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2011 is banner year for Thomas Jefferson School of Law

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The Thomas Jefferson School of Law community hit the ground running when spring classes commenced on Jan. 18 in the school’s new eight-story campus in the East Village, and the momentum is still going strong. The nearly 1,000 students in Thomas Jefferson’s J.D. and LL.M. programs are enjoying an innovative atmosphere designed to integrate technology and sustainability within a highly attractive, collaborative environment to facilitate optimal academic achievement.

You’d be hard pressed to find another law school more technologically advanced than Thomas Jefferson, or one whose technology is as green. Everything in the new campus is a model of environmentally sensitive design, from the solar panels on the roof to the virtual desktops, the incorporation of building materials that reduce the carbon footprint, and the efficiency of the energy and lighting systems. The technology in the classrooms is smarter and faster than ever.

In addition to the LEED Gold certification Thomas Jefferson anticipates earning, the new campus is already winning awards. San Diego Gas & Electric recently presented the school with a Sustainable Communities Champions Award and more than $111,000 in energy-efficiency incentive awards. On May 14, the American Society of Civil Engineers will recognize the school with an Outstanding Award in Structural Engineering.

The new campus isn’t the only thing at Thomas Jefferson School of Law that is receiving recognition these days. Professor Richard Winchester has just been named a Fulbright Scholar to teach in Tunisia next January. Several faculty members have published new books in recent months ranging in topic from bilateral investment treaties to mediation ethics, women and human rights law, intersexuality and the law, and international and comparative employment law. Collectively, the Thomas Jefferson faculty has authored more than 500 books and scholarly articles. Their scholarship remains among the most frequently downloaded on SSRN.com.

Academic programs at Thomas Jefferson also are earning rave reviews. The 10th anniversary Women and the Law Conference in February focused on “Gender Justice and Indian Sovereignty: Native American Women and the Law,” and featured a remarkable national assemblage of Native American leaders as well as members of federal and state government and courts, law practices and academia.

In April, Thomas Jefferson’s Center for Law and Intellectual Property presented a conference featuring the General Counsel of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and other I.P. experts who discussed the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. In Hangzhou, China, on May 27, Thomas Jefferson will co-host an international conference on “Chinese Rule of Law” with Zhejiang University Guanghua School of Law.

The students at Thomas Jefferson also continue to excel on many fronts. For instance, for the second year in a row and the fourth time since 2006, a Thomas Jefferson student has won the highly prestigious Burton Award for Distinguished Writing. Sean E. Smith, a third-year student, is the only California law student selected in 2011 and one of only 15 students in the nation to win this award. With its fourth Burton winner, TJSL is now tied with Stanford as the California law schools with the most Burton Awards.

Smith and fellow student Jinny Campbell also recently earned second place for “Best Brief” in the San Francisco regionals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition. They prevailed over briefs presented by law school teams from UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Hastings, George Mason, Golden Gate, Northwestern, Baylor, University of Minnesota and Loyola (Chicago).

Submitted by The Communications Office at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

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