Third-year law students Anthony Rallo and Thomas Robins are headed home for the break with a significant achievement to brag about. Two prestigious, peer-reviewed legal journals accepted their scholarly articles for publication, an honor typically reserved for faculty scholars.
“I wouldn’t have submitted the article if Professor Blankfein-Tabachnick hadn’t encouraged me,” Robins said. Rallo said he also submitted his article on arbitration at the urging of Professor Carbonneau.
Rallo’s article, “The Veil of Acquiescence,” will be published in Volume 24, Issue 4 of The American Review of International Arbitration, a journal published by Columbia Law School and called "the only scholarly and professional publication of its kind devoted to international arbitration." A research assistant for Professor Thomas Carbonneau, Rallo came to Penn State University Dickinson School of Law after graduating from the University of Wisconsin and working as a policy analyst at the state level. “When I was researching law schools, Penn State attracted me because of its focus in arbitration which is a growing field,” Rallo said.
According to Carbonneau, “Tony Rallo came to Penn State Law with a view to developing excellent professional skills and a solid awareness of the importance of arbitration law and the process of resolving international commercial disputes. The forthcoming publication of his piece in a major arbitration journal establishes unequivocally that he has achieved his goals…I believe he has an outstanding future in the legal profession."
Rallo said he got the idea for the article after looking closely at a Ninth Circuit case that was “uncharacteristically friendly toward a lower court arbitration ruling.” After reviewing the case, he found “buried in a footnote” what he believes is the court’s real purpose for reviewing the lower court case which is to allow more judicial review of arbitral rulings. This is something Rallo says undermines the efficacy of arbitration.
Rallo calls researching and writing articles his hobby and said he enjoys doing the original research, looking deeply at an issue, and providing analysis. He is a managing editor for the Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation and serves on the Health and Wellness Committee of the Student Bar Association. He will be joining a New England technology company as in-house counsel when he graduates.
Harvard Negotiation Law Review will publish Thomas Robins’ article “The Peculiar Case of the ARA Libertad: Provisional Measures and Prejudice to the Arbitral Tribunal’s Final Result.” Robins said that this high profile case fascinated him on many fronts, “First, it was international arbitration, second because it involved the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and then because a warship was essentially impounded by another country and no shots were fired—it is an amazing example of the power of the rule of law,” Robins said.
As an undergraduate at Hendrix College, Robins majored in history and his passion for research continues to lead him to “study emerging topics then go through legal analysis”
According to Professor David Blankfein-Tabachnick, “Tom is a remarkably thoughtful person with a rare level of intellectual curiosity and ability…I’m not surprised that the Harvard Negotiation Law Review has recognized his talent. Tom’s publication is an extraordinary achievement for a law student; it’s an example of the significant academic talent that exists among Penn State Law students.”
Robins said he joined Penn State Law due to his focus on public interest law and his previous experience as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Upon graduation, Robins will serve as a clerk in the Delaware Family Court. His studies in international arbitration as well as his summer experience have led him to consider other paths as well.
He worked for the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office as well as a firm specializing in employment law in Arkansas. “I thought employment law would be monotonous and it was anything but. Because arbitration is playing a more important role in employment cases, I can see where these experiences fit together,” he said adding, “There are so many areas in which Penn State excels.”
Robins is one of three students working with the Centre County Public Defender’s Office through the Indigent Criminal Justice clinic. He said he has handled, under supervision, all of the steps in the legal process including pleadings and negotiating with the district attorneys on behalf of clients. He also is Senior Editor on the Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation.