Staff News

October’s Mentor Jet Program Proves to be Another Success

Approximately forty University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law students attended the Mentor Jet Program on October 17th in the Cox Lounge. The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) created the Mentor Jet Program in an effort for law students to connect with leaders in their community. Before the Mentor Jet portion of the program began, Bobby Simpson, current President of the Louisville Bar Association, and Mary Jo Gleason, past director of the law school’s public service program, participated in a panel discussion that was moderated by Professor Laura Rothstein. The panelists discussed what a mentor is, how to find one, and how to be a good mentee. During the Mentor Jet portion mentors were distributed among twelve tables, and in a speed dating-like setting, small groups of one to three students talked with each mentor in five to six minute increments.

Students were able to meet with twelve of the community’s most prominent legal representatives.

Among the panel members were:

  • Terrence Cody, Circuit Court Judge, Floyd County, Indiana
  • Christie Moore, Partner, Bingham, Greenebaum, & Doll
  • Dolly Berry, Family Court Judge, Jefferson County, Kentucky
  • McKay Chauvin, Circuit Court Judge, Jefferson County, Kentucky
  • Bobby Simpson, Senior Counsel, Labor & Employment, GE, and President of the Louisville Bar Association
  • Gina Calvert, Circuit Court Judge, Jefferson County, Kentucky
  • Maria Fernandez, Partner, Fernandez & Haynes
  • Kristie Daughtery, Assistant Jefferson County Attorney
  • Mary Jo Gleason, Kentucky Court of Appeals Law Clerk
  • Scott Furkin, Executive Director, Louisville Bar Association
  • Harold Storment, Attorney
  • Linda Speed, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana

The Brandeis School of Law’s Mentor Jet Program is an unmatched experience for 1Ls, in particular, to meet and connect with prominent figures of law in our community in an effort to create long lasting relationships of guidance. A special thanks to law student Courtney Pawley and Associate Dean for Professional Development Kathy Urbach who helped make the event possible.


Article by Rachel Ainsworth, Communications Intern. 

Law Students Attend Equal Justice Conference and Career Fair

On October 26th and 27th, the Equal Justice Conference and Career Fair in Washington, D.C. brought together over 1,200 law students with an interest in public service. This year, seven students represented the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law at the conference in hopes to gain a larger understanding and insight to providing public service in the legal field. The students participated in mock and actual interviews, networking, and workshops with a large array of employers and professionals who engage in public service. Among the conference speakers was Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who provided an in-depth keynote session with Judge David Tatel of the U.S. District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

The goal of the Equal Justice Works Conference is to instill the notion that every American deserves the same quality of legal representation while helping to educate law students on how they can help ensure that this service is possible. Brandeis School of Law student Galen Joyce, who was a member of this year’s Equal Justice Conference, stated that “[equal justice] is a professional responsibility, and a moral one, to enable our fellow Americans by creating opportunities for equal access to justice.” Joyce attended the conference so that he could obtain the necessary knowledge to further his understanding of how to promote equal justice when he enters the legal field. According to the Brandeis School of Law’s conference attendee Emily Peeler, “equal representation [may provide] less of a gap in the judicial system between those who can and cannot afford top-notch attorneys.” Peeler’s experience at a non-profit law firm catalyzed her desire to advocate equal justice and her interest in attending the Equal Justice Conference.

The Equal Justice Conference allowed Brandeis School of Law students the opportunity to gain valuable exposure to nationally renowned legal representatives who strive for equal justice. Through this involvement, students left with a better understanding of how to pursue legal careers embodying public service and justice for all.


Article by Rachel Ainsworth, Communications Intern.

KBA President Comes to Brandeis

Students, Faculty and Staff:

Please join us in the Cox Lounge at 4 on Wednesday to welcome Doug Myers, the KBA president, to Brandeis.  Doug is an alum of Brandeis and also being awarded one of the Law Alumni Council’s Distinguished Alumni awards in June.  Doug will visit with us and give his perspectives on practicing law and being involved in the KBA.  Students don’t miss out on this important opportunity to network with this well-known attorney. 

Susan Hanley Duncan
Interim Dean

Virginia Mattingly: 2012 Outstanding Chapter Member SLA

Congratulations to Virginia Mattingly, Cybrarian and Associate Professor of Legal Bibliography, who is the recipient of the Special Libraries Association's "2012 Outstanding Chapter Member" for the Kentucky Chapter. Her achievement was acknowledged at the SLA's Fall Business Meeting, Awards & Program on Friday, November 2, 2012 at the Jonathan at Gratz Park restaurant in Lexington, Ky.

James T. Jones Profiled in bp Magazine

Professor James Jones is profiled in a two page story in the Fall 2012 issue of bp Magazine, the foremost publication in the nation discussing bipolar disorder, one of the most significant forms of mental illness in the world.

“It is very liberating to no longer have to hide something that is so central to your being. The fear is gone.”

You may read an excerpt from the magazine online. If you would like to read the whole story, The law school communications office would be happy to loan you a copy of the printed magazine.

First Faculty Showcase: Professor Cedric Merlin Powell

Professor Cedric Merlin Powell is the speaker at the first Faculty Showcase, a series of events organized by the Student Bar Association to highlight the outstanding work of the Brandeis School of Law faculty.  The topic for this showcase is: Critiquing Neutrality: Critical Perspectives on Schools, the First Amendment, and Affirmative Action in a Post-Racial World.  Professor Powell writes that the talk will “offer a critique of color-blind constitutionalism and post-racial constitutionalism on three levels focusing on schools, the First Amendment, and affirmative action.”  He has been writing about this topic since 1995, and this talk builds upon his previous work in that it “argue[s] that there is an integrated theory that unifies not only my analysis, but the Court's jurisprudence.”  Powell’s most recent article, “Harvesting New Conceptions of Equality:  Opportunity, Results, and Neutrality” was published in the Saint Louis University Law Review.  The showcase is scheduled for 5:30pm to 7pm on November 7th, and the event is free and open to the public.

Cassie Kennedy Named October SBA Student of the Month

The Brandeis School of Law Student Bar Association would like to congratulate Cassie Kennedy for being selected as Student of the Month for October. Cassie is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law and Education and serves as an Executive Board Advisor for the Student Bar Foundation. She competed on the Criminal Law Moot Court team and represented UofL in the American Bar Association's negotiation competition. In addition to her activities at school, Cassie also volunteers her time to the Central High School partnership as a writing skills mentor and has been involved with the Kentucky Refugee Ministries as a community resources and volunteer coordinator. Cassie is currently a law clerk at the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.

The Student of the Month is recognized for his or her dedication to increasing the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law's reputation. The SBA Public Relations Chair facilitates this award and current SBA members are not eligible to win the Student of the Month. Any law student, faculty, or staff may nominate a student and SBA will vote to approve the award.

If you would like to nominate a student for Student of the Month, you may submit a nomination.

Congratulations, again, to Cassie!


University honors 2012 Parents of the Year


Mary Jo and Greg Donnelly of Lakeside Park, Ky., received the 2012 Parent of the Year Award on Oct. 20. Their daughter Tiffany, is a 1L here at the Brandeis School of Law.

The award, now in its fifth year, is designed to let students recognize their parents for the help and support they've given throughout the students' lives. Students nominate their parents by letter during the fall semester.

In her letter, Tiffany said her parents are “the most selfless human beings I have ever known. My parents have shown by example how to be kind to others and how to live with integrity. They have sacrificed their personal desires, interests, and financial gains to give me a life better than their own.”

She wrote that her parents came to her aid this summer when she had to leave her job in New York City to have surgery in Kentucky before starting law school. They moved her back into her childhood home at the same time her grandmother, who has dementia and Parkinson's disease, also lived with them and required their around-the-clock attention.

“What makes them special is that they go out of their way to help anybody,” Tiffany said last week. “When people are struggling, my parents do what they can to be of service. That’s a powerful message to have grown up with.”

Mary Jo said she was surprised to receive the award, noting that it’s her daughter who is the real “gem.” She and her husband thought they were coming to the ceremony simply because they had been among the many parents who were nominated. She didn’t realize that her daughter had written the winning letter until midway through. 

“You already feel like a winner because your kid took the time to nominate you,” Mary Jo said. “It was just such an honor to be there.”

There were 48 parent nominees for the award this year; 29 participated in the awards ceremony during Homecoming at Damon’s Grill in the Swain Student Activities Center.

During the ceremony, Michael Mardis, dean of students, welcomed and recognized each of the parents.

In thanking the parents for committing themselves to their sons and daughters and for showing support for their decision to attend UofL, Mardis said that the Parent of the Year award reception is one of his favorite events of the year.

"Parents, each of you are the foundation. You are the ones who build them up," Mardis said.

Before recognizing the parents, Mardis read selections from some of the nomination letters, which perhaps were the first time students publicly stated how they love and appreciate their parents. The letters included such comments as:

  • My parents have shown by example how to be kind to others and to live with integrity.
  • My parents are immigrants and left everything so that my sister and I can have a life full of opportunity, freedom and everything they didn't have when they were growing up.
  • My mom fostered my passion and interests, allowing me to discover my own path; giving me the freedoms she did not have as a child.
  • My mom has gone from a tolerant mom of a gay son to accepting her son and his community
  • My parents have made so many sacrifices for me throughout my life, but those made to help me attend the University of Louisville are by far the most selfless and meaningful.
  • I have very few favorite memories that don't include her, could not have made it to this point in my education without her, and cannot picture my life apart from her.
  • She is endlessly supportive, the best listener, advice giver, shoulder to cry on, and Diet Coke provider.
  • My mother has been nothing less than heroic from the beginning.

“When reading all the submitted essays, a common theme is the how giving and loving these parents are,” Mardis said. “These parents are selfless passing on love, knowledge and trust that shapes their children and impacts many others.”


Professor Abramson Wins SBA Pumpkin Wars

Congratulations to Professor Abramson, winner of the SBA Pumpkin War. Professor Abramson narrowly edged out Professor Levinson by 31 cents, for a total of $37.31.

All funds collected benefit events and programs sponsored by SBA.

A big thank you to all of those who contributed, all of the professors who volunteered to participate, and especially Professor Abramson for being such a good sport.

Passing the Baton – Barbara Lewis and Linda Ewald Recognized for Commitment to Law School and Legal Profession

On September 6, 2012, the Brandeis School of Law faculty and staff members paid tribute to professors Barbara Lewis and Linda Ewald and celebrated their extraordinary service and connection to the law school. Typical of their humble personalities, they specifically asked that the reception at the University Club be limited only to faculty and staff, although a few others who heard about it through the grapevine showed up. They also asked that no one roast or toast them.  That was honored for the most part.  

Please contact Becky Wimberg if you would like to share letters and notes about these amazing women.


If you add up the total number of years each has been connected to the University of Louisville and the Brandeis School of Law (counting years as students – both received their undergraduate and law degrees from UofL), they have an amazing total of 80 years of loyalty!  And that service is not just demonstrated in quantity (number of years), but quality (what they did).  Both Dean Lewis and Professor Ewald, along with former Dean Donald L. Burnett Jr., in 1996 undertook to prepare the Sesquicentennial History of the law school – “An Aim High and A Vision Broad.” Linda Ewald also played a major role in preparing two other history projects – “50 Year Journey:  Struggle, Progress and Inclusion” in conjunction with the Graduates of Color reunion in 2001 and the women’s history project, which is reflected in Women’s History Classroom, which was dedicated in 2003.


Barbara Buchanan Lewis, retired in 2007, but she still regularly teaches courses for her alma mater.  As a law student in an era with few females, she not only broke ground for others who came after her, but in 1961, she served as a staff member on the first volume of the Journal of Family Law, the predecessor of our Louisville Law Journal. Her career in legal education began at the University of Oklahoma after work with the U.S. Corps of Engineers and other practice experience.  She served on that faculty from 1975 to 1982 (as dean from 1981-1982), returning home to Louisville as dean of the University of Louisville School of Law in 1982, serving in that position until 1990, after which she remained on the faculty teaching in the areas of estate and gift tax and estate planning, and more recently in the area of family law.  

According to Linda Ewald, “she had a reputation for being tough.  She expected students to be on time and well prepared – and she did not tolerate baseball caps in class.  Despite the heavy demands she placed on students, she cared deeply about their success.  She not only taught them about the substantive law, but also about the importance of professionalism.  She was a role model and a mentor.  The Student Bar Association created a special teaching award in her honor the year she retired and expressed their appreciation and respect for her in a tribute at graduation.”

Read more on page 16 of the Alumni Magazine

Her record includes a number of awards and recognition, including the UofL Outstanding Performance Award for Achievement in Affirmative Action, The Law Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching, an award from Presentation Academy, the Kentucky Bar Association President’s Special Service Award, and the Law Alumni Fellow Award in 2010.  During her tenure as dean, she provided strong leadership in raising funds for faculty fellowship endowments to recognize and retain outstanding faculty members for their teaching, service, and scholarship.  She also initiated the Warns Labor and Employment Law Institute in 1983, a program that still provides an excellent full day CLE program balancing practical and academic presentations for attorneys in the region.  

As the first female dean of the law school (becoming dean when there were only five other law schools in the country with women deans), she paved the way for two other female deans, Laura Rothstein (2000-2005) and Susan Duncan (L’91, present interim dean).  University of Louisville is the only law school to have had three women serve as dean as an AALS Member law school.  Both of her successors have found her to be a great mentor to them in their work.


Linda Sorenson Ewald, retired in 2011, but has remained at the law school to complete a number of service projects.  A 1972 graduate of the law school, she began teaching in 1976 after receiving an LLM from New York University.  She served as Associate Dean from 1981-1984; 1991-2004.  Her leadership was significant in the creation of the Greenebaum Public Service Program in 1990 and the naming of the law school for Justice Louis D. Brandeis in 1997.  She also played a significant role in developing the plan to renovate the classroom wing and commons area, assisting in fund raising and in providing the primary expertise in ensuring that the classrooms were all beautiful as well as functional.

Read more on page 23 of the Faculty Scholarship Catalog

The courses taught by Linda Ewald have included professional ethics, civil procedure, and domestic relations.  Linda Ewald’s service has focused primarily on issues of professional ethics and she has long provided service as a member of the Kentucky Bar Foundation Board, the KBA Ethics 2000 Commission, the KBA Ethics Commission (serving as both vice-chair and chair over the years), and by speaking at numerous local, state, and national conferences about ethics issues.  Most recently she was tapped by the American Bar Association to study the death penalty in Kentucky and make recommendations about whether there are valid concerns about how it is being implemented.  

Like Barbara Lewis, she has been recognized at every level with awards for her work.  These include the law school’s Distinguished Alum award in 2000 and its Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011, the Kentucky Bar Association Justice Thomas Spain Continuing Legal Education Award, the University of Louisville Lifetime Faculty Service Award, the Jefferson County Women Lawyers’ Association Member of the Year Award, the LBA Judge Benjamin F. Shobe Civility and Professionalism Award, and the KBA President’s Special Service Award.

In 2003, on the occasion of her leaving the position of Associate Dean, where she had served for 17 years, then Dean Laura Rothstein noted, “I don’t know what I would have done without her service at this critical time.  She provided enormous time, talent and energy…and has left her mark on the law school and the university in many ways.”

In addition to their commitment to excellence and their loyalty to the law school and their humility in accepting kudos for their work, Barbara Lewis and Linda Ewald also have in common a strong devotion to the interests of students and staff members.  Both are excellent teachers.  Both played a significant role in ensuring that staff members had a staff lounge where they could relax and take a break.  They also have both focused substantial effort on ensuring diversity within the profession.  Dean Lewis did so through her service on the CLEO board of directors and a number of other national organizations and task forces focused on equal opportunities for women.  Professor Ewald has done so through her work on histories of these underrepresented groups and in many other ways.

The Brandeis School of Law is fortunate indeed, to have had these two amazing individuals as such a significant part of its community.  Not only have they been extraordinary in their work and service, they have also ensured through their mentoring and legacy that the baton has been passed and that others can build on the amazing foundation that they have laid.

- Laura Rothstein – 9/22/12