Wednesday, April 29, 2015

LLM Walmart Externs Receive Food Safety Champion Awards

Each Spring semester, one or two of our LL.M. candidates are selected for an opportunity to extern at Walmart working with the food safety and labeling compliance team.  The opportunity to work inside the world's largest food retailer on safety and labeling issues is a remarkable way to learn food law in practice. This semester Trevor Findley and Christina Rice were the Walmart Externs from our Program.

Our Alumna, Amy White worked closely with Trevor and Christina, involving them in many real-world food labeling and safety issues.  Amy serves as the Food Safety and Health Manager for Labeling Compliance at Walmart, working with internal and external stakeholders to ensure regulatory compliance in food labeling. She works specifically with the labeling of private-label food items sold at Walmart and Sam's Club.  Her position requires complex regulatory analysis and close work with the companies that supply Walmart. An additional part of her position is monitoring legislation, litigation and policy shifts that affect food labeling.  Working with Amy is a fascinating learning experience for our LL.M. candidates.

Senior Associate General Counsel Don Wiseman also mentors our externs. Don is the company's principal subject matter legal expert for food safety and regulatory compliance, as well as consumer product safety and compliance. He has years of experience as a food law attorney. Before joining Walmart, he served as the senior vice president and general counsel of Swift Foods Co. and prior to that position, served as senior vice president and general counsel of Memphis-based Perkins Restaurants.

Christina and Trevor took time away from their final
exams to pose for this picture with their awards.
Through attendance at meetings and conferences, the externs are able to meet many of the professionals at Walmart who work on food safety and labeling issues. They were particularly fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Frank Yiannas, Vice President for Food Safety at Walmart. Dr. Yiannas is a recognized leader in food safety, a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, and author of the book, Food Safety Culture: Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System. He oversees all food safety and public health functions at Walmart. Trevor and Christina had the opportunity to present their work to him and the food safety/labeling team.  Dr. Yiannas honored them with Food Safety Champion Awards for the work they did during their externship.  We are grateful for the opportunity that is provided to our externs, and we are very proud of the work they do. Congratulations, Trevor and Christina.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fulbright Scholar Program: Field of Law

The announcement below is courtesy of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching, research or combined teaching and research awards in over 125 countries for the 2016-2017 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators, as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others.

This year, the Fulbright Scholar Program is offering over 80 awards in the field of Law. Exciting opportunities are available in many countries, including but not limited to:

Bulgaria: Law
Burma: All Disciplines (Law among preferred disciplines)
East Asia and the Pacific: Cross-Strait Studies
Ghana: Law
Jamaica: All Disciplines (Law among preferred disciplines)
Jordan: Public Policy and International Relations
Nepal: All Disciplines (Law among preferred disciplines)
Norway: International Courts and Tribunals
Sweden: Fulbright-Lund University Chair in Public International Law

For further awards in the field of Law, please visit our new Opportunities in Law webpage. There you will find award highlights and examples of successful projects in the discipline.

For eligibility factors, detailed application guidelines and review criteria, please follow this link. You may also wish to register for one of our webinars or join our online community, My Fulbright, a resource center for applicants interested in the program.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and the current competition will close on August 3, 2015.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any of the opportunities listed above or the Fulbright Scholar Program in general.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Global Anti-Corruption Officer and Vice-President of Wal-Mart to join Rule of Law Class

We are pleased to share that tomorrows Rule of Law Class will be joined by special guest Tom Gean, Global Anti-Corruption Officer and Vice-President of WalMart. This is an honor and a wonderful opportunity for us. Mr. Gean began his legal career as an associate at Alston & Bird LLP. He then became the Prosecuting Attorney for Sebastian County and, later, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. He joined Walmart in 2004 as its Chief Legal Compliance Officer (U.S.) and Vice-President. He became Walmart's Global Anti-Corruption Officer and Vice-President in 2012.

Mr. Gean received his law degree from Vanderbilt University. He earned his Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he was captain of the U of A swimming team.

As we've previously reported, University of Arkansas School of Law Associate Professor Christopher Kelley has taught a Rule of Law course for the J.D. and LL.M. students at Arkansas for a number of years. While in the past, the course has always included live video-conferenced discussions with attorneys from other countries, this year the student body in the course is also transnational. Students from the well-regarded Taras Shevchenko Faculty of Law in Kyiv, Ukraine are participating in the class by live video conference.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Alumni Update: Mark Cohen Honored by Colorado State Bar Association

Our congratulations to LL.M. Alumnus Mark Cohen, who was recently honored by the Colorado State Bar Association for his six years of service on the Editorial Board of The Colorado Lawyer magazine from July 2009 through June 2015, including service as Board Chair from 2012-2013.

Since completing the program, Mark has returned to practice in Colorado where he focuses on agricultural law issues, mediation and arbitration, with a specialization in assisting businesses and other lawyers improve their documents by using plain English.

In addition to his service on the Colorado State Bar Association Editorial Board, Mark is a published author of both legal publications and mystery novels.

His recent legal publications include the Book Review-Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law, Joseph Kimble, The Colorado Lawyer, November 2012 and Book Review-Preparing Witnesses: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients, (3rd Ed.) by Daniel I. Small, The Colorado Lawyer, December 2009.

His works of fiction include  Bluetick Revenge: A Pepper Keane Mystery, Mysterious Press (Div. of Time/Warner) and 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).

Saturday, April 18, 2015

LL.M. Alumnus Ben Thomas on the Daily Show??

Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas was featured on many news highlights and as a "Moment of Zen" on the Daily Show last week.  His cell phone went off while USDA Secretary Vilsack was testifying before the Senate Finance committee.  And, it turns out that his cell phone ring tone is the song "Let it Go" from the Disney animated film, Frozen.

What you may not have realized is that one of our alumni, Ben Thomas, was sitting directly behind Secretary Vilsack at the hearing.  While you can only see a bit of him on the brief Daily Show clip, we found a longer YouTube video that shows the moments before the cell phone goes off, and it shows Ben attentively listening to the Secretary's testimony. Clearly an alumni sighting is bigger news to us than Senator Roberts' ringtone! Watch the clip below -  and that's Ben on the right.

Ben serves at USDA as Chief of Staff for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Alumni Update: Sara Albert featured in article

We are pleased to share that LL.M. Alum Sara Albert was recently featured in this Increasing Access to Healthy Food in Dallas County, Texas article published by Sara serves as the Assistant Director of Food Policy at Children at Risk. Sarah joined CHILDREN AT RISK in 2014 to focus on local and state food policy related to food insecurity, childhood obesity, and access to healthy affordable food for North Texas children and their families. Sara is an avid community gardener and a champion of sustainable agricultural practices, urban agriculture, small farmers, and real food. Congratulations Sara.

Special Guest: Director of Congressional Relations in the Public Policy Department, Kristi Boswell

Immigration Reform in Agriculture

On Tuesday, special guest Kristi Boswell will visit the LL.M. class to provide a special session on Immigration Reform in Agriculture. Her visit is a part of the ongoing Agricultural Labor Law Course taught by LL.M. Adjunct Professor Amy Lowenthal. Kristi will join the class via video conference. 

Kristi Boswell serves as the Director of Congressional Relations in the Public Policy Department handling labor issues.

Prior to joining America Farm Bureau Federation, Kristi practiced corporate defense litigation, including labor and employment, at Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Omaha, Nebraska. Before attending law school, Kristi worked as an aide to former Nebraska State Senator Pamela Redfield in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

Kristi grew up on a farm in southeastern Nebraska where her family raised corn and soybeans. Kristi graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska in 2004 and received her Juris Doctor with Distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2009.

Friday, April 3, 2015

New Book Features Contributions from Seven LL.M. Alumni

Urban Agriculture: Policy, Law, Strategy, and Implementation

Congratulations are in order for Lauren Bernadett, Nicole Civita, Lauren Handel, Andy Frame, Sara Albert, Michael T. Roberts, Executive Director for the Resinck Program for Food Law & Policy, and LL.M. Program Director Susan Schneider for their contributions to the recently released book, Urban Agriculture: Policy, Law, Strategy, and Implementation

The book, described below, is available on the ABA shop site

A current, practical resource on all aspects of agricultural activities within non-rural settings, ranging from neighborhood gardens to commercial farming operations, this book addresses many of the land use, environmental, and regulatory legal issues that confront local governments, property owners, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and neighborhood groups when addressing urban gardening or farming. Chapter authors also describe and analyze the experiences of specific urban areas, providing perspectives on their different approaches.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Join Us This Summer As We Examine the Emerging Food Justice Movement

This May, our popular Food Justice Law & Policy course will be offered for the first time during the summer semester, and will be open to an expanded audience including Law & Graduate Students and Interested Professional across the country. The course will be tailored to fit the background of enrolled students, and will be offered in both a distance and face to face format. Interested individuals should contact the LL.M. Program at Regular tuition rates apply.