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Supreme Court Justice Stevens at UF Law on Tuesday
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will be visiting UF Law, Tuesday, Feb. 5. The conversation is expected to cover a number of issues, including proportionality in sentencing, the Justice’s proposal for an amendment of the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, and the Justice’s criminal law jurisprudence. The discussion will be facilitated by a panel of UF Law faculty members. It will be held in the Marcia Whitney Schott Courtyard from 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Tickets are required to attend the discussion, and is not open to the general public, but the event will be streamed live via webcast.
Everybody knows that federal law preempts state law, which in turn preempts local law - pretty simple right? Unfortunately, it's not always quite so clear. The area of preemption in law can raise some tricky questions in several areas, including firearms, immigration, renewable energy, agriculture and fracking.
State and national legal experts at the University of Florida Levin College of Law's 12th annual Richard E. Nelson Symposium in Law will attempt to pull apart some of these preemption puzzles brought about by cases in which federal, state or local laws may conflict.
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UF LAW HIGHLIGHTS
UF Law remembers McBride, Overton and SmithThe UF Law community was saddened by the recent passings of three prominent alumni, Bill McBride (JD 75), Ben F. Overton (JD 52) and William Reece Smith (JD 49). Click on their names to read more about their lives and impacts on the legal profession.
Law Review brings together 5 Fla. governors to debate state's futureFlorida's environment, education, economic development and growth management were the primary topics of conversation on Friday, Oct. 12, when five former Florida governors convened at the Phillips Center for the Florida Law Review's Allen L. Poucher Legal Education Series. The panel discussion, "Florida's Future: A Conversation with Florida Governors," featured Govs. Reubin Askew (JD 56), Charlie Crist, Bob Graham, Buddy MacKay (JD 61) and Bob Martinez. The discussion was moderated by UF Law alum Ben Diamond (JD 03).
UF and UF Law honor W. George AllenWhen W. George Allen became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Florida in 1962, it was not only a victory for him, but also for countless others who had fought for equality for decades at the university. On Friday, Oct. 12, the University of Florida and UF Levin College of Law celebrated the 50th anniversary of Allen's graduation from UF Law with a special program that looked back at the struggle leading to the acceptance of black students at the university and the groundwork laid for future generations by Virgil Hawkins, whose persistence in the courts led to UF Law's integration, and George Starke, the first black person admitted to UF Law.
Justice Thomas at Criser lecture: 'There are smart kids everywhere'United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made national news at UF Law in October when he dismissed U.S. News & World Report rankings and stated that a law degree from an Ivy League school shouldn't carry more weight than any other law degree. While those remarks garnered the most attention in the press, they were just a small portion of Thomas' overall message, which emphasized the importance of positivity and hard work.
Entire Florida Supreme Court sits en banc for Moot Court competition for second time in decade"You're getting a far better education than when I was here," said Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga (JD 79) on Jan. 24 to a packed room of UF Law students, faculty and staff. "Everything you saw today was real. This is exactly how we behave in the courtroom." Guests filled the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center courtroom to hear the Florida Moot Court Team argue as the Florida Supreme Court sat en banc to judge the competition for the second time at UF Law in the past decade at the 29th annual Raymer F. Maguire, Jr. Moot Court Competition.
Florida Supreme Court justices discuss importance of independent judiciaryMarbury v. Madison. Brown v. Board of Education. These are some of the most well-known and influential cases in history, but also some of the most unpopular or controversial during the time of the rulings. The rulings may not have been possible without an independent judicial branch - one free of political bias and societal whims. Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara J. Pariente, R. Fred Lewis, Peggy A. Quince, and Jorge Labarga spoke candidly at UF Law Oct. 18 about the importance of judicial independence and the challenge to maintain an unbiased court system.
IRS chief counsel: Tax law a great career choiceThe chief counsel for the Internal Revenue Service returned to UF Law Sept. 28 to present a lecture in which he encouraged students to embrace tax law. William J. Wilkins, who also is assistant general counsel in the Treasury Department, presented "How IRS Lawyers Contribute to Sound Tax Enforcement" as part of the Graduate Tax Program Enrichment Speaker Series to a full Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom.
1st District Court of Appeal hears arguments at UF LawWhen some think about the work of lawyers in a courtroom, they may conjure up images of attorneys giving impassioned speeches to a jury. But there is another side of courtroom lawyering in the form of appellate proceedings. The 1st District Court of Appeal made its annual visit to UF Law for oral arguments on Oct. 25. The visit is coordinated by the legal skills department in the hopes of better educating first-year students about their chosen field.
Tax symposium examines international tax policyThe University of Florida Levin College of Law's Graduate Tax Program welcomed distinguished members of the global tax community for the eighth annual International Tax Law Symposium on Friday, Oct. 19. There were around 100 attendees at the symposium, which is geared toward educating interested students, faculty and alumni on important topics revolving around current and future international tax policy.
Tax experts mull 'fiscal cliff' during October Gelberg lectureA panel discussion by Capitol Hill insiders about the expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts known in Washington, D.C., as the "fiscal cliff" attracted more than 150 guests Oct. 26 to an annual lecture at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. The third annual Ellen Bellet Gelberg Tax Policy Lecture drew a crowd of students, faculty and staff to the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom. Panelists were Mark Prater (LLMT 87), deputy staff director and chief tax counsel of the Republican staff, Senate Finance Committee; Thomas Barthold, chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation; and Lily Batchelder, chief tax counsel of the Senate Finance Committee.
Weyrauch lecturer discusses same-sex marriage campaignA "train wreck" is how Harvard Law Professor Janet Halley describes the legal regime prevailing for same-sex couples. Until same-sex marriage is recognized and protected on a federal level, gay couples will continue to face potential legal complications due to varying degrees of recognition of civil unions and gay marriage from state to state, Halley said at the seventh annual Weyrauch Distinguished Lecture in Family Law. In her Oct. 18 lecture, "Traveling Marriage: Why the Campaign for Same-Sex Marriage Cases Gets Marriage Wrong," Halley discussed how relationships can be damaged and numerous legal problems can arise from the "flickering" of gay marriages.
Judge Hodges honored at receptionWhen U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges (JD 58) was nominated to the federal bench in 1971, he assumed his robes in the middle district of Florida before the age of 40, and 41 years later he holds the same job, now as a federal judge on senior status in Ocala. A remarkably stable career one might conclude. But it was clear during a Nov. 2 reception at the Thomas Center in Gainesville sponsored by the North Central Chapter of the Federal Bar Association that Hodges did not stand still during his long tenure.
BLSA welcomes distinguished guests for Professionalism WeekTo culminate Professionalism Week, the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) welcomed the Honorable Stephan P. Mickle, senior United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Florida, who addressed students during the panel discussion entitled "Securing Employent: Minorities in the Legal Field." Mickle was joined on the panel by Susan Goffman, director of the University of Florida Foundation, and Cecil Howard, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity for the city of Gainesville.
UF Law student chosen for Gubernatorial Fellows ProgramSara Whitney Smith's (3L) part-time job is different from any other student at the UF Levin College of Law. As of Aug. 13, 2012, Smith was selected to be a member of the eighth class of the Gubernatorial Fellows Program under Gov. Rick Scott. The 12 fellows were selected through a rigorous four-part application process and for their outstanding leadership, written and oral communication skills, community activism and a desire to serve the people of Florida.
UF leads in July 2012 Florida Bar exam, MPRE resultsThe University of Florida Levin College of Law placed first among Florida law schools in the number of successful first-time test takers of both the July 2012 Florida Bar Examination and the August 2012 Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). On the general bar exam, UF Law's pass percentage was 91.2 percent (259 passing out of 284 takers) compared to an overall pass rate of 80.2 percent (2,433 passing out of 3,034 takers). This was the largest spread between the UF Law pass rate and the overall pass rate on a July bar exam since 2000.
Trial Team takes home first place in competitionUF Law Trial Team is the 2012 state champion. The University of Florida Levin College of Law Trial Team took home that distinction with its first place in the E. Earle Zehmer Mock Trial Competition Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 in Tampa. The University of Florida Levin College of Law Trial Team took home first place in the 2012 E. Earle Zehmer Mock Trial Competition Nov. 11 and 12 in Tampa. The competition, a premises liability suit, was sponsored by the Florida Justice Association and consisted of seven Florida law schools and 14 teams.
Moot Court fills Advocacy Center courtroom for Final Four competitionStudents, faculty and alumni filled the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center Aug. 31 to watch four of the Florida Moot Court team's top competitors argue about changing laws regarding cellphone privacy. Every seat was taken for the 27th annual Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe Moot Court Final Four competition which allows some of the UF Levin College of Law's elite oralists to put their skills and hard work to the test. Every summer, second-year law students have the opportunity to try out to become members of the Florida Moot Court Team. The top five then move on to the competition: two petitioners, two respondents and an alternate.
Alumnus becomes one of 11 UF Law grads to serve as president of a universityHenderson State University President Glendell Jones (LLMT 96) has joined a select group. As of July 1, he became one of 11 UF Law alumni to become president of a university or college. In doing so, Jones also became the first black president of any traditionally white institution in Arkansas. "Growing up a poor kid from an uneducated family was the biggest obstacle I've had to overcome," Jones said. "It's because of this that I believe there is no better place to make a difference in the lives of young people than higher education."
UF Law grad turns tragedy into triumph as a ParalympianOn the afternoon of June 14, 1993, life as Bradley Johnson (JD 97) knew it changed forever. Driving to his LSAT in Gainesville, Johnson realized that his tires needed to be replaced, but he shrugged it off. This was the most important exam he'd ever take, and the tires could wait until afterward. But on his way home to Tampa after the test, Johnson's car hydroplaned into a guardrail. His left leg was instantly severed and his right leg was damaged beyond repair. "I put the exam before my own safety," he said. "I thought I was invincible."
UF receives funds for Human Rights Program in ColombiaUniversity of Florida faculty, led by the Levin College of Law, the Center for Latin American Studies and the College of Education, will spend the next three years working with two universities in Colombia to enhance the human rights programs at their law schools. UF will receive nearly $757,200 from the U.S. Agency for International Development through Higher Education for Development to create the Colombian Caribbean Human Rights Center, which will build capacity in human rights among two Colombian Caribbean law schools through rigorous interdisciplinary research, education and community service with emphasis on serving vulnerable populations.
Helping Gator lawyers and students connect
Join your fellow (and future) UF Law alumni at the law school campus before the spring Orange & Blue Debut football game on Saturday, April 6, for this inaugural event. We hope to provide an atmosphere that helps connect current and future generations of Gator lawyers. Consider dropping by and enjoying some barbecue, but we hope you leave an impression with our students that will help further their professional development. RSVP here.
The Alumni Mentor Program allows alumni and students to meet in an information exchange capacity. Alumni may create a profile online and note how they may be able to assist current students and recent graduates, while also designating how many students may take advantage of that offer. For example, alumni could note that students may contact alumni to arrange a day to discuss a practice area or geographic legal market, shadow alumni for a day, or attend a bar function together. To get involved as a UF Alumni Mentor, complete the Alumni Mentor Form by clicking here.
Looking to hire a Gator? The Center for Career Development can post your position, collect all the applicants' materials, and conveniently deliver one package with applications from UF Law students interested in your posted position. Fill out and return the Job Listing Form to take advantage of these services.
UF Law Highlights
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