May 6, 2015
May 4, 2015
Prof. Montre Carodine recently told The Washington Times that President Barack Obama may pursue a more frank discussion on race relations after he leaves office.
“I think this would be a great avenue for him to pursue when he’s out of the White House. Of course he’ll be able to speak more frankly, more openly, more honestly about what’s really going on in the streets of America with black youth. And I think it will be well received,” said Carodine, a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law who has written extensively on race relations and the criminal justice system.
“I do look forward to seeing what he does on these issues once he’s out of the White House, once he can speak more frankly,” she continued. “I think we will see him really blossom in this area once he leaves office.”
For more, read “Obama Likely To Focus On Race Relations Post-Presidency.”
May 2, 2015
The University of Alabama School of Law has increased its resources in its Career Services Office to better meet the needs of students as they prepare to begin their legal careers.
Lezlie Griffin, the new assistant dean for career services, will devote most of her time to employer outreach, ensuring that employers know the caliber of students the UA Law School produces and to encourage them to take advantage of on-campus and video-conferencing interviewing opportunities. Meanwhile, new hires Todd Engelhardt and Megan Walsh, both assistant directors of career services, will advise students about job opportunities and how best to use their degree to enter the job market.
“Now that I have these strong assistant directors, serving as the primary counselors in the office, it really frees up more time for me to focus on employer outreach and improving and expanding those relationships with employers,” Griffin said.
The changes come after Thomas Ksobiech, who served as the assistant dean for career services for seven years, was promoted to associate dean for administration and communication on May 1, and Mary Chambers, an assistant director of career services, retired from her position.
With the recent addition of Kimberly Bond in Atlanta, as an employer outreach specialist for that market, the Career Services Office has four formerly practicing lawyers to help students design their legal careers. Engelhardt and Walsh have practiced in the private and public sector, respectively, and they will handle the bulk of the counseling. Bond coordinates job fairs and heads employer outreach in a city that many UA Law School graduates mark as their destination after graduation.
Over the past five years, more than 90 percent of Alabama Law graduates were employed or pursued an advanced degree within nine months after graduation. The Class of 2014 accepted positions throughout Alabama, in major markets around the country, and even in more distant locations, such as Vermont, South Dakota and Alaska.
Under Griffin’s leadership, the Career Services Office will continue to build on its excellent employment record, and she has developed three goals to ensure the office meets students’ needs. First, she would like to boost communication and use several social media platforms to help increase student engagement. Second, she plans to expand resources and provide information about career opportunities so that students can make more informed decisions and about what they can do with their law degree. And finally, she plans to draw on the expertise of the new staff to enhance student programming and counseling strategies.
“We all have very different backgrounds, but at the same time, we all have the shared interest of helping students reach their career goals,” Griffin said.
The two newest members of the staff have diverse legal backgrounds. Engelhardt practiced law for 10 years in Florida, and is the former director of the Pre-Law program that is housed in College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama. When counseling students, he focuses on developing relationships.
He begins consultations by asking students about their practice area interests and which part of the country they would like to live in. From there, he advises them on writing cover letters, crafting resumes and how to take advantage of opportunities.
“I try to get to know them a little bit and then based on the personalities I can use any strategies we need to resolve problems and set them up for a better career path,” he said.
Walsh will employ a similar strategy, while drawing on her expertise. She clerked for Circuit Court Judge Philip N. Lisenby during and immediately after law school, and she was later hired by the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted child support cases. When she counsels students, she views consultations as a collaborative experience.
“I think there are so many different avenues to explore, and I’m really looking forward to working with students to figure out those employment opportunities,” she said.
Visit http://www.law.ua.edu/career-services/ for more information about the University of Alabama’s Career Services Office.
May 1, 2015
Mark Crosswhite, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alabama Power Company, challenged The University of Alabama School of Law’s graduates to work in Alabama, take advantage of opportunities and enjoy the legal profession.
“Develop yourself for the service of Alabama,” he said, borrowing words from Riverboat Captain and Alabama Power Company Founder William Patrick Lay. “Regardless of where you go to work – or what you do – or where you live, you can serve our state. You can work to make our state a better place. You’ve already shown your leadership qualities. People expect you to do great things, and I know that you will. Consider doing those things right here in Alabama because we need you here – to help Alabama grow and flourish.”
Crosswhite, ’87, said the graduates shouldn’t be afraid to take a “left-hand turn.” He said he didn’t think he would be a “power company” lawyer but instead thought he would have a general practice in his hometown of Decatur.
After his first year at Alabama, he spent the summer clerking at Balch and Bingham in Birmingham and was assigned to work in the utility section. He clerked at the firm a second summer and asked to work in the utility section. By the time he was invited to join the firm, he made it a condition of his employment to work in the utility section.
“My point is that it was absolutely not what I had envisioned. It was a left-hand turn, an unforeseen opportunity. And left hand turns have happened time and time again in my career,” he said.
Crosswhite’s final piece of advice: “Wherever you go, whatever you do, enjoy it. You’ll have days when you don’t win, and when you put in lots of hours, and when you’re exhausted. We all do. But if you enjoy what you do, it won’t seem like work.”
After Crosswhite’s address, the Law School conferred 152 law degrees. Fifteen students received the Public Interest Certificate for completing the program’s academic and externship requirements, while 34 students received the Order of the Samaritan honor for performing 50 hours of pro bono legal service and 40 hours of community service during Law School.
Degree candidates were hooded by Kimberly Boone, Director of Legal Writing Program; Bryan Fair, Thomas E. Skinner Professor of Law; and Susan Lyons, Ira Drayton Pruitt, Sr. Professor of Law.
A reception honoring graduating students was held immediately following the ceremony on the Camille Wright Cook Plaza in front of the Law School.
April 27, 2015
The Tuscaloosa County Bar Association recently awarded the Pillar of the Bar award to Judge Joseph Colquitt. The award recognizes bar members who have practiced law for more than four decades in Tuscaloosa County. Judge Colquitt was a Circuit Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Alabama from 1971 to 1991. He is the Jere L. Beasley Professor of Law and director of trial advocacy. He teaches criminal law, capital litigation, criminal procedure and criminal sentencing.
April 14, 2015
Prof. Ronald Krotoszynski said he disagrees with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s notion that Alabama and other states wouldn’t have to automatically follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.
Moore recently told Al.com that he hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the issue in favor of the rights of states under the 10th Amendment.
Prof. Krotoszynski said: “Simply put, either we have a system of binding precedents, and hierarchical courts, or we do not. And, if we do not, the entire system of common law adjudication will collapse because it relies on judges serving on lower courts, both state and federal, regularly making good faith applications of binding precedents issued by higher courts.”
For more, read “U.S. Supreme Court takes up gay marriage question Tuesday; what does it mean for Alabama?”
April 14, 2015
Julie A. Hill was one of thirteen faculty members who recently received the President’s Faculty Research Award.
Prof. Hill has published about the examination process regulators use to police banking practices, analyzed the appeals process and made recommendations for improvement. She also has written about the banking issues that arise when states legalize marijuana.
Award winners, selected by their individual colleges, were profiled at the event that was sponsored by UA’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and organized by UA’s faculty-led Research Advisory Committee.
April 10, 2015
The Law School recently hosted “Dom Fit” in the Law School’s courtyard, where fitness instructors guided participants through a series of “boot camp” exercises and provided fitness advice.
The event honored Hector Dominic DeSimone, an outgoing and selfless second-year law student, who died in April 2014 motorcycle accident.
To honor DeSimone’s memory, the Class of 2015 established a campaign to raise $10,000 for an endowed scholarship.
Visit www.law.ua.edu/DominicScholarship for more information or to donate.
April 7, 2015
Prof. Yuri Linetsky recently told WVUA that cell phone video can provide crucial information in criminal cases.
“I’ve seen a number of cases where it has helped police officers, exonerated them against unsubstantiated or improper citizen complaints,” Linetsky said. “It is a helpful thing.”
April 6, 2015
Prof. Joyner recently told Mother Jones that Iran made “significant concessions” in the Iranian nuclear deal.
Joyner said: “Overall I think the framework of agreement is a very good one. Iran definitely made some very significant concessions. In fact, one might be forgiven for thinking that, with all of the specificity placed on Iranian concessions, and really only fairly vague wording on the lifting of unilateral and multilateral sanctions (i.e., regarding timing) in the joint statement, Iran showed the most diplomatic courage in agreeing to this framework. I’m sure there is much that was agreed to that we don’t know about, and I have no doubt that [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif and his team reached a satisfactory understanding with their negotiating partners on the sanctions question from their perspective. But I suppose I just wanted to highlight that Iran is the party that made the most obvious significant concessions in this framework agreement.”
For more, read “The Iranian Nuclear Deal: What The Experts Are Saying.”
The University of Alabama School of Law will host a Rights of States in International Law workshop and symposium April 13-14.
The Law School will welcome eight distinguished visitors:
Dr. Helmut Aust, Humboldt University of Berlin
Professor Niki Aloupi, University of Strasbourg
Professor Jean d’Aspremont – University of Manchester
Dr. Stephen Neff, University of Edinburgh
Dr. Marco Roscini, University of Westminster
Associate Professor Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Oxford University
Professor Jure Vidmar, University of Maastricht
Professor Yogesh Tiyagi, Jawaharlal Nehru University
The scholars will participate in the Current Issues in International Law Symposium at 1:30 p.m. April 14 in Room A255.
They also will workshop their papers, which are to comprise a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of International & Comparative Law, which is being organized by Professor Joyner and Dr. Marco Roscini.
This project is devoted to the question of whether fundamental rights of states, which appear to be recognized in the provisions of a number of conventional and customary sources of international law, actually exist. These purported rights include the right to self-defense, the right to existence, the right to private life/noninterference, the right to permanent sovereignty over natural resources; the right to be free from economic coercion, and the right to peaceful nuclear energy. If in fact they do exist, what is their source and legal character? What are their juridical implications – e.g. when they come into conflict with the legal obligations of the right holder, or with the actions of other states and international organizations? The papers in this special issue seek to examine these questions both theoretically and doctrinally, and to provide a framework for understanding the fundamental rights of states, and their role in the international legal system.
Please contact Professor Dan Joyner at email@example.com for questions concerning the workshop/seminar.