2022 Writing Team

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Rachel Berman-Vaporis

Rachel Berman-Vaporis is a Trial Attorney for the Office of Immigration Litigation (Appellate Section) at the Department of Justice. She previously worked as an Attorney Advisor for the Board of Immigration Appeals, a Supervisory Asylum Officer and an Asylum Officer for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Arlington, VA, and clerked for the San Francisco, California, Immigration Court. She earned a JD with a concentration in international law from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2014 after interning with the Special Court for Sierra Leone at the Hague and with INTERPOL’s Office of Legal Affairs in Lyon. In 2011, she earned a BA from Brandeis University.

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Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Goines

Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Goines is a member in the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps and currently serves as Senior Military Faculty and Assistant Professor of Law at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He is a graduate of Creighton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) and served as a mathematician for the Air Force before being selected to attend law school.  Lieutenant Colonel Goines graduated Cum Laude from Baylor University, School of Law.  He later received his Master of Laws in Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law at the University of Nebraska, School of Law and a Master of Arts degree in Military Operational Art and Science. 

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He has served in a variety of legal capacities, including an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, Area Defense Counsel, and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate.  Lt Col Goines has also deployed to serve as the Deputy Legal Advisor to the Combined Air Operations Center in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, and SPARTAN SHEILD.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Goines also serves as the Director of the United States Air Force Academy’s Law, Technology, and Warfare Research Cell.  In this capacity, he leads USAFA’s effort to research legal issues with military operations in both cyberspace and space as well as legal issues dealing with the military’s use of emergent technologies.

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Major Chase Gunnell

Major Chase Gunnell is Judge Advocate General (attorney) in the United States Air Force and currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Law at the United States Air Force Academy.  In that capacity, Major Gunnell teaches International Law, Law of War, and the core law course.  He is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian and a minor in Political Science.  He then enrolled in law school at Brigham Young University and graduated in 2012. 

 

After graduation, Major Gunnell commissioned as an officer in the Air Force JAG Corps and has been stationed at bases in Maryland, Florida, and Nevada.  In 2018, Major Gunnell was selected to receive a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from The George Washington University Law School, where he graduated with highest honors with a degree in International and Comparative Law. 

Eric Schmitz

Eric is a public interest lawyer who has been interested in international law and international humanitarian law since declaring his undergraduate major at University of Colorado at Boulder to be international affairs. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at University of Miami School of Law where he served as Executive Editor and was published in the International and Comparative Law Review. After law school, he became a member of the New York State Bar.

 

Once a licensed attorney, Eric took a position as a staff attorney with the National Veterans Legal Services Program, where he practiced for nearly four years. At NVLSP, he provided effective pro bono legal representation to service-members, veterans and their family members in front of the administrative boards of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, as well as in a multibillion dollar class action lawsuit. He also assisted senior staff in development of new ideas for impact litigation and advocacy to benefit veterans and their families. During this time, he took classes in International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law and National Security Law to maintain substantive knowledge in those fields.

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