Dean's Newsletter, Fall 2009

A message from Dean Jim Chen

Jim Chen

Greetings. I bring you warm holiday tidings and news from the Law School. This newsletter supplements the Law School's online news feed, our page for alumni and visitors, and my official weblog, The Cardinal Lawyer. I invite you to think of this message as an abbreviated electronic pocket part to our alumni magazine, University of Louisville | Law.

I wish all of you a joyous holiday season and the very best for 2010.

Rhapsody in red and black

Rhapsody in Blue, opening glissando



The "famous opening clarinet glissando" of Rhapsody in Blue "has become as familiar as the start of Beethoven’s Fifth." Frederick D. Schwarz, Gershwin’s Rhapsody, 50:1 American Heritage (Feb./March 1999). I regard George Gershwin's 1924 breakthrough classic as the most distinctively American musical composition in our country's vast repertoire. In its vigor and its versatility, Rhapsody in Blue is also a fitting metaphor for legal education. Here at the University of Louisville, we conduct our Law School as a Rhapsody in Red and Black.

»  Continue reading Rhapsody in red and black.  «

  Holiday party  

Female cardinal

'Tis the season to celebrate. The Law School invites all of you to its annual holiday party. Please join us at the Law School on Friday, December 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This festive event provides an excellent opportunity to reconnect with your fellow graduates and to greet your favorite faculty members. Please RSVP to Becky Wenning via e-mail ( or by phone at 502-852-1230.

UofL Law

Snow cardinal

Law Clinic update

The law clinic six Law clinic

Real clients, real cases. Real problems, real solutions.

The University of Louisville Law Clinic is a tremendous success for our students and for our the community. The Law Clinic embodies the University of Louisville's commitment to preparing its graduates for instant and lasting impact in the workplace and the greater world.

Students at the Law Clinic represent individual clients and handle real court cases under the careful supervision of the clinic's director, Shelley Santry. Professor Santry has 16 years of experience as an attorney in Kentucky. She practiced law at the Legal Aid Society of Louisville for eight years, followed by eight years as a prosecutor with the Jefferson County Attorney's Office.

On November 19, the Law Clinic welcomed guests to its open house. We extend warmest thanks to everyone who attended the that celebratory event. The clinic commemorated its first year of operation. This newsletter reproduces two images from the photo gallery for the open house. In tandem, these images convey the diversity of the audience that came together to celebrate our clinic and its work on behalf of our students and our broader community.

Clinic directors and students

Directors and student members of the University of Louisville Law Clinic. Back row: Courtney King, Vanessa Smith, Shelley Santry, Andy Nystrom, and Colin O'Brien. Front row: Jenna Glasscock, Ted Farrell, Heend Sheth, and Simone Beach.

Community supporters

Community support for the UofL Law Clinic. Jim Chen, the Honorable Erica Lee Williams, Jason Williams, Shelley Santry, and the Honorable Olu Stevens.

Alumni awards banquet

The Law School held its annual alumni awards banquet on October 7. The celebration, held at the Seelbach Hotel, provided alumni with an opportunity to reconnect with friends and faculty and to honor their fellow graduates.

This year's honorees included:

  • Alumni Fellow — Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson
  • Lawrence Grauman Award — Robert L. Ackerson
  • Distinguished Alumni/ae Awards — Mary E. Barrazotto, Ronald E. Meisburg, Judge Geoffrey P. Morris, Kathleen Pellegrino, Shelton R. Weber
  • Recent Alumnus/a Award — Demetrius "D" Holloway
  • Dean's Service Award — Thomas M. Williams
  • Excellence in Teaching Award — Professor Kathleen S. Bean

2009 alumni awards banquet

Faculty scholarship catalog

Scholarly catalog

We are proud to announce the publication of the Law School's first comprehensive catalog of faculty scholarship. This catalog provides detailed biographical information on all members of our faculty, including complete bibliographies documenting their scholarly and practitioner-oriented publications. We invite you to download your own copy of the faculty scholarship catalog. We also hope you will subscribe to the UofL law faculty's legal scholarship series on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). Finally, we invite you to browse the ever-growing list of faculty and staff kudos. Our faculty works diligently to maintain its mastery of the law, and we take pride in extending our understanding of legal theory, doctrine, and practice.

Duffy Trager wins the Pirtle-Washer competition

Congratulations to Duffy Trager, winner of the 2009 Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition. The picture below, drawn from the Pirtle-Washer competition's photo gallery, depicts Dean Jim Chen, semifinalist Algeria Ford, runner-up Barry Dunn, Judge Ann Bailey Smith, Judge Denise Clayton, Chief Judge Charles Hickman, Frances Hildreth Wilson, Duffy Trager, Judge John Heyburn, and semifinalist Eric Lowe. Professors Les Abramson and Karen Jordan joined Judges Heyburn and Hickman in judging the semifinal rounds.

2009 Pirtle-Washer Participants

A profile of the class entering fall 2009

Meet the class of students who entered the Law School during fall semester 2009. We also welcome you to examine the complete class profile.

Female — 68%Male — 73%
Kentucky — 65%Nonresident — 35%
Ethnic Diversity
6.1% nonwhite
LSAT scores for the entire entering class
75% — 157Median — 155.525% — 152.5
GPA statistics for the entire entering class
75% — 3.71Median — 3.4725% — 3.1
LSAT scores for the full time program
75% — 159Median — 15725% — 154
GPA statistics for the full time program
75% — 3.75
Median — 3.525% — 3.15
LSAT scores for the part time program
75% — 155Median — 15425% — 151
GPA statistics for the part time program
75% — 3.67 Median — 3.4525% — 3.04

Employment report and salary survey

The legal job market is admittedly tough. The Law School's career services office does everything in its power to connect our graduates with opportunities in all fields of law-related employment. Our most recent employment report and salary survey, compiled in February 2009, covers students who graduated during the academic year 2007-08, including December 2007, May 2008, and August 2008 graduates. We invite you to study the full report.


  • Over 96% of the class of 2008 was employed as of February 2009 — 120 were employed out of 124 known to be seeking employment.
  • The average starting salary for those employed in the private sector was $64,364.
  • Approximately 68% received their job offers before graduation.
  • Of 114 graduates reporting the location of their employment, 93 (or approximately 82%) were employed in Kentucky.

Types of Employment

Private Law Firms 66 (53.2%)
  Solo Practice 3  
  2-10 Attorneys 33  
  11-50 Attorneys 19  
  51-100 Attorneys 2  
  Over 100 9  
  Judicial Clerkships 6 (4.8%)
Government/Public Service 21 (16.9%)
Military 0 ( 0.0%)
Academic 4
( 3.2%)
Business & Industry 19 (15.3%)

Timing of Job Offers

116 reporting

Offer received before graduation 79 (68.1%)
Offer received after graduation but before bar exam results 18 (15.5%)
Offer received after bar exam results 19 (16.3%)

Initial Salaries

  High Mean Lower Quartile
Private $103,000

Constitution Day

The Law School celebrated Constitution Day on September 17. We take great pride in presenting an annual commemoration of Constitution Day on behalf of the entire University of Louisville. The Law School's Constitution Day page represents a year-round guide to American constitutional law. We invite friends of the Law School and of the University of Louisville to use the resources we have collected. Those resources include a 21-question constitutional scavenger hunt and a picture gallery depicting constitutional controversies throughout American history. Our page also includes archives of the Law School's Constitution Day programs from 2008 and 2007.

This newsletter presents the two videos that comprised our program for Constitution Day 2009. In the first video, Law School faculty discuss the appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Professors Laura Rothstein, Judith Fischer, Luke Milligan, Samuel Marcosson, and Cedric Merlin Powell and Dean Jim Chen, joined by Professor John McGinnis of the Northwestern University School of Law, ponder the significance of Justice Sotomayor's arrival on the nation's highest court. In the second video, Professor Joseph Tomain presents Fleeting Expletives and the Shadow of the First Amendment.

Conference on Innovation and Communications Law

The University of Louisville proudly hosted the second annual Conference on Innovation and Communications Law on August 21 and 22, 2009. The Conference, a sequel to the 2008 conference held in Turku, Finland, is a cooperative effort of the University of Louisville School of Law, University of Turku Faculty of Law, Drake University Law School, Michigan State University College of Law, and the IPR Center in Helsinki, Finland. We also received generous support from Middleton Reutlinger and Stoll Keenon Ogden.

This year's conference focused on the role of intellectual property and communications law in the dissemination of information. Participants discussed how the legal system helps (or hinders) the development of knowledge. The conference addressed licensing and franchising, intellectual property registration, the law governing trade secrets and confidential information, remedies, and the special case of university inventions and works. Many participants traveled from outside the United States and made presentations with an international or comparative perspective.

The Law School website hosts the online proceedings of the Conference on Innovation and Communications Law.

Journal of Animal and Environmental Law

The Law School's newest student publication is the Journal of Animal and Environmental Law. This online journal is the only scholarly publication that carries a specific focus on both environmental and animal law issues. Algeria Ford and Rexéna Napier are the inaugural editors-in-chief.

UofL Law defeats UK Law, 13-6

Photo credit: Scott Hite, LexisNexis

Lexington, September 18, 2009 — Led by the passing combination of quarterback Blake Bowling and receiver Jared Key, the law school football team defeated their archrival UK College of Law 13-6 in Lexington.

The Bowling to Key passing combination resulted in an 18 yard reception in the first half followed by a 22 yard second half touchdown that turned out to be the difference in a heavily, defensive struggle by both teams.

The Cardinal Law defense was spectacular in limiting the Cats to more than four separate three-and-outs while intercepting them twice, once by Josh Speirs and another by Jerred Kelly. Kelly’s interception late in the game turned out to be the game winning stop by the visiting Cards.

The Cardinal victory was the third in a row over their archrivals in this annual competition held on the same weekend as the varsity football game between the Universities of Louisville and Kentucky.

Postal Service unveils Brandeis stamp

Brandeis stamp

The United States Postal Service unveiled a stamp depicting Justice Louis D. Brandeis in a November 13 ceremony at the Law School. The ceremony included the issuance of 153 first-day covers postmarked at the Law School, which had been designated a special Postal Service station for that event. Justice Brandeis's 153rd birthday also witnessed the publication in the Louisville Courier-Journal of a book review by Professor Laura Rothstein of Melvin Urofsky's new biography, Louis D. Brandeis: A Life.

Justice Brandeis stamp

Come hell or high water

The University of Louisville and our city at large were hit hard by flash flooding in August. Although the law school took far less water than many other buildings on campus, we did sustain some damage to the lower level. Law School and University staff have devoted considerable effort to recovery and restoration. The Law Library, in particular, has spent much of the fall semester restoring its lower floors.

Many of our students, faculty, and staff felt the impact of these unexpected high waters. The University of Louisville and our surrounding community have reached out to those in need. As the holidays draw near, there are those who are still struggling with the aftermath of the flood. For information on how you can help, please contact Bob Micou or Vickie Tencer.

UofL goes smoke free

On November 19, the University of Louisville announced a policy that prohibits smoking on all of its campuses.

From November 19, 2009, to June 1, 2010, designated smoking areas will be established on Belknap and affected Shelby Campus buildings to allow faculty, staff, and students time to adjust to the policy. The Law School's designated smoking area will be the back courtyard off the library lobby. Starting June 1, 2010, however, the designated smoking areas will cease to exist and the policy will be fully enforced on all campuses.

Alumni profiles online

The Law School takes great pride in its graduates. To celebrate the many success stories among our graduates, we are compiling alumni profiles to share on our website. To nominate an alumna or an alumnus for a profile, please contact Beth Haendiges.

Class notes

Our alumni share exciting news of their successes. You can find these announcements on our online class notes page. These announcements will be published in the 2009-10 alumni magazine, scheduled for distribution in March 2010. Please take a moment to see what has been announced to ensure its accuracy.

As calendar year 2009 draws to a close, we hope you will consider making a gift to the Law School. Your support is vital to the success of the Law School and to all the students and gradautes we serve. We are very pleased to accept your online donations. If you have any questions about giving to the Law School, please contact Bob Micou, director of major gifts.

In all events, please stay in touch with the Law School, and please keep sending us news of all your accomplishments. We always love to hear from you.