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The tragedy at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon has mobilized law students at schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and brought them together in a strong sense of community. Law students are raising money for the Red Cross, setting up panel discussions centered around civil liberties and immigration rights, and they’re organizing to see what role they can play in the legal world as the U.S. response to terrorism plays out. “There has been a real growth of community, a real growth of people taking care of each other, which has been good to see,” said Laura Quilter, a third-year student at Boalt Hall School of Law and Webmaster for Boalt.org, a 350-student organization. In the days that immediately followed the attacks, law students searched for something to do. The deans at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and Stanford Law School called town hall meetings to give students and faculty a chance to vent. Nicole Ozer, a second-year student at Boalt, said that Dean John Dwyer was “really supportive in finding ways we can get information out.” Dwyer helped organize a memorial service the Friday after the attacks. Pamela Samuelson, a professor at Boalt and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, went ahead with a talk previously scheduled for the day after the attacks. But she switched her focus to threats to free speech and privacy that may come up in response to the terrorism. The Associated Students group at Hastings put together a drive that raised more than $6,000 for the Red Cross. Approximately 350 students packed themselves into the school’s Louis B. Mayer Lounge eight days after the attack for a panel discussion on the “Legal Implications of a War on Terrorism.” “It was a way to bring the community together in sort of an academic setting to sort out what’s going on,” said Mieke Eoyang, a third-year student at Hastings and president of the Associated Students of UC-Hastings. “The focus has been more that as future leaders in the legal community, how can we respond to this? I think people appreciate that.” At Stanford, Eduardo Capulong, director of the law school’s public interest program, said that a dozen or so law students are getting involved in a campus-wide effort to look for ways to help. Similar efforts are underway at Santa Clara University, which held a memorial service and mass for Deora Bodley, a junior there who was on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, when third-year Boalt student Eddan Katz heard that terrorists had crashed commercial jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, he set up a listserve called Boalt Response. While his tech-focused response certainly isn’t typical, it matched the mindset of most students. He wanted to talk. “We’ve actually watched it develop from students just expressing shock to someone saying ‘I’m an Afghan student and I’m worried about my family,’ ” Katz said. “ There were more personal things in the beginning; now it’s beginning to be more analytic.” Katz and other members of Boalt.org are also working with Dean Dwyer as well as representatives from student groups such as the school’s Coalition for Diversity and Berkeley Law Foundation. “In so many ways, it seems a good mesh to have law students involved in the changes in the law,” said Alegria De La Cruz, a second-year law student and member of the Coalition for Diversity. The groups are planning a five-part speaker series starting Oct. 9 on changes in immigration law, civil rights and privacy rights that may come as part of the U.S. response. “There are just a million and one things happening,” said De La Cruz. Beyond Boalt, Katz and others in Boalt.org are building a Web site for students at other schools to tap into. “We’re trying to find out what other schools are doing,” Katz said, “without an agenda, just for discussion.” Members of Boalt.org have also pledged to build a Web site for a nationwide group being formed called Professors for Peace. “We are kind of in just the beginning process of it all,” said De La Cruz.

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