Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
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Spring 2013

  • The Student Bar Association hosted Congressman Steve Cohen as part of their Speaker Series program on April 2, 2013. 
  • The University of Memphis Law Review hosted their annual symposium on March 22, 2013. The symposium is titled "Breaking the Silence: Legal Voices in the Fight Against Human Trafficking". For more information and to see pictures from the event, please click here>>
  • Memphis Law alum Joseph McKinney was recently elected President of the Napier-Looby Bar Foundation. To read more about Mr. McKinney and his accomplishments, please click here.
  • The Public Action Law Society (PALS) hosted the 2013 Alternative Spring Break from March 11-15, 2013. The program allowed University of Memphis law students to partner with dozens of law schools around the country in the common cause of service and is the only student-led Alternative Spring Break program in the country to recruit nationally. To view photos from the events throughout the week, please click here>>

Fall 2012

  • Noted national speaker, Professor Richard Birke visited the law school in late November to discuss the ways lawyers can use neuroscience and psychology to improve the ways we make decisions and also to better understand the reasons why clients, partners, opponents and colleagues think and act the way they do.
  • Memphis Law student Chris Martin was selected as the recipient of the Tennessee Bar Association's 2012 Law Student Volunteer Award for all of his hard work within the Memphis legal community. 
  • Memphis Law Student Ryan Dalton was the Honorable Mention Recipient for the 2012 Pro Bono Publico Award and the recipient of the 2012 Rodney K. Smith Award.
  • The Downtown Memphis Commission selected the Law School as the 2012 recipient of their prestigious “Vision Award” for a downtown organization! For more information, click here.
  • Memphis Law 3L student Cole Weintraub's article, "American Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine: An Analysis of the Role of Public Relations and NGOs in Regime Change in Post-Soviet Space," was published in the Moscow State University Public Administration Department Fall 2012 journal. 
  • Recent graduate Atina Rizk received 3rd place in the International Association of Defense Counsel’s Annual Student Legal Writing Contest for her article titled, "True or False: Defamation Through Deceptively Edited Video or Audio Clips."
  • Tom Williams, rising 3L and Vice President of PALS, was featured in a recent article in The Memphis Flyer focusing on Project Homeless Connect and the events' unique "Street Court" concept, a makeshift general sessions court that was set up to clear the homeless of legal impediments to finding employment and housing. Great job by Tom and all of our other student volunteers! Click here to read the full article.
  • Memphis Law graduate Seth Guess (JD 12) was recently awarded the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Outstanding Student Award. Click here to read more.
  • Professor Danny Schaffzin has been appointed by Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. to serve on the Memphis Civil Service Commission.  The Civil Service Commission, comprised of seven members, conducts hearings to review disciplinary actions, including suspensions, dismissals, or demotions, of any city employees not exempted from the provisions of the City of Memphis Charter and Code.  Members of the Commission are appointed by the Mayor, with the approval of a majority of the Memphis City Council.  Professor Schaffzin will serve a three-year term as a commissioner. 
  • Memphis Law was proud to have 20 students volunteer at Project Homeless Connect on July 12, 2012. They, along with the Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defenders Office, helped to provide Legal Counsel and Services to 161 individuals in need. To view photos of these amazing students in action, please click here>>
  • Forty two University of Memphis Law School students were enrolled in externships this summer, allowing them to simultaneously earn academic credit and gain valuable hands-on legal experience. For more information and to read a detailed article about these externship opportunities, please click here>>
  • Professor Daniel Schaffzin was featured in an article in The Jackson Sun detailing the basic criteria for what makes a good judge and what voters should consider when sizing up their choices during an election. Please click here to read the full article. 
  • Congratulations to the Honorable Robert “Butch” Childers (JD 74), Memphis Circuit Court Judge, who was recently honored with the Tennessee Bar Association's Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award. The Drowota Award is given to a judge or judicial branch official of a federal, state or local court in Tennessee who has demonstrated extraordinary devotion and dedication to the improvement of the law, the legal system and the administration of justice. To read more about the award and Judge Childers outstanding work, please click here
  • Anna Benson, 2012 graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, has recently been named the recipient of the National Association of Women Lawyers' (NAWL) 2012 Outstanding Law Student Award.
  • Michael E. Spitzer (JD 81) was recently named as chair of the Tennessee Bar Foundation. His term will run until 2013. Spitzer has served on the Foundation's Board of Trustees since 2006. To find out more about the Tennessee Bar Foundation, please click here.

  • On Friday, June 1, 2012, the American Bankruptcy Institute held their conference here at the Law School. 

Spring 2012 

  • Three student editors of the University of Memphis Law Review were honored as the 2012 recipients of the "Best Note Award": Carl Eppler, William O'Connor & Matthew Kernodle.  To read more about these recipients, please click here.

  • Congratulations to the co-recipients of the 2011-12 Rodney K. Smith Award:  Ryan Dalton & Anna Santos. The Rodney K. Smith Award is highest service award given to the law student who has donated the most service in one year.  To read more about these recipients, please click here.

  • Admissions Open House was held on Saturday, April 14th.  A special thank you to our sponsors.
  • Professor Christina Zawisza was recently named University of Memphis Faculty Advisor of the Year for her work with the Public Action Law Society (PALS). She has advised this student-driven organization for 10 years and has mentored members in the production of  three Alternative Spring Break programs and numerous pro bono service opportunities. She was nominated by PALS officers.
  • U of M teams did well at ABA Regional Mediation Competition. One team from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law took first place at the regional level of the American Bar Association (ABA) Mediation Competition earlier this month, and another U of M team placed fourth. The first-place winners beat the University of Florida in the final round, after besting Washington & Lee and William & Mary in preliminaries. First-place team members are Christopher Martin and Thomas Williams.  Making up the fourth-place team are Caroline Giovannetti and Ryan Hagenbrok. Stephen Shields, of the Memphis law firm Jackson, Shields, Yeiser & Holt, coached both U of M teams.

  • Professor Christina Zawisza and the Alternative Spring Break for Law Students were featured in the Commercial Appeal on March 18, 2012. Please click here to read the full article.

  • Professor Zawisza and the Alternative Spring Break were also recognized by the Tennessee Bar Association on March 27, 2012. Please click here to read the TBA's recognition.

  • On Being a Black Lawyer has named Professor Lee Harris as one of the 100 most influential black lawyers in the United States. Read more here>>

  • Professor Daniel Schaffzin was a presenter at the Externships 6 Conference, Preparing Lawyers: The Role of Field Placement, co-hosted by Harvard Law School and Northeastern University School of Law on March 1-4, 2012.  Professor Schaffzin presented part of a session entitled "Necessary Control or Control Freak? For and Against Faculty Selection of For-Credit Field Placements for Externship Students."

  • The Public Action Law Society hosted a successful alternative spring break program March 5-9. A closing lunch honoring all participants, and with keynote speaker Morris Dees, took place on Friday, March 9. Read more here >>

  • Memphis Law hosted the National Trial Regional Competition February 17-19. We would like to congratulate all 32 teams on a successful competition. Region V Champions advancing to Nationals were The University of Georgia School of Law and Wake Forest University School of Law.

  • William E. Godbold, III (JD 76) was recently elected as a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation. Read more in The Chattanoogan.

  • Jayniece Higgins, a current 1L, attended the Southern Region of Black Law Students Association's regional conference in Birmingham, Alabama and was nominated and elected to a regional board position. She will be serving as SRBLSA's Sub-Region 1 Director over the law schools in Tennessee and Arkansas

  • Several Memphis Law students are featured in the most recent edition of the TN Volunteer Attorney.

  • At its Barristers Ball held in late December, the Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association honored several members of the Memphis bar, including Memphis Law students, alumni and an administrator. Read more in the Commercial Appeal.

Fall 2011

  • Memphis Law's first-time takers had the highest passage rate in the state for the July 2011 bar exam, 92.59 percent. Congratulations to our recent grads! Read more here>>

  • Shayla Purifoy (JD 08), a staff attorney with Memphis Area Legal Services, received the 2011 Advocate of the Year Award from the TN Alliance for Legal Services.

  • Congratulations to Professor Lee Harris, Memphis City councilman for District 7! Read more about his victory in the Commercial Appeal.

  • The Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association honored Dean Yolanda Ingram, Judge Bernice Donald (JD 74) and Gregory Duckett (JD 85) at its annual Barrister's Ball in early November.

  • At the annual Memphis Bar Association Fellow's Reception in early October, the Irvin Bogatin Social Justice Award was presented to Danielle McCollum (JD 11) and Claude Gatebuke (1L). Read more here. 

  • Memphis Law is hosting the 2012 National Trial Regional Competition, February 17-19. Contact mootcourt@memphis.edu for information about sponsorship opportunities, judging the competition or volunteering to serve as a witness.

  • The Memphis Law Review's March 30, 2012 Symposium will discuss death penalty issues, including the "West Memphis Three" Case.

  • The Public Action Law Society celebrated Pro-Bono Month this October. Read more here. 

  • Senator Lamar Alexander spoke at the law school on Thursday, Sept. 29 to more than 100 students, faculty and staff. To learn more about his visit, read articles from The Daily News, The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Flyer

  • Memphis Law would like to congratulate the following people for being named in the Memphis Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40": Taylor Berger (JD 07), Hemant Gupta (JD 05), Professor Daniel Kiel, and Legal Methods Adjunct Professor Kevin Ritz.
  • The Honorable Bernice Donald (JD 74), a Memphis federal judge, was elevated to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 6, 2011. Read more in the Commercial Appeal, Daily News and the ABA Journal. We are proud to call Judge Donald one of our own!

  • The quality of life at Memphis Law has been ranked seventh in the nation by The Princeton Review.  The organization’s “Best Quality of Life” designation is based on currently enrolled students’ answers to questions about a variety of factors.

  • Adjunct Professor Stephen McDaniel (JD 73) has been listed in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Litigation - Trusts & Estates and Trusts and Estates.

  • Memphis Law once again named a "Best Value" by preLaw Magazine. Read more in the MBJ.

  • David L. Bearman (JD 96) received the 2011 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award for the Memphis chapter of his firm. Read more in the Daily News.

  • Memphis Law joins with the Tennessee legal community in mourning the loss of Justice Adolpho A. Birch, Jr. Justice Birch was truly an inspiration to us all. Reflections on the life and legacy of Justice Birch can be found here.

  • Corey Strong is the first recipient of the Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Scholarship. Read about it in the Commercial Appeal. 

  • Allie Prescott (JD 76) has been appointed president of the UM Alumni Association National Executive Board of Directors.

  • The class of 2014 was welcomed at orientation in August. To read more click here.
  • Memphis Law names five new faculty.

  • The Law School has been named in the top 10 of the "nation's most popular law programs" by U.S. News and World Report.

  • Michael Joiner (JD 09) was featured in an article in the Daily News about his journey from being a truck driver to an attorney.

For additional details about Memphis Law news and events, or to submit information for the News and Events sections of the Memphis Law website, please e-mail lawevents@memphis.edu.  


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Last Updated: 4/3/13