News Release: Law, People

Sep. 10,  2008

Emory Law Appoints Two New Clinic Directors

Emory University School of Law Dean David F. Partlett has announced that Laurie Blank will lead the school's International Humanitarian Law Clinic, and Lawrence Sanders will head the Turner Environmental Law Clinic for the 2008-2009 academic year.

"Laurie Blank and Larry Sanders have served Emory Law well in their work with both the International Humanitarian Law Clinic and the Turner Environmental Law Clinic," says Partlett. "I look forward to their leadership in these crucial areas of the school and to their advancement of our work in both humanitarian and environmental law."

Laurie Blank Played Key Role in Establishing Humanitarian Law Clinic 

Blank assumes the helm of Emory Law's newest clinic, the International Humanitarian Law Clinic, and replaces Charles D. Swift, former visiting associate professor and acting director who helped establish the clinic last year. Swift's one-year appointment ended Aug. 31.

Blank has extensive experience in the area of international humanitarian law and played a key role in the establishment of the clinic. She served as program director for the IHL Clinic last year and has been a research and teaching assistant for Emory Law professor Charles Shanor.

The goal of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic is to pair Emory Law students with organizations, law firms, tribunals and other groups who need assistance in cases and projects involving international humanitarian law, allowing students to gain firsthand experience and make significant contributions to this increasingly important area of law.

"In the IHL Clinic, we work every day with organizations, law firms, tribunals and other entities that are working overtime to assist in prosecuting or defending individuals, raise public awareness of past, present and future atrocities, and ensure the protection of civilians and combatants in conflict regions around the world," Blank says. "I am delighted to have this opportunity to help students engage in real-world, meaningful work in the field of international humanitarian law and, at the same time, to work with students to provide practical assistance to these organizations so they can better achieve their goals."

Prior to coming to Emory Law, Blank spent four years with the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., focusing on international humanitarian law, transitional justice, war crimes tribunals and human rights projects. She holds a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law, where she served as the Henry L. Boudin Fellow for Human Rights and worked as an associate attorney at Shearman & Sterling.

Environmental Law Clinic's Focus to Remain on Nuclear Power, Says Sanders 

<img src="sanders-lawrence1.jpg" alt="Lawrence Sanders" align="right" />Sanders, who has served for six years as staff attorney for the Turner Clinic, is appointed as the new acting director this year. He has worked with Emory Law students on a variety of environmental cases important to the protection of Georgia's natural resources during his time with the Turner Clinic.

Established in 1998 with a Turner Foundation grant, the Turner Environmental Law Clinic provides free legal assistance to individuals, community groups and nonprofit organizations that seek to protect and restore the natural environment for the benefit of the public. The clinic trains law students to be effective environmental attorneys with high ethical standards and a sensitivity to the natural environment.

"Over the next year, the clinic's ongoing work on nuclear power will continue as our primary focus," Sanders says. "I also hope to continue working on cutting edge environmental law issues like global climate change, energy, water rights and protection of endangered species.

Prior to coming to Emory Law, Sanders served as director and founder of the RiverLaw Project for the South Yuba River Citizens League in Nevada City, Calif.  He also has worked as an associate attorney for the Berliner Law Offices. He received his J.D. from the University of Oregon Law School and his bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago.


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