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April/May 2023


Alabama Law Celebrates the Class of 2023

Alabama Law Commencement 2023

On Sunday, May 7, The University of Alabama School of Law hosted the 2023 Alabama Law Commencement Ceremony at Coleman Coliseum. During the celebration, the School of Law awarded Juris Doctor Degrees to 121 students-including three J.D. students who took joint degrees in Business Administration or Social Work and nine J.D. students who also took an LL.M (Master of Laws Degree) in Taxation or Business Transactions. An additional nine students were awarded LL.M degrees in Taxation or Business Transactions, and one student was awarded a Juris Masters Degree. Click here to learn more about the ceremony.

Introducing Path Makers Legacy Plaza at Alabama Law

Alabama Law Path Makers Legacy Plaza

At the conclusion of the Alabama Law 50 | 150 Anniversaries year-long commemorative celebration, the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System, the School of Law, and the 50th Anniversary Executive Committee and Advisory Board are proud to introduce plans to raise funds to build the Path Makers Legacy Plaza in honor of the first Black graduates at Alabama Law, including Michael Anthony Figures, Booker T. Forte, Jr., and Ronald E. Jackson. The plans were introduced as a part of the 50th Anniversary Gala that was hosted on April 21 at the School of Law.

To read more about the Path Makers Legacy Plaza, follow this link.

To view a recap of the 50th Anniversary Gala, follow this link.

The Supreme Court of Alabama Holds Special Session at Alabama Law

On April 5, before a large audience of law students and faculty members, The Alabama Supreme Court held a special session-an oral argument hearing-at The University of Alabama School of Law. Read more about the hearing on the Law School’s website.

Register to Become an Alumni Mentor


Last year, the Law School kicked off a Comprehensive Advising Program (CAP) for incoming students. CAP aims to give 1L students access to our most valuable assets – our faculty, alumni, and returning students – to ensure that the new students feel connected and supported throughout their time in law school. Through CAP, participants 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 the student’s time in 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.

See You at The State Bar Meeting in Point Clear

Alabama State Bar Annual Meeting July 12-15, 2023

The School of Law will be hosting a reception at the State Bar meeting on July 13 at 6 pm. Come to catch up with old friends and touch base with Professor Brewbaker who will begin his tenure as dean earlier that week. We hope to see you there! Sign up to attend our reception through the State Bar’s registration page.

Class Notes

Stephen P. Atkinson (’20) joined D’Alberto, Graham, & Grimsley as an associate in South Carolina.

Jenna Bedsole (’97) was named SVP, general counsel, and secretary for AutoZone, which is based in Memphis, Tennessee.

David B. Block (’92) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Alexia B. Borden (’05) was appointed to the board of directors of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United.

Daniel J. Chism (’21) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Halle Diaz (’22) was listed in the “2023 Nashville Top 30 Under 30” by the Tennesse Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Nashville.

William Hahn (’99) was promoted to managing shareholder at Baker Donelson in Birmingham.

Anna C. Hill (’01) joined Butler Snow LLP’s Montgomery office.

Jon E. Holland (’95) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Sarah Johnston (’00) was elected as a new shareholder at Dentons Sirote’s office in Birmingham.

William A. Jones (’00) was presented with the Memphis Bar Association’s President’s Award for his service to the bar in 2022.

Ayla G. Leurs-Connor (’15) was named special counsel at Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.C. in Greenville, South Carolina.

William R. Lane Jr. (’80) was named Outstanding Tax Attorney of The Year by The Florida Bar.

William R. Lunsford (’00) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Peter A. Malanchuk (’08) was named Assistant General Counsel of Corporate Compliance for Bridgestone Americas, Inc. in Nashville.

Matthew A. Mantle (’02) joined Jones Walker LLP in Birmingham.

Marcus M. Maples (’06) was named vice chair of the Business Litigation Group at Baker Donelson in Birmingham.

Adam Overstreet (’01) was hired as vice president of legal affairs and chief compliance officer at Austal USA in Mobile.

Shaun K. Ramey (’00), of Nashville, was named co-chair of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC’s national Financial Services Litigation practice group.

Amy Riley (’04) was elected corporate secretary at Alabama Power in Birmingham.

Jennifer Roden (’12) was named partner at Craig & Fox PLLC in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Reave W. Shewmake (’21) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Clifford Z. Stafford (’21) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Kenneth S. Steely (’03) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Andrew T. Toler (’20) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Allie C. Tucker (’12) joined Butler Snow LLP’s new office in Huntsville.

Alyse Windsor (’15) was elected as a new shareholder at Dentons Sirote’s Birmingham office.


Charles J. (’77) and Debra J. Cooper pledged $100,000 with an initial payment of $25,000 to the Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Cooper Endowed Scholarship.

Elizabeth Huntley (’97) pledged $10,000 to the School of Law Naming Opportunities Support Fund for the Path Makers Legacy Plaza Project.

Mr. and Mrs. John Arthur (’67) Owens made provisions in their estate plans to contribute $25,000 to create The John A. Owens and Dorothy T. Owens Endowed Law Support Fund.

John Q. Somerville (’91) contributed $5,000 to the Dean Mark E. Brandon Endowed Support Fund in Constitutional Studies.

Faculty Notes

Professor James E. Pfander of Northwestern Law School recently wrote a review in JOTWELL of Professor Heather Elliott‘s Iowa Law Review article, Original Discrimination: How the Supreme Court Disadvantages Plaintiff States, identifying it as one of the best works of recent scholarships relating to courts law.

Professor Bryan Fair has had two articles published lately: Crying Wolf: Neo-Patriots, Critical Race Theory, and the Constitutional Protection of “Dangerous “Ideas, in the UC Davis Social Justice Law Review 1 (2023), and Federalism by Deception: The Implied Limits on Congressional Power, in the Santa Clara Law Review 545 (2022).  

Professor Russell Gold’s article,  Paying for Prosecution, has been accepted for publication in volume 56 of the Arizona State Law Journal.  His article The Public Voice of the Defender, has also been accepted for publication in volume 75 of the Alabama Law Review (co-authored with Kay Levine).

Professor Anita Kay Head was named SBA Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year and was a member of the Commencement Hooding Team, selected by the graduating 3L class.

Professor Shalini Ray’s article, Noncitizen Harboring and the Freedom of Association, was recently published in the North Carolina Law Review. 

Professor Clare Ryan was selected as one of four “emerging scholars” by the American Law Institute’s Reporters on the new Restatement on Children and the Law. In that role, she attended the University of Chicago Law Review’s 2023 Symposium: Children and the Law, where she served as moderator for the discussion on “Children in Society.” Additionally, she presented her article,  Are Children’s Rights Enough?  (forthcoming, American University Law Review) at the Ole Miss Law School Faculty Workshop on April 14.

Professor Adam Steinman joined an Amicus Curiae Brief of Civil Procedure Professors in Support of Appellants in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Freund v. McDonough, No. 23-1387). In addition, Professor Steinman’s article  The Irrepressible Myth of Celotex: Reconsidering Summary Judgment Burdens Twenty Years after the Trilogy  was cited in a published opinion of the Nebraska Supreme Court, Clark v. Scheels Hall Sports, ___ N.W.2d ___, 314 Neb. 49 (2023).