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Faculty activity drives Law School achievement

The Drake Law School faculty members’ expertise, research and activity within their fields continue to advance the profile and reputation of the school. Here’s a look at what some faculty members have been up to this year:

Andrea Charlow, professor of law, was selected as a Family Law Fellow by Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction- one of just five scholars to earn the honor nationwide.

The CALI Fellowship Program allows faculty to examine familiar materials in a new light for teaching. Charlow and others are preparing computer-based learning materials that will be part of the CALI Library. The goal is to create a high-quality pool of electronic teaching materials for faculty to supplement their courses or locally customize for specific instructional goals, while providing an opportunity to explore computer-mediated distance learning in legal education.

Kristi Bowman, assistant professor of law, whose research focuses on education-related legal issues, attended portions of a recent high-profile trial in Dover, Pa., in which a judge struck down an effort to require teachers to teach intelligent design – the belief that humanity evolved with guidance of a higher power – alongside the theory of evolution.

She recently published an article on the subject in the most Spring 2006 issue of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, entitled “Seeing Government Purpose through the Objective Observer’s Eyes: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Debates.”

Her work on the subject earned her an appearance on Lou Dobbs’ CNN program – Bowman’s national TV debut. She was also quoted extensively in the New York Times in an article on the trial and was the focus of a column in the Rockford Register Star, the newspaper of her native Rockford, Ill.

The Center for the Humanities, based at Washington University in St. Louis, recently awarded a $1,300 grant to Bowman to help fund an intelligent design-related survey of first-year students at public colleges and universities in eight states around the country.

The states in Bowman’s study have varying degrees of regulation for science education, some favor teaching the theory of evolution and others favor teaching intelligent design. Bowman hopes to discover, among other issues, how different state education standards translate into classroom instruction.

Suzanne Levit, director of the Drake Legal Clinic and professor of law, executive director of clinical programs and director of the Middleton Children’s Rights Center, will make a presentation at the American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education in New York City April 30 to May 3.

Levitt will speak at the plenary session on Monday, May 1st. She is presenting along with Eric Johnson, associate professor of education and director of urban education programs. The presentation is entitled, “Holistic Approaches to Children’s Rights: The Intersection of Education and Law.” Levitt is treasurer in the Clinical Legal Educators Association.

Neil Hamilton, the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center, was recently quoted in Audubon magazine, the official publication of the Audubon Society, the conservation and wildlife preservation society. Hamilton and the Agricultural Law Center are featured in a story called “The Ripe Stuff,” about the successes of farmers’ markets across the country.

Hamilton, who is a small-scale farmer himself at his home in rural Dallas County, Iowa, long has advocated farmers’ markets along with the many disparate parts of alternative agriculture – from community gardening to organic farming and saving heirloom seeds – as a way to develop a more sustainable agricultural system.

The article also lists the downtown Des Moines farmers’ market as one of the 10 best in the nation.

Mark Kende, the James Madison chair of constitutional law at Drake, recently traveled to KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa to attend a conference titled “Comparative Constitutionalism and Rights: Global Perspectives.”

Kende met with fellow academics, sociologists, political scientists, lawyers and judges from all over the world to discuss constitutional law issues. He presented his paper on “The South African Constitutional Court’s Cases on Religion.”

In March, Kende journeyed to the Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio in Madrid, Spain, for the school’s first International Conference on Human Rights, International Relations and Globalization. The conference was dedicated to former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Kende presented a speech titled “The Constitutional Legacy of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa.” Conference speakers came from Japan, China, Italy, France, Spain, Latin America, the U. S., England, Hungary and other countries and included scholars like Kende, judges, political figures, officials with international organizations, and representatives of non-governmental organizations.

Kende also was recently interviewed by the BBC’s Chief Washington Correspondent Justin Webb concerning the constitutionality and legality of the detentions of enemy combatants in Guantanamo.

Laurie Dore, professor of law, attended a “town hall” meeting, a national workshop, about guidelines for protective orders, confidentiality and public access to the courts at the Cumberland School of Law at Sanford University in Birmingham, Ala.

Her research examines the conflicts between the public’s right to access court documents with the privacy and security needs of those seeking protection orders. Her most recent article, “Public Courts v. Private Justice: It’s Time to Let Some Sun Shine in on Alternative Dispute Resolution,” will be published this month in the Chicago-Kent Law Review in a Symposium on Secrecy in Litigation.

Dore’s appearance was part of her work with The Sedona Conference, a nonprofit research and educational institute that brings together leading jurists, lawyers, experts, academics and others at the cutting edge of issues in complex litigation. The group hosts conferences and mini-think tanks in an effort to move the law forward in a reasoned and just way.

Dore also serves on an advisory committee for the Iowa Supreme Court that studies the issue of electronic discovery.

James Adams, the Ellis and Nelle Levitt distinguished professor of law at Drake, recently served as a panelist in an online symposium sponsored by the New York University Journal of Law and Liberty.

The symposium participants discussed the constitutionality of anticipatory search warrants as framed by the recent U.S. Supreme Court arguments in Grubbs v. U.S.

Adams worked with panelists from the University of Florida, George Washington University, the University of Illinois and Gonzaga University. The posts on the topic are available at http://nyujll.org/blog/

Adams also recently published the 2005 supplement to “Pretrial Motions in Criminal Prosecutions.”