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Santa Clara Student Chapter takes Pierson v. Post to the classroomAs part of the International Day of Service, the Santa Clara Student Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society reached out to Santa Clara High School's civics teacher, Emily Burton, to provide her class of high school seniors with an experience of a day-in-the-life of a law student. Santa Clara University's Jeremy Valentiner and Mark Andrus teamed up with local JRCLS member and leading patent attorney Kenneth Allen to present classic property cases and their continuing relationship to intellectual property and patent law practice.
Before class the students were given a brief summary of Pierson v. Post as an assignment, and the class discussion began by comparing the differences between Science and Law with Valentiner using the designation of Pluto as a planet as an example of how scientific controversies are settled. To give the students an insight into law school, Andrus took the class through an analysis of the arguments on both sides to decide which party "owned" the "noxious beast" taken on "the wasteland, called the beach." With that framework in mind, the students were given the facts behind the heated dispute over Barry Bonds' record-breaking 73rd homerun baseball.
With property concepts fresh in their minds, Ken Allen related stories of his experience working in the Intellectual Property field and the development of technology over the past forty years - which these students of Silicon Valley loved. The result was a huge success, and the class became excited about mastering their first day as a 1L.
Burton and her students were kind enough to write letters that were full of thanks, with memorable comments: "Pluto is still a planet in our hearts"; "We were expecting a boring law school presentation (to be honest), but instead we got a presentation in which the presenters were interested in the topic . . "; "Mr. Allen was hilarious"; "You amazing gentlemen brightened up our class time."
Posted: July 05, 2012