Archive for ""
Where: 97A Hoyt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217 (map)
In 2010 Mile End, a Montreal Jewish delicatessen, was voted best deli in New York by New Yorker magazine. I’m assuming many of you have been there for lunch or dinner (if you haven’t I would be more than happy to write a review of their lunch entrées), but I did not know this local gem served breakfast. My sister was in town from Ohio and I wanted to take her somewhere impressive, delicious and close. Mile End was my first thought. We got there a little too early for lunch, but then the lovely hostess announced they had breakfast. I wanted to hug her around the waist. The breakfast there is just as lovely as the lunch.
Though the menu is small there is a mix of the strange and familiar so we still had a hard time deciding what to get. We opted for two coffees, smoked meat hash and something called a bagelach. First of all the coffee is, in my opinion, the best coffee around the law school. They French press Stumptown coffee and serve it piping hot in enormous mugs. Honestly, I know that law students are coffee snobs, but this is by far the best in the neighborhood.
Our food came relatively quickly. The hash was an impressive display of over easy eggs, roasted potatoes, onion and lots of smoked meat. It was divinely hearty and delicious. I suppose the best smoked meat in the city equal the best hash. I didn’t even need any salt, pepper or hot sauce. My sister got the bagelach, which is a half-moon shaped pastry. The best way I can describe it is as a cheese Danish, only far tastier. The pastry was incredibly flakey and buttery and the sides of sour cream and fresh peach jam were the perfect compliments.
The décor of Mile End is bright, airy and very hipster Brooklyn. The hostess is always friendly. You can watch your food being prepared as the kitchen is in the same room as the dining area. They even have a walk-up window in case you need your Mile End coffee fix, as I find I do some days. Mile End gets incredibly crowded for lunch, but the breakfast crowd is a little smaller. If you try one place around the law school for breakfast this year, I would really advise you try Mile End. It’s right up the street and beyond delicious.
I am looking for babysitters for my 1.5-year-old daughter. We live in Brooklyn Heights and have regular needs for sitters. If interested, please send me an email saying so and describing your sitting experience. My email address is email@example.com.
Victoria Szymczak, library director and assistant professor of law, left BLS on September 15, leaving yet another gap in a directorial position at the school. Reference librarian Jean Davis has taken over as interim library director while the school searches for the right candidate to take Szymczak’s place.
Professor Szymczak taught Advanced Legal Research and International and Foreign Law Research in addition to her library director duties. She had worked in the library for 16 years, previously as emerging technologies librarian.
Professor Aaron Twerski, head of the library director search committee, said the committee interviewed eight candidates and has so far invited two of those in to meet with a select group of students.
“They were very fine candidates,” he said.
Prof. Twerski said he hopes that the faculty will make a selection within a month and that the new library director will assume his or her role by January 2012. In addition to seeking candidates with strong experience as librarians and as library administrators, Prof. Twerski said the search committee — which also consists of Profs. Larry Solan and Jayne Ressler — is looking for candidates with “a vision for the changing nature of libraries — because libraries are changing rapidly.”
According to Prof. Twerski, the library director is responsible for managing a large budget and staff, and negotiating with — mostly digital — vendors. Especially at a self-standing law school like BLS, he said, it is important to be able to acquire interdisciplinary materials.
In an email, Interim Library Director Jean Davis wrote: “This fall, the BLS Library staff and I are working hard to perform tasks ranging from collection development to implementation of ‘best practices’ for our new ILLiad electronic interlibrary loan system. Providing a high level of service to our patrons is important to us.”
Prof. Szymczak will become the library director at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii.
As expected, the search for the library director has not been as high-profile as the dean search, which is about to launch in phase “2.0,” according to dean search committee member Prof. William D. Araiza. Prof. Araiza appeared at a student voices session last Tuesday to answer students’ questions about that search. He said Dean Search 2.0 will consist of a reconfigured job description and hopefully not duplicate the result that occurred in the spring. Prof. Araiza also named January 2012 as the month by which he hopes a new candidate will be chosen.
Looking to sell books? Trying to rent or lease an apartment or find a roommate? Want someone to walk your pet or babysit your kids? If you’re a member of the BLS community, email firstname.lastname@example.org and get your classified ads to appear here!
BLS’s Health Law and Policy Association (HLPA) took a trip to the movies on Monday, September 19th to see the new box office hit, Contagion. The group’s Executive Board thought it would be a good kick-off activity after the first General Body Meeting earlier that day and from the members that attended, the consensus is that it certainly was.
The cast alone could gather a packed crowd, but after watching just minutes of the film you instantly think about where your hands have just been and who is breathing too close to you.
The film follows one American woman’s return from Hong Kong and the rapid spread of a highly contagious and fatal disease across the United States and the globe. As the disease spreads, it mutates and the search for a vaccine becomes crucial. From conspiracy theories about pharmaceutical companies’ stake in the spread of the disease to the logistics of discovering, manufacturing, and distributing a vaccine worldwide, the film’s plot does not come across as far fetched in our own global economy. Where travelers can jump continents in hours and grocery stores stock food from faraway countries, the idea that such a devastating disease could hit all corners of the world and quickly seems quite plausible. Perhaps most fear inducing is the speed and access to the Internet where rumors spread quickly and do more potential harm than the actual disease.
The film hits on a number of legal issues for debate including the federal government’s role and its interaction with state health departments during a national healthcare emergency. Additionally, the intersection of domestic and global efforts to combat the spread of the disease is apparent with the relationship between the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. There is even a good First Amendment issue as the government tries to reign in a blogger that looks to be blurring free speech lines.
Overall, the movie gets a “thumbs up” from HLPA. Just after the showing, we had a quick discussion about our thoughts: mainly kudos for the plot and questions posed about whether the government can force you to take a vaccine, refuse to give you one if already sick, etc. There were also a few comments about the length of the film, suggesting it could have ended about thirty minutes sooner. It’s tough to tell if that is a fair criticism or if it is just the inevitable feeling of law students out on a school night. It should be shared nonetheless!
The event was a successful one and we hope this is just the first of many successful events this year. We are excited by the turnout of new and old members and looking forward to more Brooklyn HLPA events to come!
For inquiries about HLPA, please contact HLPA Secretary Nicole Fitzpatrick at email@example.com
In the ten years since 9/11, the American government’s willingness to sacrifice civil liberties to preserve security has provoked fierce debate. On September 15, just a few days after nationwide ceremonies commemorated the tenth anniversary of the attacks, a panel of Brooklyn Law School faculty gathered at the Subotnick Center to discuss what freedoms Americans had lost in the war on terror. At the same time, the discussion celebrated the publication of Professor Susan Herman’s new book, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Professor Herman, who is also the president of the American Civil Liberties Union, began the discussion by sharing excerpts from her book, illustrating the dramatic impact this legislation has had on the day-to-day lives of Americans. “We started all this change in law after 9/11 without debate or discussion. There are lots of reasons to ask questions … and now is the time to start doing that.”
Professor Derek Bambauer shared his thoughts on the impact 9/11 has had on the Internet: “The Internet before 9/11 was the domain of Pets.com, and after 9/11 one of WikiLeaks.” And the ripple effect goes far beyond our Internet domains. As Professor Maryellen Fullerton explained, in commenting on a controversial provision in the Patriot Act that outlaws providing “material support” to a terrorist organization, “the standards of material support have defined terrorist organizations so broadly that almost any group may fall into that category.” Prof. Fullerton remarked that regardless of the immense impact these “material support” laws have had on immigration and the funding of non-profit groups worldwide, unfortunately, “Congress has shown no interest in narrowing the law.”
Professor Nelson Tebbe acted as moderator and discussed the effects of anti-terrorist legislation on the free exercise of religion: “How easy is it to tell if government is targeting terrorists or Muslims? … The power of [Professor Herman’s] book is that she shows through stories of real people … how difficult it is to [distinguish] between these two things.”
The well-attended discussion sparked a stimulating conversation between panel members as well as members of the audience. “It was a great mix of perspectives on a topic we’ve already heard so much about,” said Jason Stewart, ’13.
Sean Hymowitz, ’12, asked the panelists to comment on the TSA Secure Flights program. “Is it going to get better? Because I don’t like taking my shoes off,” he said, generating laughs from the audience. Prof. Herman responded by pointing out that she covered that topic in her book, and referred specifically to one story of one twenty-two year old who was interrogated for five hours by a TSA official because he carried Arabic-English flashcards onto the plane.
As the discussion drew to a close, Interim Dean Michael Gerber asked a poignant question: is there any optimistic outlook we can take from the current trend? The panelists looked to one another before Professor Bambauer spoke up: “It’s hard to tell anything but a pessimistic story … but perhaps our lens is not broad enough yet.” To this Professor Herman added, “if we can’t change these laws while we have a former Constitutional Law professor in office… it’s not going to happen. This doesn’t mean change isn’t possible [but] politicians are not going to do it. It’s up to us.”
Listen to a podcast with Prof. Herman about her new book, courtesy of the BLS Library Blog.
Prof. Yakowitz submitted an amicus brief in IMS Health v. Sorrell, a case decided by the Supreme Court in June, in which the Court struck down a Vermont law restricting certain data mining activities. Her brief argued that the current standard required by HIPAA to anonymize health data is sufficient to protect patients’ privacy. You can read more about the case and Prof. Yakowitz’s analysis here.
Before coming to BLS, Prof. Yakowitz directed a research project at UCLA School of Law called Project SEAPHE.
BLSA: Can you tell us how you got where you are– what got you interested in law, what made you decide to teach, and what brought you to Brooklyn?
JY: I entered law school for no particularly good reason. I guess I was one of those default law students. I went straight after college, and I majored in math when I was in college, so this was quite a departure from my original training and that’s what I liked about it. I was tired of toiling away on theoretical math and wanted to learn more about people. I ended up taking a class on empirical legal studies, which asks whether empirically laws do what they think they’re designed to do. It was data-driven research, so it was a great way for me to combine skills from my math training with some of the harder and I think more interesting problems in legal studies.
I ended up running an empirical research project [Project SEAPHE] at UCLA for 3 years, doing my own data-driven research. And in the process of doing that I also ended up doing more lawyering than I thought I would because one of my responsibilities was putting together a brand new public data set that researchers could have access to in order to study legal education questions and also just general higher education questions. So that required me to learn more about data in a policy sense; I had to learn about privacy laws and public records, access laws — a lot of my interest in privacy actually came from an interest in doing data-driven research.
This was my first year teaching, which was wonderful. It was great. I love my students at BLS. Coming to BLS I had a chance to really build out my scholarship on data privacy. Now that I’m teaching law I end up sort of reaching back to past research that i’ve done on, say, bar passage or the importance of law school grades in the labor market for lawyers. I do end up taking advantage of my past research and I find it’s very useful to have hard statistics.
BLSA: What were the highlights of your findings at Project SEAPHE (Scale and Effects of Admissions Preferences in Higher Education)?
JY: The conventional wisdom is that you should always go to highest ranked [law] school that accepts you because firms like prestige. That used to be true, but employers have learned over past decades that someone who performs well at a lower ranked school will actually have stronger lawyering skills than a person at the bottom of the class in a higher ranked school.
BLSA: Onto your other area of expertise: data privacy. Privacy is a hot topic in Congress right now, with many advocates arguing for comprehensive data privacy legislation to protect consumers’ personal information. What is your position?
JY: I definitely think privacy is a real interest and there ought to be and will be times that privacy is a strong enough interest to counteract interest in information gathering and sharing. I’ve been following various bills attempting to tackle web surveillance technologies, and the vast collection of data mined from people using the Internet.
My position is not anti-privacy, but it’s a little more nuanced than the average privacy advocate. I think there are certain types of online information that can be collected without being especially creepy or offending our sense of privacy. If I’m communicating directly and purposefully with a website in some way then the website is a participant to the communication so I think that there’s a lesser privacy interest that I might have — so if I tell Pandora I like Radiohead, it’s not especially troubling to me that Pandora knows I like Radiohead. On the other hand, websites collect extremely detailed information that people are not aware of. I’m working on an article right now that considers whether tort law can come to the rescue.
BLSA: Do you have any particular thoughts on social networking privacy, and particularly in the legal profession? Do employers have the right to dig through applicants’ profiles and other info available about them online to help with hiring decisions?
JY: Social networking privacy is really difficult. I’m pretty close to saying it’s an oxymoron at this point. Any public facing profile is just public and one can’t have too high an expectation that others wont google them and find the information.
I’m also interested in discrimination law, and privacy and discrimination are close cousins. I don’t think that social networking profiles should be off limits because I think employers face difficult decisions. There is even tort liability for negligent hiring, so there’s some duty to make sure employees don’t pose risk. If [employers] feel it’s necessary to google an applicant to make sure there’s nothing that shows extremely poor judgment or other major red flags, they should delegate the googling task to an associate who is not in charge of the hiring decision, and that person should be given set of very narrow and specific questions to answer, and after answering those questions shouldn’t share or divulge any additional information about what they saw. That is the advice employment firms have been giving to their clients and I think that’s really good advice.
BLSA: Last but certainly not least, on a more personal note — how is the wedding planning going? Are you willing to share your plans?
JY: The wedding planning is going great. Professor Bambauer and I are both very happy.
Where: 80 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (map)
As law students we tend to look for three things when it comes to food: cheap, delicious and close. Teresa’s on Montague satisfies all three of those requirements. Nestled amongst the scattering of restaurants on that busy street, Teresa’s is home to many hearty Polish dishes at a wonderful price.
As this week was cold and rainy, I felt like some hearty food was in order. My boyfriend did a little research and found this gem right up the street from the law school, and since Polish always equals hearty, I knew it was exactly what was needed.
The interior of Teresa’s reminds you of your grandmother’s house. Really. It’s not fancy but very cozy; it feels like it should be in the middle of the old country instead of posh Brooklyn Heights. The staff is friendly, their speech is accented with a Slavic lilt, and we were seated quickly.
The menu is impressive — it ranges from perogies to a whole half of a roast chicken, to blintzes, cream soups and various cabbage dishes. Everything is within the 3-to-20-dollar range, and trust me you get A LOT of food for the price. As the day was dreary I opted for the cabbage soup ($4.95) and 4 boiled perogies (meat, cheese, potato and mushroom/sauerkraut) ($4.95). My dining partner opted for three potato pancakes ($4.95).
The cabbage soup came out first. Look, I know that cabbage soup sounds a bit disgusting, like the kind Charlie Bucket ate before he got to the chocolate factory. This soup, despite its reputation, was very hearty, with cabbage, large chunks of potatoes, bits