January 2019


Alabama’s Culverhouse Law Welcomes Australian Students for Summer Exchange Program

The Law School’s Summer Exchange Program with the Australian National University (ANU) College of Law has entered its nineteenth year with the arrival of 10 law students, as well as one visiting law professor, from the ANU.  They arrived in Tuscaloosa on January 5 for a five-week visit at the Law School.

The ANU students are taking a class on Comparative Supreme Courts and a Survey of U.S. Law, said Professor William Andreen, Director of the UA-ANU Exchange Program. The comparative law class, which is also being offered to Culverhouse Law students, is being team-taught by Culverhouse Law Professor Heather Elliott and Dr. Heather Roberts from the ANU law faculty.

During their stay, the Australian students will visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Alabama Supreme Court, the Tuscaloosa County Jail, the Rosa Parks Museum, the new Legacy Museum in Montgomery, and Bryant-Denny Stadium.

For five weeks this coming summer, a group of 10 Culverhouse Law students will, in turn, travel to the ANU in Canberra, where they will take a Survey of Australian Law as well as the Comparative Supreme Courts class.  During their trip, the UA students will visit the Australian High Court, the local Supreme Court, the Commonwealth Parliament, and a local aboriginal legal aid office – in addition to meeting some kangaroos, koalas, and emus at a nearby nature preserve. 

Two Law Students Win National Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships

Two Law Students at the Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law at The University of Alabama received Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships from Frost Brown Todd.

Jorge Solis, 3L, and Catherine Tabor, 2L, competed against more than 50 law students for scholarships that support deserving students who represent underserved populations. Each won a $2,000 scholarship to help fund his or her legal education.

 “At such a particularly challenging time for law students, we are happy to lend a helping hand to those who have helped others,” said Kim Amrine, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Frost Brown Todd, a full-service law firm. “The Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship allows us to become acquainted with some of the great work that local law students do in their communities.”

The scholarship is helping Solis and Tabor advance their legal careers. Tabor, for example, plans to use the scholarship to offset costs of the Law School’s Australia Study Abroad Program.

“This program counts for five credits for the International and Comparative Law Certificate that I plan to earn, which will hopefully enable me to market myself to law firms that have an international reach.”

Solis, meanwhile, said winning the scholarship provided financial aid and encouragement as he enters his final semester of law school. He is thankful that Frost Brown Todd is elevating attention to diversity and inclusion.

“We may worship, think, or look differently. And that is okay,” he said. “Inclusion is a recognition that these differences should be observed with a tradition of respect, and that when we come together as one, our differences make our society strong.”

After completing his studies, Solis intends to become a civil litigator in Birmingham. Tabor hopes to practice at a law firm that is known for its mission to enhance diversity in the legal profession and innovations in the legal market.

Birmingham City Council Appoints Law Student as Council Member

Crystal Smitherman, 3L, was recently appointed to the Birmingham City Council to serve District 6. Smitherman met with the members of the Birmingham City Council in December. She was sworn in on January 2.

Service always has been a part of Smitherman’s life. She is the daughter of Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Carole Smitherman and Alabama Senator Rodger Smitherman, and her family has called Titusville home for decades.

“I have embraced that way of life wholeheartedly with a proactive approach to addressing the needs of those around me,” she said. “I embody a heart of service and seek to create opportunities and pathways to use my talents, skills, education, and training to better our community.”

Smitherman will focus on the Three E’s of empowerment: Environment, Education, and Economy. She hopes to help improve the quality of life for residents who live in District 6, assist schools to become Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning centers, and build a model that will help boost homeownership.

She says that her experience in Law School has prepared her for the challenge of serving the public.

“I have immersed myself in the legal environment while engaging in vigorous intellectual conversations and debates with legal mentors,” she said. “In addition to the three E’s of empowerment, I am very aware of the potential impact certain current issues, such as equal pay, gender discrimination, and criminal justice reform will have on the community.”

Smitherman is the National Director of Membership Operations for the National Black Law Students Association and President of the Black Law Students Association at Culverhouse Law.

Class Notes

Robert V. Baxley (‘16) has joined Balch and Bingham LLP as an attorney in the firm’s Birmingham office.

Sloane Bell (‘18) has joined Balch and Bingham LLP as an attorney in the firm’s Birmingham office.

Katie Boyd Britt (‘13) was tapped by the Business Council of Alabama to be its next President.

Steven Brotherton (‘99) joined KPMG LLP as a Principal in the firm’s San Francisco, California office. He leads the firm’s Global Export Controls and Sanctions Business, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area Customs & Trade Team.

Alan Enslen (‘97)has joined Baker Donelson’sBirmingham office as a member of the firm’s Global Business Team. He will focus on international trade and national security matters.

Mike Ermert (‘90) was elected to the Jefferson County Judicial Commission to serve six-year term beginning in January 2019 and ending in January 2025.

Murray Flint (‘15) has joined Swift Currie in the firm’s Birmingham office as an Associate.

David A. Gilbert (‘12)has joined Blank Rome as an Associate in the firm’s Tax, Benefits, and Private Client Group.

Judd Harwood (‘01) was named Who’s Who in Healthcare by the Birmingham Business Journal.

Brandon Hughey (‘04) joined Jones Walker LLP as a Partner in the firm’s Tax Practice Group. He will be a member of the Housing Industry Team.

Nicole Jobe (LL.M. ’11) has been elected Partner at Thompson Coburn LLP in the firm’s St. Louis office.

H. Eli Lightner, II (‘06) was elected as a Shareholder of White Arnold & Dowd P.C.

Blake Madison (‘94) was appointed by Synovus to its Tuscaloosa Advisory Board.

George Newton (‘01) was inducted as an Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Jim Pool (’89) was named Who’s Who in Healthcare by the Birmingham Business Journal.

Bennett Richardson (‘16) has joined Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton as an Associate in the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Team.

Kelly Rushin (’01) has joined Jones Walker LLP as a Partner in the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group and leads the National Housing Industry Team.


Alabama’s Culverhouse Law is planning the inaugural Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Endowed Lecture on Constitutional Rights and Liberties. The event is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, January 25, in the Bedsole Moot Court Room. The Honorable Guido Calabresi, Senior Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, has agreed to deliver the keynote address.

The 2019 Alabama Law Alumni Society Banquet is scheduled for Friday, February 1, at The Florentine in downtown Birmingham. The banquet will honor U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (‘63) as the recipient of the 2019 Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumnus Award.

All alumni are invited to attend the Banquet. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Cindy Rice at crice@law.ua.edu.


Mark A. Crosswhite (‘87) pledged $10,000 to the Center for Law and Business.

Alice and Greg Cusimano (‘68) donated $5,000 to the Gregory S. Cusimano Endowed Scholarship.

L. Susan Doss (‘89) pledged $11,000 to the L. Susan Doss Endowed Scholarship.

Paula Weems Hinton (‘79) donated $10,000 to the Paula W. Hinton (’79) and James F. Hinton (’48) Scholarship.

The Honorable and Mrs. Truman M. Hobbs, Jr. (’83) donated $5,000 to the Alabama Law Alumni Society through The Hobbs Foundation.

Stephen Douglas Kane (‘69) donated $25,000 to the Stephen Douglas Kane Endowed Scholarship in honor of former Dean Kenneth C. Randall. Mr. Kane also contributed $25,000 to the Center for Law and Business.UA Member of the Order of the Coif contributed $12,000 to the Order of the Coif Endowed Scholarship.

Faculty Notes

PROFESSOR BILL BREWBAKER participated in a panel on Religious Traditions and the Law at Princeton University on December 5.  The panel was sponsored by the James Madison Program on American Ideals and Institutions.

PROFESSOR DEEPA DAS ACEVEDO was awarded a Small Grant ($6,000) by the Office for Research and Economic Development’s Research Grants Committee in order to conduct summer fieldwork. 

PROFESSOR GENE MARSH taught Sports Law in the law school this semester and will teach Contracts in the spring semester. In 2018 he taught an online Sports Law course nationally with students from eight law schools.

PROFESSOR ADAM STEINMAN’s article, Access to Justice, Rationality, and Personal Jurisdiction, 71 Vanderbilt Law Review 1401 (2018), was the Download of the Week on the Legal Theory Blog. It also made the Social Science Research Network’s Top-10 Recent Papers for the Federal Courts & Jurisdiction, Law & CourtsLitigation & ProcedureLaw & Society: Civil ProcedureLSN: Procedure (Courts), and LSN: Rights & Liberties topics.

Professor Steinman continues to edit the Civil Procedure & Federal Courts Blog on the Law Professor Blogs Network.

The views, opinions, and conclusions expressed by faculty in their publications or research activities are those of the author and not necessarily those of The University of Alabama or its officers and trustees. The content of faculty publications has not been approved by The University of Alabama, and the author is solely responsible for that content.