Category Archives: Events

Charlotte Law’s Immigration Law Society Hosts Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Sonia Nazario

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Tens and thousands of unaccompanied children every year have crossed our borders, fleeing the violence occurring in civil war-torn Central America. Carol Naples, CSL Immigration Law Society president realizes that the plight of these children is a humanitarian crisis, which we can help alleviate. As a result, on April 10, during Law Week, through Naples’ unrelenting efforts, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of national bestseller, Enrique’s Journey, Sonia Nazario addressed CSL students on how they can help alleviate this humanitarian crisis.

Nazario is an award winning journalist who spent over 20 years reporting and writing about social issues for various U.S. newspapers.  Nazario originally wrote about Enrique’s Journey as a series in the L.A. Times, which won her the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. Random House turned Enrique’ Journey into a book that became a national bestseller. In 2014, when there was an influx on unaccompanied minors at the border, Nazario went to Honduras to report on the crisis and her article was published in the N.Y. Times. Nazario consequently addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Nazario has received various awards such as the George Polk Award for International Reporting, National Association of Hispanic Journalists Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award, and Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Nazario has been featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, NBC’s Meet the Press, and Anderson Cooper 360. Most recently, Nazario was named a 2015 Champion for Children by First Focus, and the 2015 Golden Door winner by HIAS Pennsylvania.

There were about forty students including Professor Nunez and Professor Judge Holmes-Simmons in attendance. Nazario spoke about what inspired her to write about Enrique’s journey and other broader immigration issues. Enrique’s Journey tells the story of a boy from Honduras and his quest to find his mother in the U.S. During the podcast event, Nazario talked about the personal risks she took by traveling with these young immigrants, retracing Enrique’s multiple attempts to find his mother. “I discovered that children were getting killed, maimed, abused en route by drug traffickers or gangs,” said Nazario. These children were then treated as criminals in the U.S. if they survived the trip.

After this experience, “situations like Enrique’s was a refugee crisis and not an immigration crisis,” said Nazario.

Kelvin Smith, a 2L attending the event shared his gratitude towards Naples for her efforts in providing Charlotte Law students an opportunity to ask Nazario questions about her book. Smith was enrolled in Professor Judge Holmes-Simmons, Undocumented Children and the Law course during fall of 2014 and was very excited about the opportunity. Nazario’s book is “a great insight to the dangerous journey thousands of children take each year from their home country to the United States seeking to reunite with family,” said Smith.

Graciela Mateo, a 2L and officer of the Immigration Law Society, was first introduced to Nazario’s book in her Latin American Studies class at UNC-Charlotte. Getting to meet Nazario and hearing her point of view was an eye opening experience for Mateo. She was amazed as to how open Nazario was about her journey and writing this story. “I think I was shocked to hear that she now suffers from PTSD,” she said. “It was admiring to hear how Nazario wanted to tell the truth and wanted to take this journey to keep the story authentic.” Mateo further shared.

Professor Nuñez, supervising attorney of the Immigration Law Clinic and attendee, was very impressed by Naples’ resilience to bring Nazario, a nation-wide known author and lecture to present to CSL students and inform them about immigrants and their plights. Professor Nuñez expressed his sincerest gratitude towards Naples work.  “Thanks to the perseverance and relentless of [Carol] Naples, who never saw any of the ‘unsurmountable’ obstacles but instead, the benefits to use all by having such a high caliber speaker before the CSL community.” “We are extremely grateful to Naples for exemplifying GRIT,” said Nuñez.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Sonia Nazario’s appearance at the Charlotte School of Law enhanced the schools understanding of the plight of the undocumented child. It was clear that Nazario truly experienced the difficulties and trials these children endure as they make their journey to the United States. “My class ‘Undocumented Children and the Law’ was given new meaning by her presence,” said Professor Judge Holmes-Simmons. To access the podcast event, contact naplesc@students.charlottelaw.edu.

Pictured: Immigration Law Society Treasurer addressing Sonia Nazario.

Pictured: Immigration Law Society Treasurer addressing Sonia Nazario.

~ Maritza T. Adonis ~

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Sports Law — Practice in Context

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Associate Professor Jonathan Fine’s Sports Law–Practice in Context class field trip (Apr 17, 2015)

On April 17, 2015, Charlotte Law’s “Sports Law — Practice in Context” class had the opportunity to tour the BB&T Ballpark and then held class in the club lounge. Earlier in the semester, the class worked on negotiation and drafting of certain provisions of a typical ballpark lease agreements.  The idea behind the tour was to give the students a hands-on view of some of the operational aspects of those lease agreements.

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April Sidebar and Coffee Event in the Law Library – From Matewan to the Upper Big Branch Disaster: The historical context, and current ramifications, of Caperton v. Massey

The history of coal mining in the United States is rife with drama – mining accidents, labor disputes, environmental issues, family feuds, not to mention greed and corruption.  Please join Professor Jason Huber on April 22nd, between 11-Noon in the East Reading Room of the CSL library as he discusses Caperton v. A.T.  Massey Coal Co., the U.S. Supreme Court decision which set the current judicial recusal standards.  Professor Huber will discuss the due process violations of that case and will also trace some of the history of coal mining in the U.S. and specifically in West Virginia.

If you can’t make it to the coffee talk, take a moment to check out our latest book display in the library!

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April 22nd is Earth Day. In recognition of the event, we have created a new book display in the hallway near the Library User Experience (LUX) desk. Below the “I Love You Planet Earth” poster are three shelves of books dealing with environmental law. The first highlights management of and advocacy for our natural resources. The second shelf includes books on the topic of sustainable development. The third shelf has resources concerning climate change. These materials are available for check-out.

~Susan Catterall & Betty Thomas~

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Follow Up to the Library’s March Coffee Talk and Sidebar

On Monday, April 23, Professor Barbara Bernier discussed the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Library’s monthly Coffee Talk and Sidebar. As part of the event, Professor Bernier showed a video clip of MSNBC journalist, Irin Carmon, interviewing Justice Ginsburg.  During the interview, Justice Ginsberg spoke about several issues which affect women in particular.  For those of you who were unable to attend the Coffee Talk, a link to the MSNBC interview is provided here.

After the video was shown, Professor Bernier encouraged a discussion on the unfinished business of women’s rights.  For those who would like to learn more about the state of women in the law and, in particular, the diversity within the federal judiciary, you will find current information on the following website.

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Charlotte School of Law’s Immigration Law Society to Host Pulitzer Prize Winner Sonia Nazario

Every spring, Charlotte School of Law’s (Charlotte Law) Student Bar Association (SBA) hosts a Law Week event. Law Week is executed by various student organizations through the sponsorship of the SBA. Each student organization is given the latitude to organize an event centered on a theme selected by the SBA. This year’s Law Week, scheduled for April 6-10, is themed: Practice Ready. Practice readiness is a central pillar of Charlotte Law’s mission. SBA President, 3L William “Marlowe” Rary II, M.Ed., selected this theme because he felt that “it [was] important that students [were] prepared to practice law upon entrance to the bar.” Through Marlowe’s efforts, this year’s Law Week consists of over ten student organizations representing a variety of practice areas. Some of the practice areas include: international, business, property, sports & entertainment, criminal, and immigration. Out of the plethora of events scheduled for that week, there is one event that is gaining traction from students and prominent members of the city of Charlotte’s greater community. This event is a podcast event hosted by Charlotte Law’s Immigration Law Society (ILS) featuring Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author of national bestseller, Enrique’s Journey, Sonia Nazario.

Nazario is an award winning journalist who spent over 20 years reporting and writing about social issues for various U.S. newspapers.  Nazario originally wrote about Enrique’s Journey as a series in the L.A. Times, which won her the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2003. Random House turned Enrique’ Journey into a book that became a national bestseller. In 2014, when there was an influx on unaccompanied minors at the border, Nazario went to Honduras to report on the crisis and her article was published in the N.Y. Times. Nazario consequently addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Nazario has received various awards such as the George Polk Award for International Reporting, National Association of Hispanic Journalists Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award, and Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Nazario has been featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, NBC’s Meet the Press, and Anderson Cooper 360. Most recently, Nazario was named a 2015 Champion for Children by First Focus, and the 2015 Golden Door winner by HIAS Pennsylvania.

Carol Naples, 3L and President of ILS, was introduced to Enrique’s Journey in fall 2014 as a student in the Honorable Holmes-Simmons, “Undocumented Children and the Law” course.  Judge Holmes-Simmons is currently a sitting judge for the U.S. Immigration Court in Charlotte.  Naples, an aspiring North Carolina and New Jersey Immigration Law attorney, was so touched by Enrique’s Journey that she emailed Nazario to express her gratitude. Naples informed Nazario that her book was being used for her class and told Nazario about her desire to have Nazario visit Charlotte School of Law. Nazario immediately agreed and was willing to reduce her standard speaking fees to make this request a reality.  Despite Naples’ unrelenting efforts, Naples and the ILS were unable to secure enough funding to bring Nazario to the law school. However, Naples’ efforts did not end there. Naples again reached out to Nazario and proposed a podcast option. Nazario recognizing Naples’ efforts, agreed to host a one hour podcast without charge.

This event is reserved solely for Charlotte Law administration, faculty, staff, students and immigration stakeholders in the community. Naples hopes that this event will encourage Charlotte Law to bring notable individuals, like Nazario, to Charlotte Law and the local legal community. Enrique’s Journey allowed for “open discussions centered on immigration, our legal system, and how we, as new attorneys, can become involved,” said Naples. “For those who have no desire to work in Immigration Law, I hope that this event will give them a glimpse of the humanitarian aspect of Immigration Law and possibly provide some insight into a field of law that encompass and influence other areas of law such as criminal and family law,” Naples said.

Charlotte Law thanks Nazario for her willingness to contribute to the successful implementation of SBA’s 2015 Law Week through the Immigration Law Society.

If you are an immigration stakeholder in the Charlotte community interested in attending this event, please contact Carol Naples at naplesc@students.charlottelaw.edu to RSVP by April 7.

For more information regarding Charlotte Law’s Law Week events, contact SBA President Marlowe at raryw@students.charlottelaw.edu.

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