Monday, August 30, 2010

New Public/Private Assistantship Program Announced

We are pleased to announce a new public/private partnership that connects the LL.M. Program with leaders in the food and agricultural legal communities. This partnership allows us to offer two new graduate assistantships, matching our candidates with law firms and agencies working on the cutting edge of our food system.

Two distinguished law firms, Bassett Law Firm LLP and the Marler Clark Law Firm are our first partners in this program, and their participation is indeed an honor for us.

Bassett Law Firm LLP, located in Fayetteville, serves clients in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Since the firm’s founding in October 1981 by the late Bill Bassett and his two sons, Woody and Tod, Bassett Law Firm LLP has enjoyed many accomplishments and sustained growth. The foundation of the firm has been and remains its commitment to the service of its clients, the profession, and the community.

In 2005, Bassett Law Firm LLP was included, for the third time, in Corporate Counsel magazine’s list of “Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies?” In 2006, Small Firm Business included Bassett Law Firm LLP in the publication’s recognition of “Small Firms with Fortune 250 Clients.” The Bassett Law Firm LLP was recently selected by CitiScapes Metro Monthly as the area’s “best law firm” in the periodical’s “Best of Northwest Arkansas” edition. And, in 2009 the United States Department of Defense recognized Bassett Law Firm LLP as one of only three employers in Arkansas to receive the “Pro Patria” award for the most exceptional support of employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserve.

Included in a wide range of community service, Bassett Law Firm LLP has been a particular friend to the University of Arkansas School of Law. The firm annually sponsors the Trial Advocacy scholarship prize to a J.D. student selected by the law faculty. And, thanks to a generous $100,000 gift from the firm, the law school is proud to have its premier W.W. Bassett, Jr. Classroom.

Agricultural Law is a significant practice area for Bassett Law Firm LLP. Partner, Vince Chadick and firm attorney, K.C. Tucker are both graduates of the LL.M. Program in Agricultural Law. A number of LL.M. candidates have clerked at the firm. Vince Chadick is a popular adjunct professor in the LL.M. Program, teaching Regulation of Livestock Sales each fall.

Bassett Law Firm has agreed to participate in the assistantship program for both semesters of this year.


Marler Clark is often recognized as the nation’s foremost law firm representing victims of foodborne illness. Since 1998, Marler Clark attorneys have been involved in almost all of the major food poisoning cases in the U.S., representing victims of Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, Hepatitis A, Listeria, Norovirus, Salmonella, and Shigella outbreaks across the country.

In addition to their work on behalf of victims in the courtroom, Bill Marler, Bruce Clark, and Denis Stearns formed OutBreak, Inc., the nonprofit, consulting arm of the firm. OutBreak was founded with the "radical notion that the same lawyers who sue on behalf of victims of foodborne illness are best suited to help responsible companies with their food safety challenges." The attorneys travel several days a month, giving speeches to and consulting with food-industry groups and environmental health agencies.

Marler Clark also founded Food Safety News, the acclaimed online national daily newspaper reporting on food safety and related issues.

Bill Marler has been a tireless supporter of the reform of our food safety laws, through frequent media interviews, the very popular Marler Blog, his active Twitter feed, and his "Put a Trial Lawyer Out of Business" campaign.

Denis Stearns is a frequent author and speaker on a wide variety of topics related to food, law, economics, and policy, and is the author of two book-chapters, a law journal article, and numerous other articles, essays, and opinion pieces. His most recent article, ON (CR)EDIBILITY: Why Food in the U.S. May Never Be Safe, is soon to be published in the Stanford Law & Policy Review. He also has published with School of Law's Journal of Food Law & Policy.

Bill Marler and Denis Stearns will co-teach a condensed course on food safety liability this November. Marler Clark will participate in the assistantship program during the Fall semester 2010.

We are delighted to partner with these leaders in the legal community and are grateful for their support. Our appreciation is also extended to the Graduate School at the University of Arkansas, former Dean of the Graduate School, Dean Collis Geren, Associate Dean Patricia Koski, and Dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law, Cynthia Nance.

No comments: