Members of the University of Virginia School of Law community have recently been singled out for excellence. Among the accolades, a paper written by incoming professor Jay Butler won the Francis Deák Prize, awarded by the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law.

The Corporate Keepers of International Law,” examines the business of international law enforcement and grapples with the potential of corporations to serve as keepers of international law.

The award was presented March 26 at the conclusion of the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law.

The paper had been previously selected for the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum in 2019.

Butler, an expert in international law and corporate social responsibility, will join the UVA Law faculty in the fall from William & Mary Law School.

Federalist Society Honored

The Federalist Society at UVA Law was named winner of the James Madison Award for national student chapter of the year, the first back-to-back recipient. Among the Feddie Awards announced April 12, the student organization was also co-winner of the Samuel Adams Award for membership growth. Programming in the past year included 26 speaker events — including the annual originalism symposium in February — six faculty lunches, six professional development panels and 28 social events. A Q&A discussion the chapter hosted on abolishing the death penalty aired on C-SPAN.

‘Remedying Police Brutality’ Recognized

Mark D. Duda ’21 was named co-winner of the Virginia Law Review’s first Student Essay Competition on April 16 for his paper on criminal sentencing. “Remedying Police Brutality Through Sentencing Reduction,” published in the Virginia Law Review Online, argues for alleviating law enforcement misconduct by reducing the sentences of criminal defendants if they were victims of “unnecessary” police violence relating to the investigation of, or arrest for that particular charge.

Participants in the contest were asked to analyze how events in 2020 exposed shortcomings or previously misunderstood dynamics of the American legal system. John J. Martin, a third-year Columbia Law School student, was named co-winner for his paper “Mail-In Ballots and Constraints on Federal Power Under the Electors Clause.”

Immigration Moot Court Win

On Feb. 14, Alex Karahalios ’21 and Lauren Murtagh ’23 won the 2021 National Immigration Law Competition, held by New York University School of Law. NYU hosted 28 teams from 24 different law schools across the country. This year’s problem involved two issues in immigration law: whether failure to register as a sex offender is a crime involving moral turpitude making one eligible for removal, and if a noncitizen has a due process right to be made aware of discretionary relief from removal. U.S. Court of Appeals Judges Debra Livingston of the Second Circuit, Julio Fuentes of the Third Circuit and Morgan Christen of the Ninth Circuit presided. Karahalios and Murtagh defeated a team from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Student Tapped for ACS Program

Morgan Maloney ’22 is among 28 up-and-coming legal professionals who will be included in the American Constitution Society’s 2021 Next Generation Leaders program. Launched in 2007, the program identifies law school students who have demonstrated special leadership in their work with the society’s student chapters. Each year, 20 to 30 students are selected for the program.

Salzburg Cutler Fellows

Bao Kham Chau ’22, Pierce MacConaghy ’21, Robert Mathai ’22 and Charlotte McFaddin ’21 participated the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, which gives students from leading law schools the opportunity to establish connections in international law while expanding their interest. The UVA participants were among 53 law students representing 13 countries who attended the online seminar March 11-27.

UVA Law is among 14 top law schools in the program. Fellows received individual critiques on their student papers from faculty of the participating law schools, as well as further advice on how to seek publication in journals. This year’s papers covered diverse topics, ranging from cyberespionage to refugee rights, to the interaction between international law and environmental sustainability.

Think Tank Publishes Student’s Brief

Pierce MacConaghy ’21 co-authored a think tank brief on the effectiveness of cyber sanctions on malicious state actors. “Unpacking US Cyber Sanctions” was published by the research nonprofit Third Way on Jan. 29. “Congress should exercise its oversight function and raise a number of questions about the strategy and impact of cyber sanctions during budget and nomination hearings and meetings with the Executive Branch,” wrote MacConaghy and Allison Peters, former deputy director of Third Way’s National Security Program. “This should include raising the question as to whether sanctions should be used more to target cybercriminals.”

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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