Alumni News

Diversity Forum – Tuesday, October 22 @ Noon in Room 275

The Black Law Students Association and the Diversity Committee invite everyone to our October 22 forum, Before “Bombingham” and Beyond Trayvon. Speakers will include Prof. Enid Trucios-Haynes and Mr. Anthony Smith, Director of Safe Neighborhoods (a position recommended by the city’s violence prevention task force last year). Prof. Laura McNeal will moderate the program.

A free, light lunch will be available in the hall outside of Room 275 @11:45 a.m.

Law school kitchen gets extreme makeover

Change is good. Especially when it’s long overdue.

That’s the prevailing attitude among faculty, staff and students at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law when it comes to the school’s recent kitchen makeover.

Located on the lower level of the school, the sorely outdated kitchen had not been modernized for decades.

"It was disgusting," said law school Dean Susan Duncan. "The kitchen was the exact same as when I was in law school here in the 1980s. It definitely needed a makeover."

But with budgets exceedingly tight, the kitchen didn’t get remodeled until a donor stepped up to fund the project.

At right, Richard Edwards and law Dean Susan Duncan talk to students in the newly remodeled kitchen.

Richard Edwards, managing partner with Louisville-based law firm Boehl, Stopher & Graves, LLC, provided funds to refurbish the kitchen with new floors, cabinets, paint and appliances. His law firm partner, Ed Stopher, also contributed to the kitchen makeover.

Law school faculty member Linda Ewald also contributed to pay for the industrial size refrigerator.

When Edwards was asked why his firm decided to fund such an unusual project, he said he hoped to make the overall environment more enjoyable for students.

"I wanted to do something that went beyond academics—something to give students a pleasant little break from their studies," said Edwards.

His plan seems to be working well. On any given day, dozens of students use the kitchen and, during lunchtime, nearly every chair is occupied.

While the makeover dramatically transformed the room, one feature remained unchanged: a large, colorful wall mural of school namesake Louis D. Brandeis.

"It’s the only thing in the kitchen that we didn’t want to change," said Duncan.

Professor Laura McNeal discusses legacy of Charles Hamilton Houston at Harvard Law School

This year, we have seen the Supreme Court drastically reduce the protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, even as we observe the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Despite the tremendous efforts to promote equal education opportunity, many of our public schools remain segregated and many students are raised in impoverished households. The influence of race and poverty on academic achievement are undeniable. On September 5, Professor Laura McNeal will serve on a panel at Harvard Law School with three other distinguished panelists to both reflect on Charles Hamilton Houston's powerful legacy and to assess how we can draw upon that legacy to address the considerable legal challenges to equal opportunity in America.

50th Anniversary of "I Have A Dream Speech" TODAY

Dear Brandeis Community:

On this 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's famous speech describing his beloved community, let us recommit ourselves to fostering a climate of inclusiveness with principles of mutual respect, fairness and social justice that enables everyone to develop to his or her fullest potential. We recognize that diversity is a fundamental necessity to achieving excellence at Brandeis School of Law.

As part of that commitment:
• We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.
• We promote differing ideas and a variety of solutions through the inclusion of individuals from all backgrounds, races, genders, sexualities, socio-economics and spiritualties. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity, and mutual respect.
• We strive to eliminate discrimination, marginalization, and exclusion based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, disability, religion, national origin or military status.
• We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.

The university is offering several events today to commemorate this important anniversary. Please join us if you can.
Schedule for Commemoration Events held on August 28th:

1:00 p.m. Panel Discussion - "Reflections on Dr. King's Dream" - Shumaker Research Building, Room 139)
Featuring panelists:

• Dr. Joy Carew (
• Mr. Ira Grupper ( and
• Mr. Sagar Patagundi (
• Dr. Laura Rothstein (


2:15 p.m. - Symbolic March on Belknap Campus will begin at the Clock Tower going to the Ekstrom Library Quad

2:25 p.m. - UofL's International Jazz Quartet performs in Quad (refreshments served)

2:45 p.m. - Afternoon Program - in Quad
• Vice-Provost for Diversity Taylor-Archer -Welcome
• National Anthem led by UofL's Commemoration Chorale
• President Ramsey - Remarks and Welcome
• Keynote address - Raoul Cunningham, President of the Louisville Chapter of the NAACP
• Recital of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech by Odell Henderson


Public Service Projects at Orientation Highlight Brandeis Commitment to Service

Before fall semester classes even began, students at UofL's Brandeis School of Law took part in community service projects across the city of Louisville during orientation week. The public service projects included craft painting with residents at Masonic Homes; weeding and mulching an expressway ramp in downtown Louisville for Operation Brightside; painting a children’s playground fence at St. Vincent De Paul; constructing a Habitat for Humanity home in Louisville's West End; caring for animals at the New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter; making inspirational cards for Hosparus patients and their families; decorating apartments for new refugee families for Catholic Charities; weeding and invasive removal at Seneca Park for Olmsted Parks Conservancy; baking for residents at Ronald McDonald House; sorting food at Dare to Care Food Bank; assisting with a back-to-school backpack event for Family Scholar House; and processing donations at Habitat ReStore.

Flickr Photo Gallery

Having orientation include a day of community service began in 2009. It honors the values of Justice Louis D. Brandeis, for whom the law school was named in 1997. Louis D. Brandeis is known as the “people’s attorney” for setting the expectation that all lawyers should provide service to the public. His work included advocacy on behalf of a number of social justice causes through his arguments before the Supreme Court and legislative advocacy on behalf of working conditions and regulation of transportation and other services.

The Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Program established in 1990, is one of the first mandatory public service programs in country and is a national model for other programs. All students must complete at least 30 hours of public service to graduate. Our students generally complete substantially more than the 30 hours. Through this work, the law school benefits from the impact of Justice Brandeis, and the community.

The Brandeis School of Law also hosts Lawlapalooza, the Louisville legal community's annual battle of the bands, staged since 2005, to benefit the Judge Ellen B. Ewing Foundation. The Judge Ellen B. Ewing Foundation was established at the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in 2005 with generous gifts from the Louisville Bar Foundation and the Louisville-Jefferson County Women Lawyers Association. This fun event provides summer fellowship funding for a University of Louisville law student to work in the areas of family law, domestic violence and spouse abuse, and HIV/AIDS. Lawlapalooza 2013 will be held Thursday, October 17th, at Phoenix Hill Tavern.

Read more about the students' public advocacy initiatives in "Lawyers Care: It's Not the Job, It's the Person" (Bar Briefs, August 2013)

Partners for Justice Society Scholarship Grant Awarded

Secretary-Treasurer, Tasha Scott (right) presented a scholarship check from the Kentucky Bar Foundation to Dean Susan Duncan at the Fellows and Partners for Justice Society luncheon during the KBA Convention on June 20th.  

Alumni Events

Save the date for these exciting alumni events!


Aug 22: Alumni Night at the Bats Game

Oct 12 & 19: Pirtle Washer Oral Advocacy Competition

October 17: Lawlapalooza

November 8 & 9: Class Reunions

December 13: Holiday Party & Roast to Honor David Leibson’s Retirement

Nominate a Professor for the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust

Wells Fargo is offering $25,000 to professors who inspire their students to change the world. Gail McKnight Beckman created the Beckman Award to benefit teachers who have inspired their former students to make a significant contribution to society. The award is given to current or former academic faculty members who have inspired their former students to “create an organization which has demonstrably conferred a benefit on the community at large.” Alternatively, the academic faculty member must have inspired their former students to “establish on a lasting basis a concept, procedure, or movement of comparable benefit to the community at large.”

The deadline is July 12, 2013.

Justice Brandeis Story Debuting on Louisville Life

June 1, 1916 is the 97th anniversary of Justice Brandeis' Senate confirmation. President Woodrow Wilson nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States on January 28, 1916.

Professor Laura Rothstein was recently interviewed by KET for a story about Justice Louis D. Brandeis.   Special thanks to Scott Campbell, who was very helpful in providing background information for the story. 

In episode 720 of "Louisville Life", the author of Brandeis at 150: The Louisville Perspective talks about former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and his life in Louisville.

You may view the archived video recording at KET's website.




Mark Rothstein Receives Louis D. Brandeis Privacy Award

Patient Privacy Rights, the nation’s leading health privacy advocacy organization, awarded its annual Louis D. Brandeis Privacy Award to Mark A. Rothstein on June 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Patient Privacy Rights established the award in 2012 to recognize significant intellectual, cultural, legal, scholarly, and technical contributions to the field of health information privacy. The award is given with the approval of the Brandeis family, and it will be awarded in conjunction with the Third International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy to be held at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Professor Rothstein holds the Herbert F. Boehl Chair of Law and Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and he also teaches at the Brandeis School of Law of the University of Louisville. He indicated why the award is especially meaningful to him.

“Brandeis  was born in Louisville, and his influence still permeates the city where I live and the university where I work. I am deeply honored to receive an award named after the person whose name is synonymous with privacy.”  

The other 2013 recipient of the Brandeis Privacy Award is Peter Hustinx of the Netherlands, Data Protections Supervisor of the European Union. The 2012 recipients were Congressman Joe Barton of Texas, Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and the late Professor Alan Westin of Columbia University.