March 2021

News

University of Alabama Law Student Wins Fulbright Award 

A Fulbright award is a prestigious accomplishment for any student. Each year more than 11,000 students apply and a mere 1,500 on average are granted this honor. This year, The University of Alabama was the only SEC university named a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright awards –an accomplishment UA has now achieved six years running. 

Since 2015, UA has produced 82 Fulbright recipients —setting a personal record with 17 students being named Fulbright Finalists this year alone. Caroline Smith Dean, a 1L Alabama Law student, is one of these 2021 Fulbright awardees.

Read more about Dean’s Fulbright award here.

 

School of Law Named Among Top 25 Law Schools By U.S. News & World Report

The University of Alabama School of Law is ranked 25th among the nation’s top law schools, both public and private, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Graduate Schools” rankings for 2022. 

The U.S. News rankings of 193 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association are based on a weighted average of the 21 measures of quality–including a peer assessment score and an assessment score by lawyers and judges. Data were collected in fall 2020 and early 2021. 

 

Donovan Appointed to the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution

Susan Donovan, director of the Mediation Law Clinic at The University of Alabama School of Law, was appointed to the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution. In this position, Donovan will help lead the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Alabama. Her service began in February of 2021 and will run through December of 2023.  

 

Alabama Law 1L Student Selected as Co-Host on “Third Degree” Podcast

Kyra Perkins, a 1L Alabama Law student, was selected to join Elie Honig, CNN legal analyst, as a co-host on the Café Studios Podcast “Third Degree.” Perkins is the only 1L and one of just three law students from across the country who were selected for this honor—the other two selectees being Harvard Law and NYU Law students. 

Read more about Perkins participation on “Third Degree” here.

Class Notes

Keith Brown (’98), president of Jefferson State Community College, was named a member of the Leadership Council for Building (it) Together by Central Six AlabamaWorks! and the Birmingham Business Alliance.

 

Allen Denson (’08) has joined Venable LLP as a partner in the Washington, DC office.

 

James Eubank (’07 ) was named principal at Beasley Allen in Montgomery, AL.

 

Kelsey Finn (’20), associate executive counsel in the office of Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp, was appointed to the Georgia State Records Committee.

 

Greer Mallette (’99) has been named managing partner at Christian & Small LLP in Birmingham.

 

Marcus Maples (’06), shareholder of Baker Donelson in Birmingham, has been selected to participate in the 2021 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows Program, a landmark program created by the LCLD to identify, train, and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession

 

Brian Padgett (’15) has joined Rumberger Kirk’s Birmingham office as an associate.

 

Montrece McNeill Ransom (’01) has been named director of the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training at the National Network of Public Health Institutes in New Orleans.

 

Jason G. Roberts (’00), director of industry and workforce development of the St. Clair County Economic Development Council, was named a member of the Leadership Council for Building (it) Together by Central Six AlabamaWorks! and the Birmingham Business Alliance.

 

Leigh Veillette (’15) has been appointed as the director of the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code for the Utah Department of Commerce in Salt Lake City.

 

Gifts

Professor Bill Brewbaker contributed $5,437 to support Public Interest Summer Grants for students.

John Hollis Jackson (’66) pledged $250,000 with an initial payment of $50,000 to establish the John Hollis Jackson, Jr. and Rebecca M. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Curtis O. Liles III (’73) gifted $10,000 to the Curtis O. Liles III Endowed Fund.

Nancy M. Melton contributed $20,000 through the Miller Charitable Foundation, Inc. for the  William D. Melton Endowed Scholarship.

Faculty Notes

Professor Deepa Das Acevedo’s article, “Essentializing Labor Before, During, and After the Coronavirus Pandemic,” was published in Vol. 52 of Arizona State Law Journal.

Additionally, Professor Acevedo was featured in Cambridge NOW, the blog of Cambridge University Press, where she discussed her “wish-list” for the Biden Administration’s labor and employment policies.

On March 10, Professor Acevedo gave a virtual talk about her forthcoming book, “The Battle for Sabarimala, to the American Bar Foundation,” where she is a Visiting Scholar for the 2020–21 academic year.

 

World University News (Global Edition) published a story on critical race theory, highlighting Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic’s role in the development of this scholarly movement in the law. Drawing comparisons to Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the author shows how the movement lends a sharp edge to anti-colonial thought and perspectives and is catching on throughout the English-speaking world.

On Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021 Michelle Goldberg covered much the same events in the New York Times, but without the above-mentioned literary allusion.  Her column dealt with former President Trump’s speech and Executive Order decrying the movement, citing Delgado’s work on hate speech in particular.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN) notified Delgado that his paper  “Words That Wound: A Tort Action For Racial Insults, Epithets, And Name-Calling,” made a Top Ten download list for: Law & Society: Private Law – Torts. As of 17 March 2021, the paper had been downloaded 2,774 times.​

 

In February, Professor Shahar Dillbary and his co-author, Professor Griffin Edwards of the Collat School of Business at The University of Alabama, Birmingham were named the Dukeminier Awards’ Stu Walter Prize winners for their co-authored article, “An Empirical Analysis of Sexual Orientation Discrimination,” 86 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1 (2019). The Dukeminier Awards are bestowed annually by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law in recognition of the best law review articles concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. The study produced by Dillbary and Edwards is the first to empirically demonstrate widespread discrimination across the United States based on perceived sexual orientation, sex, and race in the mortgage lending process.

On March 2, the Israeli Supreme Court cited Professor’s Shahar Dillbary, Griffin Edwards and Fred Vars article, “Why Exempting Negligent Doctors May Reduce Suicide: An Empirical Analysis,” 93 Ind. L. J. 457 (2018). The article is the first to empirically analyze the impact of tort liability on suicide.

Professor Dillbary’s most recent article, “The Case Against Collective Liability,” was just published as the lead article in the Boston College Law Review. This theoretical article investigates the role of collective liability regimes including res ipsa and offers surprising insights and guidelines to courts, practitioners and policy makers.

Professor Dillbary’s experimental article, “Incentivized Torts: An Empirical Analysis” will appear in the Northwestern University Law Review (together with Cherie Metcalf and Brock Stoddard). Using a series of incentivized laboratory experiments, this peer-reviewed article empirically tests, and rejects, the assumption, that group causation theories deter wrongdoers. It also finds strong evidence that the but-for test operates in group causation settings (e.g., concurrent causes).

 

In January of this year, Professor Joyce Vance started a podcast called #SistersInLaw, which provides legal analysis on issues of current interest, along with three other lawyers: Jill Wine-Banks who was the only woman on the Watergate team, U Mich Law Prof Barb McQuade, and Boston Globe opinion columnist Kimberly Atkins. A new episode is released weekly on Friday afternoons and is already very highly rated. 

Professor Vance also published op-eds in The Washington Post and USA Today, was a guest on Café Insider and Legal Talk Network, and was featured on MSNBC multiple times throughout the month.

 

The University of Alabama School of Law strives to remain neutral on issues of public policy. The Law School’s communications team may facilitate interviews or share opinions expressed by faculty, staff, students, or other individuals regarding policy matters. However, those opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Law School, the University, or affiliated leadership.


The University of Alabama School of Law strives to remain neutral on issues of public policy. The Law School’s communications team may facilitate interviews or share opinions expressed by faculty, staff, students, or other individuals regarding policy matters. However, those opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Law School, the University, or affiliated leadership.