UB to host the 15th Annual Transactional Clinical Conference

On Friday April 29, the University of Baltimore School of Law will host the 15th Annual Transactional Clinical Conference, which will feature 21 panel presentations from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on floors 8, 10 and 12 of the John and Frances Angelos Law Center (1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21201).

The conference is designed to complement the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education’s Workshop for New Law School Clinical Teachers, to be held in Baltimore on Saturday.

See the program of the 15th Annual Transactional Clinical Conference.

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Student Aneesa Khan honored for work helping the homeless

Khan stone

The Homeless Persons Representation Project honored its top six volunteers — people and companies — at a reception Tuesday night, April 26 at the John and Frances Angelos Law Center at the University of Baltimore.

The Outstanding Student Volunteer Award went to UB law student Aneesa Khan (above left, with Michael Stone, J.D. ’13), as well as to Elizabeth Leman of American University’s Washington College of Law.

Also honored were Sara Gross of the Baltimore City Law Department and Kellie Lego of the MVP Law Group, who received the Outstanding Volunteer Attorney Award. Hogan Lovells US LLP and Lockheed Martin received the Outstanding Law Firm or Company Award for their support of HPRP’s Rural Veterans Legal Assistance Project, which is spearheaded by Stone.

The winners were presented with artwork created by residents of the Helping Up Mission, a Baltimore homeless shelter and an HPRP intake site.

More than 420 volunteer lawyers, paralegals, law students and others participated in HPRP’s pro bono program in fiscal 2015, donating over 703 hours of service to the organization and its clients, including 647 volunteer attorney hours valued at nearly $200,000, according to Joe Surkiewicz, director of communications for the Homeless Persons Representation Project.

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Just announced: 14 law students receive UBSPI grants

Emily Rogers, assistant director of UB’s Law Career Development Office, sends breaking news:

The University of Baltimore Students for Public Interest (UBSPI) has awarded grants to 14 University of Baltimore School of Law students to intern at public-interest organizations and offices this summer. Funding for the grants comes from UBSPI’s annual public-interest auction, held Feb. 26 at the Angelos Law Center, as well as from the law school, its faculty and staff, and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation.

Please congratulate the recipients of this year’s grants and thank them for their dedication to public-interest law:

Anna Clark, Sexual Assault/Spousal Abuse Resource Center

Patricia Tuon, HopeWorks of Howard County

Sonya Sadjadi, Maryland Disability Law Center

Michelle Dauksha, HopeWorks of Howard County

Kathleen Woell, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Cabo Granato, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Andrew Siske, Kennedy Krieger’s Project HEAL

Aneesa Khan, Capital Defender Office of Northern Virginia

Maureen Apugo, The Maryland Public Defender’s Office, Post-Conviction Division

Brian Ingram, Public Defender’s Office of Baltimore City, Felony Trial Division

Jared Lerner, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance

Elizabeth Hays, United States Coast Guard JAG Legal Office

Matt Rentz, Florida State Attorney’s Office, 20th Judicial Circuit

Michael Bullock, Maryland Office of the Attorney General, Organized Crime Division

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Open Society Institute article highlights Truancy Court Program

The UB School of Law’s Truancy Court Program, a project of the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts, is the focus of a report released today by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore.

The report, “Truancy Court Project Does More Than Address Absenteeism,” follows a site visit by Karen E. Webber, the director of OSI’s Education and Youth Development Program.

The truancy prevention program, known as TCP, links students who are chronically absent or tardy with attentive adults. Students and their parents or guardians meet weekly with a volunteer District or Circuit Court judge and school representatives, as well as with TCP personnel – including UB student-attorneys — to discuss problems that prevent students from attending school regularly or on time.

Said Webber: “What struck me is how well the adults in the meeting knew the students and how comfortable the students seemed to be in a meeting with these caring adults.”

The program, which operates in four Baltimore City public schools and one Anne Arundel County school, also seeks to identify and address the primary causes of truancy and to link students and their families with support services.

In the 2014-15 school year, 75 percent of TCP participants graduated from the program, reducing unexcused absences by at least 65 percent compared to their attendance in the 10-week period before they began taking part in the program.

Participation is voluntary for students and their families.

The Truancy Court Program received a $25,000 grant from OSI in December. (See earlier blog post.)

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Taking a break to pet a pooch, reflect on the year’s experiences

2L Bilyana Dincova with Samme, a girl Boxer.

2L Bilyana Dincova with Samme, a girl Boxer.

2L Bilyana Dincova took a break Monday to pet Samme, a girl Boxer who was among several therapy pets that visited the law school to help students relax as they begin studying for finals.

Dincova said her second year was “more pleasant” than her first.

“I had more actual practical experience,” said Dincova, who was a student-attorney in the Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic. “It was a lot of work, but it was more pleasant work.”

Dincova, who plans to pursue a career in litigation, also said she discovered her voice this year.

“I discovered that I’m an OK public speaker,” she said. “I overcame my fears.”

Where once she was stressed out about the prospect of speaking in court, Dincova said, “now I just get excited.”

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Emily Rogers among ’20 in Their Twenties’ award winners

Emily Rogers, J.D. '12, assistant director of law placement in UB's Law Career Development Office.

Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers, J.D. ’12, assistant director of law placement in UB’s Law Career Development Office, is among The Daily Record‘s “20 in Their Twenties” award winners, who were announced this week.

“While our 20 in Their Twenties honorees have been in the workplace for a decade or less, they are making a strong impact professionally, socially and in their community,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of The Daily Record. “They are blazing a new path and doing things differently than the generations before them. We at The Daily Record applaud their creativity, energy and forward thinking.”

Rogers was nominated by Natalie Grossman, J.D. ’04, the director of Senior Legal Services, a program of the Bar Association of Baltimore City.

Learn more about Emily Rogers.

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From whence the wiener, or is that hot dog really kosher?

In an op-ed for The Jerusalem Post, Professor Kenneth Lasson poses the question: From whence the wiener?

More to the point, when is a kosher hot dog really kosher?

Simple the matter is not.

In “Holy wars and hot dogs: Religious squabbling in the booming business of kosher sausages” (April 20), Lasson focuses on the Hebrew National brand, the subject of intense controversy in Orthodox Jewish circles.

“It is a subject of some fascination that many Orthodox Jews wouldn’t touch a Hebrew National hot dog with a 10-foot skewer,” wrote Lasson, whose book Sacred Cows, Holy Wars is to be published this spring.

He continues: “The underlying reason for this irony is a hodgepodge of religious rulings and rabbinic infighting – power, profits and politics – much of which is as juicy and spicy as what goes into the common sausage. More than one observant rabbi has frankly suggested that today’s kosher standards are ‘two percent religious rules and 98% ego and money and politics.'”

Lasson says Orthodox dogma maintains that Hebrew National has become too large an operation to be adequately inspected – and that its hot dogs are not “glatt kosher,” a term used to describe a foodstuff made from a ritually slaughtered animal whose lungs are examined under rabbinical supervision to make sure they are perfectly smooth, or glatt.

Many rabbis now believe that “glatt” is more of a marketing ploy than a guarantee of purity, Lasson writes.

Moreover, geography apparently plays a role in what’s glatt and what isn’t.

“What’s glatt in Cleveland might not be glatt in Baltimore,” an Orthodox kosher inspector told Lasson – on the condition of anonymity.

More confusing still, the “glatt” label is now slapped on foods such as pizza, fruits and vegetables.

The Hebrew National mishegoss even wound up in court several years ago, though the case was dismissed.

Wrote Dakota County (Minn.) District Court Judge Jerome Abrams: “It would be unholy, indeed, for this or any other court to substitute its judgment on this purely religious question.”

Learn more about Professor Lasson.

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