May 2021



Congratulations to Alabama Law 2021 & 2020 Graduates 

Though masks and social distancing offered a different experience than years before, Alabama Law hosted in-person Commencement at Coleman Coliseum on Sunday, May 2. Because last year’s ceremony was moved to a virtual format, the Law School was delighted to invite members of the class of 2020 to return to campus to celebrate their achievements with the class of 2021.


2021 Alabama Law Moot Court Teams Excel at a Regional and National Level 

Each year, students from Alabama Law compete in several moot court competitions covering a variety of topics from environmental to bankruptcy law. Throughout the past semester, these teams performed impressively—including a first-place finish at the National Health Law Transactional Moot Court Competition, an “Elite Eight Finish” at the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and several “Best Oralist” awards.  


Military Veteran and Alabama Law Graduate Earns Equal Justice Works Fellowship

On May 12th, recent Alabama Law graduate, Scott Sloss, was inducted into the 2021 Equal Justice Works Initiative Class of Fellows. Joining a talented group of awardees among an initial pool of more than 450 applicants, Scott is the first law student at The University of Alabama to receive this fellowship. He credits his 20-year military service, faith, and family for this great success.

Recipients of the Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellowship have a choice between joining an existing EJW program or creating a fellowship of their own that helps an underserved community. Considering his military career and several additional years working with the VA, Scott has decided to design his own fellowship offering legal assistance to Tuscaloosa County veterans. His hope is to create a long-term clinic at Alabama Law.

Read more about Scott and the Equal Justice Works Fellowship here.


Class Notes


Brett W. Aaron (’15) has joined as an associate at Swift Currie McGhee & Hiers LLP in their coverage and commercial litigation section in Atlanta, GA.


Rashad Blossom (’05) of Charlotte, NC recently released his new book ‘Crush Debt, End Stress: An Insider’s Guide to Bankruptcy in North Carolina.‘ 


Katie B. Britt (’13) has been elected to the Alabama Wildlife Federation Board of Directors.


Lauren M. Carey (’10) has joined Kanner Baker, LLC as a partner in Atlanta, GA.


J. Caleb Cunningham (’12) has been appointed by Missouri’s Governor Mike Parson as Camden County’s Prosecuting Attorney in Camdenton, MO. 


Sarah Dorner (’09) has joined Maynard Cooper & Gale‘s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice in Birmingham, AL.


John England Jr. (’74) has been added to this year’s “Yellowhammer 15″—an honor bestowed by Yellowhammer News annually to those who are promoting positive progress in the state of Alabama.


Isaiah L. Freeman (’18) has joined Maynard Cooper & Gale’s Intellectual Property Practice in Huntsville, AL.


April M. Mason (’04) has been named managing partner at Burr & Forman LLP in Birmingham, AL.


Anne Laurie McClurkin (’04) has been named a shareholder in the labor and employment practice of Maynard Cooper & Gale in Mobile, AL.


Shalyn Smith McKitt (’16) joined Balch and Bingham, LLP in the Birmingham office’s litigation section in Birmingham, AL.


William “Bill” R. Mitchell (’18) has joined Maynard Cooper & Gale’s Public Finance Practice in Birmingham, AL.


Markenson Pierre (’18) has joined Damian & Valori, LLP | Culmo Trial Attorneys as an associate attorney in Miami, FL.


Bill Poole (’04) will be presented with Yellowhammer News Power of Service Award in Montgomery, AL.


Robert P. Reynolds (’79) has started his one-year term as president of the American Bankruptcy Institute.


Collin Rich (’11) will lead The University of Alabama Office for Research and Technology Agreements as director in Tuscaloosa, AL.


Judge Arthur L. Smith III (’05) has been appointed president-elect of the Council of Superior Court Judges in Atlanta, GA.


Eoin Tinney (’19) has joined Thomas J. Henry Law Office in Austin, Texas.


Rebecca “Becky” Wilson (’01)  was presented with the Community Leader Award by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce in Orlando, FL.


Ethan Wilkinson (’16) has joined Weinberg Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial in Birmingham, AL.



William P. Jackson Jr. (’63) contributed $50,000 to the William P. Jackson Jr. and Barbara Seignious Jackson Endowed Scholarship.

The estate of William H. Mills (’56) donated $200,000 to establish the William H. Mills Symposium on Legal Ethics and Professionalism Endowment Fund.

James (’78) and Nancy Richardson gifted $5,000 to the Patrick W. Richardson Memorial Scholarship.

A total of $10,500 was allocated to the Dominic DeSimone Memorial Endowed Book Scholarship by his grandfather James W. Hart, Chevron, and Duke Energy Foundation.


Faculty Notes

Professor Deepa Das Acevedo was invited to participate in a roundtable for the National Science Foundation-funded series, Buddhism and Constitutional Law, hosted by Professor Tom Ginsburg (The University of Chicago School of Law) and Professor Ben Schonthal (University of Otago Faculty of Law).

Additionally, her recent article, Essentializing Labor Before, During, and After the Coronavirus Pandemic, was reviewed in JOTWELL: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots).


Professor Richard Delgado was notified by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) that he was in the top 10% of all authors. His ranking actually places him in the top .055% of the 300,000-plus authors on the database, which covers all areas of scholarly activity, not just law.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article by Emma Pettit on Delgado’s and Jean Stefancic’s work and the part it has played in developing a theory of race relations.  The piece is titled The Academic Concept that Conservative Lawmakers Love to Hate.  Similar articles highlighting the work of Delgado and Sefancic were featured on NBC, Axios, Yahoo! News, Education Week, and The Week.​​

SSRN also notified Professors Sefancic and Delgado that their article, “Rodrigo’s Reappraisal” (B.U. Law Review) made two Top-Ten download lists.


Professor Adam Steinman published Appellate Courts and Civil Juries, which is the lead article in the 2021 volume of the Wisconsin Law Review.

He also published the 2021 update to Chapters 1-3 of the Wright & Miller Federal Practice & Procedure treatise.

In addition, Professor Steinman joined an amicus brief with civil procedure professors Helen Hershkoff, Arthur Miller, Alan Morrison, and John Sexton that was cited favorably by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Douglass v. Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha. Professor Steinman’s blog post about the case is here.


Professor Gary Sullivan served on a panel titled Mezzanine Loan Enforcement in the Era of COVID as part of the ABA Business Law Section Virtual Spring Meeting.  During the presentation, Professor Sullivan led a discussion examining the effects of pandemic-related government shutdowns and restrictions on the “commercially reasonable” standard for disposition of mezzanine loan collateral under the Uniform Commercial Code sales process.


In April, Professor Joyce Vance has joined former Southern District of New York US Attorney, Preet Bharara, as the co-host of the weekly Insider Podcast, which takes on the legal issues of the day. Anne Milgram, who Vance replaces, has been nominated to helm the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at DOJ.

Professor Vance also joined the coverage of the closing argument and verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on NBC & MSNBC TV stations, including appearing on Morning Joe during the week of April 19. In addition, she recently contributed to and and  MSNBC (several times), and she interviewed on NPR.

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.