Fall 2020 Noteworthy Items

Spring 2020

New Faculty

Clark Hammond will be joining our adjunct faculty.  Professor Hammond is a member of the law firm Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, LLC.  Professor Hammond will be teaching Mediation (LAW 779), replacing Professor William Ratliff.

New Courses

We are pleased to announce the following additions to our spring schedule.  Please note that all three of these new courses are 2-credit seminars.

Special Topics in Family Law (Law 731): Professor Penny Davis

This class will focus on advanced family law topics with practical application and will be taught primarily in person, although, if necessary, some sessions may be conducted remotely. The course will cover cradle-to-grave issues that a family law attorney will typically face in his or her practice. For example, we will walk through developing an open contract in an adoption, the development of custody plans for shared custody and financial plans for special needs children before we will tackle elder law issues. Some of the topics will emphasis case law while others, such as guardianship and conservatorship, will provide a step-by-step approach for developing forms for use in probate court.

The course will be taught in a manner that includes professor-led instruction and discussion combined with the student-led seminar presentation format. On the days that students will be presenting their papers, we will also cover a mini topic on a variety of common family problems, such as what to do when the Big Bad Wolf will not let Little Red Riding Hood Visit Grandma.

This seminar class will be limited to 12 students who have completed their first year of law school. Although not required, it is preferable that a student will have already taken a basic family law course or a basic children’s law course. In addition to reading assignment for each class, each student will be required to draft a seminar paper of 20-25 pages and make a 30-minute presentation of that paper in class.

Conservative Legal Thought (LAW 731): Professor Paul Horwitz

This class will examine the varieties of conservative legal thought: its virtues and vices, its most interesting ideas and the best critiques of those ideas, the similarities and differences between legal conservatism and political conservatism, its applications, and its possible futures. The goal of the course is to explore some of the different approaches that fall under the general heading of conservative legal thought, not to either champion or vanquish them; all views will be given a respectful hearing. Any student with an interest in constitutional or administrative law, legal and constitutional theory, and broader contemporary legal and political debates should find something of interest. Students will read exemplary scholarship and consider each topic through illustrative cases. Topics will include originalism, natural law, economic vs. social legal conservatism, “restraint” vs. “activism,” tradition, and the convergence of “left” and “right” critiques of liberalism.        ​

Rethinking Criminal Law (LAW 731): Professor Carroll

The crises of 2020 have amplified calls for reformation and/or abolition of criminal systems across the nation. Formerly academic or “localized” movements have grown in size and breadth, garnering not only majority support, but addressing broader issues – including the argument that much of what is “wrong” with criminal systems is that these systems often seek to address either acts or harms that are not or should not be criminal or they fail to contemplate solutions that address underlying issues within marginalized communities and people. Even as the call for change has garnered wide spread support, the precise details of that change remain a contested proposition. This seminar asks students to reconsider criminal law and imagine what changes, if any, are necessary to promote the underlying goals of criminal systems (assuming that these goals remain desirable) while protecting those to whom criminal law is applied. We will consider a variety of “texts” from academic works to grassroot campaigns’ literature to first-hand accounts from stakeholders – including law enforcement, prosecutors, defense counsel, incarcerated people, and members of various communities. We will also consider texts outside of criminal law as we attempt to reconstruct criminal law and procedure. There is no textbook for this class, nor are there any pre-requisites, though a basic understanding of criminal procedure is helpful. In addition to written text, we will also hear directly from various stakeholders in the form of in class virtual speakers, spoken word presentations and visual or graphic presentations. Finally, this class will inevitably engage in difficult discussions that may be challenging both intellectually and emotionally for students. This will include but not be limited to conversations about jail and prison conditions, the effect of COVID-19 on incarcerated populations and systematic violence against marginalized populations – including those defined by race, gender identity, sexual orientation, poverty, and disability. If you have specific concerns about this, please feel free to contact me prior to registration.


In addition to these new courses, the following courses that were previously not included in our list of Anticipated Spring Courses have been added to our spring schedule:

Advanced Contracts Seminar (LAW 818) (2 credits): Professor Arbel

Complex Litigation (LAW 668) (3 credits): Professor Steinman

Conflict of Laws (LAW 667) (3 credits): Professor Andrews (Note: Students who took Choice of Law (LAW 731) in Fall 2020 will not be able to register for this course due to overlapping subject matter)

Employment Discrimination (LAW 721) (3 credits): Professor Leonard

Courses that will not be offered in the 2020-2021 Academic Year

We are unfortunately unable to offer all classes every year.  This year, we have had to remove the following courses, which had previously been announced, from the Spring 2020 schedule:

Comparative Australian & American Law (LAW 773)

Political & Legislative Writing (LAW 638)

Note on Order of the Coif

Eligibility for Order of the Coif is generally limited to students who have taken no more than 22 credit hours on a pass/D/fail basis. However, graded courses that were converted to pass/D/fail for Spring 2020 due to the pandemic will not be counted toward this limit. Courses normally graded on a pass/ D/ fail basis (e.g., externships, Pretrial Advocacy and Trial Advocacy courses and teams, Moot Court, Jury Selection, Spanish for Lawyers) will count toward the Coif limit regardless of the semester in which they were taken.

Fall 2020

We are excited to have a number of new faculty joining our ranks, both full-time and as adjuncts. Below is some brief information on some of the new faces you will be seeing around the Law School.

Full-Time Faculty

Russell Gold
JD- George Washington University
BA- Arizona State University

Russell Gold will be joining us as an  Assistant  Professor of Law.  He was previously an Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing & Research at Wake Forest Law.  Professor Gold will be teaching Criminal Law this fall and Criminal Procedure: Pre-Trial this spring. 

Tara Leigh Grove
JD – Harvard University
BA – Duke University

Tara Leigh Grove will be joining us as the John E. Tweedy Chairholder in Law.  She was previously the Mills E. Godwin, Jr., Professor of Law and Cabell Research Professor at William & Mary Law School.  Professor Grove will be teaching Federal Jurisdiction this fall and Constitutional Law this spring. 

Josh Porter
JD- University of Georgia
BA- Morehouse College

Josh Porter will be joining us as Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Assistant Professor of Law in Residence.  He was previously an attorney at the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Professor Porter will be teaching Education Law this spring. 


Robert McCurley previously served as Director of the Alabama Law Institute.  He will be teaching Law Office Practice this fall.

Stephen Pudner is a partner at Baker Donelson.  He will be teaching Construction Law this fall.

Marbury Rainer is a partner at Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs.  He will be teaching Corporate Finance this fall.

Maurice Shevin is a partner at Sirote. He will be teaching Consumer Protection this fall.

New Courses

We will be offering a number of new courses this year.  Please note that this list includes some courses that have been offered in previous years but were not offered in the 2019-2020 academic year, as well as some courses that are being offered for the first time.  Additional information on these courses may be found on the Law School website.


Fall Semester

Construction Law (LAW 691): Professor Pudner
2 credits

Consumer Protection (LAW 628): Professor Shevin
2 credits

 Corporate Finance (LAW 765): Professor Rainer
2 credits

 Higher Education & the Law (Seminar) (LAW 711): Professor Murphy
2 credits

 Juvenile Justice (LAW 791): Professor Carroll
3 credits

 Law Office Practice (LAW 688): Professor McCurley
2 credits

 Perspectives on Citizenship (Seminar) (LAW 731): Professor Ray
2 credits

 Weapons of Mass Destruction (LAW 773): Professor Joyner
2 credits


Spring Semester

Comparative Australian & American Law: Comparative Civil Procedure (LAW 773): Professor Steinman
3 credits

NOTE: Rising 3L’s (’21) are welcome to take the course.  Rising 2L’s (’22) should not register for the course if they plan to participate in the Australia Study Abroad Program in Summer 2021. 

Copyright Law (LAW 722): Professor Durham
3 credits

Critical Race Feminism (Seminar) (LAW 731): Professor Carodine
2 credits

Education Law (LAW 725): Josh Porter
2 credits

Latinos & the Law (LAW 698): Professors Delgado and Stefancic
3 credits

Patent Prosecution (LAW 731): Professor Peterson
2 credits

Regulation of Alcoholic Beverages (LAW 731): Professor Acvedo
3 credits


Courses that will not be offered in the 2020-2021 Academic Year

The following is a list of courses that were offered in 2019-2020 but will not be offered in 2020-2021

Adoption Law (LAW 838)

Advanced Civil Procedure (LAW 653)

Advanced Contracts Seminar (LAW 818)

Children’s Rights (LAW 635)

Comparative Australian & American Law: Comparative Approaches to Public Interest Law (LAW 773)

Complex Litigation (LAW 668)

Criminal Evidence Seminar (LAW 731)

Critical Perspectives on Race and Civil Rights (LAW 731)


Environmental Law II  (LAW 771)

Family Law I (LAW 674)

Federal Government Contracts  (LAW 741)

First Amendment Survey (LAW 731)

Gender & the Law Seminar (LAW 633)

Gun Law Seminar (LAW 731)

International Human Rights Law (LAW 819)

Judicial Opinion Drafting (LAW 715)

Law & Religion (LAW 719)

Law, Economics & Society (LAW 731)

Legal Anthropology (LAW 754)

Legislative Drafting (LAW 744)

Major Race Trials (LAW 731)

Reproductive Rights Seminar (LAW 804)

Space Law (LAW 731)

Spanish for Lawyers (LAW 822)

Tax Policy Seminar (LAW 720)

Trademarks & Unfair Competition (LAW 752)

White Collar Seminar (LAW 706)

Changes in Faculty

Administrative Law (LAW 683) will be taught in the Spring semester by Professor Andreen.

Criminal Procedure: Pre-trial (LAW 735) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professor John Acevedo and in the Spring semester by Professor Russell Gold.

Evidence (LAW 642) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professor Carodine and in the Spring semester by Professor Emens.

Federal Jurisdiction (LAW 670) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professor Grove and in the Spring semester by Judge Coogler.

Legal Profession (LAW 660) will be taught in the Fall Semester by Professor Horwitz and in the Spring Semester by Professor Donovan.

Products Liability (LAW 692) will be taught in the Spring Semester by Professor McMichael.

Secured Transactions (LAW 662) will be taught in the Fall Semester by Professor Hill and in the Spring Semester by Professor Lee.

Changes in Semester

Christian Legal Thought (Seminar) (LAW 800) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professor Brewbaker.

Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution (LAW 731) (previously called Civil Rights Legislation (LAW 726) will be taught in the Spring semester by Professor Render.

Criminal Procedure: Pre-trial (LAW 735) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professor John Acevedo and in the Spring Semester by Professor Russell Gold.

Discovery (LAW 731) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professor Andrews.

Federal Jurisdiction (LAW 670) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professor Grove and in the Spring semester by Judge Coogler.

Immunity Doctrine (Seminar) (LAW 731) will be taught in the Spring semester by Professor Murphy.

Land Use Planning (LAW 694) will be taught in the Spring semester by Professor Elliott.

Lawyers & Social Change Practicum (LAW 843) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professors Delgado and Stefancic.

Products Liability (LAW 692) will be taught in the Spring Semester by Professor McMichael.

Sales Law (LAW 776) will be taught in the Fall semester by Professor Lee.

Other Changes

Civil Rights Legislation (LAW 726) has been renamed Civil Rights Actions: Enforcing the Constitution.  The substance of this course, which will still be taught by Professor Render in  the Spring semester, remains largely unchanged.

Law & Economics (LAW 723) with Professor Dillbary will not be taught as a seminar.