Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Experiential Learning Pt. 2: Opportunities with Allen Olson

This is the second in a series of three posts about experiential learning opportunities for LL.M. students.

Last week, we posted about two of our current LL.M. students’ experiential learning opportunities with Walmart this semester.  This week, we are featuring opportunities that Kelly Damewood and Lauren Bernadett are completing with Allen Olson. 

Allen Olson
Allen Olson is a practitioner in the state of Georgia and long-time friend of the LL.M. Program.  After gaining many years of experience as a practicing attorney, Professor Olson received his LL.M. in agricultural law from our program in 1996.  After additional years of practice, he taught for the LL.M. Program before moving to Albany, Georgia in 2001 to begin his current practice.  He focuses primarily on agricultural law and has a national reputation for his work in federal farm programs, crop insurance, payment limitations, and other aspects of agricultural law.  Even though he is busy with his practice, Professor Olson graciously returned to the LL.M. Program to teach Federal Farm Programs last fall.  This was an ideal time for Professor Olson’s class, as many provisions of the farm bill that they discussed in class were being debated in Congress and the media.

Kelly Damewood
In addition to teaching Federal Farm Programs last semester, Professor Olson is currently working with two LL.M. students pursuing experiential opportunities.  Under Professor Olson’s supervision, Kelly Damewood is preparing a memorandum on the reach of IC-DISCs and Lauren Bernadett is preparing a memorandum on equitable apportionment and Florida’s current lawsuit against Georgia.

Kelly’s work for Professor Olson focuses on Interest Charge Domestic International Sales Corporations (IC-DISCs).  An IC-DISC is a type of business structure that carries federal tax benefits for farmers with an export crop business.  Kelly’s final memorandum will broaden the understanding of the full reach of IC-DISCs by analyzing who can benefit from IC-DISCs and under what circumstances.

Lauren Bernadett
Lauren’s work for Professor Olson focuses on the water rights doctrine of equitable apportionment, especially as it has been decided by the Supreme Court in original jurisdiction cases.  Many states have brought interstate water rights issues to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to decide how much water should be apportioned to each state.  Lauren’s research will tie in the current lawsuit that Florida filed against Georgia in October 2013 asking the Supreme Court for equitable apportionment of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin waters.  This research will help Professor Olson stay abreast of the lawsuit, which is important because his agricultural clients may be affected by how water rights in Georgia are managed.

These projects are great opportunities for Kelly and Lauren to learn more about specific areas of law and to get feedback on their research from a practicing attorney.  It is also a great opportunity for the LL.M. Program to maintain a close connection with Professor Olson, who has been such a great asset to the program for so many years.  Thank you, Professor Olson!

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