Alumni News

Kentucky Women's Book Festival features Brandeis alum and legal thriller author

The Kentucky Women’s Book Festival is set for March 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ekstrom Library. The event, hosted by the Women’s Center and University Libraries, will include a keynote address from Julie Kibler, author of the bestselling novel, “Calling Me Home.”

The novel has been published in 15 languages, named a finalist for the 2014 Kentucky Literary Award, and selected as a book club pick for Ladies' Home Journal.

The opening speaker at 10 a.m. will be Kelly Cogswell, journalist, blogger and author of the memoir “Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger.”

Other speakers include:

  • Tytianna N. M. Wells Smith, author/illustrator, “Sweet Pea and Sugar Tea’s Country Family Adventures: A Collection of African-American Poems”
  • Aaisha Hamid, author, “Faceless: Two Worlds Collide”
  • Maryjean Wall, author, “Madam Belle: Sex, Money and Influence in a Southern Brothel”
  • Linda Y. Atkins, attorney and author of the Hilary Adams Mystery Series
  • Mitzi Sinnott, actress and arts educator
  • Mary Hamilton, storyteller and author, “Kentucky Folktales: Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies"
  • Mary Popham, editor and author, “Back Home in Landing Run”

Co-chairing this event is Brandeis’ Public Services Librarian and Professor of Legal Bibliography, Robin Harris. Virginia Mattingly, Brandeis’ Cybrarian and Associate Professor of Legal Bibliography, is also on the planning committee.

The Brandeis connection also leads to Speaker Linda Atkins, who is a 1982 graduate of the law school. Her Hilary Adams Mystery Series is based on her experiences as a Louisville attorney. At the event, she will speak on “What Inspired Me to Write Legal Thrillers,” and all four of her books will be on sale.

The Diversity Committee Presents: Our Country, Appalachia, and The Never-Ending Path To Poverty

On Tuesday, March 3, the Diversity Committee will host a discussion on the current state of poverty in America and the role of law in promoting or hindering economic equality. Although the program will discuss the intersection of poverty and the law from a national perspective, the emphasis will be on the Kentucky region (Louisville and Appalachian) in hopes that it will allow students to truly understand the realities of poverty within our own communities. The program will include a diverse group of panelist from the fields of law, economics, and public interest work. Students with a desire to work with indigent clients through practice public interest law or that will be applying for one of the summer public interests fellowships are strongly encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided! 


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cox Lounge

12-2 PM


Suggested Readings:

 “New IRS Data Gives Fresh Look at Income Inequality,” available at


“Robert Reich:  10 ways to close the inequality gap,” available at


“A New Majority Research Bulletin:  Low Income Students Now a Majority in the Nation’s Public Schools,” available at:

Brandeis alum named DelCotto Law Group member

Jamie L. Harris has been named a member of the DelCotto Law Group in Lexington. She will focus her practice on individual and business Chapter 11 bankruptcies and workouts.

For the past 8 years, Harris has represented clients in numerous industries including healthcare, nonprofit, trucking, construction, commercial real estate and telecommunications. She is a frequent author and presenter on business insolvency issues.
Harris is a leader in DLG's bankruptcy, business restructuring and debt workout practice areas. She helps companies and individuals expand, reorganize, buy, sell and liquidate. Her practice is focused on clients in transition who need assistance in acquisitions, debt restructuring, refinancing, workouts and turnarounds.
Harris received her bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Centre College and her JD from the Brandeis School of Law.

Incoming Editorial Board selected for the University of Louisville Law Review

The Editorial Board of the University of Louisville Law Review is pleased to announce their successors for Volume 54:

   Editor in Chief: Daniel Reed

   Senior Articles Editor: Emily Meyer

   Senior Notes Editor: Emily Irwin

   Articles Editors: Vlad Bursuc, Megan Diffenderfer, Tyler Larson

   Notes Editors: Lindsey Boyd, Kari DiCecco, Katherine Vail

   Articles Selection Editor: Carolyn Purcell

   Online Content Editor: Andrew Weeks

   Executive Editor: Dallas Selvy

   Managing Editor: Ben Jakubowicz

The University of Louisville Law Review is the principal law review publication of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. Managed exclusively by students, the Law Review is a scholarly publication devoted to developing the law, evaluating legal institutions and analyzing issues of law and public policy. The Law Review features student notes and articles written by nationally and globally recognized experts. The Editorial Board and Staff of the Law Review publish three issues per year and have editorial control over its content.

Congratulations to the newly minted Editorial Board for Volume 54!

Law School Diversity Reception

Join us Wednesday, February 11, as we celebrate Black History Month with fellow alumni at Champion Sports Bar (located in the Downtown Marriott). This pre-game party starts at 5:30.  Come join the fun!

Bellarmine National Trial Competition

Bellarmine University will be hosting a National trial competition the weekend of March 13 to 15, with one round Friday evening from 6:00 pm  to 9:30 pm, second round Saturday morning 9:00 am  to 12:30 pm, the third round Saturday afternoon , 2:00 pm  to 5:30 pm and the final round 9:00 am  to 12:30 pm.  They want to recruit 24 law students who have taken Evidence to be presiding judges  to rule on objections and keep the trials moving forward. Law students will not be scoring judges only presiding judges. Law students will have the opportunity to meet over  a 100 local attorneys during the competition while attending the pretrial judges’ instructions and during the trials. Interested law students need to attend a two-hour judge’s boot camp prior to the tournament conducted by Chris Schaefer and Jim Wagoner.  Interested students should contact:  Jim Wagoner at (502) 582-1381 or  This is a GREAT way to network with practicing attorneys so please consider volunteering.

Brandeis alum named Women of Influence Award winner by Nashville publication

Jennifer Kovalcik, an attorney at Stites & Harbison PLLC, has been named a winner of the 2015 Women of Influence Awards in the category of “Inspiration/Mentor.”

The award is presented by the Nashville Business Journal.

Kovalcik is a member at the firm's Nashville office. She graduated summa cum laude from the Brandeis School of Law in 2002 and was the class valedictorian.

Kovalcik also earned her bachelor’s degree from UofL, graduating with highest honors in Music in Vocal Performance in 1999.

According to the Nashville Business Journal, the Women of Influence Awards honor women who are making a positive impact in Middle Tennessee. Nominations are received from the public and an independent panel of judges consisting of previous Women of Influence award winners select the finalists in 10 categories.

Kovalcik is a trademark and technology attorney. Her practice concentrates on designing and implementing plans for a variety of industries that implicate intellectual property assets, including trademarks, domains, trade secrets, copyrights and software. She also drafts and negotiates software development and licensing agreements among other technology contracts. She is recognized as a “Rising Star” in Mid-South Super Lawyers.

Kovalcik is a board member and Soprano with the Concert Chorale of Nashville. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Mary Villa Child Development Center volunteers at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.  She currently serves as Chair of the AIPLA Trademark Law Committee and is the outgoing Program Chair of the Trademark Boot Camp comprehensive training program.

Kovalcik is a former Chair of both the Nashville Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Committee and the Louisville Bar Association Intellectual Property Section and is a Fellow with the Nashville Bar Foundation. 

Ronald Simpson, ’57 grad, passes away in Florida

Ronald Vincent Simpson, of Sarasota, Florida, died on Jan. 4 at his home and surrounded by his family. He was born on Aug. 11, 1930 in Boston.

Simpson earned his law degree from the University of Louisville in 1957. He was a partner of Goldberg & Simpson until his retirement in 1987.

Simpson received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, where he played on the tennis team. He also served in the United States Army in Japan during the Korean conflict.

Merrill Schell, ’76 grad, passes away

Merrill Stephen Schell, 64, of Louisville, passed away on Jan. 13. He received his JD from the University of Louisville’s Law School in 1976, graduating magna cum laude, and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Upon graduation, Schell joined the firm of Wyatt Tarrant & Combs where he had clerked while in law school. According to his obituary, much of his 36-year legal career was devoted to the practice of corporate law with a specialty in antitrust.

Schell retired from Wyatt in January 2012. He was nominated by his peers in the legal community as one of Louisville’s Top Lawyers in the area of antitrust law.

Schell was a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and the Louisville Bar Association.

Today: "From Brown to the Present: The Road Beyond Michael Brown’s Ferguson and Eric Garner’s Staten Island"

Please join us for the first Diversity Program of the Spring 2015 semester, From Brown to the Present: The Road Beyond Michael Brown’s Ferguson and Eric Garner’s Staten Island: A Conversation about ‘What it Means to be ColorBrave,” Tuesday, January 27.

Click here for complete information and details.