On Friday, June 6, most of our staff was out of the building to attend the staff retreat. The retreat was held in Millar Lodge on Mt. Sequoyah. There were several activities throughout the day as well as presentations by Dr. Nick Brown, UA Executive Assistant for Sustainability- on sustainability and Dana Collins, Instructor for UA Human Resources- on personalities in the workplace. Lunch was provided by Penguin Ed’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. A good time was had by all.goldner

I left Fayetteville at 8:30 a.m. to go to Little Rock to attend a reception for outgoing Dean Chuck Goldner, the Dean of the University of Arkansas Little Rock Bowen School of Law, who will step down as of June 30 of this year. The reception and lunch was put on by the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers (AAWL) and I felt it was really important to be there both as a member of the organization and because of my warAAWLm and close friendship with Dean Goldner. The events were held at the U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse on 2nd Street in downtown Little Rock.

The AAWL is pretty active. In their kickoff in September more than 100 people attended a multimedia presentation presented by Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox that focused on the landmark decision of Cooper v. Aaron and that was part of the group’s state celebration of the 50th anniversary of the integration of Central High School. In December, the group hosted a holiday brunch and silent auction. That event raised more than $2700 and that, when coupled with an endowment, resulted in three $1200AAWL scholarships for deserving law students in the State of Arkansas. Throughout the year, the group’s monthly meetings included distinguished speakers and guests such as U.S. Representative Vic Snyder, both Arkansas law school deans, Judge Alice Lightle and Former Representative Joyce Elliott.

The lunch and reception for Dean Goldner were really fun events. I love going to the Women Lawyers meetingoldnergs. I’ve blogged about them before. Best of all, it was great to surprise Dean Goldner who didn’t know I was going to be in attendance and to see all of my women lawyer friends. Judge Audrey Evans of the Bankruptcy Court gave a wonderful tribute to Dean Goldner. Her remarks were brief, but they were very warm and they focused on all the incredible service that he has given to the State of Arkansas while still being a full-time Dean. She came up with a formula inspired by the Einstein formula E=mc2 and it was DG3 = energy. She was talking about how Dean Goldner did so many different things, that it was amazing that he was just one person when it seems likgoldnere he was operating in triplicate.  Then she listed all the many ways he has contributed to the state and the law school, focusing on the work of the Equal Access Commission, his board membership with LSAC and his involvement with the ABA Section on Legal Education. These were just the things he does on the state and national level. There are local charities that he’s been involved with as well.

Dean Goldner gave a few brief remarks, thanking everyone for their support and thanking the AAWL for the scholarships they provide for the students. I had the opportunity to go up and say a thank you from the law school. I was also able to give him his very favorite, something that we share besides being fellow deagoldnerns, the best candy in the world, Frango mint chocolates from Marshall Fields and to acknowledge his wife, Susan. It was really worth going down to see the members of AAWL, but more especially to say thank you and publicly acknowledge Chuck Goldner once again for his wonderful friendship and support over this past two years. I wish him the very best transitioning into his new role.

After the reception I visited with Judge Evans in her chambers for a little while about some of the issues that concern us both. It was good to see her again and to have that time with her. Gosh darn it, I forgot to go in and speak to Rick Taylor, our alum who is also a bankruptcy judge in the very same building, but I’ve already apologized to him for that and he graciously let me off the hook. After that it was time to head back to Fayetteville, just another week on the road.