The Catholic University of America

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October 2012 - Alexis Zayas, 2010, is FCC Honors Attorney

Even the nameplate on her office reads “Honors Attorney,” so high is the distinction of the program within the Federal Communications Commission. Alexis "Ali" Zayas, a 2010 LL.M. graduate of the Columbus School of Law’s Communications Law Institute (CLI), is the first LL.M. graduate of the program to have landed a spot in the FCC's extremely competitive and prestigious Honors Attorney program, where she began a two-year appointment in September 2012.

The program takes only the cream of the crop. It means you’re a truly outstanding attorney,” says Catholic University law Professor Donna Gregg, CLI’s director.

The FCC’s Attorney Honors Program is an employment and training program designed to introduce law school graduates to the field of communications law and policy. Honors Program attorneys are on the frontline and participate in a wide variety of learning experiences, such as drafting decisions in adjudicatory and rulemaking matters, working to resolve complex policy issues before the agency, participating in international negotiations, and representing the FCC in dealings with other government agencies, Congress, and the private sector.

 Zayas was selected from among more than 750 applicants nationwide for one of only five slots in the Honors Attorney Program. She is employed with the FCC’s Media Bureau, Industry Analysis Division.

“This was the dream job I wanted. I was excited to be called for the interview,” Zayas recalls. “You do get a lot on your plate as an Honors Attorney. I feel like my opinions are taken seriously and I’m listened to.”

Zayas earned her J.D. at the University of Kansas School of Law. Although she externed at the FCC during her 2L summer, she had limited experience in the ways of Washington when she commenced her LL.M. studies. But she used her time in D.C. very well, Professor Gregg noticed, quickly building a network of contacts that proved invaluable upon graduation. “I think my LL.M. definitely played a part in getting hired,” says Zayas. “So many people gave me great advice, especially my CLI professors. They really know the communications law network in D.C. Their advice was invaluable, especially so as I prepared for the honors program interview.”

And as for the future? “I like the issues I’m working on here. I’d like to stay,” Zayas said.




(photo credit: Liz Roll)









September 25, 2012 - S. Jenell Trigg, 1997, Recognized for Promoting Diversity in Media. 
Catholic University law school alumna S. Jenell Trigg, Class of 1997 (left) was honored with the Donald H. McGannon Award on Sept. 25 “in recognition of her work to promote opportunities in telecommunications media for women and persons of color.” The award was presented by The United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication Inc., as part of its 30th Annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture and Breakfast held in downtown Washington, D.C.

Trigg, chair of the Intellectual Property and New Media and Technology Practice Group of the law firm of Lerman Senter PLLC, is widely known for representing media and telecommunications companies owned and operated by minorities, helping them to succeed in the highly competitive telecommunications and media industries. For example, she was a principal in the legal team that successfully petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to vacate FCC rules that would have seriously hindered the ability of small and minority-owned and women-owned new entrants to successfully participate in FCC auctions for wireless spectrum. "I am very honored but also humbled by this wonderful recognition because it verifies that women and minority ownership in the media and telecommunications industries remains an important objective for this country and that my dedication to fulfilling this objective has made a difference," says Trigg.

In her acceptance remarks, Trigg also recalled her nervousness about starting law school after pursuing a career in broadcasting. Her determination to forge ahead was clinched after hearing for the first time a story about her grandmother, Lucy Carrington Cooke. Cooke fought segregation by challenging policies that prevented the school bus from travelling an extra three miles to pick up young African-American children. "The historical absence of diversity in communications was one of the reasons I transitioned from a successful sales and marketing career in broadcasting to a legal career in communications," Trigg explains.

(photo credit: Liz Roll)The event’s signature speech, the Parker Lecture, is the only lecture in the country that examines telecommunications in the digital age from an ethical perspective, according to organizers.  It was delivered by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., who decried the growing communications divide into digital "haves" and "have-nots," as well as the fact that broadcast ownership rates for women and minorities still lag well behind the share of the population those persons represent.

Trigg has spent most of her career battling the kinds of conditions that drew Jackson’s ire. Before turning to private practice, she served as assistant chief counsel for telecommunications for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, where she directed the office’s involvement in telecommunications and Internet policy issues before the FCC, other federal and state agencies, the White House, and Congress.

She also served on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Interagency Task Force on Diversity and EEO. She has served as a consultant and subject matter expert to the FCC’s Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age since its inception, and also as a member of its Funding Acquisition Task Force.

(photo credit: Liz Roll)Trigg served as the first executive director and chief operating officer for The Telecom Opportunity Institute, a non-profit corporation that promotes career and training opportunities in telecommunications for disadvantaged youths, minorities, and women. She is a former member of the board of directors of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, and currently serves on its board of advisors.

In presenting the award, The United Church of Christ noted that Trigg “has been a tireless, strong advocate, working to ensure that the traditional and digital media in the United States are as diverse as the country they serve.”


delozier July 2012 -3L Emilie De Lozier is Recipient of 2012 FCBA Foundation Award.

Catholic University law school student Emilie De Lozier was among 14 law students nationwide to receive a stipend from the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) for the summer of 2012.

The grant permitted De Lozier to take an unpaid, communications-related legal summer public service externship in the office of FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell. De Lozier is a rising third-year student in the Institute for Communications Law Studies at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. She is managing editor of the CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law and Policy and vice president of the Communications Law Students Association.

A native Washingtonian, De Lozier earlier worked as a paralegal for two years at Williams & Connolly, LLP. Last fall, she interned at the FCC in the investigations and hearings division of the Enforcement Bureau, and spent her spring semester with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Office of the Chief Counsel.

The FCBA Foundation, celebrating its 21st anniversary, offers each stipend recipient up to $5,000 to enable their acceptance of public service summer internships.

June 11-15, 2012  The Rule of Law and Best Practices in Telecommunications Regulation-
Catholic University’s law school was home base during the week of June 11-15 for 17 telecommunications professionals, regulators, and attorneys from the developing world, who were offered tuition-free professional training by the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI).

 Judge Riley & Milestone Award

May 1, 2012 Judge Wiley honored with Milestone Award-
Catholic University’s Institute for Communications Law Studies and its Communications Law Institute Alumni Association paid tribute on May 1, 2012, to the Hon. Richard E. Wiley, former FCC Chairman and founding partner of Wiley Rein LLP, for his exemplary service to the Institute and outstanding achievements in the field of communications law.

May 24, 2012 Institutes Certificate Ceremony-
On May 24, the Institute for Communications Law Studies awarded certificates to twelve graduates who have earned the distinction through coursework and externships. Congratulations!


CLI Certificate recipients

April 11, 2012 "A Telecommunications Agenda for 2012 and Beyond" Symposium-
CommLaw Conspectus Symposium was held on April 11 to examine the regulatory policy and political climate that will have some bearing on the future shape and direction of the telecommunications industry. The symposium was sponsored by CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law & Policy and the Institute for Communications Law Studies at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, in association with the Federal Communications Bar Association. The symposium was hosted by the law firm Wiley Rein and brought together nearly two dozen experts from the telecommunications field.


CLI Certificate recipients

February 16, Practitioners Share Career Advice and Insights-
On February 16, a panel of five attorneys, including three alumni, all who specialize in the various fields of communications law gave a presentation and panel discussion to describe different aspects of their practices. They shared their own career paths, and offered in-depth advice on career choices and opportunities, job searches, interviewing, and succeeding in the profession. There was also a time for networking where the students were able to meet and talk with the panelists on a more personal level.

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August 22, Industry Leaders Join Faculty-
On August 22, two Telecom industry leaders joined the faculty at the Columbus School of Law as Adjunct Instructors. Both bring valuable experience in the communications field and will teach a new course, “Regulating the Internet and New Technologies."

CLI Certificate recipients

front (l-r): Professor Harold, Ansley Schrimpf, Professor Gregg
middle (l-r): Rekha Chandrasekher, Kara Beth Leibin, Christina Kube, Delara Derakhshani
back row (l-r): Professor Tramont, Gregory Egan, Jay All
( Matthew Starr and Anh Nguyen Suthar not pictured)

May 26, Institutes Certificate Ceremony-
At the annual Institutes Certificate Ceremony on May 26, ten Communications Law Students were given their certificates from the Institute of Communications Law Studies. Congratulations!

2011 symposium at Wiley Rein

March 15, Spectrum Strategies: Exploring the Future of America's Invisible Infrastructure- A CommLaw Conspectus Symposium was hosted by Wiley Rein LLP on March 15, 2011. It was sponsored by CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law & Policy and the Institute for Communications Law Studies at the Catholic University Columbus School of Law in association with the Federal Communications Bar Association. More information for the 2012 CommLaw Conspectus Symposium can be found here.


2011 Moot Court Team

February 4-5, CUA Law Team Reaches Semifinals at 2011 National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition- A Columbus School of Law team consisting of 2L Ian Forbes and 3L Melody Cheung reached the semifinal round of the 2011 National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition, hosted at Catholic University’s law school on Feb. 4 and 5th. Nine law schools from across the country fielded teams in the prestigious competition, which was ultimately won by the University of Colorado Law School. Well done!

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October 19, Silver Anniversary Celebration for Institute for Communications Law Studies-
Dozens of alumni of Catholic University’s Institute for Communications Law Studies returned to the law school on Oct. 19, 2010, to help celebrate the program’s 25th year of existence and honor its founder, Professor Emeritus Harvey Zuckman. 

August 5,
Student Externs Share Lunch, Talk and Career Advice with CUA Law Alumni at the FCC-   A group of Catholic University communications law students met with law school alumni who are current staff members at Federal Communications Commission for a brown bag lunch at the commission’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

August 1, Donna Coleman Gregg named director of the Institute for Communications Law Studies- Donna Coleman Gregg, who served as senior policy adviser within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and as former chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau, has been appointed director of the Columbus School of Law’s Institute for Communications Law Studies, effective Aug. 1, 2010.

2010 CLI certificate recipients

2010 graduates of the Institute for Communications Law Studies

May 27, Institutes Certificate Ceremony-  There were sixteen graduates this year who received their certificate in Communications Law. Congratulations!

March 27, 3L Named Best Oralist at National TeleComm Competition
Catholic University third-year law student Preston Thomas was named Best Oralist at the Sixteenth Annual National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition, held at the Columbus School of Law on March 27, 2010. 

March 25, Student Scholars Lecture Series- 
Nantz Rickard, Class of 2010 and CLI certificate recipient, presents the Student Scholars Lecture Series - “Ensuring the Tail Doesn’t Wag the Dog: States’ Balancing of Defamation Pleading Standards Against Protecting a First Amendment Right to Anonymity;” respondent - Robert Arcamona, Legal Correspondent for MediaShift, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

February 24, Implementing the National Broadband Plan: Perspectives from Government, Industry and Consumers-  A symposium was hosted by Wiley Rein LLP, sponsored by CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law & Policy and the Institute for Communications Law Studies at the Catholic University Columbus School of Law in association with the Federal Communications Bar Association.  More information on the symposium can be found here.

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October 27 The Communications Law Annual Fall Alumni/Student Mixer – “Modern Wireless Technology and Implications for Public Policy,” by Dale Hatfield, Independent Consultant and Adjunct Professor in the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado at Bolder.

Feb. 26 Symposium  Interference: Wireless Innovation, Public Interest Regulatory Response


Certificate Ceremony (pdf)
View Web album

Communications Law Month - February 2008

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CommLaw Program Lauded in Leading Industry Newsletter

CUA's highly successful Communications Law Institute is written up in one of the nation's preeminent daily telecom news sources.

Our Wireless Future
"Content Abundance in a Multimedia World," a daylong symposium held March 15 at the Columbus School of Law.

CUA Team Wins National Moot Court Competition
Second-year students Jennifer Hanley and Tyler Van Voorhees come out on top at 2007 National Telecommunications Moot Court Competition.



Bringing America Up to Speed," LIVE Web cast, March 28, 2006, a communications law symposium to examine the nation's broadband future.



Thursday, March 17, 2005 - "The Telecommunications Act of 1996: A Case of Regulatory Obsolescence?" Sponsored by CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law and Policy; the Institute for Communications Law Studies; and the FCC among others, the symposium invited speakers from government, private industry and trade associations to peer into the near future and try to anticipate what legislative changes are necessary to nurture and encourage the continued growth of high technology communications. Guests included FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, as well as several other staffers and legal counsel from that agency. Also represented were companies such as Cisco Systems, T-Mobile and Bell South, as well as some of Washington, D.C.'s most prominent communications law firms.



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