Santa Ono became the University of Michigan’s 15th president in October. Previously, he served as president and vice chancellor at the University of British Columbia and president of the University of Cincinnati. Earlier in his career, he was an administrator and professor at Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, and University College London. President Ono is a molecular immunologist with a PhD from McGill University who specializes in experimental medicine related to eye disease.
“If court forces him to go through with the Twitter acquisition, Musk will almost certainly need to rely on his Tesla shareholdings as collateral for at least a portion of the acquisition price. If the Tesla shareholders lose their faith—perhaps worried that the distraction will cause Musk to take his eye off the ball—a steep drop in the share price of Tesla could put Musk in a very tight spot.”
—Adam Pritchard, the Frances and George Skestos Professor of Law, discussing the challenges ahead for Elon Musk as he attempted to back out of his signed deal to buy Twitter, as quoted in the August 2, 2022, Quartz article, “Who Should Elon Musk Be Afraid Of?” Musk’s purchase of the social media app was finalized in October.
The National Registry of Exonerations, co-founded by Samuel Gross, the Thomas and Mabel Long Professor Emeritus of Law, collects information about all known exonerations of wrongfully convicted defendants. The online database, which was established 10 years ago, seeks to document all exonerations going back to 1989.
Exonerations documented by the registry
Years lost to wrongful incarceration
Average Interviews Per Student
“If a school board or municipality finds some ideas worrisome and believes that keeping books off shelves will prevent students and adults from accessing them, then they may wish to acquaint themselves with a phenomenon called the internet.”
—Len Niehoff, ’84, a professor from practice, in a September 8, 2022, op-ed, “Banning books is an exercise in futility,” that was published in the Detroit Free Press. Niehoff, a First Amendment scholar, recently published Free Speech: From Core Values to Current Debates (Cambridge University Press, 2022).
of the Class of 2025 are people of color, the highest percentage in Law School history
Jim Hathaway, the James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law and director of the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law, retired from the Law School faculty in September. Hathaway, one of the world’s foremost experts on refugee law, is spending fall 2022 as a distinguished research scholar at Torcuato Di Tella Law School in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Michael Barr, dean of the U-M Ford School of Public Policy and the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law, was sworn in as vice chair for supervision and a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in July. Barr, who earlier served as the US Department of the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Sam Bagenstos, the Frank G. Millard Professor of Law who is currently on leave to serve in the Biden administration, was confirmed as general counsel for the US Department of Health and Human Services in June. Previously, he served as general counsel for the White House Office of Management and Budget beginning in January 2020.
Roseanna Sommers, an assistant professor of law whose research examines the intersection of psychology and the law, conducted research on the Diag during the 2022 Ann Arbor Art Fair in July. Sommers partnered with Nick Camp, an organizational studies professor at the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, to collect data and generate public interest in psychological science. More than 1,000 fairgoers completed surveys about moral dilemmas, voluntary consent related to police questioning, and other topics, in exchange for U-M swag and other prizes.
Camelia Metwally, ’22, was among 31 law students nationwide to be selected for the 2022 Immigrant Justice Corps Fellowship. Metwally will spend two years with Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia, which provides comprehensive services to immigrants and refugees, including legal protections, community integration, access to health and wellness services, and opportunities to achieve English language proficiency.
“Under Trump and even more so under Biden, there’s more of an appetite to litigate, even if they’ll possibly lose. The statements of interest are a warm-up for that.”
—Dan Crane, the Frederick Paul Furth Sr. Professor of Law, commenting on the Department of Justice’s increasing use of legal briefs to support private competition law cases, despite lacking the staffing resources to fully join the case, in an August 4, 2022, Bloomberg Law story.
“As only the third woman to receive this recognition, I hope it indicates that there will be more. It also means that challenging power is not fatal to your career, as ambitious young people are constantly—and not without reason—told it is, explicitly and tacitly.”
—Catherine MacKinnon, the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law, on receiving the Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence. MacKinnon is only the 26th winner in the 134-year history of the prize. The American Philosophical Society bestows the Phillips Prize, which recognizes outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of jurisprudence and important publications that illustrate that accomplishment.
In July, the newest class of Fiske Fellows gathered with Bob Fiske, ’55, and previous recipients at a Fiske Fellows Reunion in Washington, DC. The reunion celebrated 21 years of the Fiske Fellowship Program, which encourages young lawyers to enter government service by providing a cash stipend and covering all undergraduate and law school loan payments for three years.
The 2022 fellows are Nina Mozeihem, ’20, an honors attorney in the Office of the Solicitor at the US Department of Labor (DOL); Julia Hayer, ’20, who also serves as an honors attorney in the DOL’s Office of the Solicitor; Luke Berdahl, ’22, a first lieutenant in the US Marine Corps who intends to serve as a judge advocate in military service; and James Kirwan, ’22, who joined the National Labor Relations Board’s Board-side Honors Program.
“I’m talking about our sense of wonder. As children, we first experience its joyfulness, this sense of possibility—childlike imagination. It’s a superpower. And I’m going to challenge you to unleash yours…. Wonder starts in our gut, it flows to our heart, and it sparks our mind into action.”
—Brad Keywell, ’93, during his keynote address at the U-M Ross School of Business commencement in April. Keywell is the founder and executive chairman of Uptake, an industrial analytics platform powered by artificial intelligence, and the co-founder of e-commerce company Groupon, among other entrepreneurial ventures. He is pictured, at right, in conversation with U-M Regent Mark Bernstein, ’96.
During new student orientation in August, the Hon. Gershwin Drain, ’72, led 1Ls and LLMs in the annual Commitment to Integrity.
In June, Professor Leah Litman, ’10, joined a roundtable discussion with Vice President Kamala Harris and other experts in the fields of constitutional law, privacy, and technology to discuss reproductive rights related to the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. (She is pictured on the monitor.) She also testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in response to the Dobbs decision in July. “I am here to explain how the Court’s decision overruling Roe v. Wade represents a challenge to the rule of law, and is already having dramatic consequences on American lives,” said Litman, who was elected to the American Law Institute in July. “The decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is part of a trend in Supreme Court decision-making. The Court has engaged in a selective approach to precedent, history, the facts, and to standard components of legal reasoning. The resulting unpredictability chills people’s ability to exercise their constitutional rights, and it chills institutions’ ability to protect those rights outside of the courts.”
Photo provided as a courtesy of the White House
“Will the next Supreme Court justice be a veteran, or is the Court on the verge of becoming a nonveteran echo chamber for years, perhaps decades, to come? That risk is palpable, as the average age of appointed justices is trending lower. Whether that decision will fall upon President Joe Biden (whose deceased son, Beau Biden, was a veteran) or his successor, I pray that we keep on the Court an important demographic associated with defending freedom: the US veteran.”
—Matthew N. Preston II, ’21, in an April 15, 2022, USA Today op-ed about the unique perspective that military veterans bring to jurisprudence. With Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement, Justice Samuel Alito is the only member of the US Supreme Court who has served in the military.
Claire Madill, ’15, is clerking for Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson for the 2022–2023 term. Previously, Madill was an appellate public defender at the Palm Beach County Public Defender’s Office and a staff attorney in the Special Litigation Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She also held clerkships with the Hon. Alison Nathan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Hon. William Fletcher of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Madill is the 27th Michigan Law graduate to secure a US Supreme Court clerkship since 2000.
“Leaking a draft court opinion is not a crime in itself. Unlike classified information, a draft legal opinion is not protected from disclosure under penalty of law.”
—Professor Barbara McQuade, ’91, in a May 2022 PolitiFact story regarding a leaked draft of a Supreme Court majority opinion. The draft closely mirrored the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was handed down the following month and overturned the landmark abortion rights cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.