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Providing Frontline Legal Assistance to the Villanova Community

 With the global pandemic forcing remote work and markets adjusting to the ensuing economic disruption, many Villanova Law students faced uncertain externship prospects and job loss this past summer. To provide students with meaningful and marketable experience, Dean Alexander quickly pivoted law school resources to create the innovative COVID-19 Legal Research Project. 

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Religious Liberty at the Supreme Court, 9/24

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center will host a discussion on recent Supreme Court developments surrounding freedom of religion and preview upcoming cases about religious freedom. Panelists will include Michael Moreland, University Professor of Law and Religion & Director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy and Stephanie Barclay, Associate Professor of Law at University of Notre Dame Law School.

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Red Mass 2020, 10/2

Join the Villanova Law community for the annual Red Mass with University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS as celebrant. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s celebration will be held virtually on Friday, October 2 at 7:00 p.m. The link to view this event will be made available on the Villanova Law website.

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Looking at the Pandemic Through a Legal Lens

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States in February 2020, Villanova Law Professor Todd Aagaard had planned to teach a climate change course during the upcoming fall 2020 semester. As cases surged around the country, he pivoted his approach and decided instead to focus on creating a new course on the legal aspects of the evolving crisis.

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Welcome Class of 2023

The Class of 2023’s Villanova experience began on August 12, 2020, when the 178 incoming students were split into three sections to complete a socially-distanced orientation. In a welcome address from Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean, students were urged to be leaders in the change that society is undergoing.

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Professor Chaim Saiman Elected Member of the American Law Institute

Villanova Law Professor and Chair in Jewish Law, Chaim Saiman, an expert on Jewish law, insurance law and private law, has been nominated and elected as a new member of the American Law Institute (ALI), the leading independent organization in the United States that produces scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law.

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Law and the Augustinian Tradition Lecture Series, 9/1

The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy welcomes Vincent Lloyd, Ph.D., Director of the Africana Studies Program & Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. In this virtual lecture, Lloyd will discuss his recently published article “Human Dignity Is Black Dignity.”

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A Full Circle Clinical Experience

From the moment Lauren Pugh ’20 stepped foot in Villanova Law as a prospective student, she knew she wanted to be a part of the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC). One of six in-house legal clinics at Villanova Law, students working in FLAC provide pro bono legal representation to farmworkers and their families.

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Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Welcomes Four New Faculty Members

Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, has appointed four new faculty beginning in the 2020-21 academic year. Itay Ravid and Emily Stolzenberg will begin their tenures as Assistant Professors of Law during the fall 2020 semester. Stephanie Sena will join Villanova Law as an Anti-Poverty Fellow, and Gilat Bachar is a new Visiting Assistant Professor of Law.

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Personal Passion to Lifelong Vocation

Annie McDermott ’21 entered law school with an enthusiasm for special education and disability law for low income people. As one of nine children raised by a single mother, including a brother with autism, McDermott experienced firsthand the many struggles of navigating the education, healthcare and disability services systems.

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Professor Teressa Ravenell Shares Civil Rights Expertise In Response to Death of George Floyd

Teressa Ravenell, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Professor of Law, participated in A History of Violence: Institutional Racism in Our Criminal Legal System which was organized in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by the American Constitution Society, the National Bar Association and the Society of American Law Teachers.

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On the Path to Public Service

A passion for public service is what led Austin Skelton ’21 to pursue a law career. The community and values that sold him on Villanova Law are now guiding him on his path to public service.

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Villanova Law building

A Message to Students from Dean Mark Alexander

On June 5, 2020, Dean Mark Alexander held a virtual conversation with law students to discuss recent events surrounding the death of George Floyd, and action going forward. He followed with a message to students and the Villanova Law community.

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New Virtual Practice Ready Series Prepares Students for Legal Practice

Millions of people around the world have been impacted in various ways by COVID-19, including law students. Nationwide, law students are facing uncertain job prospects and job loss as markets adjust to the economic disruption from the pandemic. Despite the current world crisis, Villanova Law students and recent graduates are continuing to gain valuable knowledge and skills this summer with the new virtual Practice Ready Series.

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Phil Harrinarine

Opening Doors with a Dual Degree

Phillip Harrinarine ’17 JD/MPA, a native of Trinidad, began law school with a passion for immigration law, but soon found himself interested in pursuing other opportunities outside of the traditional law firm practice.  He enrolled in the enroll in the JD/Master of Public Administration to further explore his passions and pursue his strengths.

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Professor Leslie Book and Georgetown Law File Joint Lawsuit Claiming CARES Act Intentionally Discriminates Against Children

Leslie Book, Professor of Law, worked with Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection to jointly file a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland challenging the CARES Act's exclusion of U.S. citizen children from the benefits of emergency cash assistance in response to the coronavirus pandemic, based solely on the fact that one or both parents are undocumented immigrants.

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Ask the Grad: Class of 2020

The Villanova University Charles Widger School is pleased to celebrate the graduates of the Class of 2020. Before they leave us on May 15, we asked members of the Class of 2020 to share more about their Villanova Law experience.

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Katherine Prudente '20

Access to Justice Equals Access to World 

Katherine Prudente ’20 was drawn to Villanova Law for the unique opportunities provided by its six in-house law clinics. It was only after she arrived and began working on her own cases in the Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic that she realized exactly how invaluable these experiences would be.

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Shea Rhodes

Shea Rhodes Awarded U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program Award

Shea Rhodes ’97 CWSL, Director of the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute) at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, was recently awarded a 2020-2021 U.S. Fulbright Scholar grant for the Fulbright-Schuman European Union Affairs Program by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Beginning in fall 2020, Rhodes will conduct research in Austria and Sweden for six months.

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Professor Michael Semes

Michael Semes Appointed Professor of Practice for the Villanova University Graduate Tax Program

Villanova University announced the appointment of Michael Semes as Professor of Practice for the Graduate Tax Program. In his new role, Semes will teach courses in the University’s nationally recognized graduate tax program, which is comprised of a Master of Law in Taxation (LLM) degree and a Master of Taxation (MT) degree, and is offered both on-campus and online.

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Ricky Schneider ’20 Receives Philadelphia Bar Association’s 2019 Public Interest Section Law Student Award

Ricky Schneider ’20 Receives Philadelphia Bar Association’s 2019 Public Interest Section Law Student Award

Ricky Schneider ’20 was selected as the Villanova Law recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 2019 Public Interest Section Law Student Award. He was recognized for his dedication to public service at the 2019 Public Interest Section Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception in Philadelphia. 

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Lawyers as Leaders

Learning to Lead with Values

Lawyers by trade are leaders. They are at the center of important decision making and have the power to change the life of a person, or even impact the lives of millions of people with a single case. But being a lawyer who leads requires skills that go beyond a traditional legal education. Villanova Law is dedicated to identifying, fostering and developing critical leadership skills in students through coursework and initiatives like Lawyers as Leaders.

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Austin Meo ’22 & Ryan Murphy ’22

Villanova Students Win Sixth Annual Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition

For the third time in the past four years, Villanova Law students won the Annual Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition. First-year students Austin Meo ’22 and Ryan Murphy ’22 were victorious over 48 competing teams from 39 schools across the United States and Canada in the simulated contract negotiations, which used real-life scenarios and actual upcoming NFL free agents. 

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The Toothman Family

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome 

Second-year law student Misty Toothman always knew she wanted to go to law school, but she took a less traditional path to get here than other law students. For many years, Toothman Toothman was dedicated to supporting her husband’s military career and raising their three children. Following his medical retirement, Toothman quickly became his fulltime caregiver, helping him recover from his physical and emotional injuries from war, in addition to raising their children. 

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Katherine Franke

Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 2/11

This year’s commemorative Martin Luther King, Jr. keynote address at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law will be presented by Katherine Franke, James L. Dohr Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University. Professor Franke will discuss her most recent book, “Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition.” This lecture will begin at 3:00 p.m. on 2/11 in room 201 of the Law School.

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The 2020 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium, 4/3

What will the new opportunities and challenges in the world of sports be in the next decade? The 2020 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Symposium will examine Sports in the New Decade, including topics such as the Olympics, athletes and social media, and emerging sports leagues. The symposium will kick-off with a one-on-one with Hall of Fame Sports Journalist and former ESPN anchor Bob Ley.

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Religious Freedom: A Global Conversation, 2/10

The McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy and the Villanova Political Theology Project welcome Michael D. McNally, Emilia Justyna Powell and Jolyon Thomas to discuss their new books exploring religious freedom and the intersection of law and religion in the global context.

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Todd Aagaard headshot

Professor Todd Aagaard Named Visiting Fellow at Resources for the Future

Todd Aagaard, Professor of Law, has been named a visiting fellow for the 2019-20 academic year at Resources for the Future (RFF), a nonpartisan environmental economics think tank based in Washington, DC. RFF’s mission is to improve environmental, energy and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement.

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23rd Annual Public Interest Fellowship Program Auction

23rd Annual Public Interest Auction, 2/22

Comprised of both silent and live auctions, the annual PIFP Auction is a highlight of the semester for students and alumni. It features items, baskets, and experiences donated by individuals and businesses throughout Greater Philadelphia and across the country. All proceeds from the event go toward providing fellowships to current students who commit their summers to performing public service legal work.

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Sixth Annual Fashion Law Symposium, 2/21

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law hosts the Sixth Annual Fashion Law Symposium, which will bring together lawyers and non-lawyers, focusing on the key players in the fashion industry. This year’s event will include discussions on how leaders of fashion companies interact with both inside and outside counsel to run some of the most successful businesses in the world.

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2020 Villanova Environmental Law Journal Blank Rome LLP Symposium, 2/7

2020 Villanova Environmental Law Journal Blank Rome LLP Symposium, 2/7

At the 2020 Villanova Environmental Law Journal Blank Rome LLP Symposium, representatives from shareholder activist groups, advisors, companies, attorneys, and academics will discuss the use of shareholder proposals to advance environmental objectives, including the proposed Rule 14a-8 amendments.

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Advocating on the Long Road to Justice

Advocating on the Long Road to Justice

Alum Thomas Gallagher ’89, Partner and Chairman at Pepper Hamilton LLP, worked with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project to exonerate John Miller, who has spent more than 20 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. 

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Katie Albanese '19 Wins Federal Circuit Bar Association Student Writing Competition

Recent Alum Wins Federal Circuit Bar Association Student Writing Competition

Katie Albanese ’19 was recognized at the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Annual Reception for winning the 2019 George Hutchinson Writing Competition with her paper titled “When is Enough Enough? What Constitutes an Adequate Written Description of Genus” on intellectual property matters.

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Karina Norwood ’21 and Cecilia Carreras ’21

Karina Norwood ’21 and Cecilia Carreras ’21 Win 60th Annual Theodore L. Reimel Moot Court Competition

After weeks of preparation and preliminary trials, the final round of the 60th Annual Theodore L. Reimel ’24 CLAS Moot Court Competition concluded on Thursday, November 21, 2019. After an impressive all-female final round, Karina Norwood ’21 and Cecilia Carreras ’21, who argued for the respondent, were victorious. 

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David Pejovic '21

Externship Provides Experience in Emerging Law Domain

Villanova Law provided David Pejovic ’21 an opportunity to prepare for the future with his summer externship, which he spent with a Philadelphia-based firm that specializes in cryptocurrency and related securitized digital assets. During his externship, Pejovic received hands-on experience in one of the newest facets of the legal sphere: blockchain law. 

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Mark Cerroni ’20, Chelsea Eret ’21, Rachel Levy ’21 & Austin Skelton ’21

Trial Team Members Named Best Advocates at Battle of the Experts

Rachel Levy ’21 and Austin Skelton ’21 were recently named Best Advocates at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law’s Battle of the Experts in Philadelphia. Levy and Skelton, along with other trial team members Mark Cerroni ’20 and Chelsea Eret ’21, competed against 16 of the top trial advocacy programs in the country on October 11-13.

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Juliana Clifton '21

On the Frontlines of Advocacy

Juliana Clifton ’21 has always had a passion for environmental affairs, from earning her BA in Earth and Environmental Sciences to becoming a Staff Writer for the Villanova Environmental Law Journal.  Her dedication solidified at Villanova Law thanks to completing a summer 2019 externship with the Clean Air Council in Philadelphia, in which she was a witness to the nonprofit’s work in a crisis situation.

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Environmental Law Journal wins ABA award

Villanova Environmental Law Journal Receives Environmental Law Student Program of the Year Award

The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources recently awarded the Villanova Environmental Law Journal with the 2019 Environment, Energy and Resources Law Student Program of the Year Award for the Journal’s Annual Blank Rome LLP Symposium. 

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Candace Centeno

Candace Centeno Receives Outstanding Service Award from the Association of Legal Writing Directors

The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) has recognized Candace Centeno, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law and Director of the Duane Morris LLP Legal Writing Program, with the Outstanding Service Award. The Outstanding Service Award is presented to individuals who go above and beyond by volunteering their time, energy and talent to the organization, its members and the national legal writing community.

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Khalil Wilkes '19

Finding a New Passion: From Student-Athlete to Law School

For some law school students, becoming a lawyer is something they’ve wanted to do their whole life. But others come to law school after embarking on a different path. Khalil Wilkes ’19 played college football and had a brief career in the NFL before he wound up at Villanova Law, where he found a new passion.

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Villanova Law Seal

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Welcomes Three New Faculty Members

Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, has appointed three new faculty beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. Jason Iuliano, Assistant Professor of Law, Melvin J. Kelley, Assistant Professor of Law and Komal Vaidya, Director of the Clinic for Law and Entrepreneurship and Assistant Professor of Law, will begin their tenures during the fall 2019 semester.

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Professor Chaim Saiman

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Establishes New Chair in Jewish Law

Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, announced the establishment of a new Chair in Jewish Law, and named Chaim Saiman, Professor of Law, as the first holder of the new position.

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Tax Litigation Training

Tax Litigation Course Fills the Training Gap for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

Low Income Tax Clinics around the county provide an invaluable service of free legal counsel to low-income taxpayers in controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. Each spring Villanova University’s Graduate Tax Program works together with the Villanova Law Federal Tax Clinic to offer a trial advocacy course for Graduate Tax students and low income tax clinic practitioners. 

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Professor Steven Chanenson

Professor Steven Chanenson Named LAPA Fellow at Princeton University

Steven Chanenson, Professor of Law, was recently named a fellow by the Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University for the 2019-2020 academic year. Chanenson was selected from a competitive interdisciplinary and international applicant for pool for the prestigious fellowship.

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Tomika Patterson '03

Alum Seizes Opportunities from Villanova to Kenya

“I always stress to my students: if you have a passion for something, you need to go for it. Take advantage of every opportunity while you still have it.” These are words of advice from Tomika Stevens Patterson ’03, one Villanova Law alum who lives by her words and seizes every opportunity. Her career has taken her from associate at a large firm to adjunct professor at Villanova to Nairobi, Kenya, where she now serves as the Resident Legal Advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance & Training.

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Ruth Gordon

Ruth Gordon Awarded U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program Award

Ruth Gordon, Professor of Law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, was recently awarded a 2019-2020 U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program grant by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to conduct research in Hong Kong. She will be at the University of Hong Kong from August-December 2019.

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Lisa Riley ’20 Awarded 2019 Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship

Lisa Riley '20 Awarded 2019 Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship  

Lisa Riley ’20 has been named a recipient of the 2019 Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship, which is awarded to students who show a commitment to public service. The Fellowship provides a stipend for a summer internship with a nonprofit public interest organization or with a federal, state or municipal government in Pennsylvania.

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Sarah Baranik de Alarcón ’19 Awarded Prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Grant

Sarah Baranik de Alarcón ’19 Awarded Prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Grant

Sarah Baranik de Alarcón ’19 was recently selected by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award. Beginning in February 2020, Baranik will use her Fulbright to research Brazil’s Migration Law.

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Students work with a practitioner during Business Modules

Business Modules: At the Intersection of Law and Business 

In addition to acquiring the knowledge necessary to become successful attorneys, students at Villanova Law also receive the critical business skills that are necessary to thrive in today’s intense and dynamic climate. The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship has developed two unique and innovative Business Modules, week-long one-credit courses required for all first and second-year students.

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Dean Alexander teaches Race and the Law

Society, Race and the Law's Impact

When social justice-minded students wanted to explore how laws impact marginalized groups when it comes to things like access to health care and voting, buying or renting a house, employment discrimination and many other societal issues, Villanova Law created a course to do just that.

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Alum Jesse Imbriano

Committed to a Cause

Hands-on experience is vital preparation for practice. While a student at Villanova Law, Jesse Imbriano ’12, had early field experience in an in-house clinic that proved key in helping him find his passion and jumpstart his career in immigration law.  

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Girard-diCarlo Center

The Honorable Ernest F. Hart ’83 Named NYPD’s Chief Legal Officer

The Honorable Ernest Hart ’83, a New York State Supreme Court judge, has been named the new Chief Legal Officer of the New York City Police Department.

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Preparation for Professional Success

Preparation for Professional Success

At Villanova Law, we believe that academics and professional development are intertwined and equally essential to the long-term success of our students. Today our curriculum infuses professional skills along with vital business principles and practical experience into each student’s rigorous legal training.

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