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The University of Tulsa College of Law

JULY/AUGUST 2011

College Announces New Assistant Director for Law Alumni Relations

The TU College of Law has announced the hiring of Calvin Moniz as Assistant Director for Law Alumni Relations. Moniz, also a part-time law student at TU, previously served as Director of Development for TU's McFarlin Library. "Alumni support is so crucial to the College's success, and Calvin's experience in Institutional Advancement and his perspective as a law student will allow him to broaden and strengthen our relationship with TU law alumni throughout the country," said Janet Levit, Dean and Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair.

Upon completion of the College's renovated John Rogers Hall in early September, Moniz will be located in the Dean's suite of offices in John Rogers Hall. He may be contacted at 918-631-3320 or calvin-moniz@utulsa.edu.


TU College of Law Launches Blog

The University of Tulsa College of Law has launched a new blog. You can also find a link to it on our home page. For news and commentary about the College, legal education, and the legal profession, please visit the page.

Dean Janet Levit and TU Law faculty, staff, and students will comment on a range of legal issues, events, and the great things happening at the College of Law. In upcoming weeks, the blog will take on a different look, but there is still great information to get from the current form.


Donations Needed for Education Foundation Begun by TU Law Students

TU College of Law student Mbilike Mwafulirwa has launched the Let Us Read Foundation to help children in his native country of Malawi in southeastern Africa. The foundation has obtained more than 2,000 books.

The initial effort of the foundation targets Chichiri Primary School, Mwafulirwa's former primary school, in Blantyre, Malawi. Mwafulirwa is currently in Malawi to oversee the efforts of the foundation, which is still attempting to raise $3,000 in shipping fees.

Those wishing to make a financial donation may contact Mark Smith at 918-231-6317 or mark-smith@utulsa.edu. Soon, letusreadfoundation.org will be accepting donations through PayPal.

Malawi is one of the world's poorer countries – books and supplies are sparse and classes are overcrowded. People may donate textbooks in boxes by the front door of the Mabee Legal Information Center at the TU College of Law. Though there are multiple languages spoken in Malawi, English is the official language. Donated books can be in English and should be suitable for students from 7 to 16 years of age. There is great need for English, math, and science books. Ideally, the books would be at a beginner's level. Along with Mwafulirwa, fellow TU law students Mark Smith, Arthur Loyd, and Blake Feamster are involved in the organization.


Innovative Seminar Gives Students Broader Preparation

The University of Tulsa College of Law's Dean's Seminar on the Legal Profession is perhaps the only course in the country in which each class session is led by the law school dean and assistant dean for professional development and also exclusively addresses students' transition to the legal profession. Janet Levit, Dean and Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair, and Kristine Bridges, Assistant Dean for Professional Development, co-teach TU's seminar, a required first-year course.

This unique seminar is composed of six weekly classroom sessions followed by four professional development sessions. The seminar takes a holistic approach to the professional transition by, among other things, illuminating legal market realities and creating expectations consistent with the actual personal and professional experiences one will have as a lawyer; debunking media images and societal misconceptions of the lawyer lifestyle; broadening the understanding of how a juris doctor degree can be applied to professions outside of traditional legal practice; and encouraging students to take an immediate hold of their professional identities through their personal interactions, social media, and professional networking.


TU Law Grads Dominate Cherokee Supreme Court

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court recently ruled that a new election would be held for principal chief between Bill John Baker and current chief Chad Smith. The case has been controversial for weeks as the razor-thin margin caused the results to be challenged.

It is interesting to note that three of the five Cherokee Supreme Court justices are TU Law graduates: Darrell R. Matlock, Jr. (JD '70), Troy W. Poteete (JD '01), and Kyle Haskins (JD '88), who has also served as an adjunct professor at the College of Law.


TU Law Alumnus Establishes Niche in Bicycle Cases

University of Tulsa College of Law alumnus Brad Tucker (JD '90) has become a specialist in an unusual field – representing bicyclists in accident cases.

Tucker, a partner with the law firm of Walberg, Tucker & Holmes in Centennial, Colorado (a suburb of Denver), estimates over half his practice is composed of bicycle cases. Tucker is an accomplished cyclist who has raced competitively as a masters racer since 2003.

While serving as pro bono general counsel for the nonprofit organization, Bicycle Colorado, the executive director of the group asked if Tucker could represent a cyclist in an accident case. "I took the first case, did a good job for her, and it's just grown from there," Tucker said. "Combining my legal experience with something I'm passionate about sounded very attractive. Early on I thought, if this becomes the bulk of what I do each day, I'll be pretty happy." Tucker says his Torts and Sports Law classes with Professor Ray Yasser at the TU College of Law have stood him in good stead in his bicycle cases. "I communicated with Professor Yasser just recently in fact and joked to him that I'd always wanted to combine the two, and now I've done it," Tucker said.


Recent Grads Join TU Law Partners at Boulder Firm

Rene Annesley and Devon Trupp, 2011 graduates of the TU College of Law, are new associates with Caldwell Hathcoat LLC, a Boulder, Colorado law firm that focuses on natural resources law and civil litigation.

The three-year-old firm continues to grow, with Annesley and Trupp joining 1991 TU law graduates Todd Caldwell and Richard Hathcoat, who met in law school. Caldwell and Hathcoat looked at associate candidates from TU, as well as other law schools. "But what we really wanted were people with an interest in energy law," Caldwell said. "We were impressed by the background and experience of all of the TU candidates."

Like Caldwell, Trupp worked on TU's Energy Law Journal, serving as Executive Notes and Comments Editor, and for about a year she did oil and gas lease review and conducted division order reconciliations for Samson Investment Company in Tulsa. Annesley discovered an interest in natural resources and water law while at the TU College of Law. She earned a certificate at TU in Sustainable Energy and Resources Law (SERL) by passing 16 hours of courses in energy, environmental and natural resources law and completing an externship.


Student Meets Supreme Court Justice During Federalist Society Conference

Jackie Acker, TU law student and president of the TU Law chapter of the Federalist Society, recently returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. for the Federalist Society Student Leadership Conference. One of the highlights was a reception for the Federalist Society at the United States Supreme Court. Acker met Justice Clarence Thomas at this event. "He was jovial, relaxed, and a joy to be around," Acker said. "I was nervous to meet him, but he treated each of us with such respect and genuine interest in what we do that any fear I had of speaking to someone in such a high position disappeared."

The purpose of the conference was to teach student chapter leaders how to conduct successful, nonpartisan events such as legal debates and panel discussions. Guest speakers included Clark Neily, plaintiffs' co-counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller, a significant gun rights case in which the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep handguns at home for lawful self-defense. Acker also met former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Gregory Katsas, partner at the prominent law firm of Jones Day.


Class Notes:

Find out what's new with your former classmates.


Faculty News:

Read more about TU College of Law faculty

E V E N T S
August 24 - September 1
Intensive Family Law Training
Tuesday, August 30
Foundations of Legal Study – Professionalism Day
Thursday, September 1
Foundations of Legal Study – Public Service Day
Tuesday, September 6
First Day of Fall Classes

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The University of Tulsa - College of Law
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