Published on June 7, 2022 by Morgan Black
Cumberland School of Law faculty and alumni have research and articles published in national and international journals and legal sources on a regular basis. And, when students have their work selected for publication, the quality of a Cumberland School of Law education really shines. Recently, a rising third-year student and two members of the class of 2022, were selected to have their work published by some of the nation’s top recognized legal sources and each attributed their success to the support of the law school’s faculty and staff.
Rising third-year student Varro "James" Clarke’s article, “Bias by Osmosis,” will be published by Carolina Academic Press as a chapter in a book titled Integrating Doctrine & Diversity: Inclusion & Equity Beyond the First Year.
Clarke’s work is a study of the 174 textbooks most commonly assigned in law school’s doctrinal courses which illuminates a demographic disparity; only 9% of the authors were not white and 17% were not men. In his writing, Clarke asserts that the fact that the authors of legal textbooks are disproportionately white and male has been ignored or excused to the detriment of students and the clients they will eventually serve. To begin his article, Clarke highlights the demographics of legal textbook authors, then briefly argues that diversity improves scholarship in all areas of the law and is not limited to subjects that focus on so-called “minority issues.” The third and final section offers workable solutions for stakeholders at all levels: publishers, law school administrators, professors and students. Specifically, Clarke advocates for the adoption of peer learning programs before dispelling the fears professors may have about teaching a course without a textbook.
Clarke said, “I began studying this topic when I became aware of the pervasive gender and racial inequity in legal scholarship. Professors Albin and Hogewood, as well as the incomparable staff in the Beeson Law Library, helped me greatly with my research. Cumberland's LLR program, Professor Taffe specifically, gave me the tools to undertake an ambitious research project like this. The legal research and writing program at Cumberland is one of the school’s great strengths. It is an asset to the students, the school, and the entire legal community.”
“Copyright and Federalism: Why State Waiver of Sovereign Immunity is the Best Remedy for State Copyright Infringement,” written by Johnston Ellis ’22, was selected for publication in the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property. In his article, Ellis discusses copyright infringement claims against state entities and argues that the copyright owners are left without a legal remedy. His article primarily focuses on a recent Texas Supreme Court case, Jim Olive Photography v. University of Houston, that attempted to get around the sovereign immunity issue by raising a Takings claim against the university because the school infringed on Olive's copyright. The case, Allen v. Cooper, is why Olive brought the Takings claim because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Allen that sovereign immunity barred copyright owners from suing the state for copyright infringement. In Jim Olive, the Texas Court held that copyright infringement was not a Taking.
Ellis said, “The way Cumberland prepared me for success came in a few different ways: Professor McFarlin was the person who made my Copyright class aware of the Texas Supreme Court case, and he was the one who helped polish my thesis for the paper. Dean Evans allowed me to take the extra hour last semester, and with that hour I was able to write the paper. There are other professors, such as Professors Martin and Ross, and adjuncts, such as Professor Jackson, who encouraged their students to think creatively about legal issues to find solutions to problems. It was this way of thinking that allowed me to create my ultimate argument and produce the final result.”
Adil Khoso ’22 was involved with numerous special sections and committees of the American Bar Association (ABA) during his entire time as a Cumberland School of Law student. Over the last few years, Khoso has had several works published by the ABA Student Law Division including “Westlaw: There is research and then there is re-search,” “Westlaw research: Using segment search techniques with terms and connectors,” and “Westlaw research: Using the mini-search tool strategically. Additionally, the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section spotlighted Khoso in their Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Committee’s Fall/Winter 2021 Newsletter. He is currently working on a podcast collaboration concerning providers being subjected to vicarious liability stemming from nurses’ actions. In addition, Khoso is working with several national legal scholars on a piece that will highlight the value of an independent organization setting high ethical standards for neutrals.
Khoso said, “All law schools have great, if not remarkable, professors; however, Cumberland School of Law has phenomenal professors that go above and beyond their roles to help students succeed. To provide an example of how one professor has changed my life would be doing a disservice to the many others that have contributed equally to helping me create a better me. Having that said, Cumberland professors are incredibly welcoming. They take their time to make sure all your questions are answered either in class or in their office. They do not shy away from a topic but encourage you to think critically from an unbiased point of view. Cumberland professors become your advocates when you are seeking a career. They are eager to provide you with all the support they can offer, and when that is not enough, they might even refer you to someone who can. This is what makes Cumberland School of Law more than a law school. It makes Cumberland an institution you call your second home. What began as a three-year track to obtaining my J.D. turned into a journey where I earned my J.D. and found a second family. Thus, taking all of that together with the endless wisdom provided to me by my second family, Cumberland School of Law, prepares you to be a detailed-oriented, critical thinker with a passion for expanding upon your hunger to effectuate change that matters.”
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