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Taylor Baronich

OXFORD, Miss.–The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Office of General Counsel selected third year UM Law student Taylor Baronich into their very competitive Legal Honors Program for their 2015-2016 class. Each year the Program selects 10-20 candidates from all over the country to help further HUD’s mission to “create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.” As a member of the Legal Honors Program, Baronich will work in the Office of the General Counsel for HUD, receive continued legal training during that time and be assigned a mentor.

“Through the Housing Clinic (at the UM Law School), I developed a passion for housing law, studied complex legal issues, and learned the critical policy concerns. I believe that these three things I gained through the Housing Clinic—knowledge of the relevant law, understanding of important policy and humanitarian concerns and a bright enthusiasm—are likely what set me apart from other candidates,” says Baronich.

Professor Desiree Hensley, director of the Housing Clinic, is thrilled that Taylor is going to work for the HUD Legal Honors Program.  Law graduates who are selected for the Legal Honors Program have the opportunity to become the future leaders in the programs and practice areas in which they work.

“Taylor has the skills, training, commitment and desire to successfully work on the front lines of housing policy in the United States. It’s exciting to imagine that a graduate of UM Law may help shape the way our neighborhoods and communities function in the 21st century.”

Baronich says Professor Desiree Hensley and staff attorney Forrest Jenkins did a phenomenal job of not limiting her work (in the clinic) to narrow issues. By studying all aspects of a case (such as the client’s family dynamic, financial status and legal issue) the Housing Clinic taught her how to seek solutions that not only alleviate a legal problem, but also improve the client’s quality of life.

Associate Dean for the Clinical Programs, Deborah Bell, believes immersion in clinical practice gives students an advantage in pursuing opportunities such as the HUD Honors Program.

“Students in the Housing Clinic leave law school with genuine practice skills and the equivalent of a mentorship with a housing law expert.”

Baronich’s 14-month appointment will be at the HUD Regional Office of Region VI in Fort Worth, Texas. The Program starts off with a week-long training in Washington D.C. with the past and current class of HUD legal honors recipients.


Jessie Puckett

Mississippi native Jessie Puckett was defined by his deep-seated beliefs about commitment, respect and good manners, says a family member. Among the objects of his devotion were his church, his family, people in general and his work.

He also loved the University of Mississippi School of Law.

A 1953 law graduate, Puckett began building a legacy of private support to the School of Law in the early 1980s. In 1987, he created the Jessie D. Puckett, Jr. Law Endowment with a $2,000 gift designed to provide resources for faculty support.

Puckett, 88, died in late 2014 in Brandon, Miss. Through his estate, more than $507,000 has recently been directed to the Puckett Endowment, bringing his lifetime giving to the university to more than $620,000. Endowed funds are held in perpetuity by the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the annual investment income directed to the donor’s designation.

“Uncle June was a wonderful, humble man,” said Charlene Dear of Brandon, his niece. “What he did, he did because he wanted to do so. He sought no ‘pats on the back’ or recognition. He loved his law school and was happy he could do something for it.”

Richard Gershon, dean of the law school, agreed.

“Mr. Puckett never expected anything in return for his generosity. He simply wanted to give back to the law school that helped him in his career. Mr. Puckett understood that small, regular gifts can grow into substantial endowments for the support of our university. His gifts undergird the great work of our law school faculty members, including their outstanding scholarship and teaching,” the dean said.

Puckett never practiced law but Dear says he used his legal background to strengthen his career in oil and gas. His generosity will now impact countless law students seeking legal preparation by outstanding teachers.

Currently six UM law professors hold the distinguished Jessie D. Puckett, Jr. Lectureships: Michèle Alexandre, David W. Case, Benjamin P. Cooper, John M. Czarnetzky, Jack W. Nolan and Lisa Shaw Roy. Among previous Puckett Lecturers are faculty members Charles Brower, Mercer E. Bullard, Matthew R. Hall, E. Farish Percy and Larry J. Pittman.

“The Jessie D. Puckett, Jr., Endowment has provided truly invaluable support for many of our law faculty over the years,” said Nowlin, the most senior Puckett Lecturer and associate dean for faculty development. “I can’t overstate its impact. Jessie D. Puckett’s generosity and commitment to the Law School has made a huge difference in the lives of faculty – and that in turn has profoundly changed the lives of students.

“The faculty’s mission is to prepare our students for the rigors of law practice in an increasingly competitive world. By supporting the faculty in that mission, Mr. Puckett has had a major impact on the lives of literally thousands of law students. The enrichment we see from faculty support – for research, publishing, conference participation, visiting speakers, moot court coaching and endless other activities – creates a fantastic educational atmosphere for students,” Nolan said.

Throughout his 25-year career with ExxonMobil and then a 14-year career with Forest Oil Co., Puckett traveled a great deal and lived in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida. When he retired, he purchased his parents’ “old home place” and dedicated much of his time to the community and to Puckett Baptist Church, where his grandparents were founding members. He derived much enjoyment from a political campaign, although unsuccessful, for a small public office in Puckett because stumping for votes brought him face to face with so many people, says his niece.

“My uncle was a very personable man and enjoyed meeting people,” said Dear, who also characterized him by his great generosity, particularly to Puckett Baptist Church. “While the new sanctuary was being built at the church, he wanted to be supportive, but he had no carpentry skills. Every day that someone was working on that church, Uncle June provided all the meals, snacks and drinks. He found a way to contribute.”

Another illustration of his generosity could be seen through his commitment to his mother, whose health condition required constant care from her daughters for two decades, Dear says. Puckett and his brothers took care of their mother’s and sisters’ financial needs during this time.

The youngest of their seven children, Puckett was born to Jessie Daniel Puckett and Linnie Mae Purvis Puckett. He graduated from Central High School in Jackson, Miss., in 1943, and later that year he was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy. After three years of service, Puckett was honorably discharged as a Quartermaster Second Class. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Millsaps College in 1949. He worked for two years at the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission, which he left when he was accepted into the UM School of Law.

An individual who was private about his own personal experiences, Puckett didn’t share a great deal about his time in law school, his niece says, except to let his family know he was extremely proud of the school and of the opportunity he had to earn a law degree.

In the last five years of his life, Puckett was a resident of the Emeritus of Heritage House in Brandon.

“During the time he was in the assisted living home, Uncle June continued to be someone everyone enjoyed and loved,” Dear said. “He always had kind words and compliments for his caregivers and used his manners, saying, ‘yes, ma’am’ and ‘thank you.’ He was cordial and tried to make everyone happy. He was the last of the old Southern gentlemen.”

His survivors include other nieces and nephews.

Individuals and organizations can make gifts to the Jessie D. Puckett, Jr. Law Endowment by sending a check with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, Miss. 38655; visiting; or contacting John Festervand, development officer for the UM School of Law at 662-915-1757 or

By: Tina Hahn

Dan Hodges

OXFORD, Miss.—Allen Daniel Hodges, a University of Mississippi School of Law graduate, held a decades-long successful career in the Oil and Gas industry. After passing away in early 2014, his family felt the best way to memorialize their father was to give future generations of University of Mississippi School of Law students a similar opportunity to find success in this field. Therefore, his family created the Allen Daniel Hodges Scholarship Endowment in Oil & Gas Law, a fund designed to honor Allen Hodges and to provide scholarship assistance to deserving law students.

“The Allen Daniel Hodges Scholarship Endowment was inspired by Dan’s love and devotion to the University of Mississippi and to his lifelong career in the oil and gas industry,” said Stephanie and Daniel Hodges, his children. “He excelled in this field by building strong relationships with his fellow lawyers and by possessing a keen mind in the field of Oil and Gas Law.”

Hodges was a man of sharp intellect and commitment.  Born in 1949 in Greenville, Miss., he graduated from Ole Miss with an undergraduate degree in political science in 1972.  After graduating law school in 1978, he was admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi; and the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas. He was also a member of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen.

“Even during the difficult years in the late 80’s and early 90’s, he still continued to work and learn and grow in the Oil and Gas industry. He was passionate and committed to being the best in his profession,” his family said.

In addition to intellect, Hodges was a man of goodwill and possessed great love for his alma mater. This is another reason why his family decided to create an endowment in his name. “He was a strong proponent for charitable causes as he often donated to the University and numerous other organizations.  We feel that his legacy is lived not only through his children and his family, but through his philanthropy and respect for producing the highest quality work in the field of law,” the family says.

Family members involved in setting up the endowment are his two children and their spouses: Daniel Hodges and his wife is Jessica; Stephanie Huynh and her husband Daniel; his sister Martha Reeves and her husband Tom; and Bill Carter, his cousin.

The scholarship endowment will be offered in years when the Oil and Gas Law class is taught. Qualified full-time law students who demonstrate exceptional academic and/or professional achievement in the area of Oil and Gas Law are encouraged to apply. The recipient will be selected by the School of Law’s Scholarship Committee and the dean.

“We hope that this scholarship will inspire students to choose a career in the Oil and Gas field by rewarding the prior success of the Oil and Gas Law class taught at the University of Mississippi,” the family says.  “We hope that a law student, prior to taking the class, who wasn’t committed on a specific law direction, will find a sparked interest in this exciting field of law, and consequently, continue our father’s legacy of excellence in this field.”

To contribute to the Allen Daniel Hodges Scholarship Endowment in Oil and Gas Law, please mail a check made payable to the University of Mississippi Foundation with the fund noted in the memo line to the UM Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655. Online gifts can be made at For more information, contact John Festervand, or 662-915-


LeCroy’s class with Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer and treasurer of Sanderson Farms, Inc.

OXFORD, Miss.–The January Skill Session, with just over 25 elite practitioners from around the area coming to teach, gives students a chance to learn real lawyering tasks from some of the profession’s leading experts.

This year’s Session, the third year of the program, was structured much the same as previous years, with a few new courses added.

One such course was International Economic Sanctions, which had a focus on the recent Ukraine-related sanctions and the relaxation of the Cuban sanctions, both of which affect Mississippi export-related businesses.  The course was taught by Jessica LeCroy, a former U.S. diplomat for 25 years, who spent much of that time in conflict zones.

LeCroy’s career experiences, in particular, highlight what the Skill Session hopes to bring to law students.

“I’ve actually lived international law: human rights law, trade law, financial crimes law, the law of war,” she said.  “I’ve spent my professional life in the field, applying the principles of international law in real time, not in the ivory tower theorizing.”

Much like the law school’s philosophy, in that substantive doctrine is balanced with real-world learning experiences, LeCroy says both played an important role in her work.

“The theorists are important because they have the ability and time to assess data for lessons learned and to convey this information to those of us who need it – from diplomats to students of international law to the public.   I consulted frequently with the Office of the Legal Advisor at the State Department, and did some theorizing myself as a former visiting senior fellow in geoeconomics at the Council on Foreign Relations, which I could then balance against short stints of actual law practice and longer term field work.”

Kye Handy, a third year student, said she took the class because she wants to practice international business law.  Instead of learning abstract principles, LeCroy’s class allowed her to learn real life international business law.

“The highlight of the class was the variety of speakers she [LeCroy] brought in to speak,” Handy said.

“We had visits from the CFO of Sanderson Farms, compliance officers from Regions Bank, and even the former director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  Meeting these people and asking them questions really put the class and all we were learning in perspective.”

In addition to LeCroy’s class, there were 20 electives from which second and third year students could choose.  First year students took Contract Negotiation and Drafting.

Jim Warren, managing member at Carroll Warren & Parker, was one of the practitioners who taught first year students.  As a third year Skill Session instructor, he said he teaches to give back to the school.

“The Law School gave me a lot, and I wanted to give back. I liked the idea of giving students a practical, real world course. I liked the idea of trying my hand at teaching, though I have to admit it was much harder than I thought it would be.”

Much of Warren’s practice is focused on insurance coverage as well as complex commercial litigation.  He said he has been surprised by a few things since teaching in the Session.

“Things have changed so much in 27 years. Technology is so integral to the law school experience, as it is everywhere. While I knew this going in, it was a bit unsettling because my view of law school is based on a world without email, computers, or handheld devices.

After three years of teaching, I’m getting comfortable with it.”

Skill Session classes focus on practical workshops and exercises.  Drafting a pleading, negotiating a film deal or conducting a mock courtroom hearing are additional examples of the exercises students undertake.

Unlike a typical semester course, what the student learns is applicable for all areas of the law.

“The Skill Session gives students a chance to dabble in areas that interest them,” Handy said.  “Professor LeCroy’s class gave me a great foundation for continuing compliance work.”

Anyone interested in teaching in the 2016 January Skill Session should contact Matthew Hall:

View the full list of Skill Session Teachers and find additional information on the Skill Session page.

P.J. Blount, adjunct professor for the LL.M. program in Air and Space Law, was quoted in California Lawyer recently.  The article, “Space Cowboys,” concerned business interests thinking of using space, and the legal issues they might encounter.

Read the article>

Michele Alexandre, associate  professor of law and Jessie D. Puckett, Jr., lecturer, recently published a new book, “Sexploitation: Sexual Profiling and the Illusion of Gender.”  “Sexploitation” is available in kindle format and in hardcover. You may find the book on Amazon.


In “Sexploitation”, Alexandre proposes a model for legal reform and gender activism designed to maximize commonalities shared by seemingly disparate groups. To unearth these vulnerabilities and understand their impact on lived realities, Alexandre calls for the application of the universal vulnerability construct in various aspects of our jurisprudence as well as in social interactions. Specifically, she discusses the lived realities of marginalized groups who, unfortunately, are too often overlooked, and investigates the role of culture in cementing persistent biases.

In so doing, chapters provide examples of areas of law and society that are stagnated by sexual profiling and attachment to illusory gender-based distinctions. She formulates a practical model for promoting structural and individual accountability that encourages everyone to check and eradicate these biases. Ultimately, this proposed model considers transformative possibilities within both law and culture which remain yet untapped.

Michael Dodge, research council and instructor for the LL.M. program in Air and Space Law, recently published “Earth Observation and the Needs of the Many: the Future Structure of International Disaster Relief Law and Disaster Management” in the Annals of Air and Space Law Vol. XXXIX (2014) (from McGill University in Montreal, Canada).  The article was published in December 2014.

Ben Cooper, associate professor of law and Jessie D. Puckett, Jr., lecturer, has been chosen to serve a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Professional Responsibility.  The Committee organizes and oversees programs at the AALS Annual Meeting, provides newsletters for their members and conducts other activities of interest to members.    


OXFORD, Miss.–The University of Mississippi LGBT Clinic has been featured in the ABA Student Lawyer Magazine.  The article discusses its Legal Documents Clinic, which aims to address the state of the law for LGBTQ individuals, couples and families in Mississippi, and provide those community members with information to protect themselves, their families and their property.

Read the article>

By: Jillian Steptoe

OXFORD, Miss.–The University of Mississippi School of Law’s Pro Bono Initiative was recognized by preLaw magazine as one the nation’s top 25 most innovative law school clinics.

PreLaw magazine recently released a ranking which honored law school clinics based on innovation in subject matter, structure or community served. The magazine reviewed more than 76 nominations from law schools across the nation, from which only 25 schools made the list.

The ranking for most innovative law school clinics recognized 15 clinics as the most innovative and 10 as runners-up.

“The UM Pro Bono Initiative is a unique, in-house law school pro bono program,” said Deborah Bell, professor and associate dean for clinical programs. “Students in the program work with the director to design and implement “mini-clinics” – day-long clinics offering client services in family law, wills and other basic documents, expungements and other re-entry issues.”

The Pro Bono Initiative meets the criteria for the ranking in a variety of ways. For example, UMPBI uniquely provides students an opportunity to gain real-world legal experience. Students have worked with the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, the Mississippi Center for Justice, the Mississippi Bar and addressed issues of disaster relief, juvenile justice, domestic violence, incarceration for fee, and access to justice.

“Through the Pro Bono Initiative I took what I learned in the classroom and applied it to real clients under the supervision of experienced attorneys,” said Tyler Ellis, law student and UMPBI coordinator. “The PBI plucked me out of the world of hypotheticals, and placed me in a real world scenario.”

Additionally, UMPBI is beneficial to the local Oxford community by serving local residents with pro bono legal services and giving students an opportunity to volunteer.

“Students have been involved in every phase of the pro bono program, from community needs assessment to developing partnerships with other agencies, designing projects, and providing legal services to clients,” said Bell. “In a state with limited pro bono services, UMPBI has become a services provider as well as an opportunity for students to volunteer. In 2013-14 the program offered fourteen mini-clinics.”

Annually, 100-plus student volunteers assist over 500 clients. A few of the clinics offered by UMPBI include the Family Law Clinic, the Tax Clinic, and the Expungement Clinic.

“For me, it’s the best feeling to be able to provide a service that not only has life-changing benefits for our low-income clients, but it also shows our communities that their lives and well-being are important regardless of their geographic location and socioeconomic status,” said Holly Howard, third-year law student and UMPBI coordinator.

A list of all the clinics honored is published on the magazines website. The full story will appear in preLaw magazine’s winter issue.

For additional information about the Pro Bono Initiative please visit their webpage or

For a full list of the ranking please visit


Mississippi Business Journal honors UM clinical professor’s stellar career

OXFORD, Miss. – For the past 20 years, Oxford attorney David Calder has made major contributions to various clinics in the University of Mississippi School of Law. Fittingly, the clinical professor recently received a 2014 Mississippi Business Journal Leaders in Law award, and was chosen one of the top ten leaders from the group of 40 honored.

The fifth annual program recognized members of the state’s legal community for being astute, wise, knowledgeable and successful. Honorees also exemplify the noble tradition of the legal profession, win cases and solve problems with the utmost integrity, inspire and lead others with their skills and character, are role models and mentors and are passionate and aggressive on behalf of clients and the community.

“I was quite surprised and grateful to be included,” said Calder, who directed the Fair Housing Clinic from 1994-1996 and returned to clinical teaching  in 2000 as a staff counsel. He was recently made a Clinical Associate Professor.  “I enjoy working closely with our law students as they develop a practical understanding about practicing law, improve their professional skills and experience making a difference in the lives of the children we represent.”

Calder has also directed the Consumer Clinic, the Domestic Violence Clinic and, for the last ten years, the Child Advocacy Clinic.

“Our Child Advocacy Clinic is my favorite because we provide a much needed service to our courts and local communities, and because I enjoy teaching my students to act as advocates for the children we are appointed to represent,” Calder said. “Our cases provide students with their first opportunity to act as lawyers in real cases, and the decisions reached in our cases have a permanent impact on the lives of the children we represent.”

In addition to training students for the practice of law, Calder’s conducts pro bono activities, which are part of his professional obligations.

“I also work on post-conviction appeals in death penalty cases,” he said. “I was proud to be part of the team that recently won a new trial for Michelle Byrom, who had been on death row for 14 years.”

His colleagues and former students say Calder is most deserving of his honors.

“David is our most experienced litigator and is a great resource to all of us,” said Deborah Bell, professor of law. “He’s traveled a long road from part-time to full-time to a professor title.”

Laci Moore credits Calder with strengthening her research skills and making her aware there is more than one side to every story.

“I have learned that it is very important to take on each case and listen to each party involved with an open mind and hear from each party before coming to any conclusion in the case,” said the second year law student from Pisgah, Alabama. “This lesson and experience has taught me to be diligent in searching for the truth because determining a child’s best interest is not something that should ever be taken lightly.”

Caitlyn Lindsey-Hood said she became a part of the positive change Calder effects daily among the families of Northeast Mississippi.

“During my experience in working with Professor Calder, I learned the importance of keeping a strong focus on the purpose of your advocacy,” said the third-year law student from Southwest Georgia. “When dealing with sensitive family matters, it is sometimes easy to be distracted or motivated by your own emotions, impressions, or even concerns of practicality. But when your purpose is to represent a child, often a child who can barely speak for herself, you will not effect positive change without wholly and completely devoting your efforts to pursuing the very best outcome for that child, no matter what it means for anyone else involved.”

Calder received a bachelor’s degree in religion from Mississippi College and a J.D. from UM, where he was a member of the Mississippi Law Journal and received the Mississippi Law Institute Scholarship.   After law school, he served as law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerry A. Davis for two years before entering private practice.

Calder’s family includes his wife, Claire, and daughter, Laurie, 12.

By Edwin Smith


Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan at the Ford Center. Photo by University Communications.

By: Christina Steube

OXFORD,Miss.–United States Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan offered advice to law students at the University of Mississippi Monday during a law school event at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Ole Miss Associate Dean for Faculty Development Jack Wade Nowlin moderated the event, asking questions from law students.

Scalia and Kagan told the audience of nearly 1,000 about their days at Harvard Law School, their journey to the highest legal position in the nation and their decision on some of their most interesting cases.

“The moment I arrived (at Harvard), I thought this was where I want to be,” Kagan said.

Scalia added that though his time at Harvard wasn’t “warm and fuzzy,” he had a great experience.
“I probably learned as much from my classmates as I did from my professors,” he said.

Although the Justices may have a difference of opinion, Scalia said there is no animosity on the court and he and Kagan are good friends.

“If you can’t disagree on the law without taking it personally, find another day job.”

Senior Associate Dean of the School of Law Matthew Hall said this is the first time two Supreme Court Justices have visited the Ole Miss campus together.

“This is one of the branches of the federal government and it’s led by nine people. Two of them are here at the University of Mississippi,” Hall said. “That’s an extraordinary occasion for the university, particularly for the law students who want to hear constitutional law straight from the source.”

Ocean Springs, Miss. native and former Miss Mississippi Marie Wicks is in her second year of law school and she said learning about the justices’ own personal experiences really resonated with her.

“It’s just such an incredible opportunity,” Wicks said. “It was an illuminating experience to have two Supreme Court Justices come and visit my school at the point when I’m halfway through law school. It’s one of those experiences that I will never forget.”

As a third-year law student Davis Gates of Byram, Miss. enjoyed learning the views the two justices have of the constitution, as well as experiencing a little bit of their individual character.

“I’m really happy that I got to see a different side of the justices. It really humanized them,” Gates said.

He added that when he arrived at Ole Miss in 2008, he had no idea he would witness some of the events that have passed through this campus.

“ I’ve been all across the nation and to D.C. and never once even caught a glimpse of a justice,” he said. “I’ve been here since 2008 since the Presidential debate so in order to continue to be able to have these once in a lifetime opportunities is definitely amazing.”

Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Elena Kagan

OXFORD, Miss.–The University of Mississippi School of Law will host two U.S. Supreme Court justices on the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus for a session open to the general public.  The meeting, titled “A Conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Elena Kagan,” will take place Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. in Fulton Chapel.

The session will be moderated by Jack Nowlin, associate dean for faculty development and professor of law at the UM Law School, who is a constitutional law expert.

“It would be a great day for the law school and university community if we had just one U.S. Supreme Court Justice coming,” said Richard Gershon, dean.  “It is truly special to have both Justice Kagan and Justice Scalia at Ole Miss. It is an honor for us to have these outstanding jurists here.” 

According to the Supreme Court, Scalia took his seat in September 1986 after being nominated by President Ronald Regan.  Prior to he was appointed judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, served the federal government as general counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy, was chairman of the Administrative Conference of the U.S., and was assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.

Kagan, a former Harvard Law School dean, was appointed as associate justice in May of 2010 by President Obama. She served for four years in the Clinton Administration as associate counsel to the President and then as deputy assistant to the president for Domestic Policy.  President Obama also nominated her as the solicitor general of the U.S. in 2009.

A limited supply of free tickets is available Monday through Friday at the UM Box Office: (662) 915-7411. Tickets can be picked up at the box office in Student Union Room 301-B, ordered online for a $5 fee and mailed for $8. To order online, visit   You must have a ticket to attend. There will be no entry after 10 a.m.  Parking will be available behind Fulton Chapel.

The event is being made possible by the James McClure Memorial Lectures Endowment.  The endowment was established in 1979 by the Honorable James McClure and Mrs. Tupper McClure Lampton to honor their father, James McClure.

For more information about the event, please visit

For more information about Justice Scalia or Justice Kagan, please visit

For additional inquiries, contact Jenny Kate Luster, communications specialist: 662-915-3424 or

OXFORD, Miss. – An anonymous donation of $100,000 was made to the University of Mississippi School of Law recently. The donor’s contribution will provide discretionary support for operations and other expenditures of the school’s Clinical Programs, with the remainder going to the Clinical Programs endowment.

Clinical Programs provide a capstone experience for second and third-year law students, bringing together substantive law and skills training in a real-world client experience. UM Law School students have access to an in-house law firm with ten practice areas, an externship through the Clinical Externship Program and multiple pro bono opportunities through the Pro Bono Initiative.

“The clinics afford students the opportunity to practice law under supervision,” said Richard Gershon, law school dean. “The ability to serve live clients is a great educational experience, which provides much needed legal assistance to our community. We are truly proud of the work of our clinics.”

The Program’s ten in-house clinics include Child Advocacy, Criminal Appeals, Elder Law, Housing, the MacArthur Justice Clinic, a Mediation Practicum, the Mississippi Innocence Project, Street Law, Tax Practicum and Transactional Law.

The programs aim to provide students with an opportunity to gain real-world experience, an understanding of ethical obligations and a commitment to furthering broad access to the legal system. Students not only gain experience, but also help low-income members of the Oxford and state-wide community.

“The variety and size of the clinical programs here are one of the school’s great strengths,” said Debbie Bell, associate dean for clinical programs. “Our students receive intensive practice training in a program that is helping to shape the justice system in the state. The law school has made a real, meaningful commitment to hands-on legal education with service to the community.”

The anonymous gift exemplifies how vital private gifts are to the success of the law school. Each year, the school receives various donations from University of Mississippi alumni, which enables the law school to continue to make improvements to students’ education.

“The law school’s tuition is among the lowest in the nation,” said Dean Gershon. “Even so, private support is essential because it provides scholarships and creates resources for the law school’s success in programs like clinical education and advocacy.”

Private support and donations to the law school provide the margin of excellence. Through decades of devoted support, the law school now boasts over 111 endowed scholarships and 25 endowments for programmatic support.

Currently, private gifts support programs such as the Mississippi Law Journal, Moot Court programs and scholarships as well as many more areas that contribute to the continued advancement of the law school.

Additionally, over the past two years, donations have also been made to the law school’s academic divisions, faculty and staff, library, research and building improvements.

“Gift income starting in July 2014 is way up compared to the same timeframe for 2012 and 2013. Gershon said. “Furthermore, in those past two years, we were still receiving pledge payments on the building campaign, which have almost completely ended.  I think it is a great sign that we are up in donations to people and programs.”

For more information on how to donate to the law school, please visit:

For more information on Clinical Programs, please visit



Left to right: Brendon Clark, Kyle Prince, Professor Phil Broadhead, Sullivan Banks and David Fletcher.

On November 18, 2014, the Criminal Appeals Clinic once again appeared before the Court of Appeals of Mississippi (holding court at Mississippi State University) for oral argument in two of the Clinic’s cases.  Third-year law students David Fletcher of Jackson and Sullivan Banks of Woodstock, Ga., argued the case of Leslie v. State, an armed carjacking case.  Kyle Prince of Oklahoma and Brendon Clark of Pontotoc argued O’Donnell v. State, a drug possession case.

On December 2, 2014, Criminal Appeals Clinic Director Phillip Broadhead will argue Kirk v. State in Jackson before the Mississippi Supreme Court.  These three oral arguments mark the 25th appearance of the Criminal Appeals Clinic in oral argument before our state appeals courts, with 84 clients represented and 162 law students trained since 2002.

Niki Pace, senior research counsel for Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program, and a team of 4 other experts in living shoreline policy and management have released a groundbreaking report “Living Shorelines: From Barriers to Opportunities”. The team will debut the draft report at the national Restore America Estuaries conference on Monday Nov. 3 in D.C.

More information and a copy of the report can be found here:

OUTLaw, the Pro Bono Initiative and the Transactional Clinic partnered with the Family Equality Council to host an LGBTQ Legal Clinic in Jackson, Miss. on Friday, Oct. 24. Volunteer attorneys and students provided a training on documents that LGBTQ families can use to protect parental, personal and property rights under current Mississippi law. The partners developed an online training program, materials and forms as well, available on the Clinical Programs website at  Friday’s program was the launch of an ongoing project to link low and moderate-income LGBTQ families with attorneys and students who will provide direct services to draft these forms and give counsel and advice.

By: Jillian Steptoe

Joanna Gabrynowicz recently testified to the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee about an asteroid act. Gabrynowicz warned the subcommittee of the legal and political challenges that may occur if a bill is passed to grant property rights to materials mined from asteroids.

Gabrynowicz currently serves as director of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and Professor Emerita of the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law.

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OXFORD, Miss.–The University of Mississippi School of Law recently approved its first four affiliated faculty as part of the law school’s new affiliated faculty program: John Green from the Department of Sociology; Robert Mongue from the Department of Legal Studies; Steven Skultety from the Department of Philosophy; and John Winkle from the Department of Political Science.

“The Law School’s new Affiliated Faculty Program is meant to promote creative collaborations in teaching, research and service between law faculty and other UM faculty,” said Jack Nowlin, associate dean for faculty development and professor at the law school.  “There is so much scholars from different fields can learn from working with each other. Our work only gets better when we collaborate across disciplines.”

The law school hopes this program will increase collaborative activities such interdisciplinary participation in the law school’s academic workshop program, joint sponsorship of speaking events, joint research projects and team-teaching.

UM faculty recognized as law school affiliates will appear on the law school’s faculty page with that title and will also receive special invitations to attend law school speaking events and participate in workshop programs.

Each of the law school’s four new affiliated faculty members is an outstanding UM faculty scholar with a solid history of interdisciplinary collaborations with the law school.

Professor John Green is an associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Population Studies. His interests include community development, health and health care, limited resource and minority farmers, and the social dimensions of disaster. He has worked with the law school’s transactional clinic and engaged in joint research projects with Professor Desiree Hensley.

“I am elated to be an affiliated faculty member with the School of Law,” John Green said.  “As a research center director and faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, I am working on a wide range of applied programs in community development, agrifood systems and health. This association with the School of Law has expanded the reach of my work and my professional connections.”

Robert Mongue, associate professor of legal studies, has had over 30 years’ experience practicing law in addition to his academic accomplishments. He specializes in paralegal education and is the author of the “Empowered Paralegal” book series. His collaborations with the law school include giving guest lectures, organizing interdisciplinary speaking events and working on projects to better integrate graduate and undergraduate legal education.

“I look forward to the opportunity to strengthen the bond between the law school and the Legal Studies Department, especially the Paralegal Studies Program,” Mongue said. “While my previous communications have focused on those of our students who intend to apply for admission to law school, I think that it would be just as helpful to both paralegal students preparing for careers as paralegals and law students preparing for careers as attorneys to engage each other during their education for purposes of improving their working relationships when that education is complete.”

Steven Skultety is an associate professor of philosophy and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion.  Professor Skultety’s interests lie in ancient philosophy, especially the work of Aristotle, and in republican and democratic theory. Skultety’s collaborations with the law school include co-sponsoring speaking events and regularly participating in the law school’s faculty writing groups.

“Philosophy and law both rest on an ability to make clear and persuasive arguments,” Skultety said.  “Whenever I work with my colleagues in the Law School, I’m struck by how much we have in common.  Anyone who attends one of our co-sponsored events – like our annual Constitution Day talk or the Jack Dunbar lecture in philosophy and law – will also see the similarities.  As an affiliated faculty member, I’m looking forward to continuing my own collaboration with law professors, and I’m also excited to search for new ways the Law School and the Department of Philosophy and Religion can work together.”

John Winkle is professor emeritus with the Department of Political Science.  Over his 40 year career, he has taught courses on constitutional law, judicial politics the American legal process, and many other topics.  He has published numerous articles on wide range of subjects such as lobbying by federal judges before Congress, state-federal judicial councils and the political role played by the administrative office of the U.S. courts.  Winkle’s long history of collaborations with law faculty include team-teaching, participating in joint speaking events and circulating drafts to law faculty for comment.

“I am delighted to be a law school faculty affiliate and look forward to continued work with my colleagues in the law school,” said Winkle. “Some of my fondest associations over the years have been with active and retired law school faculty whom I am pleased to call my friends.”

UM faculty interested in collaborative opportunities with the law school should contact Associate Dean Jack Nowlin. UM faculty may apply for affiliated faculty status by sending Dean Richard Gershon a curriculum vitae along with materials highlighting recent collaborative activities with law faculty. A copy of the law school policy is available here: Affiliated Faculty Policy.

Learn more about these affiliated faculty members on the faculty directory page.


Ben Cooper, associate professor and Jessie D. Puckett, Jr., lecturer, will speak at Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Social Media Law Symposium Oct. 17.  His panel is entitled “Issues with Judges, Juries and Social Media.”  Cooper will also present his paper “Judges and Social Media: Disclosure as Disinfectant,” which will be published in the SMU Science & Technology Law Review.

View the symposium’s program for full details.