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A Message from the Dean

A World of Engagement

Greetings on behalf of the Law School! The new year brings important news to George Washington. Dean Paul Berman, who two years ago succeeded Dean Fred Lawrence as the leader of the Law School, has been named a vice provost of the university. As we thank him for his tireless service and many accomplishments directing the Law School, we also congratulate him and wish him great success in his new duties of overseeing academic innovation and online education throughout the entire university. In assuming his new position, Vice Provost Berman has been honored with a chaired professorship; we are delighted that he will continue to teach at the Law School as the new Manatt/Ahn Professor of Law.

A distinctive feature of the Law School has always been its engagement with the real world of law and policy. This issue of GW Law School magazine gives you a sense of that engagement. We host more than 400 events at the Law School each year, giving students the opportunity to meet and interact with leading judges, policymakers, lawyers, and thought leaders from around the world. This past year, that group included eight U.S. Supreme Court Justices participating in GW Law events in just a seven-month period. Our cover story describes the highlight of those judicial events: a landmark two-day conference we hosted in which the U.S. Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights conducted their first ever court-to-court meeting.

In this issue, we also are pleased to profile Kwame Clement, Andrea Ferster, Mike Warnecke, and Michael Wholley, as well as our 2012 Commencement speaker, Carmen Ortiz. All five of these alumni are inspiring examples of how a GW Law education enables our graduates in their own separate ways to change the world for the better.

We have much to look forward to at the Law School. In coming months, two large construction projects will come to a successful conclusion, greatly expanding and improving the Law School's physical complex. The new Law Learning Center, opening this spring, will bring new moot courtrooms, seminar rooms, and offices for student journals and other organizations. In addition, later this summer, a complete renovation and expansion of several historic townhouses will provide a new home for the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics. We are delighted that our clinical students and faculty will be able to serve their clients in this new, first class office space. Please visit us during Reunion Weekend this summer or Alumni Weekend in the fall and see for yourself.

Despite our successes, many challenges lie ahead, especially as the number of applicants to law schools continues to decline and as the economy struggles to provide sufficient career opportunities for new lawyers. I thank our many alumni, located throughout the United States and abroad, who are doing so much to help. Whether it is encouraging strong candidates to apply to GW, mentoring our current students, or hiring our graduates, we are all extremely grateful for your loyalty and service.

Gregory E. Maggs
Interim Dean and Professor of Law