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One of Exonerated Central Park Five to Speak at Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth

Dr. Yusef Salaam, whose story is documented in the 2019 Netflix series “When They See Us,” will give the keynote address at The University of Toledo’s 36th annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth Saturday, Jan. 11.

Salaam was one of five teenagers of color, ages 14 to 16, wrongfully convicted of the 1989 beating and rape of a female jogger in Central Park. More than a decade later, a murderer and rapist serving a life sentence confessed to the brutal crime, and DNA evidence cleared the five, who were exonerated.

Salaam

Sponsored by Toledo Excel and the UToledo Joint Committee, the conference for seventh- and eighth-graders, high school students and parents will start at 8:30 a.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

“Social Justice: A Community Enterprise” is the theme of this year’s event.

“Dr. Salaam understands better than most that we have systems in this country that do not work equally for all of its citizens,” David Young, director of Toledo Excel and Special Projects, said. “However, he has dedicated himself to changing those systems as one of the leading advocates in the nation for criminal justice reform and change.”

In 2012, filmmaker Ken Burns made a documentary detailing the travesty; “The Central Park Five” chronicled the case from the perspective of the teens whose lives were changed by the miscarriage of justice.

Two years later, the quintet agreed to an approximate $40 million settlement from New York City to resolve the civil rights lawsuit over their arrests and imprisonment for the attack that made headlines around the globe.

Their story continues to educate and open eyes. “When They See Us,” a four-part miniseries, was released this year by Netflix and has received numerous awards.

“Since the day we were wrongfully arrested, others controlled the story about us without ever seeing us,” Salaam, an Innocence Project board member, said at the nonprofit legal organization’s 2019 gala.

Since his release more than two decades ago, Salaam has become an activist and inspirational speaker who addresses injustice and the importance of education, and facilitates discussions on race and class, prison reform, and capital punishment.

“This conference will educate students and parents about their basic rights and also advocate all attendees to be change agents where needed,” Young said. “We hope this will encourage a community and collective effort where social justice is needed.”

Following the keynote address, Salaam will participate in a panel discussion on social justice and criminal justice reform. He will be joined by RaShya Ghee, UToledo graduate, adjunct professor at the UToledo College of Law, and staff attorney at Advocating for Opportunity; Albert Earl, cultural educator and prevention education specialist; and UToledo Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Jeff Newton. Rhonda Sewell, manager of external and governmental affairs at Toledo Lucas County Public Library, will moderate the session.

Toledo Excel was established in 1988 to help underrepresented students, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans, for success in college. Through summer institutes, academic retreat weekends, campus visits and guidance through the admission process, students increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.

Toledo Excel is part of the Office of Multicultural Student Success, which is in the Division of Student Affairs. The UToledo Joint Committee includes representatives from the University, Toledo Public and Parochial schools, and civic and community leaders from the city of Toledo. The mission of the committee is to bring together people in the community interested in the education of underrepresented youth. The UToledo Joint Committee also serves as an advisory board and support system for Toledo Excel.

Advance registration for the free, public conference is required; go to the eventbrite website.

For more information, email Young at david.young@utoledo.edu or call 419.530.3820.

Princeton Review Names UToledo College of Law in Top 10 List of Best Law Schools for Women

The University of Toledo College of Law is one of the best law schools in the country for women in a prestigious ranking that focuses on student experience and success.

The Princeton Review, which again selected the UToledo College of Law in its list of the top 167 law schools in the country titled “Best Law Schools 2020,” ranked the UToledo College of Law No. 5 on the national list of the top 10 law schools with the “Greatest Resources for Women.”

In addition, the Princeton Review once again named UToledo College of Law No. 1 in Ohio and Michigan for most accessible professors; UToledo tied for No. 1 in Indiana for faculty accessibility.

“What makes the UToledo College of Law special is that faculty members are deeply involved in their students learning and professional development from day one,” said Geoffrey Rapp, associate dean for academic affairs and Harold A. Anderson Professor of Law and Values. “Our faculty get to know our students – where they are from, where they want to be, and what kind of law they aspire to practice. This puts them in a position to provide support to help students reach their goals.”

The Princeton Review identified which law schools offer the greatest resources for women based on the percentage of the student body who identify as women, as well as on student answers to a survey question on whether all students are afforded equal treatment by students and faculty regardless of their gender.

The college scored 97 in the “Professors Accessible” category, which is based on how students rate the accessibility of law school faculty. The ratings are scored on a scale of 60 to 99.

“Every aspect of the school strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and personal attention,” said a surveyed student. Students also spoke overwhelmingly of the school’s obvious care and concern for their future, and the faculty’s “willingness to sit and chat with students about class at any time, while connecting what we learn to real-life use.”

“We recommend The University of Toledo College of Law and every one of the 167 law schools we selected for our 2020 list as an excellent choice for a student aspiring to earn a J.D.,” said Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of the Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review’s 80-question student survey asked law school students about their schools’ academics, student body and campus life. It also included questions for the respondents about themselves and their career plans. The student surveys for this edition were conducted during the 2018-19, 2017-18 and 2016-17 academic years.

The company also selected schools based on an analysis of institutional data collected from surveys of law school administrators during the 2018-19 academic year. The institutional survey, which numbered more than 200 questions, covered topics from academic offerings and admission requirements to data about currently enrolled students as well as graduates’ employment.

“What makes our ‘Best Law Schools’ designations unique is that we also take into account the opinions of students attending the schools about their campus and classroom experiences,” Franek said. “For our 2020 list, we surveyed a total of 19,000 students at the 167 schools.”

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, the company helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House.

Report Examines State Progress in Implementing Great Lakes Compact

The University of Toledo College of Law’s Legal Institute of the Great Lakes released a new report assessing the progress each of the eight Great Lakes states has made in implementing the terms of the 2008 interstate compact that ushered in a new era of water management and conservation in the Great Lakes region.

While the overall assessment is positive, the report identifies critical areas for improvement within each state.

Ken Kilbert, UToledo professor of law and director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes, is the principal author of the white paper titled An Assessment of the Great Lakes States’ Implementation of the Water Management and Conservation Provisions of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.” The report provides a state-by-state assessment of how Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are carrying out the water management, conservation and efficiency provisions of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.

Forrest Miller, a third-year UToledo law student, and Aubrey Merkle, a second-year UToledo law student, are co-authors of the white paper. This project afforded them the opportunity to enhance their substantive knowledge of water law and related fields, as well as their legal research, writing and analytical skills.

The report is particularly timely. This December, each state is required to report on its implementation of water management, conservation and efficiency programs under the compact. The states’ reports are subject to review by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council, which will determine whether state programs meet compact provisions and will make recommendations to those that do not.

“The compact not only banned most new diversions of water outside the Great Lakes basin, it also required the states to undertake stronger programs for management and conservation of waters within the basin,” Kilbert said. “In order to fulfill the promise of the compact, it is essential that the states carry out their obligations to implement its terms.”

The Legal Institute of the Great Lakes is a multidisciplinary research center within the College of Law. The research project was funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation.

Kilbert joined UToledo College of Law faculty in 2006. He teaches environmental law, natural resources law, administrative law, civil procedure and water law. As director of the institute, Kilbert organizes the annual Great Lakes Water Conference, which this year is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 8.

Lake Erie Bill of Rights Topic of Great Lakes Water Conference Nov. 8 at UToledo

Toledo’s innovative Lake Erie Bill of Rights will take center stage with a family of “forever chemicals” during the 19th annual Great Lakes Water Conference at The University of Toledo College of Law.

Approved by voters in February and challenged by a lawsuit in federal court, the new “rights of nature” ordinance that allows citizens to sue on behalf of the lake to address pollution has attracted national and international attention.

The UToledo Lake Erie Center research vessel helps to monitor the lake’s water quality.

The conference, which is sponsored by the College of Law and its Legal Institute of the Great Lakes, will take place Friday, Nov. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

“Three panels of experts will be tackling issues of local, regional, national and international import,” said Ken Kilbert, UToledo professor of law and director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes. “Law and policy are key to the solutions.”

The keynote speaker will be Carrie Sowden, archaeological director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes. She will talk at 8:45 a.m.

The first panel, which will debate the city of Toledo’s Lake Erie Bill of Rights, will start at 9:15 a.m. Kilbert will serve as moderator with speakers Jason Hill, court administrator for the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals, who teaches election law; Terry Lodge, a Toledo attorney who specializes in environmental and energy issues and supports the ordinance; and Louis Tosi, attorney with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Toledo, who serves as chair of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group.

The other two panels will explore water quality problems posed by PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals, a proposed rule affecting the reach of the federal Clean Water Act, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s the new H2Ohio initiative, and a proposed new diversion of Great Lakes water.

The one-day conference is free and open to the public. Registration is $75 for attorneys seeking 4.5 hours of Ohio Continuing Legal Education credit.

For more information about the conference and to register for credit or box lunch, visit the College of Law website.

UToledo Law Graduates Have Strongest Showing in Ohio Bar Exams in 10 Years

The number of graduates from The University of Toledo College of Law who passed the July bar exam in Ohio on the first try is well above the state average.

It’s also UToledo’s highest result for first-time takers on the summer exam in a decade.

The newly released data shows the first-time passage rate for UToledo law graduates taking the bar exam is 89%, up from 84% in July 2018. The state average in Ohio this year is 82%.

“I am very proud of our graduates for their success on the bar exam,” said College of Law Dean D. Benjamin Barros. “We have done a lot of work at the College of Law over the past several years to help our graduates succeed on the bar exam. At the end of the day, though, it is the graduates who do the hard work needed to pass the exam, and this result is the payoff for their efforts.”

The UToledo College of Law is committed to preparing students for a successful career with programming and partnerships dedicated to bar passage.

In the last few years, the college aligned its curriculum to bar-tested subjects, developed a first-year support program, expanded its third-year bar prep course, and implemented a legal analysis course and academic success contracts.

The UToledo College of Law also created the position of director of academic success and bar preparation, designed to prepare both third-year students and graduates for the bar exam. Through post-graduation mentoring, every law graduate is paired with a faculty mentor to provide support during bar exam study.

Plus, the UToledo College of Law partnered with Barbri, a company headquartered in Texas, to offer students access to its comprehensive bar review course with flexible classroom, online and mobile learning environments.

Graduate and Professional Program Fair Slated for Oct. 30

Looking to advance your career? Want to learn more about continuing your education? Stop by the Graduate and Professional Program Fair Wednesday, Oct. 30.

The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Attendees can meet with representatives from colleges and programs; learn ways to fund graduate education; and start the graduate program application process.

On hand will be representatives from all UToledo colleges: Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Judith Herb College of Education; Law; Medicine and Life Sciences; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Graduate Studies; Jesup Scott Honors College; and University College.

Go to the Graduate and Professional Program Fair website and register.

The first 100 to attend the event will receive an application fee waiver; J.D., M.D. and Pharm.D. applications not included.

For more information, email graduateinquiry@utoledo.edu.

Day of Giving College Events and Giving Stations

UToledo’s third annual Day of Giving will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 16.

The 36-hour campaign, “Rocket Forward: You Launch Lives,” will begin at midnight Oct. 15 and end at noon Oct. 16.

Several events are planned Tuesday, Oct. 15:

Day of Giving Fall Festival — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Centennial Mall

• Student organizations will host booths with games.

• The Rocket Marching Band and UToledo cheerleaders will perform.

• President Sharon L. Gaber will greet students from noon to 12:30 p.m.

• The festival also will offer a dog-petting station, corn hole games, a basketball contest, pie in the face, pumpkin bowling and pumpkin golf.

College of Business and Innovation — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Savage & Associates Business Complex Second-Floor Atrium

• Giving station with ice cream.

Judith Herb College of Education — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Gillham Hall

• Giving station with popcorn.

College of Health and Human Services — 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 16, 8 to 10:30 a.m. in the Health and Human Services Building Atrium

• Giving station with popcorn, other snacks and prizes.

Jesup Scott Honors College — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside MacKinnon Hall

• Giving station with snacks.

College of Law — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Law Center Patio

• Fall Fest hosted by the Student Bar Association: Donate to decorate mini-pumpkins; play corn hole, ring toss and horseshoes; and eat kettle corn, caramel apples and cider.

Student Recreation Center — 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

• Giving station; popcorn from 2 to 6 p.m.

University College — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 16, 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Rocket Hall

• Giving station with popcorn, snacks, and a chance to spin the wheel to win prizes with a donation.

The University of Toledo Medical Center — starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 16, in the Four Seasons Bistro

• Giving station in the cafeteria.

Colleges of Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Medicine and Life Sciences — 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Collier Building Lobby

College of Nursing will host a Day of Giving party with a giving station, snacks, a pumpkin decorating contest, music and entertainment. President Sharon L. Gaber and Health Science Campus deans will be on hand for Day of Giving selfie photos with students, faculty and staff.

Give online at rocketforward.utoledo.edu Oct. 15-16 and share your UToledo story on social media at #RocketForward.

Opioid Crisis Topic of Law Review Symposium Oct. 11

“Fighting Back: A Legal Framework for Defeating the Opioid Crisis” is the title of The University of Toledo Law Review’s annual symposium, which will take place Friday, Oct. 11.

The free, public event will begin at 8 a.m. in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

Despite the decrease in opioid deaths in Ohio during the last year, experts predict death from opioids will continue to rise in the next decade.

The symposium will feature scholars and practitioners from across the region who will analyze the past efforts made toward defeating the opioid crisis. The event will foster discussions focused on these realizations and address the legal implications from a variety of perspectives: the criminal justice response, implications on public policy, regulating the medical field, and unintended consequences of the crisis.

This symposium will be of particular interest to attorneys in the practice of family law, criminal litigation and civil disputes; individuals employed with state and federal agencies; as well as those working to combat the crisis as healthcare providers and administrators. Individuals affected by this crisis also would benefit from attending.

Presenters’ scholarly contributions will appear in volume 51, issue 3, of The University of Toledo Law Review.

This symposium has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 6.25 total Continuing Legal Education (CLE) hours, which includes 1.5 professional conduct hours.

If you do not need CLE credit and do not wish to have lunch, the event is free and registration is not required.

If you intend to seek CLE credit and/or would like a box lunch, registration is required by Tuesday, Oct. 8

For more information about the conference and to register for CLE and/or lunch, visit the College of Law website.

‘Ferguson Five Years Later’ Topic of Cannon Lecture Sept. 26

Kimberly Norwood, Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, will present the annual Cannon Lecture titled “Ferguson Five Years Later: A Look at the Legal and Social Reverberations in Ferguson and Around the Nation.”

She will speak at The University of Toledo College of Law Thursday, Sept. 26, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

Norwood

In August 2014, events in small-town Ferguson, Mo., sparked international debate on the struggle for equal justice and equal treatment.

In 2016, Norwood published “Ferguson’s Fault Lines: The Race Quake That Rocked a Nation.” In the book, she used Ferguson as the foundation for a study on how various laws, social conditions, and economic and political policies may negatively impact the lives of black and brown people in America — contributing to racial and socioeconomic conflict.

Now five years later, Norwood will examine the institutional, systemic and cultural structures that resulted in racially disparate treatment in Ferguson.

Norwood’s research focuses on colorism, implicit bias, and the intersection of race, class and public education in America. She is a commissioner on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, a commissioner on the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness, and a member of the Monitoring Team for the U.S. v. Ferguson Consent Decree.

She is the first black woman in Washington University’s history to receive tenure. She recently was named the 2019 Woman of the Year by the Missouri Lawyers Media. Norwood is a graduate of Fordham University and received her law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“We are honored to host a scholar and advocate of Professor Norwood’s stature,” said Geoffrey Rapp, associate dean for academic affairs and Harold A. Anderson Professor of Law and Values at the UToledo College of Law. “Her insights into the limitations of the legal system for addressing persistent racial discrimination have had a profound impact on how we think about lasting and difficult questions.”

This free, public event is part of the Cannon Lecture Series that was established in 1980 to honor former Toledo attorney Joseph A. Cannon. The series hosts nationally known individuals who explore both the humanistic dimensions and limitations of the legal system.

Food and beverages will be provided. Livestream will be available through the UToledo Alumni Association.

For more information, visit the UToledo College of Law website.

Governor Appoints Two Trustees

A local attorney and dentist have been appointed to The University of Toledo Board of Trustees.

Richard S. Walinski, a lawyer who practices in the areas of contract, corporate and commercial litigation, was named by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to a full nine-year term ending July 1, 2028. He replaces Sharon Speyer, who concluded her term in June.

Walinski

Dr. Eleanore Awadalla, who leads Awadalla Dental, has been appointed to a term ending July 1, 2022. She will complete the remaining years of the term of Steve Cavanaugh, who resigned in June upon beginning his new role as ProMedica’s chief financial officer.

“We look forward to welcoming Mr. Walinski and Dr. Awadalla to the Board of Trustees,” UToledo President Sharon L. Gaber said. “As well-respected professionals in our community, they know firsthand the value The University of Toledo brings to our city and our region. We look forward to working with them as we continue our positive momentum.”

Walinski’s family has practiced continuously in the Toledo area for more than a century. He served as chief counsel to two of Ohio’s attorneys general, as chairman of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Rules Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Ohio Constitution Modernization Commission.

Awadalla

Walinski received a law degree from UToledo, and he was the founding editor-in-chief of The University of Toledo Law Review. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from UToledo.

Awadalla has 40 years of experience providing general, restorative and cosmetic dental services.

A graduate of Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry, Awadalla is a member of the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association, the Toledo Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the American Association of Dental Examiners.