Category Archives: Alumni

Watergate Revisited

The 43rd anniversary of the January 30, 1973 convictions of former Nixon aides G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. for conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in connection with the break-in at the Watergate hotel brings to mind the turbulent years leading to the only presidential resignation in US history. The conviction was later upheld in United States v. Liddy, 509 F. 2d 428 (D.C.Cir. 1974).

The BLS Library has an extensive collection of material related to the Watergate scandal. One item was written by a noted alumnus of Brooklyn Law School, the late Leonard Garment (Class of 1949) who later became a member of the BLS Board of Trustees and an Adjunct Professor of Law. Garment (1924 – 2013) was an attorney who served Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in various positions from 1969 to 1976, including Counselor to the President, acting Special Counsel to Nixon for the last two years of his presidency, and U.S. Ambassador to the Third Committee at the United Nations. Born in Brooklyn, he graduated Brooklyn Law School and joined the law firm of Mudge, Stern, Baldwin, and Todd (later called Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander). There, Garment met Nixon and then worked on his 1968 presidential campaign, later becoming part of Nixon’s White House staff as special consultant to the president. He advised the president and worked on various special projects, particularly on civil and human rights, Indian affairs, and the arts.

His 418 page Garmentbook Crazy Rhythm: From Brooklyn and Jazz to Nixon’s White House, Watergate, and Beyond (Call No. E856 .G38 1997) is a fascinating autobiography of a Washington/Wall Street insider who thrived despite hard blows dealt him on more than one occasion. Garment tells how he left home early to pursue a career as a clarinet/saxophone player in jazz bands. After serving in WW II, he earned his law degree and soon became a close friend of the former vice president. An important member of the Nixon team, Garment became an all-purpose troubleshooter for the president. The tough-talking administration’s informal envoy to both US Jewry and Israel, Garment (who describes his ex-boss as operationally progressive but rhetorically retrogressive on social issues) also worked on civil-rights programs. He was untainted by Watergate, but his comments on the scandal are marked with perception and compassion. He eventually returned to New York City to serve as Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s special assistant for human rights during his stint as US ambassador to the UN, and then resumed the practice of law. The book is an engaging recollection of a free-spirited advocate who learned from his experiences close to the seats of power.

Episode 096 – Conversation with Prof. Anita Bernstein

Episode 096 – Conversation with Prof. Anita Bernstein.mp3

In this podcast, Brooklyn Law School Professor Anita Bernstein and Loren Pani, BLS Class of 2015, her research assistant, discuss her series of articles on legal malpractice written for the Outside Counsel column of the New York Law Journal. Professor Bernstein reports on a data set of legal malpractice decisions issued during the last five years by the appellate courts of New York. To date four columns have been published:  Nine Easy Ways to Breach Your Duty to a Real Estate Client, which appeared in the August 11, 2015 edition of the NYLJ; Avoidable and Actionable Errors by New York Personal Injury Lawyers, September 17, 2015; Matrimonial Malpractice Before, During and After a Client’s Divorce, October 30, 2015; and  Judiciary Law §487 Claims For Attorney Misconduct, November 24, 2015. The fifth entry in the series, “Legal Malpractice Liability for Criminal Defense: Rare, Yet Possible”, is slated for publication on December 30. Prof. Bernstein and Loren credit BLS Reference Librarian Kathleen Darvil for her assistance in compiling the data set.

Brooklyn Law at CALIcon 2015

imageOn Thursday, June 18 at CALIcon 2015 held at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, one of the opening sessions was called Incorporating Technology, Business Development and Marketing in the Law School Curriculum. The session by Brooklyn Law School Reference Librarian Harold O’Grady and Brooklyn Law School Technology Educator Lloyd Carew-Reid examined how law schools are now incorporating technology, business development and marketing in the law school curriculum. Using Google Hangouts, Harold and Lloyd were joined by Brooklyn Law School Professor Jonathan Askin and MIT’s Danza Greenwood to discuss their ABA-MIT Online Legal Appathon which took place at the ABA Tech Show 2015 in April.

Three BLS students participated remotely in the session: Alex Goldman, Class of 2014, Patrick Mock, Class of 2017 and Paula Collins, Class of 2017. Alex discussed his project on Technical Standards for Warrant Canaries. Patrick and Paula talked about their awards at the second annual Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) Innovators Competition held in April 2015. Patrick won 1st Prize for his proposal, Buoy, which addresses the problem of student loan debt by incorporating a crowdfunding model into a student loan service. Paula won 3rd prize for her FLIC (Film Legal Information Center) app, which would deliver a virtual law practice, direct client services, and business/entrepreneurial services to a community of Indie film artists in Brooklyn and surrounding areas.

A video of the hour-long session is available on YouTube at this link.

Valentine’s Day: Titles from the BLS Library on Love & the Law

imagesNOSVKOX2Valentine’s Day, celebrated this year on Saturday, February 14th, is considered a day of romance to celebrate love and spending time with that special someone.  Hearts, candy, flowers, and dinner dates are all symbols and activities of this special day.  Valentine’s Day can even lead to proposals, engagements and marriages, which hopefully will lead to long and happy lives for the lucky couples.

Below are titles from the BLS Library about marriage, same-sex marriage, marital agreements, etc., including one entitled Should You Marry a Lawyer? and an article from BLS Law Notes about “Lawyers in Love: Alumni Who Met at BLS and Married.”

Marriage:

Cott, Nancy, Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (2000)

Lind, Goran, Common Law Marriage: A Legal Institution for Cohabitation (2008)

Maillard, Kevin, Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World: Rethinking Race, Sex and Marriage (2012)

Same-Sex Marriage:

Klarman, Michael, From the Closet to the Altar (2012)

Mello, Michael, Legalizing Gay Marriage (2004)

Moats, David, Civil Wars: A Battle for Gay Marriage (2004)

Pierceson, Jason, Same-Sex Marriage in the United States (2013)

Pinello, Daniel, America’s Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage (2006)

Premarital Agreements:

Dublin, Arlene, Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial Agreements (1993)

Hertz, Frederick, Counseling Unmarried Couples (2014)

Ravdin, Linda, Premarital Agreements: Drafting and Negotiation (2011)

Winer, Edward, Premarital and Marital Contracts (1993)

Divorce:

Abraham, Jed, From Courtship to Courtroom (1999)

Gold-Bikin, Lynne, The Divorce Trial Manual (2003)

Herman, Gregg, The Joy of Settlement (1997)

Turner, Brett, Attacking and Defending Marital Agreements (2012)

Marriage and the Lawyer:

Travis, Fiona, Should You Marry a Lawyer? (2004)

BLS Law Notes, Mergers & Acquisitions: Lawyers in Love: Alumni Who Met at BLS and Married, by Angela Strong (Spring 2010)

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

7 Habits of Highly Effective New Lawyers

Right now, you are focused on being a highly effective law student so you can land a good job after you graduate.  Have you ever stopped to think, though, about what characteristics and qualities will help you to succeed after you accept your first legal position?  A recent Law360 article considers just this question and, after interviewing senior lawyers at a number of New York City law firms, offers the following list of 7 characteristics of highly effective newer lawyers:

1.  They Get and Stay Organized.  Effective associates ask assigning attorneys upfront about deadlines and create a running “to do” list showing tasks and due dates.  According to the article, this helps associates keep their focus when they might otherwise become distracted by more exciting, but less time sensitive, matters.

2.  They Respond Immediately.  Effective associates never wait to respond to a partner or a senior associate according to the attorneys interviewed for the article.  These associates make sure to acknowledge each task they are assigned (by a return phone call or email) even if they are unable to complete the task right away.  These associates also always provide realistic deadlines for when they will complete the work, so assigning attorneys can plan accordingly.

3.  They Research Even the Tiniest Details.  For the new litigating attorney, this may mean becoming familiar with the layout and AV capabilities of a courtroom prior to an appearance. Newer corporate lawyers may need to do online research about opposing counsel to help develop strategies that are likely to move the ball along in a marathon negotiating session.

4.  They Act Like They Already Have the Job They Want.  This one is simple, according the article; in order to act like you already have the job you want, try to step into the shoes of the attorney giving you the assignment.  Try to anticipate all of the things that need to be done to move a case or deal forward and formulate a plan to accomplish those objectives.  Also, if you can get a sense of your supervising attorney’s writing style, work habits, and billing practices, you can tailor your own work product to make it consistent with that style.

5.  They Anticipate.  According to the article, the best new associates are prepared to answer the questions a partner or client will raise even before they are asked.  In order to do this, associates must be thoroughly familiar with the facts and law of the issue they are working on. Also, advises the article, never tell a senior attorney about a problem without also offering possible solutions to solve that problem.

6.  They’re Always Looking for Connections.  Effective associates are continually on the lookout for new mentors, staff, and other associates that can help them succeed in their careers.  One way to cultivate this network and to achieve a higher profile at the firm, according to the interviewed attorneys, is to actually visit senior attorneys in their office with questions rather than sending an email or leaving a voicemail.  Just be sure to limit the duration of your visit; senior attorneys are happy to mentor junior associates but you must respect the great demands they have on their time.

7.  They Act as if They Work Alone.  Always act as if your work is going directly to a client or a judge and that there is nobody to catch your mistakes.  Even if a senior associate finds the mistakes in your work before it lands in the hands of a judge or client, you have damaged your reputation when you cannot be trusted to verify the accuracy of your own work product.

Want to read the whole article?  Find it at Law360 on Lexis Advance: 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Associates http://www.law360.com/legalindustry/articles/584143.

Annual New York State Judicial Candidate Voter Guide

The 2011 New York State Judicial Candidate Voter Guide is available through the Unified Court System’s website at (www.nycourts.gov/vote) through Election Day, Nov. 8, 2011.

The 2011 non-partisan Judicial Candidate Voter Guide is designed to help you make a more informed decision on Election Day (November 8, 2011).

The  Guide covers elected, trial-level judge positions, other than Town and Village Justices as provided by the state and county boards of election. There is also biographical information about each candidate as provided by the candidate.  Where candidates have participated, the Guide has links to their biographical, educational and professional histories. Candidates also were allowed to provide a short “personal statement” about themselves for the Guide. Finally, there is are descriptions of elective judicial offices throughout New York State.

The Guide lists covers for New York State judicial races; fifty-four of the state’s sixty-two counties have at least one contested judicial races on November 8th.

Enter Library’s Wordle Contest Today!

 

It’s easy to participate:

1. Go to Brooklyn Law School Library home page.

2. Check out the Monthly Wordle. Here is February Wordle

Wordle of this Article

3. Guess the official title of the legal document (from around the world), which the Wordle describes.

4. Provide the Bluebook citation.

5. Submit your answer to BLS Library Wordle Contest HQ’s.

It’s that simple!

The winner will receive a $30 gift certificate to the Brooklyn Law School Book Store. Contestants may only submit one entry per monthly contest. Learn more about the contest and  examine the official contest rules.

The Brooklyn Law School Library has thousands of legal documents in its print and electronic collection. This contest is part of the Library’s ongoing efforts to promote its resources to students and alumni.  Current BLS Alumni Association members are also entitled to use the Library’s print resources and many of its digital resources for research purposes. Join today.

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. Cooked up by Jonathan Feinberg, Senior Software Engineer at IBM Research, Wordle lets you enter text or any URL with an RSS feed and turns the words into ‘wordles’, great looking visualizations of the entered text. The more times a certain word is mentioned throughout a text, the bigger it’s displayed, sort of like tag clouds.

Study Passes for 2010 Feburary Bar Exam

Bar exam study passes are available to non-Brooklyn Law School graduates who are taking a bar review course at Brooklyn Law School.  Passes may be purchased at our reference desk.  Pass go on sale Monday January 4, 2010.

BLS Alumni has access to our library as part of their alumni status.  Just contact the BLS Alumni office for a membership card.

Mulitple choice test page

The fee for the Bar Study Pass is $50.00.  Only cash, checks or money orders will be accepted.  No credit or debit cards.  This pass provides the holder to access to the Brooklyn Law School Library from Janaury 4, 2010 to February 22, 2010.

Individuals purchasing a pass must present proof of identity at the time of the purchase.  Only cash, checks or money orders will be accepted. No credit or debit cards.  There are a limited number of passes  available and there are first come, first serve.

The purchase of a bar exam study pass entitles the individual to use the facilities of the Brooklyn Law School Library with the exception of the workstations and printers, wireless access and the study/conference rooms.   Computer access is only available by using an ethernet cable that the pass holder must supply.

Please also not that the Bar Exam Study Passes  is a courtesy that the library extends to non-BLS individuals. This access is subject to visitors complying with all library rules and policies.  Any non-BLS graduate who violates any rule or policy will lose his or her right to use the library for the remainder of the bar exam study period and will forfeit any fees paid.