Law School holiday party

Female cardinal

'Tis the season to celebrate. The Law School invites 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 connect with members of the UofL Law community.

Please RSVP to Becky Wenning via e-mail ( or by phone at 502-852-1230.

UofL Law

Snow cardinal

Luke Milligan discusses the Louisville Metro Police Department's use of GPS devices

WHAS 11 News recently interviewed Professor Luke Milligan as a source of legal expertise on the the Louisville Metro Police Department's use of GPS devices to track suspects. In the interview, Professor Milligan discussed investigations conducted without court orders: "The court has a blind spot particularly when it comes to keeping up with emerging technologies. Today we find ourselves in the midst of one of these blind spots . . . . But it clearly violates the spirit of the Fourth Amendment. And I think there is no question that the court will eventually come around."

Be sure to follow UofL Law News for coverage of Professor Milligan's interview and other developments at the Law School.

Rhapsody in red and black

»  Adapted from the August 2009 issue of Louisville Bar Briefs (Focus on Legal Education)
and the September 2009 issue of
Kentucky Bench & Bar   «

George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, as interpreted in Fantasia 2000.


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.

Musicians define a rhapsody as "a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, color and tonality." The composition of Gerswhin's Rhapsody certainly captures this musical form's "air of spontaneous inspiration" and "sense of improvisation." Inspired by the "steely rhythms" and the "rattle-ty bang" of a railroad train, Gershwin imagined at once "the complete construction of the Rhapsody, from beginning to end," as "a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness." Ron Cowen, George Gershwin: He Got Rhythm, Wash. Post (Nov. 1998).

A more appropriate anthem for Kentucky's leading metropolitan research university could scarcely be imagined.

Law Clinic open house

The Cardinal Lawyer extends warmest thanks to everyone who attended the University of Louisville Law Clinic's open house on November 19, 2009. The event celebrated the clinic's first year of operation. I am pleased to reproduce 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.

Constitution Day 2009


Mike Wilkins, Preamble (1987). Featured in the University of Louisville School of Law's Constitution Day Picture Gallery.

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. For the benefit of its readers, The Cardinal Lawyer reprises the two video presentations that comprised this year's program.

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.

The Law School's Constitution Day page represents a year-round guide to American constitutional law. Whenever the anniversary of the Constitution is celebrated, we invite other institutions, throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and elsewhere, to link to our Constitution Day page and 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.

The Law School flood relief fund

Many people in the Law School community were affected by the campus flood on August 4th. Among those who lost their belongings in the disaster, one student lost all of his books for the fall semester. Other students lost laptops and similarly expensive items. They needed to replace these books and computers in order to be fully prepared for their courses.

There is a way you can help. You can direct financial assistance to students who need help covering the replacement cost of items destroyed in the flood. If you would like to help by providing monetary support for a student in need, please contact Matt Williams at (502) 852-6381 or at

I know what you did last summer

The Law School openly acknowledges that preparing for a lifetime of economically gainful employment is a prime goal — arguably the prime goal — of legal education. Summer provides the perfect opportunity for exploring potential work settings. The Law School's multimedia site happily presents What I Did over Summer Vacation, a program in which upper-level students discussed their employment experiences during summer 2009 and offered tips and advice to new students just entering the job market:

Friday's incident at the Law Library: A summary

In addition to earlier postings on The Cardinal Lawyer (Trespasser apprehended and Further observations), these stories summarize Friday's incident at the Law Library:

Further observations on the Law Library incident

Campus tranquility

Once again The Cardinal Lawyer wishes to thank the Law School personnel and University of Louisville Police for their swift and safe resolution of this morning's incident in the Law Library.

In the immediate aftermath of the campus shootings at Virginia Tech in April 2007, the University of Louisville convened a working group on emergency prevention, preparedness, and response. Among many other measures, this group created a student care team and implemented emergency procedures to be followed in the event of an active threat to campus safety.

The University, in short, has been preparing for an incident of this kind. We had hoped never to have been forced to use the protocols designed for these situations. Today the University had to use those protocols. Thanks to the vigilance of Law School personnel and UofL Police, a potentially dangerous situation was defused, and no one was harmed.

Trespasser apprehended for carrying weapons into the Law Library

Note: The following announcement has been issued by the University of Louisville. The University and the Law School will provide more information as it becomes available. I hasten to add my thanks to those expressed below by Provost Willihnganz. Quick, clear thinking and action by Law School personnel and UofL Police kept our community safe today.

A former University of Louisville student and contract employee was apprehended by UofL Police this morning after carrying weapons into the Law Library.

UofL Police have arrested Thomas H. Irwin and charged him with carrying a concealed deadly weapon and with criminal trespass.

According to police, Irwin entered the law library at about 8:30 a.m. with two handguns and ammunition. After receiving a call from an employee, UofL Police arrived on the scene and escorted Irwin from the premises without incident. He was taken to ULPD headquarters for further investigation.

Irwin had been declared persona non grata by the university in December 2008.

UofL officials praised the law school employee who called the police.

“We have systems in place to protect our students, faculty and staff, and in this case the employee acted quickly and appropriately,” said Provost Shirley Willihnganz. “I also want to thank our police for acting quickly.”

The university will provide more details later today.