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Thomas Jefferson School of Law celebrates student achievements

Law Week is a time to celebrate the achievements of the legal profession, and Thomas Jefferson School of Law is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of those who will soon become the next generation of attorneys -- our law students.

A major achievement being celebrated at Thomas Jefferson is the Moot Court team's first-place victory at the prestigious Roger J. Traynor California Moot Court Competition at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall Law School in April.

Thomas Jefferson bested teams from 12 other California law schools, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA and Hastings to take home the Traynor trophy for the second time in 10 years.

Melissa Dorko (L-R), Professor Paul Spiegelman, Diana Elston, Joseph Visic and Clayton Griessmeyer celebrate Thomas Jefferson School of Law's first-place victory at the 2007 Roger J. Traynor California Moot Court Competition.

The National Association of Women Judges just selected Thomas Jefferson student Christie Edwards as the recipient of its 2007 Sandra Day O'Connor Scholarship. This annual award recognizes the achievements and commitment of a law student who exemplifies the values that have guided Justice O'Connor throughout her extraordinary career.

Student Matthew Zelasko-Barrett has been awarded the prestigious Belle Cummins Memorial Scholarship by the Association of Administrative Law Judges. Cummins, a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, was a committed and tireless advocate for administrative law judges.

A number of prestigious law journals around the country have accepted for publication articles by Thomas Jefferson students and recent graduates. James Binnall, Michael Dyer, Adam Jaffee, Susie Lorden and Kelley Tiffany all have articles schedule to appear in legal journals this spring.

Entries in national writing competitions also have earned recognition recently for Thomas Jefferson students Shannon Edwards, David Marshman and Matthew Valenti, who all placed among the top finalists in those competitions.

Student Alyssa McCorkle traveled to Washington, D.C., in April to participate as a lobbyist during "ABA Day" on Capitol Hill. McCorkle is one of three elected national student ABA delegates. Students Steve Howland and Anna Romanskaya have served this year as lieutenant governors of the 9th Circuit of the ABA's Law Student Division, which includes Southern California and Hawaii law schools.

One important tradition of the legal profession is community service, and Thomas Jefferson students have proven their dedication to helping others in numerous ways this year, including blood drives, a beach clean up, a play day with Sudanese Refugee children, and projects supporting local schools.

Students participating in Thomas Jefferson's new Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic have helped homeless veterans resolve problems related to family law issues of child support, visitation and marriage dissolution as well as administrative law matters involving SSI, food stamps and military discharges.

Thomas Jefferson's Tax Law Society has just wrapped up its 10th season of offering free tax preparation assistance as an official IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site. The IRS-certified students provide free tax return services to the San Diego community, including low-income families, senior citizens and others who can't afford or are unable to do their own taxes.

There are numerous other achievements that deserve recognition as well, including the Thomas Jefferson students doing public service internships. One of them, Cindy Nesbit, will have a prestigious internship this summer with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia based in The Hague, Netherlands.

Other newsworthy accomplishments include U.S. News & World Report's ranking of Thomas Jefferson's Legal Writing Program among the top legal writing programs in the nation. The 2007 annual rankings show Thomas Jefferson at 26th place, along with Georgetown, Marquette and William Mitchell.

Thomas Jefferson also is celebrating the inauguration of its new Summer Study Abroad Program in Hangzhou, China. More than 50 students from across the nation will leave this month to study International and Comparative Law taught by Thomas Jefferson professors at Zhejiang University College of Law.

Submitted by Chris Saunders, communications specialist for Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

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