Alumni

Three VLS students pursue legal careers focusing on civil rights as Marshall-Motley Scholars

Jan. 24, 2023—Ashley Fox ’24, Adom Abatkun ’25 and Sophia Howard ’25 were selected for the first and second cohorts of a groundbreaking scholarship program created “to endow the South with the next generation of civil rights lawyers.” The program was developed by the Legal Defense Fund and named for former Supreme Court Justice and LDF founder Thurgood Marshall and pioneering civil rights litigator and former LDF attorney Constance Baker Motley.

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Veteran litigator Charles K. Grant will deliver the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture in Flynn Auditorium Jan. 19

Jan. 18, 2023—Grant's lecture, "The Arc of the Moral Universe and Beyond," will start at 12:30 p.m. He is a shareholder at Baker Donelson in Nashville who has tried nore than 50 jury trials and represented clients in mediation and arbitration proceedings across a dozen states. He was co-producer of "Civil Disobedience and the Rule of Law: The Nashville Sit-ins and Lessons in Courage" and co-author of "The Freedom Rides: Making the Law Apply to All," published in the Nashville Bar Journal, which received the Nashville Bar Association's Article of the Year Award in 2011.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community VLS Events


Former VLS Dean C. Dent Bostick dead at 91

Jan. 16, 2023—Dean Bostick joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 1971 and served as associate dean and director of admissions before serving as Dean of the law school from 1980 to 1985.

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Alumni Faculty News


Leighton Lord and Jeff Grantham, both Class of 1989, to head Maynard Nexsen following firm merger

Jan. 5, 2023—Lord will be president and chief strategy officer for the new Maynard Nexsen firm, and Grantham will serve as the new firm's CEO. The new firm merges the operations of Alabama-based Maynard Cooper & Gale and South Carolina-based Nexsen Pruet to form a single firm with offices on both coasts and more than 550 attorneys. Lord and Grantham met at Vanderbilt Law School.

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Alumni Career Services General News


James Cornelius “Connie” Summers ’50 celebrates 102nd birthday Jan. 4

Jan. 3, 2023—Connie Summers took the Tennessee Bar examination in 1949 before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt in 1950. He practiced law in Nashville for over 50 years and served as a city attorney and district attorney in Nashville and Davidson County early in his career. He attended Vanderbilt after serving in World War II as a naval aviator.

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Alumni


Justin Brooks ’23 and VLS staffer Erin Parr-Carranza named to AALS Section on Pro Bono and Access to Justice Honor Roll

Jan. 3, 2023—This is the inaugural year of the AALS Pro Bono Honor Roll. Vanderbilt honorees Brooks and Parr-Carranza are among 140 students, faculty and staffers representing 58 law schools to receive this recognition.

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Alumni Barrett Program News and Events Public Interest News


Career Services announces Spring Firm Mingle March 22, 2023

Dec. 16, 2022—Members of the Class of 2025 can connect with legal employers with offices throughout the U.S. at this table-talk-style event to be held at the JW Marriott Nashville organized by VLS Career Services.

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Alumni Career Services General News


38 firms participate in Career Services 2022 Fall Firm Mingle for 1Ls

Dec. 16, 2022—More than 80 percent of the 1L class attended, connecting with attorneys representing 38 law firms with offices throughout the U.S.

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Alumni Career Services


Yesha Yadav discusses the arrest of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried in CNN International interview

Dec. 16, 2022—Financial regulation expert Yadav discusses the federal charges against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces an eight-count criminal indictment that includes charges of fraud and conspiracy and violating campaign finance laws in the wake of the collapse of his cryptocurrency empire, with CNN International news anchor Rosemary Church.

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Antitrust expert Rebecca Allensworth featured in Yahoo Finance Live discussion of FTC’s actions to rein in Big Tech

Dec. 15, 2022—While antitrust restrictions typically address companies who are direct competitors, "There is increasing recognition not just at the FTC but also in policy circles that vertical relationships between Big Tech companies can also be really damaging to consumers," Allensworth says. She and Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director at Public Knowledge, discuss the potential impacts of FTC Chairman Lina Khan's actions to address anticompetitive conduct and other concerns raised by the size and influence of Google, Meta, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

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Yesha Yadav discusses the cryptocurrency meltdown with Jeanne Hruska on the Broken Law podcast

Dec. 7, 2022—Yadav's most recent paper, "Toward a Public-Private Oversight Model for Cryptocurrency Markets," makes a case for mandating self-regulation of crypto-exchanges as a first step toward reforming both the exchanges and cryptocurrency itself. She discusses various types of cryptocurrency and why cryptocurrencies have proven challenging to regulate in this interview with podcast host Hruska, who is senior adviser for communications and strategy with the American Constitution Society.

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Lauren Sudeall to join Vanderbilt Law faculty in summer 2023

Nov. 28, 2022—Sudeall’s scholarship focuses on constitutional law, criminal procedure and access to justice. She is currently a professor at the Georgia State University College of Law, where she is the founding faculty director of the Center for Access to Justice.

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Human rights expert Pramila Patten delivered Vanderbilt’s 2022 Charney Distinguished Lecture in International Law

Nov. 11, 2022—Patten is the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Under-secretary General of the United Nations. She delivered her lecture, titled "Evolution and Impact of the Mandate on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence," in Flynn Auditorium Nov. 10.

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Alumni International Legal Studies Program VLS Events


2022 Fall Reunion Volunteer Class Committees

Nov. 3, 2022—Our sincere thanks to the many volunteers whose hard work and outreach made our Fall 2022 Reunion such a success.

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Alumni


Chris Guthrie to chair search committee for the next dean of Owen Graduate School of Management

Nov. 2, 2022—The committee includes two members of the law faculty: Yesha Yadav, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law and Professor of Management, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Tracey George (ex-officio), who is the Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Professor of Law and Liberty. The committee, which also includes Owen alumni and Vanderbilt faculty from multiple disciplines, will conduct a national search to replace M. Eric Johnson, who will step down as Owen’s dean on June 30, 2023.

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Jeffrey Schoenblum delivers keynote address at ACTEC symposium on “Conflict of Laws in Trusts and Estates”

Oct. 31, 2022—Schoenblum's talk, titled "Directed Trusts, the Conflict of Laws and the Challenge to the Norms of Trust Law," was the keynote address at the ninth academic symposium supported by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation, held at Tulane University School of Law. He is a renowned expert in multistate and multinational estate planning and comparative wealth transfer laws.

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Alumni Faculty News L&B News and Events


Former EPA administrator Carol Browner discusses environmental policy and the work of the Environmental Protection Agency

Sep. 20, 2022—Browner drew on her nearly four decades of experience advising on environmental and energy policies affecting global energy, the environment and public health to discuss with Vandenbergh current action on climate change, including the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. Vandenbergh worked for Browner as the EPA's chief of staff early in his career.

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Incoming students tour historic social justice sites

Sep. 6, 2022—The tours, sponsored by Law Students for Social Justice, included historic sites in Nashville and on the Vanderbilt campus.

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Alumni Barrett Program News and Events Equity, Diversity and Community Public Interest News


Former EPA Administrator Carol Browner to deliver inaugural Distinguished Lecture on Climate Change Governance Sept. 19

Sep. 1, 2022—Browner’s lecture is made possible by the Sally Shallenberger Brown EELU Program Fund and sponsored by the Energy, Environment and Land Use Program. Browner became the longest serving EPA administrator in history under President Bill Clinton and was director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama administration. She now practices as a senior counsel with Covington & Burling.

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Sabrina NeKay Lewellen ’02 named 2022 staff vice chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures

Aug. 31, 2022—Lewellen will serve as NCSL's chair in 2023-24. She is deputy director and assistant secretary of the Arkansas Senate.

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Alumni Career Services L&G News and Events


More than 75 1Ls attend Public Service Orientation

Aug. 19, 2022—The event exposes incoming students to public service opportunities at VLS and in Nashville and connects them with faculty and local attorneys who work in the public interest.

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Alumni Barrett Program News and Events Career Services Public Interest News


Monique Winkler, Class of 1996, named regional director of SEC’s San Francisco office

Aug. 16, 2022—Winkler had served as the office's acting director since March and as its associate regional director for enforcement since 2019.

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Alumni Career Services L&B News and Events L&G News and Events


Erin Merrick ’14 (MA’11) appointed Tennessee’s Chief Legal Counsel by Gov. Bill Lee

Aug. 16, 2022—Merrick had previously served as Gov. Lee's deputy legal counsel since 2019. She was an assistant attorney general in the Tennessee Office of the Attorney General before joining Lee's legal staff.

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Alumni Career Services L&G News and Events


Judge Claria Horn Boom ’94 confirmed to U.S. Sentencing Commission

Aug. 8, 2022—Judge Boom has served as a swing judge on the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky since 2018. She is one of seven new commissioners appointed to the Sentencing Commission.

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Alumni Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program


Francesca L. Procaccini joins VLS faculty as assistant professor

Aug. 2, 2022—Procaccini was a Climenko Fellow at Harvard Law and taught at Yale Law. Her scholarship focuses on constitutional law, First Amendment law, federal courts and civil procedure.

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