Sunday, August 26, 2012

Exciting New Positions for LL.M. Alumni

With the new school year beginning, we are going to need to pick up the pace of our posts.  Lots of news to report.  Professor Neil Hamilton was with us this last week, teaching An Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture, and we celebrated with our Alumni Reunion and Welcome Celebration.  I will be posting pictures soon!

However, what we do in the Program is often surpassed by the success of our graduates as they apply their agricultural & food law knowledge in rewarding new employment opportunities.

Here is some exciting news regarding two very impressive women that we were proud to have in our LL.M. Program.  Both are University of Arkansas graduates through and through, with their undergraduate and J.D. degrees from the University of Arkansas.

Shannon Mirus was recently promoted to the position of Vice President - General Counsel with the Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corporation. In this position, she is responsible for all legal and regulatory matters involving the company, including property acquisition, contracting and proceedings before the Arkansas Public Service Commission and Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Her promotion was recently featured in the SW Times Online, People in Business.

Before joining AOG as counsel, Shannon served as a staff attorney for the National Agricultural Law Center. Her work at the Center focused on risk management, regulatory affairs, business organizations, and landowner liability as well as being responsible for the center’s grant-writing program.

Shannon received her bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business, her J.D. degree, and her LL.M. degree in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas.

We are also delighted to announce that Kerri C. Boling was recently appointed Corporate Counsel in the Legal Department, at Tyson Foods, Inc.  Prior to this appointment, Kerri was with the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels as an Associate Attorney in their Des Moines, Iowa office.  Her work there with the food and agriculture industry team was great preparation for her return to Northwest Arkansas and work for Tyson. We are delighted to have her back in the area and know she will do a great job for Tyson.  She received her bachelor's degree in Agriculture/Agricultural Business and J.D degrees from the University of Arkansas, and was a member of the LL.M. class of 2010-11.

Congratulations to Shannon and Kerri -  we are proud of your accomplishments.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome Class of 2013

The attorney candidates admitted to the LL.M. class of 2012-13 are a talented and fascinating mix. They come from Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York,  South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, British Columbia, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia.  They include experienced practitioners and a law professor, as well as talented recent law graduates. 

Although only three candidates are international students, languages spoken in addition to English include Arabic, Cantonese, French, German, Mandarin, and Spanish.  Candidates have worked, studied, and volunteered their services in the U.S., Canada, China, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Venezuela. The candidates described their interest in the Program as including an interest in local food systems, concern about food security and sustainability, an interest in animal agriculture, a desire to serve the agricultural sector, and a deep interest in “the delights and politics of food.” They are cooks, farmers, and passionate consumers, as well as attorneys, and each wants to learn more about agricultural and food law.  We are proud of their many accomplishments and delighted to welcome them to the Program.

Sara M. Albert
B.A., Southern Methodist University (Liberal Studies), cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
J.D., Southern Methodist University
Journal experience: International Lawyer
Legal experience includes: Solo Legal Practice (corporate transactions, franchising, and intellection property law); Jenkens & Gilchrist (International franchising);  Locke Purnell Rain Harrell (corporate transactions, international franchising, oil and gas transactions);  Thompson & Knight (Bi-lingual Legal Assistant, Tax Department); Despacho Joaquin Morell, Spain (Bi-lingual private law practice, real estate, estate planning, and tax law)
Other professional experience includes Marketing and Sales for ArtHouse Homes and Sales Associate for Ellen Terry Realtors
Extensive civic experience includes: Service on the Board of Directors of Parkland Foundation; Service on the Board of Trustees of Southwestern Medical Foundation, Temple Emanu-El, and The Hockaday School; Service on the Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League
Admitted to practice law in the State of Texas

Thamer Alshehail
B.A., Islamic Law, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University
High Diploma of Law, Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University
LL.M., Valparaiso University
Legal Experience Includes: Legal Advisor to the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

Nicole Civita
B.A. from Columbia University (American Studies / Special Program in Creative Writing)
J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Georgetown University Law Center
Legal experience includes:  Associate Attorney with Hogan Lovells, Los Angeles, a member of the firm's Litigation, Arbitration, and Employment practice group; Student Attorney, Georgetown Juvenile Practice Clinic;  Legal Intern, Lawyers for Children’s America (Bergstrom Fellowship)
Public interest and Not-for-Profit work includes: Executive Council and founding member of the Friends of the Alliance Council (The Alliance for Children’s Rights)  (founding member);  Program Specialist & Case Manager, Adoption House; National Service VISTA Volunteer, Americorps VISTA
Media experience: Television Production Coordinator, Television Production Assistant, Literary Assistant
Admitted to practice law in California, New York, and the District of Columbia

Ada Chan
B.S., Fordham University, cum laude (Psychology, Psi Chi, National Honor Society)
J.D., St. John’s University School of Law
Legal experience includes Judicial Intern, The Honorable Laura Visitacion-Lewis, New York Supreme Court; Extern, Federal Trade Commission; Intern, Street Vendor Project; Intern, Bronx Legal Services; Translator, Multilingual Legal Advocates.
Publication: What Are Pubic Views On Using Video To Deter Crime And Consumer Fraud?  (Abstract), The General Psychologist, 43 (2), 3 and in Modern Psychological Studies: Journal of Undergraduate Research University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, 14 (1), 16-26.
Admitted to practice law in the State of New York

Andrew D. Frame
B.A., Auburn University (Journalism and Communications)
J.D., Mississippi College School of Law, cum laude
Experience includes Judicial Intern, The Honorable David Chandler, Mississippi Supreme Court; Law Clerk, Randall Segrest; Legal Intern, Office of Indigent Appeals
Other professional experience:  Realtor, Keller Williams Greater Athens, Athens, Georgia

James D. Haley
B.S.B.A., Columbia Southern University, summa cum laude
M.B.A., Columbia Southern University
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law, magna cum laude
Executive Editor, Journal of Food and Law Policy
Legal experience includes: Extern, Walmart Environmental Compliance
Service in the United States Marine Corps: Operations Chief, Training Chief, Platoon Commander, Platoon Sergeant, Section Leader, and Weapons Systems Instructor

Lauren Handel
B.A., University of Maryland (Government & Politics), cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude
Journal experience: Staff Member, Georgetown Law Journal
Recipient of International Academy of Trial Lawyers Student Advocacy Award
Legal experience includes: Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP (civil litigation in federal and state courts, products liability and environmental law); Intern, National Association of Child Advocates
Recipient of inMotion’s 2009 Commitment to Justice Award for Pro Bono Service
Publications include: chapter on Contesting Citations in Occupational Safety and Health Law Handbook (Government Institutes, 2007)
Admitted to practice in New York, the District of Columbia, Maryland, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York
Todd S. Heyman
B.A., Georgetown University, (Government) magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha
J.D., Stanford Law School
Law school experience includes service on the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, Public Service Fellowship, and service on Steering Committee, West Coast Conference on Progressive Lawyering
Legal experience includes: Partner, Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP (complex litigation, typically class actions, involving employment, consumer, securities fraud, and antitrust laws);  Law Clerk, The Honorable Nancy Gertner, U.S.D.C. (D. Mass.);  Law Clerk, Public Citizen Litigation Group; Clinical Student, East Palo Alto Community Law Project; Law Clerk, Brancart & Brancart
Recipient of Super Lawyer and/or Rising Star awards, Massachusetts, 2009, 2010, 2011
Admitted to practice in the State of Massachusetts

Abraham Inouye
B.A., UCLA (Political Science)
J.D., J. Reuben Clark Law School
Journal experience: Associate Editor, International Law and Management Journal 
Legal experience includes: Associate Attorney, Barritt Smith, Los Angeles (employment law); Mediator and Teaching Assistant, J. Reuben Clark Law School; Law Clerk, Law Offices of Michael J. Zhaang; Extern, T&C Law Firm, Hangzhou, P.R. China
Admitted to practice law in California

Erin Elizabeth Kee
B.A., College of Charleston (Political Science), cum laude, Phi Sigma Pi
J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law
Masters of Environmental Law and Policy, Vermont Law School
Legal experience: Contract Attorney, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP;  Legislative Research Intern, Rural Vermont, Farm Advocacy Group; Law Clerk, The South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Office of the Commissioner; Community Outreach Intern, The Sustainability Institute
Admitted to practice law in the State of South Carolina

Angela Uchechukwu Nwude (Uche)
LL.B.,Nigerian Law School, Enugu, Nigeria
LL.B., Hons. B.L., University of Lagos
Diploma in Educational Management, University of Ibadan
Professional certifications:  Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, Institute of Arbitrators
Professional experience includes: Legal Associate, Ossai and Co.; Legal Associate, Hill City Associates;  Court Attache, Magistrate Court, Ikeja; Chamber Attache, Ossai and Co.
Member of the Nigerian Bar Association

Andrew Blake Rollins (Blake)
B.A., Taylor University, (History) cum laude
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
Legal experience:  Law Clerk, Judge Jon B. Comstock; Law Clerk, Ledbetter& Associates; Law Clerk, Wilson and Associates
Other experience includes Leadership Development through Student Mobilization, a Christian leadership program

Adam Soliman
B.S.c., University of Alexandria, Egypt (Agriculture Economics)
M.S.c., University of British Columbia, Canada
J.D., University of Hong Kong
Thesis: Impacts of Individual Transferable Quotas in Canadian Sablefish Fisheries: An Economic Analysis
Legal experience:  Legal Intern, Hong Kong Refugee Advice Center; Legal Intern, Gilt Chambers, Hong Kong
Other professional experience includes Program Coordinator, University of British Columbia; Teaching and Research Assistant, University of British Columbia; Managing Director, McSoil Tours, Inc., British Columbia; COO, VP of Sales and Export, and Production Manager, The Soliman Group, Egypt (international food business including vegetable farm and processing company)

Pamela A. Vesilind
B.A., Guilford College (Major: Political Science; Minor: Vocal Studies)
J.D., Vermont Law School, cum laude
Legal experience includes: Visiting Assistant Professor and Fellow, Center for Agriculture & Food Systems, Vermont Law School;  Law Clerk, the Honorable Dennis R. Pearson, Chittenden Superior Court; Legal Intern, Southern Environmental Law Center; Legal Extern, United States District Court for the District of Columbia; Legal Intern, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
2011 SBA Faculty Award Winner (Teacher of the Year)
Publications include:  Food Consumers’ Illusory “Right to Know”, 17 Nexus: Chap. J. L. & Pol’y __ (2011-12) (anticipated);  NAFTA’s Trojan Horse& The Demise of the Mexican Hog Industry, 43 U. Miami Int.-Am. L. Rev. 701 (2011) (anticipated); Continental Drift: Agricultural Trade & the Widening Gap between European Union & United States Animal Welfare Laws, 12 Vt. J. Envtl. L. 223 (Winter 2011);  Animal Law, Obscenity, & the Limits of Government Censorship, 4 Char. L. Rev. 59 (2009)(with Cheryl Hanna);  
An Analysis of E.702.1: Transfer of Regulator Oversight & Special Requirements for Facility & Herd Management, Position Paper for the Vermont Agency for Natural Resources, Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (editor)
Admitted to practice law in the State of Vermont and the State of North Carolina

Saturday, August 18, 2012

LL.M. Reunion and Welcome Celebration

The University of Arkansas School of Law is pleased to host the LL.M. Alumni Reunion and Welcome Celebration for the LL.M. Class of 2013, Friday, August 24, 2012.

For just over thirty years, the University of Arkansas School of Law has offered the only advanced legal degree program in agricultural law.  For the last several years, the name of the program has been agricultural and food law, emphasizing our unique approach to an integrated study of our food system, from farm to table.

Our LL.M. graduates now work in over 35 different states and 15 different countries, serving as leaders throughout the world  -  at the USDA, on Capital Hill, in academia, with state agencies and non-profits, representing clients and developing farm and food policy.

The events on Friday include:

Continuing Legal Education: Emerging Issues in Agricultural Law
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Neil Hamilton, Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law & Professor of Law, Drake University Law School Director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center

Janie Hipp, USDA Senior Advisor for Tribal Relations and the Founding director of the USDA Office of Tribal Relations

Terry Centner, Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Georgia

History of the LL.M. Program: Panel Discussion with the Program Founders
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Stacy Leeds, Dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law
Susan Schneider, Professor of Law, Director of the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

Panel Discussion with LL.M. Program Founders:

Judge Jake Looney and Professors Don Pedersen and Neil Hamilton

In 1978, under the leadership of Dean Epstein, the faculty of the University of Arkansas School of Law voted in favor of starting an LL.M. Program focusing on Agricultural Law. Professor Jake Looney was hired as director of the new program in 1980.  He spent his first year developing policies for the Graduate Program, recruiting students and faculty, and meeting the administrative needs of the new program.

In 1981, Professor Neil Hamilton was hired for the second graduate program position and the first graduate class was enrolled in 1981-1982.

In 1982, Professor Looney became Dean of the Law School, and in 1983, Professor Don Pederson was hired as the new Director of the Graduate Program.  

Reception University House

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

There will be an informal reception across the street from the Law School at the University House immediately following the panel discussion. This reception will provide an opportunity for alumni to visit with Judge Looney and Professors Hamilton and Pedersen. And, it will provide an opportunity for all of us to welcome the class of 2013.  They begin their LL.M. studies this week.

For additional information, check out our UA Law website Alumni Reunion page.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

LL.M. Alumni News: Research Associate Paul Goeringer

We are very pleased to announce that one of our alumni, Paul Goeringer recently accepted a Research Associate position with the University of Maryland's Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Policy in College Park, Maryland.

In this new position, Paul will provide legal and economic analysis and develop policy-oriented programs addressing the issues of importance to agriculture and natural resources in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. His work for the Center will also involve research collaborations with faculty and graduate students in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and providing legal information on emerging topics to extension educators. He will be involved in innovative new projects for the Center such as disseminating legal information through social media and other new internet outlets and developing an internship program for agricultural economics students interested in pursuing law degrees.

 Paul received his LL.M. degree in Agricultural Law from our Program and then received his Masters in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arkansas Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, & Life Sciences. He served as a Graduate Assistant in the Agricultural Economics Department and as a Research Assistant at the National Agricultural Law Center. He received his law degree with honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University.

Congratulations, Paul!