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Pro Bono Project earns American Bar Association ‘A Day of Service’ award for 2015 Pro Bono Week

The Pro Bono Project is the recipient of the American Bar Association (ABA) Day of Service Award from the Law Student Division thanks in part to Wake Forest Law students’ dedication to pro bono legal services, especially during the ABA’s Pro Bono Week in October 2015.

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Steve Virgil

Professor Steve Virgil featured in article discussing April’s NC Investor Day conference

Professor Steve Virgil was featured in the following article, “NC Investor Day conference focuses on financing opportunities for startups,” originally published in WRAL TechWire on April 18, 2016.

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Wake Forest Law wins North Carolina Legal Feeding Frenzy for third year in a row

Wake Forest Law has continued its winning streak as the largest contributor per capita (and on the whole) in the Law School category of the North Carolina Legal Feeding Frenzy. Wake Forest Law students donated 8965.25 pounds of food for an average of 13.28 pounds of food per person.

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Eric Panicco, a graduate student studying under Professor Sidney Shaprio, authors article in CPRBlog

Eric Panicco, a candidate for Master of Arts in Sustainability at Wake Forest University who is undertaking an independent study for Wake Forest Law Professor and CPR Member Scholar Sidney Shapiro, authored the following article, “Good News for North Carolina Coasts, ” originally published in CPRBlog on April 18, 2016.  Continue reading »

Professor Beth Hopkins (BA ’73), inaugural director of the Smith Anderson Center for Community Outreach, retires after 30-plus years at Wake Forest University

Professor Beth Hopkins (BA ’73) is retiring from Wake Forest University after more than 30 years in various roles, most recently as the inaugural director of the Smith Anderson Center for Community Outreach at Wake Forest Law. In her role as outreach director since 2010, she has overseen the law school’s Pro Bono Project and the Public Interest Law Organization (PILO). A celebration of her contributions will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, in the Law Commons of the Worrell Professional Center.

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Danya Bin Mahaysin, SJD, Presents Dissertation on Saudi Arabian Adoption of CEDAW

In a very short time, Danya Bin Mahaysin will hold the distinction of being the first woman to graduate from the relatively young SJD program at Wake Forest Law. Recently, Bin Mahaysin successfully defended her dissertation to her faculty advising committee, and then presented her research and findings to faculty, staff, and fellow classmates.

Bin Mahaysin’s dissertation is entitled “Implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Saudi Arabia: Towards a Powerful CEDAW.” The dissertation and Bin Mahaysin’s presentation of it explores areas in which Saudi Arabia has both succeeded and failed in implementing the mandates of CEDAW. Bin Mahaysin began her presentation with a brief history of CEDAW, and the Saudi ratification of that convention, as well as an overview of the Saudi Arabian legal system and its history and legislative processes.

The heart of Bin Mahaysin’s research involved three Saudi Arabian laws that are in direct conflict with CEDAW. The first of these is the law of nationality, which restricts women’s rights in terms of passing their nationality to their children. Further, employment laws that include lower retirement rates, restrictions on areas of practice, and a lack of sexual harassment regulations. And finally the guardianship system, in which men have the right of guardianship over their wives, daughters, and sisters. This system leads to forced marriages, no legal standing in divorce proceedings, and denied rights to education.

Bin Mahaysin explained why she chose this topic for her dissertation, saying that there needs to be a Saudi Arabian voice discussing and helping to solve Saudi Arabian problems. This was evident in the solutions she offered. These included reformations of the previously mentioned laws, following in the footsteps of other middle-eastern countries that have done the same. Bin Mahaysin also suggests that a group of like-minded activists, much like the National Organization for Women (NOW) in the United States, may be able to affect the change needed. Bin Mahaysin also suggested finding new, cooperative international mechanisms that would activate the CEDAW convention and enforce all signatory countries to respect the whole of its provisions.

After her presentation, Bin Mahaysin took questions and comments from her colleagues and professors, specifically on the feasibility of enforcing any changes, and questions on the conflict between CEDAW and Sharia law. The presentation closed with Bin Mahaysin thanking Professor Shannon Gilreath, her dissertation advisor, and a hearty round of applause for Bin Mahaysin herself.

Pro Bono Honors Dinner 2016

Pro Bono Honors Society Dinner celebrates 49 new inductees

Wake Forest Law’s Pro Bono Project welcomed a record 49 new inductees into the Pro Bono Honor Society this year, a huge increase from the 17 students inducted in 2015. Together, this year’s inductees logged over 3500 hours of pro bono work throughout the academic year. In order to be eligible for induction, students had to personally log 50 hours of pro bono work in one school year or 75 hours over multiple years.

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Kelly Austin (JD '16) with Dean Suzanne Reynolds (JD '77)

Kelly Austin (JD ’16) receives Smith Anderson Exceptional Pro Bono Service Award

Kelly Austin (JD ’16) is the recipient of the 2016 Smith Anderson Exceptional Pro Bono Service Award. Austin was recognized for her unwavering commitment to increasing access to justice and living out the Pro Humanitate mission of Wake Forest University at the Pro Bono Honor Society dinner on April 16. Throughout her three years in law school, Austin volunteered for numerous projects that help children navigate the legal system, but the one that stood out to her most was the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program.

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Community Law and Business Clinic to host ‘The Law of Raising Money’ on Wednesday, April 20

The Community Law and Business Clinic (CLBC) will present “The Law of Raising Money” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, at Flywheel in the Innovation Quarter. Light snacks and drinks will be provided. Register for tickets here.

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Mike Stephens (JD ’18) wins 45th annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition

Mike Stephens  (JD ’18), a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, won the 45th annual George K. Walker Moot Court Competition final round on Friday, April 15, in the Worrell Professional Center.

Stephens argued in opposition of Malcolm Boyd  (JD ’18), a native of Hartsville, South Carolina, who was named runner-up of the competition.  Continue reading »