Staff News

Sannie Overly (L'93) Makes History as First Woman Elected to Kentucky House Leadership

Brandeis School of Law Alum ('93) and Kentucky State Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, was elected majority caucus chairperson by her Democratic colleagues on Tuesday, January 8, as the 2013 General Assembly began. Overly defeated Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, who has held the position since 2008, making history as the first woman elected to a house leadership position.

"It's a humbling experience," Overly said of being the first woman elected to leadership. "I am looking forward to uniting our caucus and maintaining our majority through 2014 and beyond."

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Remembering Nathan Lord, Law Professor Emeritus

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Professor Emeritus Nathan S. Lord, who died on January 1 at his home in Louisville at the age of 82. Professor Lord was a native of Louisville and resident of the Highlands for the past 45 years. He graduated from Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law. He served on active duty as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar Association in 1957 and practiced law at Middleton, Seelbach, Wolford, Willis & Cochran in Louisville until 1962. From 1962-63 he clerked for the Honorable Roy Shelbourne of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. In 1963 he joined the faculty of the Brandeis School of Law and spent the next 33 years here, retiring in 1996. During that time he mentored a generation of law students. He drafted amendments both to the Kentucky Revised Statutes that resulted in Louisville-area land developers installing sanitary sewers that were eventually assumed by the Metropolitan Sewer District and to the Kentucky Constitution dealing with the judicial department of government and with financial provisions for state and local governments. Professor Lord is survived by his wife and two sons.

Professor Lord taught, over the years, many of the courses in the law school curriculum including Civil Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, Conflicts of Law, Remedies, Administrative Law, Admiralty, Local Government, State Taxation, Kentucky Constitutional Law, Legislation, Decedents’ Estates and Trusts, Criminal Law, Property, Corporations, Legal History, and Basic Legal Skills. He was visiting professor of law at Leeds University, England, in 1984-85 and taught short courses in American law at Daito Bunko University, Tokyo, in 1997 and at the University of Mainz, Germany, in 1999. Professor Lord loved the outdoors, as his hobbies illustrate.

An avid bicyclist, he mapped out Louisville’s first bike route and often commuted to the law school on his bicycle. He was a lifelong railroad enthusiast and was Joint Master of the Clear Creek Beagles of Louisville. Bicycling made him happy, trains made him dream, and hounds made him laugh. He will be missed by everyone especially those within the law school community. A visitation will be held for Professor Lord at Pearson's Funeral Home on Friday, January 25, from 4-7p.m. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 26, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Louisville at 11a.m. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church of Louisville or Hosparus of Louisville.

Those who wish to contribute to Brandeis School of Law student scholarships in a fund in honor of Professor Lord should please contact Wendy Helterbran at, or by telephone at 502-852-6381.

Law School Receives $1 Million for Clinic

The University of Louisville’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law has received a bequest of about $1 million to permanently endow a student-run law clinic.

The gift is believed to be the largest in the school’s history.

The clinic matches law students with impoverished clients who need legal representation and advice. Since its inception in 2009, the clinic has handled more than 500 cases and works closely with the Legal Aid Society, which is housed in the same building.

Sue Ellen Ackerson of Louisville and her family made the gift to honor Robert Ackerson, her late husband, who founded Ackerson and Yann law firm. The clinic is being renamed The Robert and Sue Ellen Ackerson Law Clinic.

“This gift is truly powerful because it helps some of the most underserved people in our community,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “We are grateful to the Ackersons for ensuring that the law clinic will be funded well into the future.”

Ackerson is a 1955 UofL College of Business graduate. Her husband, a 1958 law school graduate, died in 2008.

“We wanted to do something to help both the law school and the community as well as show both Bob’s and my appreciation for all the university has meant to our family,” she said. “The clinic was a perfect fit.”

Source: "Brandeis School of Law receives $1 million for clinic" (UofL Today, December 21)


Louisville Bar Foundation Provides Grant for Central High Partnership Textbook

Louisville Bar Foundation Provides Grant for Writing Skills Textbook for Central High School Partnership


The Louisville Bar Foundation has provided funding to support law student work in the preparation of a Writing Skills Textbook to be used in conjunction with the Writing Skills program coordinated by Mary Jo Gleason at Central.  The four students who will be working on this under the guidance of Mary Jo Gleason are Jillian Smith, John Brown, Rebekah Gray, and Robin Rice, will complete the work in time for use in the fall 2013 semester program for the juniors in the Central High School Law and Government Magnet Program.  This support demonstrates, again, the value of partnerships and collaborations.  The Louisville Bar Association has long been a partner in the Central High School pipeline program.

UofL Law Professor Laura McNeal Comments on Connecticut School Shooting

Brandeis School of Law faculty member Laura McNeal, a school safety expert, weighs in on Connecticut school shooting in this Courier-Journal article.

Laura McNeal, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law and senior fellow at Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, said the conversation has mostly focused on high schools, but will now encompass elementary schools.

McNeal, who specializes in school safety issues, believes Friday’s shooting may cause more schools to seriously consider installing metal detectors, a measure that has been controversial.

“I say that with caution,” she said. “Obviously, we don’t want to create elementary schools that feel like prisons, but I think with today’s technology we can set them up to where they don’t look like traditional metal detectors.”

McNeal envisions metal detectors incorporated into door frames to soften their presence. Such measures, however, create new questions — How would hundreds of students with car keys, metal zippers or other metal objects be screened? — but McNeal thinks the shootings will spur the willingness to tackle such issues.

“I don’t think we can ignore the dangers that lurk out there,” she said. “I strongly believe everyone has a stake and will support improving school safety.”


University of Louisville Law Review Publishes Fall 2012 Issue

Congratulations to the editorial board and staff of the University of Louisville Law Review for publishing Issue 1 of Volume 51. More than 1,500 hours of work, done throughout the fall and summer, went into this issue.

At 200 pages, Issue I features three articles and three student-authored notes:


Discretion & Deference in Senate Consideration of Judicial Nominations
Caprice Roberts, Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law

Evidence-Based Litigation Reform

Mark Spottswood, Assistant Professor of Law, Florida State University College of Law 

Government RX -- Back to the Future in Science Funding? The Next Era in Drug Development

Michael J. Malinowski, Ernest R. and Iris M. Eldred Professor of Law,
Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University


Crossing the Line in Tight Budget Times: The State Constitutional Implications of Diverting Limited Public Funds to Charter Schools in Kentucky

Leah Rupp Smith

From Smartphones to Stingrays: Can the Fourth Amendment Keep Up with the 21st Century? 

Brittany Hampton

Comparing the Education Bubble to the Housing Bubble: Will Universities be Too Big to Fail? 

April Wimberg

Copies of Issue 1 are available on reserve in the UofL Law Library, and on Westlaw and Lexis Nexis. The journal is cited as 51 U. Louisville L. Rev. 1. 

Jim Chen Named one of the Most Influential Legal Educators in the Country

The National Jurist preLaw magazine has named the 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education. The University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law professor Jim Chen made the list. Congratulations Professor Chen!


Read the whole story at The National Jurist.

Marcus Walker Named KLA Scholarship Recipient

Originally published in the November 2012 issue of IN-FO-CUS, the Kentucky Library Association's monthly newsletter.
Submitted by Judith Gibbons, Kentucky Library Association Scholarship for Minority Students Chair

The 2012 recipient of the Kentucky Library Association Scholarship for Minority Students is Marcus Walker. Marcus is a Circulation and Technical Services Assistant at the University of Louisville Law Library. He is using the $1,000 grant to continue studies at the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science.

Walker received glowing recommendations from his UofL colleagues. Virginia Mattingly noted that "Marcus is an incredibly thoughtful person who takes great pride in his work...He is passionate about pursuing a career in librarianship."

Robin Harris stated, "Librarianship needs dedicated diligent people like Marcus to fill its ranks in the coming years - bright, young and well-read, with excellent computer skills and a wide knowledge of many facets of library work."

In reviewing the applications, committee member Mark Adler commented, "…his recommendations speak highly of his intellect as well as his interpersonal skills, both of which will be called upon on a daily basis no matter what type of library he works in and in what capacity.” Marcus Walker was the unanimous choice of the committee as the 2012 scholarship recipient.

The Kentucky Library Association Scholarship for Minority Students was created in 2007 for the purpose of increasing the number of minorities pursuing careers in the library profession in Kentucky. The scholarship is for minority candidates who show excellence in scholarship and potential for accomplishment in librarianship. The parameters of the application were recently changed to give the recipient more choices in pursuing higher education. The scholarship will now be granted to a Kentucky student entering or continuing their library education in an American Library Association (ALA) or National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE) accredited library school.


Congratulations Marcus!

Louisville Tops CNN's List of U.S. Travel Destinations

Touted as the new Portland and showcasing innovative cuisine and drink and an exciting arts district, Louisville tops CNN's Travel Destinations for 2013 list.


 Read more at CNN Travel.

Mark Rothstein Weighs in on Genome Sequencing in Newborns

Limited genome sequencing is being done currently on newborns, but doctors could screen for more genetic conditions and could screen even before birth. But parents could be confronted with confusing or ambiguous data about their baby's health.

Brandeis School of Law Professor Mark Rothstein shares his insight into sequencing a newborn's genome with Rob Stein on National Public Radio in his report, "Genome Sequencing For Babies Brings Knowledge And Conflicts".