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NEBLSA 2011 Academic Retreat Northeastern University School of Law Saturday, October 8, 2011 8:30 A.M. – 5:30 P.M. Register here:

NEBLSA is committed to providing our students with programs to ensure law school success. This is a great opportunity to network, attend panels focused on helping you succeed in law school, get tips on how to improve your legal research and writing skills, but most of all it is a great time to fellowship with other future attorneys in the Northeast Region.

Striving to Balance Since 1968


Greetings NEBLSA Members,

Morgan Fletcher SECRETARY Rutgers Law School

Thank you for registering for the 2011 NEBLSA Academic Retreat

Shameeka Quallo TREASURER Rutgers Law School

Law in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, October 8, 2011 from 8:30

which will be held on the campus of Northeastern University School of

A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Patrice Dixon CNNE SUB-REGIONAL DIRECTOR Northeastern University School of Law Camille Patterson CONNECTICUT SUB-REGIONAL DIRECTOR University of Connecticut School of Law Husain A. Gatlin NY METRO SUB-REGIONAL DIRECTOR Seton Hall Law School Camille Gould UPSTATE NY SUB-REGIONAL DIRECTOR University of Buffalo School of Law Richard Young THURGOOD MARSHALL MOCK TRIAL COMPETITION DIRECTOR Harvard Law School Dalayna Tillman DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING Vermont Law School Ricky Armand COLLEGE STUDENT DIVISION DIRECTOR Vermont Law School

We have worked diligently to feature speakers and panels that will assist you in developing your academic abilities and professional skills during your time in law school. Legal writing, outline strategies, and exam skills will address first-year student concerns. However, we have also included professional development components for second-year and third-year students. Specifically, we have included a job advice panel designed to provide concrete advice on how to secure and keep a position in a difficult legal environment.

Please review the attached schedule and contact Patrice Dixon, the Combined Northern New England Sub-Regional Director at should you have questions. Directions to

Edwyn Macelus DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP New York Law School Taffeta White PARLIAMENTARIAN Northeastern University School of Law

Northeastern University School of Law can be found at the school’s website, Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you

Christopher Binns CORPORATE RELATIONS DIRECTOR New York Law School

in Boston!



Caroline Morant CONVENTION COORDINATOR Vermont Law School Stephanie Floris-Brinkley DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL ACTION Pace University School of Law Danielle McGee DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI AFFAIRS Quinnipiac Law School

NEBLSA Executive Board

PRESENTER’S BIOGRAPHIES Professor James R. Hackney, Jr. Professor Hackney teaches in the areas of torts, corporate finance, corporations, critical race theory, and law and economics. Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty, Professor Hackney was an associate with the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella. He was book review and comment editor of the Yale Law Journal during law school. Professor Hackney’s research focuses on intellectual history, torts, the mutual fund industry, law and economics, and critical race theory. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Under Cover of Science: American Legal-Economic Theory and the Quest for Objectivity (Duke University Press, 2007).

Dean Michael Coyne is Massachusetts School of Law's Associate Dean, as well as a professor of law. He teaches Civil Procedure and Conflict Resolution, Evidence, Case Preparation and Strategy, and Remedies. He is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Boston State College, and Suffolk University Law School. He previously practiced law in Boston, MA, representing clients in civil litigation matters in state and federal courts. He has been a trial attorney for many years and specializes in complex litigation. He is the author of the electronic casebook Modern Procedural Remedies, has written many articles for publication, has lectured for a national bar review company, and serves as Associate Producer of MSLAW’s four television shows.

Dean Tracey West is the Assistant Dean for Students, Diversity Initiatives and Academic Advising at Boston College Law School. In this position, she is responsible for ensuring that students make the most of their academic and extracurricular experiences. As the Dean for Diversity Initiatives, Dean West oversees outreach and recruitment initiatives pertaining to AHANAS [African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and South Asian] applicants. Upon matriculating at BCLS, she also assists with their integration to the legal profession. As an adjunct professor, she also teaches Legal Interviewing and Client Counseling and Semester in Practice, an externship clinical course. Prior to her current position, Dean West was Director of the Office of Academic Services, at Boston College Law School, from 2000 to 2004. From 1995 to 2000, Dean West was a clinical law instructor at Harvard Law School, where she instructed students on the representation of indigent clients, in the Boston Housing and Probate Court. After graduating from law school, Dean West practiced in a variety of offices, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Wiley & Richlin, P.C., and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. Dean West received a Bachelors of Arts in English, from Georgetown University and her Juris Doctorate, from Georgetown University Law Center.

Following graduation, Professor Melinda Drew practiced civil rights, consumer, housing and personal injury law in a general practice litigation firm and then worked as a solo practitioner doing civil appellate work. Prior to returning to Northeastern, Professor Drew was an assistant professor at Elms College. She has published articles on legal issues in nursing, served on the editorial board of the Journal of Nursing Law and is the co-author of a text on legal issues for allied health professionals. Professor Drew directs the law school’s Academic Success Program, coordinates the provision of disability services in the law school, and teaches Professional Responsibility as well as Legal Interviewing and Counseling. As part of her pro bono work, Professor Drew serves as a volunteer arbitrator for both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Massachusetts Bar Association's Fee Arbitration Board, and serves as a case conferencer for the Boston Bar Association/ Boston Municipal Court Alternative Dispute Resolution program. A long-time member of the National Lawyers Guild, Professor Drew trains law students to deliver street law clinics to community groups.

Professor Mark Latham joined the VLS faculty in 2005 and specializes in a wide range of environmental issues that arise in corporate and commercial real estate transactions and brownfields redevelopment. His research focus includes the intersection of business and environmental law, as well as issues under the federal Clean Water Act. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law in 1989. Prior to joining the VLS faculty, he was a partner and chair of the environmental practice group at Gardner, Carton, and Douglas (now Drinker, Biddle and Reath) in Chicago and Washington, D.C. In his 15 years of private practice, he served as defense counsel for businesses, municipalities and individuals in state, federal, civil and administrative enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA, RCRA and EPCRA. He counseled clients regarding regulatory compliance under all major environmental statutes, particularly in the water, solid and hazardous waste, and spill/release reporting areas. His teaching includes courses in Torts, Environmental Issues in Business Transactions, Corporations and Other Business Organizations, and Environmental Law.

Paula Edgar is currently an Associate Director of Career Services at Seton Hall University School of Law. Paula is also a member of the law school’s Diversity Council, where she serves on the Diversity in the Profession Committee. She previously served as the Executive Director for Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc. (PALS), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession and providing mentoring, academic support, and networking opportunities to law students and junior attorneys of color. Prior to working at PALS, Paula practiced law as an Attorney in the Law Enforcement Division of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. She is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and New York County Lawyer’s Association. A regularly sought after speaker and panelist, Paula's areas of expertise include: topics related to diversity within law firms and law schools, pipeline, and networking and mentoring for law students and young attorneys. Ms. Edgar received her B.A. in Anthropology from California State University (Fullerton) and her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.

Melinda Hightower is a native of Detroit, Michigan and the Immediate Past Chair of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA). She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2011, she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. While at University of Virginia, Ms. Hightower served as an editorial board member of the Virginia Tax Review and a Dillard Fellow, a student instructor in the legal research and writing program. She was named a Ritter Scholar and was also inducted into the Raven Society, the oldest and most prestigious honorary society at the University of Virginia. Prior to entering law school, Ms. Hightower worked as a human resources professional with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York City; World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in Stamford, Connecticut; and Morningstar, Inc. In the Fall, Ms. Hightower will join the Washington, D.C. Tax Group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Professor Lucy Williams is a nationally recognized authority on welfare law and low-wage labor. Professor Williams focuses on the dependency created in low-wage labor relationships, and how the political rhetoric connecting "dependency" with receipt of welfare has diverted attention from the structural issues within low-wage labor markets. She has a long and impressive record as both an academic and a litigator in the areas of unemployment insurance, Social Security and related welfare programs. In recent years, she has expanded her work to address issues of global poverty and she is currently serving a two-year term on the Scientific Committee for the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty which focuses on law and development in 'lesser developed' countries. Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty, she was an attorney with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute for 12 years. Professor Williams teaches in the area of social welfare law, and has written articles for publications including the Yale Law Journal and Politics and Society, and is involved in the law school’s Legal Skills in Social Context program. In 19941995, she was honored by the school as the Public Interest Distinguished Professor.

Stesha Emmanuel was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Brown University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and Africana Studies. She also spent time studying abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In 2011, she graduated from Northeastern University School of Law. She currently clerks at the Massachusetts Appeals Court for the Honorable Frederick Brown, the first African American judge appointed to an appellate court in MA. Before her clerkship, she interned at the Suffolk Superior Courthouse for the Honorable John Cratsley; U.S. Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights; Petrucelly, Nadler and Norris, P.C.; Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP; and Krokidas & Bluestein, LLP. She is a strong advocate for education equality and civil rights. She enjoys participating in mentoring programs for inner-city youth and dancing.

Professor M. Robin Barone is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vermont Law School, a licensed attorney practicing mediation in Vermont, and the Director of Judicial Education for the Vermont Association of County Judges. For years, Ms. Barone has been concerned with credit card debt collection, now a billion dollar industry marked by unfair and deceptive practices. She has provided training on this subject to the National Judges’ Association, the Vermont Bar Association, the Vermont Association of County Judges, and the Vermont Law School student body. Ms. Barone lives in Vermont with her husband and family. Kandace Kukas is the Senior Regional Director for Kaplan PMBR Multistate Bar Review. During the past 15 years, Ms. Kukas has helped law students and J.D. candidates build their legal careers. She has taught in college, paralegal and bar review programs, and has written or contributed to a number of publications on topics ranging from marketing to HIPAA Regulations. Ms. Kukas earned her juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School and her LLM in Health Law from Concord University School of Law.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker Professor Alex M. Johnson

Alex M. Johnson, Jr. returned to the University of Virginia School of Law in 2007 as the Perre Bowen Professor of Law after serving as dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Before joining the Minnesota faculty in 2002, he served seven years as the vice provost for faculty recruitment and retention at the University of Virginia and was Mary and Daniel Loughran Professor of Law. He is now director of the Center for the Study of Race and Law at the University of Virginia. Johnson's teaching areas include property, modern real estate transactions, trusts and estates, and critical race theory. He served as the Harrison Foundation Research Professor of Law from 1992-95. Johnson's current research interests include critical race theory, examining the social construction of race and ethnicity and its impact on law and legal issues, and the application of relational contract theories to interests in real property. Immediately after law school, Johnson spent two years in private practice with Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles. He then taught for two years at the University of Minnesota Law School, before returning to his law firm for another two years. In 1984, Johnson joined the Virginia law faculty. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, the University of Texas and Washington University law schools. He has lectured widely on academic standards, critical race theory and the efficacy of the LSAT and has appeared on numerous scholarly panels that address race as it relates to legal education. Johnson has served as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admissions Council, the nonprofit corporation owned by ABA-approved law schools that produces and administers the LSAT, as well as the LSAC's Test, Development and Research, and Minority Affairs Standing Committees. Johnson has chaired several standing committees of the Association of American Law Schools, including Curriculum and New Scholarly Papers, and served on several AALS committees, including the Committee on Second Generation Diversity Issues. He has also served on and chaired several ABA law school site inspection teams as well as serving on several ABA standing and ad hoc committees. Johnson is currently the president of the executive committee of the Order of the Coif and is a member of the Academic Advisory Council for the Bill of Rights Institute. Johnson is a member of the American Law Institute and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.

2011 Academic Retreat Agenda Northeastern University School of Law Dockser Hall 65 Forsythe Street Boston, MA Pre-Law Division (Dockser 250)

Navigating Law School (Dockser 220)

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.


9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m.

Mock Law Class: Torts Professor James R. Hackney, Jr., Northeastern University School of Law

10:10 a.m. 11:10 a.m.

Prepare for the LSAT Presentation by Kaplan, Inc. Ben Fierce, LSAT Instructor

11:20 a.m. 12:20 p.m.

Law School Admission Process Panel Paula Edgar, Associate Director of Career Services, Seton Hall Law School Dean Michael Coyne, Associate Dean & Professor of Law, Massachusetts School of Law Dean Tracey A. West, Assistant Dean for Students, Diversity Initiatives & Academic Advising

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

3:10 p.m. 4:10 p.m.

4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Issue Spotting and Outlining Melinda Drew, Lawyering Skills Professor and Director of the Academic Success Program, Northeastern University School of Law

Reviewing Civil Procedure Professor Lucy Williams, Northeastern University School of Law

Credit Card Debt Collection: Information For You and Your Future Clients Professor M. Robin Barone, Vermont Law School

Judicial Clerkships Stesha Emmanuel – Law Clerk Various Professionals

STUDENT & ALUMNI LUNCH AND KEYNOTE ADDRESS Professor Alex Johnson, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Law The University of Virginia School of Law Also with remarks from representatives of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay (Dockser Commons) Student Panel Patrice Dixon, Northeastern University School of Law Taffeta White, Northeastern University School of Law Ronald Johnson, University of Connecticut School of Law

Reviewing Torts Professor Mark Latham, Vermont Law School

The Bar: From the Application Process to Passage Kandace Kukas, Kaplan/PMBR

Paula T. Edgar, Esq. – Former Executive Director, Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, Associate Director of the Office of Career Services, Seton Hall Law School Melinda Hightower – Immediate Past NBLSA Chair (Dockser 240)


5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Continuing the Journey and Finishing Successfully (Dockser 240)


Dockser Hall 65 Forsythe Street Boston, MA Northeastern University School of Law is located at 400 Huntington Avenue, Boston, on the corner of Forsyth Street. There is limited metered parking on the surrounding streets and ample parking in the university's Renaissance Park Garage at 835 Columbus Avenue. From the north (via Route I-93 or Route 1) Take the Storrow Drive exit, and proceed to the Fenway exit. Follow signs for Boylston Street inbound, and bear right onto Westland Avenue. Turn right onto Massachusetts Avenue, proceed to the third traffic light, and turn right onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue. From the west (via Route I-90, Massachusetts Turnpike) Take Exit 22 (Copley Square), and bear right. Proceed to the first traffic light, and turn right onto Dartmouth Street. Take the next right onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue. From the west (via Route 9) Proceed east on Route 9; it will become Huntington Avenue. Turn right onto Ruggles Street. At the fourth traffic light, turn left onto Tremont Street. At the second set of lights, turn left onto Melnea Cass Boulevard, and then turn left onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue. From the south (via I-93, Route 3) Take Exit 18 (Massachusetts Avenue/Roxbury/Frontage Road). Turn left at the third light, staying in one of the two left lanes. Proceed straight onto Melnea Cass Boulevard. Continue for approximately two miles and turn left onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue. From Logan Airport Exiting Logan Airport, merge onto Route I-90 West/Mass Pike/Ted Williams Tunnel. Proceed about 1.5 miles, and then take Exit 24 toward Route I-93. Merge onto Route I-93 South via the exit on the left. Take Exit 18, Massachusetts Avenue, toward Andrew Square. Bear right onto the Massachusetts Avenue connector. Proceed straight on the connector, which becomes Melnea Cass Boulevard. Continue for approximately two miles and turn left onto Columbus Avenue. The Renaissance Parking Garage is at 835 Columbus Avenue Via public transportation Northeastern is accessible by subway via the Green Line and the Orange Line of the MBTA. To reach Northeastern from downtown Boston on the Green Line, take an “E� train outbound to the Northeastern stop, the first stop above ground. On the Orange Line, take an outbound train from downtown Boston to Forest Hills and get off at Ruggles Station. Commuter rail lines connect with the Orange Line at Ruggles Station, Back Bay Station, and North Station. On the main Northeastern University Website, you will find various ways to assist you in navigating around Boston and the Northeastern University campus. Campus Map:

Our commitment to fostering an inclusive environment is a crucial factor in our ability to provide the best possible service to our ever broadening client base. Kelley

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP is a proud sponsor of the

Drye prides itself on not only being a great multi-service firm, but a great place to work. For us, diversity isn’t just a necessity, it’s a priority.

For more information, visit

Northeast Black Law Students 2011 Academic Retreat

New York Washington, D.C. Los Angeles Chicago Stamford Parsippany Brussels

“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.”

- Margaret Mead

The NEBLSA Book Drive NEBLSA is participating in the International Book Drive as a part of the NBLSA Programming. Hold a book drive at your local chapter and support during NBLSA’s efforts! Books are being collected during the NEBLSA Academic Retreat and throughout the semester! The Chapter contributing the most books by October 31st will have a Pizza Party sponsored by NEBLSA! For additional information, please contact Nyasha Foy at


Nothing has ever seemed out of Seun Adebiyi’s reach. Born in Nigeria, he moved to the US when he was six years old. As a competitive swimmer, he missed qualifying for the 2004 Olympics by less than a tenth of second. Seun attended Yale Law School where he was an editor on the Yale Journal of International Law and the Yale Journal of Regulation. As if that was not enough, he is also a licensed pilot and trained in the sport of skeleton in the hopes of becoming the first athlete to ever represent Nigeria at the Winter Olympics. In June of 2009, Seun was diagnosed with two rare aggressive blood cancers. Luckily, a cord blood transplant saved his life and he is once again on track towards his Olympic dreams. Every day, thousands of patients search the registry, looking for a donor who can save their life. Patients are most likely to find a matching donor within their own ethnic group. But for minority patients, the low number of minority donors on the registry means that the chance of these patients finding their match is less than 2 out of 10. These patients depend on YOU‌ YOU can help save a life. Take the first step and register with DKMS.




ABOUT BONE MARROW DONATION. Why bone marrow donation is so important. The DKMS mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for patients with leukemia and other blood diseases. With over 2.8 million potential donors worldwide, DKMS is the world’s largest bone marrow donor center. Even so, 6 out of 10 patients never receive the lifesaving transplant they need. YOU are important as a bone marrow donor because every new donor increases the chance that a patient will find the lifesaving match they need. The donor and patient must have at least 8 tissue (HLA) characteristics in common to be considered a match but ideally should have 10. With more than 4000 known characteristics that can occur in millions of combinations, finding a match is extremely difficult. This is why every new donor counts! How do I register as a bone marrow donor? You must be 18 to 55 years old, in good general health, weigh at least 110 pounds, but not exceed a body mass index of 40, and be willing to donate to any patient in need. If you meet these requirements, you will be asked to complete a registration form and swab the inside of your cheeks to collect cells for HLA tissue typing. What is my commitment? Your information will be listed anonymously on the Be The Match Registry® (operated by the NMDP) until your 61st birthday. You must be willing to consider donating to any patient who needs you. You must keep your contact information updated in the DKMS database at all times. What is the donation process like? If you are a match for a patient, a DKMS representative will contact you. You will fill out a health questionnaire, and if all is well, undergo additional testing. If you are found to be the best possible donor, you will donate in one 1 of 2 ways. Cells are collected from either your bloodstream or the back of your pelvic bone. The donation method is determined by the patient’s doctor. 1. Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation  Cells are collected via the donor’s bloodstream.  To increase the number of stem cells in the bloodstream, the donor receives daily injections of a synthetic protein called filgrastim for 4 days before, and on the day of the collection.  During the collection, blood is removed with a sterile needle from one arm, and passed through a machine that separates out the blood stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor through the other arm.  The cell collection is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that takes about 4-6 hours on 1-2 consecutive days.  While taking filgrastim many donors experience flu-like symptoms, such as headaches bone and muscle achiness and fatigue. Most side effects subside within 48 hours of donating.

2. Bone Marrow Donation  Marrow cells are collected from the backside of the pelvic bone (not the spine) using a special syringe.  Donors receive general anesthesia so no pain is experienced during the marrow extraction.  This is a 1-2 hour, outpatient surgical procedure. Most donors are discharged from the hospital at the end of the day.  Many donors experience some pain, bruising, and stiffness for up to two weeks after their donation. Within a week of donating, most donors are able to return to work school and most regular activities. The donor’s marrow completely replenishes within a few weeks.

More Ways You Can Help: • • • • • •

Help us finance the $65* donor registration cost. Make a monetary donation at Organize a donor drive in your community, or at your office or school. Encourage friends and family to register with DKMS at a drive, or online at Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Search “DKMS Americas” to find our page. Fundraise for DKMS. Set up a fundraising page at Go to our website to learn even more ways you can help. Visit

*DKMS never requires new donors to pay the registration costs. This is why we urgently need monetary donations to further expand the DKMS donor database. 100% of every financial contribution is used to register new, potential donors. DKMS Americas is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization. DKMS• 33 E 33rd Street • Suite 501 • New York, NY 10016 • T: 866.340.DKMS (3567)

F: 212.209.6798 •

2011 NEBLSA Academic Retreat  
2011 NEBLSA Academic Retreat  

2011 NEBLSA Academic Retreat