I was able to stay put in Fayetteville for most of a busy and full week. We had a number of faculty candidates visit with the Law School community, and we very much enjoyed meeting all of them and learning from their presentations. There are many talented folks on the market, and we are very fortunate to have them express an interest in us.

Tuesday evening, in addition to the regular day (hello workplace leg. class), was our usual monthly Inn of Court meeting. The Inn of Court group that presented the program was led by alum Eva Madison. The focus was sexual harassment in the workplace. The group included students April Kersten, Emily Sprott, Michael Nutt, Ryan Ray and Suzanne Clark. The fact that their presentation highlighted sexual harassment in the context of a law firm, and a jury awarded a multi-million dollar judgment was particularly interesting. The presentation held everyone’s interest, and the evening provided the opportunity to visit with some of our alums and members of the Washington, Benton and Sebastian County Bars who were present.

The next morning I was able to watch the preparation and the final rehearsal of our National Moot Court team, Ryan Ray and Ben Oxford. There arguments had to do with the second amendment right to bare arms and, from what I was able to observe, they were very well prepared. Over lunch at Thai Diner, I finally had the chance to meet Lisa Childs, who joined the university a little over a year ago as an intellectual property lawyer. She deals with a lot of technology and licensing issues. Both our meal and chat were delightful. We hope to involve her more in the Law School community. That afternoon consisted of a series of meetings including one with Mark Power and Dave Gearhart about our director of development search, and another with our legal research and writing faculty to hear their concerns and ideas about the program.

dscn5034.jpgThursday morning started out with a very exciting event. The University of Arkansas School of Law was asked by the United States Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine to take part in the celebration of International Education Week by participating in an audiovisual conference. The conference provided an opportunity for professors and students from the law departments of the Krok University in Kyiv, the Kyiv International University and other universities to discuss legal issues with their counterparts at our law school. There was a great turnout at Embassy’s facilities, and we were able to feature several of our own faculty members, including Uche Ewelukwa, Sharon Foster, Don Judges and Ned Snow.dscn5039.jpg

Our last strategic planning meeting for the semester was held during lunch. There are four strategic planning groups comprised of members of the Law School community, who have met throughout the semester. Each group has student members, and we very much appreciate their time and input. The focus of this meeting was to come up with a “wish list” of things we would like the Law School to do, discuss programs we might take on and suggest changes we might make to the curriculum, the law school community and its environment. Our group had a very lively discussion and submitted a number of suggestions to the strategic planning group. We look forward to reading all the groups’ suggestions and getting feedback from the committee next semester. The strategic planning committee is already planning two additional sessions for next semester that will focus on issues surrounding scholarship. Thanks to all who participated in this process.

That afternoon the Law School was very pleased to host the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission for a panel discussion and question-and-answer session about the role of ADR in Arkansas. At the conclusion of the session, the Commission recognized Sid McCollum for his role as a founding member of the Commission and for his 10 years of extraordinary service to the state of Arkansas through promoting ADR. Afterwards there was a reception and members of the Law School community mingled with our guests.

city-logo.jpgFriday, Malcolm and I headed down to Russellville to speak with the members of the Pope County Bar Association. Several of our alums were there, including Alex Streett (’65), Jim Coutts (’90), Roy Beth Kelley (’97), Steve Gardner (’76), Bob Hardin (’72), Kristin Clark (’97) and Josh Sanford (’00). We also met some new friends who came out to learn about the School of Law. We’re very thankful to our host, Michael Robbins, a 2001 graduate of the School of Law. We forgot to take pictures of that bar meeting (shucks!), but we were delighted to have the opportunity to update everyone about the exciting events occurring at the law school.

Now, I need to give a couple of shout outs. The first is to professor Carl Circo who received a unanimous tenure vote from his faculty colleagues Friday evening. Carl is wonderful member of the Law School community and has enriched us in many ways. So congratulations Carl on your well deserved vote. Another kudos goes out to a good friend and alum, Katherine Shurlds, on her 60th birthday. Katherine is also a professor of journalism here at the university and teaches a course on media law. Her fabulous birthday event was held at the UARK Bowl on Dickson and came complete with a band. What fun to hang out with Katherine’s friends and journalism colleagues to help Katherine celebrate!

UARK Ballroom

And that pretty much wraps it up. This weekend was the first quiet one in quite a long time, so I spent it relaxing and recharge. I’ll bet though that things won’t stay slow for long. Stay tuned!