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.
As you know, the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law holds a special place within the University of Arkansas School of Law. Since its inception in 1980, the Program has strengthened the national and international reputation of the School of Law, and has shaped some of our most notable Alumni.
To help us continue the tradition of excellence, we are creating a new Alumni Sponsored Graduate Assistantshipas a means to recruit the best and brightest to study with us in Fayetteville as part of our on-campus program.
Now more than ever, attorneys with specialized agricultural and food law expertise are needed. Our top recruits tell us that without the financial support included with Graduate Assistantships they would not be able to join the program.
Our program needs your support.This week, we have launched our LL.M. Alumni Sponsored Graduate Assistantship Fundrazor campaign. Please consider making a gift to our campaign by visiting our campaign page at https://fundrazor.uark.edu/llm. Donations in any amount (anonymous or otherwise) are appreciated.
You can help by sharing our campaign on Facebook and Twitter, too! Simply visit our crowdfunding website and click the share buttons under the video.
The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law is pleased to present it's new series of interviews with alumni, Careers in Agricultural & Food Law. With over 300 alumni working across the country and the world, we have a ready-made list of experts, and we are anxious to talk to as many as we can.
This week, we begin with an alumna from California that stayed here in Northwest Arkansas after she graduated. Lauren Manning will speak with Susan Schneider for a live class interview on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. CST.
Lauren is an adjunct professor and a partner in Ozark Pasture Beef. She will provide her comments on her LL.M. experience, provide advice for students in the Program and suggest tips for agricultural and food law career building.
University of Arkansas students can attend the event live in room 254 of the law school. The event will also be live streamed, and it will be recorded for later viewing. To livestream, email to firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.
We are delighted to report that our alumna, Teena Gunter of Oklahoma City has been selected as the president-elect for the National Board of Directors for the University of Arkansas Alumni Association. Teena serves as the general counsel for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry and has been with the department for 20 years. She also serves as the director for the Agricultural Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program for the agency and is the director of the Commercial Pet Breeders and Animal Shelter Licensing Program. She received her J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law and her LL.M. in Agricultural Law from us as well.
Our thanks to Teena for the many ways that she gives back to the University of Arkansas.
LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law 2017-2018 Enrolled LL.M. Degree Candidates
This fall, we welcome six new on-campus students, six new distance students, and nine returning distance students for a total of twenty-one LL.M. degree candidates taking classes with us this academic year. In addition, we have a number of candidates who have completed their coursework and who will be actively working with us to finish their final article requirement for graduation in December. As was the case last year we anticipate the addition of some non-degree distance students enrolling in our Spring courses for transfer or CLE credit.
Our on-campus candidates come from Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Russia and Ukraine. Our distance students will be studying with us from their homes and offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Since we began the distance program in 2013, we have gradually increased the number of distance candidates enrolled each year (2, 6, 9, 12, 15), and we expect that trend to continue. Beginning Fall 2017, the University of Arkansas will allow our Program to enroll distance students at in-state tuition rates, an advantage afforded to all other distance programs on campus. This is expected to result in much greater demand for our courses going forward. We see quality distance education with the associated technologies as serving a growing role in education, and we are pleased to be at the forefront of that trend in law.
On-Campus LL.M. Candidates
Andrii Trapizonian (Kyiv, Ukraine) Masters in International Economic Law, Kyiv National Economic University LL.B., with honors, Economics & Law Institute, Cherkasy National University Sub-Lieutenant, Department of Military Training
Daria Kotova (Moscow, Russian Federation) Recipient of the Russia-US Legal Education Foundation (RUSLEF) Fellowship LL.B., National Research University Higher School of Economics, Faculty of Law Member of Jessup Moot Court team, winning 1st place at the national rounds, top-20 in international rounds
Erika Dunyak (Cleveland, OH) J.D., Case Western Reserve University B.A., German and International Studies, with concentration in Global Environmental Sustainability, University of Dayton Legal Extern with Sustainable Economies Law Center; Legal Intern and Research Assistant, Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic; Sustainability Fellow with Office of Sustainability, Case Western Reserve University
Jamie Dickinson (Portland, OR) Packaging & Labeling Specialist, Recreational Marijuana Program, Oregon Liquor Control Commission J.D., University of Oregon School of Law Staff Editor, Legallity Online Journal Member, Law of Intellectual Property B.S., Nutritional Sciences, University of Texas
Mary Susan Burns (Minneapolis, MN) Attorney, Founder and President, Susan Burns LLC, Minneapolis, MN Extensive experience in business law and business planning J.D., Hamline School of Law Hamline Law Review, Associate Editor B.A. German, College of St. Benedict
Jose Ernesto Colon Villafene (San Juan, PR) Recipient of the University of Arkansas Graduate School Benjamin Lever Fellowship Law Clerk, The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas, LLP Master of Business Administration, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Rio Piedras (Graduate Teaching Assistant) J.D., Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico B.S., Purdue University
New Distance LL.M. Candidates
Kimberly Bousquet (St. Louis, MO) Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP J.D., University of Oregon School of Law Order of the Coif; Certificate in Environmental Law M.S., Environmental Studies, University of Oregon B.A., Biology, cum laude, Drury University
Colby Duren (Arlington, VA) Policy Director and Staff Attorney, Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative Former Staff Att’y for National Congress of American Indians J.D., American University Washington College of Law B.A. Vassar College
Garrett Blake Jackson (Norman, OK) Staff Attorney, Chickasaw Nation Former Legal Honors Attorney U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development J.D. University of Oklahoma College of Law Certificate in Native American Law American Indian Law Review B.S., summa cum laude, Agribusiness/Pre-Law, University of Oklahoma Certificate in Environmental Studies
Carla Stinnett (Sapulpa, OK) Practicing Attorney & President, Stinnett Law J.D., with highest honors, University of Oklahoma College of Law Master of Liberal Arts, Oklahoma State University B.S. (Agricultural Communications), Oklahoma State University
Amber Suitt (Atlanta, GA) Project Attorney, Troutman Sanders eMerge Group J.D., Georgetown University Law Center; Certificate, Refugees & Humanitarian Emergencies B.A., History, Howard University
Michelle Johnson-Weider (Silver Spring, MD) Program Analyst, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food & Nutrition Service, USDA Former Assistant Counsel, U.S. Senate Office of Legislative Counsel (Natural Resources) J.D., cum laude, Stetson University College of Law B.A., Anthropology, High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Florida
Returning Distance Candidates
Brenda Hall-Busch (Philadelphia, PA) Special Counsel, Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer & Chek, LLP J.D, New York Law School B.A., English, Barnard College, Columbia University
Kelsey Unruh Davis (Tuscaloosa, AL) Judicial Clerk, Honorable Judge Charles R. Malone, Sixth Circuit, Alabama J.D., University of Alabama School of Law B.S. Agribusiness, summa cum laude, Mississippi State University
Katherine Zewas Graham (Minneapolis, MN) Associate Attorney, Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, PA Law Clerk for the Hon. Judge Larry Stauber, Minnesota Court of Appeals J.D., summa cum laude, William Mitchell College of Law Executive Editor, William Mitchell Law Review B.A., American Studies, Magna cum laude, Carleton College
Alexia Kulwiec (Madison, WI) Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin Extension, School for Workers Extensive experience as a labor and employment law attorney J.D., Chicago Kent College of Law B.A., Economics, University of Notre Dame
Brian Mathison (Fort Bliss, Texas) Mathiason Law Firm (N.Y., Tex., N.M.) Information Operations Officer, 1AD Combat Aviation Brigade 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., English Literature, Indiana University B.S., Biochemistry, Indiana University
Brandy McAllister (Mabelvale, AR) Risk Management Services Counsel, Association of Arkansas Counties Attorney, Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund J.D., magna cum laude, UALR William Bowen School of Law B.A. Business Administration & Marketing, Mount Mercy College
Dave Nezzie (Albuquerque, NM) Congressional Staffer, Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) J.D., The University of New Mexico Indian Law Certificate B.A., Anthropology and B.S. American Indian Studies, Arizona State University
Edward Peterson (Warner Robins, Georgia) Private Practice, Warner Robins, Georgia Significant prior experience with USDA (including service as Extension Agent, APHIS Quarantine Officer and Information Specialist) J.D., Capitol University Law School LL.M., Employment Law, John Marshall Law School Masters of Plant Protection and Pest Management, University of Georgia B.S., Biology, Georgia College
In response to the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and its disturbing calls for white supremacy, it's important to stand up and celebrate the diversity reflected in our LL.M. Program.
Our proud alumni come from all across the United States and 18 foreign countries. They represent every race and almost all religions. We welcomed them all as our students, and we continue to support them as our alumni.
We are proud to quote our Chancellor, Joe Steinmetz who tweeted today "Diversity & inclusion are @Uarkansas values. We value free speech but condemn hatred, violence & white supremacy."
On June 23, 2017, the Leadership Oklahoma Board of Directors officially acted to accept the members of Class 31; fifty-one of the state’s most outstanding leaders who will travel the state to learn about the critical issues facing Oklahoma and finding ways to initiate positive change for the benefit of all Oklahomans. Included amongst the selected participants is LL.M. Alumna Teena Gunter (LL.M. 1997). Ms. Gunter currently serves as General Counsel to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, in Oklahoma City.
As we prepare for another rewarding year in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law, it is my distinct pleasure to deliver an announcement regarding a new tuition policy for our distance education track. Our Program has now become even more of a "best value" in legal education.
Tuition Savings For LL.M. Distance Students
The University of Arkansas has adjusted the LL.M. Program tuition rate for our distance candidates, effective Fall 2017. Our program will now be consistent with other units on campus in allowing distance candidates enrolled in online courses to be eligible for the Arkansas resident tuition rate regardless of where the student resides. For out of state students, this essentially cuts their tuition bill in half.
For 2017-18, the Arkansas resident rate for the LL.M. Program will be $595.50 per credit hour. This rate will apply to any distance course taken by a distance candidate, whether synchronous, hybrid, condensed, or completely online. In order to stay within the new policy, the distance candidate must not take any on-campus classes during the semester unless they are part of a hybrid distance course such as our condensed courses.
Out-of-state students who study on campus will still be charged the out-of-state tuition rate for each of their enrolled courses, although graduate assistantships and fellowships may reduce these costs considerably. Indeed, we are pleased that this year, all of our on-campus students are receiving assistance.
We are proud to deliver the most extensive curriculum in agricultural and food law available, and it now comes at an even more affordable rate. We know that many recent law graduates and practicing attorneys balance family obligations, prior school loans, and other financial demands. We are very pleased to be able to deliver this good news.
The new tuition rate also applies to non-degree candidates who attend via distance, taking one or more of our courses for law school credit or CLE credit.
If you have questions about the LL.M. Program or its costs, visit our website and contact us at LLM@uark.edu or call (479) 575-3706.