Student paper accepted for publication in the “Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law”

Robert DiehlThe prestigious Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law recently accepted for publication a paper by second-year law student Robert Diehl. The title of Diehl's paper, which will be published in the fall of 2021, is "Model Civilian Review Board: Accounting for Class, Race, and Power in Municipal Policing."

Diehl, who is from Erie, PA, originally wrote his piece for Professor Jan Levine's "Advanced Legal Writing: Drafting" course. The paper was expanded as a Directed Research independent study project this past spring, with the goal of seeking publication.

"Professor Levine encouraged us to draft a legislative fix for an issue we were personally passionate about. The problems of police violence and social conflict were ones I'd been passionate about for a number of years, but more recently I had read about some high-profile failed attempts to reform the practices or culture of a municipal police department," Diehl said.

The paper's timely and relevant subject explores attempts to reform municipal police departments through community oversight and holding officers and police departments accountable for violations of department policy or law.

His work led him to explore the historical sources of policing and the institutional autonomy given to many police departments. His article provides a statutory framework for a community to review police actions and hold its police department accountable to the public interest.

Diehl's subject is one of importance that provides thoughtful legislation. "The topic of Robert's paper is quite timely and of great interest as the nation looks closely at the role of police and holding them accountable to the communities they serve. Very few law students at any law school are able to publish a paper in another school's journal. The Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law is a prestigious specialty journal at an outstanding law school and their decision to publish his article is quite an honor," Levine said.

While awaiting publication, Diehl is spending his summer working remotely for Kirkland & Ellis in New York in the corporate restructuring practice and looking forward to serving as an Executive Articles Editor for the Duquesne Law Review.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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