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April – May 2022


Alabama Law Presents Civil Rights Pioneer Fred David Gray with Honorary Degree

Dean Brandon presents honorary degree to civil rights pioneer Fred Gray, The University of Alabama School of Law

The University of Alabama presented civil rights pioneer and attorney Fred David Gray with an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree during the School of Law’s Commencement Ceremony. As one of the most prolific civil rights lawyers in the history of Alabama and the United States, Gray successfully represented Vivian Malone and James Hood in their quest to enroll at UA in 1963, playing an indispensable role in the legal desegregation of public education in Alabama and throughout the United States. Learn more about Mr. Gray and the honorary degree bestowed on him at Commencement.

Alabama Law Celebrates The Class of 2022

Liz Huntley Alabama Law Graduation

On Sunday, March 8, The School of Law awarded Juris Doctor Degrees to 133 students at Coleman Coliseum. Applauding the graduates for their diligent efforts, attorney, author, and child advocate, Liz Huntley (’97), invited them to view this moment as a “stepping stone” to serving others.  Read more about and watch the full ceremony here.


Last year, the Law School kicked off a Comprehensive Advising Program (CAP) for incoming students. CAP aims to give incoming students access to our best assets – our students, faculty, and alumni – to ensure that they feel connected and supported throughout their time in law school. Through CAP, students have access to four mentors: a faculty advisor, a student mentor assigned through the Student Bar Association, an alumni mentor, and a Career Services representative.

Our expectations are for the alumni mentor and mentee to create a relationship that will last throughout law school, and possibly beyond, a relationship that can help students learn about the law school experience, the practice of law, and specific legal markets. CAP mentors are asked to communicate with their student at least once per semester. If you are interested in participating, please fill out the survey here.

Contact Candice Robbins, for any additional questions.

Bama Blitz 2022 Thank you!

A special thank you to everyone who contributed to the 1872 Fund for Student Aid during #Bamablitz! We raised a total of $9,371 (not including the match from Bryant Bank) because of you. This will enable us to provide emergency financial assistance to several Alabama Law students in need over the next year!

Class Notes

Richard Allen (’73) was recently appointed as special master in two cases before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Robert “Mike” C. Brock Jr. (’81) was appointed a new member of the Board of Directors of Southern Research.

Brannon J. Buck (’97) was named president-elect of the Alabama State Bar.

Kenneth M. Bush (’95), of Birmingham, recently joined Taylor English Duma LLP as a partner.

Christopher B. Driver (’15) was selected as the next president of the Alabama State Bar’s Young Lawyers Section next year and was recently added to its 2022 Leadership Forum.

Lucas B. Gambino (’99) was promoted to senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Coca-Cola Bottling Company United.

Sharonda C. Fancher (’13) was named a shareholder at Baker Donelson in Birmingham.

Stephen N. Fitts (’03) was promoted to vice president of Contracts and Pricing at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). 

Charles R. Frazier (’21), of La Vergne, TN, was recently certified as an Estate Planning Law Specialist (EPLS) by the Estate Law Specialist Board.

Jordan LaPorta (’20) joined Maynard Cooper & Gale in Huntsville.

Alicia J. Lewis (’11)  joined Shumaker Loop & Kendrick LLP as a Senior Attorney in Sarasota, FL. 

Eli Lighter (’06) joined Compton Jones Dresher LLP as counsel in Birmingham. 

Jeff Patterson (’10 LL.M.) was elected to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

Scott M. Phelps (’79) was appointed a new member of the Board of Directors of Southern Research.

Timothy P. Pittman (’05) joined Dentons Sirote in Huntsville.

Kenneth O. Simon (’79) was appointed a new member of the Board of Directors of Southern Research.

Larry Smith (’84) was named among the Orlando Business Journal’s 2022 Diversity in Business awardees.

Al Vance (’00) launched a mediation and arbitration practice at Vance Dispute Resolution, PC., primarily focused on employment/labor, personal injury, product liability, and professional liability.


Robert Ellis Parsons (’57) made provisions in his estate plans to contribute $350,000 to the Alabama Law Alumni Society.

James F. Hughey, Jr. (’70) made provisions in his estate plans to contribute $50,000 to the James F. Hughey, Jr. Endowed Scholarship.

Faculty Notes

Professor Deepa Das Acevedo was invited to participate in a webinar series titled “A Series of Conversations on Name, Image and Likeness and the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics.” Along with Professors Jennifer Shinall (Vanderbilt) and Blair Druhan Bullock (Arkansas), Professor Das Acevedo discussed college athletes as employees during a session that was recorded on April 29 and is available for viewing courtesy of the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Encyclopedia Britannica added a new 2,000-word entry on the work of Professors Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic. Additionally, the American Bar Association Journal published a two-page story by David Hudson on state legislation outlawing critical race theory in certain schools and universities.  The article included a number of quotes by Delgado analyzing the recent attack and positing an explanation for why it is arriving now. Delgado also spoke at Case Western and Wayne State law schools on immigration law and legal theory.​

In April, Professor Shahar Dillbary presented his recent scholarship at the University of Alabama Department of Economics and at an Indiana Law Faculty Workshop. He also attended the ABA Law Spring Antitrust Meeting in Washington, DC where he met with regulators and practitioners. While in Washington, DC Professor Dillbary attended an alumni event organized by Ms. Theresa Forbes (’13).

Professor Susan Pace Hamill’s article, Some Musings as LLCs Approach the Fifty-Year Milestone, was published in Vol. 51 of the Cumberland Law Review. She was featured discussing this article in Peter Maher’s nationally broadcasted podcast, “Business Divorce Roundtable,” and Max Zahn’s interview for Yahoo Finance.

Additionally, Professor Hamill’s article, Moral Reflections on 21st Century Tax Policy Trends, will be published in Vol. 52 of the Cumberland Law Review. She published highlights of this article in two essays for Emory University’s Canopy Forum, and she was quoted by Adam Cohen in WalletHub, 2022’s Burden by State, and by Alexandra Ciuntu in Point2, Tax Deductions Every Homeowner Should Know About.

Professor Paul Horwitz moderated and was substantially involved in the Alabama Law Review’s Symposium, The End of Animus: The Lifespan of Impermissible Purposes, which was held at the Law School on March 25. The symposium featured an array of experts on aspects of animus and constitutional law from across the country.

Professor Amy Kimpel presented a work in progress, Alienating Criminal Procedure, at the 2022 Junior Scholars Conference at the University of Michigan Law School on April 23.

Professor Joyce Vance published pieces in MSNBC Daily and CAFE. She was also quoted in The New York Times and featured as a guest on NBC & MSNBC discussing Justice Alito’s leaked draft opinion in the Dobbs Case.

Professor Fred Vars’s autobiographical blog post, The Most Dangerous Moment of My Life: Reducing Police Killings During Mental Health Crises, has been accepted for publication by the Harvard Law Review.