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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

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."
Stephen Yale-Loehr: "A lottery is not a way to run an immigration system.”
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."
Jens Ohlin: "Wilson’s assessment of ... Brown's facial character .. can very easily be racialized.”
Michael Dorf: executive action on immigration is plausibly about "setting enforcement priorities."
Jens Ohlin explains reasons for apparent lapse.
Jens Ohlin: verdict should have been announced in very early morning.
Robert Hockett: "it is a serious mistake to think the Fed is 'captured' in any general or comprehensive sense."
Joseph Margulies: punitive bias of law enforcement and justice system needs reorientation.
Sital Kalantry states the case for human-rights legal clinics in the face of detractors.
Jens Ohlin: evidence from "last few seconds" likely determinative.
Dual appearances on single day a first for Cornell Law faculty.
Muna Ndulo: Some political parties reluctant to yield power after losing election.
Saule Omarova on JPMorgan: "This is a financial-industrial conglomerate."
Michael Dorf: 1959 Unruh Civil Rights Act “construed to forbid ... arbitrary discrimination in public accommodations."
George Hay: government likely to block merger and courts would uphold it.
Stephen Yale-Loehr: "president has wide authority to act administratively on immigration."
Stephen Yale Loehr: "The president has boxed himself into a corner.”
Saule Omarova: "constant investigation and huge settlements" indicate "structural problems in the markets ... ."
Robert Hockett: violation of confidentiality "undermines confidence in the market.”
Robert Hockett: trading on confidential information "wrongs clients and rigs the market in favor of insiders"
Sherry Colb: L.A. statue violates Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.
Joshua Chafetz: "Wyden and Udall ... obviously believe that disturbing information is being withheld."
Jens Ohlin: Pentagon must go "above and beyond" to make up for prior neglect.
Michael Dorf: to stop the influence of concentrated wealth on politics, stop wealth from concentrating.
Jeff Rachlinski: implicit claim of judicial favoritism "a clear ethics violation."
Stephen Yale-Loehr: "A lottery is not a way to run an immigration system."
Michael Dorf: Appeals Court judges believe SCOTUS or democratic process should decide issue.
Stephen Yale-Loehr: expanding DACA falls “within the president’s inherent immigration authority.”
Jens Ohlin: "health decisions based on someone's travel itinerary is just sensible policy."
Michael Dorf: "It has long been understood that states may quarantine."
Saule Omarova: Kay Hagen's "push-out" repeal bill makes "risky business" cheaper to conduct.
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At Myron Taylor Hall

Michael Dorf ponders the nature, purpose, value, quality, problems, and audience of "law review" articles.
Membership describes "violence against the black community by law enforcement officers" "a systemic problem."
Global Gender Justice Clinic and Avon Global Center for Women and Justice co-sponsor resolution.
Cynthia Bowman: "A lot of these cases hinge on he-said, she-said."
Lynn Stout named with Chelsea Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and 95 others.
John Blume: "rule that people with intellectual disability shouldn’t be executed" is disparately applied.
Law School partnership with Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea.
"Are we in a different place legally because we're in a different place technologically?"
Yale law librarian presents “Quote Unquote: Compiling The Yale Book of Quotations.”
South Carolina Supreme Court rules sentences are cruel and unusual punishment.
Concluding event of Transactional Lawyering course is unique among nation's law schools.
Stephen Yale-Loehr: Cornell University might have 50 to 100 students who are undocumented.
Profile of DLA Piper partner and Cornell Law alumnus John Vukelj, Esq.
Matthew Aglialoro J.D. `14 credits guidance of adjunct professor James Junewicz.
First-time exam-takers achieve 94% pass rate for second consecutive year.
"Five Easy Pieces: Recurrent Themes in American Property Law" presented at University of Hawaii Law School.
Muno Ndulo moderates panel on "Social, Economic and Political Impact of the Ebola Pandemic."
Eduardo Peñalver: election "a deserved tribute to her status as a leader ..."
ACLU attorney re-envisions womens' rights as human rights.
Site provides global access to scholarship of Cornell Law School faculty, students, and visiting scholars.
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.
North Korea's nuclear capability seen as biggest obstacle to reunification.
John E. Sawyer Seminar on Political Will interrogates nature of political representation.
Judge Sang-Hyun Song speaks about the International Criminal Court's power to do good.
Odette Lienau uses historical and theoretical analyses to challenge norm of sovereign-debt continuity.
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.
Legacy of Professor Harry Bitner, Cornell Law Librarian, 1965–1976, lives on in Fellowship.
Jason Beekman: "signature event" offers "chance to reconnect" and "build our community."
"Spring chickens grow fast and they learn very quickly," says Eduardo M. Peñalver, new Allan R. Tessler Dean.
See the sights of this June's festivities.
Exceptional student research and writing recognized by Law Librarians.
"Allowing H-1B spouses to work would be an important change," says Stephen Yale-Loehr.
Professor recognized by Women's Law Coalition for "an outstanding commitment to the women of Cornell."
Law alumni from range of practice areas offer students advice and guidance.
New wing encourages "clarity," "openness," and "accessibility" says Stewart Schwab.
Barbara Holden-Smith credits outgoing dean Stewart Schwab with building project's fruition.
WLC president Christine Kim calls event, “the highlight of the year for members of the Women’s Law Coalition.”

Law School Contacts

Communications Development

Martha Fitzgerald

Director of Communications

mpf28@cornell.edu

Peter Cronin

Associate Dean, Alumni Affairs & Development

pc253@cornell.edu