Saturday, November 23, 2013

2014 Recruiting Begins - With a New Distance Option on the Horizon


Our new flyer for 2014 and a new recruiting poster are just back from the printer.

This year's theme is, "Practice what you eat."

To me, this sums up a lot of the interest in agricultural and food law studies. We all need food; we all eat; we all should care about our food system -  from the farm that produced it to the table that its served on.

Law plays a critical role in agriculture and throughout our food system.  Agricultural and food law attorneys - whether in practice, policy positions, executive positions, or teaching - all make an important impact on our food system.

We're proud of that.

We are also proud to announce that we have applied for approval to offer a distance degree option beginning with the Fall 2014 semester.  This option is being designed to accommodate a small number of experienced attorneys who cannot move to Fayetteville, but who want to be part of our network of students and alumni.

As an example of the types of attorneys that a distance option will serve, we are proud to have two particularly accomplished attorneys who are helping us to experiment with online delivery this year. As reported in the post, Welcome to the New LL.M. Class, Brian Mathison and Kelvin Stroud video-conference into my Food Law & Policy class this semester.  Brian is a Chemistry Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, and Kelvin is a Legislative Assistant for Senator Mark Pryor in Washington, D.C.

Video conferencing allows a fully interactive classroom experience including the ability to ask and respond to questions. Outside of class, interaction is furthered through email, chat, discussion forums, and phone conversations. This year is our time to experiment, and we thank Brian and Kelvin for helping us initiate and improve our technology.

Ultimately, we will have a mix of classes -  synchronous classes with additional opportunities for online interaction; some courses that are primarily online, with interactive exercises and regular interaction with the professor; and, our condensed courses. The condensed courses, with one credit earned over 2-3 days of intense study, will be a time when we hope distance and in-residence students can meet in Fayetteville for face-to-face interaction.

We will, of course, continue to have our signature small-class experience in Fayetteville for 10-15 students. Living in Fayetteville and interacting with the other students in the class each year was a big part of the LL.M experience for many of our alumni. That tradition continues. Our distance students will enhance that tradition by sharing their practice experience and policy expertise with the class.

We have rolling admissions and accept applications until the class is filled.  We anticipate that demand will be strong for the 2014 class though, so if interested, please apply soon.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Alumnus and Candidate Collaboration - Lauren Bernadett Publishes in Fisheries Law Update

The Fisheries Law Centre, founded and directed by LL.M. alumnus Adam Soliman, recently published its Winter 2013 Fisheries Law Update.  The Updates target recent legal activity in the fisheries and aquaculture fields.  This is the second Update published by the Fisheries Law Centre since it was established in May 2013.

Lauren Bernadett, a current LL.M. candidate, contributed two articles to the Winter Update.  Her first article, "Florida Sues Georgia, Local Oyster Industry Caught in the Mix," on the front page of the Update, discusses the lawsuit over water rights that the State of Florida recently filed against the State of Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lauren's second article in the Update is a case commentary on Drakes Bay Oyster Co. v. Jewell, a lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit about the National Park Service's refusal to issue a special use permit that would allow the continued operation of Drakes Bay Oyster Company.  This article is on page ten of the Update.

The Update, including both of Lauren's articles, can be found on the Fisheries Law Centre's Publications page.

LL.M. Candidate A-dae Romero Publishes News Article

A-dae Romero, a current LL.M. candidate, published an article with Indian Country Today titled Taste of Sovereignty: The Need to Protect Tribal Food Systems.

The news article discusses the history of tribal food systems, food safety, and suggestions for defending cultural food systems.

Concerns regarding the FDA proposed rules affecting farm produce have launched A-dae into a leadership role in research and writing about Native community food interests and ways to protect Native agriculture.  This article is one of a series of recent articles on these complex issues.

We are proud of the work that A-dae has done in this area and encourage all of our students to take a stand on issues that matter to them, regardless of what side of the issue they represent.  We are proud of the leadership she has shown on this controversial issue.




Birth Announcement

The LL.M. Program is pleased to announce the arrival of three new babies. Recent LL.M. Candidates Andy Frame, Nicole Civita, and Thamer Alshehail, all from the class of 2012, added a new member to their families last month. Congratulations to all!

                                                             
Rowan, Son of Nicole Civita and Doug Hallam
                                             
Sybil, Daughter of Andy and Anna Frame












                                                                                                            

Mohammed, Son of Thamer Alshehail and Nouf Almasoud


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Alumni News-Andy Frame

We are pleased to report that recent LL.M. Graduate Andy Frame has accepted a position with Adams and Reese LLP. The press release announcing Andy's position is below.

Andrew “Andy” D. Frame has joined the law firm as an associate in its Jackson office and as a member of the Transactions practice group. Frame has an LL.M. degree in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he had a graduate assistantship as a legal correspondent for Food Safety News. He formerly served as a judicial intern for the Mississippi Supreme Court and interned for the Office of Indigent Appeals in Jackson. Frame earned his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a concentration in business from Auburn University.

Congratulations Andy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A-dae Romero Writes Guide on FSMA Produce Safety Regulation Analysis for Tribes

LL.M. candidate A-dae Romero wrote a guide to help tribes navigate the FDA's proposed produce safety rules in the Food Safety Modernization Act.  A-dae's guide will help tribes understand the proposed rules' implications on tribal food business and agriculture.  The proposed rules could be problematic for tribes because the rules don't specifically address tribes, so tribes need to carefully consider the implications of these rules on their food businesses and agriculture.

Access A-dae's guide, titled "Protecting Tribal Farmers, Food and Sovereignty: An Analysis of the Food Safety Modernization Act Review and Proposed FDA Article 4 Produce Safety Rules" at this link:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9ar4QrbbjdqUks2eU5SZXBoZzg/edit?usp=sharing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Appreciation to our LL.M. Veterans

We are proud to honor and to thank the three military veterans that are in this year's current LL.M. class. They are outstanding professionals that have served and continue to serve our nation well.  Thank you, Brian, Wes, and Mark, for your service.

Brian Mathison is enrolled as a part time online candidate, while he serves full time as an Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point.
Brian's military experience includes:
Administrative and Operational Law Attorney, Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan
Trial Counsel, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Ft. Bliss, Texas
Trial Counsel, Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Daegu, Korea
Deputy Legal Advisor, Joint Task Force-North (JTF-N), Ft. Bliss, Texas
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA), Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Ft. Bliss, Texas
Legal Assistance Attorney, Tax Center Officer-in-Charge.

Wes Ward is enrolled as a full time LL.M. candidate and is participating in our joint degree program with the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences working on his masters degree Agricultural Economics at the same time.  Wes is a Member of the Marine Corps Reserve and an Officer with the 3rd Civil Affairs Group in Great Lakes, Illinois.  He is a former Battalion Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps. His military experience also includes:
Operational Law Attorney (detainee cases)
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Federal Magistrate Court
Civil Law Attorney, Tort Claims Office for Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton
Assistant Trial Counsel, Special Court Martial cases.

Mark Cohen is a practicing attorney from Colorado, enrolled as a full time LL.M. candidate.  As a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, he served as Judge Advocate representing the United States in trials by court-martial.  He served as Chief of Military Justice, Base Claims Officer, and Government Contracts counsel.  And, he was honored by the American Bar Association as the Outstanding Young Military Service Lawyer in 1986.

Thanks as well to all of the many veterans that are alumni of our LL.M. Program.  Happy Veterans Day!  We appreciation your service.

A-dae Romero Co-Publishes Article on Impact of SNAP Cuts on American Indians

LL.M. candidate A-dae Romero made another stride in her impressive contributions to discussions on how food and agricultural law affects American Indians.  She and co-author Raymond Foxworth, a Ph.D. candidate at CU-Boulder, published "Snatching Food from the Mouths of Babies: SNAP Cuts" in Indian Country Today.  Indian Country Today is the largest media platform in Indian Country.

The article details the effects of the November 1 SNAP cuts on American Indians, a group that will be hit especially hard by these cuts.  The article discusses these troubling statistics:
  • "In 2010, 24 percent of all American Indian households in the United States received SNAP benefits, compared to roughly 13 percent of all U.S. households."
  • ". . . one in every four American Indians is food insecure [and] one in three American Indian children are food insecure."
  • " . . . almost every American Indian reservation is classified as a 'food desert,' meaning that access to affordable and quality healthy food is extremely difficult."
  • "In Indian country, where the price of food is already higher than in urban areas and where the cost of traveling to food centers put additional expenses on food, these cuts will have exponential effects on already vulnerable Indian families and seniors.  For example, while the average cost of a gallon of milk is $3.50 in a typical American city, on reservations in New Mexico the cost is $4.95 and over $10 in Alaska native communities."
The article also questions government savings from SNAP cuts.  It points out that "food insecurity and obesity rates are strongly linked" and "that obese individuals pay $1,723 more a year in health care costs than an average-weight person."  As most SNAP participants use publicly-funded health care, the article questions whether the cuts will cause any net savings or if they merely divert money from the poor to the medical industry.

The article cited to an earlier article on the effects of SNAP cuts by LL.M. candidate Erin Shirl. Erin's research showed that over 51 percent of SNAP recipients are still food insecure.

Watch for more of A-dae's work on this and similar topics throughout the rest of the academic year.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

LL.M. Program Welcomes Professor Allen Olson

Beginning Monday, November 11, Professor Allen Olson will be teaching his practice-oriented condensed course involving farm programs and crop insurance.  We are pleased to welcome Allen back to Fayetteville and will be pleased to introduce him to this year's class.

Professor Olson is an experienced agricultural lawyer with a national reputation for his work. His practice is based in Albany, Georgia, and his representation is concentrated on federal farm programs, payment limitations, USDA administrative appeals, crop insurance litigation, conservation easements, farm business planning, farm bankruptcies, water law, and other matters affecting farmers and related agricultural businesses.

Professor Olson received his B.A. from Cornell University, his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, and his LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He practiced law in Virginia and Nebraska and taught in the LL.M. Program at the University of Arkansas School of Law prior to moving to South Georgia in 2001. He has over 30 years of experience as a practicing lawyer in addition to his time spent teaching. He currently represents farmers throughout Georgia and nationwide.

Professor Olson is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Agricultural Law Association and is a past Chair of the Agriculture Law Section of the Georgia State Bar. He is the author of numerous articles on agricultural law topics, including Allen H. Olson, “Federal Farm Programs — Past, Present And Future — Will We Learn From Our Mistakes?”, 6 Great Plains Nat. Resources J. 1 (2001).

Friday, November 8, 2013

LL.M.s Involved with Urban Agriculture City Ordinance Changes

On October 24th, four LL.M. candidates—Jeremy Baker, Kathryn Smith, A-dae Romero, and Lauren Bernadett—attended a meeting discussing current proposals to amend Fayetteville city ordinances related to urban agriculture.  City Councilmember Matthew Petty and Peter Nierengarten, the Director of Sustainability and Strategic Planning for the City of Fayetteville who helped develop the proposed ordinance, led the meeting for Ward 2, the second of four meetings on the topic. 

The proposed changes aim to support community food security by making Fayetteville more friendly to urban agriculture, which is very limited under the current ordinances.  The proposal includes provisions the would allow residents to raise bees and goats (only female dwarf or pygmy goats) on their property.  It would also increase the number of fowl allowed on larger lots in Fayetteville, although roosters are still not permitted under the proposed ordinance.  It also expands residents’ ability to sell food from the site where it is grown.  For example, home sales of agricultural products would be allowed under the rules for garage sales in the city ordinance.  The proposed ordinance would not supersede any existing subdivision covenants. 

LL.M. alumna Nicole Civita, who is now a visiting assistant professor with the LL.M. program, was among a small group of experts and stakeholders who helped develop the proposed revisions to the urban agriculture ordinance.  A-dae also attended an earlier stakeholder meeting about the revisions.

The meeting was held at Tri Cycle Farms, a small sustainable farm near the University campus.  Tri Cycle’s business model is unique in that it sells one-third of the food harvested from the farm, gives one-third to the farm volunteers, and donates one-third to local food pantries and community meals.  The farm’s owner, Don Bennett, led last year’s LL.M. class on a tour of the farm and has graciously invited this year’s class to the same tour in the future. 

We are excited that our LL.M.s were involved with this local urban agriculture initiative and look forward to following the ordinance’s progress.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

LL.M. Candidates Attend and Present at National Congress of American Indians Convention

We are always excited to see our LL.M. candidates involved in local and national food law affairs, especially when they're just a short drive away!  Last month, the 70th Annual National Congress of American Indians Convention took place on October 13-18 in Tulsa.  Two of our LL.M. candidates, Ruth McLain and A-dae Romero, had the opportunity to attend two days of the convention, and A-dae was featured as a speaker on a food law panel.  They had very positive experiences to report back.

The convention is held every year to discuss issues and vote on policy matters affecting American Indians.  There were many meetings and panels at the convention and attendees traveled from every part of the country to attend.

A-dae was featured as a speaker on a panel titled "The Future of Native Foods: Sovereignty, Safety, and Sustainability."  The panel focused on food sovereignty and sustainability, including discussions about food system control, preparing for the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations, and the implications of the status of the Farm Bill for American Indians.  A-dae spoke specifically about the economics of food in Tribal communities.

Ruth and A-dae are also taking Dean Stacy Leeds' American Indian Law class this semester and will continue to be involved in the American Indian community.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stephanie Dzur Elected to Board of Directors of Rio Grande Community Farm

We are pleased to announce another exciting alumni update!  LL.M. alumna Stephanie Dzur was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Rio Grande Community Farm, a not-for-profit community farm on public lands in New Mexico.
Photo Credit: Rio Grande Community Farm.  Members delivering fresh produce to Albuquerque public schools.

Rio Grande Community Farm is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation located on 138 acres in the Los Poblanos Fields Open Space in the North Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The group is in a partnership with the City of Albuquerque's Open Space Division, which acquired the land in 1995 in an effort to preserve the last farmland in the North Valley.  Rio Grande Community Farm was founded two years later to undertake management of 50 acres of the urban farmland.

The farm boasts community gardens, wildlife habitat, and certified organic croplands.  The healthy, organic food that is grown on the farm goes to schools, restaurants, and stores in Albuquerque.  The farm also provides a place for community service projects, recreation, and educational experiences for school, social, church, and corporate groups through the farm's service learning programs.  The farms also hosts annual events, including harvest festivals and the Maize Maze.

To learn more about Rio Grande Community Farm, visit its website at http://www.riograndefarm.org/.

Congratulations on your new position, Stephanie, and good luck!

Update: Fisheries Law Non-Profit / LL.M. Alum Adam Soliman

Adam Soliman, Director and Founder of the Fisheries Law Centre
Earlier this year, LL.M. alumnus Adam Soliman (‘13) graduated from the LL.M. Program and promptly founded the Fisheries Law Centre (FLC), a non-profit research center based out of Vancouver, Canada.  You can find our earlier blog announcing Adam's formation of FLC here.  We want to update readers on the impressive progress that Adam has made with FLC in the last six months.

Since May, FLC has grown to include a staff attorney, research fellows, and research assistants from all over the world.  Over the summer, Adam published FLC’s first issue of the Fisheries Law Update, a quarterly publication highlighting recent developments in fisheries and seafood regulations.  In a collaboration between current and past LL.M. students, LL.M. candidate Lauren Bernadett (‘14) contributed two articles to the fall issue of the Update.

Lauren also teamed with other FLC contributors to develop and write a legal guide to community supported fisheries in Canada.  The guide will help fishermen and NGOs better understand the benefits and necessary considerations of starting a community supported fishery, a business model that is growing in popularity.

FLC is developing a unique, international model for a summer internship program.  The interns will complete a training program on jurisdiction-specific fisheries law hosted by FLC or a partner university.  Adam is currently discussing an educational partnership agreement for the internship program with two international universities.  After completing the fisheries law training, the intern will be placed with a host NGO that partners with FLC to work on fisheries law projects.  FLC hopes to be able to completely fund this program in the future.

Adam with professors at Dalian Maritime University in China
Adam has been extremely busy on behalf of FLC.  He recently lectured at the University of British Columbia on environmental stewardship and at the University of Hong Kong on seafood fraud.  At the World Seafood Congress in Newfoundland, he presented on the U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization’s voluntary guidelines to sustainable, small-scale fisheries and the gap in access to justice for these fisheries.  He also presented on seafood fraud at the Food and Drug Law Institute’s annual conference in Beijing and on fisheries stewardship and access to justice at the BFAR-NFRDI Conference in Manila.


Adam will be equally busy in the future.  He will be presenting at a conference in Hyderabad, at a special session of the Coastal Zones Canada Conference, and at a food law session of the International Food Safety Conference in Hong Kong.  Between these presentations, developing the summer intern program, and FLC's other activities, we are sure that Adam will continue to develop FLC into an impressive new organization. 

Congratulations on your accomplishments to date, Adam, and keep up the good work!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

LL.M. Alumna Margie Alsbrook Joins Farm Journal Foundation as Director of Operations

We are delighted to report that LL.M. Program alumna Margie Alsbrook ('06) recently joined the Farm Journal Foundation as director of operations.  The Farm Journal Foundation is a non-profit corporation that houses Farm Journal's advocacy initiatives including Farmers Feeding the World and HungerU.  Congratulations, Margie!

Below is the Foundation's press release announcing Margie's appointment:


Farm Journal Foundation Expands Management Team

Mexico, Mo. (September 13, 2013)—Charlene Finck, president of the Farm Journal Foundation, announced today that Margie Alsbrook has joined the Foundation as director of operations. Alsbrook, who has an extensive non-profit background, holds a master’s in food and agricultural law, was the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Food Law & Policy and is a former business reporter.

“Margie’s unique combination of experience is perfect for our organization and our Farmers Feeding the World initiative,” said Finck. “From the moment she joined our team, she contributed to the success of our programs. We expect that to expand exponentially going forward, which will also extend the impact of our organization.”

“The Foundation is an exciting new endeavor from an organization with deep roots,” Alsbrook said. “The Farm Journal Foundation is only three years old, but has already established significant credibility in the hunger space and makes a deeper impact every year.”

“Margie has an ability to see complex issues from a wide variety of perspectives,” said Lesly Weber McNitt, director of government relations and program development. “Because of her breadth of knowledge, she can often articulate complicated concepts in an accessible manner.”

When she is not working on hunger issues, Alsbrook enjoys writing and researching about food and agricultural policy. She currently has a book contract with Springer Publishing on global agriculture and economics, and her work has appeared in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law and the Journal of Food Law and Policy.

Alsbrook’s primary hobby is volunteering, and she has a long history of public service. In 2011, Alsbrook was appointed by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to collaboratively govern the third largest county in Arkansas. After completing her term as justice of the peace, she was selected for the Arkansas Bar Association’s 2013 Leadership Academy.

Alsbrook is also a member of the Hendrix College Alumni Board of Governors and the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Law Review and Bar Association Journal, Inc. She serves on the Uniform Laws Committee and the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Arkansas Bar, is an advisory committee member for the Endeavor Foundation’s EnergizeNWA initiative, is a past board member for CASA of Northwest Arkansas, a sustaining member of the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas, and has been the recipient of both the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Fayetteville School District’s award for Volunteer of the Year.

About the Farm Journal Foundation
The Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to sustaining U.S. agriculture’s ability to serve the vital needs of a growing world population with education and assistance focused on the unique interests of people and organizations aligned with U.S. agriculture. The Foundation houses Farm Journal Media’s myriad advocacy initiatives, such as the Farmers Feeding the World campaign and elements of the Farm Journal Legacy Project. For more information, please visit www.FarmersFeedingTheWorld.org.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A'dae Romero Takes Leadership Role on Tribal Food Law / Food Sovereignty Issues

LL.M. candidate A'dae Romero has had a very busy Fall semester.  In addition to her classes, she has been actively involved with the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative, working with Initiative Director, Janie Hipp.

Consider the remarkable list of A'dae's accomplishments in the last month.
  • She was interviewed by Susan Youmans for the radio broadcast, What's For Dinner? This informative interview discusses food sovereignty, food security, and the potential impact of the new produce food safety rules on many tribes.



  • A'dae delivered a presentation, Food Safety and Tribes, during a Plenary session at the First Nations Development Institute's LEAD conference for non-profit and Tribal food businesses. Also at the First Nations conference, she participated in the formation of the Native American Food Alliance.
  • Last week, she delivered a presentation to the National Congress of American Indians titled Food and the Tribal Economy.

Vena A-dae Romero (Cochiti Pueblo/Kiowa) was born and raised in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. She co-founded serves as the Executive Director of Cochiti Youth Experience, Inc., a non-profit organization created to create opportunities for Cochiti youth to engage in traditional Pueblo farming as an important process to create a healthy, sustainable, and viable community.  A'dae also served as Pro Tem Judge for the Karuk Tribe of California before coming to Arkansas to attend the LL.M. Program.

A'dae has a remarkable list of accomplishments and service to indigenous peoples including serving as Special Assistant to the Governor, Pueblo de Cochiti; Grant writer, Big Valley Rancheria; Education Director, California Tribal TANF Partnership; Director of Native Vote 2006, National Congress of American Indians;  Tribal Advocate, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community;  Legislative Correspondent, Office of Senator Pete Domenici;  Assistant for Permanent Forum on Indigenous Affairs, The United Nations.

A'dae received her J.D. degree from Arizona State University College of Law where she participated in the Arizona State University American Indian Legal Program and the VITA Tax Preparation Program. She served as the Arizona State Lead for MTV Rock the Vote and co-founded Native-Poll-Ooza, Inc.  A'dae received her  B.A. from Princeton University with a major in Public and International Affairs.  She served as President of the Native Americans at Princeton.



Monday, October 21, 2013

Kelly Damewood Appointed to Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship

We are pleased to announce that LL.M. Candidate Kelly Damewood has been appointed as the 2013-14 Marler Clark Graduate Assistant.

Kelly received her J.D. from Vermont Law School, magna cum laude. During law school she served as a Staff Editor to the Vermont Law Review.  She earned her General Practice Program Certificate which is awarded after completing a program of classes that teach substantive law through simulations and mock transactions.

Fall semester 2012, Kelly served as a full-time Judicial Extern to the Honorable Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington. Her additional legal experience includes a Summer Associate position with the Crag Law Center (public interest law environmental organization) and a legal internship with Rural Vermont (a non-profit small farm advocacy organization).

Kelly earned her B.A. from the University of Portland (English, Philosophy minor). Before attending law school she founded and operated a certified organic farm in Oregon.

Kelly recently passed the Oregon Bar Exam and will soon be licensed to practice law in Oregon.


In her assistantship position, Kelly will be writing for the acclaimed online news service Food Safety News, founded and supported by Marler Clark.
And, in fact, she has already published three headline articles.

The Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship is available due to the generosity of Bill Marler and his law firm, Marler Clark.  Bill is an internationally recognized as both an advocate for food safety and a litigator on behalf of victims of serious foodborne illness. He has been a tireless supporter of food safety and corporate responsibility through frequent media interviews, the very popular Marler Blog and his active Twitter feed, @bmarler. He was instrumental to the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act and for the USDA's declaration of additional E. coli pathogens as adulterants.  His start in food safety litigation is chronicled in the book, Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E.Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat.

We are proud to have Bill as one of our visiting condensed course professors, teaching Food Safety Litigation in the LL.M. Program each year. We greatly appreciate his support.

Marler Clark is 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.

Kelly follows in a great tradition of Marler Clark Graduate Assistants.  The first was Claire Mitchell who is now an associate in the Technology and Intellectual Property group of Stoel Rives in Seattle, Washington. Claire focuses her practice primarily on regulatory compliance and risk management within the food, beverage, animal feed, dietary supplement and agribusiness industries. The second was Alli Condra, who now serves as a Fellow with the Harvard University Food Law & Policy Clinic. And, last year's recipient was Andy Frame, a practicing attorney in Mississippi with recognized expertise in local food law & policy.  We are proud of all our Marler Clark GAs and proud to offer this opportunity to one of our LL.M candidates each year.

Congratulations to Kelly, and thanks to Bill Marler, Marler Clark, and the editors and staff at Food Safety News.

Friday, October 18, 2013

LL.M. Candidate Lauren Bernadett - 2013-14 LL.M. Program Graduate Assistant

I would like to introduce LL.M. Candidate Lauren Bernadett.  Lauren was selected as this year's LL.M. Program Graduate Assistant, and she will be working with me during the 2013-14 academic year.

With so many events happening here, and so much good news to share from students and alumni, I have asked Lauren to jump in and help with the blog. Watch for Lauren's upcoming posts and please send in your news.

Lauren earned her J.D. at the UCLA School of Law and was the 2013 Joyce A. Will Scholar in Environmental Law.  She served as a Managing Editor for the UCLA Law Review and took LL.M. alumnus Michael Roberts' Food Law and Policy seminar.  During law school, Lauren worked as a summer legal intern with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Land Law Section of the California Attorney General's Office in Los Angeles.  Lauren received her B.A. in Sociology cum laude, with high distinction, from UC San Diego.

Lauren is in the process of publishing her second and third law journal articles.  She recently published her first comment, Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration Offset Programs: Strengths, Difficulties, and Suggestions for Their Potential Use in AB 32's Cap and Trade Program, in the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy.  Her second article, which covers state-level aquaculture leasing and licensing regulations, will be published by the San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review in early 2014.  Her third article analyzes the success of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement's tuna fishery treaty and will be published by the Chicago-Kent Journal of International & Comparative Law in mid-2014.

Most of Lauren's self-selected studies this year will focus on aquaculture.  In the near-term, she will be writing on financing aquaculture operations, developing her thesis on using shellfish in a carbon market offset program, and contributing content to the Fisheries Law Centre, a new non-profit research center founded and directed by LL.M. alumnus Adam Soliman ('13).

As far her Graduate Assistant work, Lauren has been working on the 2013 Food Law Update and presented her research on recent trends in "natural" food labeling litigation to the Food Law and Policy class.

Welcome to the LL.M. Program, Lauren, and thanks for your help with the blog!


Monday, October 14, 2013

LL.M. Candidate Erin Shirl Publishes on Food Assistance

Last week, I received a request for information about the impact of the government shutdown on women and children who rely on food assistance. The request came from Paula Sinclair, the Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Jewish Women's Archive. Paula is the sister of LL.M. alumna, Amy Lowenthal.

I asked Erin Shirl, an attorney this year's class to research and write a reply.  Erin is already involved in an independent study this semester involving the nutrition programs, so I knew this was an area of expertise.

The information that Erin reported was so important and so well researched, that I asked her to prepare it for the law professor's blog, Agricultural Law.  Erin's post was published at Harsh Reality: The Impact of the Government Shutdown on Food Assistance.  Check it out -  it has been getting excellent reviews and is being widely circulated.

Erin's research was used in an excellent blog post, Poverty and Hunger in the Face of the Government Shutdown by Jordyn Rozensky, Director of Social Media at the Jewish Women's Archive. The post is on the Jewish Women's Archive blog, Jewesses With Attitude.  It includes comments from LL.M. Professor Nicole Civita and an interview with Erin where she discusses her personal connection to this issue.

Erin's bio is as follows:

Erin Shirl is a candidate in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she received her J.D. in 2011; she also holds a B.A. (Political Science/ Russian Language) from Ouachita Baptist University, where she graduated magna cum laude as the Outstanding Graduate in Political Science. Erin is presently working on compiling a comprehensive legislative history of major federal food assistance programs in the United States, and is particularly interested in tracking American attitudes about food security over time. Prior to attending the LL.M. Program, Erin served as a Staff Attorney and Research Coordinator for the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform. She is admitted to practice law in the state of Arkansas.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Food Recovery Project - Phase II

We are delighted to announce that the Women's Giving Circle at the University of Arkansas voted today to fund Phase II of our Food Recovery Project.  Phase II will build upon the work done this past year in moving our community toward reduced food waste and increased food donation to those in need.

In Phase I, we produced legal resources to address concerns about potential legal liability for food donation.  Our publication, Food Recovery: A Legal Guide, by Nicole Civita, has been very well received and is now a resource link for the Food Recovery Network, the Campus Kitchens Project, and others involved in food waste recovery.

Phase II will record and publicize what food recovery activities are taking place in our region. Our LL.M. candidates will interview farmers, businesses and food assistance providers about their food recovery plans, documenting their work. Articles about this work will be published on a new Food Recovery Project blog and provided to the media for maximum coverage.  Models of successful food recovery will be publicized and promoted, encouraging more businesses to engage with this issue. Pictured above, left to right, are UA Chancellor Dave Gearhart, Don Judges, Associate Dean for Graduate and Experiential Learning at the Law School, Susan Schneider, Director of the LL.M. Program, and Melissa Werner, President of the Women’s Giving Circle.

We again thank the Women’s Giving Circle for giving us the opportunity to do this fulfilling work.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Updated LL.M. Curriculum

Our curriculum in the LL.M. Program has always reflected the emerging issues of the time and the interests of our LL.M. candidates. While we have always provided for a core curriculum that included the basics, our electives have varied from year to year.  LL.M. candidates in recent years are very familiar with our variety of "Special Topics" classes.

As part of our Program Review process, we undertook a review of our curriculum, past and present. We decided to formalize some of the Special Topics courses that we have offered repeatedly, and we decided to create some new courses based on student interest and emerging issues.  This will result in an expanded curriculum that is being developed throughout this year.  We hope to offer some of the courses as online offerings, some as condensed workshops, and some as traditional semester based courses.  While we may have to stagger the face-to-face delivery of the courses each year, online and related distance offerings will allow us to provide full access to each incoming class. And, remember that alumni are always encouraged to take advantage of our new classes.

Here is a listing of our proposed new curriculum:

Course Title
Course Description
Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture
Orientation course that provides an overview of the legal and policy issues presented by the production of food and fiber, including a discussion of structural changes in agriculture, sustainability issues, and trends in consumer interest.
Agriculture and the Environment
Agriculture is increasingly criticized for its impact on the environment. This course examines the tensions between the desire to produce food and fiber efficiently and concern for sustainability and the protection of natural resources.
Food Law & Policy
An introduction to the network of laws that govern our food system. An overview of regulation by both the Food & Drug Administration and the USDA is provided. Policy considerations are discussed in light of current issues.
Federal Farm Programs and Crop Insurance
Survey of the complex network of federal farm programs and federal crop insurance programs that are available to U.S. producers.
Agricultural Perspectives
Agriculture has a rich and varied history, and today’s issues are often best understood in the context of this history.  This course examines a wide range of social and economic issues, considering their origin and how history is reflected in today’s policies. The course includes a series of documentaries. 
Advanced Writing in Agricultural & Food Law
Research in a specialized area of agricultural or food law and development of a paper that demonstrates rigorous legal analysis and quality legal writing.
Administrative Process and Practice in Agricultural & Food Law
Study of administrative law & practice in the specialized areas of agricultural and food law.  Relevant regulatory agencies are introduced.  Rulemaking, adjudication, and judicial review are covered. 
Agricultural Bankruptcy
Examination of bankruptcy law as applied to agricultural operations, including Chapter 12 - Family Farmer Reorganization. No prior knowledge of bankruptcy is required.
Agricultural Biotechnology
Study of the regulation of agricultural biotechnology, including the approval process for new technologies, the patenting of new products and technologies, and the restrictions associated with their use.
Agricultural Cooperatives and Local Food Systems
Introduction to the legal structure of a cooperative and examination of the recent use of the cooperative model in encouraging local and regional food systems
Agricultural Finance & Credit
Study of the legal issues surrounding the financing of agricultural operations, including credit availability, agricultural security issues under the Uniform Commercial Code, and debt restructuring opportunities. Special focus is on lending options offered by the Farm Service Agency and the Farm Credit System.
Agricultural Labor Law
Study of the legal, social, and economic issues that arise from the extensive use of migrant labor in U.S. agricultural operations. Topics include agricultural exemptions from labor laws, the Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, and agriculture’s reliance on undocumented alien workers.
Agricultural Policy & the Federal Budget
Study of the impact of the Office of Management and Budget and the cost scoring system on federal agricultural policy making in Washington, D.C.  Current farm policy issues are discussed within the context of budgetary constraints and pressures.

Agricultural Water Law
Study of the basic legal principles applicable to water rights through consideration of water rights for agricultural use.
Energy Policy & Agriculture 
Survey of the legal dimensions of various energy issues occurring on agricultural lands and in rural areas, including wind power, solar power, ethanol production, power line transmission, and fracking
Environmental Regulation of Agriculture
This course examines the major federal environmental statutes applicable to agricultural operations with attention to current cases and controversies under those laws.  It also explores the regulatory authority and enforcement practices of the EPA and other agencies.
Farmed Animal Welfare Law & Policy
Examination of the legal issues involved in determining welfare standards for animals raised for food.  In addition to introducing federal animal welfare and humane slaughter laws, state referenda, state law standards, and so-called “ag gag” laws are studied. 
Federal Nutrition Law & Policy
Study of federal nutrition policy, including the development of the federal nutrition standards, the framework for the food assistance programs, the federal school lunch program, and the government’s efforts to encourage healthy eating.
Federal Regulation of Food Labeling
Study of the federal laws regarding the labeling of food, considering both FDA and USDA regulation. The course includes the study of nutrition labeling, health claims, advertising issues, and efforts to curb the obesity epidemic through educational labeling.
Federal Regulation of Food Safety
Study of the federal laws that regulate food safety, considering the FDA authority under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as expanded by the Food Safety Modernization Act and USDA authority to regulate meat and poultry safety. Current issues and concerns are addressed. 
Food Justice: Law & Policy
Survey of the legal and policy issues raised by the food justice movement. Topics covered include food insecurity and poverty, public health concerns such as obesity, the economics of healthy eating, food deserts, and food waste.
Food Safety Litigation
Examination of food borne illness litigation with an initial introduction to food product liability followed by the study of actual cases brought against food manufacturers
Food, Farming & Sustainability

Survey of the complex legal topics that make up the body of agricultural and food law focusing on current issues of significance.
Global Food Security
Survey of the role of law and policy in affecting problems of global food security in the face of increasing population, changing diets, environmental pressures, and climate change.
Independent Research in Agricultural & Food Law
Independent research in agricultural and food law conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.
International Agricultural Trade (still offered as Special Topics)
Study of the legal issues arising in the trade of agricultural goods, including WTO disputes involving food and agriculture.
Introduction to Agricultural Income Taxation
Overview of federal income tax law as applied to agricultural operations.
Legal Issues: Indigenous Food & Agriculture
This course examines the complex interaction of tribal law, treaties, and federal agricultural and food laws, including property law applicable to tribal lands.


Specialized Legal Research and Writing
Legal writing skill development, including training in plain-English legal writing, electronic research training, and publication strategies.
Local/Regional Food Systems & the Law
This course examines recent efforts to re-establish local and regional food systems and explores the attendant legal and policy issues.
Regulated Markets in Agriculture
Study of the economic regulation of specific sectors of the agricultural industry focusing on perishable agricultural commodities (fruits & vegetables), and dairy products. Included is the study of formal and informal administrative review.
Regulation of Livestock Marketing & Sales
Study of the regulation of livestock and poultry sales under the Packers and Stockyards Act, with a particular focus on production contracting, mandatory price reporting, industry concentration, and anti-trust issues.
Selected Issues in Agricultural and Food Law
Specialized study of one or more current issues in agricultural and food law, regulation, and policy
Selected Issues in International Food & Agriculture

Specialized study of one or more current legal or policy issues related to international agriculture and food systems
Urban Agriculture: Law & Policy
Study of the legal issues raised by the rising interest in urban agricultural activities.  Topics of study include land use and zoning issues, farmers market issues, and legal issues associated with community sponsored agriculture.

Welcome to the New LL.M. Class

This year’s LL.M. class is a diverse and talented group of attorneys with law degrees from the UCLA, the University of Colorado, Indiana University, Vermont Law School, the University of Londrina in Brazil, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (William Bowen School of Law), Arizona State University, the University of South Carolina, and, our own University of Arkansas School of Law.  

We have fifteen candidates in total, with three special candidates attending part-time to allow for their full-time employment. Two are participating in the Program by distance education, helping us to develop our use of the University’s new video conferencing capabilities.  

Jeremy Baker
Served as Research Assistant to Professor Lakshman Guruswamy on manuscript, Global Energy Justice to be published by Foundation Press
J.D., University of Colorado Law School
Associate Editor, Colorado Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law Review,
Sandgrund Environmental Law Fellowship (Summer 2012)
Dean’s Scholar
Clerking, internships and research assistantships:  USDA, Golden, Colorado; WildEarth Guardians; Natural Resources Law Center
B.A., Northwestern University (Economics)
Publications: Note, The Waikato-Tainui Settlement Act: A new High-Water Mark for Natural Resources Co-management, 24 colo. j. int’l envtl. l. & pol’y 163 (2013).
Experience includes: Produce Manager, Mediterranean Market, Queenstown, New Zealand; General Manager, Trimet Associates; ESL Instructor, Hiosaki, Japan; Lead Underwriter, Jones Lang LaSalle; Financial Analyist, Jones Lang LaSalle

Lauren Bernadett
J.D., University of California School of Law at Los Angeles
Managing Editor, UCLA Law Review, (2012-13); Staff (2011-12)
Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Law and Policy (2010-11)
Recipient, Joyce A. Will Scholarship in Environmental Law (2013 merit based award)
Clerking, internships and research assistantships: Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, Islands First, Office of California Attorney General
B.A., cum laude, University of California at San Diego (Sociology with High Distinction)
Publications:
Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration Offset Programs: Strengths, Difficulties, and Suggestions for Their Potential Use in AB 32’s Cap and Trade Program, 31 UCLA J. EnvtlL. L. & Poly (forthcoming 2013);
Federal and State Aquaculture Permitting and Leasing Regulations: Balancing a Growing American Industry with Environmental Protection, 23 San Joaquin Agric. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2014);
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement’s Vessel Day Scheme: Accounting for the Rare Success of an International Agreement (forthcoming 2014, in expedited review process).

Mark Cohen
Attorney, The Cohen Law Group
Board of Editors, Colorado Lawyer; Chairperson of the Board (2012-2013)
J.D., University of Colorado School of Law
B.A., Whitman College (Economics)
Prior legal experience includes: Cohen Horner, LLP; Municipal Prosecuting Attorney; Interim Municipal Judge; Judge Advocate, U.S. Air Force, (Captain); Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Omaha, NE)
Numerous Legal Publications for the Bar including:
Book Review-Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law, The Colorado Lawyer (Nov. 2012); Book Review-Preparing Witnesses: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients, The Colorado Lawyer (Dec. 2012); Cause of Action to Establish Liability of Corporate Director or Officer for Corporation’s Wrongful Conduct, 36 COA2d 441 (2008), Elements of an Effective Workplace Violence Program, The Colorado Lawyer, (July 2004).
Published works:
Bluetick Revenge: A Pepper Keane Mystery, Mysterious Press (Div. of Time/Warner)
The Fractal Murders: A Pepper Keane Mystery, Mysterious Press (A Book Sense 76® Top Ten Mystery Selection (Fall 2002) and a Finalist for the Colorado Book Award).
Mark is teaching Upper Level Legal Writing in the J.D. Program this year.

Kelly Damewood
J.D., Vermont Law School. magna cum laude
Staff Editor, Vermont Law Review
Full-time Judicial Extern to Judge Ricardo S. Martinez (Fall semester 2012)
Recipient, Vermont Law School Academic Excellence Award
Clerking and legal internship experience includes: Summer Associate position with the Crag Law Firm (public interest law environmental organization) and legal internship with Rural Vermont (a non-profit small farm advocacy organization)
B.A., University of Portland (English, Philosophy minor)
Prior farming and horticulture experience includes founding a operating a certified organic farm in Oregon
Kelly was awarded the 2013-14 Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship and is already authoring articles for Food Safety News.  

Teresa Cristina Garcia
LL.B., State University of Londrina, Brazil
Internships with the First Level Federal Court, Office of Legal Affairs, and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office
Publications:
 “Agricultura Sustentável na Amazônia” (Sustainable Agriculture in Amazon Rainforest), Oficina de Disseminacao de Artigos (Dissemination Workshop Articles).
 “O direito à educação no ECA” (The right to education in ECA), VII Simposio Londrinense sobre o Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente: do direito à educação e seus reflexos na formação cidadã infantojuvenil (Londrinense Symposium on the Child and Adolescent Statute: From the Right to Education and its Reflection inthe Formation of children and youth citizen).
 “A desaposentação no Regime Geral de Previdência Social e seus efeitos (Exlusion from the General Social Security System and its Effects)”, XI ENINCE – Encontro Integrado de Iniciação Científica e de Extensão (Integrated Meeting Undergraduate Research and Extension).
 “A desaposentação no Regime Geral de Previdência Social (Exlusion from the General Social Security System)”, IV Fórum de Disseminação de Trabalhos de Conclusão do Curso de Direito (Form for the dissemination of completion project of the Law course).
                       
Adam Lichtenberger
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law, magna cum laude
Member, Arkansas Law Review
Research Assistant, Susan Schneider
Communications Director, Equal Justice Works
Member, National Lawyer’s Guild
B.S., New College of Florida (Political Science)
            Sarasota Conservation Award
Clerking and related legal experience includes:
The Family Law Project in Ann Arbor, MI. (working to represent indigent survivors of domestic violence in family law matters);
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid Inc.,
Equal Justice Works Summer Fellow (advocated for agricultural workers in employment, wage theft, and labor trafficking disputes);
Legal Aid of Arkansas, AmeriCorps Member
Prior farming experience includes serving as Manager, Geraldson Community Farm (nonprofit organic vegetable farm)

Brian Mathison
Instructor (Chemistry), Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point
M.S., Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry, University of California, Davis
M.S., Finance, Indiana University Kelley School of Business
J.D., Indiana University School of Law
B.A., Indiana University (English Literature)
B.S., Indiana University (Biochemistry)
Military Education includes:
Chemical Corps Captains Career Course, Criminal Law Advocacy Course, The Judge Advocate General’s Corps Officer Basic Course, Finance Corps Officer Basic Course, Administrative Specialist Course, Finance Specialist Course, Basic Combat Training
Publications: A Rapid Method to Determine the Sterol, Erythrodiol, and Uvaol Concentrations in Olive Oil, J. agric. & Food Chemistry
Additional legal experience includes: 
Administrative and Operational Law Attorney, Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan
Trial Counsel, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Ft. Bliss, Texas
Trial Counsel, Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Daegu, Korea
Deputy Legal Advisor, Joint Task Force-North (JTF-N), Ft. Bliss, Texas
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA), Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Ft. Bliss, Texas
Legal Assistance Attorney, Tax Center Officer-in-Charge
Brian is attending the LL.M. Program part-time and participating this semester via LifeSize videoconferencing.

Ruth Laws McLain
J.D., University of Arkansas at Little Rock William Bowen School of Law
B.A., Haskell Indian Nations University, Summa Cum Laude (American Indian Studies)
Publications:  Bittersweet, Tribal College Journal (2010)
          Wakarusa, Tribal College Journal  (2009)
          Hesitation, Tribal College Journal (2009)  
Extensive professional experience in the non-profit and community sector including serving as the Executive Director of the North Arkansas Medical Foundation, the NOARK Girl Scout Council, the Northwest Crisis Intervention Center, the Moberly Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Foundation;
Other related positions include Director of Volunteers, Episcopal Social Services; Coordinator of Hospice Volunteers, Faith Home Health and Hospice, LLC; Office Manager and Human Resources Manager, HistoRX, Inc.
Other experience includes: General Manager and Owner of Channel Z Cablevision, Inc., and work as a licensed realtor for Re/MAX One in New Mexico

Vena A-dae Romero
Executive Director, Cochiti Youth Experience
Pro Tem Judge, Karuk Tribe of California
J.D., Arizona State University College of Law
            Arizona State University American Indian Legal Program
            Co-Founder, Native-Poll-Ooza, Inc.
VITA tax preparation program
Arizona State Lead for MTV Rock the Vote
B.A., Princeton University (Public and International Affairs)
            President, Native Americans at Princeton
Prior professional experience includes: Special Assistant to the Governor, Pueblo de Cochiti; Grant writer, Big Valley Rancheria; Education Director, California Tribal TANF Partnership; Director of Native Vote 2006, National Congress of American Indians, Washington, DC;  Tribal Advocae, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Scottsdale, AZ;  Legislative Correspondent, Office of Senator Pete Domenici, Washington, D.C.;  Assistant for Permanent Forum on Indigenous Affairs, The United Nations, New York, NY
Published Works: 
Selected Poems in When The Rain Sings, edited by Lee Francis, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; 1st ed edition (November 1, 1999); Selected Poems in Night is Gone, Day is Still Coming, edited by B. Franco, Candlewick; 1 edition (July 14, 2003).
                       
Erin Shirl
Former Staff Attorney and Research Coordinator, National Commission on Indian Trust Administration & Reform
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
            Junior Editor, Journal of Islamic law & culture (2010-2011)
            President/Founder, Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, Fayetteville (2010-2011)
            Benjamin J. Althemimer Moot Court Competition Quarterfinalist (2010)
            Philanthropy Chair & Marshal, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity-Garland Chapter (2009-2010)
B.A., Magna cum laude, Ouachita Baptist University (Political Science)
Outstanding Graduate in Political Science (2006)
           
Kathryn D. Smith
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
Editor in Chief, Journal of Food Law & Policy (2011-12)
Outstanding Contribution to Law School Publications Award
B.S., cum laude, University of Alabama (Criminal Justice)
Departmental Honors and Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society
B.A., University of Alabama (Spanish) with University Honors
            DELE Certified at the Intermediate Level (Spanish)
Prior professional experience includes Law Clerk/Discovery Specialist, Bailey & Oliver Law Firm; Research Assistant for Prof. Carlton Bailey; Legal Assistant for a small estate planning law firm; and Assistant Manager with various retail companies
Kathryn is working as a Teaching Assistant for Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Carl Circo in the development of a new Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiating course for the J.D. Program and will assist in teaching the course next semester.

William Mitchell Spearman
Director of Development and External Relations, The Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Prior experience includes, Director of Planned Giving, University of Arkansas, Assistant Vice-President, Gift Planning and Major Gifts, Drexel University; Director of Gift Planning, Presbyterian College; Assistant Director, Planned Giving, Presbyterian College
J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law
G.G. Dowling Student Award (2006) (presented to a student that exhibits unwavering care and compassion to others)
Lieutenant Governor of the Fourth Circuit, ABA Student Section
Student Editorial Board, ABA , Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal
Clerking experience includes South Carolina House of Representatives, McNair Law Firm
B.A., cum laude, Presbyterian College (Political Science, with honors)
            Joseph O. Nixon Leadership Award (2003)
            Commendation from the Presbyterian College Board of Trustees (2003)
            Presbyterian College Student Leader of the Year (2002)
Internships with Governor Jim Hodges, Senator Strom Thurmond; Project Coordinator, USDA
Research and Publications:  The United Citizens Party in the Racial Milieu of South Carolina (with David Gillespie, 2003), Presbyterian College Honors Research
Mitchell is attending the LL.M. Program part-time in residence while he continues work for the Bumpers College.

Kelvin Stroud
Legislative Assistant, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Global Policy Fellowship focusing on U.S. Russian agricultural trade issues
Partnership for Secure America, Congressional Fellowship
Scholar, Congressional Research Service Legislative Process Institute
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
            President, Student Bar Association
            President, Student Arkansas Trial Lawyers
Clerking and internship experience includes work for the Arkansas Municipal League and for Senator Mark Pryor, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and Congressman Vic Snyder
B.S.B.A. Dual Degrees, University of Arkansas (Finance and Accounting)
Prior experience includes serving as Legislative Assistant for Tyson Foods and Legislative Counsel for the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee; Founder, proprietor and Of Counsel, CollegeTokens.com Inc.
Kelvin is attending the LL.M. Program part-time and participating this semester via LifeSize videoconferencing while he continues his work for Senator Pryor in Washington, D.C.

Sonia Sylls
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
Member, Journal of Food Law & Policy
Externship and clerking experience includes: Corporate Counsel Extern (Realty Management) at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR; Judicial Extern, Honorable John R. Scott, Benton County Circuit Court, Bentonville, AR; Summer Associate clerkships with Davis, Clark, Butt, Carithers & Taylor, PLC (Fayetteville, AR); and with Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C. (Little Rock, AR)
B.A., University of California at Los Angeles (Political Science, Spanish Language minor)
Previous business experience includes:
Marketing and Account Specialist, Triad Retail Media, Rogers, AR;
Business Sales Division Marketing and Sales Coordinator, Tiffany & Co., San Francisco, CA; Real Estate Marketing Coordinator, Sotheby’s International Realty, Los Angeles, CA

Wesley Ward
Member of the Marine Corps Reserve and an Officer with the 3rd Civil Affairs Group in Great Lakes, Illinois
Former Battalion Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps
Former Field Coordinator for U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
Trial Competition Finalist; National Trial Competition Team Member
Clerking and externship experience includes externship with Circuit Court Judge Mary Ann Gunn and clerkship at the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office
U.S. Marine Corps Education
Specialized training includes Marine Corps Recruit Training, Marine Combat Training, Administrative Clerk Course, Senior Administrative Clerk Course, Sergeant’s Distance Education Program, Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (Honor Graduate), The Basic School (Honor Graduate), Naval Justice School, Expeditionary Warfare School
B.S., Arkansas State University Magna Cum Laude (Agricultural Business)
A.S., Park University (Management)
Additional legal experience in the U.S. Marine Corps includes:
Operational Law Attorney (detainee cases)
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Federal Magistrate Court
Civil Law Attorney, Tort Claims Office for Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton
Assistant Trial Counsel, Special Court Martial cases
Wes is enrolled as a Joint Degree candidate, working toward both an LL.M. and a Masters in Agricultural Economics. He is teaching Upper Level Legal Writing in the J.D. Program this year.