Academics News

Moving Forward, Living Backward, or Just Standing Still? Theatre Production, Friday, Oct. 24, 7:00 p.m., Allen Courtroom

Litigation and Transactional Skills Certificate Program

Current 2L and 3L students may apply for acceptance into the Certificate of Accomplishment in Litigation Skills or the Certificate of Accomplishment in Transactional Skills Programs. These programs allow students priority registration in designated litigation or transactional skills courses. Currently there are six placements available in the programs. Students are eligible to receive a Certificate of Accomplishment in Litigation or Transactional Skills upon graduation if they satisfy the certificate requirements regardless whether they enroll in the certificate program. Contact Dean Nowka, room 213, for additional information or to apply. Application deadline is October 29, 2014, 4:00 p.m.

Professional Responsibility Exam Time Option

All students taking the Professional Responsibility course exam on Friday, October 31, have the option to take the exam from 2:30 - 5:30 or from 3:00 - 6:00. The length of the exam, three hours, will not change. You must make this election on or before October 21, 2014, 5:00 p.m. by notifying Dean Nowka, room 213, in writing of your choice. If you do not submit your choice to Dean Nowka by the designated time you will be deemed to elect the 3:00 - 6:00 time for the exam. Contact Dean Nowka if you have any questions.

Spring and Summer Course Schedules

Updated spring 2015 and summer 2015 course schedules, course notes and exam schedules are posted on the law school webpage.  Because these schedules are tentative and may be changed before registration opens, please check the webpage for the most recent schedule before registering for classes.

Elder Law spring 2015 course

A course in Elder Law will be offered in spring 2015. Elder Law is a practical course dealing with older folks in the field of elder care law in Kentucky. Understanding how to work with older people will be relevant in almost all areas of law. Some of the topics covered will be basic legal documents for older folks, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran's benefits, living arrangements, health care decision making, ethical issues, guardianship, probate, trusts, and understanding insurance and financial documents. Practical skills taught include how to interview clients and how to run a law practice. The instructors are Bernard Faller, founder of Kentucky ElderLaw, PLLC, and Misty Clark Vantrease and Kelly Gannott, current co-owners of the firm. All three were classmates in the Brandeis class of 2001.  For additional information or to obtain a syllabus, contact Bernard Faller at

Tax Moot Court Team Tryouts

A national tax moot court competition is held every spring at an exotic location in Florida.  Our law school has competed for more than 25 years and our teams are frequently successful.  We are “in it to win it,” to use a haggard phrase.

Our team will have two members, selected by our three Team coaches:  Professor Blackburn, and adjunct professor/alumni Mark Haun and Laurie McTighe.

The competition consists of a written brief, followed by oral arguments before a mock appellate court.  Real Tax Court judges and tax practitioners serve as the competition judges for both the brief writing and the appellate arguments.

You must have completed one tax course by the end of 2014-fall semester, and be willing to spend a February weekend in sunny Florida, when we still have snow on the ground in Louisville.  Tax focused students are encouraged to tryout, but this is a trial competition and students interested in being litigators have been successful in the past and are also encouraged to tryout.

Tryouts will begin as soon as we have students willing to try out.  Tryouts will end Friday October 10.  If you are interested, please contact Professor Blackburn (, 502-852-6384). 

Law & War—An International Humanitarian Law Workshop

The American Red Cross is pleased to invite you to attend Law & War: An International Humanitarian Law Workshop at Vanderbilt University Law School on November 8th and 9th.  This workshop is a two day intensive introduction to international humanitarian law (IHL) for law students, graduate students, and attorneys.  During this training, participants will receive instruction from leading humanitarian law practitioners and explore the law in practice through a series of case studies.  Participants will learn about the historical development of the law, conflict classification, restrictions on means and methods of warfare, protections for vulnerable persons during armed conflict, enforcement of IHL and much more.

The workshop and all course materials are provided to accepted students at no cost. Registration is currently open and applications must be submitted by Friday, October 17th.  Applications can be found at online at This workshop is a fabulous opportunity for those interested in learning more about, or pursuing a career in international humanitarian law.

Interested students may contact Kimberly Huey for additional information at

Research Assistant Sought

Professor Nicholson is seeking a research assistant in the area of executive compensation, fiduciary obligations, and corporate culture.  If you are interested, send a letter of interest and resume to Professor Nicholson

Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition Champion

Congratulatons to Ben Shepard, the 2014 Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition Champion, Aaron Riggs, the 2014 runner-up, and Emily Devuono and Daniel Reed, the 2014 semi-finalists. The judges were extremely impressed with the oral advocay skills of the competitors. Appellant, Ben Shepard, and Appellee, Aaron Riggs, advanced from the semi-final rounds to compete in the championship round. The judges commended them both for their performances.

Pirtle-Washer Advocacy Competition Preliminary Results

The Moot Court Board congratulates all competitors in the Pirtle-Washer Competition preliminary rounds. The judges were very impressed with the quality of the advocacy. The quarter-finalists were: Christine Shannon, Tyler Peavler, Ben Shepard, Daniel Reed, Emily Devouno, Aaron Riggs, Issac Fain,and Kevin Boswell. Moving on to the semi-final rounds are: Ben Shepard, Aaron Riggs, Daniel Reed and Emily Devouno. The semi-finals will take place on Friday, September 26, at 3:00 p.m. in the Allen Courtroom with the finals to follow later that day. Please join us to support the advocates.

Sana Abhari would like to thank the volunteer attorney judges, the scoring team, the 1L Witness Program volunteers, Dean Nowka, the entire Moot Court team, and her wonderful facilitators Megan Diffenderfer, Whitney Graham and Laura Tapp.