Alumni News

Professor Tony Arnold elected to Nature Conservancy of Ky. Board

Tony Arnold, Professor of Law and Boehl Chair in Property & Land Use, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky. His 3-year term begins January 1, 2013. The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. It has more than 1 million members worldwide. The Kentucky chapter has protected more than 140,000 acres of lands and natural resources throughout the Commonwealth since 1975.

Read more about Professor Arnold's accomplishments at his law school profile.

Congratulations to KBA Writing Competition Winner Leah Rupp Smith

Leah Rupp Smith, Brandeis School of Law 3L, recently won the Kentucky Bar Association Writing Competition with her submission titled "Standing Your Ground: The Happy Medium Buried in Kentucky's Common Law." Her submission focused on Kentucky's Stand Your Ground statutes enacted in 2006 as compared to the similar law in Florida, which recently has been in the national spotlight following the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012. Kentucky common law, later codified in the state's pre-2006 Penal Code, already provided that a "Kentuckian never runs." Gibson v. Commonwealth, 34 S.W.2d 936 (Ky. 1931). The analysis centers on whether this standard strikes a more appropriate balance between requiring a defendant using self-defense to prove he or she had no means of safe retreat (the Model Penal Code approach) and providing presumptions in the law favoring a defendant using self-defense (Kentucky's--and Florida's--current approach in the Stand Your Ground statutes).

Orientation Week Boasts Successful Community Service Day



This year, approximately 111 first year law students volunteered for a service project (79% participation).  We also had 6 faculty, 5 staff members, and 8 upper-division law students volunteer (see lists, below).  Students completed projects for the following 12 area organizations:

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • Olmsted Parks Conservancy
  • Masonic Homes
  • Family Scholar House
  • Dare to Care Food Bank
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Catholic Charities
  • Hosparus of Louisville
  • New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Operation Brightside

Faculty Participation
Professor Rothstein – Masonic Homes
Professor Abrams – Family Scholar House
Professor Bean – Family Scholar House
Dean Duncan – Ronald McDonald House
Professor Levinson – Hosparus
Virginia Mattingly – New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter
Staff Participation
Angela Beverly – Habitat ReStore
Becky Wimberg – Dare to Care Food Bank
Kimberly Ballard – Hosparus
Nakia Strickland – Hosparus
Becky Wenning – Operation Brightside
Upper-Division Student Participation
Jacob Giesecke
Dorrie Rush
Derek Miles
Dani Smith
Erica Wood
Brandon Johnson
Brian Strunk
Jamie Hafley





Legal advocate for Children, Gail Robinson, dies at age 61

To the Law School Community:
The Brandeis School of Law is deeply saddened by the passing away of Gail Robinson. Ms. Robinson was a 1976 graduate of our law school. Ms. Robinson was a long time employee of the Department of Public Advocacy and will be remembered for her numerous contributions but especially for her work with Kentucky’s juvenile law. Ms. Robinson was a tireless advocate for Kentucky’s youth and mentored many attorneys who represented children. Please be sure to read the article in the Courier Journal today that chronicles the many important cases she tried including a case involving the youngest death row inmate in the United States. In fact, many of her cases involved the death penalty. 
The Brandeis School of Law is committed to training thoughtful, civic-minded lawyers who play active roles in their communities. Since 1990, all students at the Law School have been required to complete at least thirty hours of public service through the Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Program. Although Ms. Robinson graduated before this requirement, she dedicated her life to 1) addressing the needs of persons of limited means; 2) securing and protecting civil rights and liberties; and 3) improving the law. The law school is very proud of Ms. Robinson for her unwavering commitment to using her law degree to improve the lives of others. We are grateful for her example of how to lead a life devoted to public service.  She will be missed by many people, and the law school community joins those who mourn the loss of this friend and colleague.
Susan Duncan
Interim Dean

Honoring Owsley Brown Frazier

The Brandeis School of Law joins others at the University of Louisville and in our city in remembering with sadness Owsley Brown Frazier.  Mr. Frazier was a 1960 graduate of our law school, and in 2002 he was honored as the Brandeis School of Law Alumni Fellow.  This honor is bestowed by the faculty each year recognizing contributions to the school, the profession, and the community.  He had retired from the vice chairmanship of Brown-Forman Corp. in 2000 but remained connected to the company.   He was a life member of the UofL Board of Overseers and involved in many other ways with the university.  He had been recognized many times for his philanthrophy and community involvement.
When he was presented with the Alumni Fellow award, it was noted that he was an example of how an individual can use a legal background in another field such as business and how that reflected our interdisciplinary philosophy of legal education.  In accepting the award, he visited the law school and spoke with groups of students and faculty and shared his perspectives.
We are grateful for his generosity and his example.  He will be missed by everyone, and certainly within the law school community.

Lecture on William Marshall Bullitt

Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni: 

Brandeis School of Law has many important alumni that we are proud to claim.  No doubt, William Marshall Bullitt, Solicitor General of the United States is among this group. 

Join us on August 21, 2012 for a reception to honor Louisville attorney, Mark Davis. Mr. Davis, author of the seminal biography of UofL Law alumnus, Solicitor General of the United States, William Marshall Bullitt, will speak to alumni, faculty, staff and students about the life and work of Solicitor General Bullitt. The author forum will take place in the Cox Lounge of Wyatt Hall from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. 

Judge Heyburn suggested in his review of the book why you might want to be there:

  • To learn the blueprint for becoming one of the nation’s great lawyers.
  • To understand the origins of many of Kentucky’s major law firms.
  • To get an illuminating peek at Kentucky’s and particularly Louisville’s history in the first half of the Twentieth Century.
  • To learn about the author’s first unusual encounter with Mr. Bullitt.

For more information about Mark Davis, and his subject, Mr. Bullitt, follow this link to a website concerning the biography:

Please RSVP to Sarah Humphrey, 502-852-0092, or

Russ Weaver appointed Associate Dean for Research & Development

Dear Colleagues:
I am pleased to announce Russ Weaver agreed to be our Associate Dean for Research and Development.  This is a one year service obligation. The duties include:
  • promoting excellence in scholarship and teaching;
  • facilitating and coordinating scholarly activities including workshops;
  • leading mentoring efforts; and
  • publicizing the scholarly activities of the faculty.
As you all know, Russ has an impressive list of scholarship and many connections around the country and the world. I look forward to his efforts to advance our scholarly and teaching missions. He will be working closely with the law school's Faculty Excellence committee to develop ideas to help all of us. Please join me in thanking him for taking this on next year.
Susan Hanley Duncan
Interim Dean

Michael Hicks joins UofL Law as Workstation & Server Manager

The UofL Law Information Technology Department welcomes Michael R. Hicks as Workstation and Server Manager. He is a Louisville native and holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Louisville. Mr. Hicks has worked in Information Technology for fifteen years, most recently, since 2007, for the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University's Health Sciences campus. Mr. Hicks will be responsible for maintaining the hardware and updating software on desktop computers in offices, classrooms, labs, the Law Clinic, and public and other spaces; and file, print and application servers. He joined us Monday, July 2.

Jude Wolford joins UofL Law as Academic Success Director

We proudly welcome Jude Wolford, the new Academic Success Director, who will begin at UofL Law on Monday, July 2. 
Jude received her Juris Doctor from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. In 2007, Jude sat for the Kentucky Bar Exam, after her family moved back to Louisville.  For the last three years, Jude has worked as an associate at McMasters Keith, Inc.

Duncan named Interim Dean of Law School

Susan DuncanSusan Duncan, associate dean of academic affairs and faculty development at the University of Louisville’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, has been named interim dean of the school effective July 1.

Provost Shirley Willihnganz announced Duncan’s appointment after consulting with law school faculty and staff and discussions with President James Ramsey. Duncan will succeed the former dean, Jim Chen, who is expected to return to the law faculty after a year’s leave.

A member of the law school faculty since 1997, Duncan has been associate dean for a year and is a former chair of the Commission on the Status of Women. Her teaching and research interests are in lawyering skills, education law and restorative practices. Duncan's scholarship has focused primarily on issues surrounding children, including the need for anti-bullying laws and laws protecting children from online pornography.

Nationally, Duncan has served in leadership positions on several boards that focus on the development of new legal writing professors. She received the Louisville Bar Association 2010 Distinguished Service Award for chairing numerous LBA committees.

She earned her undergraduate degree at Miami University and her law degree from the Brandeis School of Law.