Vanderbilt Law Magazine

Distinguished Alumnus Award: Frank M. Garrison

Dec. 17, 2014—Law school benefits from his commitment to justice and equality By Jan Read Talk with Frank Garrison ’79 (BA’76) for more than a few minutes, and he’ll probably use the word “fairness.” The concept of equal access, justice and treating all people kindly runs deep in him, and is the driving principle behind the gifts...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Rick Engle ’81: Descended from giants, determined to stay small

Dec. 17, 2014—After learning the toy trade at his family’s company, Hasbro, Rick Engle ’81 teamed up with his brother at Little Kids Inc. By Mark Obbie As a Vanderbilt undergrad and law student, Rick Engle ’81 (BA’77) had a luxury that any career-anxious student would envy: a job practically waiting for him in a successful family business.  “My...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Bailey Spaulding ’09: The “Aha” Moment

Dec. 17, 2014—Bailey Spaulding ’09 realized that what she really wanted to do was open a craft brewery. By Fiona Soltes The “aha” moment for Bailey Spaulding ’09 came during a conversation with other interns while she was working at the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York after her first year of law school. “We were...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Trailblazers

Dec. 17, 2014—The seven Vanderbilt Law alumni profiled here all launched rewarding careers outside of law practice. Whether they stepped up to build a family business, turned a passion into a career or ventured into something completely new, these alumni all credit their Vanderbilt Law School educations with enhancing their ability to blaze their own trails to...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Clay Travis ’04: Playing to His Strengths

Dec. 17, 2014—A “pudding strike” showed Clay Travis ’04 the power of the Internet and led him to a career in sports talk. By Jan Read Two years into his legal career, Clay Travis found himself arguing whether or not it was excusable neglect that February 29 happened to fall in the middle of a filing deadline....

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


John Phillips ’78: Translating the Lessons of Big Law to the (Horse) Farm

Dec. 17, 2014—John Phillips ’78 took the family’s “country gentleman” thoroughbred operation from its genteel origins into a global business By Mark Obbie Considering the main reason he fell out of love with the practice of law, John Phillips’ second career in business poses something of a contradiction, at first glance. After graduating from Vanderbilt Law in...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Two alumni-led firms named among best

Dec. 17, 2014—Two law firms headed by Vanderbilt Law alumni—Baker Donelson, run by CEO Ben C. Adams ’81, and Alston & Bird, led by Managing Partner Richard Hays ’86—were recognized among Fortune Magazine’s 2014 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Baker Donelson ranked 31st and Alston & Bird 40th, and both firms were among...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Franklin Trapp ’09: A Career in Stages

Dec. 17, 2014—Franklin Trapp ’09 (BA’97) returned to his theater roots by acquiring the historical Forestburgh Playhouse in the Sullivan County Catskills. By Fiona Soltes Five years after earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, Franklin Trapp realized that while he had loved learning about the law, he didn’t love corporate law practice. Yearning for a more stable...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Speaking of Alumni

Dec. 17, 2014—When I talk with Vanderbilt Law alumni, they reminisce about their collegial classmates, an open and engaged faculty, the warm welcome they received in Nashville, or a particularly close alumni mentor. I hear about a scholarship that helped them come here for law school or about financial support that came after a sudden change of...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Rana DiOrio ’91: Family Ties

Dec. 17, 2014—Rana DiOrio ’91 was inspired to found Little Pickle Press by her three children. By Fiona Soltes When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, Rana DiOrio ’91 found herself “trying to explain the enormity of that historical milestone” to her young children. But the mother of three couldn’t find the tools to do it....

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


J. Christopher Giancarlo ’84 now commissioner of CFTC

Dec. 17, 2014—J. Christopher Giancarlo was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in June. Chris was one of three new commissioners nominated to the five-member CFTC by President Barack Obama. Created in 1974, the CFTC’s mission is to protect market participants and the public from fraud, manipulation, abusive practices...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Leonard Lance ’77, Luke Messer ’94 re-elected to Congress

Dec. 17, 2014—Leonard Lance ’77 and Luke Messer ’94 were both re-elected to their seats in the House of Representatives on November 3. Both are Republicans. Len, who represents New Jersey’s 7th District, was re-elected for a fourth term. He has served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee since 2011 and served on the House Financial...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Three ’94 alums now on the bench

Dec. 17, 2014—Three members of the Class of 1994 — Tamara Ashford, Rupert Byrdsong and Sheila Jones Calloway (BA’91)—have been appointed or elected to judgeships. Tamara was confirmed by the Senate on November 21 to a 15-year term on the U.S. Tax Court in Washington, D.C. She has served as acting assistant attorney general of the Department...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Kent McKeever ’12: An orange jumpsuit for Lent

Dec. 17, 2014—Kent McKeever ’12 has been summoned for jury duty twice. The second time was on March 17, more than a week into Lent, so he had no choice but to wear his orange prison jumpsuit. As he entered the McLennan County courthouse in Waco, Texas, two sheriff’s officers stopped him. “The first one just kind...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


James Balser ’16 supports Syrian Accountability Project

Dec. 17, 2014—James Balser ’16 received a Helton Fellowship from the American Society of International Law. During the summer of 2014, Balser worked with the No Peace Without Justice International Criminal Justice Program’s Syrian Accountability Project in Gazientep, Turkey. The project’s aim is to “reduce the expectation and rewards of impunity and build a culture of accountability”...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Class of 2014 gifts break record

Dec. 17, 2014—A record-breaking 75 percent of the Class of 2014 made a gift to support the public service initiative and the annual fund. Jackalope Brewery owner Bailey Spaulding ’09 (left) at the Class Gift Kick-off event with 2014 Class Gift Committee members Mitchell James, Rachel Bevans, Veronica Gordon, Merrick Parrott, Ann Watford and Andrew Solinger. 2014...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Daryl Wickstrom ’86: Going Once, Going Twice (to Asia)

Dec. 17, 2014—A headhunter’s call allowed Daryl Wickstrom ’86 to merge his love of art into a career with Sotheby’s. By Mark Obbie As a young lawyer handling mergers and acquisitions for the global law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Daryl Wickstrom ’86 wasn’t particularly excited about the work. He remembers sitting across the table from corporate decision...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Founders Circle Dinner

Dec. 17, 2014—Members of the Founders Circle donor society gathered at Vanderbilt’s Student Life Center on April 11 for the annual dinner hosted by Dean Chris Guthrie to celebrate their generosity. Photos by Anne Rayner

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Cecil D. Branstetter ’49, 1921–2014

Dec. 17, 2014—Cecil D. Branstetter ’49, founding partner of the Nashville law firm Branstetter Stranch & Jennings, died May 7. He was 93. Branstetter was still a member of the firm he founded in 1952 after earning his law degree at Vanderbilt in 1949. He was widely considered one of the best litigators in the history of...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


George E. Barrett ’57, 1928-2014

Dec. 17, 2014—George Barrett ’57, the indefatigable Nashville civil rights lawyer who called himself “The Citizen,” died from acute pancreatitis at 86. Barrett had continued his law practice until two weeks before his death August 26. A founding partner of Barrett Johnson Martin and Garrison, Barrett worked full-time on behalf of voters, laborers, investors and other clients...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Professor Harold G. Maier, 1937-2014

Dec. 17, 2014—Harold G. (Hal) Maier, a renowned scholar of international law, died August 24 following a long illness. Professor Maier spent his entire academic career at Vanderbilt Law School. He was 77. Maier was an internationally recognized authority on the application of United States regulatory legislation to foreign business activity. Over the course of his distinguished...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


25 members of the Class of 2014 secure 35 clerkships

Dec. 17, 2014—Michael Bressman, who directs the VLS Clerkship Program, announced that 33 Vanderbilt law graduates, including 25 members of the Class of 2014, secured 35 clerkships during the 2013-14 clerkship hiring cycle. Clerkships secured by members of the Class of 2014 are listed below; unless indicated otherwise, clerks are serving during the 2014-15 term: Monier M....

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Fall 2014


2013-14 Firm Giving Honor Roll

Dec. 17, 2014—The following firms made the Firm Giving Honor Roll for fiscal year 2013-14 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014). Many thanks to the firm representatives, listed below with their firms, who encouraged their colleagues to give back, and to all the alumni donors. 100 percent giving across all locations Firms with 40+ alumni Alston & Bird Charles...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Reunion 2014

Dec. 17, 2014—A record-setting 441 people attended the law school’s 2014 Reunion. The weekend kicked off with the traditional all-class reception Friday night, followed by a well-attended brunch Saturday morning with comments from Dean Chris Guthrie and ending with class parties Saturday night. Our sincere thanks to the alumni volunteers whose leadership made Reunion such a success!...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Educating lawyers for the 21st century

Dec. 17, 2014—Dean Chris Guthrie talks candidly about the challenges and rewards of leading Vanderbilt Law School. By Grace Renshaw Since becoming Vanderbilt’s dean in July 2009, Chris Guthrie has navigated the law school through a historically challenging legal job market, an unprecedented decline in law school applications, and a rapid evolution in the way legal services are...

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Fall 2014 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


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