A National Academies committee chaired by University of Virginia School of Law professor Margaret Foster Riley released a report that recommends including pregnant and lactating women in clinical research. The news is among other achievements and recognition for members of the Law School community.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s report “Clinical Research with Pregnant and Lactating Populations: Overcoming Real and Perceived Liability Risks,” released April 10, was commissioned by the National Institutes of Health. The report says pregnant and lactating women are excluded from most clinical studies but found limited exposure to legal liability in including them and suggested that omitting these women poses a greater risk.

“The current reality facing many pregnant and lactating women who are deciding whether to use an approved drug or medical treatment is that they are essentially taking part in a large and uncontrolled safety experiment,” Riley said in a statement.

The report’s release was accompanied by Riley’s article “Including Pregnant and Lactating Women in Clinical Research: Moving Beyond Legal Liability,” published in JAMA.

Riley is the Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor at the Miller Center, professor of public health sciences at the School of Medicine, professor of public policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and director of the Law School’s Animal Law Program.

Mock Trial Winners Announced

Mock Trial students
The Cavalier Classic Intramural Mock Trial Tournament introduces first- and second-year law students to trial advocacy. Courtesy photo

The student-run UVA Law Mock Trial Association announced the winners of the Cavalier Classic Intramural Mock Trial Tournament on April 3. The winning team included first-year law students Brian Curtis, Nicole Emory, Brad Lewinski and Lia Newman. Preston Bowden, Laura Hopman, Julianna Kantner and Maggie Walker comprised the runner-up team. Individual awards were presented to Morgan Gibbs for best closing argument, Nicole Kassabian for best direct examination, Kantner for best overall advocate, Lewinski for best opening statement and Reese Simpson for best cross-examination.

The tournament, which concluded March 27, introduces first- and second-year law students to trial advocacy and aims to enhance interest and performance in extramural competitions, according to the Mock Trial Association.

3Ls Named Ethics Fellows

Zachary Griffith ’24 and Sophia Hernandez Tragesser ’24 were among 14 law students chosen for the 2024 Law Program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics on April 3. Fellows participate in a two-week program in Germany and Poland, which uses the conduct of professionals in Nazi-occupied Europe as an initial framework for approaching ethical responsibility in the professions today, according to a press release.

ACS Recognizes 2Ls for Leadership

Mason Davenport ’25 and Anthony Valdez ’25 were named 2024 Next Generation Leaders by the American Constitution Society on April 11. The program recognizes and supports law school students who have shown exceptional leadership in their work with their ACS student chapters, according to a press release.

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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