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News from Texas Tech University School of Law

Tashika Curlee Features

Students

November 2018

This summer, third-year Texas Tech law student Tashika Curlee accomplished a feat that has eluded even seasoned criminal defense attorneys: she won a case at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. While interning at the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Lubbock, she and Assistant Federal Public Defender Brandon Beck (’12) appealed a restitution award imposed by a federal district court in Dallas. Although their client had pleaded guilty to defrauding the Grand Prairie Independent School District of nearly a million dollars, the court’s restitution award included not only what the client had embezzled but also repayment of the school district’s attorney fees and costs associated with a private internal audit. Trial counsel had objected to the latter amounts but were overruled. Read more…


    Innocence Clinic Group Photo with Jesse Students

    November 2018

    Texas Tech law students in the Innocence Clinic, which works in conjunction with the Innocence Project of Texas, review convictions in complex, high-grade felony cases in the hopes of exonerating an innocent person who was wrongly convicted. On November 26, the Innocence Clinic held a celebration for last year’s students who obtained the clinic’s first exoneration. Read more…


      Mark Lanier - Huffman Lecture Series Features

      November 2018

      The Texas Tech Law Review welcomed Mark Lanier (’84), Founding Partner of the Lanier Law Firm, as its 2018 Huffman Distinguished Lecturer. The lecture series was established in 2010 to honor Walter B. Huffman (’77), Dean Emeritus of Texas Tech University School of Law, past Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tech Law Review, and a retired Major General of the United States Army. Read more…


        Students

        November 2018

        Texas Tech Law teams advanced to the national phases of two prestigious advocacy tournaments.

        In Orange, California, 3L Darrian Matthews, 3L Spencer Young, 2L Conner Haugen, and 2L Sara Jaeckle finished as finalists at the ABA Arbitration Competition. Their win was a little bittersweet in that they had to face Tech Law’s other team of 3L Blake Scott, 3L Will Harrell, 2L Jessica Aycock, and 2L Elizabeth Balido in the semifinal. It was a close round, with Matthews, Young, Haugen, and Jaeckle edging out their classmates 2-1 (with the swing ballot being a 1-point differential). They now move on to nationals in Chicago in late January. The teams were coached by Professors Cassie Christopher, Shery Kime-Goodwin (’94), and Brie Sherwin (’01).

        Meanwhile, in Houston, 3Ls Michael Collier, Emily DeYoung, and Stephen Grant finished as regional runners up at the National Moot Court Competition. Collier was named the competition’s Best Advocate. The team now progresses to the national finals in New York, where they’ll face off against the country’s 26 other regional champions and finalists. Thank you to alumnus C.J. Baker (’16) and Houston attorney Denman Heard, as well as Professors Rishi Batra, Bryan Camp, Tracy Pearl, Rick Rosen, Brian Shannon, and John Watts for judging practice rounds.

        Congratulations to these amazing students, and good luck at Nationals!


          Faculty / Staff

          November 2018

          On November 6, 2018, three key members of the law school’s Office of Admissions during 2016-17 were honored by Texas Tech University. Associate Dean Wendy-Adele Humphrey (’01), Assistant Dean Danielle Saavedra (’14), and Senior Admissions Counselor Donna Williams received the campus-wide Distinguished Staff “Guns Up” Award for their extraordinary service and dedication to the University during the previous academic year. More specifically, the Guns Up Award recognizes a team of employees at Texas Tech who fostered cooperation with employees, internal and external, to increase productivity and efficiency in the organization. The team also must demonstrate exemplary effort, contribute to the morale of the department or college, accept responsibility, and demonstrate a positive attitude. Read more…


            Students

            November 2018

            Texas Tech law students embrace the role of the lawyer as a community servant. This is reflected in the many recognitions our students receive for their outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services.

            3L Tashika Curlee, 2L Dana Dinkens, 2L Angel Gutierrez, 2L Hailey Hanners, 3L Makenzie Keene, 3L Madison McMullan, 3L Katherine Peters, 2L Ashley N. Sanders, 3L Logan Sawyer, and 3L Kristen Stephens have been accepted into the State Bar of Texas Law Student Pro Bono College. These students reported at least 50 legal pro bono hours for period September 1, 2017 thru August 31, 2018.

            2L August Zimmerman was honored during the Volunteer Center of Lubbock’s 22nd Annual Cornucopia luncheon for his dedication to CASA on November 6, 2018.

            Recent graduate Ruby Boone was an “honorable mention” for the Access to Justice Law Student Pro Bono Award that recognizes someone whose pro bono work has made a significant impact on the community and reflects a passion for advocating on behalf of underserved populations.

            Congratulations! Texas Tech is proud of your continued commitment to public service.


              Ribbon Cutting Features

              November 2018

              Texas Tech Law School celebrated the opening of its Wellness Room with a ribbon cutting on November 28, 2018. The space, an initiative of the Student Wellness Advisory Committee (SWAC), the Office for Student Life, and the Law School Library, is designed for students to decompress, de-stress, and rejuvenate.

              Jack Wade Nowlin, dean of the School of Law; Sofia Chapman, associate dean for student life; and Gunnison Matula, president of the SWAC, spoke at the ribbon cutting.

              The room can be reserved for 30-minute blocks, up to one hour per person. It is the only room in the Law School where students are not permitted to study.


                Justice the HOTdog Features

                November 2018

                The Texas Tech Law Review and Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal hosted the Mental Health Law Symposium on November 16, 2018, in the Lanier Auditorium. The symposium, organized by Professor Brian Shannon along with Texas Tech Law Review and Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal editors, addressed practical legal and policy issues that can contribute to improvements in our public mental health system and help address the significant challenges faced by law enforcement and our criminal justice system with regard to alleged offenders with mental illness. Read more…


                  EPA Regional Administrator Featured Speaker for Energy Law Lecture Series Features

                  November 2018

                  Anne Idsal, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was the featured speaker for the Texas Tech School of Law Energy Law Lecture Series on Monday, November 19, 2018. Idsal discussed current priorities of the EPA. Read more…


                    Alumni

                    November 2018

                    Canning has joined the University of Houston as Assistant General Counsel.


                      Faculty / Staff

                      November 2018

                      The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) honored Allison Clayton, Deputy Director of the Innocence Project of Texas (IPTX), with the prestigious Arthur von Briesen Award for her extraordinary contributions in support of civil legal aid. The award was presented during the NLADA Annual Conference on Friday, Nov. 2, in Houston.

                      The Arthur von Briesen Award honors an attorney who has made substantial volunteer contributions in support of the delivery of civil legal aid and/or indigent defense representation. Started in 1961, the award celebrates the achievements of the first president of NLADA.


                        Alumni

                        November 2018

                        Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Carmen Symes Dusek judge to the 51st Judicial District Court in Coke, Irion, Schleicher, Sterling and Tom Green Counties for a term set to expire December 31, 2020, or until her successor shall be duly elected and qualified.


                          Alumni

                          November 2018

                          Johnson, a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, has submitted his resignation from the high court. His term ends in December 2020. When Johnson’s resignation becomes effective on Dec. 31, he will have served as a judge for 20 years, including 13 years on the Supreme Court and seven on the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo, where he first served as a justice and then as the chief justice.


                            Alumni

                            November 2018

                            Page has joined the law firm of Kean Miller as Senior Counsel. Page will practice with the upstream oil and gas team, assisting clients with a variety of energy-related transactional matters. His practice primarily focuses on title examination and due diligence efforts for energy-industry acquisitions and divestures.


                              Alumni

                              November 2018

                              Puckett has joined Winstead’s Construction Practice Group as an Associate in the Dallas office. Puckett’s practice is focused on transactional work in the commercial construction industry including drafting and negotiating construction contracts and professional services agreements.