The Year in Review

International Moot Court Team
2016 International Moot Court Team. (L-R) Carlos del Rio, Robert Swaby, Michael Sanchez, Gurhan Heinart, Brandon Mason, Marcya Burden


Wanda Akin and Raymond Brown with faculty and students

Wanda Akin and Raymond Brown from the International Justice Project with Dean Andrea Lyon and students

On January 14, 2016, speakers Wanda Akin and Raymond Brown from the International Justice Project discussed the narratives and human rights framework of Martin Luther King Jr. and how they can be applied to today’s world in their presentation, “Re-Examining the Arc of the Moral Universe: What Would MLK Say?”

In January 2016, the Valparaiso University Law School Susan J. Ferrell Intercultural Human Rights Moot Court Competition Team earned second-best team overall, missing first place by one point at the competition held in Miami. The competition featured simulated court proceedings dealing with international human rights law and policy.

The Monsanto Lecture on February 4, 2016 featured Professor Benjamin C. Zipursky from Fordham University School of Law. Professor Zipursky discussed, “Civil Recourse and Pragmatic Conceptualism in Tort Theory: The Case of Online Defamation.”

On February 9, 2016 Valparaiso University Law School was proud to release the video, “Do You Have the Courage?”

Valpo men's basketball

Valpo men’s basketball – 2016 Horizon League Champions

Valparaiso University Law School students, faculty, staff and alumni enjoyed “Law Day at the ARC” watching the Crusader men’s basketball team win the Horizon League regular season at the ARC vs Detroit on February 21, 2016.  The Crusaders led start to finish in a 90-74 victory over Detroit. Dean Andrea Lyon presented the game ball prior to tip-off.

March 6 – 9, 2016 Valparaiso University Law School and the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) hosted more than 150 public defender leaders, managers, and supervisors from around the country for a three-day Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute trained mid-level managers from more than 75 jurisdictions, with leaders from 26 states and seven federal districts

Dean Andrea Lyon with Evan Griffith

Dean Andrea Lyon with Evan Griffith

The keynote speaker was Evan Griffith who was arrested for murder in 1984 when he was just sixteen years old. He spent the next 29 years in prison fighting for his freedom. Released in 2012, Mr. Griffith spoke about his extraordinary life experiences. Today he is the Administrative Coordinator for the Executive Floor at the Exelon Corporation in downtown Chicago.

International Moot Court Team

2016 International Moot Court Team. (L-R) Carlos del Rio, Robert Swaby, Michael Sanchez, Gurhan Heinart, Brandon Mason, Marcya Burden

Based on their performance in intra-school competitions, the International Moot Court Price Media Law Team earned a spot in the international competition rounds in Oxford, England, March 30 – April 2, 2016.

Valparaiso University Law School earned an A- rating for Trial Advocacy in the Spring 2016 Edition of preLaw Magazine featuring the “Best Schools for Practical Training.”

Speakers with Glenn Tabor

Jordan Steiker, Glenn Tabor, Carol Steiker

On April 21, 2016, Carol S. Steiker, the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Jordan M. Steiker, the Judge Robert M. Parker Chair in Law, University of Texas School of Law, were the speakers at the Tabor Institute on Legal Ethics Lecture. The Steikers discussed, “The Ethics of the American Death Penalty: The Strongest (and the Weakest) Constitutional Attacks” and “The Ethics of Capital Punishment: A Half Century of Challenges and Evolving Constitutional Skepticism by SCOTUS.”

Professor Derrick Howard and Professor David Cleveland

Associate Deans Howard and Cleveland

In July 2016, Valparaiso University Law School Professor David R. Cleveland was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Valparaiso University Law School Professor Derrick Howard was named Associate Dean for Experiential Learning.


Little Red

“Little Red,” one of the pit bulls rescued from the fighting ring

On September 1, 2016, Valparaiso University Law School hosted a screening of The Champions movie, an inspirational story about the pit bulls rescued from the brutal fighting ring of former Atlanta Falcon star quarterback Michael Vick, and those who risked it all to save them. It is a story of second chances, redemption and hope. This uplifting documentary took viewers on a journey about much more than just dogs—The Champions addressed prejudice, being misunderstood, the power of resilience, and the significance of the relationship we as humans have with animals.




Dean Lyon and Professor Frederick Schauer

Dean Lyon and Professor Frederick Schauer

On September 8, 2016, Professor Frederick Schauer, the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, lectured at the Valparaiso University Law School Seegers Lecture on Jurisprudence. Professor Schauer discussed, “The Sources of Law” and highlighted disputes about what constitutes legitimate legal sources, the changing conceptions of the nature of legal reasoning, and the nature of law itself.

Valparaiso University Law School received a commitment for an endowed chair in law on September 23, 2016. The Law School is truly thankful for this support and investment in our law faculty.

2016 faculty teaching awards

Professor Rebecca Huss, Professor Robert Blomquist, Professor David Herzig, Professor Geoffrey Heeren

Congratulations to Professor Rebecca J. Huss, named the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Law, Professor Robert F. Blomquist, named the Seegers Distinguished Chair of Law, Professor David Herzig, named the Michael and Dianne Swygert Research Fellow, and Associate Professor Geoffrey Heeren, named the Michael and Dianne Swygert Teaching Fellow.

On October 13, 2016, Michael A. Olivas, the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and Acting President at the University of Houston – Downtown, presented the Robert D. Rucker Lecture at Valparaiso University Law School. Professor Olivas shared his expertise on Immigration Law and occupational licensing and discussed the complex challenges that unauthorized immigrants face, suggesting ways in which these issues can be resolved in the public interest.

28th annual Swygert Moot Court Compeition

28th Annual Judge Luther M. Swygert Moot Court Competition

Valparaiso University Law School hosted the 28th Annual Judge Luther M. Swygert Memorial Moot Court Competition on November 2, 2016. We are very grateful to our Judges; Judge Michael S. Kanne, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Senior Judge Robert C. Probst (’60 J.D.), Circuit Courts of Noble County, Indiana, and Judge Michael G. Gotsch, Sr, Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Valparaiso University Law School also thanks the Swygert Family for their continual support of the Judge Luther M. Swygert Memorial Moot Court Competition.

The 2016 Law Review Symposium examined immigration law on November 11, 2016. Leading national advocates, practitioners, and scholars gathered to discuss the most relevant aspects of immigration law today. The symposium considered three urgent matters that are impacting our communities: (1) for-profit detention, (2) immigration detainers, and (3) family detention. Panelists explored current policies and highlighted substantive solutions that will direct our immigration laws toward creative and prudent reform.

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Students, alumni, and staff working at the Greater Chicago Food Depository service project

On November 12, 2016, Valparaiso University Law School alumni and students gathered for a service project at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Participants helped create over 1,600 food packages which helped feed families in need throughout the Chicagoland region. Not only was this activity beneficial for those served, but it captured how exceptional Valparaiso University Law School alumni and students are and how they take being “Called to the Law” to heart in so many ways.

On November 21, 2016, the Law School’s annual SPAM Challenge Food Drive donated 847 cans of food to Hilltop Neighborhood House. The Law School is grateful for the wonderful work that Hilltop Neighborhood House does in the community and is proud to support its ongoing efforts.

Professor Faisal Kutty

Associate Professor Faisal Kutty

Valparaiso University Law School Associate Professor Faisal Kutty was presented with an Award of Excellence for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of Human Rights and Justice at the 2016 Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) Awards in Toronto. Professor Kutty was also named the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient, which recognizes and encourages excellence in the art of teaching.