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Leading Public Health Law Scholar Michelle Mello Joins Stanford Law School Faculty

STANFORD, Calif., June 9, 2014–Stanford Law School today announced that Public Health Law scholar Michelle Mello will join the Stanford Law School faculty as professor of law, effective summer 2014. She will also hold a joint appointment as professor of medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Photo by Emily Cuccarese

Photo by Emily Cuccarese

Mello is the Director of the Program in Law and Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Chair of the School’s Institutional Review Board. She is a leading expert in the field of public health law whose empirical research focuses on issues at the intersection of law, ethics and health policy. She has written more than 130 articles and book chapters on the medical malpractice system, medical errors and patient safety, research ethics, the obesity epidemic, pharmaceuticals, clinical ethics, and other topics. Among her current projects, Dr. Mello is studying disclosure and compensation of medical inquiries as the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.

“Regulation of the quality and financing of health care is one of the key challenges of our time,” said M. Elizabeth Magill, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School. “Michelle Mello is unquestionably one of the country’s preeminent empirical and theoretical health law and policy scholars, and, with Dr. Mello at Stanford Law School, we have assembled, in just a few short years, a world-class team of researchers and teachers addressing the key issues of health care financing and quality, public health, and medical ethics. In the years ahead, I am certain that Dr. Mello and her colleagues will shape our understanding of these vital topics.”

“The addition of Michelle Mello brings to Stanford Law School one of the most productive young scholars in the area of medical malpractice and public health law and solidifies our position as the most important academic institution for this work in the country,” said John J. Donohue III, C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law. “Michelle and her coauthors have published some of the most important, blockbuster papers examining error rates in medical malpractice cases, the ability of hospitals to shift costs of medical errors to others, and the source of medical error between systemic forces and errors by individual doctors.  In addition to being an outstanding researcher, Michelle is also an outstanding teacher and colleague, and we are thrilled to have her join our faculty.”

Mello’s recent publications include “A Framework for Public Health Law Research,” Public Health Law Research: Theory and Methods (2013); “Administrative compensation for medical injuries: lessons from three foreign systems,” New York, Commonwealth Fund (2011); Policies affecting access to sugar-sweetened beverages in schools; legal and regulatory review,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2006); “Medical Malpractice: impact of the crisis and effect of state tort reforms,” Research Synthesis Report No.10, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2006) and “The role of clinical practice guidelines in malpractice litigation,” Harvard Risk Management Foundation (2000).

One of Mello’s most frequent collaborators is Professor David Studdert, who has co-authored more than 50 articles with her and, like Mello, holds a joint appointment at the Stanford School of Medicine. “Michelle Mello is a stunning addition to our faculty,” Studdert said. “She is the country’s leading academic public health lawyer, and her scholarship will form an important part of the bridge SLS is building to other parts of the University, particularly the School of Medicine. In addition, our students are in for a treat because Michelle is a truly inspiring teacher and mentor.”

Before joining SLS, Mello served as a Key Consultant to the National Program Office of RWJF’s program in Public Health Law Research.

“SLS is the most exciting setting in the country for pursuing empirical legal studies and high-impact work in health law and policy,” Mello said. “I hope to be able to help strengthen SLS’s bridge to the Medical School and other parts of the university, and tempt our talented students to pursue careers in the health arena.”

More on Michelle Mello

Prior to her faculty appointment at Stanford, Mello was a member of the Harvard School of Public Health faculty (2000-Present) and Key Consultant to the National Program Office of RWJF’s program in Public Health Law Research. She holds a BA (1993) from Stanford University, a M.Phil (1995) from Oxford University where she was a Marshall Scholar, a Ph.D (1999) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD (2000) from Yale Law School. In 2013, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

 

About Stanford Law School 

Stanford Law School (www.law.stanford.edu) is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective, and focus on public service, spearheading amovement for change.

Leading Scholar in Local Government and Land Use Law Michelle Wilde Anderson Joins Stanford Law School Faculty

STANFORD, Calif., May 28, 2014Stanford Law School today announced that local government and land use law expert Michelle Wilde Anderson, currently an assistant professor of law at Berkeley Law School, will join the Stanford Law School faculty as professor of law, effective summer 2014.

Photo courtesy of  Jim Block

Photo courtesy of Jim Block

Anderson’s teaching, scholarship, and policy work focus on law and government at the local and state level.  Her current research focuses on legal restructuring (such as bankruptcy, disincorporation, and receiverships) and state oversight tools for cities and counties facing fiscal crisis—issues that affect not only Rust Belt capitals like Detroit, but also post-industrial cities in California, rural areas in Oregon, and small towns across the Northeast and South.  She also writes extensively about the local governance of high poverty areas, both urban and rural.

“Michelle Anderson is a spectacular addition to our faculty. She is a life-changing teacher to her students, and a natural institutional leader. Her scholarship displays a rare combination of creativity and meticulous attention to on-the-ground reality. That combination assures that her work will make a lasting contribution to our understanding,” said M. Elizabeth Magill, Dean and Richard E. Lang Professor at Stanford Law School. “We are thrilled to call her a member of the SLS faculty.”

Anderson offers expertise in the fields of urban policy and city planning. She earned a master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science and worked at the European Commission’s Urban Policy Unit in Brussels.

“Michelle’s work on the legal causes of uneven urban development and urban crisis is first rate and utterly unique. She is the leading scholar looking at those left behind,” said Richard Thompson Ford, George E. Osborne Professor of Law. “Michelle is intellectually intrepid: she combines sharp legal analysis with an ace reporter’s eye for the details of the human experience (and a reporter’s mastery of clear, evocative prose)– she digs deep and also far and wide to find out everything there is to know about new and complex topics, asking and answering important questions most of us didn’t know enough to even ask.”

Anderson’s recent publications include  “The New Minimal Cities,” Yale Law Journal (2014); “Detroit: What a city owes its residents,” Los Angeles Times (2013); “Sprawl’s Shepherd: The Rural County” in the California Law Review (2012); “Dissolving Cities,” Yale Law Journal (2012); “Mapped Out of Local Democracy” in the Stanford Law Review (2010); and “Cities Inside Out: Race, Poverty, and Exclusion at the Urban Fringe” in the UCLA Law Review (2008).

“It is an honor and an opportunity to join the Stanford faculty,” said Anderson. “The interdisciplinary centers on campus related to race and poverty, the world-class clinical program at the law school, and the strong commitment to students and teaching are tremendous assets. Add to that the deep bench of faculty role models who engage in policymaking and public writing, and I am quite excited to learn and grow within the Stanford community.”

More on Michelle Wilde Anderson

Prior to her faculty appointment at Stanford Law School, Anderson was a member of the Boalt Law faculty (2008-present) and served on the executive committee of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice. She worked as an Environmental Law Fellow at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger (2006-2008) and clerked for the Honorable Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2005-2006) and for the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

She holds a BA (1997) from Yale University, a M.Sc (2000) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a JD (2004) from Berkeley Law School.
 

About Stanford Law School 

Stanford Law School (www.law.stanford.edu) is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective, and focus on public service, spearheading amovement for change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leading Psychologist and Behavioral Scientist Robert MacCoun Joins Stanford Law School

Augmenting Empirical Research and Interdisciplinary Policy Work of Faculty

STANFORD, Calif., May 19, 2014 —Stanford Law School today announced that Robert (Rob) MacCoun, currently a professor of law and public policy at Berkeley Law School, will join the Stanford faculty as professor of law, effective summer 2014. He will also hold a joint appointment with the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University as senior fellow.

Photo courtesy of  University of California, Berkeley.

Photo courtesy of University of California, Berkeley.

Professor MacCoun is a renowned psychologist and behavioral scientist whose prolific scholarship, teaching, and outside work have been focused on illicit drug use, drug policy, alternative dispute resolution, judgment and decision-making, social influence, and bias in the use and interpretation of research evidence by scientists, journalists, and citizens. MacCoun was a visiting professor at SLS in 2012.

“We are excited to welcome Rob back to SLS,”  said M. Elizabeth Magill, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School. “Rob is not only one of the preeminent scholars working at the border of law and psychology, but an incisive, empirically grounded policy analyst. He both brings substantial new expertise to our faculty and deepens significant existing strengths.”

“Before I began my two-quarter visit at Stanford Law School, I knew I’d be exposed to the highest caliber of legal theory and analysis. But then I discovered that it’s also an intensely interdisciplinary environment, with faculty engaged in empirical social science, the humanities, science and technology, and real-world problem solving. The students I taught were as interested in understanding people and communities as they were in understanding the law,” said MacCoun.

MacCoun’s recent publications include “Moral Outrage and opposition to harm reduction,” Criminal Law & Philosophy, 7, 83-98, (2013); “The Burden of Social Proof: Shared Thresholds and Social Influence,” Psychological Review, (2012); and “An Agnostic’s Guide to the Drug Legalization Debate,” Annual Review of Law & Social Science (2011).

MacCoun has also written extensively on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. His analyses of military unit cohesion, which was featured in a landmark RAND study, was influential in the 1993 and 2010 policy debates about allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US military.

“Rob is, above all, a superb policy analyst with the willingness and ability to bring a wide array of tools to bear in analyzing important policy questions,” said Mark Kelman, James C. Gaither Professor of Law and Vice Dean. “He has been especially active in three policy arenas: first and foremost, drug policy, but also gays in the military and the problem of corruption or bias in research. Stanford Law has justly gained great renown as the place to do empirically grounded analysis of real world problems, and Rob’s arrival will strengthen us immeasurably as we confront these policy challenges.”

“I am thrilled by this opportunity to join the SLS community, which feels like a microcosm of the university as a whole,” said MacCoun.

More on Rob MacCoun
Prior to his faculty appointment at Stanford Law School, MacCoun was a member of the Boalt law faculty (1999-present) and the faculty of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Policy (1993-1999). From 1986 to 1993 he was a behavioral scientist at The RAND Corporation. He has been a Visiting Professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and Stanford Law School. He holds a BA (1980) from Kalamazoo College, a MA (1983) from Michigan State University and a PhD (1984) from Michigan State University.

About Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School (www.law.stanford.edu) is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective, and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.

Two Stanford Law School Students Honored With Prestigious Writing Prize from the Young Comparativists Committee

STANFORD, Calif., April 25, 2014 – Two Stanford Law School students have been awarded prestigious writing prizes from the Young Comparativists Committee (YCC), which hosts an annual international competition for new legal scholars that draws entries from around the globe.

Itay Ravid and Gilat Juli Bachar

Gilat Juli Bachar and Itay Ravid, both first year JSD students, were honored during the Third Annual (YCC) Global Conference in April  at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. The conference honors younger scholars in all areas of comparative law, both public and private, at a different law school each year. These younger scholars are then invited to submit an abstract on any subject of public or private comparative law.

Gilat was the Inaugural Recipient of the Colin B. Picker Prize for the most meritorious paper written by a graduate law student for her paper, “The Occupation of the Law: Power Dynamics Between the Israeli Judiciary and Legislature Over Controlling Palestinians’ Tort Claims Against IDF.”

Itay received an honorable mention for his paper, “Watch & Learn”: Illegal Behavior and Obedience to Legal Norms Through the Eyes of Popular Culture: The Case of Popular American and Israeli TV Shows.”

“We were excited and honored to be acknowledged by the 2014 Young Comparativists Global Conference,” said Gilat and Itay. “We truly appreciated the opportunity to represent SLS and the JSD program in this distinguished forum and we thank the SLS faculty members who supported us in the process of producing these papers.”

Gilat and Itay were two of only three students honored by the YCC this year.

“The judges — who rated the papers that had been submitted for the prize without knowing the authors’ identities or schools — were apparently surprised to discover that both awardees were Stanford students. Of course, I wasn’t, because I know our students are all terrific, but it is wonderful to have external validation and very exciting for these young and most deserving scholars,” said Professor Deborah R. Hensler, Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

You can read the detailed announcement here.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School (http://www.law.stanford.edu) is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.

 

 

Bootcamps introduce Stanford Law’s clinic students to skills, knowledge needed for real life as attorneys

Religious Liberty Clinic Director James Sonne leads clinic students through bootcamp activities.

Religious Liberty Clinic Director James Sonne leads clinic students through bootcamp activities.

Stanford, Calif., April 10, 2014 – Students of Stanford Law School’s Mills Legal Clinic are delving into lawyerly life with an intensive introductory educational experience most commonly known as “bootcamp.” Based on the medical school model, SLS’ 11 clinics require students to devote themselves full-time to working as lawyers, which means representing real clients and tackling real legal challenges. And because clinic students must maintain the work schedule of a practicing lawyer, they do not enroll in any other classes during the quarter. This clinical model has become increasingly valuable for Stanford Law students—two-thirds of recent graduates have participated in at least one clinic.

With bootcamp, which takes place all day during the first several days of the new quarter, students participate in various activities designed to make the most of their clinic experience and prepare them for the everyday realities of practicing law.

Of course, preparing for bootcamp itself is a challenge because students do not always know what to expect. In fact, the very term “bootcamp” inspires different reactions in clinic students.

“Visions of military life popped into my head,” notes third-year student Paul Harold, who participated in the Religious Liberty Clinic. But it soon became clear that “the hard work was meant to instill in me an appreciation of the complexity of legal practice.”

Janice Mau, a third-year student who participated in the Organizations and Transactions Clinic, was relieved about having a methodical introduction to clinic life.

“I thought they would just throw us in,” Mau says.

Each clinic director determines the schedule of activities for his or her clinic’s bootcamp, but there are some universal themes.

Clinic students quickly become immersed in their respective communities, so the bootcamps often involve an immediate introduction to those communities. Bootcamp for the students in the Community Law Clinic, for example, is conducted at the clinic’s office in East Palo Alto, where the clinic is based.

“Before turning to the law and skills the students will need for their cases, we spend our first day in getting-to-know-you mode, and reflecting on the methods and goals of clinical legal education,” says Professor of Law Juliet Brodie, Director of the Community Law Clinic and of the Mills Legal Clinic and Associate Dean for Clinical Education. Students also learn about the social history of East Palo Alto and perform a storytelling exercise to inspire empathy for the client experience.

According to Ron Tyler, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic, the students must understand “that they are visitors in the community and the level of respect they owe the community.”

Learning practical skills is also a critical feature of the clinic experience, so clinic faculty use bootcamp to begin teaching those skills by simulating the most important aspects of daily legal practice.

During bootcamp, students in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic receive thorough instruction in how to effectively interview clients. They prepare an outline for a client interview and perform the interview on videotape with hired actors or with clinical faculty. Students then assess their performance with the help of faculty and fellow classmates and revise their outlines accordingly.

Working on interviews was one of second-year student David Watnick’s favorite things about being in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. For Watnick, direct service to clients is one of the most appealing aspects of practicing law and bootcamp helped him elevate his client-interviewing skills beyond his expectations.

“I attribute what I see as my success to what I was taught,” Watnick says. “When I have an interview, I still think about techniques that were taught in bootcamp.”

For Tyler, preparing students to interact effectively with clients is also a major priority. In collaboration with Senior Lecturer in Law Janet Martinez, Tyler holds workshops in which hired actors simulate typical client interviews with the students. The students then participate in debrief sessions with Tyler, Martinez and the actors.

These are “structured mock activities that focus on real-world experiences in a safe learning environment, Tyler says.

Religious Liberty Clinic students participate in a conference call during bootcamp.

Religious Liberty Clinic students participate in a conference call during bootcamp.

Bootcamp also allows students to begin acquiring substantive knowledge about important subjects, such as evidence, procedural rules and the law of their clinic’s practice area.

“The most helpful aspect of bootcamp was the introduction we received to transactional law,” says second-year student Krista Whitaker, who also participated in the Organizations and Transactions Clinic. “Looking at the big picture in bootcamp before drilling down to the specifics really benefited our work moving forward.”

Harold enjoyed seeing how the legal doctrines of religious liberty and the history of religious liberty are uniquely intertwined. According to Harold, historical context is particularly important for attorneys who advocate for religious liberty, and bootcamp really brought that to life.

Finally, bootcamp is highly collaborative, which helps prepare the students to work with each other on behalf of their clients during the entire clinic experience.

Without bootcamp, Mau believes, the students would not have gotten to know each other as well. Mau values how bootcamp allows students to identify each others’ strengths and knowledge base, and to prepare to work collaboratively as a team—as members of a law firm—rather than as individual students.  And as her clinic-mates’ personalities began to emerge, the clinic experience became less intimidating.

Watnick agrees: “Right off the bat, we developed a very honest working relationship.”

Looking back at bootcamp, students clearly appreciate how the entire experience prepared them especially well for clinic life.

“Bootcamp introduces students to the foundational concepts of our practice and provides students with a vocabulary for understanding our experience,” says third-year student Matt Owens, who participated in the Community Law Clinic’s bootcamp. “It’s also an important bonding period—it’s the period when a group of students becomes a firm.”

“We spent a lot of time talking about what it means to be a lawyer,” Harold adds. “It really drove home for me that being an attorney is so much more than knowing the law.”

Given the intensity of the entire clinic experience, it is also important for students to learn stress management skills. For Tyler, teaching students how to care for themselves is an essential feature of clinical instruction. He believes strongly that reducing stress on students during bootcamp and throughout the quarter is an important step in teaching them to care for themselves both as clinic students and as future attorneys. In fact, Tyler offers an eight-week course on attorney self-care as part of the Criminal Defense Clinic to teach his students to “acknowledge the vicarious trauma” they experience through their clients’ distress and to utilize tools that can help them cope, such as mindfulness and meditative practice.

“We ask a lot of students in the full-time clinic experience,” Brodie says. “I hope they are impressed by the awesome responsibility of being someone’s lawyer, and excited by the prospect of putting their knowledge into action.”

About Stanford Law School Stanford Law School (www.law.stanford.edu) is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a new model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective, and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.