This Thursday is an anniversary event of The Liberty Project.

This Thursday is an anniversary event of The Liberty Project.

Today, I share news from the Liberty Project, established by two ASU law school graduates 10 years ago. This Thursday, October 1, the organization hosts an anniversary gathering at Cibo in downtown Phoenix (603 N. 5th Ave. 85003). More detail about the event is here. Besides celebrating a decade of existence, the group will be kicking off an endowed scholarship.

And here is the news as described by the Project:

Next week, the Liberty Project will celebrate a pretty significant point in its life. The Liberty Project is a reproductive rights think tank made up of young lawyers, law students and other interested individuals working for the preservation of reproductive rights and sexual health. The group was established at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor Law School by 1989 ASU Law alum and Gordon & Rees co-managing partner, Leon Silver, and 2007 ASU grad Rebecca Lumley. Along with current and previous members, Mr. Silver and Ms. Lumley will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Liberty Project on October 1.

Rebecca Lumley, co-founder of The Liberty Project

Rebecca Lumley, co-founder of The Liberty Project

In celebration of this milestone, let us reminisce on past successes and what the future holds for the group.

In addition to serving as a great legal networking group for up-and-coming lawyers, the group has published papers and articles on the topic of women’s rights, prepared legislative analyses and veto messages regarding proposed bills, provided white papers on the financial ramifications of unwanted pregnancy, and been a constant advocate for women’s rights and medically accurate sexuality education. The Liberty Project has been successful in presenting a variety of panel discussions on topics such as: the right to privacy under the Roberts Court, legal and medical ethics of fetal tissue research, and a three-part panel series revisiting life before Roe v. Wade, examining the societal impact of Roe and looking at the future of reproductive rights.

The Project’s long-term sex-ed project consists of understanding to what extent schools are teaching sex-ed, what they should be teaching but are not, and how to implement these teachings. Other ongoing projects include but are certainly not limited to providing resources for girls seeking a judicial bypass and drafting and promoting pro-choice legislation.

Leon Silver, co-founder of The Liberty Project

Leon Silver, co-founder of The Liberty Project

As far as what the future brings, neither Mr. Silver nor any current member of the group could say with certainty. Each year’s projects depend solely on the choices of the current members, and with each year, come a new group of student members with unique passions.

“My involvement in the group is to provide structure and offer my resources and connections, not to steer, direct or restrict what the group decides to pursue,” said Silver. “Ultimately, the goal is to create a legal networking group that members can turn to after graduation as they enter and build a career in the legal field.”

RSVP to the free event here.

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ASU Law School Gold and Gavel

In just over a week, the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law serves up its annual Gold ‘n Gavel Auction and Reception. It will be held on September 25 in the downtown Phoenix Sheraton, and this year’s overarching theme is sustainability. Given the school’s sustainability initiatives—and the fact that this event contributes to student scholarships—the theme is well chosen.

All of the detail is on the event’s dedicated website.

I was pleased and surprised at how much detail there is about all aspects of the event, including the auction, even the online portion. And who doesn’t like looking at photos from last year’s event, available on the home page? (which is very smart, as it shows you how vibrant the event is, and offers guidance for this year’s event-goers as to what level of dress attendees bring to the affair).

All the deets:

  • When: Friday, Sept. 25, 6-9:30 p.m.
  • Price: $95 General Admission Beginning Sept. 1
  • Where: Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, 340 N. 3rd St. Phoenix, AZ 85004

Once you’ve had your fill of event information, you can register here.

And in case you were wondering, here’s what the event organizers say:

“Ticket Price includes: Passed hors d’oeuvres, light dinner buffet, specialty dessert, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, one drink ticket (for beer/wine/liquor), and one door prize raffle ticket. Proceeds from your ticket sale will directly support student scholarships and programs within the College of Law.”

DRI defense research institute logoLaw students who seek substantial scholarships should consider a great opportunity, but get on it fast: The application for the DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship is due next Monday, March 30.

So if you are a law student or if you know one who could be a great fit for this award, please pass the news on.

Besides the application, an essay and recommendations are required. (Ask your law professors now and have them work through the weekend on your behalf! Turnabout is fair play.)

The ultimate prizes are two scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each. (Yes; ten thousand.)

And what kinds of students does the Defense Research Institute want to reward? Those who best meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated academic excellence
  • Service to the profession
  • Service to the community
  • Service to the cause of diversity

The essay question is one of the more intriguing I have come across. I’m guessing that talented law students could have a good and creative time with their answers.

More information and the application are here.

AAABA Arizona Asian American Bar Association logoTalented and smart law students in Arizona are being encouraged to apply for an esteemed scholarship named for former Judge Thomas Tang. The sponsor is the Arizona Asian American Bar Association.

The application (link below) is straightforward, and it includes a question that applicants must answer (in no more than two pages):

“What is the importance of diversity in education and employment and how will your education, background, and perspective on diversity be a benefit as a leader in society and in relation to your law practice?”

The deadline is Friday, March 20, 2015, at 11:00 p.m.

ABA President-Elect Paulette Brown

ABA President-Elect Paulette Brown

Anyone who attended this week’s John P. Morris Memorial Lecture at ASU Law School may have a jump-start in conceptualizing their essay. That’s because ABA President-Elect Paulette Brown spoke on “The Importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the Law.” It was the 15th annual Morris Lecture, and she also spoke in celebration of Black History Month. (Thank you to NAPABA President George Chen for the heads-up.)

Here is more background from AAABA:

Do you know a law student who attends a law school in Arizona?

If so, then encourage him or her to apply for The Thomas Tang Law Scholarship, which is funded by AAABA and awarded in honor of the late Judge Thomas Tang. Up to four scholarships may be awarded in an amount of at least $2,000 each.

Awards will be presented at AAABA’s annual installation and scholarship banquet to be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Additional information about the scholarship can be found in the application, which you can download here.

This morning, Chief U.S. District Judge John Roll will be laid to rest in Tucson. As we and others reported before, he was gunned down on January 8 in an attack that was directed at U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Many will undoubtedly attend the funeral mass at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. But far more will be unable to make the trip. For those people, honoring the judge may be as close as your federal courthouse—or even the Web.

As Above the Law has reported, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Alex Kozinski, has ordered flags at all federal courthouses in the Circuit to be flown at half-mast. But he’s gone further than that. He wants to share what that looks like.

The Ninth Circuit website includes a growing photo gallery of flags at those courthouses. And Judge Kozinski asked Above the Law readers whether they could assist the Circuit: If you see that your local federal courthouse is not represented, please take a photo (with flag) and send it to the Circuit.

When I read the news item at ATL, I was a bit skeptical. For I could pretty easily picture in my mind’s eye what a courthouse looked like, and what a flag looked like. Aggregating hundreds of them would provide a lot of volume, I thought, but not much insight.

Well, I was wrong. As a visual tribute to a fallen judge—one of the Circuit’s own—it is very powerful. I found myself peering intently at every courthouse, moved more and more as I scrolled down the page.

As you might guess, Arizona’s own federal courthouses reside near the top of the page. Take a few quiet moments today to look at the page and to think on John Roll’s service. In an upcoming issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we will run a memoriam to the judge, who was a legal leader and a friend to the magazine.

Three related items:

  • The State Bar of Arizona, in partnership with the University of Arizona, has established the John M. Roll Memorial Fund. Money used will provide scholarships to students attending Judge Roll’s alma mater, the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. More information is here, and you can contribute here.
  • Because every interaction is an opportunity for learning, this news story got me wondering about the origins of flying flags at half-mast. Leave it to Wikipedia to make all clear. Among the fascinating facts:

“The tradition of flying the flag at half-mast began centuries ago, to allow ‘the invisible flag of death’ to fly at the top of the mast—which signified death’s presence, power, and prominence. In some countries, for example the UK, and especially in military contexts, a ‘half-mast’ flag is still flown exactly one flag’s width down from its normal position, and no lower, to allow for this flag of death. This was the original flag etiquette.”

  • Next week, I will report on another look at courthouses—this one will be in book form, used to celebrate a law firm’s anniversary and to exhibit pride in its trial accomplishments.