UB alum and MasterChef India winner whips up a treat

Nikita Gandhi 10-5-15

Nikita Gandhi, B.S. ʽ14, returned to campus Monday, Oct. 5 to give a cooking demonstration in the Flying Fruit Café at the Angelos Law Center.

She is seen preparing an avocado milkshake.

Gandhi, who studied at the Merrick School of Business, is the youngest winner of the MasterChef India Season 4 reality series. The Abu Dhabi native was named India’s top vegetarian chef – a title that came with a golden chef’s coat and a prize of 10 million rupees (roughly $150,000) – on April 12.

In an April 13 interview in The National, an Abu Dhabi publication, Gandhi said she was “extremely excited” by her victory in the 11-week, 67-episode drama.

“I had barely any sleep last night,” she told The National. “I kept waking up because I was still living in a dream! I was like, ‘Is this actually real?’”

Asked who inspired her as a chef, Gandhi responded, “My mum.”

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From The Sun: The 10 items dearest to the Hon. Pamila J. Brown

For a look at the 10 things dearest to the Hon. Pamila J. Brown, J.D. ’79, the president of the Maryland State Bar Association, see the “Take 10” feature in the Oct. 2 Baltimore Sun.

The occasional series focuses on prominent area residents and the possessions that are important to them (click on the link above to see photos).

From the story:

“While 10 of her favorite items may be depicted here, the Hon. Pamila J. Brown, 61, has one passion that can’t be captured in a photograph.

“‘I love the law. I love the law,’ says the Howard County District Court associate judge and president of the Maryland State Bar Association.

“The crush started in 1970, when Brown was a student at Bel Air High School and attended the trial of H. Rap Brown, the controversial civil rights figure who was then charged with inciting a riot.

“‘I snuck in,’ she said, and witnessed his defense by so-called ‘activist lawyer’ William Kunstler. She became ‘enamored with pursuing the law. I didn’t know of any African-American lawyers or judges [except] Thurgood Marshall. My guidance counselor said, “Oh, you should be a social worker or teacher.” You [got] that sort of feedback then.’

“Brown pursued her passion at the University of Baltimore’s School of Law.

“‘At UB, there were four women of color in my class. By the time, I graduated, I think there were only two,’ she says.”

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Shellenberger, Cato Institute’s Boaz discuss 40-year drug war

Scott Shellenberger (left), state's attorney for Baltimore County, and David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, discussed the nation's approach to drugs at a Federalist Society event in the moot courtroom on Oct. 1.

Scott Shellenberger (left), state’s attorney for Baltimore County, and David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, discuss the nation’s approach to drugs at an Oct. 1 Federalist Society event in the moot courtroom.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz took part in an Oct. 1 Federalist Society event titled “Modern Prohibition: Has the Drug War Been a 40-Year Failure?”

Boaz led off the discussion by stating that it is “simply wrong to tell adults what food, drugs or drink they can put in their bodies.”

He pointed out that while it took a congressional amendment (the 18th) to ban the manufacturing, transportation and sale of alcohol within the United States, no amendment was ever passed to ban or regulate drugs such as marijuana, heroin or cocaine.

The drug war, Boaz said, has been “an illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of a power never granted to the federal government.”

He noted that the murder rate rose during the 14 years of Prohibition and declined after the 21st Amendment repealed the ban on alcohol in 1933.

“Crime is caused by prohibition, not the drugs,” Boaz said.

Shellenberger agreed with Boaz that the nation had not “won” the war on drugs but said this was no time to abandon the fight.

“Say there’s a semi-tractor-trailer driver behind you – how many of you would be happy if that guy had just smoked a couple of doobies?” he asked.

Shellenberger also wondered if people would be willing to trust their retirement account to a manager who smoked marijuana.

He disagreed that legalization would end criminal behavior related to drugs, citing current “turf wars” in Baltimore over Oxycontin, a prescription painkiller that was stolen in bulk from pharmacies during rioting this spring.

Concluded Shellenberger: “The war on drugs is not a failure; it’s an ongoing struggle.”

Professor Amy Dillard moderated the noontime discussion, which was held in the moot courtroom.

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New ‘Baltimore Law’ magazine is available online

Balt Law #3 COVER

Check out the Fall 2015 issue of Baltimore Law, the annual magazine of the University of Baltimore School of Law. It can be accessed here as an electronic flipbook. Hard copies will be available at the law center after Oct. 6. Law alumni will receive the print magazine in the mail.

Pictured on the cover are (from left) Myshala Middleton, J.D. ’10, of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Office and Becky Kling Feldman, J.D. ’02, of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. They were photographed in front of Courthouse East in Baltimore.

This year’s magazine, which begins with a letter from Dean Ronald Weich, focuses on the law school’s role in Baltimore. The cover story – “Giving Their All” – profiles nine alumni who give back to the city through their jobs and volunteer activities.

Also featured is a story about Professor Byron Warnken, who, after 40 years at the head of UB’s storied moot court program, recently handed over the reins to Professor John Bessler. (Never fear, Warnken continues to teach at UB!)

Another article is devoted to three award-winning 2015 law grads, Meredith Cipriano, Jermaine Ryan Haughton and David Shafer.

The magazine also includes a roundup of 2014-15 events at the law center, as well as alumni news, notes on faculty scholarship and activities, and a donor report. A donation envelope is included in the print magazine.

Professor Elizabeth Keyes rounds out the publication with an essay about immigration reform and the experiences of Rose, an undocumented immigrant from the Caribbean whose teenage daughter was born in the United States and attends school in Baltimore.

We hope you enjoy the magazine. Please forward any comments or requests to Hope Keller, the law school’s director of communications and the magazine’s editor.

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Article details Jess Emerson’s anti-trafficking work in clinic

The work of Jessica Emerson, J.D. ’13, clinical teaching fellow in the Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic, is the focus of a Sept. 23 Daily Record article, “Law students join anti-trafficking efforts at UB Law clinic.”

Emerson has worked for more than two years to help survivors of the commercial sex trade vacate their prostitution convictions. She also helps train other lawyers to take on the cases pro bono and advises advocates in other states.

The Maryland legislature passed a law in 2011 that allows survivors of sex trafficking to have their prostitution convictions voided.

Emerson began the project as an Equal Justice Works fellow at the Women’s Law Center and moved the project to the law school last month.

She emphasized that she and the clinic’s student-attorneys must take a holistic view of their clients’ situations.

“Because of the criminalization of prostitution and the criminalization of homelessness and poverty in this country, the prostitution convictions were only a small tick on the radar as far as the challenges these individuals have,” Emerson said.

Continued Emerson: “I’m talking about clients that have seven-, eight-, nine-page criminal records because everything about their lives has been criminalized. That’s why these cases move so slowly — there are so many other things that need to be dealt with legally.”

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Constitution Day Conversations: Join Dean Weich, professors and guests in moot courtroom at 5 p.m.

Constitution Day flyer -- FINAL

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Tax Clinic featured in Baltimore Sun education section

The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Tax Clinic was featured in a Baltimore Sun education supplement on Sept. 6.

The story, “Social Justice: Changing minds and communities,” begins with an anecdote from clinic director John Snyder III:

“On April 27, 2015, a day of cataclysmic upheaval in Baltimore, professor John Snyder III of the University of Baltimore School of Law received a phone call from an anxious female voice on the other end. The Baltimore resident received a notice from the Internal Revenue Service of their interest in her property due to her tax debt, a frightening call indeed to receive. ‘I found it hard to understand her due to noise in the background,’ Snyder recalls. Excusing herself briefly, the woman returned to the phone saying, ‘Sorry, that was some people rioting outside in the street,’ and immediately returned to discussing her tax problems.

“Snyder concludes his story noting the fierce reality many in our society have the unfavorable experience of encountering. ‘The threat of enforced tax collection can seem like a petty thing,’ he says, ‘but when one faces it as a low income taxpayer, it can make every other problem fade into the background.’”

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