Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crop Insurance & Disaster Assistance Class

Last week, we were delighted to host visiting professor Karen Krub who taught our Crop Insurance and Federal Disaster Assistance class.

Karen has devoted her professional career to work with family farmers. She is a senior staff attorney for Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG), a nonprofit law center formed in 1986 to provide legal services to family farmers and their rural communities. Karen grew up in the Skagit Valley of northwestern Washington where her family fished for salmon in the coastal waters of Washington and Alaska. She received her B.S. in Resource Development from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, in 1991, and her J.D. degree from Yale Law School in 1996.

Karen first came to FLAG in 1995 as a summer intern, primarily exploring production contract issues. She then received a Skadden Fellowship which allowed her to return as a staff attorney. She quickly became a critical part of FLAG's work and was hired into a permanent staff attorney position. Since joining FLAG, she has worked primarily in the areas of administrative law, agricultural credit, disaster assistance, and farmer-owned agricultural business development. She has delivered trainings for farmers, farm advocates, and attorneys through out the United States, has testified before Congress on family farm issues, and is well known and respected for her work. Her many agricultural publications include the Farmers' Guide to Disaster Assistance.

As part of the class, we were also delighted to welcome LL.M. Alumnus, Scott Fancher who visited Wednesday afternoon to discuss his crop insurance and farm program practice. Scott is known nationally for his crop insurance law expertise, and the stories and perspectives from his practice were very helpful to the class.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Who Knows Where Your LL.M. Will Lead You?

When LL.M. Alumnus, Amy Lowenthal took her position as majority counsel on the Senate Agriculture Committee, little did she know that she would be researching Wall Street finances. However, recent problems with credit default swaps came to the attention of the Committee because of its jurisdiction over the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Amy has been researching this difficult issue for Senator Harkin, and here she is, seated behind him during the hearings that are referenced in the 60 Minutes segment "The Bet that Blew Up Wallstreet" aired on Sunday, October 26, 2008. It is a fascinating segment as well as great fun to see Amy on national television!

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