This is the unofficial blog of the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law.
We study the law of food and agriculture from farm to fork, from the perspective of the farmer, the retailer, and the consumer.
Concern about the safety and sustainability of the global food system makes agricultural and food law studies one of the most vibrant areas of legal practice and policy analysis.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Experiential Learning: Externships with Walmart's Legal Division
The LL.M. Program provides experiential opportunities for students to work with professionals in the agricultural or food law sector. Experiential opportunities usually take place in the spring
semester so that students can assess their interests in the field and focus on
developing relevant legal background during the fall semester.
This spring, we have five LL.M. students participating in
experiential opportunities: Erin Shirl and Kathryn Smith are externing with Walmart, a
recurring extern host with the LL.M. Program; Sonia Sylls is working with the
Sustainability Consortium, a first-time partner with the LL.M. Program; and
Kelly Damewood and Lauren Bernadett are doing projects with AllenOlson, who taught Federal Farm Programs last semester.
We are running a series of blog posts featuring our
students’ work with each of the externship hosts. This first post features Kathryn and Erin’s
work with Walmart.
Kathryn and Erin and both externing in Walmart’s Legal
Division. They are working with Don
Wiseman, a long-time friend of the LL.M. Program and an experienced attorney
assigned to Food Compliance and Product Safety Compliance, and Amy White, an
alumna of the LL.M. Program with Walmart’s Food Compliance Division.
Kathryn is primarily working with Don in the Food Compliance
department, which oversees food safety and food labeling issues. She anticipates that her work might include
the newest Farm Bill and the Food Safety Modernization Act. Her other work will depend on issues that
arise during her time there.
Kathryn has been pleased to find that the people with whom
she works at Walmart are taking her interests into consideration to guide her
assignments. Additionally, they are
taking the time to connect her with others in the Walmart family with whom her
Erin accepted an extern position with the Food Safety and
Health division, and primarily works with Amy on food labeling issues.
Erin says that working on compliance and labeling issues is
as fast-paced as you might expect with a company as large as Walmart. She is impressed by her division’s ability to
streamline its work, made possible by the Food Safety team’s incredible
dedication. Erin reports that she is
enjoying her work with Walmart and is currently working on some very
interesting research projects.
Erin and Kathryn have already had the opportunity to be
involved in corporate meetings at Walmart and they agree that their supervisors
are great about showing them the behind-the-scenes work at the world’s largest