Archive for July, 2009

Thoughts?  Reactions?


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[Thanks to everyone for the great questions you submitted for our interview.  Enjoy! — HF]

HF: Hi Dean Morrison and welcome to GW.  Thanks for agreeing to answer student submitted questions to Sua Sponte.  A lot of students submitted questions, but we narrowed the list down to 11.  I’m sure you’ll realize once we start with the questions that the student body is very excited to have you on board – so much so that they submitted pretty detailed and expansive questions. 

HF: First, we’d like to hear more about your agenda for public interest at GW.  We understand that your position is a new one and that a lot of the work you do initially may be under the radar to develop GW’s public interest bona fides.  What visible actions and ideas can we expect to see in the coming year?

AM: Here are some of my goals: (a) Ramp up the pro bono program by having the law school take affirmative steps to facilitate pro bono work by law students and making better connections with organizations that need pro bono assistance; (b) Increase the number and range of opportunities in the public interest sector for externships (and to a lesser extent in the government and judicial sectors); (c) Explore additional ways to fund summer programs and to augment the loan repayment assistance program, including working with other like-minded organizations to improve the recent federal law that provides limited repayment assistance to students who spend ten years in government service; (d) bring an array of speakers in the public interest and public service areas to the law school; and (e) begin some law reform projects in the field of election law, with substantial student involvement.


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Michael Jackson

Right? Can you believe it?! Sua Sponte has a post about Michael Jackson. Give me a break! If I hear one more minute of news time devoted to Michael Jackson I’m going to flip.  Or maybe you’re in the other camp—the man was amazing, a pop legend that has changed the way we hear music.  We should all take a minute to pay tribute to his life… or at least his career.

I suspect that most readers of this blog are in category one—or at least I think that’s generally where I fall.  But there is something about his story that has not let me dismiss it as just another TMZ-train-wreck-celebrity-moment.  It seems to me that MJ, in his depravity and his greatness, is a caricature of the human experience.

It is undeniable that he had an incredible gift.  Even if you do not like his music, it is fact, not opinion, that his music moved millions of people in deep and real ways.  On the other hand, while there is not hard evidence of wrongdoing, it is difficult to ignore the fact that he paid a boy for silence.  And if you give him the generous benefit of the doubt on that issue, one can still plainly see that he was a man who had trouble living.  He never fit into society; he was literally not comfortable in his skin. That dichotomy of having something wonderful to offer the world and at the same time being terribly flawed and weak rings true to me—I see it in myself; I see it in my friends.  It rings true to me of what it is to be human.

There is a push and pull in the media right now—between the “that’s enough, the man is a wretch,” and the “lets have another tribute to this genius.” And as much as I want to dismiss it all, I can’t help but notice that it sounds like a familiar—granted an extreme version of—an inner dialogue.  MJ seems to be the new poster boy of the imperfection–the intense grayness–of life.

— Anonymous

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Please submit questions for Dean A. Morrison, Associate Dean for Public Interest /Public Service, by tomorrow, July 10.  You can email you submissions to suasponteblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

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GW Law's New Associate Dean for Public Interest / Public ServiceWe told you in April that GW scored a big coup in hiring Alan Morrison as the new Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest/Public Service.   He has had an incredible legal career – far too much for me to describe in a short blog post – but I’ll give you the following points from his resume: Along with Ralph Nader, he founded Public Citizen in 1971; and he has argued 16 cases in front of the Supreme Court, including everyone’s Con Law favorite, INS v. Chadha.


Well, Dean A. Morrison finally arrived at GW on July 1, and as the BLT described it, “a sense of new beginnings [is] in the air.”


Dean A. Morrison has graciously offered to answer student questions about his new position at the law school abd the future of public interest at GW.  We here at Sua Sponte are very excited about being able to host this question-and-answer session.  


Here’s how it will work:  Just like with the SBA Candidate’s Debates we had in the Spring, please submit your questions to Dean Morrison via email to suasponteblog (at) gmail (dot) com.  We’ll select the best of the bunch and give them to Dean Morrison and then post his responses next week.  Please submit your questions by this Friday, July 10, to be considered.

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