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Faculty Mentors—Student Authors!

Scales of Justice

“Given how few journals even accept students’ articles, California Western should be really proud,” states California Western’s Professor Nancy Kim as she describes her reaction to the news that 2L students Julia Wolpert and Derek Diemer, both of whom took her summer Advanced Contracts class, have had their papers accepted for publication by two different law journals.

Wolpert wrote a paper about a degenerative neurological disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which will be published in Cleveland University’s Journal of Law and Health this November.

“It is so exciting to have my article published,” says Wolpert. “CTE is a relatively new disease, most commonly found in those who experience multiple, high impact hits to the head, such as football players. Hopefully, this will change someone's perspective on the NFL.”

San Diego resident, Diemer wanted his paper to relate to the entertainment industry. After multiple drafts, weeks of research, and several meetings with Professor Kim, he finally solidified his topic: How the entertainment revolution shifted the bargaining disparity in favor of the artist, and how the law can adapt to help protect the artists. The article has recently published in Taylor & Francis’ Information & Communications Technology Law Journal.

“Having my note accepted was a validation of my hard work and writing abilities. I hope to keep writing and publishing notes as I explore new areas of law,” says Diemer.

But Wolpert and Diemer are not the only California Western students who have had papers accepted by law journals, as Vice Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Hannah Brenner points out. “Recent graduates Melissa Owens (Mueller) and Eric Clarkson are two students that I worked with whose articles have been published by a journal outside of California Western,” says Brenner. “This is a big deal.”

Owens’ article is an analysis of the current state laws and federal landscape regarding vacatur legislation related to victims of human trafficking. The Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law at the American University College of Law in Washington, D.C., will be publishing this article in Spring 2020.

“Dean Brenner oversaw my article,” says Owens. “She was an amazing and very knowledgeable resource who helped me create a very compelling article.”

Clarkson’s article responded to a critique of the Seventh Circuit’s holding that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, by putting the decision in context considering the federal judiciary's sociopolitical ecology and historical jurisprudential considerations. It was published in the University of Wisconsin’s Journal of Law, Gender & Society in the Spring of 2018.

“Professor Brenner was instrumental in helping me bring this article to publication,” says Clarkson. “Not only is she a dedicated and talented teacher, but she also took the time to get to know me as a writer and thinker, so she could help me grow through the process. I will be eternally grateful for her mentorship.”

For California Western students, the offers of publication keep coming! Current student Chassen Palmer’s article on celebrity privacy will be published fall 2019 in the California Western International Law Journal. Legal Writing Professor Allison Cato, his faculty advisor on the piece, believes he did a fantastic job.

“Chassen picked an interesting topic he had some personal experience with—celebrity privacy,” says Cato. “His passion for this issue was demonstrated by the significant amount of work he put in when researching and writing his article. Chassen was in my first-year Legal Skills class at CWSL, so it was wonderful to see him develop from a first-year legal writer to authoring his extremely well done scholarly writing piece. I'm very proud of the final outcome of Chassen's efforts.”

Jason Jacobs, who will graduate in 2020, recently had an article published in the International Journal of Legal Information. The article is an in-depth comparison of U.S. and E.U. investment screening mechanisms, which exposes a split that goes beyond application and into actual policy.

Jacobs wrote the paper in Professor James Cooper’s Comparative Law course in fall 2018 and credited Cooper for pushing him and helping him get published.

“Researching and writing this article exposed me to an area of the law I previously knew nothing about,” says Jacobs. “When the class ended, Professor Cooper told me, ‘just because you got a good grade, doesn't mean you're ready to publish.’ He not only helped guide me on my topic, but he worked with me for two months after the class ended to get the article ready for publication. This process introduced me to a fascinating area of the law and provided me with invaluable experience.”

In the coming year, the ranks of California Western student authors will undoubtedly continue to grow. That is in large part due to the support, advice, and mentorship of the law school’s dedicated faculty, as Derek Diemer succinctly illustrates:

“Professor Kim helped me turn my jumbled sprawling mess of ideas into a clear, logical paper.”