[Fall 2003 |
Premiere issue - Fall 1998 ]
Spring Semester 2004
Inside This Issue:
Legal Briefs is published by:
The Legal Studies Program
University of Delaware
219 McDowell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Message from the Director
Welcome to the Spring 2004 issue of Legal Briefs! In this
newsletter, which is published periodically, we hope to keep
students, faculty, and alumni informed about activities in
the Legal Studies Program at the University of Delaware. The
Legal Studies Program sponsors law-related talks, courses,
an undergraduate minor in the field of Legal Studies, and
a new graduate certificate program. Every spring, we hold
an undergraduate paper competition and a graduate student
seminar for law-related papers. All academic year long we
sponsor seminars and talks on topics of interest to students
of legal studies. Through our activities, we hope to bring
more attention to compelling legal issues in the University
This year we’d like to begin getting University of
Delaware alumni who work in the field of law involved in the
Legal Studies Program. Many students are interested in hearing
about UD alumni who’ve gone on to legal careers —
like alumni Krista Milchovich and Georgi Daugherty, who are
featured in this issue. So, to UD alumni who have practiced
in the field of law, we’d love to hear from you and
would welcome your offers to tell us about yourselves and
to speak to our students!
We are planning some exciting talks and other
activities for the coming year right now, so please watch
for notices about upcoming events on our website, www.udel.edu/Legal.Studies,
the University of Delaware UpDate (UD's on-line news service),
and the student paper The Review. If you’d like to be
on a mailing list for notices, please let us know. We look
forward to hearing from you!
Gun Control Conference
On October 23, 2003, the University of Delaware Legal
Studies Department sponsored a Gun Control Conference
in 155 Purnell Hall that featured five guest experts
on the question, “Should America strengthen its
gun control laws?”
The panelists, professors from schools on the east
coast, were each given nine minutes to present their
responses to this question. Because they represented
different scholarly disciplines, they provided an interesting
variety of positions on America's gun control policies.
Philip Cook, a Professor of Economics from Duke University,
noted the current widespread availability of firearms
in the United States as a major source of the problem.
"Criminals' demand for guns is elastic," said
Cook, "and to decrease gun violence, we must make
guns a liability for criminals, rather than the best,
most cost-efficient weapon available."
Kristen Goss, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Government
from Georgetown University, cited the lack of a visible
gun control movement in this country as one of the main
reasons reform is not taking place. According to Goss,
"Until pro-controllers stop being intimidated by
the more vocal pro-gun minority, there will not be an
even playing field and necessary research on new gun
control policies will not be funded.
Linda DeGutis, an Associate Professor
of Emergency Medicine and Public Health at Yale University,
agreed that an extensive research effort is needed to
determine the causes behind America's gun violence problem
before effective harm reduction can take place.
Ohio State University Professor of History Saul Cornell
did not attempt to provide a solution to the gun problem,
speaking instead about the history of the Second Amendment.
Cornell reminded the audience that late eighteenth century
America was a different time, and in light of the very
real threat of British invasion, bearing arms was less
of a right than it was an obligation. Cornell then gave
a brief summary of the regulations passed since the
drafting of the Second Amendment in an effort to bring
it up to date with modern society.
The last speaker of the night was James Jacobs, a Professor
of Constitutional Law at New York University Law School.
Jacobs proposed that we "smarten" our gun
control laws rather than strengthen them. He pointed
out that many current "strong" policies, such
as sentence enhancement and the felon in possession
law, have proven largely ineffective. Jacobs said that
he believes an obvious first step in controlling guns
and gun violence is to limit their availability, perhaps
allowing the purchase of only one gun per person each
After the panelists had presented their arguments,
the discussion was opened up to questions from University
of Delaware Professors Eric Rise and Joe Daniel, as
well as from the general audience.
Faculty Profile: Joan
English Professor Joan Del Fattore came to the University
of Delaware in 1979, immediately after completing a
Ph.D. in English and an M.S. in Psychology at Pennsylvania
State University. Involved with the Legal Studies Department
for a number of years, she teaches courses that marry
the two disciplines in complementary ways, often focusing
upon her primary area of expertise, First Amendment
issues in public schools.
It was while teaching a summer literature course for
high school teachers in the mid-1980s that Del Fattore
discovered the calling that would guide her research
and work as an educator from that point on. During a
routine reading of Romeo and Juliet, Del Fattore was
astounded to discover that two teachers reading from
their own high school textbooks were unable to follow
along because more than 400 lines had been removed from
the play without any indication that such an excision
had been made.
Del Fattore was inspired to research how these changes
were made, and what other works had been silently censored
in this way. "After all," said Del Fattore,
"if the publishers could do that to Shakespeare,
they could do it to anybody."
In 1992, Professor Del Fattore published her findings
in her book, What Johnny Shouldn't Read: Textbook Censorship
in America (Yale University Press). The book enjoyed
tremendous success and won numerous prestigious awards,
including the Outstanding Book of the Year Award from
the American Educational Research Association. Del Fattore's
next book, due out in Spring 2004 from Yale University
Press, will be called The Fourth R: Conflicts Over Religion
in America's Public Schools.
Professor Del Fattore enjoys teaching about freedom
of speech and freedom of religion because "they
are both so inherently interesting" while at the
same time they present many complex questions to students
who may not have studied the law before taking her class.
She says that the fact that most students find the material
stimulating is a major reason for her own enjoyment
of those courses.
Del Fattore's love of challenging and engaging her
students through the study of tough First Amendment
issues crosses over into her writing as well. "It's
fun to write books about topics I care about,"
says Del Fattore, "so that I feel like grabbing
people by the front of the shirt and saying, 'Look at
this! What do you think about this? I mean, it really
Alumna Profile: Krista
Krista Milchovich graduated from the University of
Delaware in 1993 with a double major in Psychology and
Criminal Justice. She was also one of the first students
at the University to receive a minor in Legal Studies,
a program developed by Professor Valerie Hans. Krista
says that it was the lessons she learned in the classes
for this minor that sparked her interest in the law.
After graduating from the University of Delaware, Krista
enrolled in Widener School of Law. Soon after Widener,
she established her own practice in Newark, right near
her old campus. She deals mostly with real estate, wills,
and corporate law.
Although she did not think that she would end up working
in Newark, she loves it. She finds that having a practice
on Delaware Avenue is very convenient, and that being
so close to Main Street provides a great escape from
the office at times.
Krista has been lucky enough to help some local merchants
start businesses on Main Street. She enjoys watching
the progress of the merchants and seeing the final product
of a store develop.
Having a practice so close to the University also provides
students with a great place to intern. Krista says that
it is really fun to teach students about the law and
that all of the interns have a real interest in what
they are learning. She finds their eagerness to learn
Once the interns leave the firm, Krista keeps in touch
with many of them and likes to watch their progress.
In fact, the Delaware Bar Association recently certified
one of her former interns on the 15th of December.
Krista is very happy for now, and she hopes to stay
in a place where she can have her own practice. She
doesn't want to join a large firm because she enjoys
practicing low stress law and providing regular services
for the community. Ten years after graduating with a
minor in Legal Studies, Krista is both successful and
Young Alumna Profile:
Georgi Daugherty graduated from the University of Delaware
in 2002 with a double major in Economics and German.
Although she wanted to go to grad school in business,
she wasn't sure enough about her math skills to pursue
a degree in finance or economics. She decided instead
on law school, applied to the University of Pennsylvania,
and enrolled there in fall 2002.
Georgi enjoys learning about civil and criminal procedure
and developing a closer understanding of the complexity
and practicality of the law. After graduation from Penn,
she hopes to practice corporate law since she enjoys
analyzing "white c0llar crime," and knows
that it will be a good way to pay off those loans that
fund her education.
Over the summer, Georgi worked as a clerk for the family
court. While working, she answered an ad from a man
who needed research assistance. He was so impressed
with Georgi's work that he asked her to assist him in
writing his contract because he was not fully skilled
in the English language.
Georgi learned a great deal about the ins and outs
of intellectual property and learned the importance
of having a lawyer for representation. She also came
to understand that, because so many facets of the law
are beyond the common citizen, it is almost impossible
for someone to represent themselves in a legal case.
So far, she has found that the skills she developed
in technical writing at Delaware have been very important
in her career as a law school student. For any students
hoping to go to law school or become lawyers, Georgi
suggests that they become a paralegal for a year and
talk to other law school students and lawyers.
She enjoys law school, but she wants other students
to be warned about the physical, emotional, and academic
rigors that it entails. Although she has learned some
very practical life lessons in law school, Georgi is
excited about finishing her education at Penn and getting
out into the world to practice law.
Alumni! Please write and let us know
what you have been up to!
Legal Studies Program
University of Delaware
219 McDowell Hall
Newark, DE 19716