January 2021



The Gig Economy: Prof. Das Acevedo Looks Beyond the Algorithm 

Image of Beyond the Algorithm book sitting next to coffee mug

Over the past few years, gig workers—individuals who provide services to customers of companies such as Uber, Door Dash and Instacart—have been making headlines as law makers, corporations and workers have tried to navigate the complexities that the gig economy has presented. In 2019, California’s state legislature passed a law, AB 5, effectively granting gig workers employee status. In 2020, however, Californian voters passed a proposition to limit the effect of AB 5, thereby demonstrating how complicated and rapidly changing the legal infrastructure surrounding gig work can be. 

In October, Deepa Das Acevedo, Assistant Professor at The University of Alabama School of Law, published Beyond the Algorithm: Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation with Cambridge University Press. As regulation debates continue, Das Acevedo’s volume demonstrates why government actors must go beyond mass surveys and data-scrubbing in order to truly understand the realities of gig work. Each chapter in Beyond the Algorithm uses vivid, concrete examples to show how one can better understand the similarities and differences between gig and conventional employment. As a whole, the volume helps lawyers and government officials who oversee gig work policies to respond to the needs of the workers and industry in a reasonable and humane way.

Read more about Beyond the Algorithm.


Don’t Miss the 2021 Virtual Alabama Law Alumni Banquet

Flowers on a dining table


Join us virtually on February 26 for our annual Alabama Law Alumni Society Banquet. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:00 pm CT with the award ceremony to follow 7:00 pm CT.


Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner

Frank M. Bainbridge


Alabama Law Hall of Honor Inductees

Walker Percy Badham III

Bryan K. Fair

Julia Smeds Roth


Rising Young Attorney Award Winner

Sharonda Childs Fancher


Sign up and learn more on our registration form.


Alabama Law Displays Works from Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art 

Art from Jones Collection hanging on wall


In February of 1949, a 26-year-old Black man from the Bessemer, Ala. area by the name of Paul R. Jones was denied admission to The University of Alabama School of Law. The letter he received from the Dean of Admissions made it clear that he was rejected because of the color of his skin.

Mr. Jones went on to receive a master’s degree in Urban Studies from the Governor’s State College in Illinois, and he led a successful career working on civil rights issues for the Federal Government—including the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Justice, and Health and Human Services. He also directed minority business development efforts in Atlanta, helped develop the Model Cities Program for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and served as deputy director of the Peace Corps in Thailand.

While Jones left a legacy through the work he did in his career, he also gained a deep interest in art. Over the years, he noticed an absence of works by African-American artists on display at the museums, galleries and auctions he attended. This motivated him to begin a personal collection highlighting the work of Black artists. In 2008, as he approached the age of 80, Jones donated a sizable portion of his collection to The University of Alabama–that collection that is currently one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of 20th-century African American art in the world. At the time, it included more than 1,700-pieces that were appraised to be worth $4.8 million. Since then, the collection has grown to nearly 2,000 works in a variety of media from more than 600 artists.

It is difficult to fully understand Jones’ reasoning in choosing to make such a significant gift to a school that so openly discriminated against him. But during a 2006 commencement speech, upon receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from The University of Alabama, Jones shared a message of hope and forgiveness.

Read more about the Jones Collection at the Law School.

Class Notes

Blake Bernard (’13) was elected partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. He practices in the firm’s Nashville, TN office.

Bo Bledsoe (’13) has been elected shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale.  He practices in the firm’s Birmingham, AL office.

John Bunge (’13) was elected partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. He practices in the firm’s Nashville, TN office.

Cayman Caven (’16) has joined Burr & Forman as an associate based in Birmingham, AL.

Steven Corhern (’11) has been named partner at Balch & Bingham.  He practices in the firm’s Birmingham, AL office.

Ayla Luers Connor (’15) has been named partner at Boulier Thompson & Barnes in Spartanburg, SC.

Michael “Mike” Edwards (’66) has been named a Veteran of Influence by the Birmingham Business Journal.

Ashlee Riopka Elrod (’13) has been elected shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale.  She practices in the firm’s Birmingham, AL office.

Kelsey Finn (’20) was appointed Associate Executive Counsel in the office of Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp.

Charles Fleischmann (’14) has joined Maynard Cooper & Gale as an associate attorney in their Birmingham, AL office.

Beth Graham (’17) returns to Bressler, Amery & Ross’s Birmingham, AL office as an associate in their Labor and Employment practice group after completing a judicial clerkship.

Madeline “Maddie” Hughes (’18) has joined Burr & Forman’s Birmingham, AL office in their transportation and maritime practice group.

Marcus Maples (’06) has been elected as Secretary-Treasurer of the Birmingham Bar Association.

Laura Murphy (’13) has been named partner at Burr & Forman.  She practices in the firm’s Birmingham, AL office.

Allison Skinner (’94) has been elected as President-Elect of the Birmingham Bar Association.

Larry Smith (’84) has been selected by The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Diversity & Inclusion as one of five lawyers to receive the Path to Unity award for having a significant and compelling impact on The Florida Bar’s journey from a segregated to a multi-cultural organization.

Timothy Threadgill (’91) has been named as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation.

Allie Tucker (’12) has been elected shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale.  She practices in the firm’s Huntsville, AL office.

Cathy Wright (’75) has been named Chair of the Board of Directors of Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.



Dean Nathaniel Hansford and Mrs. Frances Hansford contributed $10,000 to the Nathaniel Hansford and Frances Fincher Hansford Endowed Scholarship.

Broox G. Holmes (’60) contributed $10,000 to the Law School Unrestricted Fund in memory and in honor of Dean M. Leigh Harrison and the Class of 1960.

Stephen D. Kane (’69) contributed $100,000 to the Program for Law and Business.

Mr. and Mrs. C. Richard Moore, Jr.  (’76) donated $5,000 to the J. Rufus Bealle Law Library Endowed Support Fund.

Larry W. Morris (’68) contributed $5,000 to the Alabama Law Alumni Society.

Porterfield, Harper, Mills, Motlow & Ireland, P.A. contributed $5,000 to the Porterfield, Harper, Mills, Motlow & Ireland Annual Scholarship.

William S. Pritchard III (’79) donated $10,000 to the William S. Pritchards Endowed Scholarship Fund.

The Albert G. Rives Charitable Trust donated $9,416.66 to the Albert G. and Hester Rives Fund.

Richard Y. “Rick” Roberts (’76) pledged $25,000 to the Dean’s Discretionary Fund.

The Henry G. Sims and Henry U. Sims Memorial Fund contributed $8,250 to the Public Interest Law Fellowship.

India D. Williams (’12) donated $10,000 to establish the Janie Hall Legacy Scholarship.

Faculty Notes

Professor Deepa Das Acevedo was invited to join the Editorial Board of Law & Social Inquiry, a publication of the American Bar Foundation and one of the most highly ranked scholarly journals in the field of law & society. She also sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of Law and Society Review, the publication of the Law & Society Association.


Professor Jenny Carroll appeared on WGN News in Chicago, explaining the legal meaning sedition and was quoted in an al.com article explaining criminal conspiracy.  She was also quoted in an article on Law360 about the impact of COVID-19 on criminal trials and pre-trial detention.  She was also interviewed by WBHM about the DOJ lawsuit that could lead to federal supervision of Alabama’s prison system.


Professor Courtney Cross served as an expert in the ABA’s article, Experts discuss current and emerging HIV/AIDS issues, published on World AIDS Day.


Professors Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic published Against Equality:  An Essay for the NAACP and Others, in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.  Additionally, they gave a talk on critical race theory to the organization of doctoral students of color at University of Colorado-Denver.​

At the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, a session honored Profs. Delgado and Stefancic  for their impact on legal information and law librarianship, stemming from their Stanford Law Review article, Why Do We Tell the Same Stories? Law Reform, Critical Librarianship, and the Triple Helix Dilemma.

Prof. Stefancic’s article in Case Western Reserve Law Review, Law, Religion, and Racial Justice:  A Comment on Derrick Bell’s Last Article, was a Top Ten Download for 2020 in the Social Science Research Network’s  Anthropology of Religion section.

Prof. Delgado published a casebook on modern jurisprudence and a chapter in a book, “Carving Out a New Humanity.”


Professor Mirit Eyal-Cohen published a review of Bridget Crawford and Wendy Gerzog’s article Tax Benefits, Higher Education and Race: A Gift Tax Proposal for Direct Tuition Payments in the TaxProf Blog.  Her own article, Tax Policy and Pharmaceutical Innovation, was also featured on the blog.


Professor Heather Elliott participated in an American Constitution Society panel discussing her experience clerking for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She also published an article for the California Law Review’s series remembering Justice Ginsburg titled What We Can All Learn from Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


Professor Russell Gold published The Political Patterns of Bail Reform in the Wake Forest Law Review.


Professor Tara Grove published Which Textualism? in the Harvard Law Review’s issue on the Supreme Court.  Additionally, her article, The Origins (and Fragility) of Judicial Independence, was featured on SCOTUSblog.  She was quoted in articles appearing on CNN and PolitiFact.

Prof. Grove made several presentations in connection with the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, including as part of the Federal Courts Section program on “Federal Court Employment Reforms,” and another panel on “The Political Question Doctrine, Departmentalism, and the Limits of Justiciability.”


Professor Bryan Fair was a featured guest of the Alabama Humanities Foundation series WHY IT MATTERS: Black Alabamians and the Vote, where he spoke about the legacy of W.C. Patton.


Professor Paul Horwitz was quoted in a New York Times article about famed civil rights attorney Fred Gray.  In the quote, he discusses a potential option for removing monuments in Alabama.


Professor Ron Krotoszynski published Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. and His Extended Law Clerk Family:   Reminiscences on Working for a Living Profile in Courage in Of Courtiers & Princes:  Stories of Lower Court Clerks and Their Judges 179-210.  He also published The First Amendment as a Procrustean Bed?:  On How and Why Bright Line First Amendment Tests Can Stifle the Scope and Vibrancy of Democratic Deliberation. He also authored articles for Politico and Slate, among others.

Prof. Krotoszynski presented the ABA Administrative Law Section’s annual award for the best legal scholarship in the field during the section’s 2020 annual Fall Administrative Law Conference.  He chairs the selection committee for this award.  Additionally, he participated in the 2020 Free Expression Scholars’ Conference, organized and sponsored by the Yale University School of Law.


Professor Ben McMichael published an article, Occupational Licensing and the Opioid Crisis, in the UC Davis Law Review.


Professor Martha Morgan was honored by the National Center for Law and Economic Justice with the Leaders in Social Justice Advocacy award as a trailblazer fighting for Black communities in Alabama.


Professor Emerita Pam Pierson was quoted in a Business Insider article about the difficulty of white collar crime prosecution.  In addition to serving as a professor, Pierson is a former federal prosecutor who worked on white collar cases.


Professor Adam Steinman published Rethinking Standards of Appellate Review in the Indiana Law Journal.  His recent article, Appellate Courts and Civil Juries, which will be the lead article in the 2021 volume of the Wisconsin Law Review, was a Top Ten article in the Social Science Research Network’s Appellate Review, Federal Courts & Jurisdiction, and Litigation & Procedure categories.  Additionally, Prof. Steinman’s article, Access to Justice, Rationality, and Personal Jurisdiction, was featured in the American Law Institute’s Fall 2020 ALI Reporter.  His article Access to Justice, Rationality, & Personal Jurisdiction was cited in an important Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, Hammons v. Ethicon Inc.


Professor Joyce Vance appeared multiple times on MSNBC and for NBC News Now in addition to writing several articles for MSNBC Daily.  She also had an article featured in Time Magazine.  The Yale Law Journal published her article, Treat Every Defendant Equally and Fairly: Political Interference and the Challenges Facing the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices as the Justice Department Turns 150 Years Old, in the Journal’s collection published for the DOJ’s sesquicentennial.

Prof. Vance spoke on two panels and was featured as a part of the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession’s first-ever World Forum for Women in the Law.


Professor Frederick Vars co-authored an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association about reducing gun deaths.  He also published an article in the Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics, The Walmart Effect: Testing Private Interventions to Reduce Gun Suicide.  Prof. Vars appeared on KERA Think, discussing his 10 ideas for state-level policy to promote public safety while protecting gun ownership.