Student 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.”


Dates for Spring 1L Intro to Lawyering Skills and Professionalism

The dates for the Spring sessions of Lawyering Skills and Professionalism have been set.  This course, which is required for all 1Ls, will meet from 12:30 to 1:55 on January 29, February 26 and March 26 in Room 275.  The Spring schedule and course notes have been updated to reflect these dates.

Spring 2013 Clarification: Psychiatry, Mental Health and the Law

The Spring 2013 offering of Psychiatry, Mental Health and the Law is being offered as a two-hour course with a final exam, not as a writing seminar.  The course will not satisfy the upper division writing requirement.  The final exam for the course will be held at 6pm on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.


Joint Networking Event to Benefit the Jefferson County Courthouse Technology Upgrade Project

Law students are invited to join the Louisville Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section and Litigation Section, the Young Professionals Association of Louisville's ("YPAL") Legal Committee, and the Kentucky Justice Association's Young Lawyers Committee for a Joint Networking Event to Benefit the Jefferson County Courthouse Technology Upgrade Project ("JCUP").

Monday, November 5
5:00pm to 7:00pm
Bistro 301
301 West Market St.

There is no charge for the event, but donations to the JCUP project are encouraged.  For law students, a donation of $5 at the door will be recommended.  There will be many young lawyers as well as several senior attorneys who are supporting the courtroom upgrade project.  Judge Chauvin, who is leading the upgrade project, has indicated that many of the circuit judges will be attending as well.  Cash bar. Light appetizers provided.

Spring 2013 Registration: Bioethics

Professor Mark Rothstein asked that the following be circulated to the student body regarding the Bioethics seminar being offered in the Spring 2013 semester:

Bioethics considers numerous interesting and contentious issues -- and law plays an important part in virtually all of them. This seminar, which satisfies the seminar, writing, and perspectives requirements, will address the following issues: research ethics, physician-patient relations, informed consent, health privacy, genetics, reproductive health, pediatrics, infectious diseases, public health ethics, emerging biomedical technologies, end-of-life issues, health disparities, and health care reform. There are no prerequisites for the seminar.

For Spring 2013, readings will deal with a variety of contemporary issues in bioethics, including:

1)      The threats to informational health privacy of electronic health records
2)      The medical and ethical appropriateness of genetic testing in research and clinical settings, including newborn  screening and
3)      Access to health care and eliminating health disparities in light of the Affordable Care Act, regardless of its fate in 2013.

Students will have an opportunity to explore a range of dynamic and emerging issues in their papers. 

Faculty Showcase Series - Next Wednesday 11-7 at 5:30PM

Faculty Showcase Series 
Professor Cedric Merlin Powell
Critiquing Neutrality: Critical Perspectives on Schools, the First Amendment, and Affirmative Action in a Post-Racial World

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
5:30 - 7:00

University of Louisville
Brandeis School of Law
Room 275

Light Food Provided

Open to the Public

Sponsored by your SBA, University of Louisville Law Review, and ELPS

Fresh Start Fridays - Free Massages Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Friday!  Are you feeling stressed?  Are you working on your memo for BLS?  Do you need to reduce some anxiety before taking the Professional Responsibility exam?  Then stop by the Washer Lounge on Friday and treat yourself to a free massage from Advanced Massage Therapeutics from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

1Ls Needed as Mock Jurors for Trial Practice Workshop

Date:    Friday, November 16th
Time:   2:45 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Location:   Allen Courtroom

3L students will be attempting Voir Dire for the first time as part of the Trial Practice Workshop.  There are two cases involved:  a civil case (slip and fall in a Kroger parking lot); and a criminal case (attempted rape and assault). 

This is a unique opportunity for you to:
1) Learn more about what it's like to be a trial attorney;
2) See what the Trial Practice Workshop course is like;
3) Experience Voir Dire; and
4) Have some fun!

No experience required.  All “mock jurors” will be numbered similar to what occurs in a real courtroom, and made-up answers are welcome! 

Please RSVP to Professor Melanie Schneider at

TODAY! Student Bar Foundation Meeting

Please join the Student Bar Foundation for a meeting TODAY Thursday, November 1 at noon in room 171. There will be sundaes and snacks! We are looking to recruit new members (PARTICULARLY 1LS!), and will be giving an introduction to SBF and at-large membership in general, handing out forms, and annoucing the date and location of our Spring auction!
We really need new members so if you are looking to be involved in a low-maintenance group for a great cause then please come!
Contact Kaitlyn Jones with any questions, or if you are interested and cannot attend at