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Brandeis graduate named Senator McConnell’s Legal Counsel

Daniel Cameron, a 2011 Brandeis School of Law graduate, has been named as Legal Counsel for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. His first official day in the role was March 2.

The position seems like a natural fit for Cameron, a native of Elizabethtown. When he was a senior in high school, he was accepted into the McConnell Scholarship Program at UofL. The opportunity allowed him to spend some time with the Senator, also a UofL alum, during his undergraduate years.

“When I first met him, I knew he was somebody I wanted to emulate. I have held him in high regard since the first time I met him,” Cameron said.

Cameron, who was also a member of the UoL Football Team during this time, developed an interest for government and law. He eventually landed an opportunity to intern for Senator McConnell in Washington, D.C., where he gained foundational experience at the federal level.

He interned again for Senator McConnell – this time as legal counsel – during the summer of his second year at Brandeis. Cameron spent that time under the wing of then-Chief Legal Counsel Russell Coleman.

“From that moment on, I knew if the opportunity ever presented itself, I would give it strong consideration,” Cameron said. “I really enjoyed that experience."

Cameron first graduated cum laude from Brandeis, clerked for a Federal Judge in the Eastern District of Kentucky, Gregory Van Tatenhove, and eventually took a position in the Business Litigation Service Group at Louisville’s Stites & Harbison, where he spent a little over a year.

The McConnell opportunity presented itself in January. Cameron said he prayed about it, talked to his parents, Von and Sandra, as well as his close friends and colleagues at Stites & Harbison.

“I was taken aback by the opportunity to work for the majority leader of the U.S. Senate. I was surprised and humbled and honored all at the same time. I will be forever grateful that he extended this opportunity to me,” Cameron said.

He admits the leap from business litigation to Washington, D.C. will be big, but said the new job is a natural fit, consistent with his interest in policy issues.

“When you add on it the bonus of getting to work on behalf of the folks of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it’s a special opportunity that doesn’t present itself on a regular basis. Working and serving Senator McConnell is a dream come true,” Cameron said. “And serving the people of Kentucky is a double dream come true.”

Cameron is a member of the Brandeis School of Law Alumni Council. He said the school prepared him well for the role and his professors helped him develop the appropriate analytical skills.

“They taught me how to think about policy- and law-related issues and how to articulate those points with respect to the law,” Cameron said. “The biggest impact they have had was to give me confidence that I can take on these roles – to clerk for a Federal Judge, to go to a big law firm in Kentucky and to work for the Senate Majority Leader.”

Professor Powell to lead Oberlin College class via Skype

On March 9 at 3 p.m., Brandeis Professor Cedric Powell will lead a class of students from Oberlin College (Ohio) via Skype. The class, Politics 409 (Public Education, Policy and Law), is taught by Oberlin’s President, Marvin Krislov.

Powell is an Oberlin alum.

The class is doing a case study on the Jefferson County Public School System, with students working on policy issues from a variety of different viewpoints based on constituent interests, such as Superintendent and School Board; State Commissioner of Education; Jefferson County Teachers Association; NAACP; CLOUT; and the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a pro-charter group.

Professor Powell will discuss his views on the Parents Involved in Community Schools case (2007), part of which was based on the Jefferson County Public School System (the other system was in Seattle). He has written several articles on the topic and President Krislov came across them while preparing materials for the class, before realizing Powell is an alum who also happens to live in Louisville.

Krislov, a native of Lexington, served as VP and General Counsel of the University of Michigan before assuming the Oberlin presidency. He was instrumental in guiding U of M’s Supreme Court litigation, which ultimately resulted in the Court’s upholding of the school’s affirmative action admissions policy in the Grutter decision in 2003.

From Parkland to Ferguson

Professor Powell will also be a panelist in an interdisciplinary program for UofL students on March 6 titled, “From Parkland to Ferguson: The Persistence of Racial Disparities.”

This program begins with 10-minute presentations about community-engaged work on aspects of the topic. A structured conversation follows to consider how various disciplinary efforts might lead to more effective collaborations, publications and positive community outcomes.

Powell joins fellow panelists, Vicki Hines-Martin, from the School of Nursing; David Owen, from the Department of Philosophy; and Monnica Williams, a licensed clinical psychologist.

The program is March 6 from 12:30-2 p.m. in Room 124 of the Clinical and Translational Research Building on the Health Sciences Campus. A light lunch will be served.

REMINDER - Moot Court Board and Journals Advising Program -Wed., March 4 at NOON

REMINDER - Wednesday, March 3  at noon in Rm.275

Moot Court Board and Journals Advising Program

OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS

Lunch Provided

 

If you have questions, please contact Dean DiSanza.

 

***** PADFOLIOS ARE NOW AVAILABLE *****

Padfolios are now available in the Law Resource Center (Room 272).  The cost is $35.

Brandeis alum named to Indiana Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP has announced that Gary T. Banet has been selected to the 2015 Indiana Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers. Rising Stars recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state who are 40 or under, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.

No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are named to the list.  The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Banet, who graduated magna cum laude from the Brandeis School of Law, focuses his practice on estate planning, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships, elder law and special needs planning. He is a past president of the Southern Indiana Estate Planning Council, a member of the Louisville Estate Planning Council, a district representative of the Probate, Trust and Real Property Section of the Indiana State Bar Association and recently completed the Indiana Bar Association Leadership Development Academy.  

Banet is also active within the community. He is secretary of the Boards of Directors of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana and One Southern Indiana Foundation, and a leader of many other community organizations.  

Prior to earning his law degree from Brandeis, Banet received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University-Bloomington and his master’s degree from the University of Louisville.

Janet Lewis, 3L student, wins LBA's Legal Opportunity Scholarship

Janet Lewis, a third-year student at the Brandeis School of Law, was named the winner of this year’s Legal Opportunity Scholarship, presented by the Louisville Bar Association’s Diversity Committee.

The $1,000 award was announced during last week’s reception at the LBA, which also honored civil rights advocates Raoul Cunningham and Georgia Davis Powers, as well as the Central High School Law & Government essay contest winners.

The Louisville Bar Association’s Diversity Committee’s Legal Opportunity Scholarships were created to support the education of students who have been historically underrepresented in the legal profession. According to the committee, recipients of these scholarships have demonstrated by their academic performance and community service that they are on track to becoming outstanding lawyers.

Before entering law school, Lewis earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Spanish from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.  She has also studied American Sign Language.

She was one of four children being raised by a single mother working as a home health aide.  After completing her first year of law school, her financial situation forced her to leave school to work in the corporate home finance department of JP Morgan Chase while she cleared her credit, paid off debts and reapplied for student loans.

She eventually returned to school to pursue her goal of earning a law degree despite continuing financial challenges.

Last summer, Lewis worked as a legal intern with the Ohio Hispanic Coalition, helping immigrants, refugees and undocumented persons understand their rights. Lewis also demonstrated a commitment to public service through her work with the United Way of Ohio’s job readiness and employment affiliate, Columbus Works.

She has assisted homeless, high school dropout, incarcerated and recidivistic populations consisting mostly of people related to the African diaspora.

Lewis has been a member of the Black Law Students Association and president of the International Law Society.  She has also been a fellow in the LBA/Greenebaum Human Rights Fellowship.

She is pictured on the left with LBA President Angela Edwards.

New Additions to "Questions and Answers" Series

In response to student requests, the library has bought a number of new study aids in the Questions and Answers series. The topic of each book is discussed via multiple choice test-like questions. The topics of the nine books are Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Family Law, Constitutional Law, Property, Evidence, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. The books are on Reserve and available by request at the Circulation Desk.

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.

Diversity Committee roundtable discussion series to continue with Economic Inequality focus

The Diversity Committee’s three-part series will continue March 3 from 12:15-2 p.m. in Cox Lounge with a roundtable discussion on economic inequality titled, "Our Country, Appalachia, and the Never-Ending Path to Poverty."

The series was created to encourage discourse around the intersection of race, gender and equality in America.

“The motivation behind creating this program is to remember that as current and future lawyers we never forget our moral obligation to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our community have equal opportunity and justice,” said Professor Laura McNeal, a member of the Diversity Committee. “We must never lose sight of the role of poverty in denying citizens equal access to education, housing and effective legal representation.”

The March 3 discussion will focus 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 Appalachia) in the hope that it will allow students to truly understand the realities of poverty within our own communities.

The program will include a diverse group of panelists 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.

The kickoff discussion, “The Road Beyond Michael Brown’s Ferguson and Eric Garner’s Staten Island,” was held in late January and focused on race inequality. It included a showing of Mellody Hobson’s Ted Talks presentation, “Color blind or color brave?”

The Diversity Committee’s series will conclude April 7 with a discussion on Gender Inequality.

Louisville Bar Association to recognize local civil rights advocates

The Louisville Bar Association's Diversity Committee will host a reception at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 26 to honor two civil rights advocates for their promotion of racial diversity and justice within the legal community.

The honorees include: 

  • Raoul Cunningham:  Cunningham is the president of the Louisville branch of the NAACP and has been working for civil rights in several capacities since he was 14. He has been involved in government and politics for many years and managed a successful campaign to elect Georgia Davis Powers to the Kentucky Senate.
  • Georgia Davis Powers: Powers is the vice president of the Louisville branch of the NAACP and has been a pioneer for both civil rights and gender issues. In 1968, she became the first African-American and first woman elected to the Kentucky Senate, a position she held for 21 years. In 1995, New Horizon Press published her memoir, "I Shared the Dream: The Pride, Passion, and Politics of the First Black Woman Senator from Kentucky," in which she details her personal relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Also during the program, the Central High School Law & Government essay contest winners and the recipient of this year's Legal Opportunity Scholarship will be recognized.

The program is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Louisville Bar Center, 600 W. Main St., Ste. 110. Reservations are encourged by emailing Marisa Motley at mmotley@loubar.org.