Although it has been pretty quiet around here as students study for final exams, the Law School community and I have had a full schedule leading up to the holiday season.

Monday, Dec. 3, was the Washington County Bar luncheon and the new officers were elected. Those new officers, and congratulations to each of them, were Boyce Davis, president; John Burrows, vice president and Chreea Stanimirovic, secretary/treasurer. Both Boyce, ’74, and Chreea, ’05, are both School of Law alums.

That afternoon was a faculty meeting followed by dinner with my good friend Carol Gattis from the College of Engineering. I’ll be sharing my vacation with Carol starting today. The rest of the day was spent trying to catch up on correspondence and reporting. I wanted to be sure to leave for vacation with as little carryover as possible sitting on my desk.

The next day Richard Ray came over and gave the faculty and staff an update on our University benefits; it was very helpful to all of us. Thank you, Richard.

I then headed over to a meeting of the Council of Deans with the Provost. Some of the agenda items included some of the interesting academic programs occurring in the undergraduate dorms and also concerns about fire safety and the possibility of upcoming fire drills in the next academic school year.

That evening I was very honored to attend the Hispanic Women of Arkansas’ annual holiday dinner and open house up at the JTL Shop in Springdale at the invitation of Margarita Solorzano. There looked to be about 200-300 people in attendance. There were dancers and music and a number of very important members of the Hispanic community representing various businesses including Cox Cable and Tyson Foods. Again, it was an honor to be invited and to see a number of our students who attended as well.

Wednesday was the annual alumni Christmas party at Trapnall Hall in Little Rock. Malcolm and I traveled down to meet with our Law Alumni Society Board, which we held at the new Arkansas Bar Association Center. It’s a beautiful setting, and we really appreciate the service of our alums who brought their thoughtful suggestions to us on how to improve our alumni society as well as how to encourage many more of our alums to become active members. Alumni at the meeting included Karla Rogers Dean, William Adair Jr., Gregory Graham, Don Schnipper, Kathy Searcy, Jimmy Simpson, John Stroud Jr. and Dan Young. Earnest Brown Jr. and James Smith joined us by phone.Alumni Christmas party (12/05/07)

The Law Alumni Christmas party was at Trapnall Hall and was attended by a number of alums, many for the first time. We really appreciate them coming to see us and mixing and mingling with each other. A special thanks to Don Judges, Carl Circo, Ned Snow, Susan Schell and Judith Kilpatrick for representing the School of Law. Also, a big thanks to our driver, Lewis, from physical plant who drove the van and delivered us safely there and back. We really appreciate Lewis taking the time to be our driver. Also, thanks to Malcolm and Michele who had such a beautiful event set up. Although it was lightly attended by members of the Law School community, there was a very large turnout by alums, and once again, we were very pleased to see them all. Two of the special guests were UALR Law School Dean Chuck Goldner and his wife Susan. Also, I saw Shannon Underwood and her husband, Joe, who are both 2005 School of Law graduates. Their baby’s name is Anna, and I met Shannon’s parents, too. It was great catching up with their family.

On Thursday, the Law School celebrated the life of Jim Jackson, one of our retired law librarians, at 5 p.m. in the courtroom. I was sorry that I had to miss the celebration of Jim’s life, but Thursday morning I left for the LSAC Board Meeting in Philadelphia at the Four Seasons Conference Hotel. That evening several of us on the Board had dinner together: Kent Lawless, Majorie LaRue, Athornia Steele from Capital University and Kwan and Bill Wang. It was a delightful dinner and we were all able to catch up and share about the most recent events in each others lives, including the exciting news that Kwan, Hillary Clinton’s former roommate at Yale, and Bill are going to participate in or work the Iowa Caucuses in January.

Philip SheltonFriday was the board meeting, and we looked at a number of issues including the potential globalization of LSAC products and services, as well as ways to improve our current services and products we offer to our member schools. That night was the board dinner at the Four Seasons. Phil Shelton came back to say hello to everyone. You may recall from my earlier posts that Phil Shelton is the former chair of LSAC, the new chair being Dan Bernstein. It was fun to see Phil and to be able to catch up with his new life of retirement which he is enjoying immensely.

Saturday was a continuation of Friday’s brainstorming session. We thought about things we might do differently or current challenges facing the organizations and suggestions for confronting those. Ellen Rutt initiated a really great idea to avoid the typical meeting in which we just sit around and listen to a number of committee reports which were preprinted in the meeting booklet in advance anyway. This got people really engaged and thinking out of the box, and I think most folks enjoyed it. Since we were able to get done by noon, I spent a bit of time with Marjorie LaRue and Stacie Walters walking around Philadelphia and doing a little last minute Christmas shopping. That evening we had dinner with John Law, a law professor at the University of Alberta in Canada, and again enjoyed sharing the company of my colleagues.


Sunday morning it was time to get to the airport and catch a flight where, yes indeed, the original flight was delayed, as was the connecting flight. I have learned not to be too surprised, as this has become a real pattern for me while traveling. It was back to school on Monday and a short week before vacation.

As I mentioned, I will be heading out of town for a little R & R, but I look forward to sharing about all of the exciting events happening in 2008. On behalf of the School of Law, I want to wish you a blessed and safe holiday season.