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Monday, February 9, 2009

Spring Semester: The First Meeting

We we will be holding our first meeting of the Spring '09 semester tonight at 7:30 in SAC 308.

Any questions, or just curious, come on by.

The meeting's basic purpose will be to update on news, including a new calendar layout and the formation of an advertising committee now that we have funding come from the USG.

Introductions will go on as always, VP Brady will start collecting all the books and films he lent out over the intersession, and there will also be a current events discussion focused on renewed interest in gender law following Pres.. Obama's signature of the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act of 2009.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Student Networking Seminar: Friday

This is just a reminder that this Friday, October 3rd will be the first skills program SBPL will be sponsoring for the semester.

Our guests:
*Alfreda James of SBU Career Services. Her skill-set precedes her. She has a number of activities planned.
*Michael Marchena, current Area Manager and recruiter for BCBG Max Azria. He has a decade of experience in management, retail, interior design and networking.

Location: Wang Center, Rm. 103
Time: 4PM
Refreshments: Bottled water, light snacks

If you have any further questions, please e-mail SBPL VP Kevin Brady at

Monday, September 22, 2008

Civil Rights Law: A Presentation

I. What is Civil Rights Law?

•Cornell Law: a “civil right” is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury.
•Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places.

II. What about discrimination?
•Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class.
•Statutes have been enacted to prevent discrimination based on a person's race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

III. Who should get involved?
•Remember: Just because civil rights law is often associated with racial minorities and females, we ALL have civil rights
•Civil Rights Law, much like Corporate Law, requires a particularly large amount of paper work and coordination between parties
•CRL requires a boldness of intellectual character, as new arguments have to be made using preexisting cases

IV. How is CRL applied?
•Remember: Just because Civil Rights Law is often associated with racial minorities and females, we ALL have civil rights (sound familiar?)
•Thanks to the mass spectrum of application, CRL is a sector of law that is rife with possibility and an endless amount of cases
•Growth areas: Religious groups, GLBT rights, Constitutional protections (Re: PATRIOT Act)

V. Law Schools for Civil Rights Law
•Like in all areas of law, a little bit of everything is covered at most schools
•But some schools have stronger focuses in certain areas
•Nationally: Besides the obvious “top law schools” - George Mason (VA), UC Davis (CA), University of Chicago (IL), Notre Dame (IN)
•“Locally”: Brooklyn Law, Cornell, CUNY Queens

VI. Examples of Civil Rights Law Classes
•An example from Columbia Professor Katherine Franke’s “Civil Rights Law” Course Intro. from Fall 2003:
•“The course will provide an historical and statutory overview of federal civil rights law - with a particular emphasis on police misconduct. Class format will combine lecture and discussion, with an emphasis on discussion. A significant portion of the class will be devoted to the details of litigating under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - a statute that provides a private right of action for violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal laws. If you plan to clerk after graduation, you will encounter § 1983 cases a great deal, and will find our work in this class very helpful.”

VII. An Example of a Class

Professor Franke’s Course Outline:
•Part I: History of the Reconstruction Era Constitutional Amendments and Reconstruction Era Civil Rights Statutes
•Part II: 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 - Civil Remedy for Deprivation of Rights Under Color of State Law
•Part III: 42 U.S.C. Section 1985(3) and - Civil Remedies for Conspiracies to Deprive Rights
•Part IV: Civil RICO Actions against Police Departments
•Part V: U.S. DOJ Initiated Actions to Combat Patterns and Practices of Police Misconduct

VIII. Civil Rights Law Clinics
•Many law schools in urban regions have established law clinics, allowing students to gain experience while serving the community
•Civil Rights Law is the MOST COMMON area of expertise practiced in these clinics
•At NYU Law, Professors Vanita Gupta and Claudia Angelos maintain a one-semester clinic worth 5 credits

IX. What Kind of Work Do They Do?

In the last year, NYU Law’s Civil Rights Clinic has worked on:
•Title IX challenge to the schedule for girls' soccer in the New York City Public Schools
•NYCLU's litigation alleging that the delivery of indigent criminal defense services statewide is unconstitutional
•New York City Police Department's revocation of the press credentials of a journalist who is critical of the Department
•investigation of potentially politically-motivated border searches
•development of a strategy to challenge the Department of Correctional Services use of "ion scanning" of visitors to prisons in New York

X. Stony Brook Classes
•Political Science classes of potential service:
•POL310: Immigration and Refugee Politics
•POL316: Federalism and Intergov’t Relations
•POL320: Constitutional Law & Politics
•POL325: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
•POL330: Gender Issues in the Law
•POL331: Law and Political Representation

XI. Stony Brook Classes
•Those POL classes work on the underpinnings of Civil Rights Law, so please don’t cry “bias”
•CRL is inherently more “political” than other aspects of law in terms of its origins and workings
•Still, focus on issues that appeal to you in the concepts of diversity and awareness
•Classes in Africana (AFS), Women’s/GLBT studies (WST), and Religious Studies (RLG) are examples to begin developing expertise

XII. More Questions, Concerns?
•Feel free to e-mail Vice President Kevin Brady (currently sick in bed) with any specific questions about the topic of Civil Rights Law, including recommended books, sub-topics, schools, and ideas on the subject for further study

Friday, September 19, 2008

Information: Our First Agenda of '08-'09

Stony Brook Pre-Law (SBPL)

First General Membership Meeting / Open House
Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 / Room: SAC 308 / Time: 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

I. What Do We Do?

A) Our Members: We at SBPL believe that our best resource as students is one another. SBPL is a place to network. Come to our meetings and you can learn more about different fields, majors, exams, and careers involved in the Law. We have members with interests ranging from public office to private practice, corporate positions to law enforcement.

B) Our Speakers: Every two to three weeks we have visiting speakers to our meetings who offer their own takes on the Law:
1. They explain what they do
2. Share what they have done
3. Offer advice to you
4. Available for making connections later in life (or as soon as starting an internship next semester!)

Please note: We’re always looking for new connections. If you have friends, relatives, or other connections in any kind of legal field… tell us! We’d love to have new and fresh faces at our meetings to share their knowledge. The more connections the better!

C) Our Events: About twice a semester the SBPL works in conjunction with SB Career Services to hold events in the Wang Center for members of all organizations to take part in. Topics include personal skills development (mock interviews, networking, etc) as well as forums where multiple guests take part in a panel discussion on the best advice they can offer you to make your way in the wide field of Law.

D) Our Calendar:

Wed, SEPT 17: Introductions: First SBPL Meeting
Mon, SEPT 22: Graduate Examinations: LSATs and GREs
Wed, SEPT 24: First Mock Trial Meeting
Mon, SEPT 29: Topic Presentation: Arbitration and Mediation Law
Fri, OCT 3: Wang Center Seminar: Networking (4PM in Wang 101)
Mon, OCT 6: Special Guest Speaker
Mon, OCT 13: Topic Presentation: Criminal Defense Law
Mon, OCT 20: Special Guest Speaker
Mon, OCT 27: Topic Presentation: Civil Rights Law
Mon, NOV 3: The Day Before: Election Law and Voting Rights Law

Note: To answer a surprisingly popular question, we will be doing MORE in the Fall semester, it is merely that the full calendar is not complete yet.

II. So Who Are We?

A) Our Mission Statement: Stony Brook Pre-Law is a pre-professional student organization open to all undergraduates either seeking or interested in pursuing a graduate education in the Law.

SBPL seeks to achieve the following as part of its basic mission:
1. Facilitate the flow of information regarding all aspects of law to inclined individuals through both campus-based and external resources.
2. Serve as a sounding board and peer support group for fellow students regarding the pursuance of a graduate education and/or career in the law.
3. Draw awareness to contemporary issues of law in relation to the student body and society at-large through inter-group collaborative efforts.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Our Last Spring Meeting and Guest Speaker

We are proud to host yet another guest speaker at what will be our last regular meeting of the semester, as always, 1PM this Wednesday, May 7th in SAC 311. This semester has drawn a half-dozen speakers from various law backgrounds and has been a tremendous source of advice and networking to our members.

Our next speaker is
David McClean, none other than the business regulation-involved father of the recently reelected Secretary Alex McClean. Mr. McClean is a hedge fund compliance officer and professor of business ethics. He will be discussing the intersection of law and business, with a focus on regulation.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Numbers Are In!

Officially Declared Winners of SBPL 2008 E-Board Elections:
President: Syed Haq
Vice-President: Kevin Brady (re-elected)
Treasurer: Shane Myers
Secretary: Alex McClean (re-elected)
Project Manager: Katie O'Brien

Monday, April 28, 2008


This Wednesday, April 28nd will be the Stony Brook Pre-Law E-Board elections! The offices of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and Project Manager are all up for the vote. Incumbents are seeking reelection for Vice-President and Treasurer.

Announced Spring 2008 Candidates:
Syed Haq (current Project Manager)
Felix Omozusi

Kevin Brady (incumbent)

Shane Myers
Diana Villalobos

Alex McClean (incumbent)

Project Manager:
Katie O'Brien

The Elections Board, headed by President Al Sand, will be taking nominations on the day of the elections on a case-by-case basis as "write in" candidates.