Venetian Trading Company

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Writing Competition 2010 Winners

1st place winner : 

Justin McDevitt - Compromise Is Complicity: Why There Is No Middle Road In The Struggle To Protect America's Day Laborers.


Justin McDevitt

Justin McDevitt - Loyola University Chicago, School of Law

Justin McDevitt, 28, earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Houston in 2002.  After graduation, he managed a restaurant, clerked at Germer-Gertz, an insurance defense firm in Houston, and served in Iraq as a cost analyst for KBR, a government contractor.  This summer, he spent six weeks at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile, researching social justice issues and translating law review articles into English, on topics ranging from immigration policy to standards of appellate review.  As a 2L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, he is a brief writer for the ABA Moot Court team, an associate editor for the International Law Review, a staff writer for the Public Interest Law Reporter, and a teacher of Street Law at an area high school.  He has volunteered with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and is committed to the causes of equality and opportunity for all workers, native or immigrant.  Justin is, above all, a devout Catholic.


2nd place winner :  

Ron Zapata - A True Second Chance: Promoting Ex- Offender Reentry Through Federal Anti- Discrimination Law.


Ron Zapata

Ron Zapata - CUNY School of Law 

Ron Zapata is currently a third-year student at the City University of New York School of Law in Queens, New York.  He received his undergraduate degree in Communications from Fordham University in New York, New York.  Prior to coming to law school, Ron was a reporter with the Associated Press and a senior reporter for the legal news website Law360.  He entered law school in order to pursue a public interest career, with a focus on representing the underprivileged and disenfranchised.  Ron has interned for the New York District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and for the Honorable Judge Deborah A. Batts in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Ron is currently participating in CUNY's Adult Defender clinic, which includes working in conjunction with The Legal Aid Society's Criminal Practice in representing indigent clients.  Upon graduation in May 2011 and taking the bar exam in July 2011, Ron hopes to pursue a public interest career in employment and criminal law.  Ron is grateful to the College for this honor and for helping to share knowledge about the need for effective measures to help re-integrate ex-offenders back into society.


3rd place winner :  

Rebecca Leaf - The Meaning Of ‘File Any Complaint’ Under The FLSA: Kasten V. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.


Rebecca Leaf

Rebecca Leaf - St. John's University, School of Law

Rebecca Leaf, class of 2010, graduated cum laude from St. John’s University School of Law in New York. Ms. Leaf’s dedication to the labor and employment field is demonstrated by her work for the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a prominent management-side law firm. During law school, Ms. Leaf served as a research assistant, where she helped her professor prepare for major academic and professional conferences, such as a 2008 National Academy of Arbitrators meeting. Her particular areas of interest include labor arbitration, sexual harassment, retaliation, and age discrimination in employment. Prior to law school, Ms. Leaf worked as Senior Media Relations Associate for the American Association of University Women. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in Journalism, from the University of Maryland.  This fall, Ms. Leaf will begin work as a field attorney at the National Labor Relations Board – Region 2.