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Law School

Alumni Rally to Honor George Washington Fields LL.B. 1890

In a project initiated by Andrianne S. Payson-Livingston J.D. `00, Laura A. Wilkinson M.B.A. `85, J.D. `86, and Ernest Eric Elmore A.B. `86, J.D. `89, a scholarship endowment in honor of George Washington Fields LL.B. 1890 was established in Cornell Law School to provide a tuition-assistance grant to a J.D. candidate.  Building on leadership gifts provided by Ms. Wilkinson, Ms. Payson-Livingston and Mr. Elmore, Cornell Law alumni have rallied to support this fund, intended to commemorate the life and achievement of George Washington Fields.  Born a slave in 1854 and once a butler to governor of New York Alonzo B. Cornell (son of CU co-founder Ezra Cornell), George Washington Fields was among the first African-Americans to graduate from any school at Cornell. He matriculated in what was then the Department of Law as a member of its inaugural entering class of fifty-five students in 1887.  He received his LL.B. as a member of the graduating class of 1890.  His senior thesis (a requirement at the time), “Trial by Jury,” argued for the abandonment of jury trials in favor of empowering the presiding judge or judges to render a verdict directly.

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Our Vision

The mission of Cornell Law School reiterates the intention of Cornell University co-founder Ezra Cornell: we would develop a law school where any student can find instruction in any legal study.  Like most academic disciplines, law is always adjusting its approach to traditional subject matter and adding new areas of inquiry to the curriculum.  To keep pace with this evolution and to maintain the standard of “any person … any study,”

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Our Plan

To continue fulfilling its mission of educating a “fair number of well-trained, large-minded, morally-based lawyers in the best sense,” Cornell Law School seeks to accomplish an institutional transformation that will enable it to

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Our Priorities

The cornerstones of our institution—students, faculty, endowment, and physical plant—are equally important to its success.  Cornell Law School has always worked to optimize the quality and relevance of the education offered and received by enhancing the resources available to its students and faculty; to bolster its institutional endowment so that sufficient funds are available to pay salaries, provide scholarships, and maintain operations;

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Cornell Law School in the News

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Excerpt from Jens Ohlin's book, "The Assault on International Law."
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Annelise Riles: Japan should follow German model of comprehensive settlement package.
Michael Dorf: if it's open to general public, it cannot legally exclude any specific group.
John Blume: if court uses Briseño factors, "it's almost impossible to win."
Valerie Hans on the challenges of selecting impartial jury in "blanket coverage" cases - audio presentation.
Robert Hockett: "bolder investors" in U.S. might see now as time to buy in Europe.
Stephen Yale-Loehr: piecemeal immigration reform possible, not likely, during next two years.
Robert Hockett: President has tried - but not too hard - to make tax code more progressive.
Valerie Hans: public largely suspicious and hostile toward insanity defense in criminal trials.
Michael Dorf: "the objection is academic."
Jens David Ohlin: Nigeria and President Goodluck Jonathan face "classic conundrum."
Valerie Hans: "selecting an impartial jury ... would have been less difficult in another jurisdiction."
John Blume: guilty plea "might somewhat influence the jury to calibrate the sentence.”
John Blume: Americans' support of death penalty is a "reflexive opinion."
Lynn Stout: assumed primacy of shareholder value "based on factually mistaken claims about the law.”
Stephen Yale Loehr: comprehensive immigration reform in 2015-2016 "almost nil."
George Hay: decision grants leeway to companies on leading edge of innovation.
Robert Hockett discusses "consent-evasion" and "stealth drafters" in end-of-session Bill.
Jens Ohlin on YouTube video.
Jens Ohlin: new terrorism phase "far more dangerous and more difficult to defeat than al Qaeda."
Jens Ohlin discusses CIA report on "harsh interrogation techniques."
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Joseph Margulies posits equivalency between torture and chemical weapons.
Josh Chafetz on the end of substantive long-form journalism at "The New Republic."
John Blume: "Panetti should never have been found competent to stand trial and to represent himself."
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Michael Dorf: executive action on immigration is plausibly about "setting enforcement priorities."
Jens Ohlin explains reasons for apparent lapse.
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Sital Kalantry states the case for human-rights legal clinics in the face of detractors.
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Dual appearances on single day a first for Cornell Law faculty.
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At Myron Taylor Hall

Law School professor emeritus a favorite of Cornell students for more than a decade.
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Susan Hazeldean, director of the LGBT Clinic, is co-counsel on case.
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Lynn Stout named with Chelsea Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and 95 others.
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Law School partnership with Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea.
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Profile of DLA Piper partner and Cornell Law alumnus John Vukelj, Esq.
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"Five Easy Pieces: Recurrent Themes in American Property Law" presented at University of Hawaii Law School.
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Eduardo Peñalver: election "a deserved tribute to her status as a leader ..."
ACLU attorney re-envisions womens' rights as human rights.
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Judge William A. Fletcher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, explains flaws.
Panel of legal, reproductive-rights experts visit Myron Taylor Hall to speak with students.
Fatmata Kabia J.D. Class of 2015 launches fundraising campaign for "Memunatu" magazine.
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John E. Sawyer Seminar on Political Will interrogates nature of political representation.
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Sanford Levinson, professor of government at U. of Texas Law School, delivers Robert S. Stevens Lecture.
Co-authors Chris Sarma '15 and Amy Stephenson '15 work in International Human Rights Clinic.
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See the sights of this June's festivities.
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