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Brandeis teams up with LBA and KBA for Diversity Summit and Pipeline Program in April

On April 9, the Kentucky Bar Association, the Louisville Bar Association and the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville will host a one-day pipeline program titled, Why Choose Law: Diversity Matters. It will be held at the Brandeis School of Law on the University of Louisville campus.

The pipeline project will bring together 25 attorneys with 25 law students, 25 undergraduate students and 25 high school students to rally the involvement of attorneys in mentoring diverse students from the high school level through college and law school. The pipeline project will serve as an expansion of the Why Choose Law: Diversity Matters project, created by the KBA Young Lawyers Division to promote interest among students who belong to groups typically underrepresented in law school classes, including racial and ethnic minorities and those with varied religious, geographic, socio-economic, and sexual orientation backgrounds.

Event Chair Mark Flores, an attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC, said the main objective is to tackle the “pipeline issue,” which is a continued lack of diversity among students and prospective students.

“There is an issue here, but not one that’s been brought to the forefront. We want to do something to bring it to life,” Flores said.

Additionally, on April 10, a Diversity and Inclusion Summit will be held at the Galt House Hotel in Downtown Louisville.

The summit will provide practical resources and ideas for firms to implement their own diversity and inclusion programs; assist management and other administrators with handling diversity issues; and emphasize ways to empower attorneys from diverse backgrounds to work through these same issues to become successful contributors in their places of employment.

Sharon E. Jones, a Harvard Law School graduate and president and founder of the Chicago-based Jones Diversity Group, will serve as speaker for the summit’s opening session. Additional summit participants include:

  • Judge Bernice B. Donald, the first African-American woman to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th District in Cincinnati;
  • Judge Amul Thapar of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the first South Asian Article III judge;
  • Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Denise Clayton, the first African-American woman to serve on the Commonwealth’s Court of Appeals; and
  • Judge C. Derek Reed, district court judge for the 10th District Court in Hart and LaRue counties.

Renee Shaw, producer and host of KET’s legislative coverage and host of “Connections with Renee Shaw” -- the state’s first statewide minority affairs program -- will serve as moderator for two of the summit’s panel discussions.

The Diversity and Inclusion Summit will also include Ted Talks-style presentations, roundtables and keynotes addressing the issues that diversity attorneys experience and the challenges presented by a lack of diversity in the field.

Session topics include:

  • Making the Business Case for Diversity
  • Law Firm Best Practices for Improving Diversity in the Profession
  • The Challenges of Diversity in the Law

“We are thrilled to co-sponsor the event and look forward to the pipeline program at the Brandeis School of Law to kick things off. Brandeis is committed to promoting differing ideas and a variety of solutions through the inclusion of individuals from all backgrounds, races, genders, sexualities, socio-economics and spiritualties,” said Brandeis Dean Susan Duncan. “We know the face of the legal profession needs to change to reflect our multicultural society and we hope this Summit and the pipeline program will be the start of a sustained effort by the Bench, Bar and the Kentucky law schools to engage in meaningful dialogues to improve the legal profession to benefit the public at large.”

This is the first year for the free event, which was created to encourage students of diverse backgrounds to become lawyers by exposing them to practitioners, law school professors and judges prior to entering college. The committee is aiming to host the Summit every other year.

Those interested in participating in the pipeline service project or who know a student interested in participating should contact Dean Duncan at

The following sponsors have contributed in support of the summit:

Platinum Sponsors
Kentucky Court of Justice
Frost Brown Todd, LLC
Kentucky Bar Foundation
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.
Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC
Stites & Harbison, PLLC
Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC
KBA Young Lawyers Division
Gold Sponsor
English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP
Silver Sponsors

Landrum & Shouse LLP
O’Hara, Ruberg, Taylor Sloan & Sergent


KBA Diversity Summit and Pipeline Program: April 9th and 10th

Calling all diverse Kentucky high school seniors and juniors and college students.

Endowed Chair in Business Law to be Established

UofL alumnus Lowry Watkins funded the position to honor legacy of William Marshall Bullitt.

The Louis D. Brandeis School of Law has received funding from Lowry Watkins to create the William Marshall Bullitt Endowed Chair in Business Law. Watkins is a graduate of UofL’s College of Business (1968) and Bullitt’s grandson. He has been a longtime supporter of the law school.

Law Dean Susan Duncan expressed appreciation for the gift stating, “Thanks to Lowry, one of our most generous donors, we can forever honor the legacy of one of our most famous graduates, William Marshall Bullitt, and provide student scholarships, moot court experiences, access to important library materials and exposure to top notch faculty.”

Bullitt was a law school alumnus of national prominence who often used his aptitude for math to win cases. Bullitt (1873-1957) served as President Taft’s solicitor general, representing the government in arguments before the U. S. Supreme Court and making headlines for his role in the prosecution of a notorious Soviet spy.

On October 3, 2014 Lowry Watkins joined Duncan at a reception to celebrate the funding of the William Marshall Bullitt Endowed Chair in Business Law. The teaching and research emphasis of the chair will be on finance and business law. The date of the gathering had particular significance for Watkins since it marked the 57th anniversary of Bullitt’s death.

At the event—attended by more than 50 people including undergraduate and law students, local lawyers and faculty and staff—Watkins shared memories of his grandfather.

The law school hopes to fill this position by the fall 2017.

Professor Powell Continues Dialogue on Ferguson and Protesters

Professor Cedric Merlin Powell suggests the flawed justice system needs to be part of the discussion in understanding why people are protesting.

Professor Laura McNeal Leads Guest Segment on C-Span's Washington Journal

Professor McNeal was lead guest segment on C-Span's Washington Journal on Dec 7th to discuss police training techniques and the President's proposals on policing reform. Watch here.

Assistant Dean for IT Selected to Participate in the Provost’s 2015 Staff Leadership Academy

James A. Becker, assistant dean for information technology, has been selected to participate in the Provost’s 2015 Staff Leadership Academy, which gives participants knowledge related to university administration and assists them in developing leadership qualities to prepare them for future leadership roles, which they can apply in current and future positions at the university. Academy candidates are nominated by vice presidents and deans, chosen from among staff who serve or have served in supervisory or project management roles, demonstrated an interest in learning about leadership, and are forward thinkers who possess strong communication and critical thinking skills. The Academy consists of monthly workshops on leadership topics, group work to complete a capstone project, individual work with a mentor, and a graduation ceremony.

Professor Lars Smith Gives Talk in Australia

Lars Smith, Stallings Professor of Law, gave a talk in November at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. The interdisciplinary conference that brings together scholars interested in Legal, Managerial, and Economic aspects of innovation was the forum for his presentation on "Legal Regulation of Bitcoins."

Writing Competition

The FBA Section on Taxation would like to announce the 2015 Donald C. Alexander Writing Competition.  Law students may submit any original paper concerning federal taxation between 20 and 50 double spaced pages.  Seminar papers and articles submitted (but not yet selected for publication) to law reviews, journals, or other competitions are eligible.

Winning authors receive $2,000 or $1,000 and a trip to the FBA's Annual Tax Law Conference in Washington, D.C.  Entries may be submitted to Marcellus Howard at  Deadline is January 5, 2015.

Boehl Professor Tony Arnold speaks on Sustainable Communities

Professor Tony Arnold gave the keynote address to the HUD/EPA/NADO Sustainable Communities Workshop on Water and Community Economic Development on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, in Wichita, KS. The workshop was attended by government officials and community planners from throughout the U.S. and is part of a major grant initiative by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assist local and regional communities build their sustainability. Professor Arnold directs the Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility, which is doing cutting-edge research on how to develop the resilience and adaptive capacity of local communities to threats to water resources. He spoke on "Investing in Resilient Communities."

All Day Fundraiser for the Harlan Scholars at Señor Iguanas!

Treat yourself and give a little! Join the Harlan Scholars and Señor Iguanas on Thursday, December 4, 2014

from 11 AM – 10 PM for a day of eating and giving. When you eat at Señor Iguanas and mention giving to the Harlan Scholars, 10% of the proceeds will benefit the Harlan Scholar Program @ UofL. 


The Harlan Scholars Program is designed for select undergraduates @ UofL interested in careers in the law. Members are regularly invited to our law school, where they have opportunities to interact and network with current law students, law faculty, and members of the Louisville legal community. Your participation will help continue to grow the program. The Harlan Scholars Program is a Guaranteed Entrance Program.


For more information about the Harlan Scholars, please visit:


For more information about the fundraiser, please contact Marianna Michael, President of the Harlan Scholars, at