Author Archives: David Nayer

The Law Weekly Is Fake News

“Fake news” is perhaps the definitive word to describe the last six months. Quickly entering popular culture in the waning weeks of the 2016 Presidential election, the term refers to news stories that are deliberately misleading or outright falsehoods. Commonly associated with stories supporting President Donald Trump, the administration has repurposed and embraced the term in launching its offensive at the so-called “mainstream media,” who are often critical of President Trump.

The Georgetown Law Weekly has taken the Trump Administration’s admonitions to heart. In this moment of self-reflection, I, as editor-in-chief, admit that I am part of the problem. We are fake news.

From our coverage of the fiery exchanges that played out over students’ inboxes after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, to our riveting coverage of Student Bar Association affairs, it is and has all been fake news. Despite this publication’s efforts to avoid commentary on political issues, the fact that we attempt to provide fair, unbiased news to the students and staff of Georgetown Law means we surely fit within the President’s conception of fake news, as translated from the original Russian.

This turn of events must come as a shock to certain viewers, who assumed our coverage of student elections and the latest developments on campus as genuine. However, we can now confirm that every single morsel of information posted by the Law Weekly has been false.

As soon as I took leadership of the Law Weekly, I felt an indescribable, deep-seated desire to mislead the public and discredit the candidacy of Donald Trump, even though he had yet to announce any such candidacy at that point. Although the Law Weekly is hardly in a position to influence national or even local politics, as indicated our paltry (but rising) Facebook “like” count, I had to do what I could. To that end, I attempted to manipulate everything I could about Georgetown Law’s student government affairs to best suit my own agenda, even though I was unsure what that agenda was.

After two years of effort, however, the Law Weekly and all of Fake News-dom have failed in this regard, now that the President has called us out on it, and we have decided to give up entirely.

Finally, in a bizarre turn of events, the above story has revealed to be fake news in and of itself. Happy April Fool’s Day!

CALS Students Win Asylum for Burundian Rape Victim

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Rachel Hitchins, left, and Leigh Ainsworth, right, recently helped their client Sasha win asylum.

This story was written by Center for Applied Legal Studies staff.  The Law Weekly was not involved in writing the content of this article, but edited it and deemed it necessary to publish.

Sasha (whose name has been changed to protect her privacy) fled her home country of Burundi after a powerful Hutu general threatened, raped, and left her for dead because she is a Tutsi woman.  When she first came to the United States in 2012, Sasha’s application for asylum was rejected by an immigration official. Sasha, unrepresented at the time, was then placed into deportation proceedings. While that case was pending, Sasha found the Center for Applied Legal Studies, the Law Center’s asylum law clinic. Over the course of their semester in CALS, Sasha’s student representatives, Leigh Ainsworth and Rachel Hitchins, worked intensely with Sasha to develop an evidentiary record and write a legal brief to convince the immigration judge that Sasha should be allowed to remain in the United States.  Ultimately, the hard work paid off – the judge granted Sasha asylum, putting her on a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

Ainsworth and Hitchins had enrolled in CALS hoping to learn about immigration law, develop practice skills, and serve a vulnerable client.  “I wanted to learn firsthand what it meant to represent a client in immigration court and to help a client navigate a complicated—and at times, frustrating—legal system,” Ainsworth said.  In the students’ first meeting with their client, Sasha broke down in tears. She revealed that when she was only fifteen years old, the general began harassing and threatening her.  He made sexual advances toward her, using his position of authority to stalk and threaten her when she refused him.  Sasha’s family hid her by sending her to boarding school, and while she was there, her mother died under suspicious circumstances.  Not long after, the General found her again.  He then kidnapped and brutally raped her, and left her for dead in a forest.  Sasha was rescued by a kind woman who found her there.

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SBA Prepares for Spring Elections at Open Forum

While there are two months of classes remaining in the semester, Georgetown’s student government is already preparing to turn over power to a fresh set of leaders.  With the elections coming up on March 7-8, candidates have just a week left to make their case. Voting is conducted online, but staffed polling stations will be available in McDonough Hall.

The Student Bar Association (SBA)’s meeting on February 28th, the penultimate meeting of the current class of delegates and executive board members, featured a town-hall style forum where candidates for various executive board positions, including President, both Day and Evening Vice Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer, were able to articulate their platform and answer questions from attendees.

Half of the 45 minutes allotted for the forum was occupied by the two candidates for SBA President.  2L Delegate Joshua Branch and 1L Delegate Ryan Shymansky both introduced themselves and their platforms in a one minute speech before they were asked questions by the attendees.  Shymansky drew attention to his relative inexperience, characterizing his run as  something he had not been planning for long.  Noting that it was unusual for first-year students to run for SBA President, he leaned on his experience and prior connections during his undergraduate years at Georgetown’s main campus.  Branch, who heads the Community Enrichment committee that has organized the speakership series, spoke about his ability to take a middle ground and his level-headed nature as beneficial to his candidacy.

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GEMALaw Symposium Brings Hollywood to Georgetown

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The Georgetown Entertainment and Media Alliance’s Law chapter, known as GEMALaw, held its annual symposium on February 3rd, marking the organization’s its tenth anniversary.  The symposium brought dozens of prominent media law practicioners to Hart Auditorium, including GEMA’s founders, and attracted an estimated 200 attendees, ranging from Georgetown students to practioners to content creators, to its four panels spread over six hours.

Before the festivities began, Dean William Treanor introduced GEMALaw and recounted its importance and impact on the law school.  In particular, he noted the dramatic expansion of entertainment and media-related course offerings at the Law Center.

The day formally began with an hour-long panel hosted by four of GEMALaw’s founders, Claire Magee (L’09), Raquel Braun (L’10), Daniel Werly (L’09), and Daniel Navarro (L’09).  All except Magee, coincidentally, have ended up working in-house, and three of the four in the world of sports. All four readily agreed that Braun was the impetus for the creation of GEMA’s law chapter.

Disappoionted with the entertainment, media and sports law career building opportunities at Georgetown Law, Braun took it upon herself to gather friends and colleagues to expand the existing GEMA to the Law Center.  The four also discussed their paths to their jobs, how they got their foot in the door, and the qualities that students should emphasize as they apply for entertainemnt-sector legal jobs.

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The Georgetown Law Student’s Inauguration Survival Guide

mezzanine_800-resize-800x450Law Weekly reporters Ravan Austin and Amy Hendel contributed the majority of the content of this article.

The Presidential inauguration is a multi-day slate of events that will affect the lives of everyone living in the District of Columbia.  Although Georgetown Law’s campus is closed on Inauguration Day itself, Friday the 20th, events and accompanying traffic restrictions will begin as early as Wednesday and will last through the weekend.  The Law Weekly has prepared this guide to help Georgetown Law students get through the weekend, whether they are attending the inauguration, attending alternative events, or just staying in the city.

DC DURING THE INAUGURATION

It is impossible to say how big the Trump inauguration will be – so far, enthusiasm seems to be less than anticipated, but hundreds of thousands are expected for post-inauguration protests and rallies. Much of the downtown corridor of Washington will be shut down before, during and after the inauguration events, increasing commute headaches across the region regardless of the true number of visitors.

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SBA RECAP: Dean Wu Defends Wolff Library Changes

gulc_south_quadThe headline event at the Student Bar Association’s meeting on October 4th was a visit by Michelle Wu, Associate Dean for Library Services.  She spent over an hour Tuesday evening discussing the recently announced changes to the Wolff Library space.

Expanding on the email sent to students last month, Wu explained that the Law Center has been battling space problems for at least a decade.  There has been an ongoing, campus-wide effort to more efficiently use already existing campus spaces.

Wu’s reports were relatively light on details.  Indeed, the relocation of the Wolff books to the E.B. Williams library is in its planning stages, and the consultation from Shelpy Bulfinch is needed before any substantive decisions can be made.  Therefore, information as to what the new space will be used for specifically,  when the transition will occur, and how much this will cost is still up in the air.

Wu was able to provide some concrete details.  The collection of international law in Wolff Library will be relocated to the Williams Library, as will the associated staff.  She reassured students that at least some of the two-floor Wolff area will remain 24-hour student space. In fact, Wu reassured students that the amount of available space in Wolff may not decrease.  A survey, conducted by Shepley, will help the school and the firm assess what needs exist, and how best to address them.  Building off that survey, which should be conducted this semester, the Law Center and Sheply will design a plan to repurpose the Wolff space.  Wu also revealed that the school recently confirmed that, using compact shelving, the Wolff collection can fit inside the Williams building. Continue reading

BREAKING: Khizr Khan to speak at Law Center

gettyimages-584274334-640x480The Student Bar Association has announced that the third guest in its Speakership Series will be Khizr Khan.

The event will take place on Thursday, October 6 in Hart Auditorium, at 2:30pm.  Ticket allocation will be handled on an RSVP,  first-come, first-serve basis – a certain number of students who RSVP first will gain access.  At the time of publication, the particulars of this RSVP system were not yet public, nor was a timeline for their release.

Khan rose to national prominence earlier this summer, when he and his wife Ghazala spoke at the Democratic National Convention.  The Khans, who are Pakistani immigrants whose son died in the line of duty in Iraq, gave a speech critical of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, especially Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration.  The Khans’ speech, the image of Khizr Khan holding his pocket Constitution which he cited during his speech, and Trump’s critical reaction to the speech took the nation by storm and had a significant impact on the campaign trail.

The contents or particular subject matter of Khizr Khan’s visit are unknown at the time of publication.