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New Law Clinic For Former Inmates Opens Its Doors

The University of Alabama School of Law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama, and the local office of the state’s parole board recently opened a new monthly law clinic for former inmates.

Student volunteers help run the clinic that is the first of its kind in Alabama. It is designed to help former inmates re-enter the community, Jeremy Sherer, community outreach coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, told The Tuscaloosa News.

About 10 students collect information about participants and refer them for legal and other services within Tuscaloosa.

“The needs determine how the students help them,” said Glory McLaughlin, assistant dean for Public Interest.

For more, read “New Clinic Provides Legal Services to Former Inmates.”

Professor Hill Examines Banking Regulations, Provides Recommendations

Professor Julie Hill discusses banking regulations and provides recommendations in a recent issue of Credit Union Times Magazine.

Hill’s new 83-page study, “When Bank Examiners Get It Wrong: Financial Institution Appeals of Material Supervisory Determinations” provides in-depth analysis of the appeals process among financial regulatory agencies.

“In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, I was practicing law [in Washington] and started hearing from banks that they were unhappy with their examination ratings,” Hill said. “I realized that it had been 20 years since the Congressional mandate for an appeals process was passed and thought it might be a good time to see what kind of progress had been made.”

For more, read “Blaine, Renz React to NCUA Appeals Record.”

Law School Enrolls First J.S.D. Student


Joey Chbeir enrolled as the first Doctor of Juridical Science student at the Law School this fall.

Chbeir was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and earned his law degree at the Université La Sagesse in 1998. He received an LL.M. from the University of Minnesota in 1999 and a second LL.M. from The University of Alabama School of Law in 2005.

Chbeir began searching for J.S.D. programs several years ago, before Alabama developed its own program. At the time, the closest program was at Duke University and would have required him to move from his Birmingham home.

He applied to the School of Law because the degree will allow him to contribute in a scholarly way to an important practical problem. His dissertation will examine how U.S. constitutional principles could be used to improve nascent democracies in the Middle East.

“It will provide me with the ability to use my multicultural perspective to teach future lawyers in the Middle East,” he said. “I want to use my experience in the U.S., particularly the emphasis on the relationship between the rule of law, fundamental rights, and democracy, to help people understand its importance so that one day they can peacefully coexist.”

Chbeir is an attorney with Maynard Cooper & Gale PC in Birmingham. He focuses on matters involving international law, immigration law, and general litigation. Professor Bryan Fair is supervising Chbeir’s studies in Constitutional Law and International Public Law.

Applicants must submit a plan of study and a description of the topic of a proposed dissertation. For more information on the application process, please contact

Law School Selects Judge David Crosland As 2014 Profile in Service


The University of Alabama School of Law is pleased to announce Judge David Crosland is the 2014 Profile in Service.

Each year during Pro Bono Celebration Month, which is recognized nationally in October, the
Law School honors outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to public service.

Crosland, a 1966 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, has led a distinguished career in public service — beginning with his time as a law student.

While in law school, Judge Crosland conducted research on election procedures in Greene County, Alabama, to assist the national Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He also served as president of the University’s Young Democrats, and in that capacity, invited the first African American speaker ever to address a student organization.

In his early career in the 1960s, Judge Crosland served with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He was part of a team of lawyers that investigated and tried cases involving the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi, including one case against Klansmen accused of killing three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi. During that time, Judge Crosland also monitored voting discrimination and desegregation in schools, and observed civil rights demonstrations where there was a heightened threat of Klan violence. He was sent to Detroit during two major riots in 1967 and 1968, and was involved in the prosecution of a white Detroit policeman and National Guardsman for killing three people. Judge Crosland went on to direct the Atlanta Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, organizing lawyers from Atlanta’s biggest firms to take on pro bono cases involving discrimination.

He later served as General Counsel and Acting Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and created the Special Litigation Unit, which prosecuted Nazi war criminals. He headed the agency during the Iranian hostage crisis, and created a special program to assist members of religious minorities fleeing Iran after the revolution. In addition, he directed the INS during the Cuban boat lift in 1980, when more than 125,000 Cubans landed in Florida over the course of just six weeks, and supervised the opening of camps to assist in processing the newly-arrived immigrants.

Today, Judge Crosland sits as an immigration judge with the U.S. Department of Justice and hears cases in Baltimore, Maryland.   He has previously served as a judge in San Diego, California; Miami, Florida; and Arlington, Virginia. Through his exemplary career in public service, Judge Crosland has worked to ensure that justice and the rule of law prevail in turbulent times, and that equality is upheld as an ideal for all Americans.

The School of Law is proud to count Judge David Crosland among its distinguished graduates.

Fox6 WBRC Features Law School, Legal Clinic

More than 40,000 low-income residents in Tuscaloosa County need help coping with civil legal challenges, Glory McLaughlin, Assistant Dean for Public Interest, recently told Fox6 WBRC. 

Each month the clinic is held at the main branch of the Tuscaloosa Public Library. “What we found is the majority low income people in Alabama that have legal needs are not getting them met,” McLaughlin said.

The clinic lawyers answer questions about divorce, custody and visitation, landlord and tenant issues, wills and estates, debts, bankruptcy, foreclosure and domestic violence. It is sponsored by the Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, working in cooperation with the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association, the University of Alabama School of Law and Legal Services Alabama.

Professor Carodine, Chief Judge Write About Law Clerk and Judge Relationships

Professor Montre′ Carodine and Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart say clerking is more than just a job in the September/October 2014 issue of The Bencher.

“The judicial clerkship is in a sense a fourth year of law school (with a fifth year for two-year clerkships), somewhat analogous to a medical residency though typically shorter,” Professor Carodine and Chief Judge Stewart wrote. “Judges often take on a professorial role with respect to their clerks which, when done well, provides an abundance of mentoring opportunities on the law, on life as a lawyer, and beyond.”

Click to read more about The Judge-Law Clerk Relationship: More Than Just a Job.

Professor Joyner Provides Insight On IAEA Report

After an extensive 11-year investigation, it remains unclear whether Iran sought nuclear weapons, said Yukiya Amano, director general for the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Amano recently told the IAEA’s board of governors that Iran needs to increase its co-operation with inspections. Investigators plan to provide board members with a report that may fall short of drawing conclusions, he said.

Professor Dan Joyner said, “It doesn’t need to conclude that Iran never had a weaponization program, only that there is insufficient evidence to make a finding that they did have.”

For more, read “Iran Nuclear Arms Probe May Never Yield Verdict, IAEA Says.”

Professor Carodine Featured On NPR’s Morning Edition

Professor Montrè Carodine recently provided insight for two stories featured on NPR’s Morning Edition after a federal judge ruled BP is the responsible party for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier blamed the oil giant’s thirst for money and willful misconduct for the explosion in 2010. “It’s close to acting intentionally, and it’s certainly acting recklessly,” Carodine told NPR. “You knew something bad could happen, but you acted anyway. And that’s pretty serious under the law, and the penalties are pretty harsh under the law when you act that way.” For more on the ruling and its effects, listen to: Federal Judge Rules BP Primary Culprit in Gulf Oil Spill and As BP Pays For Oil Spill Impact, Some People Aren’t Seeing The Cash.

John Grisham Wins the 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

Sycamore Row

For his work in Sycamore Row, New York Times bestselling author, lawyer and previous Harper Lee Prize winner John Grisham received the 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The prize, authorized by Ms. Lee and co-sponsored by The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

“My thanks to the committee for the selection of Sycamore Row,” Grisham said. “I’m still admiring the first Harper Lee award. It’s hard to believe there is now a second one.  I am deeply humbled.”

Sycamore Row was chosen by a distinguished selection committee, including Kevin Blackistone, sports columnist, ESPN panelist and University of Maryland professor; Fannie Flagg, New York Times bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and screenplay of the Academy Award-nominated Fried Green Tomatoes; Dan Kornstein partner at Kornstein, Veisz, Wexler & Pollard and former Harper Lee panelist; Adam Liptak, journalist, lawyer and Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times; and Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, journalist, author and former Harper Lee panelist.

Grisham’s book, Sycamore Row, was honored during a ceremony on Aug. 28, at 5 p.m., at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the National Book Festival. Alison Rich, publicist for Mr. Grisham, accepted the award on his behalf. She also received Mr. Grisham’s copy of To Kill a Mockingbird signed by Harper Lee. Following the award presentation, the Selection Committee hosted a panel discussion of Sycamore Row, in relationship to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

Boys and Girls Club Visits Law School

Jamie Leonard and Marcus Cotton recently hosted the Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama, and the group’s visit was featured on WVUA. Click on “Boys and Girls Club Career Week” to view the story.