General News

Vel Lewis named 2021 George Barrett Social Justice Fellow

Jun. 3, 2021—Lewis will work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, D.C., where she will serve in the U.S. Protection and Solutions Unit.

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Justin Ishbia ’04 elected to Vanderbilt University Board of Trust

May. 24, 2021—Kathleen Justice-Moore and Adolpho Birch III, both Class of 1991, elected to second terms on the Board of Trust, and Birch was elected to a second three-year term as the board's secretary.

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Alumni General News


A Sense of Belonging at Vanderbilt

May. 19, 2021—The endowment of a permanent director of the Diversity, Equity and Community Office in honor of the late Professor Robert Belton enables VLS to build on its long-term commitment to diversity, inclusion and racial justice.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community Faculty News General News


Thomas Scott Davidson receives Class of 2021 Founder’s Medal for First Honors

May. 15, 2021—Davidson was a Chancellor’s Law Scholar and received the Dean’s Leadership Award. He was 2020-21 managing editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. He received the Law and Business certificate and plans to join Bass Berry & Sims in Nashville after graduation.

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Alumni General News


23 members of the Class of 2021 recognized with academic and citizenship awards

May. 12, 2021—Thomas Scott Davidson, who received the Founder's Medal for First Honors; Ramon Ryan, who received the Bennett Douglas Bell Memorial Award; and Alton Spencer Davies, who received the Weldon B. White Prize, are recognized at the Commencement ceremony.

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Alumni General News


Clayton Wiggins ’16 represents the United States in criminal appeals as a Judge Advocate at the Department of the Navy’s Appellate Government Division

May. 12, 2021—Wiggins, a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps, earned his law degree at Vanderbilt through the Funded Legal Education Program and was a military prosecutor stationed in Okinawa, Japan, before moving to his current position.

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Alumni General News


Paul Edelman discusses the reapportionment of Congressional seats on Top of Mind radio program

May. 6, 2021—Edelman explains why the number of seats in the House of Representatives is limited to 435 and the method used to reapportion seats among states every 10 years based on census results in a 20-minute interview with Julie Rose, host of the BYUradio program Top of Mind.

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Alumni Faculty News General News


15 members of the Class of 2021 complete Pro Bono Pledge

Apr. 28, 2021—Vel Lewis ’21 was recognized for logging the highest number of pro bono hours—654—as a VLS student. Emily Burgess ’22 and Toni Cross ‘23 led their classes in pro bono hours worked with 561 and 70 hours, respectively.

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Vanderbilt law grads serving in 52 clerkships for 2020-21 or future years

Apr. 28, 2021—Thirty-three members of the Class of 2020 secured 35 clerkships in federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts, and six secured clerkships in state courts, including the Delaware Court of Chancery.

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Ramon Ryan ’21 tackles new frontier with space law

Apr. 27, 2021—Ryan's JETLaw Note, "The Fault in Our Stars," became a catalyst for oversight action in Congress. He plans to join Bass Berry & Sims after graduation and will serve as a clerk for Judge Todd Hughes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. in 2023. Ryan was JETLaw's editor-in-chief as a 3L.

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Alumni General News


Kira Benton ’21 to join Still She Rises Tulsa criminal defense team

Apr. 23, 2021—Still She Rises Tulsa is a holistic legal advocacy organization serving indigent mothers with an array of legal services, including criminal defense, family law and civil legal services. Benton worked as an intern for the organization during summer 2020.

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Reaction to today’s verdict, a message from Dean Chris Guthrie

Apr. 20, 2021—With today’s news that the jury voted to convict Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, it is important to acknowledge that the trauma of this case, like so many others, remains with us. We have had to relive this violent encounter through the horrific video that many of us have seen with our...

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Margaret Schmucker ’94 featured in “The State of Texas vs. Melissa,” a documentary about death row inmate Melissa Lucio

Apr. 20, 2021—Schmucker has been working on Lucio’s case for 10 years. The documentary about her case was an Official Selection of the 2020 Tribecca Film Festival and is now available on Hulu.

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VLS students work pro bono for TN Free Legal Answers as part of attorney teams

Apr. 20, 2021—Emily Burgess ’22 and Anya van Soestbergen ‘22 worked with Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services to launch a new volunteer program through which students work on attorney teams to answer legal questions.

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Four members of the Class of 2021 honored with VBA awards

Apr. 16, 2021—VBA President Esther Lee, BLSA President Samantha Furman, Co-Counsel Mentoring Program President Asha Menon and Legal Aid Society President Kira Benton were recognized for student leadership, while three student organizations-the Voting Rights and Advocacy Society, the Investment and Securities Club, and the Law Students for Social Justice-were honored for their contributions to student life.

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Blumstein, George, Stack, Wuerth and Zeppos honored with 2021 Hall-Hartman Awards for outstanding teaching by student vote

Apr. 16, 2021—The annual awards are given based on a student poll conducted by Vanderbilt Bar Association.

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Yesha Yadav discusses episodes of volatility in the U.S. Treasury market on Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast

Apr. 14, 2021—Yadav is an expert in securities regulation. In an in-depth discussion with Odd Lots hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway of Bloomberg Business, Yadav argues that recent, seeming inexplicable bouts of volatility in the treasury market can be explained by the inadequate patchwork of regulations governing this market.

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Rhonda Y. Williams to deliver next Dean’s Lecture on Race and Discrimination March 31

Mar. 26, 2021—Williams is the John L. Seigenthaler Professor of American History. Her work focuses on the experiences of low-income Black women and marginalized people, including their everyday lives, politics and social struggles. Her talk will be delivered virtually and is free and open to the public. The Dean's Lecture Series on Race and Discrimination convenes scholars and thought leaders to provide the Vanderbilt community with foundational knowledge on race, civil rights, discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, and critical historical milestones.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News


First Amendment expert G.S. Hans on how social media companies moderate user content

Mar. 23, 2021—Assistant Clinical Professor of Law Gautam Hans, who directs the First Amendment Clinic, is featured as part of Vanderbilt University's "Ask an Expert" series.

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James Blumstein delivers the Ann F. Baum Memorial Elder Law Lecture at University of Illinois Law

Mar. 23, 2021—Blumstein's talk, "Ways of Thinking about Medical Care: Alternative Models and Structures and Their Policy Significance,"delivered March 10, addresses the interplay of economics and program design in government healthcare programs.

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Alumni Faculty News General News


Innovative thinking from legal academia highlighted at the 2021 ELI-Vanderbilt Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review Conference

Mar. 23, 2021—The conference, to be held April 9 via webcast, will include discussions of articles by environmental law scholars Madison Condon, Charles Lee and Joshua Macey and a co-authored article by Michael Burger, Jessica Wentz and Radley Horton.

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Faculty News General News


Brandon R. Byrd to deliver Dean’s Lecture on Race and Discrimination March 18

Mar. 4, 2021—Byrd is an assistant professor of history at Vanderbilt University. HIs research focuses on black intellectual and social history. He is the author of The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti, a book published in 2019 by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Alumni Equity, Diversity and Community General News


Jim Cuminale to endow Public Interest directorship in honor of Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey

Mar. 2, 2021—Cuminale’s gift provides permanent funding for the leader of Vanderbilt’s Public Interest office, which provides all students opportunities for pro bono legal service and mentors those seeking careers in public advocacy.

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Director of Diversity, Equity and Community to be endowed in honor of Robert Belton

Feb. 25, 2021—Belton was a pioneering scholar of labor and employment law and the law school’s first tenured African American professor. The position of Robert Belton Director of Diversity, Equity and Community will be endowed by an anonymous donor this year

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Ashton Andrews ’22 and Molly Gray ’22 win the 2020-21 Bass Berry & Sims Moot Court Competition

Feb. 23, 2021—Aaron Bernard ’22 and Emily Webb ’22 are Moot Court finalists, with Emily Detiveaux ’22 honored for Best Oralist and Peter Byrne ’22 and Caylyn Harvey ’22 for Best Brief.

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