Archives for the month of: April, 2008

Teri Stafford and I started that morning with a really good breakfast provided by the Union Square Guest Quarters. It was a nice continental breakfast that included ham, fresh fruit, yogurt, sausage, biscuits, coffee, tea, and cereal. That morning our first visit was with Norwood Phillips. His office wasn’t far from the hotel, so we scooted right over after brDean with Norwoodeakfast. He, too, is excited about the El Dorado Promise and hopes it will attract more young families. He expressed a strong desire for more young attorneys to relocate to El Dorado and mentioned several people retiring, which has created a need for new associates. So you heard it here on the blog, recent grads. El Dorado is the “Promise Land.” Seriously, for those still job hunting who would enjoy smaller town living, I think it’s worth inquiring about, given the opportunities available.

We got in the car and headed to Texarkana where our first stop was to meet with Don Capshaw. Before we left Texarkana I felt very concerned and insistent that we stop in and see Judge Harry Barnes, one of our alums who recently had open heart surgery. I just love Judge Barnes and I could not leave town without seeing him. We had to modify our schedule and it caused a little bit of stress for Teri who had so efficiently put together our schedule.

Nevertheless, we went to Judge Barnes’ office and we were able to visit with hiDean and Capshawm and two of his law clerks who are also our alums, Susan Hickey and John Crisp. It was a delightful visit. Judge Barnes is such a hoot, and so very interesting and engaging. It was good to see him doing well. Having done that, we finally left for Texarkana.

Because we left for Texarkana a little bit behind schedule, we had to reschedule our meeting with Don Capshaw so that he was our last visit of that day. We arrived in Texarkana, had lunch, regrouped, and after lunch headed out to see Damon Young. It was great to see Damon again. He’s so gracious, funny and warm. He gave me very good ideas about things we might do to reach out to alums. We appreciate his time and his continued support and hope that Dean with Capshawhe’ll be able to join us for the dedication. (Just a note to all the alums who made time to see us, we very much appreciate your time. We know how busy you are and we know that time is money and it means a lot to us that you would visit with us and let us update you on all the things going on at the law school.)

After visiting with Damon we went over to see Don Capshaw. He and I visited last year about his daughter’s wedding, so we caught up on the details of that, which was really fun to hear about. He is still very active in sports, serving as a referee, so it’s hard for him to visit in the fall due to his schedule. But, we’re very much looking forward to hosting him here at the law school next spring and to sharing our clinical program with him in whicsunset travelh he has a great deal of interest.

After our visit with him, we headed back to Fayetteville. It was a long drive. We had a late start so we stopped in Mena, Arkansas at a little Mexican restaurant called Papa Poblanos and had dinner. On the way to Mena we tried to contact our former colleague Jake Looney who had served as Dean of the law school and is now a judge there, but we weren’t able to catch up with him. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to see you , Jake. We are scheduled to go back to Texarkana, and our alum Nick Patton (a great guy and good friend) has graciously volunteered to host a party for us. Maybe as we drive down through Mena and we can see you on our way there the next time we pass that way.

Teri Stafford and I left for the Union County Bar Association meeting from the Holiday Inn Presidential inRoad Trip Little Rock at 8:30 a.m. once I printed out my speech in the hotel business center and headed down on a beautiful sunny day to El Dorado. The drive was fantastic.
We arrived in plenty of time at the El Dorado Country Club. When we got there Raymond Higgins, one of our 50+ year alums, was waiting for us. He looked very dapper in his bow tie. I had a chance to sit quietly and visit with him before the bar meeting started. The meeting started at noon and we all had an interesting lunch. For the foodies out there, it was a soup aChattingnd salad bar. The soup was a broccoli cheese soup, but the salad bar had both regular salad and taco salad with either chicken or beef. The dessert was peach cobbler. I just had soup because I had to speak.

By the way, this was the largest attendance at the meeting in quite a while, and the wait staff had to bring in another table. We were very pleased to be able to fellowship with so many members of the Union County Bar, including many of our alums – Jack William Barker, O. Worth Camp Jr., Walter K. Compton, John Crisp, Robert L. Depper Jr., Ronald L. Griggs, JudgeSpeech David F. Guthrie, Albert R. Hanna, Susan O. Hickey, Raymond B. Higgins, Amanda Hurst, Andrew King, Henry Kinslow, Dr. Gary D. McDonald, James E. McMenis, Judge Bobby E. Shepherd, Matthew Joseph Shepherd, and Floyd Matt Thomas. At 12:20 p.m. Phil Pesek called the meeting to order and I gave a speech on the Rule of Law and our role in it as lawyers. Thanks very much to Prof. Steve Sheppard who helped in preparing these remarks. I couldn’t have done it without him. He provided me with a lot of background material. Thanks also to my research assistant, Stacia Alvarez. It’s very much due to their assistance and preparation that I was able to have a successful presentation. As it turned out, the members of the Bar on May 1 (which is Law Day) were going to talk to the high school about the Rule of Law and we were able to make copies of my remarks for them to take with them. In my speech, I focused on the requirements for the Rule of Law and talked about the role lawyers play in each. It was really good to visit with the Bar.

Matt and MattAfter that Teri and I made some visits around El Dorado. We started with Matthew Shepherd and Matt Thomas. Both are our alums and both are 2001 graduates. We talked to them about the El Dorado Promise Scholarships that were provided by Murphy Oil Company. The scholarships provide anyone who graduates from high school in the school district (it’s phased in based on the number of years you have attended high school there) with the financial support to attend college. Henderson College has agreed, if a student takes one of those scholarships, to match that or at least to provide the remainder of the balance that would be due to attend there. It is a wonderful opportunity. A high school graduate can attend any school in the country and there is no requirement to return to El Dorado. There has been a 10% increase in enrollment in the school district because people are moving there to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity provided by the El Dorado Promise.

Also, for students who are job searching, please know that Matt’s firm Compton, Prewett, Thomas & Hickey, L.L.P. is looking to hire. They would like for lawyers to come back to El Dorado to practice. The firm is particularly in need of estate planning and also just general practice lawyers, for those who would be interested in practicing in the area. So, Matt and Matt have promised to come up to spend a day in the library for the “A Day with a Lawyer” program to talk to students about the opportunities that are available. According to Matt, if you move to El Dorado, because there are so many fewer lawyers than for example in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas, you are immediately able to hit the ground running in your practice with jury trials and extensive client contact. It’s a really good opportunity and they are lookLaw clerksing for lawyers.

After that, we went to visit with Judge Bobby Shepherd, our graduation speaker, in his new beautiful offices. We visited with his two law clerks who are also alums of the law school, Andrew King and Amanda Hurst. Judge Shepherd is looking to hire two new law clerks. He would like to meet students from the UofA, and encourages you to apply for clerkships in his office. We were very excited to hear about that and we have passed that on to Susan Schell and have posted info on my Facebook page. We had a lovely visit with Judge Shepherd during which I learned a lot about the functioning of the Eighth Circuit and also about the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Later, we went and checked into our hotel which was the Union Square Guest Quarters, a very lovely, small hotel with huge, huge rooms. I would highly recommend anyone who visits El Dorado to stay here. The hostess was town squarevery warm and accommodating and the rooms were fantastic. After checking in, Teri and I went for a walk around the Square. At 6:00 p.m., Raymond and Patsy Higgins picked us up near our hotel and took us to Mel’s Seafood Restaurant where we had a lovely dinner. We are grateful to them for their gracious hospitality. It was a joy to be with them. They are both wonderful and we very much enjoyed their company and we also thanked them for our meals. For the “foodies” out there, I had shrimp and catfish with a baked potato and salad. Teri Stafford had grilled shrimp and fried shrimp with steamed vegetables and salad. She chose a lothotel room healthier selection. Raymond had a lunch size shrimp plate and Patsy had the same meal as I, only she had onion rings. It was simply a lovely meal.

Afterwards they took us on a drive around El Dorado so we could see the new high school. They showed us where our alums lived in the different neighborhoods and also showed us their house and then brought us back to the hotel. They have extended an invitation for us to come down on a weekend so that we could visit the museum which is between Smackover and El Dorado. They also invited us to go to church with them and have lunch with them after church at a soul food restaurant called Sister, Sister, Sister Restaurant. We are looking forward to the opportunity to be able to do that. Our alums and members of the Union County Bar were so welcoming and it was a terrific trip. Thanks very much to everyone for their gracious hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with you and we look forward to seeing you all at the dedication.

Monday started off as usual with Pilates with Claudia. We were supposed to have a faculty meeting, but that was canceled because we didn’t really have enough business to justify holding a meeting. It’s a busy time of year, and I’m sure everyone was able to take advantage of that.

Dean and JudgeThat afternoon Teri Stafford and I departed for our first road trip, just the two of us together. Our first stop was in Little Rock and we visited with Judge Morris Arnold. We had a wonderful visit with Judge Arnold. He is a brilliant man who is also warm, funny and kind. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with him. We took a number of his books for him to sign as gifts for our distinguished visitors. He gave us a tour of his office and he shared with us some of his family history and the photographs in his office. It was a wonderful,Judge Arnold wonderful visit. While we were there, a hawk paid us a visit on his outside patio and we walked outside together to look at the Richard Sheppard Arnold United States Courthouse which is catty-corner from his office. I promised Judge Arnold that I will return to take a tour of the courthouse with him. During our conversation he was interested in what was going on at the law school, in legal education, and the ABA Section on Legal Education. Again, it was a terrific visit and we very much appreciate him making time to see us.

That evening we had dinner at the River City Grille and I ran into one of my sorority sisters and her mom. After dinner we checked into our hotel without delay because we had to get up for an early morning drive down to Texarkana, Arkansas, where I would be speaking to the Union County Bar Association on “The Rule of Law” and I needed to take some time to finish up those remarks.

Staff enjoying lunchFriday was the last day of law school classes for the year so that was a pretty important day, especially for third year students. I met with Prof. Mullane and then the law school community poured into the Norma Lea Beasley Entrance Hall Serving staffAtrium to participate in the Staff Appreciation Luncheon which was catered by Mama Dean’s restaurant. Mama Dean joined us for that event. Kelvin Stroud brought greetings and thanks to the staff on behalf of the students, and Madra McAdoo sang a wonderful tribute to the staff. It was a beautiful program, well attended, and we went through a lot of soul food! Thanks very much to our staff for everything you do. We know that we would not be successful as a law school without your support. We really appreciate you very much. Thanks also to thelining up to eat professors who participated in the event including Professors Ann Killenbeck, Uché Ewelukwa, Susan Schneider, Mary Beth Matthews, Ned Snow, Howard Brill, Don Judges, Sharon Foster and Angie Doss. Thanks also to the students who also helped to serve the staff. We also invited Jesús Moroles’ construction crew to join us for lunch as well. They have been working hard on the courtyard. It was a wonderful event.

Later that evening I attended the Girl Scout’s Women of Distinction Event. The NOARK (Northwest Arkansas Council of the Girl Scouts) is being merged to create a statewide council, the Girl Scouts of Greater Arkansas Council. The 2008 Women of Distinction Honorees were Sandy Edwards, Associate Director of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; Kelly Johnson, Airport Director for the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport Authority; and Dr. Becky Paneitz, President of Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) in Bentonville. This was a historic moment in the history of the Council. In addition to recognizing the annualAward recipeint Women of Distinction Award winners, there was a recognition of women throughout the fifty years of service of the NOARK Council who had made a difference in the life of the Council: Leila “Skip” Baker (1958-1968), The Late Donna Fincher (1969-1978), Martha Albright (1979-1988), Helene Taglauer (1989-1998), Judy von Diest Hooten (1999-2008). Honorable Mentions included The Late Betty Turner, Bette Matthews, JoAnn Miller, The Late Trudy Lee, B.J. Krause, and Cora Parsons. My mom attended with me. I served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for that event and it was an honor to do so. Thanks very much to the Girl Scouts for including me. It was amazinCrawfishg to see the number of women in the room who had been girl scouts including me. I was a brownie scout. A number of members of the UofA community attended as well. It was a lovely event.

The next day, April 26, I attended a crawfish boil at Tim Snively’s house. It was really fun. There were a number of our alums there. Lots of good eats. There was crawfish, crabs and all the trimmings to go with it. Thanks very much to Tim and Cristi SEating crawfishnively for inviting me. I had a chance to visit with his sweet parents again and to meet Cristi’s mom as well. I really appreciate being included in that fun event and the opportunity to hang out with many of our alums.

On the 27th after church, it was time for me to “settle up” with the students who bought my faculty auction item. We had brunch at Copeland’s Famous New Orleans Restaurant. We had a really fun time. That group included KelvBrunch at Copeland'sin Stroud, Kristi Hunter, Sarah Hudson, Allison Waldrip, James Roller and Virginia Ann Raffaelli. It was really good to be able to spend time with them. We had a lovely meal. I had eggs with spicy Cajun sausage. Most of the students had eggs benedict in one form or another. Some had eggs sardou which was spicy and made with spinach and two had eggs benedict made with a small steak. It was really a fun time and most of us (I know) had dessert afterwards as well. It was great to be able to spend time with a small group in a casual, relaxed setting and to benefit of Legal Aid of Arkansas at the same time.

I left bright and early for the Labor Law and Labor Arbitration Program at The Center for American and International Law. I was a noon time speaker and the title of the talk was “Becoming Management.” That afternoon four of us were on a panel which included Phil Lyon of Lyon & Phillips, PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee; Yona Rozen of Gillespie, Rozen, Watsky, Motley & Jones, P.C. in Dallas, Texas; and Jo Ann Ross of the NLRB. The session was on “Ethics and Professional Responsibility in a Labor Law and Labor Arbitration Practice.” It was good to be there and to be with labor and employment law practitioners and HR managers. Center for American and International LawAs it turned out, I met someone from Northwest Arkansas by flying to Dallas. Well actually the conference was in Plano (which, by the way, leads me to another point… it is a long way from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Plano, Texas). It was a pretty expensive cab ride. But anyway, I met Alan Kostel, Associate General Counsel, Logistics Division, with Wal-Mart Legal Department. Since then we’ve corresponded regularly by e-mail, so it was a great connection. He’s going to become a member of the Arkansas Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section as well and I look forward to his participation in that group.

During the course of the day there was a presentation by the NLRB on an NLRB representation hearing entitled, “NLRB Investigations, Hearings and Trials in Unfair LaborCenter Participants Practice Cases” which was presented by Timothy Watson, an attorney from Fort Worth. At the end of the day when the program was over (our ethics panel actually ended the program), we went back to the hotel just long enough to dump our materials and took off with Mark Smith to Fort Worth. Mark is Vice President of The Center for American and International Law, Director of the Institute for Local Government Studies, and Dean of the Academy of American and International Law. This was another very long cab ride. We went to a very famous Mexican restaurant there named Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. When we went in, it was very noisy but it smelled great. By the way, during the time we were traveling there the weather was becoming more foreboding, but we didn’t turn back from dinner.

Our dinner group included Marion Crain, a very prominent labor and employment scholar who will be moving to Washington University School of Law with my friend Dean Kent Syverud for the next academic school year. It was good to be able to catch up with her. Also joining Phil, me and Mark was Jane Lyon and Doug Ray, the Dean of the University of Toledo College of Law. For dinner, the server asked whether we wanted chicken or beef fajitas or cheese enchiladas. That was the choice. What came out first were a sort of tostada with cheese and jalapeños. Everybody received one of those, and then there were beans and rice for everybody and then the entrees came out. It was very good.

Billy Bob'sBy the time we got ready to leave the restaurant however, the weather had gotten a little bit worse. But we took a cab to our next stop which was a place that’s also famous in Fort Worth called Billy Bob’s Bar and Saloon. It has a mechanical bull, a big band stand and dance floor, and a stuffed bull with a rodeo setting background on which you can have your picture taken. Thanks to Phil Lyon I had a picture taken there. Some of you who are on Facebook have asked me about that and that’s where that picture came from.

After looking around at Billy Bob’s and noticing all the celebrities on the wall and hearing some of the local lore from Phil Lyon, we piled back into a cab just as it started to pour down rain. Unfortunately, the cab driver did not want to drive in the storm, so he put us out of the cab. He actually wanted to stop on the interstate and have us get out, but we insisted that he take us to a large hotel so that we at least would have somewhere to get another cab. We called another cab, it came up, we all piled in the cab and told him where we were going and he also put us out of the cab! He said he would not go out to Plano in that weather. So, we were stuck in downtown Fort Worth for quite awhile as it turned out.

Then things got weirder. The original cab driver came back with his cousin who he said agreed to take us out to Plano, but we had already called yet a third cab. There was a little bit of a dispute, in fact I thought at some point we may even have to call the police Texasabout it because the cousin was very angry that we wouldn’t accept his offer of a ride. Marion, Jane and I let the guys handle that. About that time, the cab we actually called showed up. In the meantime, it had become an even stormier night. There were tornado warnings, but fortunately we made it safely back to the Embassy Suites in Plano. Many thanks to Doug and Mark for their hospitality and for inviting me once again to participate in the program.

T-shirts of activisimMonday was a very quiet day, beginning with Pilates as usual. There was an interesting display on campus. In its seventh year, “The Campus Clothesline Project” was be on display from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily April 21-25 in the courtyard between the Arkansas Union and Mullins Library. The project began in 2001 with 80 T-shirts donated and decorated by university students, staff and faculty displaying messages of hope and support, risk reduction strategies, awareness facts, and messages from survivors. “The Campus Clothesline Project” has now grown into an emotional exhibit that featured more than 1,500 T-shirts hanging as a unified voice against sexual assault and relationship violence. Ironically, we also had a traveling exhibit promoting safe sex the first day of the exhibit.

Tuesday was a little bit quiet around the law school. The highlight of that day was an end of the year reception for the Journal of Food Law & Policy which was held at University House. It was lovely. JenniferJennifer FIser Fiser, the outgoing Editor-in-Chief, presented certificates to members. Prof. Schneider announced the recipient of the Arent Fox award. This award is generously sponsored by the Arent Fox law firm in Washington, DC. Senator Dale Bumpers serves as counsel to the firm and is responsible for the creation of the Arent Fox award. This year’s winner of the award was Christina Fox, for her article entitled Teach a Man: Proactively Battling Food Insecurity by Increasing Access to Local Foods. She began her article with the ancient Chinese Proverb, “Give a man a fish you have fed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime.” Applying this to an analysis of the problem of food insecurity, she argued that government needs to not only provide resources to meet the immediate needs of Christina recieves awardhunger and poverty, it must also expand access to fresh local foods in areas of poverty and educate consumers about the importance of nutritional choices. The 2008-09 Editorial Board was also announced at the reception: Emily Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief; Heather Sutton, Executive Editor; Christina Fox, Articles Editor; and Conner McNair and John Pesek, Note & Comment Editors. Thanks to the folks who attended including Rhonda Adams, Rob Leflar (who gave the closing remarks), Susan Schneider, Bob Moberly, Lonnie Beard, Howard Brill, and Janet Flaccus

Saturday morning bright and early, I met Prof. Judges in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock and we headed down to UAPB (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) to participate in the “Choose Law” program. The Students attending Choose Law program“Choose Law” program is a pipeline program encouraging minority high school students to envision, commit to, and prepare for a career in law. As I noted in yesterday’s blog, the program was put on by the Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and the committee included Gwen Rucker, Cliff McKinney, Courtney Crouch, Paul Bennett, Aaron Taylor, Emily Runyon, Grant Cox, and David Coran. When we arrived, a number of young people were there already and were picking up their materials and taking their seats in the auditorium.

Hank Campbell, Dean of the College of Business at UAPB, gave the welcome on behalf of the Chancellor of UAPB who was unable to attend. Rosalind Mouser, President-Elect of the Arkansas Bar Association, also welcomed young people and talked about the value of a law degree. The Panel participantsfirst panel at 9:30 a.m. was on preparing and choosing a college. The panelists talked about financial aid issues and the SAT versus the ACT. After a break the second panel spoke on preparing for, and choosing a law school. That panel consisted of myself, Prof. Judges, and Aaron Taylor, Chief Admissions Officer at UALR School of Law. It began with an American Bar Association video entitled “Choose Law” which talked about the importance of law and why young people choose legal careers.

After our panel there was a panel with a number of current law students. Two of our students, I’m delighted to say, participated in that session, Dannelle Walker and Sharre Brooks. The other students were from UALR. That was followed by a panel of members from the Harold Flowers Law Society, Arkansas’ NationalMore panel participants Bar Association affiliate chapter. They talked about what it was like to be a practicing lawyer of color and the difference one can make. The most powerful statement was made by Gwen Rucker who talked about a young man she knew who was convicted unjustly of murder and how that motivated her to become a lawyer. This was followed by a question and answer session.

During the luncheon one of our alumna, Karen Roberts, was the keynote speaker. She received, from the program’s sponsors, a recognition for Wal-Mart on behalf of its diversity effort. In her remarks she again emphasized why it was important to obtain a law degree and what a difference the students could make in the world. With that we were adjourned, but I have to note that during the lunch hour before the program actually began, there was a showing of the Silas Hunt video. I was actually surprised at how quiet the students were and how interested they were in terms of watching the video. We were glad to be able provide that.

Professor JudgesAfter that Don and I said goodbye to everyone and headed back to Fayetteville. But, here I want to put in a plug for Prof. Judges. He’s too modest to do so himself. In addition to all the ways in which he contributes to the law school community, he is a playwright. The name of his play is “Radio Traffic” and it’s co-written with Stephen Cribari. The play is being produced and staged in Minneapolis at The Center for Independent Artists on May 8-10 and May 15-17. He had talked to me about it before and we got to visit about it some more on the way back to Fayetteville. I wish I could break away to go and see it, but the 15th– 17th is tied up with all our graduation events and the 8th–10th, the University graduation events, during which I’ve been asked to escort one of the “Little Rock Nine,” Terrence Roberts. If you want to check it out, there is a page about the play. It’s Congratulations, Prof. Judges! You are such a wonderful, multi-talented colleague. I hope you “break a leg,” (isn’t it what you say in a theater?) and I that it receives wonderful reviews and goes on to be produced more fully across the country.

The visit of the Arkansas Bar Association Law School Committee began at 9:00 in the morning. The Law School Committee visits both law schools to catch up on what is happening and to provide feedback to the administration of both schools. The committee visits with different faculty members and staff, talks with students, and gives us their impression on how things are going and what we might do better. I began the morning with a law school update. Susan Schell talked about our Career Services area and her ideas for the future and the status of our hiring. She also shared the most recent statistics with the Committee.

Karen KochAfter that, Prof. Karen Koch talked about the development of a new course “Animal Law” to be taught this summer and how it was a natural fit with our agricultural law program and center, as well as with the College of Agriculture. Mike Mullane shared with the Committee the various clinical offerings we have and the new faculty members joining us in the clinic area; Steve Sheppard shared information about his scholarship; Tim Tarvin talked about and demonstrated Legal e-Source; Susan Williams talked about the pro bono program and its development; and, Carl Circo shared information about the Habitat for Humanity Wills Project. Editors of each of our three journals: Suzanne Clark (Arkansas Law Review), Jennifer Fiser (Journal of Food Law & Policy), and Robert Depper (Journal of Islamic Law & Culture) gave presentations to the committee, then they had lunch with students.

After lunch, Chancellor-Elect Dave Gearhart came and spoke with them about his vision for the University and the most recent developments on campus. In closing remarks, I shared with them an update on the various ways in which we are reaching out to touch alums. For example, we had the networking event (which many of them attended), the 50+ year reunion, the e-Blast (e-newsletter we send out), the blog, the updated website, and the fact that we send out birthday cards and Valentine cards (when both husband and wife are our alums). I talked about the fact that we will be sending out an e-Blast for specific important alerts that we want to get to our alumni and also the fact that we’re thinking about being more strategic about our alumni magazine

They gave me their feedback and shared concerns raised by the students. There were concerns about career services specifically that we reach out to smaller firms and to larger firms. Another concern was that the wireless internet is not as dependable as it should be. There were comments about the registration this year. Students suggested we make it clearer which classes would be helpful to prepare for a practice in certain areas of law. We’re going to look at that as well as perhaps videotaping the registration presentation given by Assistant Dean Rhonda Adams so that if students are unable to attend they can view that presentation later. We are grateful to the members of the Law School Committee who take time out of their busy professional lives to come see and be with us, and to share with us their ideas, thoughts and concerns about the law school. Thank you very much. We look forward to seeing them officially again next year, or before that at upcoming law school events. My special thanks to David Whitaker, the Chair of the Committee, who helped coordinate the timing of the committee’s visit.

Prof. Ronald KrotoszynskiWhile the Law School Committee was with our students, I attended the lunch time presentation of Prof.Krotoszynski. He spoke on the topic “how to integrate diversity into public schools after the Court’s recent pronouncements on the legitimacy of diversity as a basis for integration.” It was a really interesting topic and because of the size of the group, we were able to have a pretty rigorous discussion and exchange. He has a wonderful, wicked sense of humor in addition to his intellect. Thanks to Prof. Dodson for hosting him. I hope he enjoyed his visit to Fayetteville

After we wrapped up with the Law School Committee visit it was time to hit the road to Little Rock in preparation for a visit to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Saturday for the “Choose Law” program given by the Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Section. On the way there I stopped over in Little Rock where I would connect with Prof. Don Judges who was flying in from a meeting. We would drive the next morning to UAPB

Mary Benton and her husband Tim stop by as a pleasant surprise!Thursday, April 17, I hit the ground running with a meeting with Chancellor-Elect Gearhart and the Deans. That meeting lasted about an hour and a half, after which we had a faculty meeting. That afternoon I received a wonderful, wonderful surprise. My good friend from law school, Mary Wallace Benton, and her husband Tim just walked into the building. I had not seen Mary since 1995 when I attended her wedding, so it had been a very long time. Prof. Kathryn Sampson is another classmate of ours. I was able to visit with Mary and Tim as well as her sister and brother-in-law. We toured the building and I got to catch up with them about everything that had been happening in their lives. It was a delightful surprise.

After that, I had a chance to visit with the Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Executive Board whoYoung Lawyers Section showing their Hog Spirit!met in the building. It was great to see them too. Amy Freedman, our alum, is currently the President of that Section and they have been very active. They were responsible for putting together the “Rule of Law” program. They also are putting on a “Choose Law” program down in Pine Bluff which Prof. Judges and I will attend on the 19th. We were delighted to host their meeting and it was good that I was able to visit with them a little bit. One an exciting note, Amy has just been named the national Chair of the Children and the Law Committee for the American Bar Association through the ABA Young Lawyer’s Division. Congratulations, Amy.

Professor Krotoszynski presents his lectureThursday was a truly very busy day. I had to leave the company of the Young Lawyers and head to the courtroom because we had our Hartman Hotz speaker, Prof. Krotoszynski. He presented a lecture on free speech norm creation at the global level. It was very, very interesting. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the entire lecture, but what I did sit in on, I enjoyed very much.

The day didn’t end after that! We had our first annual “MeetMingling the Lawyers” event which was held at the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse on Dickson Street. Talk about a fabulous turnout! There were a number of lawyers from all over Northwest Arkansas, a good number of students came out, and everyone who attended the event had a fabulous time. It was a great, informal opportunity for students to meet local lawyers and to talk with them about their careers, and to get advice. What a fantastic event! Thanks goes to Malcolm McNair who put that event together,Lawyers and students enjoy food and fellowship and to Teri Stafford who brought the idea with her from a similar experience.

The Arkansas Bar Association Law School Committee wasHosting the Arkansas Bar Association Law School Committeealso in town that day because we would meet with them on Friday, April 18. The members who arrived early were able to attend the networking event. They thought it was such a worthwhile gathering that they would like us to host it in conjunction with their meeting every time they are visiting us. That evening the Law School Committee had dinner at Bordinos with the faculty members who would be presenting to them the next day. The faculty members who attended were Karen Koch who was presenting on her class in animal law; Bobbi and Carl Circo who talked about our wills project; and Tim Tarvin who explained Legal e-Source. The Committee enjoyed very much the ambiance and the food at Great food and great company!Bordinos. The first course menu consisted of either crisp romaine lettuce and rich Caesar dressing with shaved Grana Padano Parmesan Cheese and herbed Croutons; or Mandarin Oranges, candied Pecans, crumbled Goat Cheese and crispy Petit Jean Bacon with Spinach dressed in a Sherry Vinaigrette. The second course was Grilled Tasmanian Salmon and Tomatillo Salsa with Broccoli and sauteéd Spinach; Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Gorgonzola Butter with roasted Bell Pepper Mashed Potatoes and grilled Asparagus; and Portobello Mushroom Lasagna with Ricotta Béchamel, Mozzarella, smoked Gouda and a rich Pesto Sauce. For dessert there was white chocolate crème brûlée and chocolate cake. It was a wonderful evening with lots of fellowship, conversation, laughter and sharing. We appreciate the members of the Law School Committee who took time out of their very busy schedules to meet with us, to hear what’s going on about the law school, and to provide us with their wisdom and guidance as to ways in which they would suggest that we could consider improving the law school. We are very fortunate to have such an involved and caring group of lawyers come to visit the law school and share their insight with us.

Monday—you guessed it!—began bright and early at Pilates with Claudia. Right afterwards I headed to the dentist’s office for my check-up with Dr. Walt Henderson. Though I like my dentist, I don’t really enjoy going. He gave me the terrible news that I will need a crown, so I (probably wrongly) put that appointment off until after graduation because I’m not looking forward to it. Anyway, it’s a blessing that I have dental insurance and I’m grateful for that. I just really don’t like to go to the dentist. Sorry Dr. Henderson, you’re a great guy, but . . . also no offense to 3L Rick Hebar, a terrific person and dentist in another life.

At noon we had strategic planning meeting in the law school. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog posting that we were focusing the most recent sessions on scholarship. It was a very open and thoughtful conversation. I thank my colleagues for their participation and for helping to steer the future of the law school.

The exciting news that I failed to mention earlier is that late last week Jesús Moroles’ work crew showed up and they have been working diligently on the courtyard. (I do have some pictures of the progress of the courtyard and them working out there.) We are really excited to see Dreamscape take shape and happy to have them back and to see the progress under way.

Jim Phillips, one of our alums, who I spend a lot of time with at football games visiting in his skybox, stopped by this afternoon. It was great to see him. Thanks very much, Jim, for coming up. Don’t be a stranger. After he left I played a little catch-up behind my desk.

Tuesday was also a relatively quiet day. We had a faculty meeting at which a student requested credit for spending a semester at an international law school. The faculty had a full discussion about this request, and as a result, we will probably have a committee look at this issue. We haven’t had this request of this nature previously, at least in my time on the faculty. The faculty agreed that this is something that we should look at more carefully and we will do that, but we gave the student a tentative okay.

Later that afternoon I met with Don Pederson. It was actually good to have the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration visit. We toured the building and I showed him some of the changes. Vice Chancellor Pederson has been a good friend to me since I first joined the University of Arkansas’ faculty. I remember many years ago when Margaret Clark and I went to him with an idea for an interdisciplinary paper and speech abroad. He graciously provided his support. I could never have afforded to go without that help. Aside from that he has always been a helpful colleague and mentor. I appreciate him, the guidance he give me and the time he took to visit.

That evening I went back (yes, I know) to Curves for Women. I hadn’t been in so long that my routine was off and when I got done, quite frankly, I was so tired that I walked out and left my suit. But at least I’m getting back on track!