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Vanderbilt Lawyer (Volume 38, Number 2)

Going Public

Cornelia A. Clark '79, Gilbert S. Merritt Jr. '60, and Victor S. Johnson III '74

Cornelia A. Clark '79, Gilbert S. Merritt Jr. '60, and Victor S. Johnson III '74 (l-r)

Dean Chris Guthrie argues that all lawyers—whether they practice in the public interest or in the private sector—serve the public.

"Lawyers in private practice play an essential role in promoting peace and prosperity by resolving difficult disputes and handling complex transactions," he says. "In so doing, these private-sector lawyers perform services that benefit not only their clients but the broader public as well." But he also stresses that "we owe a particular debt of gratitude to those lawyers who occupy formal public service roles...

A Dean for Challenging Times

Vanderbilt Law School's fifteenth dean, Chris Guthrie, believes the school's best days are ahead.
Chris Guthrie

Vanderbilt Law Dean Chris Guthrie understands the importance of financial aid in attracting top students. As a graduating senior in Hutchinson, Kansas, a remote Kansas town where the SAT wasn't even administered, Guthrie was able to attend Stanford University because of a generous aid package.

When Guthrie became Vanderbilt Law School's fifteenth dean on July 1, his personal understanding of financial need helped shape one of his immediate priorities for the school: more funding for scholarships. He had grown up mostly in small towns all over the state of Kansas, where his desire to attend an Ivy League-level university was unusual. "Most of my high school classmates either weren't going to college or planned to go to community college or a state university," he says. "I wanted to do something different...

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

The aftermath of the war in Iraq created a unique refugee class: Iraqis whose work for the U.S. put their lives at risk. The List Project at Vanderbilt (TLP@VU) is providing legal assistance to affected families resettling in Middle Tennessee.
(l-r) Professor Mike Newton, Rachel Weisshaar '12, Rachel Gore '09 and Andrew Free '10 of TLP@VU

Professor Mike Newton, Rachel Weisshaar '12, Rachel Gore '09 and Andrew Free '10 of TLP@VU (l-r)

The List Project at Vanderbilt, or TLP@VU, is a new student organization Andrew Free founded after spending a rewarding summer as an intern with the pro bono department of Holland & Knight in 2008. Free had received a Vanderbilt Public Interest Sipend to intern with H&K's pro bono department, where he worked under attorney Christopher Nugent, head of a special H&K team that provides pro bono legal aid to Iraqi refugees in collaboration with The List Project (TLP).

Founded only three years ago, TLP's aim is to locate Iraqis who were forced to flee their country because their work for the U.S. government or U.S. contractors made them targets for insurgent violence. After locating and identifying these Iraqi refugees, TLP helps...