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News from Texas Tech University School of Law

Features

June 2017

Texas Tech Law Welcomes Our New Dean

Jack Nowlin will serve as the seventh dean of Texas Tech University School of Law. Dean Nowlin will assume his role on July 17, 2017.

On his first visit to the Law School after accepting the position, Dean Nowlin rang the “Job Bell” located in the Career Services Center. He joins hundreds of Tech Law students and graduates who have celebrated career success by ringing the Job Bell upon acceptance of a new job.

“We celebrate every new job enthusiastically as it represents the individual’s success and their personal reward for diligence and persistence in developing a legal career” states Paula Smith, Director of Career Services.

Dean Nowlin also joined us at our Alumni Reception held in conjunction with the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 22 at the Hilton Anatole Dallas.

To learn more about Dean Nowlin, please see the official press release.


    Features

    Students

    June 2017

    Another Texas Tech Law State Moot-Court Competition Win

    Texas Tech Law claimed the championship title at the 2017 Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) State Moot Court Competition in Dallas. Tech Law also won the state championship last year making this the second time in the school’s history teams have secured “back to back” victories (the other being 2008 and 2009).

    Erin Garza (’17), Brandon King (’17), and Jason Judd (’18) were named champions after facing Baylor Law School in the final round. Erin Garza was named the state’s second-best advocate, and Brandon King’s brief finished third.

    Another Texas Tech Law State Moot-Court Competition Win

    This win marks the fifth time Texas Tech Law has taken the championship at the TYLA State Moot Court Competition in the past 10 years—no other school has won more than two in that same period. This win also marks the law school’s 100th state/regional advocacy championship.

    The TYLA State Moot Court Competition is held over three days and requires teams to argue in seven preliminary rounds over the first two days. On the last day of competition, the final four teams face off in the semifinal round for a chance to compete in the final round, which is judged by the Texas Supreme Court or the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (depending on whether it is a civil or criminal problem). This year was judged by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

    Tech Law alumni Brandon Beck (’12), Drew Robertson (’15), and Larry Doss (’99), all helped the team prepare through practice rounds. Congratulations again to Erin, Brandon, and Jason!


      Alumni

      June 2017

      2017 Texas Tech Law Alumni Association Awards Presented at State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting Alumni Reception

      Texas Tech Law presented awards to 17 alums at the annual reception held in conjunction with the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Dallas. The awards recognized individuals for their contributions to Texas Tech Law, their communities, various bar associations, and for career achievements. Read more…


        Features

        June 2017

        Flag Day Ceremony

        On Wednesday, June 14, in honor of Flag Day, VetStar, a veterans aid group, presented donated U.S. flags to various local organizations for their support of veterans.

        Veterans performed a flag-folding ceremony, where each fold of the flag was explained by Colonel Davis Lewis, U.S. Air Force retired, from VetStar. The flag was then presented to Interim Dean and U.S. Army Colonel (retired) Rick Rosen. Flags were also presented to Breedlove Foods, Hospice of Lubbock, KRFE 580 AM, and Reagor-Dykes Auto Group.

        This was the first year VetStar has presented flags to community supporters.


          Features

          June 2017

          Pre Law Academy Group Photo

          Texas Tech Law hosted the fifth TTU Pre-Law Academy this month. The Pre-Law Academy is a four-week multidisciplinary program designed to prepare undergraduate students for the competitive law school admissions process and the demands of law school, while also helping students to create a vision for themselves as law students and lawyers. Students selected for the Academy are required to take three courses for a total of seven credit hours, and they also have the option to participate in an internship in the legal profession.

          Associate Dean Wendy-Adele Humphrey (’01), along with Co-Director Dr. Katie Langford, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, taught the Academy courses, which introduced critical concepts such as legal rhetoric, analysis, and advocacy.

          Pre Law Academy Class

          Throughout the Academy, both professors use creativity in the classroom to stimulate student learning. With that in mind, Dean Humphrey discusses the importance of CREAC—the “layers” of the discussion section in a legal memo—with her “Liquid Lasagna” skit.


            Alumni

            June 2017

            During the State Bar of Texas’ Annual Meeting in Dallas, Derek Mergele-Rust (’17) and Adam Greenup, a recent graduate of the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, received $5,000 scholarships for their demonstrated contributions to LGBT legal issues. These scholarships are administered by the Austin Bar Foundation and fundraised for by the Austin LGBT Bar Association.

            Derek founded the Lavender Law Student Bar Association, which has hosted many public lectures that drew large crowds. He helped create the Gender Marker and Name Change Pro Bono Project to assist indigent transgender people change their gender identities on official documents.

            Derek and the Lavender Law student organization are also actively working to establish an LGBTQIA Service Scholarship. The purpose of this scholarship will be to reward the accomplishments of a Texas Tech law student, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Scholarship funds will not be distributed until the balance of the account exceeds $25,000 or by the end of the 2021-2022 academic year.  For more information about this scholarship, please contact Lisa Green, Manager of the Texas Tech Law School Foundation, at lisa.green@ttu.edu or 806-834-4663.

            Congratulations to Derek Mergele-Rust and Adam Greenup for receiving the Austin Bar Foundation and the Austin LGBT Bar Association law student scholarship.


              Alumni

              June 2017

              Law school is a time for students to gain an extraordinary education along with invaluable professional experiences; however, these professional experiences often come at a cost.

              Fortunately, Texas Tech Law students have access to a Student Professional Development Fund (PDF) to offset the cost of traveling to gain an array of professional experience. Due to the generosity of numerous Texas Tech Law donors, $25,000 is available to students each year to present at professional or academic conferences, travel to clerkships, or gain experience at other unique professional-development opportunities.

              Students have used the PDF to attend events such as the Center for American and International Law Annual Energy Litigation Conference, the Texas Game Warden Training Academy, the Young Energy Professional General Counsel Forum, and judicial clerkship interviews.

              For more information about the Professional Development Fund, please contact Lisa Green, Manager of the Texas Tech Law School Foundation, at lisa.green@ttu.edu or 806-834-4663.


                Alumni

                June 2017

                Dan launches Woodall Batchelor PLLC with longtime friend Charles Batchelor. The firm will specialize in transaction work for clients in the real estate and construction industries, as well as in insurance-related litigation and construction and business disputes.


                  Alumni

                  June 2017

                  Matthew joins Professional Finance Company as an associate attorney for the PFC legal team.


                    Alumni

                    June 2017

                    Benjamin rejoins Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s Phoenix office as a shareholder in the firm’s Corporate & Securities Practice.


                      Faculty / Staff

                      June 2017

                      Read more for an update on Faculty Media & Scholarship. Read more…


                        Alumni

                        June 2017

                        Drummond

                        Dylan Drummond has joined the Dallas office of Gray Reed & McGraw as a Counsel in the Appellate Law section.

                        Dylan is a former Texas Supreme Court clerk, and an accomplished civil appellate and commercial litigator who represents clients in complex civil disputes in state, federal and administrative forums at trial and on appeal.

                        Dylan’s commercial litigation practice includes providing strategic counsel aimed at preserving error through pre- and post-trial motion practice, expert designation disputes, jury charge preparation, class certification and dispositive motion practice. His civil appellate practice before state and federal appellate courts consists of pursuing traditional, accelerated, agreed and permissive appeals; original proceedings and extraordinary writs; as well as petition, merits and amicus briefing before the Texas Supreme Court.

                        He attended Texas Tech University for his B.S., M.B.A., and J.D. degrees.


                          Features

                          May 2017

                          The final screening of the Spring “Lights, Camera, Law” film series was “The Rainmaker” on May 2. “The Rainmaker,” directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on the novel by John Grisham, follows a young lawyer who agrees to represent a child who is battling leukemia but whose insurance company will not pay for a needed bone marrow transplant. Professor Watts and Professor Cochran served as panelists discussing issues raised in the film about the tort system, insurance law, and the legal profession.

                          The Fall 2017 “Lights, Camera, Law” film series will feature: “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Denial”, “The Big Short”, and “Miracle on 34th Street.”


                            Features

                            May 2017

                            Finals Fiesta

                            Students enjoyed a fajita dinner at the annual Finals Fiesta on May 3 in the Law School Forum. Finals Fiesta allows students to celebrate completing the semester and gives them an opportunity to relax before finals begin.


                              Features

                              May 2017

                              Appellate CLE

                              Three Tech Law alum appellate attorneys presented at the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section CLE on May 22. The CLE focused on three topics pertinent to government attorneys in particular: Larry Doss (’99) addressed appellate error preservation and common pitfalls; Elizabeth Hill (’12) provided an update on recent decisions affecting sovereign and governmental immunity; and Brandon Beck (’12) discussed how to incorporate narrative storytelling into your legal writing.