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Witnesses Needed for Trial Competition!

We need a minimum of thirty more witnesses for Rounds 1, 2, and 3 of the Region 7 National Trial Competition on Friday, February 18 and Saturday, February 19.  Can you help?

If you volunteer to be a witness, you will have a copy of your deposition emailed to you in advance.  The preparation to play the witness during the competition should not take longer than 1 hour.  You must simply review your deposition (4 to 9 pages, depending on the witness) and know the facts in your deposition.

If you can help, please complete the sign-up sheet attached.  If you have questions, please ask Brian Bennett or Kimberly Ballard.

The deadline to sign up to participate is FRIDAY, FEB 4.  This opportunity is open to 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls, and 4Ls.

*NOTE:  If you volunteer to play a witness role at the competition, you cannot also volunteer as a witness during the Law School's team practices before the competition.

 

Mandatory Bar Program for Students Graduating in December 2011, May 2012, or August 2012

On Tuesday, February 8, at 12:15 p.m, the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, with a member of the Character and Fitness Committee, will present a mandatory bar program for second year law students.  The Board of Bar Examiners’ Character and Fitness Committee must certify graduating law students before they are allowed to sit for the bar.  One fact the committee members look at closely is the applicant’s record of financial responsibility. 

Judge Gary Payne, Character and Fitness Committee member, and Bonnie Kittinger, Director and General Counsel, will discuss financial responsibility in the context of professionalism and a lawyer’s obligation to uphold the values of the profession.  Judge Payne will discuss how financial debt can evidence a lack of responsibility and further, how debt can lead to financial pressures and interfere with a lawyer’s duties to his or her clients. 

ABA Standard 302(a)(5) requires that each student receive substantial instruction in “the history, goals, structure, values, rules and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members.”  In addition, Interpretation 302-6 requires that the School of Law “involve members of the bench and bar in the instruction required by Standard 302(a)(5).”  This program is designed to provide instruction on professionalism issues concerning law students and lawyers and also to satisfy the ABA’s requirement in Standard 302(a)(5).

Attendance at the February 8 program is required for all students graduating at the times noted (primarily this is 2Ls).  Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend.  If you have an absolute conflict that will prohibit you from attending the February 8 program, you must notify Dean Bean, kathybean@louisville.edu, and provide documentation concerning your conflict. 

Questions?  Please email Kimberly Ballard at kimberly.ballard@louisville.edu.

Black History Month Celebration

The LBA invites you to celebrate Black History Month at the Bar Center on Thursday, February 24.  This year's celebration will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a screening of the film "Uncommon Vision: The Life and Times of John Howard Griffin," followed by a Q&A session with critically acclaimed filmmaker, Morgan Atkinson.

The celebration continues at 5 p.m. with a reception and awards ceremony honoring the winners of Central High School's Justice William E. McAnulty Jr. Essay Contest and presentation of the LBA Diversity Scholarship and Justice William E. McAnulty Jr. Trailblazer Award.

Both the program and reception are free and open to the public. Click here for more information or contact Marisa Motley by calling (502) 583-5314 or email mmotley@loubar.org
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Weekly Academic Success Tip - Have YOU Started Outlining Yet?

When created correctly, an outline will become your primary, and possibly only, study aid for exams.  While law students create outlines in order to have an aid from which to study, it is through the process of creating an outline that you actually learn the law.  Because outlining is a process that continues throughout the year, you need to begin at some point during the first month of classes.  Why?  If you wait to work on your outlines until the end of the semester, it is unlikely that you will have enough time to complete them prior to exams. Listen to your professors and to your colleagues that received A’s and B’s last semester - start your outlines now!  Here are some tips to keep in mind as you work on your outlines for each course.

  • View your outline as your master document for studying.  Your notes and briefs go “on the shelf” once you have outlined a section.  Your casebook is no longer your focus for completed sections.
  • Make sure your outline takes a “top down” approach.  The outline should encompass the overview of the course rather than “everything said or read” during the semester.  Main essentials include:  rules, definitions of elements, hypos of when the rule/element is met and not met, policy, arguments that can be used, and/or reasoning that courts use. 
  • Cases are usually mere vehicles for information unless they are “big” cases.  Cases generally convey the main essentials that you need for your outline and are not the focus. 
  • Condense before you outline.  If you include “everything said or read” in your outline, you will need to condense in stages to get to the main essentials that you actually need for the exam.  If you condense before you outline a section, you will save time later.
  • Use visuals when appropriate.  If you learn visually, then avoid a thousand words by using a diagram, table, flowchart, or other visual presentation for the same information. 
  • Review your outline regularly.  You want to be learning your outline as well as writing it.  The world’s best outline will not help you if you do not have time to learn it before the exam.
  • Condense your outline to one piece of paper as a checklist.  A checklist includes only the topics and sub-topics.  Use acronyms tied to funny stories to help you remember the checklist.  Write the checklist on scrap paper once the exam begins.  For an open-book exam, the checklist should start your outline.
  • If you read and prepare for your classes one or two days in advance, your Thursdays and Fridays should be open to work on your outlines – no excuses!

Public Service Opportunity - More Witnesses Needed Feb 18 and Feb 19

Do you need to satisfy your law school public service hours?   Are you interested in mock trial and want to observe some of the best student trial advocates in our region?  Do you want to apply to be a member of the Moot Court Board?  If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, please sign up to be a witness for the Region 7 National Trial Competition on Friday, February 18 and/or Saturday, February 19. 

If you volunteer to be a witness, you will have a copy of your deposition emailed to you in advance.  The preparation to play the witness during the competition should not take longer than 1 hour.  You must simply review your deposition (4 to 9 pages, depending on the witness) and know the facts in your deposition.

We need witnesses for the first three rounds of the competition.  See sign-up sheet attached.  If you have questions, please ask Brian Bennett or Kimberly Ballard.

The deadline to sign up to participate is FRIDAY, FEB 4.  This opportunity is open to 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls, and 4Ls.

*NOTE:  If you volunteer to play a witness role at the competition, you cannot also volunteer as a witness during the Law School's team practices before the competition.

 

Law School Graduates Awarded by LBA

Congratulations to two outstanding graduates that were recognized at the Louisville Bar Association's Annual Bench & Bar Dinner on January 20.

  • Mark W. Dobbins, Class of 1978, Judge Richard A. Revell Family Law Practitioner Award
  • Linda S. Ewald, Class of 1972, Judge Benjamin F. Shobe Civility & Professionalism Award







Boehl Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Policy

Professor Judith Welch Wegner of the University of North Carolina Law School will present the Boehl Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Policy on "Annexation, Urban Boundaries and Land Use Dilemmas: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future" Thursday, January 27 at 6PM in Room 275.

The event is free and open to the public, as well as all members of the Law School and University communities.  No RSVP is required.  A reception will follow.

 

Spotlight on Louisville Law Clinic

In the midst of a court fight with his landlord over an eviction notice, Tom Rankin asked
Jefferson District Court Judge Donald Armstrong if he needed a lawyer.

“It wouldn't hurt,” the judge responded, and on heir way out of the courtroom, Rankin was
approached by a representative of Legal Aid, which provides free legal help to people of
limited income, who said she could refer them to an attorney.

Well, he wasn't actually an “attorney,” officially speaking.

The Rankins were referred to the University of Louisville Law Clinic, where they met with Blake Nolan, a third-year law student, one of eight allowed to practice law last semester at the clinic on Muhammad Ali Boulevard, gaining experience while reaching out to an underserved population.

Nolan had never handled an eviction case, “But he was good,” Rankin said, and worked out an agreement with the landlord that led to the case being dismissed.

“He knew what he was doing,” Rankin said. “I was really impressed with the way he handled everything. … I really don't think I could have done it without him.”

Nolan was participating in a program launched in July 2009 that so far has allowed 25 U of L law students to help nearly 300 clients at no charge in Jefferson County Family and District courts — including 187 victims of domestic violence and their children seeking protective orders.

And the clinic is growing, with a record 15 students enrolled for the semester that began this month.

The clinic is primarily funded by gifts to the university and if the students take the clinic as a course, it is part of their law school tuition and fees. They must have at least 60 credit hours to sign up for the clinic, and receive four credits for their participation. They are able to work as practicing student attorneys through a limited license granted by the Kentucky Supreme Court, and only with supervision. In October, the Center for Women and Families, the Legal Aid Society and Law Clinic received a combined $438,000 in grant money to represent victims of domestic violence, allowing, in part, the funding of four more student attorneys and an additional part-time attorney to supervise them.

Shelley Santry, a U of L law professor and former prosecutor who heads the clinic, said the student attorneys funded by the new grant –— the clinic's share is $110,000 — will focus on custody cases for unmarried, low-income victims of domestic violence.

Many of those victims are unable to afford an attorney, and “No one does those kind of cases pro bono now,” she said. “Custody disputes are difficult, time consuming and often emotional.”

Santry said many schools across the country have long had similar clinics, which allow students who have had two years of learning through courses to “apply what they have learned to real people with real problems.”

“Our nurses,doctors and teachers all practice before they go into the real world,” she said. “Our lawyers don't. They graduate and they're like, ‘Where's the courthouse?' You just can't beat learning by doing in my opinion.”

Nolan, who has handled about 10 cases and will be back this semester at the clinic, agreed. “There's nothing better than getting some real world experience in a courtroom and in front of a judge,” he said.

It's also nice to be able to help people in need, said Julie Purcell, a 25-year-old rdthird-year student from Louisville who in December helped an elderly woman who was being evicted because the rent money she had given to a family member never made it to her landlord.

“It's just awesome,” said Purcell, who has handled about 20 cases, and was able to have the case dismissed, got Adult Protective Services involved and saw the woman moved into new housing.“We're able to learn so much, but at the same time provide a service to people that otherwise wouldn't get it.”

Chief Family Court Judge Patricia Walker FitzGerald said she regularly sees the student attorneys in her courtroom, usually in domestic-violence cases, and has found them to be well-prepared, asking good questions and “doing an excellent job” in often difficult cases.

“They've really stepped up to the plate to do a much needed service,” she said.

And alumni of the program are turning up as prosecutors and public defenders, and several have opened their own firms.

“Most people will graduate without ever having been in a real courtroom in front of a judge,” said Heend Sheth, who graduated in May and is a prosecutor with the Jefferson County Attorney's Office. “… And at the end of the day, you are helping people. You really do get to see your skills manifest in someone else's changed circumstances.”

Reporter Jason Riley can be reached at (502) 584-2197.

Reprinted with permission.

Source: "Louisville law students gain experience, help underserved through free clinic", by Jason Riley (Courier-Journal, January 23, 2011)

 

Mandatory Bar Program for Students Graduating in December 2011, May 2012, or August 2012

On Tuesday, February 8, at 12:15 p.m, the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, with a member of the Character and Fitness Committee, will present a mandatory bar program for second year law students.  The Board of Bar Examiners’ Character and Fitness Committee must certify graduating law students before they are allowed to sit for the bar.  One fact the committee members look at closely is the applicant’s record of financial responsibility. 

Judge Gary Payne, Character and Fitness Committee member, and Bonnie Kittinger, Director and General Counsel, will discuss financial responsibility in the context of professionalism and a lawyer’s obligation to uphold the values of the profession.  Judge Payne will discuss how financial debt can evidence a lack of responsibility and further, how debt can lead to financial pressures and interfere with a lawyer’s duties to his or her clients. 

ABA Standard 302(a)(5) requires that each student receive substantial instruction in “the history, goals, structure, values, rules and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members.”  In addition, Interpretation 302-6 requires that the School of Law “involve members of the bench and bar in the instruction required by Standard 302(a)(5).”  This program is designed to provide instruction on professionalism issues concerning law students and lawyers and also to satisfy the ABA’s requirement in Standard 302(a)(5).

Attendance at the February 8 program is required for all students graduating at the times noted (primarily this is 2Ls).  Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend.  If you have an absolute conflict that will prohibit you from attending the February 8 program, you must notify Dean Bean, kathybean@louisville.edu, and provide documentation concerning your conflict. 

Please contact Dean Bean if you have questions.

 

Featuring the Wilson Wyatt Debate League

The Wilson Wyatt Debate League is featured in, "Debate league shows Manual students all sides: Students develop well-rounded skills", that appeared in the Courier Journal's Features section on January 23, 2011.

"The league is named for Wilson Wyatt Sr., a former mayor of Louisville and lieutenant governor of Kentucky, and his wife, Anne, who created an endowment for the program in 1993, Grise said. The endowment helps pay for students to attend summer camps that focus on debate, she said. Jefferson County Public Schools also provides stipends for coaches."

"Once a month, students from all of the teams gather for an informational session, where experts on debate topics provide resources and model debate techniques. During this month's session, held Jan. 10 at Manual, two University of Louisville Law School professors, Cedric Powell and Luke Milligan, presented information by taking various angles on whether juveniles should be charged as adults."