April 2021

News

 

Professor Grove Selected for SCOTUS Presidential Commission

On Friday, April 9, The White House announced that Alabama Law’s Charles E. Tweedy, Jr., Endowed Chairholder of Law and Director of the Program in Constitutional Studies, Tara Leigh Grove, has been selected as a Commissioner for the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States—which was formed by an executive order issued by President Biden.

Serving as a bipartisan group of experts on the Court and the debate over reforming the Court, the Commission consists of top legal and academic scholars from across the country as well as former federal judges and legal practitioners.

Read more about Professor Grove’s appointment to the Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Alabama Law 3L Expresses Gratitude for Life-changing Scholarship

Every year, The University of Alabama School of Law awards one fortunate student the Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Tyler Smoot, a 3L student at Alabama Law, has been the recipient of this scholarship for the past two years, and he credits the financial support of this endowment for enabling him to earn his law degree.

“Because of this scholarship, I can actually find a job in something I’m passionate about instead of settling for the first one I’m offered because I’m worried about my debt. I can focus on creating some positive change and I’m just really glad that someone, somewhere believed in me.”

Read more about Tyler’s Law School journey.

 

Alabama Law 2L Earns Big Win for The Elder Law Clinic

The University of Alabama School of Law boasts seven different legal clinics in which students, under the supervision of a practicing attorney, gain hands-on experience by providing free legal assistance to low-income individuals, business startups, and non-profit organizations. These clinics focus on a variety of substantive areas and cases such as civil litigation, entrepreneurship, criminal defense, children’s rights, and domestic violence law. One remarkable case recently came out of our Elder Law Clinic directed by Professor Allyson Gold.   

Halle Diaz, a 2L student at Alabama Law, represented an elderly, disabled woman who was at risk of being evicted from her long-term care facility due to confusion over whether she was eligible for assisted living. After months of tireless advocacy, Diaz successfully appealed the insurance termination. As a result, the client was able to remain in her home and recoup more than $25,000 in back pay compensation.

Read more about Halle’s success through the Elder Law Clinic.

Class Notes

M. Alyssa Barksdale (’17) has joined Butler Snow LLP’s as an attorney in the firm’s business services group in Nashville, TN.

 

K. Bryant Hitson (’15) has joined Burr & Forman’s construction and project development practice group as an associate in Mobile, AL.

 

Ambria L. Lankford (09) has joined Ken Perry Law Firm LLC as an attorney in Birmingham, AL. 

 

Robert Akira Watson (’20) has joined Cory Watson Attorneys as an associate attorney in Birmingham, AL.

 

Glenda Webb (’98) has been chosen to serve as the Northport City (AL) administrator—becoming the first woman to serve in this position.

Gifts


Dean Nathaniel and Frances Hansford contributed $100,000 to the Nathaniel Hansford and Frances Fincher Hansford Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Faculty Notes

Professor John Felipe Acevedo’s article, Law’s Gaze, was accepted for publication in volume 25 of the Journal of Gender, Race and Justice. The article examines obscenity law through the lens of social science and humanistic theories to assert that law’s criminalization only tells us about the lawmakers and enforcers and nothing about the image being criminalized. This makes it impossible, despite claims of existing jurisprudence, to have an objective definition of criminal obscenity.

He was also named a scholar to the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on Law and Culture in Medieval England, which will take place virtually this summer. The institute is designed to expose faculty to pre-13th century sources of English law by pushing the definition of what is classified as a legal document.

 

Professor Mirit Eyal-Cohen Professor Mirit Eyal-Cohen presented her essay “The Illusory Promise of Free Enterprise: A Primer to Promoting Racially Diverse Entrepreneurship” at the Critical Tax Theory Conference organized by the University of California at Irvine. The essay argues that, as opposed to the current depiction of the state of minority entrepreneurship, minority-owned businesses experience more business failure, turnover, and job loss than traditional businesses rendering them small and meaningless in the marketplace without the proper tools and opportunities to increase equity and wealth. In the essay, Eyal-Cohen explores how this disparity in American free enterprise is a source of systemic racism and social injustice, identifies the current legal programs that disadvantage minority-owned businesses, and proposes new legal methods to increase dedicated resources and educational access to racially diverse entrepreneurs.

 

 

Time magazine, Washington Post, Education Week, and the New York Times in a front-page story covered the recent increase of interest in critical race theory (CRT) and the role of Professor Richard Delgado, Profesor Jean Stefancic, and their book “Critical Race Theory:  An Introduction” in this surge. A number of the articles trace the origin of CRT in a straight line to the early abolition movement and highlight the part the two authors’ book played in shaping a new paradigm of race and racism.  

Some of the more recent coverage includes an article in The Guardian on critical white studies entitled The Invention of Whiteness; another in American Bar Association Human Rights Journal, by Janel George, entitled A Lesson on Critical Race Theory; a number by N.Y. Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, including The Social Justice Purge at Colleges; and a CNN explainer What Critical Race Theory Is–and Isn’t.

In addition,​  Delgado had a number of law review articles accepted or published:

Rodrigo’s Reappraisal, ___B.U. L. Rev. (online, forthcoming 2121) (coauthored with Jean Stefancic); “The Least of These”: The Case for the Nationwide Injunction in Immigration Cases as a Critical Democratic Institution, 26 UC Davis Soc. Just. L. Rev__(forthcoming 2121) (coauthored with Allen Slater); Against “Equality”: A Critical Essay for the NAACP and Others, 48 Hast. Const. L.Q. 235  (2021) (coauthored with Jean Stefancic); Groundhog Law, 21 J. L. Society 1 (2021); and Farm-Raised Trout, 25 UC Davis Soc. Just. L. Rev. 1 (2020) (coauthored with Jean Stefancic).

 

Professor Russell Gold’s article Volunteer Prosecutors was accepted for publication in the American Criminal Law Review (forthcoming 2022).

 

Professor Ronald Krotoszynski, Jr. published Squaring a Circle: Advice and Consent, Faithful Execution, and the Vacancies Reform Act, 55 Georgia Law Review 731 (2021) (co-authored with Atticus DeProspo—’19 Alabama Law graduate).  He also has published Against Congressional Case Snatching, 62 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 791 (2021) (co-authored with Atticus DeProspo).

On March 19, 2021, Krotoszynski spoke on a panel considering Global Privacy Issues in the Pandemic Era at the 2021 Technology, Media, and Privacy Conference at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, in Gainesville, Florida (via Zoom); his comments focused on The U.S. Constitutional Right of Informational Privacy and Vaccine Policies (with Attention to Vaxports).   On March 26, 2021, he moderated a panel on The Constitutional and Ethical Implications of Government Surveillance which was part of a large symposium considering What Do You Do When the Man’s Spying on You?:  The Intersection of Government Surveillance and Legal Advocacy at the University of Alabama School of Law, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and organized and hosted by the Journal of the Legal Profession (via Zoom).


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