News Briefs Winter 2008

Community Service Starts at Home

University of Florida law students, faculty and staff removed trash, debris and exotic invasive plants from a 3.3-acre wooded area across from the Levin College of Law as part of UF Law’s annual Community Service Day at the start of the school year, which involved more than 400 volunteers at 13 locations throughout the Gainesville area.

The law school woods area is being restored thanks to a $16,300 grant to UF Law’s Environmental & Land Use Law Society from UF Student Government and UF Physical Plant.

“We had a great group of volunteers and accomplished a lot in a few short hours,” said UF Law student Ashley Henry, project manager for the restoration project. “By merely pulling down some of the air potato vines, we saw how the woods began to open up. Residents living in the adjacent Golfview neighborhood were excited to see our group working and stopped by to learn more about our project.”

With everyone performing three hours of service, the time given totaled more than 1,200 hours. The day allowed first-year students to get a good start toward earning a Community Service Certificate, which is awarded to students who perform at least 35 hours of community service during their time in law school.

Faculty Scholarship Ranked Highly

Levin College of Law faculty scholarly impact has been recognized as one of the best in the country in the latest rankings from University of Texas Law Professor Brian Leiter. UF Law was ranked among the “Top 35 Law Faculties Based on Scholarly Impact for 2007.”

Rankings were based on standard “objective” measures of scholarly impact, per capita citations to faculty scholarship using Westlaw’s JRL database. The 10 most-cited faculty members were Professors Jeffrey Harrison, Berta Hernandez-Truyol, Jerry Israel, Robert Jerry, Lars Noah, William Page, Juan Perea, Leonard Riskin, Christopher Slobogin and Barbara Woodhouse.

“I think it’s clear the output of our faculty has been increasing in recent years, and that’s a real credit to them,” Dean Jerry said. “It’s good to see that the impact of the work is being recognized through citations. There are limitations to any ranking, including this one, but it’s very good to be listed in something of this sort.”

Trial Team Brings Home National Title

The UF Trial Team brought home a national title at the St. John’s University National Civil Rights Trial Competition in Jamaica, NY, in October. After an intense three-day competition, team members Jessica Anderson (3L) Frank Gaulden (3L) Alicia Philip (3L) and Justin Stevens (3L) defeated 15 teams from across the country, including Pace, Arizona State and Emory.

The team was coached by Stacy Scott (JD 95) and the Hon. David Gersten (JD 75), chief judge of Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami. After weeks of practicing the team is very proud of the victory. “We had only four weeks, but everyone worked extremely hard day in and day out and in the end it all paid off. I’m so proud of the effort my teammates put in, and we couldn’t have done it without our coaches,” Philip said.

Race and Race Relations First Oral Competition Planned

The University of Florida Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations (CSRRR) announced it will hold its first oral competition in February. The Race, Law and Justice Oral Competition provides law students an opportunity to research, discuss and debate important issues of race and justice.

The subject for this year’s competition is race-based hate speech. The hypothetical case that students will research and debate is based upon an actual incident involving racial conflict between white and black high school students in a South Carolina town. White students wore T-shirts emblazoned with the Confederate flag and “100 percent cotton and you picked it.” Black students responded by having T shirts printed with the Confederate flag in red, black, and green—the colors of African liberation.

Awards from $2,500 to $1,000 will be given to the top three teams. A panel of judges, including UF professors and Gainesville community representatives, will hear the teams compete. The event is open to the public.

Get Your UF Law News Online

After several years as an award-winning print publication, the Levin College of Law’s weekly newsletter during the academic year, gone electronic. It includes timely news of events at the college, alumni profiles and faculty news.

In addition, you can receive the college’s electronic newsletter written especially for alumni. If you are interested in receiving either publication electronically, please send your request, name and e-mail address to