phenomenon in a new ways is to invite jurists to apply their own moral philosophy to the law. That is why Justice Scalia maintains that originalism is not perfect, it is merely the lesser evil that better avoids judicial abuse. The Justice shared his opinion on a few other related topics as well, from the integral role of history in law and law in history, to what he calls the unfortunate trend of professorial amici as “advocacy parading as disinterested scholarship”, and to the fact that there is nothing distinctive about female judges compared to male judges–there are simply good judges and bad judges. Perhaps most directly useful to students, however, were the Justice’s remarks about oral arguments. When asked whether he found them of value, he confessed that at first he assumed that they would be nothing more than a “dog and pony show”. Yet, to his surprise

he became a big believer in their value, as they allow lawyers to be true advocates. Briefs, by their nature, are logically structured often spending more time explaining complicated minutia than simple but key ideas. In oral argument however, he suggested, “logical order be damned [...] put your big point up front”. *****

Simple Things: Individual Lockers for All
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on October 26, 2011

First year students at GW Law should have their own lockers, and until they do they should be upset that they do not have them. It is a simple thing, and mundane enough that it is hard as a first year student to complain. So much else is more important that this often stressinducing situation is relegated to little thought. Besides, who wants to be known as the person who complains about lockers? There are obvious logistical constraints within the law school that make adding more lockers hard, and there may even be a plan to provide more space when the new law school buildings are built. I have not asked anyone why adding more lockers has not happened. I am an example why nothing on this front changes. When the problem ceased to be my problem, I ceased to care. When one is a first year student, however, struggling to cram all books, lunches, coats, and whatever else into a shared locker, one does not have time to complain. Instead, each pair deals with the lack of space in their own way. Some people have quiet wars all year, resolved by who arrives first to the law school each day. Some people have open fights. All too often one person cedes their right to the locker and simply carries all of their books and belongings in an enormous backpack or giant wheeled contraption that must become disgusting in the undercarriage. I am sure there are other accommodations made and have even heard rumors about complex schedules of rights to more space that some students put together. But after creating the strategy at the beginning of the year, despite the annoyance, it is is not often revisited once someone knows how and where to complain. Actual school work and jobs are by far more important. Once one becomes a 2L and eventually a 3L, it is easy to look back at it as a right of passage and move on. I am suggesting that this year’s first year students do not do to their future classmates what we did to them: move on without trying to make their future classmates’ lives easier. I was headed to class in the basement of Lerner the other day, where thankfully LL102 has warmed up slightly from the icy chill that was its hallmark in previous years. I noticed that as usual when it rains, the first year students had hung umbrellas outside of their lockers in profusion. I first noticed that the umbrellas hung were larger than before, but then I noticed that some student were hanging

Photo by Katherine Mereand-Sinha

their jackets on their locks. It seemed excessive until I remembered having to kick my locker shut to accommodate everything that my “locker buddy” and I tried to store amicably. After kicking it closed, we simply carried our heavy wool coats along with everything else we could not store. In coming to law school I moved from spending six years with my own office and keeping several pairs of extra shoes under my desk to being a nomad with back pain who could not bring lunch to school because I lacked the capacity to store or carry it. I took a saddle bag approach with two bags to balance the excessive weight, and I watched friends turn into virtual camels when they donned their enormous backpacks. I understand that the law school has a lack of space, but there are fifty-five full height lockers in the basement of Stuart that could be chopped in two. Perhaps there are other options like that. I am not blaming the administration, there is no easy answer given the pure lack of space. I do, however, encourage the current crop of first year students to make this point, clearly, to the SBA if you have a problem with lockers. I have heard grumbles and anecdotes, but often change only happens if someone advocates for it. Do your future classmates a favor and make sure to continue to ask for a solution to what, for many, is more than mere annoyance. Oh, and if you do have a giant backpack, through no fault of your own, do everyone a favor. Be careful when you turn quickly and do not back up without looking! Given the amount of times I have been hit with one in the Lerner stairwell, I can attest that those things are dangerous. Update to this article on October 26, 2011. Dean Paul Schiff Berman contacted Nota Bene to mention that students do not need to take concerns about lockers only to the SBA because they can also bring such concerns directly to him. Dean Berman typically has open office hours on Tuesdays. See this post on his blog 20th & H for more details about how and when to drop-in. *****

The law school felt very empty when all of the 1Ls went on fall break. . . .

Photo by Katherine Mereand-Sinha

He Did Not Hurt Me, But It Hurt
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on October 19, 2011 I was walking by myself on 20th between L & M Streets, NW, at about 8:50 p.m. last Wednesday.  A stranger in a wide-brimmed felt hat and a nice trench coat walked towards me.  He stepped close, too close, said coldly “white bitch”, and flicked a lit cigarette butt at me. It hit my neck, but it did not burn. He hadn’t truly broken his stride and simply continued walking. I turned around to look at him, shocked. I demanded of him “Why?”  He continued walking. Feeling helpless, in the middle of the sidewalk I shouted at his back, recounting the event to all could hear at the top of my lungs. I did this so that he could hear that others could hear what he had done. I said that he should be ashamed. He continued walking without looking back or changing his pace. I cried. This article is not really about that man nor is it about garnering sympathy for or engendering disdain about what occurred. Rather, it is an attempt to distill the complex emotional reaction to hate, to show that the display of hate causes a separate and distinct if lesser harm from violence, and to ask open-ended questions about interracial hate and racism in our society. I can no longer count on one hand the number of times that someone has threatened violence to me and said the same exact words that person said to me last Wednesday. Usually in DC, sometimes in Detroit, I have repeatedly had similar incidents occur. I have been chased. Car windows have been smashed with bricks. I have had to fight to regain control of my wrist when someone has unexpectedly latched on. Two things set this incident apart… First, in all of the other incidents, the persons I encountered were either clearly homeless or youth, groups who often are hyper-marginalized within our society and who not infrequently engage in antisocial behavior. The man on Wednesday, in contrast, was well-dressed, middle-aged, and seemed completely in control of his faculties. Second, I was not actually afraid that this man would do serious violence or cause me physical harm. That fact is critical to thinking about this as a distillation of hate. What directly inspired his actions I will never know. How I reacted, however, I can dissect. A few minutes later I posted the incident on Facebook but not to Twitter.  Underlying that decision was the need to retell the incident to exorcise the tangled emotions but also a fear of being publicly misunderstood.  The reason for that fear gnawed at me. Calling out ‘anti-white racism’ is a challenging thing to do–particularly in a liberal crowd. When I have seen incidents of other people being verbally assaulted on the bus or on the street with the same dynamic, the bystander effect occurs but is perhaps strengthened by an uncertainty of what the correct reaction should be. I think the correct reaction is to say that the antisocial behavior is wrong, but a strong current of racially-motivated guilt stays a lot of reactions. I did feel a level of guilt for condemning the man’s behavior, because I know that I am not subject to the negative impacts of the chasm that is the racial divide in America. But the guilt felt unproductive, and permitting it space felt like legitimizing the behavior. Forcibly setting the guilt aside helped me to see that the hurt that remained was multi-faceted.

Mostly, I think, it hurt because he intended it to hurt. When we think of hate, I think many of us naturally think of horrific violence that someone perpetrates motivated by bias. The most recent national hate crime legislation is, rightfully, named for Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd, two victims of unconscionable acts of hate-motivated violence. Considering the connection between hate and violence is entirely appropriate when considering criminal and legal penalties and sanctions. But the incident on Wednesday, which although technically assault arguably was barely so, allowed me to see something distinct that I personally rarely see from this perspective. Very few times in my life have I been singled out for scorn due to my race; it has occurred more times than I can count on one hand but few enough that I can count it upon two. In the other incidents, I was primarily afraid of the threat of violence. I believe that the perpetrators wanted me to be afraid. Not so on Wednesday. Instead, I felt the impact of his two words as a very intentional, flattening denial of my personhood. Those words were cold, uncaring, and unseeing–born of circumstances I can only speculate about and imagine, probably unsuccessfully. He did not know me. He did not care to know me. I did not represent a person to him. I represented an institution. He reduced me to a race and a gender, and then spat upon me for what he saw. I was helpless to do anything other than receive the hate. On another level it hurt because I was not able to rationally explain his hate. I have this weird vision that crops up in my mind that suggests perhaps he had a daughter who faced some sort of hardship or simply a hard life. I do not know why that idea comes to my mind; there is no logical reason to conjure up such a vision. It simply is not relevant, and yet this idea lingers. I fundamentally know that nothing so tangible need be at the heart of the matter, but a part of me wants to attach his hate to something tangible outside of myself to be able to make sense of it. If I can do that, I can label it, put it in a metaphorical box, and dismiss it. Instead I must face that I cannot fathom what it is like to spend everyday knowing  that others flatten my identity to see only my race and my gender.  I can, somewhat, perceive how institutional disadvantage and soft cultural bias place constant downward pressure on a community. I have certain tells in my mannerisms, my speech, and to some extent aspects of my appearance that bespeak my roots, but to a great extent those are erasable and not visible to the world. They are not visible when I walk down the street in Washington, DC. In this context acknowledging that I do not know what it is like to be a minority in American society is not a manifestation of guilt so much as a of fear of being powerless to fix what is broken. My inability to do anything constructive in that moment mirrors my sense of helplessness when facing the larger, structural issue of racism in our society. I can call out racist, antisocial behavior as wrong. I can be sure to talk about race and racism and encourage others to do so. But there is a strong cultural undercurrent that suggests that it is unseemly for me to do so because I am not myself a minority. That perspective holds that I have no legitimacy and it is not my affair. Interestingly, a similar undercurrent mouths empty platitudes when minorities do broach the subject. Mass culture pretends tension due to race is something tangible, easily dealt with, and then put aside.

But it does nothing to stop a pervasive “us vs them” mentality. Many readers may have already labeled me ‘the white girl’. Some might have thrown in additional adjectives, but as for the basics I identified as much above. I am curious, however, how many readers envisioned the race of this man, although I have declined to openly identify it other than implicitly as “not white”.  The great irony of my attempt at an academic exploration of a visceral reaction to a personal interaction is that as much as he reduced me to nothing but my race and my gender, quite possibly retelling inexorably does the same to him.
*****

Parties to Landmark SCOTUS Cases
An original N.B. crossword.
1 2 3 4

5

6 10

7

8

9

11 13 14 15

12

16 18

17

19 21 22 23 25 28 26 27 24

20

Across
1. Student organizations at public universities may not limit members to particular religions. 6. A student's right to privacy does not extend to items in plain view during a reasonable search. 7. Groups cannot be prohibited from peaceful assembly due to the content of their message. 10. Exclusionary rule upholds the sanctity of the home. 13. Commerce clause allows federal government to regulate interstate commerce. 15. State courts must provide attorneys to criminal defendants who cannot afford counsel. 17. Jury exclusion due to national origin violates the 14th Amendment. 18. Informing arrestee of their rights. 19. This first time SCOTUS ruled against the death penalty. 21. Separate but equal. 22. Confirming the constitutions implied powers. 24. Desegregation of schools. 25. Cities can take private property to turn it over to private developers.

Down
2. FDA Modernization Act of 1997 was overturned for restricting commerical speech. 3. Nativiity senes in a court building violates the Establishment Clause. 4. Allows the use of a "gag" order to limit pretrial publicity. 5. Mandatory use of the death penalty would violate the 8th Amendment. 8. Religuous clubs must be allowed to meet after school if other groups are allowed to meet. 9. First instance of the SCOTUS applied strict scrutiny to racial discrimination by the government. 11. Free speech in schools. 12. NY's requirement of a prayer to open shool was unconstitutional. 14. Chaplain's opening legislative sessions does not violate the Establishment Clause. 16. Denying people the designation of citizen. 17. Free speech isn't violated by educators exercising editorial control for pedagogical concerns.

Parties to Landmark SCOTUS Cases
An original N.B. crossword.
1

C H R
5

I
6

S

2

T H

I

A

N
7

L V

E G A L I L L E G

3

L
8

S O C

I

E
9

T Y K O K R M A T S
12

4

S H E P P A R D

G R E

T

L O
10

A G E O O O D N Z W S C L
15

F S
11

I

M A P

P

P
14

O T I N K E R
19

E

13

G G

I

B
16

B O N S S O
17

M A R N A S H

H E Y C O

G

D E O N G E L
20

D R A E D

H E Z E

N D E

18

M

I

N D A

F U R M A A
24

N

21

P K

L E

E

S C

S

Y

L W O
28

22

M C C U N T Y

L O C H U
26 23 27

W E E K S

B

R O W N B U R Y

25

L O T T

B

A

K A T Z

K

R O E D

Across
1. Student organizations at public universities may not limit members to particular religions. [CHRISTIANLEGALSOCIETY] 6. A student's right to privacy does not extend to items in plain view during a reasonable search. [TLO] 7. Groups cannot be prohibited from peaceful assembly due to the content of their message. [VILLAGEOFSKOKIE] 10. Exclusionary rule upholds the sanctity of the home. [MAPP] 13. Commerce clause allows federal government to regulate interstate commerce. [GIBBONS] 15. State courts must provide attorneys to criminal defendants who cannot afford counsel. [GIDEON] 17. Jury exclusion due to national origin violates the 14th Amendment. [HERNANDEZ] 18. Informing arrestee of their rights. [MIRANDA] 19. This first time SCOTUS ruled against the death penalty. [FURMAN] 21. Separate but equal. [PLESSY]

Down
2. FDA Modernization Act of 1997 was overturned for restricting commerical speech. [THOMPOSON] 3. Nativiity senes in a court building violates the Establishment Clause. [ALLEGHENYCOUNTY] 4. Allows the use of a "gag" order to limit pretrial publicity. [SHEPPARD] 5. Mandatory use of the death penalty would violate the 8th Amendment. [GREGG] 8. Religuous clubs must be allowed to meet after school if other groups are allowed to meet. [GOODNEWSCLUB] 9. First instance of the SCOTUS applied strict scrutiny to racial discrimination by the government. [KOREMATSU] 11. Free speech in schools. [TINKER] 12. NY's requirement of a prayer to open shool was unconstitutional. [ENGEL] 14. Chaplain's opening legislative sessions does not violate the Establishment Clause. [MARSH] 16. Denying people the designation of citizen. [DREDSCOTT]

What is a Newspaper? What is the News?
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on September 26, 2011 In the coming months, I hope to answer this question more definitively. At present, I merely seek to ask it–of everyone. What is a newspaper? What is the role of an independent press? Nota Bene has been an independent student newspaper at The George Washington University Law School for twenty-six years. This year, after a quarter of a century of free press reporting, our ability to maintain a print edition, maintain editorial independence, and transition to having a strong and independent web presence are in doubt. We are not fighting against malevolence as much as the general apathy of the powers that be. Despite that, we have an exciting year lined up and are ready to display a wonderful diversity of voices from amazing students, dedicated faculty, and unsung heroes in the administration and staff. We are striving to work with the Deans, the Faculty, the Staff, the Student Groups, Alumni, and the Student Bar Association to highlight the wonderful things about the law school. And in the same breath we will tell this community if and when we see items of concern or things that could be improved. We want to hear your answers and ideas, GW Law.  What is a newspaper? What is the news? Email us at notabene@law.gwu.edu. We will accept article submissions, quotes, questions, and anonymous tips. My own answer starts with a story, but it only starts there. I very much wanted to be a journalist when I came to GWU undergraduate in 1999–well before the terrorist attacks and before I realized how compromised journalism could become. I left the journalism major shortly after a professor told me in no uncertain terms that the only way to become a “real” journalist was to sell the news and to sell-out. Earlier that semester he had presented to the class what he called a classic hypothetical. Pretend you are a photojournalist in an African country that is experiencing a horrid plague of famine. You visit the camps of the dying to take photos to show this travesty to the world. While there, you see a young child–an infant–being approached by a vulture. The child is still alive but too weak to move. You can do one of two things. You can walk over to save the dying child who will inevitably die anyway. Or, you can take a photo which may, if you are lucky, convince the world to intervene in the famine and save a million lives. He contended that one could be a journalist in today’s world if they were not willing to take the photo let the child die a particularly horrific death before your eyes. He denied the idea that one could take a photograph and then rush to the child. That option would break the hypothetical and besides would demonstrate that you had no objectivity as a journalist. Many years later I attended the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue here in DC. In an exhibit about Pulitzer Prize winning photographs I saw Kevin Carter’s award winning 1993 photo of a starving child being approached by a vulture in the Sudan. I read the caption that indicated Kevin Carter committed suicide shortly after he received the Pulitzer in 1994. Back then, I reflected on the conditions in the Sudan. Today, I reflect upon the conditions in Somalia.

… I also reflect upon this: when the network television stations first covered the news, they did so as a public service. It was assumed that news departments would lose money, but that providing the news was in some way the duty of media companies that had been handed the airwaves for free. Sometime in the last fifty years, with the rise of cable, for many the news ceased to be universally seen as a public service. We saw a new rise of yellow journalism and the news became a profit-making venture with graphics, gotcha journalism, and salacious details which play on and to stereotypes that sell ratings and editions. Real journalism still exists, but it fights for survival against entertainment, advertising, and sponsorship. An independent press is a struggle to maintain but a pleasure to behold. We ask for your support, GW Law. Explore with us, report with us, talk to us, and read us this year. We want to hear your voices, tell your stories, and help you see more layers of your community than individuals alone can see. *****

GW Law Students Groups Invite You To Get Involved
Compiled by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on September 14, 2011 All George Washington University Law School student groups were invited to submit a profile to Nota Bene for publication. Groups that responded are profiled within. We encourage law students to get actively involved in student life on campus. It is both fun and career building. Have an interest not listed here? Do not let that stop you. Consider starting a new student group if you have the gumption to get it off the ground. The SBA has details and instruction here. http://www.gwsba.com/student-organizations/. Or if you think you have what it takes, apply to join the staff of Nota Bene. Benefits include a ready excuse to talk to anyone you want on or off campus and practice your networking skills, an opportunity to have your work officially published, useful additions to your resume, writing samples that highlight your passions and your flair, and helping to create a more vibrant law school community by asking tough questions and highlighting important issues about the law school and the law for the student body and the faculty. Contact us at notabene@law.gwu.edu.

The Student Bar Association
The Student Bar Association is the chief lobbyist on campus on behalf of the law students. We are organized into Executive, Legislative and Judiciary Branches, and handle everything from logistical aspects of student life (locker rentals, books, business cards, etc.) to outreach (community service, ABA interaction, Public Interest activities) to fun (Thirsty Thursday, Bar Review, Halloween Party, etc.). Most recently, we have helped plan orientation and have engaged in a serious process to create a new alcohol policy for the Law School. Another initiative the SBA has been working on is the institution of flexible final exam scheduling. The SBA Senate passes legislation allocating money to student groups, deals with important academic development issues and meets twice a month. Senators are elected in Fall and Spring SBA elections and serve to represent the students as entirely separate from the Executive and Judiciary branches. While the role of the SBA Supreme Court is not fully defined, there are opportunities open for students to become judges and we encourage interested students to apply through the mechanisms on the SBA website. This year, the SBA has put a new focus on communication with students, changing the email, updating the website and actively engaging in social media. Visit www.GWSBA.com for more information on everything the SBA does and to find out how you can get involved, including through executive appointments to SBA committees, the SBA Supreme Court and to GW Law student-faculty committees. Continue to read the weekly newsletter for continuous updates on what’s going on around campus!

The American Constitution Society
The American Constitution Society is a national legal organization dedicated to encouraging discussion of the Constitution and related doctrines. The organization seeks to promote the values of “individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law.” The GW Chapter of the American Constitution Society has a lineup of engaging speakers, panel discussions and networking opportunities for interested students. We will be kicking off our year with our first general body meeting at 6:00 PM on Sep 13th, complete with free food. The fun will continue with a discussion on Privacy and Security: Ten Years after 9/11 at 4:00 PM on Sep 14th and finally a trip to the National Press Club to see a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term at 11 AM on the 15th. Interested students can contact hvoruganti1@law.gwu.edu to learn more about upcoming events and how to get involved.

The Art, Law, and Entertainment Society
ALES gathers students passionate about art and cultural heritage to acquaint them with the legal and social questions posed by creative expression. We offer events that are fun, thought-provoking, and accessible to the entire GW student community. Art Law encompasses international law, intellectual property, commercial transactions, and free speech rights in the industries of fine arts, fashion, cultural heritage, museums, and much more. Events: Selected events for the fall semester include an introduction to art law, our annual wine law event, and museum and cultural event outings. For the spring semester, we plan to host events on cultural property, art theft, and fashion law. We look forward to the input of our members, so please contact a board member to make an event suggestion (or run for a board position!). Our first general interest meeting and introduction to art law will take place in September. Fall Elections: In September, we will hold elections for board positions including Treasurer, 1L section representatives, and class representatives. We encourage 1Ls, evening students, or any student interested in becoming involved in ALES to run for a position! Please contact any current board member with questions. Main email GWArtLaw@gmail.com; blog www.gwartlaw.tumblr.com, President: Shirley Liang, 2L, xliang@law.gwu.edu, Vice President: Andrea Hamilton, 3L, ahamilton@law.gwu.edu, Secretary: Mary Jacobson, 2L, mjacobson@law.gwu.edu, Public Relations Chair: Virginia Lenahan, 2L, vhlenahan@law.gwu.edu, 2L Representative: Coryn Rosenstock, 2L, crosenstock@law.gwu.edu.

The Asian/Pacific American Law Student Association
APALSA is a national organization for Asian/Pacific American (APA) and other interested law students. Its goals are to provide academic and social support for incoming as well as continuing students; to assist members in job searches; and to increase Asian/Pacific American enrollment and participation at the George Washington University Law School.

Upcoming events include: First General Meeting(September 13), Welcome BBQ (October 1), and APALSA/SALSA Alumni Networking Event (October 13). Other events include the following: educational and professional panels, lectures and film screenings, with a focus on APA issues, including legal careers/internships in Asia, law in various Asian countries, and human rights in Asia; networking and social activities with other APA groups and APALSA organizations, including annual spring ski trip, happy hours, karaoke contests and basketball tournaments; cultural events to raise APA awareness, such as Lunar New Years banquet and cultural foods potluck; public service projects to give back to the community, including with APALRC and ABAPA. APALSA has also instituted an internal mentorship program whereby 2L/3L students help new 1L students transition into law school. APALSA strives to foster a sense of community not only within the GW community, but also outside with APALSA organizations from other schools, practicing APA attorneys in the greater DC metro area, and the APA community at large. Interested students, please contact Valerie Chang at vchang@law.gwu.edu for more information.

The GW Black Law Students Association
he GW Black Law Students Association (BLSA) exists: (1) to use the legal training of GW law students to bear upon some of the problems in the black community; (2) to influence the legal community to use their legal expertise and prestige to effectively bring about changes in the legal system responsive to the needs of the black community; (3) to articulate and promote the needs and goals of GW’s black Law students; and (4) to serve as a source of information for current and prospective black law students of GW Law. Last year, BLSA hosted several events including “Justified Arts” which won a Gavel award for the most creative new event by a student organization. Poets, musicians and a step team participated in the Justified Arts event, which served to commemorate Black History Month and to celebrate GW professors and alumni who have been active with BLSA. Proceeds from the event went towards the Jeanette Michael Memorial Scholarship Fund. This event will take place again during Black History Month. Additionally, BLSA will be hosting several noteworthy events during the fall semester, including a student mentoring program, an academic success week (with tips and tools to help 1Ls perform well during their examinations) and a mock examination for 1Ls. BLSA will also be launching exciting employment opportunities such as a firm-mentoring program, and a networking series. Finally, service is one of our main goals, and will be hosting at least two service events including fundraising for DREAM Act activism and a ‘Serve 2 B Served’ community service event. BLSA welcomes ALL GW students to join our membership and participate in our events. To find out more information about GW BLSA, you can visit www.gwblsa.com, or find us on Facebook or Twitter (@gwblsa). You can also contact us at gwlaw.blsa@gmail.com. Pictures from BLSA events are available on our website www.gwblsa.com.

The Cyberlaw Students Association
The Cyberlaw Students Association (CLSA) is a group committed to cutting edge legal issues related to the internet or computers. These issues include intellectual property, internet privacy, telecommunication, computer crime, and many other subjects. CLSA’s focus is to provide an avenue for discourse that allows students to learn and critically think about these issues, and to prepare for eventual careers in these areas. This is most typically accomplished by bringing in speakers on key issues and holding cyberlaw-related events. We plan to have events this year that include a career panel about opportunities in cyberlaw, and discussions on the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, and the state of online privacy regulation. Please contact CLSA at cyberlaw@law.gwu.edu for more information and to get involved.

The Election Law Society
The Election Law Society is a group of students interested in issues surrounding election law, including campaign finance, voting rights, election administration, redistricting, and many other issues. Last year we hosted several successful events including fundraisers, panels and networking events. We won the Best New Event Gavel Club award last year for our panel on campaign finance followed by a networking event with election law practitioners. Panel members included Craig Engle (Arent Fox), Professor Spencer Overton, Neil Reiff (Sandler, Reiff & Young), and Leslie Rutledge (RNC).   We also hosted a successful screening of the film Gerrymandering while it was still in theaters. This year, we are planning on hosting an Election Law week at the law school. Events will include daily programs related to different areas of election law. In the spring we will host a panel on a relevant area of election law and are planning several brown bag lunches throughout the year. We would love to see new faces at our events and general body meetings.  We encourage new people interested in election law to email us at gwelectionlawsociety@gmail.com for more information.

The Evening Law Student Association
The Evening Law Student Association (ELSA) serves as a forum for any student who is interested in promoting the academic, professional and social advancement of the evening law student community at GW Law. We are especially focused on ensuring that the administration understands and is reminded of the special circumstances of evening students and the value-added we bring to the community. Our Executive Board includes the evening student representatives of the SBA Senate, which makes us a great sounding board for your concerns and suggestions as to how we can work together to enhance the law school experience of evening students, who are primarily on campus on weeknights, hold full-time jobs, and have families, spouses, and community responsibilities. Among the members of our Executive Board you will find a high school teacher, a patent examiner, a law enforcement officer, a political appointee at the State Department, and a

research assistant at the IMF. Together, we are dedicated to holding a variety of events throughout the year geared toward evening students. We understand the importance of maintaining a healthy work/law school/life balance, and encourage evening students to get involved. Follow us on Facebook (page name: GW ELSA), email us at elsa@law.gwu.edu to join our listserv and get involved, or feel free to reach out to a member of our Executive Board: President: Holly Trogdon; Vice President: Angela Buckner; Treasurer: Sam Dillon; Secretary: Kristin Rininger; Academic Liaison: Max Bonici; SBA Senators: Robert Russo, Justin Scheininger (3LE and 1LE positions are currently vacant but will be filled in September’s elections).

The Feminist Forum
The Feminist Forum is dedicated to promoting the fair treatment of all individuals regardless of sex/gender, race, class, income, sexual orientation, and religion. To this end the Feminist Forum seeks to engage the law school and greater Washington DC community through innovative events, panels and pro bono work. This year the Feminist Forum plans to hold several events including a Feminist Meet-andGreet, a progressive networking event, an Equal Pay Day Bake Sale, a Femintines-making party, service learning projects, and several panels and speakers. For more information contact us at gwfeminist@gmail.com.

GW Military Law Society
Purpose: To introduce GW Law students to the world of military law, including military justice, operational law, and military issues in international law. Events: Social events (happy hours, brown bags) throughout the year, military appellate court outreach arguments and court visits, and military facility field trips. Contact: gwmilitarylaw@gmail.com.

GW Street Law
GW Street Law provides students in D.C. public schools with practical, participatory education about the law and how it affects their daily lives. Trained law student volunteers team up to create and teach law-related lessons at local elementary and middle schools, and to run moot court and mock trial events for student participants. This year, GW Street Law hopes to expand with a partnership with the National Youth Justice Alliance teaching juveniles in detention at D.C.’s Youth Services Center, law student career panels at D.C. high schools, and possibly a teaching placement at the Arlington County Detention Center. Email gwstreetlaw@gmail.com for more information or to be added to our listserv, and add GW Street Law on TWEN.

The Hispanic Law Student Association
The Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA) is dedicated to organizing events that bring together Hispanic and other students at GW, while fostering an appreciation for Hispanic language and culture. HLSA activities include social events to meet fellow law students, panels featuring experienced attorneys to discuss career and legal topics, and student-run panels to provide academic and career advice to 1L students. Past HLSA events include: a panel on gang-based asylum, a visit to the White House featuring a roundtable discussion with Rosie Rios, participation in the Hispanic National Bar Association annual convention, and salsa classes at Cafe Citron. All students are welcome to participate in HLSA, especially those who have an interest in Latin American cultures or the Spanish language. We look forward to meeting you!

The International Law Society
The International Law Society is one of the law school’s largest and most active student organizations, providing a forum for students to explore international law outside the classroom. Each year I.L.S. organizes numerous events including discussions with professors and practitioners, visits to outside institutions, and career development panels. Want to learn a new language, or improve your existing skills? Join one of our language groups! Every spring, we host our Embassy Gala at one of Washington, D.C.’s beautiful foreign embassies. If you are interested in becoming involved with I.L.S., make plans to attend our first general body meeting of the year on Monday, September 12th at 8:15 PM. There, you will have a chance to meet the executive board, learn more about I.L.S., and become a dues-paying m e m b e r. Q u e s t i o n s ? F e e l f r e e t o c o n t a c t P r e s i d e n t s R o b A r m s t r o n g (rob.w.armstrong@gmail.com) and Lisa Lederberger (lisabee2012@gmail.com). See you soon!

The Jewish Law Student Association
An organization for those Jewish students that are making their parents proud and doing what every Jewish child should do… become a lawyer. Our mission is to bring together the Jewish community at GWU Law be it through fun social activities, holiday events, or interesting lectures. Please email us at gwjlsa@gmail.com for more information or to be added to our listserv. Thanks!

Lambda Law
Lambda Law is an organization of law students interested in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) legal issues, including employment concerns, developments in LGBTrelated law, and the fostering of tolerance and awareness on campus. The organization provides students with a network for professional and social interaction between LGBT and ally students, faculty, and legal professionals, as well as for the education of the law school community about issues facing LGBT individuals. Since 1989, Lambda has been a visible and active force at the law school. The organization was involved in adding “sexual orientation” to GW’s nondiscrimination policy, developing

programs with the Career Development Office to provide professional networking opportunities, and shaping the Law School’s position toward issues concerning military recruiters on campus. Events this year will include a student-mentor program, discussions on LGBT legal issues such as DADT and LGBT immigration, sponsoring student attendance at a national LGBT legal conference, blood drives, the AIDS Walk, and drag races in Dupont! All students are welcome and encouraged to join Lambda Law. To learn more, email lambda@law.gwu.edu to join our listserv or look for posters of our events around campus!

The Muslim Law Students Association
The Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA) provides a religious, social, and career network for Muslim law students both within the Law School and in the larger Muslim legal community. MLSA is dedicated to enriching the intellectual diversity of the Law School by hosting events related to Islamic law and other issues affecting Muslims both domestically and internationally. MLSA works in conjunction with a broad-based coalition of student organizations on campus and in the Washington, DC area. Last year, the Dean awarded our organization “The Student Organization of the Year Award.” This year we plan to continue sponsoring many successful exciting and intellectual events. To join MLSA you can email the President, Yosra Shaaban at yshaaban@law.gwu.edu to be added to the listserv, also look out for flyers promoting all our events.

Phi Alpha Delta
Phi Alpha Delta is the world’s largest legal fraternity. In fact, one out of every six attorneys in the US is a member of Phi Alpha Delta. Some of the more prominent members include former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and a majority of the sitting supreme court. When you join Phi Alpha Delta you join a dedicated community of students and practitioners with a long-standing history of promoting the bonds of fraternalism and pursuing the advancement of professional ideals. A legal fraternity can offer unique opportunities for professional advancement, community involvement, and academic development and GW’s Jay chapter maintains a strong tradition of professional excellence combined with a unique atmosphere of camaraderie. Awards and Events: New members of GW’s chapter will be initiated by a sitting Supreme Court Justice, at the Supreme Court in October. District XXIII, GW’s district, was awarded outstanding 2010-2011 chapter nationally. See our website at http://phialphadelatagw.com and contact us at join@phialphadeltagw.com.

The South Asian Law Students Association
SALSA’s goal is to promote awareness about India’s diverse and remarkable culture and simultaneously provide students with access to a rich source of legal networking

opportunities. SALSA accomplishes this goal through a variety of cultural, professional, community service and social activities, as well as a mentoring program and career panel events. Events this fall will include a general body meeting for the new board to introduce itself and get to know its new members, which will occur during the second week of classes. Our main fall event is one of the largest events held by any student organization: Diwali Banquet, held in mid-October. Much like an “autumn ball,” Diwali Banquet is hosted by GW and is frequented by law students from American University and Georgetown. Last year, over 100 people dressed in their finest, and enjoyed an evening of dinner, drinks and dancing at an upscale restaurant just a few blocks from the GW. Other fall events will include Navratri Garba, Ramadan Ifthaar Dinner with Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA), and an Alumni Networking Event with Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) on October 13th. Events this spring will include Holi, a festive outdoor party celebrating the onset of spring, and several diversity events including a Diversity Week with the SBA Diversity Affairs committee, and a CDO Luncheon with the Career Development Office, a Community Service Event with South Asian Americans Leading Together and a movie viewing. Details, dates and locations will be provided for SALSA events during the course of the school year. The easiest way to keep track is to subscribe to our emails by contacting SALSA at salsa.gwu@gmail.com. See you at our events and have a great year!

The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter at The George Washington University Law School (GW Law) is dedicated to protecting the lives and furthering the interests of animals through the legal system.  By providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship, SALDF seeks to advance the field of animal law. Throughout the year, SALDF organizes a number of events, including the ever popular annual pet photo contest (and accompanying calendar sales), an adoption event on the quad in association with Washington Humane Society (WHS), and a number of panels exploring the possibilities of successful careers in animal law. SALDF members also work in collaboration with the Animal Welfare Project, which is an independent pro bono project through which law students participate in activities to improve the language and enforcement of animal welfare laws.  Current projects include summarizing animal cruelty statutes to assist prosecutors in the enforcement of these laws. On the national level, SALDF members participate in the National Animal Law Competitions, which includes Moot Court, Closing Argument and Legislative Drafting and Lobbying Competitions.  This year, SALDF will be sending an additional moot court team to the Animal Law Competition established by the University of Chicago.  SALDF members also have the opportunity to participate in the Annual National Animal Law Conference organized by the

Lewis and Clark School of Law.   For more information, please sign-up for our listserv by emailing gwsaldf@gmail.com.  We look forward to seeing you at our events!!!

The Student Health Law Association
The Student Health Law Association (SHLA) was established to increase student interest in the growing field of health law, based on the premise that as health care grows, so too does the demand for excellent health lawyers. The SHLA informs students about local seminars on health law and sponsors programs that introduce students to attorneys practicing in diverse areas of this field. SHLA welcomes any interested students. Please contact Betsy Rosen at erosen@law.gwu.edu.

The Federalist Society, GWU Chapter
Purpose: Founded in 1982, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order. Our 40,000 members are committed to the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to determine what the law is, not what it should be. Events: Debates and panels throughout the year, including “Does Constitutional Law Have Anything to Do with the Constitution?” (Thursday, 9/22) Contact: Email (gwfedsoc@gmail.com), Twitter (@GWFedSoc)

The Promissory Notes
The Promissory Notes was founded at GW Law in the fall of 2009 by a group of students seeking to share their music with each other and with other students at the law school. What began as a musical outlet and a break from studying quickly transformed into an opportunity to contribute to the greater GW and Washington, DC community. The Promissory Notes has performed at numerous official and unofficial school events as well as off-campus venues such as the Velvet Lounge on U Street. We sing all different types of music, from pop to musical theater to country to hip hop, and our members come from a broad variety of musical backgrounds. We were featured in Nota Bene in January 2010: http:// www.notabene.gwsba.com/story/488-promissory-notes-bring-music-gw-law Our members are Andy Brookshire, Bill O’Hara, Daniela Murch, Julia Jarrett, Lenny Rubin, Marianne Kies, Matt Lane, Morgan Yuan, Peter Biberstein, Supraja Murali, Susannah Norvell. This semester we are holding auditions on September 12, 8pm and callbacks on September 14, 8pm, both in room S301. We are seeking all voice parts and/or beatboxers! For more information, please contact ThePromissoryNotes@gmail.com.

The Student Intellectual Property Law Association

The Student Intellectual Property Law Association is proud to have an extensive JD and LLM membership hailing from a variety of backgrounds, including recent college graduates, seasoned patent examiners, international lawyers and experienced faculty. Our members are interested in many IP issues, ranging from worldwide and local developments in copyright law to international and domestic problems in patent and trademark protection. We aspire to cater our events and opportunities to all of the different IP students in the law school. Because of GW Law’s extensive involvement in the local and national IP communities, SIPLA enjoys the benefit of panels, meetings, conferences and events featuring professionals from all levels of experience in the IP world. This year, SIPLA will be expanding its annual mentorship program to not only provide upperlevel student mentors to interested 1Ls, but to also include opportunities for upper-level students (including LLMs) to meet and build one-on-one relationships with IP professionals from the DC area. We will also be hosting the popular annual panel, “How to get a 1L job in a patent law firm”, late during the first semester. Additionally, we will be presenting panels on copyright and trademark issues and organizing trips to the Federal Circuit Court and the USPTO. We hope to again co-host receptions with the IP department of GW Law, providing opportunities for SIPLA members and the IP faculty to get to know one another better. GW SIPLA is committed to bringing the GW IP community, at all its different levels, closer together. If you are interested in joining us or even just following our events, send an email to SIPLA President Thara Russell at thara.russell@gmail.com. We also have a Westlaw TWEN page (GW Student Intellectual Property Law Association) where we may occasionally provide information about upcoming events and opportunities.

Other Groups
Some student groups did not submit information to Nota Bene, but if you are interested you may be able to find information about these groups on the main GW Law page: http:// www.law.gwu.edu/Students/Organizations/Pages/default.aspx. And if you are a student group with outdated information on that site, do not forget to contact the webmaster at www@law.gwu.edu. *****

Welcome to GW Law

Photo by Katherine Mereand-Sinha

Law Students Leave Junk for the SBA to Clean Up
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on September 2, 2011 Books and lunches. Umbrellas on the locks when it rains. Work out clothes, work clothes, and “emergency” ties or heels. Overnight bags. Toiletries. Necessities. The odd case of wine (believe me, it happens). The humble lockers that the SBA rents to students in singles and in pairs have seen a lot of use. They are locked and stickered (mostly with Apple stickers), kicked and sometimes jammed full. And every summer someone has to clean out the remnants and scraps left behind. This year was no different, and this year the SBA was greeted with a cache of a few personal effects, a lot of food, and an absolute surprise.

A few individuals clearly cared about their personal fragrances at one point, as they left behind sticks of deodorant, bottles of ‘black bear’ cologne, and 11 sample sizes of Armani perfume. In a festive food binge, other left behind a complete easter basket full with a large chocolate bunny, Godiva truffles, a box of peeps, and a chicken that lays bubble gum eggs. One unnamed individual last year apparently kept no books in their locker, as it was filled to overflowing with food. In this one locker alone the SBA found a pound of peanuts, a full-sized box of Ritz crackers, a 16 oz. bag of trail mix, a bag of pretzels, a tin for Danish butter cookies full of tea bags, a Clif bar, a 7-hour energy shot, five boxes of fruit roll-ups, box of granola bars, and a can of ‘spicy thai seasoned tuna medley’. In addition this classmate stored a cutting board and two inspirational posters. However, one among us takes the prize for the most daring locker detritus left behind. One student kept a Justin Beiber tribute in their locker. Whether that tribute was intended unironically or in jest, you be the judge. *****

Rain Dance
by Katherine Mereand-Sinha on September 2, 2011 In this economy GW Law students need to be optimistic, driven, and passionate about a few choice areas of the law. While the same could be said of anyone interested in a job in the field of law even during boom times, the imperative during an economic depression like the double-dip we are experiencing today is sharpened to a painful point. The most fascinating and capable individuals–without an obvious showcase for their passions, their interests, and their talents–face the prospect of securing a job that is a poor fit leading to poor avenues for advancement and happiness, or worse no job at all. Such prospects create fear about the next couple of years, quietly, in the hearts of many law students. But thinking about the next couple of years is not enough, and it is not a roadway to the achieving most successful possible career for law students today. The long-term health of our careers depends on long-term planning beyond short-term strategies. Such planning is hard when uncertainties proliferate and certain unalterable realities predominate the minds of [most] law students: loans, grades, and the shrinking legal job market. Everyone knows that the job market shrank. How everyone reacts, however, is subject to a degree of variation. Panic is usually hidden but for some it bursts out during times of significant stress, like during finals. For some depression creeps in but is also generally suppressed. Many simply close fears away entirely by closing out thoughts about the future leading to an underinvestment in planning and preparation. These are troubling reactions particularly when not expressed openly–even if they are fairly common and natural. It is perhaps a shared psychosis created by the overall economic condition permeating the US and most Western economies, but it also exacerbates those conditions. Not to drive fear into 1Ls as fear is counterproductive, but never forget that it is easy for law students to assume that they are brilliant and talented people. In general we are. It is also easy for law students to assume that most work places would benefit by bringing them on staff. In general, most work places would benefit greatly to have any GW Law graduate in their employ. Being brilliant and talented is simply insufficient in this economy. Those who succeed most will set themselves apart from the pack of brilliant and talented people by bringing yet more to the table. What was previously required to succeed is what will be required, for us, to tread water in our careers. The plain fact is that we were dealt a difficult hand. Traditional paths to success will be objectively more difficult for us to follow than those who came before us. The state of the economy today very likely lessens our lifetime earning potential, as longitudinal studies like the work of Yale economist Lisa Kahn show that students of most degree programs who enter the work force during an economic recession of any sort usually face negative, long term consequences that are not of their own making. In March 2010 The Atlantic published an article spelling out the various troubles our cohort is likely to face, based upon the experiences of those who came before us. We are likely to be less confident in switching jobs and therefore stay in less than ideal positions. We will have fewer peers in positions to assist

us in the traditional ways that networking works. We will likely face a persistent wage gap regardless of our merit. The future, in this economy, is a bit bleak. We cannot let that matter. If GW Law students give in to the overall mood of the economy consciously or subconsciously, that mood consisting of deflated consumer confidence and business simply refusing to hire or expand production, they will do themselves and their peers and grave disservice. Falling victim to that psychosis will simply hamstring attempts to overcome the challenges we must face. In this economy pessimism can be a death knell for a job search, and it can be a contagion. Pessimism rarely sells well in an interview, and arguably it is audible in a cover letter too. We need acknowledge but then to seek to overcome bleak thoughts in ourselves and others, including our peers and potential employers. Optimism on demand and on display is a crucial tool for a job seeker. Because unlike the well-meaning warnings the law school is faithfully issuing to 1Ls in these first few weeks of schools, to batten down the hatches on all personal information and pictures of oneself online for the realistic fear of embarrassing oneself, I am proposing a more engaged approach to creating one’s future.  By all means  students should clean out anything embarrassing and keep away from future embarrassing situations. That is necessary but not sufficient. After removing anything negative, GW Law students must build something positive. Names should be Google-able and if possible a top hit. Someone who wants to know who a GW Law student is and what they find interesting in the law should be able to find a history of that which goes deeper than an artificial cover letter. We cannot hide from the world if we hope to succeed. Beyond initiative, in this economy we need gumption. Students can no longer display themselves as highly capable blank slates and empty vessels awaiting cultivation in their first jobs that will mold them. GW Law students need to cultivate a persona now: a real, vibrant vision of themselves that employers will find compelling, not simply safe. Safe, again, is necessary but not sufficient. There are many options for creating a vibrant professional persona. Being active in forums like LinkedIn, state bar associations, and committee sections of the ABA helps. Success in journal or the skills boards at the law school can help. Winning awards can help. Taking leadership positions in student organziations helps. Blogging or microblogging (twitter) about legal issues can help. Chatting with your peers and professors about your legal interests helps. Writing for Nota Bene and being published in print and online helps. Being too afraid of embarrassing oneself to engage the world of law really doesn’t help. The worst mistake any law student can make in this economy, and many do, is to focus only on getting the first job out of law school assuming that any job will do. Any port in a storm is an unhelpful bromide at best. Contrary to the actions of many law students, the conversations we have today will impact us for the remainder of the career. It is not enough to be safe, smart, versatile, and willing to take any job that pays. The new normal will be for our cohort to cultivate one of the most vaunted of lawyerly skills. GW Law students all need to think like rainmakers and create business opportunities for

themselves. It goes almost without saying that we need to be smart, professional, and honest. Now we must also be bold. Katherine Mereand is the Editor-In-Chief of Nota Bene, and a member of the class of 2012 at the George Washington University Law School pursuing a career in the field of competition law. If you would like to submit comments or a response to this article, please do not hesitate contact kmereand@law.gwu.edu or notable@law.gwu.edu.= *****

Legal Latin
An original N.B. crossword.
1 2 3 4 5

6 8

7

9 11 13 14 15 16 17 12

10

18

19

20

21

22

Across
1. said by the way (plural) 3. sworn statement of fact 8. promises must be kept 11. among other things 12. essential condition 14. guilt 15. by right 16. beware of dog 18. the thing itself speaks 20. proportional 21. for the sake of argument 22. inappropriate forum

Down
2. regarding fact 3. repeated to the point of boredom 4. in the chamber 5. in the matter of 6. opinion of law 7. wild animals 9. let the reader beware 10. within the power [of] 13. trustee 14. to show, prove, or ascertain 17. at the threshold 19. for the public good

Legal Latin
An original N.B. crossword.
1

O B
6 8

I O P I N

T E

R D E F

2

I

C

T A
7

3

A D N

F

F

4

I N C

D A

V

5

I N R E

T

F E R A E N
14

A

C
11

T A C N

S

U N R A

T S L I

R V

A U
12

N D A M I L R P A
17 9

C V E

10

I

I

T E O

S E

N E Q U A

N O N T R A V I R E S

13

F I

I O J U
18

C U R

15

D E U C I A R Y

U R E S I
19

16

C A S A

V

E

C A T

N E M I T U R I O R
21

I

A T L E C T R

N L I M I R G U E E N S E

R E I S

P R

L O Q U R E A T A E

O B
20

P

R O R A N

A R I

N D O

22

F O R U M N O N C O N V

N

Across
1. said by the way (plural) [OBITERDICTA] 3. sworn statement of fact [AFFIDAVIT] 8. promises must be kept [PACTASUNTSERVANDA] 11. among other things [INTERALIA] 12. essential condition [SINEQUANON] 14. guilt [CULPA] 15. by right [DEJURE] 16. beware of dog [CAVECANEM] 18. the thing itself speaks [RESIPSALOQUITUR] 20. proportional [PRORATA] 21. for the sake of argument [ARGUENDO] 22. inappropriate forum [FORUMNONCONVENIENS]

Down
2. regarding fact [DEFACTO] 3. repeated to the point of boredom [ADNAUSEUM] 4. in the chamber [INCAMERA] 5. in the matter of [INRE] 6. opinion of law [OPINIOJURIS] 7. wild animals [FERAENATUREA] 9. let the reader beware [CAVEATLECTOR] 10. within the power [of] [INTRAVIRES] 13. trustee [FIDUCIARY] 14. to show, prove, or ascertain [CERTIORARI] 17. at the threshold [INLIMINE] 19. for the public good [PROBONO]

Flyers Designed to Promote Nota Bene

www.

TheNotaBene

.

org

Nota Bene is now online!

Check out the site. Send us photos to share. Submit upcoming event info. And if you tweet with the “hash tag” #GWLaw, we'll retweet it. (@gwnotabene)
For more information, contact us at notabene@law.gwu.edu.

N O T A B E N E

Build your resume; demonstrate your writing prowess. Display your interests, your passions, & your wit. Critique, criticize, demand change.

editorial board or simply write to notabene@law.gwu.edu. Kate Mereand editor-in-chief Jillian Meek

Contact any member of the

Alex Giannattasio news editor &

managing editor

opinions editor

David Keithly

Write for the law school’s student-run newspaper. We cover the law school, the law. From the latest SCOTUS opinion to the need for more t.p. in the ladies’ room, we cover all issues of major, and major, importance to the law school community.

A New Twitter Account

With Photos Of Ongoing Events at the Law School

Administrative Documents to Plan & to Advocate

Nota Bene

Schedule of Publication
August 29th, 2011 September 13th, 2011 September 27th, 2011 October 12th, 2011 October 26th, 2011 November 9th, 2011 January 17th, 2012 January 31th, 2012 February 14th, 2012 February 28th, 2012 March 20th, 2012

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL NEWSPAPER

Advertising Rates and Schedule, 2011-2012
• 1/8th Page (20 square inches) • 1/4th Page (40 square inches) • Half Page (80 square inches) • Full Page (160 square inches)
By advertising in Nota Bene, you will be communicating with over 1500 students, and over 100 faculty who follow N.B. to find out about events and news from the campus and the surrounding neighborhood. You will not only be spreading your message, but also supporting a vital resource for this community.

$75 $125 $200 $300

Katherine Mereand Editor-in-Chief Jillian Meek Managing Editor

Thank you for considering us!

(PROPOSED)

NOTA BENE BUDGET !

ACADEMIC YEAR

2011-2012

MORE FOR LESS
Nota Bene has been asked to make economies, to free up more money for other student groups. We are, of course, willing to do so, being good members of the law school community, but are hoping to reform N.B. to be a more effective service for the faculty, staff, and student body, at the same time. There are several ways in which we hope to reconcile these goals: I INDEPENDENT REVENUE We hope to drive traffic to our website, and use advertising and (inexpensive) classifieds to develop an independent revenue stream, to reduce the burden we place on the Student Activities budget.

Breakdown of Capital and Operating Budgets

List of Planned Expenses
Print Edition
$5500
• 11 issues (1 per month Sep-Apr, 3 special issues) • 8 black and white pages per issue • 200-400 copies • Estimates range from $450-550 per issue

Website Operation $30 $355 $25
Domain names Website “server” (Amazon slice) Photography storage account

Website Redesign $50 $2000
“Basic Maths” theme - rights purchase Consultant for setup, building classifieds

One-time Cost

II BETTER ORGANIZATION BETTER CONTENT By organizing our staff better, to: • Increase the amount of content, by increasing the number of writers, and the capacity of the editors • Improve the quality of the content, in source material as well as in the rigor of the editing. The path to this radical increase in capabilities is through a far more effective collaboration platform. III NO STAFF PAYMENTS We are eliminating the salaries of staff members, to cut costs for the Law School and the SBA. IV A WEB FUTURE We were considering eliminating the print edition altogether. While the Law School community has clearly indicated they oppose that idea, we hope to draw more and more of the readership to the web version, with the eventual goal of phasing out the costs associated with printing.

Collaboration and Editing $480 $240 $360 $120
Basecamp—Editing / Project Tracking platform Highrise—CRM, records of comm. with suppliers Backpack—Internal Wiki, Data & File Repository Campfire—enhanced group communication

Student Activities $450 $150 $240
“Thirsty Thursday” Transition Dinner Food for several Staff & Election Meetings

$10000

Requested Budget
Katherine Mereand and Jillian Meek

!

INVESTOR NEWSLETTER ISSUE N°3!

(PROPOSED)

NOTA BENE BUDGET !

ACADEMIC YEAR

FALL 2009 2011-2012

viz.
Consultant

Details of selected line items
While the software platform used to publish the web edition of Nota Bene should be easy enough for students to use (at least with the assistance on one N.B. staff member who will specialize in its operation), it is unlikely that the staff could set it up the first time. The consultant will do the initial installation, and most of the design work to bring it to the standard the Law School and the SBA would expect of their newspaper. The classified section, as it will require a fair amount of computer programming, is definitely beyond the skillset of the N.B. staff. As this is a service from which N.B. hopes to draw revenue to offset later reductions in its budget, the quality of the platform is naturally of the essence. One challenge most students groups have, but Nota Bene (with the complexity of its operations) truly struggled with in the past, is institutional memory. With no staff member spending more than three years on the paper, it is difficult to retain acquired knowledge, whether about the journalism, the operations, or the management of the organization, or even passed story ideas and covered topics. An internal wiki will provide space for the staff to build a knowledge base that can be used by later cohorts of GW Law students, long after the current staff have left the university. As the paper strives to improve the quality and quantity of its content, it will need to maintain a larger team of writers. Managing this larger team, and coordinating between the inevitably larger team of editors, requires a platform through which tasks can be assigned, milestones set, and the complex process of preparing each issue for print overseen. Basecamp is specifically well-suited to the workflow of a newspaper, and will allow detailed oversight of each issue, while still facilitating long-term planning for other initiatives of the editorial staff may conceive. With the increase in size of the organization, as well as considering the institutional memory difficulties mentioned above, a CRM platform appears necessary. It will help current staff monitor communications with external suppliers (specifically the printers, but also others) as well as future staff review a record of the past messages back and forth regarding institutional contacts that none of them may have personally interacted with. Nota Bene has, in the past, had difficulty keeping in touch with its writers, as well as maintaining a flow of communication between the various editors. The problem would naturally be worse as the organization expands. A set of communal “chat” rooms where groups of staff can discuss various issues, substantive and procedural, as well as initiate ad-hoc conference calls without difficulty or additional cost, will assist in ensuring a large staff without (much) office space or time for scheduled meetings can still coordinate and collaborate without difficulty. The software that will publish the online edition of the newspaper cannot be operated on GW’s servers, for technical and security reasons. Another host is necessary. The additional requirement of being able to host a classifieds database means that this must be a “virtual private server”. The cheapest and most reliable option the staff could identify would be an EC2 cloud computing account with Amazon.

Backpack

Basecamp

Highrise

Campfire Web server
!

Katherine Mereand and Jillian Meek

Nota Bene

Areas of Change
• Reorganizing the Paper • Intra-School Coordination • University Outreach • Incentives • Editorial Processes • Production Workflow • Serialized Content • Internal “Issue Themes” • Recruitment and Retention • Soliciting Alumni Contributions • Graphical and Design Ideas

2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5

KATHERINE MEREAND & JILLIAN MEEK

Focused Content. Expanded Issues. Higher Readership. Larger Staff.
Nota Bene must change, to thrive. We need to do things differently.
The past few years have made clear that the paper as currently organized and operated is unsustainable. We’ve lurched from one crisis to another, barely filling pages, barely meeting deadlines. We’ve had issues with quality, but had no scope to reject articles without any surplus capacity. Nota Bene has, at times, seemed rather unprofessional (which admittedly, for an amateur publication, is neither a surprise nor a damning indictment). Nevertheless, we can reform our procedures, and make this a truly stellar institution that provides us (and students to come) benefits while we’re at GW, and after as well. While the changes will become clear in the following pages, the basic principles are to grow to get the staffing to put out a truly excellent paper without putting too many demands on students who, obviously, have other priorities as well they must tend to, to change our content to become truly compelling to our fellow students and professors, use this higher readership to better market ourselves to advertisers, and use that funding to help pay for these improvements. Following this, we’ll hopefully be able to turn Nota Bene into an institution that creates a community that lasts beyond one’s tenure at GW. With frequent contacts between emeritus staff and current members, Nota Bene can become a networking/recruitment conduit that will hopefully improve its brand, make serving as a staff member more compelling to new students, and afford those of us who will have graduated a forum to get back together with old friends, and useful contacts. Working on Nota Bene should be beneficial to the staff member, reading it should be helpful to the reader, and funding it should be rewarding for advertisers and the School administration. Hopefully, by implementing the changes that are described in the following proposal, those ambitious objectives can be made a reality. Yours, Katherine Mereand candidate, Editor-in-Chief Jillian Meek candidate, Managing Editor

Proposed Nota Bene Reforms, for Academic Year

2011-12

These are just thoughts in the form of an early proposal, not a plan of action. Much may change, and can change based on your input. Please don’t feel that a radical shift in Nota Bene has been decided upon without comment or discussion; rather, this proposal is being circulated in order to start a discussion about the future of the paper. Further, while these changes as described seem dramatic, their actual implementation would be evolutionary as much as revolutionary, a direction as much as a destination.

Change
in the focus, as well as organization, of the paper may be warranted. Instead of trying to serve a general interest (and being distinct only in the sense that the content is generated by law students) perhaps Nota Bene should be defined by its market and their shared interests: viz. the concerns of Law Students. Nota Bene will probably never have the best international reporting, sports coverage, or

Law
the Changing Law
Trends and events in the practice of (or case law about) various practice areas of law.

School
Around the School
Coverage of new events at, changes in, and information about, the GW Law School

Students
Being a Law Student
columns for: • International Students • Non-traditional Students • 1L/2L/3L lifecycle

SCOTUS review

Overview of new decisions, trends in the Justices’ questions, analysis of interesting or important decisions or dissents.

From the School

An article about/by a program or division of the School. e.g. CDO, Outplacement, the Writing program, the Clinics

Student Activities

columns for: • The SBA • interviews w/ each Thirsty Thursday sponsor

the Legal Industry

Roundups of various changes and trends in the Legal Industry, (biglaw, small/solo practice, nonprofit/gov’t) as well as hiring trends.

the School’s Classes
Reviews and thoughts about individual classes and programs of study. Potentially should be published without attribution.

Debate

Argument for and against a proposition. A chance for students to get an article out as a hit when they’re Googled.

Being an Attorney

Thoughts on the life, benefits, or challenges of being an attorney. Alumni contributions here would be helpful.

Beyond the School

Discussion and perspectives from fellow students’ experiences in internships and other external programs around the area.

Outside the Law

columns for: • Food & Drink (Joon’s wine) • Around DC As well as other articles that address non-Law School life.

Reorganizing the Paper
The traditional organization of a newspaper (into News, Opinion/Editorial, and Features) was meant to both reassure the reader that the News section would be arranged, articles selected, and copy written, solely with an eye towards objective coverage of the most important events of the day. The Opinions section being distinct would give the impression that it was the only area where staff would allow themselves to reveal their views. Finally, Features would provide periodic coverage of areas that, while not newsworthy as such, were of interest to the reader on an on-going basis. Nota Bene’s readers, the GW Law community, have few if any of these concerns. Most topics of interest to students are of continual interest, most neither believe that Nota Bene will be objective nor care, and none believe it has the resources to provide coverage that equals that of the Times and the Post, on the issues of the day. What then should the role of NB be?

Law/School/Students
What Nota Bene’s readers can’t get elsewhere is critical coverage of the School itself, commentary about student life at the School and in the city, and coverage of the law that isn’t either aimed at laypeople reading at an 8th grade level, or attorneys so steeped in their field of practice as to need little to no background before jumping into discussion of new trends. In these three areas, Nota Bene can find space to provide a useful service; a space where the reader can find this specialized content. Each of these interests’ divisions will need focused attention from a dedicated editor who can try to push the level of coverage to new heights of breath and depth, a far more useful arrangement than having a News Editor, an Opinions Editor, and a Features Editor. While the topics listed above might need review (and new suggestions are welcome!), they should, in aggregate, hope to address (if not answer) every question or concern a

student may have over the course of three years where they simply can’t find any source that can provide good information that is a quick-enough read that they can fit it in among the various, competing demands on their time. Finally, hopefully, these are areas where our staff will feel that they are (and actually be) qualified to comment helpfully (if not authoritatively) on the material. The views of a 1L on the Libya situation may not be very compelling to most; their views on New Student Orientation may be. Obviously this proposal presents several difficulties: • We’d need a lot more staff to provide the new volume of content • We’d need funding to publish a larger paper with more pages • We’d need access to and cooperation from School staff These issues will be addressed later in this proposal.

Intra-School Coordination
In order to broaden the base of labor that generates content for Nota Bene, as well as to obtain some valuable viewpoints, we should begin to liaise with other organizations, both student and official. missions, and an NB writer writes a response, critiquing the organization and evaluating their performance. Another option would be to arrange interviews with staff members, working their perspective and student concerns into one single discussion. Now, obviously, it may be difficult to get interviews. The usual threat is that, having collected information from other people/ sources, the article will be published without their views being adequately represented. Hopefully that wouldn’t prove necessary. These organizations do, after all, have as their primary mission providing services to the student body, and perhaps they will see that reaching out to the student body through Nota Bene will advance their goals.

Stakeholder Incentives
This isn’t the New York Times; why should anyone care about NB?
1. Nota Bene (the organization) Considering Nota Bene as a discrete entity, if the paper expands (in terms of staff), it gains a bit of reserve capacity and content capability. Higher readership (drawn by better/broader/deeper content) would help secure more (and more secure) funding. 2. Nota Bene Staff We aren’t journalism students; there have to be compelling reasons for staff members to commit time and energy to Nota Bene, or we’ll have lackluster content, broken commitments, and recruitment difficulties. To make NB compelling to law students, it must serve career, as well as personal, objectives. If it is a forum to get “published” earlier/more often than the journals (and particularly, becoming known to professors through their submissions), if it is a community that can provide networking opportunities down the road, and if it gains a reputation for being a serious publication, perhaps students will see value in being members and investing in their contributions. . 3. The Readers The primary audience for NB are the students and faculty of GW Law. The former must find content that meaningfully assists them in navigating the material they are studying, the institution they are studying at, and the life they are leading as they are students. The latter will hopefully find interesting the thoughts, views, and perspectives of their students, especially as those are more clearly expressed within NB. 4. The Administration Advertising may be nice, but ultimately NB is deeply dependent on GW Law’s financial support. The organization must serve the School’s overall interests of educating and promoting the careers of its students, even as it at times plays the gadfly in its content. 5. The Subjects Only by raising the profile of NB, and making it (more) central to the GW Law experience, will the various groups and people who may serve as subjects of interviews, or sources of content, bother with cooperating with the publication and its staff.

Student Groups
Giving various student groups a chance to reach students via Nota Bene will allow them to reach interested students more successfully. In turn, by mediating their outreach through Nota Bene (by conducting interviews rather than just surrendering column inches), NB staff can explore student activities’ programs, conduct, and management beyond simply writing “puff pieces”. Organizations like GW’s students groups are often hotbeds of poor governance, and missed opportunities. Conversely, the best run often can’t capitalize on their successes due to poor exposure. This is all the more the case regarding the SBA, which right now seems to be quiescent. We should go beyond simply publishing candidate statements, and really push candidates on what they plan to do for the student body. Current office holders looking for re-election or promotion should be able to point to positive action they’ve taken.

Skills Boards / Journals
The skills boards compete against other schools, and their fellow students learn very little about these competitions and the compeditors’ progress. Nota Bene can cover the competitions, write about the selection process, and generally increase the profile of these organizations. The journals, meanwhile, can be tapped to contribute content to Nota Bene (something some of the smaller journals might welcome), and can again provide material for NB writers, covering individual articles in depth, reviewing students’ notes, overviews of whole issues, and again, the selection process.

School Entities
Many (if not most) students don’t know how best to leverage the facilities and programs the school has to offer. Hopefully discussions with them might shed some light on what they might do to make students’ lives (and job searches) easier and more rewarding. (If not, perhaps the articles’ conclusions might spur some discussion, and in holding the School to account, provoke positive change.) Some offices that could really use some investigative journalism: • the CDO • GWULS IT • Outplacement • the Writing Program • the Clinic program The content could be presented as a sort of point/counterpoint, where the organisation writes a piece introducing themselves, and discussing some of the constraints and difficulties they have in pursuing their

University Outreach
The broader University community also has resources, both in terms of content and labor, that NB could use in developing its publications. The various departments’ professors may have external perspectives on the topics currently being debated in the legal world. The most obvious are economics and political theory professors, but critical theory, sociology, and engineering/computer science may all have interesting views on various subjects within the Law. The students, meanwhile, may be interested in the newspaper if they are “pre-law” and curious about admissions and post-matriculation challenges

Production Workflow
(Obviously this would need to be revised as we put these reforms into practice)
6 weeks before print deadline All staff (writers and editors alike) suggest topics and themes for the given issue 5 weeks before print deadline Topics (and a theme if any) are selected by the editors in committee, and are handed to the individual editors for writer selection 4 weeks before print deadline Writers have received their topics, and begin drafting their articles 2 weeks before print deadline Writers have submitted their drafts, and copy and content editing takes place 1 week before print deadline The final version of the articles are approved, content is frozen, and the paper as whole moves to layout

Editorial Processes
There have been some difficulties over the last two years that we feel could be alleviated by having a cohesive editorial board. It will be even more critical to have this oversight capacity as the paper expands, and writers begin to be given topics/ assignments that will stretch over the course of several issues. This may require fundamental changes in how topics are selected, by whom, and how early before a given print deadline. Writers can/should suggest topics for later issues, but for a given issue, perhaps topics should be handed out by the editorial staff. The goal isn't centralization of input into the topics; everyone has an equally valuable perspective on what might interest the readership. Rather, the aim would be to ensure even and equal coverage of a variety of subjects, and that may require editorial control of what gets published. Further, perhaps we should move to a system that does not assume everyone's contribution will be published in the edition for which it was submitted. In order to raise the quality standard, articles that don't appear to meet that standard would be referred back to writers for a rewrite, or tabled altogether. One matter to discuss with the writing staff would be the option of having a general writer pool, where writers essentially claim articles on an ad hoc basis, or "beats" that are assigned to a given writer for a while. The latter allows for specialization, while the former allows for variety on the part of the writer. Another would be to determine how much oversight over each editor the editorial committee or the Managing editor should provide. Certainly, without any, one editor’s performance flagging (for personal or academic reasons) could seriously threaten the general standard of the publication.

for example), is a different beast than the more department-like series. This alternative allows a single staff writer (or a few!) to work on one topic for several issues, and truly develop content of value, to the student body and ultimately to themselves. As a writing sample, such a piece would display depth of knowledge similar to a research paper, but have been edited and polished by a team of other students (far in excess of what a typical assignment receives) and further, display interest in the subject beyond what the School and its classes required. Hopefully with that as an incentive, such an opportunity can be used as a reward for high-quality submissions of a more mundane variety, allowing the editorial staff to maintain a balance between more journal-like (in their tone and topics) serials, and lighter fare, such as a GW-area lunch option roundup, and the like.

Internal Issue Themes
To help ensure that Nota Bene is timely and relevant, and to help ensure that when in doubt all writers can find something to write about, many if not all issues should have a “theme”. We would not label issues externally because doing so has attendant problems, but we suggest utlizing them internally, and on a schedule similar to this: • Welcome Bank (FRP, 1L series begins, New to DC) • Focus on Student Activities • 1l Midterm Edition (hopefully a column or interview with many of the 1l Professors • Fall Finals Prep/NALP deadline edition (a column from CDO and perhaps Dean DeVigne) • Skills Boards Edition • Public Interest (finding the right think-tank, approaching the government, etc) • Writing Center and Journals Edition • Class Selection Edition (reviews of various classes, discussions of unofficial prerequisites) • SBA elections • Spring Break Edition • Good bye and Good Luck Obviously there is some overlap between constant “departments” and issue themes; determining what is best presented continuously, and what is better suited to a focused edition will take some thought and discussion.

Obviously this would mean that at any given time, three of these stages would be on-going in parallel. • topic selection would be occurring for Issue 6 • while writers would be writing articles for Issue 5 • while Issue 4 was being laid out, and Issue 3 had been published the previous week. The goal of such an elongated production pipeline is to make the workload more manageable for all involved. There is a lot of "give" in a six week pipeline, that didn't exist in the two week serial approach Nota Bene had been taking. This means there is a greater ability for any given staff member to distribute the workload for each issue cognizant of their own personal study and work schedules, and other demands on their time, allowing them to more easily contribute to Nota Bene without having to suffer the burdens of stress and sacrifice to the same degree as before.

Serialized Content
In order to maintain interest from one issue to another, and to provide on-going coverage of an issue, many subjects might be best presented as part of a series: Class Selection (reviews), 1L adaptation, Anatomy of an Internship, etc. These subject series are a frequent tactic of other periodicals to carry forward audiences from one issue to the next, as the greatest difficulty any periodical has is simply convincing a potential reader to pick it up. The creation of a single-article serial (a five part enquiry into the vagaries of ERISA,

Graphical and Design Ideas

Switch to Berliner/Midi format (1/2 way between broadsheet and tabloid layout/paper sizes) Look into cost implications of a four-color process or improved newsprint. Revise columns and layout in light of research about eye travel patterns (the “reverse N”)

Look into graphical data (sparklines, infographics, perhaps tapping local graphic arts programs) Revisit serif vs sans-serif use for headlines vs body text.

Develop an easily identifiable wordmark/ logo to associate w/ NB on posters/flyers/etc. Tie in staff blogs (Vinicultured, etc) into the main NB web presence. Review web presence, and outreach technologies (RSS, Twitter, email editions, etc)

Recruit photographers from the Law School to cover various events, provide establishing images, etc.

Recruitment
We propose aggressive recruitment of incoming 1Ls and LLMs during orientation and in the early fall. This body count will allow for the increased content demands to fall upon more shoulders (to remain manageable where a smaller staff might be overwhelmed), as well as simply raise the profile of the publication in the unaffiliated student body. We have quite a bit to offer, if we highlight the value of being published early and often, having the student’s Google results link to content other than embarrassing party pictures, and the networking benefits of a cross-cohort community that extends into the working world (more about this, later). Reaching students that early may require significant cooperation from the School administration, something we’re more likely to get as a result of other initiatives we have, in this proposal, described.

hindsight, and (anonymously) reviews of the workplaces where they labor. Beyond the content creation, this keeps the NB community together, which should provide us all value later in life, both in the relationships preserved themselves, and in terms of the networking value when we’re looking to make lateral shifts between firms/ agencies/organizations. Simply put, we’ll all (hopefully) be in the position to help one another down the road, if we keep our community intact. A further benefit will be the retention of institutional knowledge; one of the greatest difficulties student groups face is the lost training and insight every year that has to be redeveloped, often from scratch. Simply having the ability to get an alumna or alumnus on the phone to answer a question is of great value itself.

Advertising and Funding

Administration
The School’s funding is an obvious source of concern, as at some point, faced with another tuition increase, the administration may turn its cost-cutting eyes in our direction. It will be all the more important to be constantly reinforcing why NB is a good investment for a law school.

Advertising
With 1650 free-spending law students as our readership, we should be very aggressive in soliciting NB-specific promotions for local merchants (especially bars) to include with their advertising in our paper. This would also serve to make NB a more valuable resource for the student body. Further, NB should solicit advertising from national entities interested in law student mindshare; the obvious candidates include Westlaw, Lexis, Barbri (and its competitors), as well as solo/small firm software vendors. Medium law firms, as well as firms primarily outside the major markets, may also have some interest, as the legal economy improves.

Other GWULS Alumni Retention
Key points towards retaining members and reducing attrition include: • More editors with smaller portfolios, allowing for better oversight, and more frequent contact. • More staff activities (happy hours, etc) to develop internal relationships • A better product, to raise morale and incent more personal investment Reaching out to long-since-departed GW alumni who are in the working world, and asking them for an interview or a piece about a subject in their professional portfolios, will both fill column-inches, provide them a chance to market themselves, and reinforce alumnistudent relationships. This sort of contact should be easy to market to the Administration as a particular value of Nota Bene, as the more obvious attempts of the Development office are often futile (and more expensive). Approaching these alumni (and getting busy professionals to share their time and expertise) may itself be a challenge, but also offer the staff that do so another benefit; the ability to network with skittish professionals who are generally afraid of gauche law students pushing résumés with a rationale that (may) put them at ease.

Nota Bene Alumni
As our staff graduate, we should retain touch with them and tap them for more contributions, about the transition from school to work, differing perspectives on the value of elements of the school and curriculum in

Other Revenues
Perhaps there may be ways to monetize NB’s web presence, to offer mailed subscriptions to alumni, and shared content with other (wealthier) publications like the GW Hatchet or even the Post.

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