College of Law Adds Clinical Faculty

April 21, 2009 Linda Smith, Director of the Clinical Program at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, today announced several new additions to the College’s already extensive array of clinical programs.

“We are very excited to announce the establishment of several new or expanded programs,” Smith said.  “With these new clinical offerings, we believe that we will be able to offer even greater opportunities for students to gain practical experience in practice areas ranging from civil rights to technology to environmental law.”

Additions to the Program include:

Emily Chiang, who will be a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2009-2010.  Chiang will oversee the new Civil Rights Practicum. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, Chiang most recently served as staff attorney in the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union.  The Civil Rights Practicum will involve law students working collaboratively with Chiang and counsel at interested non-profit organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union-Utah, to address civil rights issues. Students will conduct factual and legal investigations into potential civil rights violations with a focus on systemic reform via strategies such as impact litigation and public advocacy.

Sanne Knudsen will also be a Visiting Assistant Professor, teaching in the Environmental Clinic as well as other courses in the environmental and natural resources curriculum.  Knudsen is an Order of the Coif graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and also holds an M.S. in environmental engineering. She has previously practiced environmental law in Chicago and Minneapolis, and has litigated and authored amicus curiae briefs in many significant environmental cases. Knudsen will alternate with Associate Dean Robert Adler in teaching the Environmental Practice class.

The Environmental Clinic has entered into a new partnership with Western Resources Advocates (WRA), a non-profit environmental law and policy organization with offices in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada.  Clinic participants will be working with WRA on issues involving water, energy and public lands policy in the region.

Associate Dean Robert Adler comments that “we are very excited about this new partnership. The Utah office of WRA has superb attorneys (all Quinney Law graduates) who work on cutting edge cases in environmental law. Through this new program, our students will receive excellent instruction and experience, but also will have the chance to have a real impact on environmental policy in the region.”

And finally, for the third year, Kenneth Chahine will teach the New Ventures Course and oversee the New Ventures Clinic.  He will also visit on a part-time basis to teach the Intellectual Property Survey course.  Chahine received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the U of U, and recently left the position of CEO at Avigen, a pharmaceutical company.

The New Ventures Clinic, which Chahine developed, allows students to experience the legal and business analysis involved in launching a technology-based venture. The clinic provides opportunities for participants to work collaboratively with inventors, MBA students, licensing managers, and venture capitalists. Clinic students may work with the University’s Technology Commercialization Office seeking intellectual property protection for University inventions and beginning the process of commercializing a technology; the University’s Lassonde Program, in which they will partner with the College of Business to prepare a business plan on select University technologies; or with the UVenture Fund, a private equity fund in which law students join College of Business students to perform due diligence on innovative start-ups and determine whether to invest with UVenture Fund’s capital.