Staff News

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

Professor Tony Arnold speaks on Watershed Institutions in the U.S.: Emergence and Evolution.

UofL Law Professor Tony Arnold gave a Wallace Stegner Center Green Bag Lecture at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law on October 16, 2012.  The title of his presentation was “Watershed Institutions in the U.S.: Emergence and Evolution.”

 Watch the video of Professor Arnold's presentation.



Brandeis School of Law Participates in Louisville AIDSWalk

Brandeis School of Law was proud to be represented by a team of faculty, students, friends and family at the 2012 Louisville AIDSWalk on Sunday, October 15. The team raised over $700 to be used to fund AIDS services in the Louisville community. Among those walking with the team were faculty members Jamie Abrams and Sam Marcosson, and students Kevin Boswell, Arelene Grullon, Jess Homer, Christopher Jenkins, and Benjamin Siegel.


Federalist Society Wins Award for Most Improved Chapter

The University of Louisville Student Chapter of the Federalist Society recently won the Benjamin Franklin Spring Breakout award, also called the “Freddie”, for the most improved chapter.

The primary purpose of the Federalist Society is to educate the legal community about how limited government, judicial restraint, and personal freedom can greatly benefit society. It is a national organization with lawyer chapters in 65 cities throughout the country and student chapters at every accredited law school in America. “One of our goals for this year is to get a group of students together to travel to the National Student Symposium at the University of Texas,” said Kyle Winham, President of the Louisville Chapter. “In the future, we hope to grow our chapter so that we can continue to attract prominent speakers.”

The Federalist Society sponsors a variety of programs including panels, debates, and speeches which are free and open to the public. They also often cosponsor programs with other organizations like the Christian Legal Society and the International Law Society. “I think we won the award because of the excellent programs that the Federalist Society officers, April Wimberg, Rebekah Gray, Brandon Johnson, and Vince Kline organized last year,” said Kyle Winham. Programs last year included debates on constitutional originalism, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Healthcare, and an open discussion with Robert Patton, General Counsel from Lexmark. “The Federalist Society improves the law school experience for students by giving them the opportunity to hear, meet, and ask questions of prominent speakers from all over the country,” said Kyle Winham.

The Louisville Chapter has several exciting programs planned for the rest of the semester. On October 29th, Professor Bradley Smith of Capital University will speak at the program, "Does Citizens United Undermine Democracy?" On November 8th, Professor Blumstein of Vanderbilt Law School and Professor Marcosson of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law debate whether race can be used in undergraduate admissions selection at the “Fisher vs. University of Texas” program.

- Zachary Martin
English Department
University of Louisville

Law Professor Mark Rothstein quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Brandeis School of Law Professor Mark Rothstein was quoted in Paul Basken's article Genetics Research May Slow Without Privacy Protections, Federal Plan Warns on The Chronicle of Higher Education.

In the article, which discusses privacy issues that are coming to light as advancements in genetic tesing capabilities are being realized, Professor Rothstein questions moving too quickly to make genetic testing available without attending to concerns such consistency in testing labs and lack of training for testing professionals.

Brandeis School of Law Recognized at the UofL's 4th Annual Community Engagement Awards

The Community Engagement Awards event honors a student, a faculty member, and a community partner for outstanding community engagement.

The Community Partner Award was presented to Wayside Christian Mission, which is the area's largest homeless shelter.  The awards program noted that 
"Through the creative reasoning of some of the university's most innovative educators, individuals and families in the care of Wayside are benefitting from a number of programs designed to help the city's most vulnerable residents become productive, self-supporting citizens living drug and alcohol free lives."

The partnership is an interdisciplinary program in which 20 UofL faculty and staff and over 200 students participated this past year.  The units involved included the Brandeis School of Law, the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, Kent School of Social Work, School of Nursing, University Libraries, VP of Student Affairs, and VP of Information Technology.

Source: "Community engagement awards recognize UofL service efforts near, afar" (UofL Today, October 15, 2012)

Davis Hunter Named September SBA Student of the Month

The Brandeis School of Law Student Bar Association congratulates Davis Hunter for being selected the Student of the Month for September, 2012. Davis was nominated by his peers and selected by the SBA to be recognized for his contributions as a proactive member of the Brandeis School of Law. Davis is also a member of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and a BARBRI Representative for the law school.


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 Davis!