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E PLURIBUS UNUM AS I WRITE THIS MESSAGE, I AM SAYING FAREWELL to colleagues, packing boxes, writing letters and handing off projects to new leadership at Oklahoma City University School of Law. My journey as dean has been both exhilarating and humbling. And as it comes to an end, I am tempted to borrow a classic understatement from one of my favorite federal judges, Lee West: “It’s been a long road — and not all of it has been paved.” But, of course, the uneven path is true of every deanship. I emphasize that, with a great team by my side, moving through the bumpy, unpaved stretches along the journey — like running up and down hills — has made us strong. Our strident work has built the School’s stamina and momentum, and we have created a steady, joyful rhythm that will serve the School well in both tranquil and tumultuous times. My personal transition unfolds alongside changes at the School itself, as a new chapter of the School’s history begins. The School is now well-settled in a new home in the middle of the action — in medias res — just as we imagined and intended. We work and study every day in a building of great beauty and historic importance, and our building sits on five acres of land poised at the prominent intersection of law, business and government in Oklahoma’s capital city. We are in strong partnership with the City. We are The City’s Law School. And we are implementing our vision to contribute to the City’s growth and support its ambitions. Most importantly, we have placed our law students in a reciprocal and dynamic relationship with the community around them, and that creates a solid foundation for their professional lives of service ahead. As impressive as the School’s physical presence may be, it’s the people who make the School great. The faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of Oklahoma City University School of Law — as shown in their histories, stories, dreams, passions and connections — are the driving genius of the School. And as the pages of this magazine demonstrate, the diversity of our people is a striking feature of the School’s character. The School thrives on diversity of all kinds. We are a place that respects diversity of background, experience, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability,

political perspective and opinions — not hypothetically. For real. Every day. A work in progress. Diversity by itself, however, cannot carry the weight of the future of any institution. The other essential ingredient is unity of purpose. In addition to working hard to maintain a diverse and inclusive community, every member of a successful community must constantly imagine, create and maintain a unity of purpose in evolving circumstances. Today, the accelerated pace of technology development, globalization and environmental change makes those challenges exponentially greater. We must manage multiple conflicting interests, communicate effectively across many media, and learn constantly — all with unity of purpose. At OCU Law, our unity of purpose springs from the urgent need for superbly-trained ethical lawyers. We need people who can capably use and safeguard the Rule of Law at all levels of our democracy. From the city council to the White House, from the start-up sole proprietorship to leaders of corporate boards, from the lawyer-legislator to the social entrepreneur, from the defender of children to the prosecutor of crimes — the people of OCU School of Law are serving wherever they are needed. The rigorous preparation of lawyers capable of tackling this world’s complex problems is a unifying purpose that carries the School forward. In my new role as Dean Emeritus, I will watch with intense interest and pride as the next chapter of this School’s history unfolds. And duly inspired, I will strive to create my own next chapter using the love, faith, energy and purpose I experienced here.

With respect and gratitude for the people of OCU Law and in a spirit of celebration for our future,

Valerie K. Couch


Valerie K. Couch


Lindsay Graham Director of Communications & Events Stephen G. Butler Assistant Dean for Advancement & External Relations Ally Rodriguez Director of Alumni Relations Allison Rabon Special Events Coordinator



7 Legal Briefs


Lindsay Graham Director of Communications & Events Ally Rodriguez Director of Alumni Relations Lee F. Peoples Director, Chickasaw Nation Law Library Pete Serrata Assistant Dean for Law Career Services Jennifer Prilliman Associate Director & Law Library Professor, Chickasaw Nation Law Library

Tara Lynn Thompson Tara Lynn Thompson Creative


12 Legal Action

Leslie Bleichner Director of Student Life Stephen G. Butler Assistant Dean for Advancement & External Relations José Cruz Law Student Elke Meeus Law Student


Amy Fuller Flint Inc. Hayley Nichols

Doris Fullgrabe


Simon Hurst Photography Ann Sherman Photography Lisa Lee Photography


20 In Memoriam ––––––––––

64 Class Action ––––––––––


Admissions 405.208.5354 | lawquestions@okcu.edu

Advancement 405.208.7101 | lawadvancement@okcu.edu

Law Career Services 405.208.5332 | hireoculaw@okcu.edu

Chickasaw Nation Law Library 405.208.5271

Marketing and Communications 405.208.7101 | lawnews@okcu.edu

Oklahoma City University School of Law 800 North Harvey Avenue Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.208.5337 law.okcu.edu Editorial contributions and submissions, including Letters to the Editor, are welcome. All submissions are subject to editing and are used at the Editor in Chief’s discretion. LAW Magazine is a copyrighted publication of Oklahoma City University School of Law.

82 Alumni Profiles ––––––––––

90 Amicus Universitas


BEFORE THE BLUEPRINTS Law Libraries Conference in OKC

4 24

“WE HAVE ARRIVED” After 20 Years in Prison, Two Innocent Men Are Now Free

DIVERSITY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE OCU Law Students and Alumni Bring Their Talents, Experiences and Individualism into the Law Profession


YEAR IN REVIEW Distinguished Speaker Series





Innocence Project exonerees enjoy first year of freedom after 22 years in prison


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“We Have

Arrived ” BY TA R A LY N N T H O M P S O N


F YOU HAD BEEN BEHIND BARS for more than two decades, what would you do during your first year of freedom?

This is a question Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter have been answering. It’s been a year since the Oklahoma Innocence Project freed Scott and Carpenter from their unjust incarceration. Now, they are at long last beginning the dreams they had only imagined year after year. “It’s been amazing,” says Scott. “All those adjectives that you can come up with that are positive, that’s how it’s been for the past year.” It’s been a year of firsts for both men. Their first flight. Their first time to the west coast. Their first time to see the ocean. Their first holiday to be home in twenty years. Their first OKC Thunder game, which they attended on Christmas and met all the players afterward. It’s been one new experience after another, even when that experience is simply being free to walk where they want, sleep when they want, go where they want and dream as big as their wants can dream. “It’s such a major change, like stepping from one world to another,” says Scott. “One minute you’re living this crazy life situation where you’re stuck in a closed environment and surrounded by sharks. The next thing you know, you’ve been rescued and you’re free and back on land. It’s wonderful.”

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With his newfound freedom,

he wanted to seek out the right

Westbrook to a one-on-one game

Scott is finally pursuing his

fit for a job because, for the first

for charity and, hopefully in

dream of becoming an athletic

time in over twenty years, he

January, plans to release his auto-

trainer and nutritionist. Now

had the freedom to do just that.

biography called “Buried Alive.”

“I like everything to do with free-

For Scott and Carpenter, the

dom,” says Carpenter, who says

freedom to live life, no matter

enrolled at Connors State College, he is also interning at

“When I was in prison, I needed help and other people helped me. Now these people need help and I’m in a position to help them.”

personal training certification. “I probably enjoy training people more than they enjoy the work I have them doing,” laughs Scott, who is already working with clients and getting them results. “They may have a perception

ries come in the future, is what makes life so sweet. “When we were in the plane taking off, I looked down at the world,” says


Inspire Fitness while getting his

what challenges or victo-

his current position is a “cool job” and one he plans to be working at for the foreseeable future.

Scott, retelling the trip he and Carpenter took to the Innocence Network Convention in San Diego. “For so long, we dreamed

That doesn’t, however, mean he

of coming out of that place. I often

isn’t busy with many side projects.

wished I could just fly out of that

He’s not only busy as a newlywed

situation. Now I really was flying.

and a new stepfather, he has also

I turned to De’Marchoe and told

created a video challenging Russell

him, ‘We have arrived.’”

of a guy who has been in that place for so long that he’ll be mean and tough. But, by the time they get through the workout sessions, get ability, get stamina, feel strength in their core, they come away feeling the workout may have been tough but the guy was really cool.” Above all else, Scott wants to positively impact the lives of others. That’s a passion Carpenter shares, too. As a Mental Health Tech (MHT) at Brookhaven Hospital, he works with brain injured patients to provide them assistance. “When I was in prison, I needed help and other people helped me,” says Carpenter. “Now these people need help, and I’m in a position to help them.” Over the last year, he’s tried eight different jobs, like working in heating and air, building tools and operating a forklift. He said De’Marchoe Carpenter (left) and Malcolm Scott (right)


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Building Bridges with Azerbaijani Human Rights Attorneys BY ELKE MEEUS ’19

A delegation of young

Master’s Degree programs, its

was dedicated to identifying and

Azerbaijani human rights

many clinics and centers and

remedying cases of wrongful

attorneys visited Oklahoma

fielded questions regarding the

convictions in Oklahoma. She

City University School of

student body and curriculum.

also talked of recent victories,

Law on November 17th, 2016.

The visiting delegation took a

such as the release of Malcolm

The visit was sponsored by

great interest in the incredible

Scott and De’Marchoe Car-

The Open World Leadership Center, and hosted by Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. They came to learn more about American democratic institutions and to building lasting professional relationships with Americans dedicated to showcasing American values and democracy in general. Dean Valerie K. Couch, of the Oklahoma City University

———— Azerbaijani human rights attorneys face danger every time they criticize the government in the name of justice. ————

incarcerated for 22 years. Finally, Dean Couch invited the delegation to join her, together with various students and faculty members, for a luncheon in her suite. Not only did the delegation members obtain a better understanding as to how lawyers, in general, perform their duties in the United States, but they were also able to communicate and share with their American counterparts the dangers (including incarcera-

School of Law, and Asso-


penter who had been wrongly

tion) Azerbaijani human rights

ciate Dean for Admissions

work accomplished by the

Laurie W. Jones welcomed the

Oklahoma Innocence Project

attorneys face every time they

delegation to its beautifully

(OKIP), led by Executive Direc-

criticize the government in

restored law school building

tor Vicki Zemp Behenna, also a

the name of justice. Although

and former Central High

partner at the Oklahoma City

the visit to OCU School of Law

School. They discussed OCU

law firm of Crowe & Dunlevy.

was brief, lasting professional

Law’s various J.D. and

Behenna explained how OKIP

relationships were formed.

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Symposium Addresses Inheritance Law in Context of Gender, Race & Class

Lessons from an Undocumented Attorney BY JOSÉ CRUZ ’19

Last September, Professor Carla Spivack organized her second symposium in a series examining the ways in which inheritance law – both of wills and intestacy – replicate social and wealth patterns, and how the law intersects with gender, race and class. The symposium, entitled Wills, Trusts & Estates Meets Gender, Race & Class: Part II, addressed ways in which women, children, ethnic and racial minorities and indigenous peoples are affected

This April, I was fortunate

a student at their school. They

– and often disadvantaged – by

enough to hear Cesar

offered to raise private funds and

existing laws and how these laws

Vargas, New York’s first openly

cover his whole tuition. Commut-

can be changed to reshape patterns

undocumented attorney, speak

ing nearly four hours each day

of disadvantage. An examination of

to a group of Hispanic law and

from Staten Island to Flushing,

the ethical duties of practitioners in

undergraduate students at Okla-

Queens, Cesar graduated and

regard to serving the underserved

homa City University School of

passed the bar in 2011.

demographic groups, and of

Law. Vargas shared his story of

increasing their awareness of

coming to the United States from

changing forms of the family and

Mexico when he was five years

their implications for inheritance

old. His father passed away, and

law, closed out the symposium.

his mother was in search of a

Legal experts from law schools

better and brighter future.

around the country presented their

Vargas wanted to make his

state legislators, the New York

work, including William LaPiana

mother proud and earned a

Appellate Division ruled five

of New York Law School, Bridgette

degree in philosophy. His love

years later in 2016 that, despite

Crawford of Elisabeth Haub School

for helping others led him to law

his undocumented status, he

of Law at Pace University, Deborah

school, but Vargas was rejected

should be admitted to practice

Gordon of Thomas R. Kline School

due to his lack of legal status

law in New York State. Cesar’s

of Law at Drexel University, as

and his inability to privately

story serves as an inspiration to

well as Thomas Gallanis of Iowa

fund his education. Student

Hispanic students, as well as all

Law who presented the keynote

loans were not an option, but

students who face challenges

address entitled The Landscape and

the administration at CUNY Law

in their pursuit of increased

Boundaries of Donative Freedom.

was determined to make him

education and opportunities.

Unfortunately, the character and fitness committee was unsure if they could admit him to practice law due to his legal status. With support from the school’s administrators, city officials and

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Trial Team Excels in Regional Competition OCU Law’s Thurgood Marshall

Law Students Association, and

Each of OCU Law’s five mock trial

Mock Trial Team competed at

I look forward to the national

teams practice throughout the

the National Black Law Students

competition in March.” The

year to compete at state, regional

Association (NBLSA) Southwest

team consisted of three 3L

and national level competitions.

Regional Competition held in

students – Andrea Golden, Emily

New Orleans in January 2017.

Despite OCU Law having only

Green, and Diamond Johnson – as

The team moved through three

entered the NBLSA competition

well as one 1L student, Sydney

preliminary rounds and a

once before, through hours of

Nelson. Coaching the team were

semi-final round to place third

preparation – including both

Danné L. Johnson, Constance

individual study and group

Baker Motley Professor of Law,

practice — as well as through

in the southwest region. Third-year law student and team

and Laurie Jones, Associate Dean

member Emily Green stated, “The

for Admissions at Oklahoma

beauty in it all was recognizing

City University School of Law.

my potential. To go

the team’s successful showing at regionals gave them an opportunity to

toe-to-toe with some

represent OCU Law

of the best student

on a national stage

advocates was an

Spring 2017. With

experience that I am

the experience, the

incredibly proud of

students better their

and one I will never forget. It is an honor

own expectations and

to help forge paths

are now prepared and

for Oklahoma City

excited to take on the

University School

cases they will face

of Law’s Black

after law school.

The 2017 Conger Symposium

a mentor and friend to students

Floor Leader in the House of

and faculty members alike. Just

Representatives, Representative

as Bill integrated real-world

Collin Walke ’08 (District 87 – D),

examples into his teaching,

and Representative Cory Williams

the symposium focuses on

’06 (District 34 – D). Professor

cutting-edge issues and emerging trends in the legal profession.


dedication and perseverance,

Lee Peoples served as moderator. The symposium explored

This Spring marked the 5th

The theme of the 2017 Conger

installment of the Conger Sym-

Symposium was “Lawyers in the

posium. The Conger Symposium

Legislature.” The School of Law is

was launched in 2013 to honor

well represented within the legis-

Professor and University General

lature with many alumni holding

Counsel J. William “Bill” Conger,

office and leadership positions,

who taught Civil Procedure, Trial

and a number of them participat-

of the judiciary, and the costs

Practice, and Introduction to Legal

ed as panelists at the symposium.

of defending laws found

Practice. He brought a wealth of

They included Representative

unconstitutional. Panelists also

practical insights and knowledge

Jon Echols ’05 (District 90 – R)

discussed how they balance their

to the classroom and served as

who currently serves as Majority

legislative and legal careers.

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legislation directly impacting the legal profession and broader trends from recent legislative sessions including threats to the rule of law, the independence

Protecting Houses of Worship In light of recent attacks on

from potential hate crimes and

and What to Expect from Law

religious institutions, the need

active shooter situations. The

Enforcement First Responders;

to provide training and information to church leaders and their congregations on how to be prepared is perhaps greater than ever. “In a society that values religious freedom, protecting houses of worship from violent extremism is paramount and the duty of all federal, state and local law enforcement,” said Mark Yancey, Acting

The Oklahoma Self

———— “In a society that values religious freedom, protecting houses of worship from violent extremism is paramount and the duty of all federal, state, and local law enforcement.”

United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. “Without such protections, the sanctity of these

City University School of Law

Overview of the Concealed Carry Law; and Protecting Houses of Worship: Developing a Security Plan. The workshop concluded with a panel discussion made up of members of local law enforcement and church leaders, including Sheriff John Whetsel, Chief Bill Citty, Special



institutions is lost.” For this reason, Oklahoma

Defense Act: An

event, held in June 2016, sold out in a matter of days and

Agent in Charge Scott Cruse, Rabbi Vered Harris, Senior Imam Imad Encahssi, Pastor Jesse Jackson and moderated by Mark Yancey.

welcomed over 400 members

This program was part of the

of law enforcement, church

ongoing efforts of the Alfred P.

leaders and security personnel.

Murrah Center for Homeland

a workshop aimed at providing

The program consisted of various

Security Law & Policy at OCU

faith-based leadership with

informational sessions, including

Law, which examines the unique

information about religious hate

Threats to the Faith-Based

legal issues central to protecting

crimes, how the police and FBI

Community: Hate Crime Statis-

and securing our nation, with

conduct threat assessments, and

tics, Prosecutions, and Trends;

a focus on the prevention of

how to fortify houses of worship

Active Shooters: How to Respond

domestic terrorism.

partnered with several local law enforcement agencies and faith-based organizations to host














blitz B.A. Harvard University Ph.D. University of Chicago J.D. University of Chicago


Searching Minds by Scanning Brains: Neuroscience Technology and Constitutional Privacy Protection, Palgrave Macmillan (2017)

Free Speech, Occupational Speech, and Psychotherapy, 44 Hofstra L. Rev. 681 (2016), reprinted in Rodney Smolla ed., 2015-16 First Amendment Law Handbook at 929-1015 (Thomson-West 2017) Local Law Enforcement Video Surveillance: Rules, Technology, and Legal Implications in ed. Stephen E. Henderson and David Gray, Cambridge Handbook of Surveillance Law, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2017)


“Neuro Exceptionalism” and Fourth Amendment Exceptions: Law Enforcement Freedom to Gather Brain-Based Evidence in Warrantless Searches, Governance of Emerging Technologies, Arizona State University School of Law (May 2017)

couch —


Drones and the First and Fourth Amendments, Turner Inn of Court, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (April 2017)

“A Grand Expression of the City’s Ambition,” The Oklahoman, Darla Slipke (April 30, 2017) — “We are in partnership with the city, and we’re providing a very important piece of a great city, and that is higher education in the urban core. We feel so priveledged and fortunate to be able to play that role.”

Free Speech and Emerging Technologies, Faculty Research Symposium, Oklahoma City University School of Law (March 2017)

The Fourth Amendment, Police Body Cams, Stingrays and Other Surveillance Technology, Ruth Bader Ginsburg American Inn of Court, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (November 2016)

We do not want this to happen in Oklahoma. Even one person wrongfully convicted is enough to look at the system and correct it.

Making Sense of Intermediate Scrutiny, Constitutional Law Colloquium, Loyola University Chicago School of Law (November 2016) Panelist, Constitutional Implications of Drones, 2016 Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, University of Oklahoma (August 2016)

Did you know

is Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court?


B.A. University of California at Los Angeles M.A. University of Oklahoma J.D. University of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, cochaired by Governor Brad Henry, Andy Lester and Judge Reta Struhbar (2016-2017) — Commission studied all aspects of the death penalty and published a report making recommendations for reform in the criminal justice system as it relates to the death penalty (March 2017)

Intermediate Scrutiny, the Spence Test, And Other Tools for Navigating Lockean Borderlands, Free Expression Scholars Workshop, Yale University School of Law (April 2017)

Douglas Combs

VA L E R I E K . C O U C H

JD ’78

— Dean Valerie K. Couch from “It Must be Done Right,” Bipartisan commission calls for extended moratorium on executions, sweeping reforms, KFOR, Abby Broyles (April 25, 2017)

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Named Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Oklahoma City University School of Law (July 2017)


A.B. Princeton University J.D. Harvard University LL.M. New York University


harrell B.S. Oklahoma City University J.D. Oklahoma City University M.B.A. Oklahoma City University LL.M. Southern Methodist University



Update of Selected Cases on Commercial Paper, Payments, Bank Deposits and Collections, Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal Vol. 47 #1 (February 2017)

Presenter, OBA Banking & Commercial Law Update (November 10, 2016)

Bitcoin Versus Regulated Payment Systems: What Gives? co-authored with Lawrence J. Trautman, Cardozo Law Review Vol. 38 #3 (February 2017) Teaching Consumer Law in Our Popular Culture and Social Media, Journal of Consumer & Commercial Law, Vol. 20 #2 (Winter 2016) Casenote: Arenas v. United States Trustee – Bankruptcy Plans Go Up in Smoke; UCC Article 9 Developments, co-authored with Fred H. Miller; Commentary: The Surprising Decline (and Fall?) of Consumer Mortgage Law and Litigation; and “Ten More Trends and Developments in Consumer Financial Services Law” – CCFL Quarterly Report Vol. 69 Nos. 2-4 (November 2016) The Law of Modern Payment Systems, co-authored with Frederick H. Miller; West Academic Publishing (forthcoming 2017)

Moderator, Cybersecurity and Anti Money Laundering in the Financial and Gaming Industries, The National Summit on Homeland Security Law: Cybersecurity and its Impact on The Banking, Gaming and Energy Industries, Oklahoma City University School of Law (April 19, 2017)

Vernon’s Okla. Forms Vols. 4B & 4C (2016 Suppl.) – co-authored with Eric Johnson (forthcoming 2017)




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hellman B.S. Washington & Lee University M.B.A. Northwestern University J.D. Northwestern University

A Proposal for Pro-active Management-Based Regulation of Prosecutor Offices, International Legal Ethics Conference VII, New York, NY (July 14, 2016)


The Fourteenth Amendment: The Most Radical Guarantee in Human History? Law Day Luncheon Address, Comanche County Bar Association, Lawton, Oklahoma (April 27, 2017)

New Administration Testing Assumptions About Role of Ethics, The Journal Record, Brian Brus (March 6, 2017) — “You have certain things you must do and certain things you cannot do, and in between those lines is where you’ll find ethics questions of individual choice.”

BARRY L. JOHNSON PROFESSOR of LAW B.A. Northwestern University J.D. University of Michigan


johnson Why Negligence Per Se Should Be Abandoned, New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy Vol. 20 (2017)


johnson B.A. University of Pennsylvania J.D. George Washington University

Teaching Comparative Corporate Governance, Seoul, South Korea (Summer 2017)

Coached OCU’s National Black Law Student Association’s Southwest Regional Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Team. Team placed third in the region and moved on to the national competition (2016 to 2017) Certified Diversity Professional, DTUI (2016) Member, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court Vice chair of the Board of Directors, YWCA Finance and Legal Affairs Committee, Oklahoma City University School of Law Started 3rd RaceTalk group for 1L students

Did you know


Session Leader, Oklahoma Conference on Nonprofit Law and Finance, Oklahoma Center for Non-Profits (March 2017) — Discussed Diversity and Inclusion as a nonprofit organizational imperative

Speaker, Faculty Colloquium, Oklahoma City University School of Law (February 2017) — Discussed research and writing, “The Blueprint; Law Schools, the institution, the faculty, implicit bias, and discrimination.” Panelist, Securing Your Place at the Table, Oklahoma City Women in Leadership Symposium (November 2016) — Discussed the Courage to Lead: “Inner Dimensions of Leadership.”


laity PROFESSOR of LAW B.A. Harvard University J.D. Harvard University


Guest Lecturer, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China (October 2016)

Speaker, Oklahoma State Meeting, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (September 2016) — Remarks addressed communication, sisterhood, protocol and legal matters

Guest Lecturer, Hunan University, Changsha, China (October 2016) Guest Lecturer, Northwest Minzu University, Lanzhou, China (October 2016)

Session Leader, 4th Annual Summer Policy Institute, Oklahoma Policy Institute (August 2016) — Discussion addressed gender in Oklahoma

brian huseman

Visiting Professor of Law on Tax Law, Nankai University School of Law, Tianjin, China (November 2016)

JD ’97

is vp Public Policy for Amazon? of

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lefrancois PROFESSOR of LAW

B.A. Beloit College J.D. University of Chicago


Oklahoma to Send Crime Victims’ ‘Bill of Rights’ to Ballot, Associated Press, Sean Murphy (April 4, 2017) — “The first thing one would have to do is establish the clear meaning of these provisions, and then people would have to be trained in terms of how to abide by these new requirements.” Exclusive News on 6 Poll: State Question 777 ‘Right to Farm’, News on 6 (October 2016) — “The legislature, also cities, counties and towns, would not be able to act to regulate agricultural ranching, technology or processes, in the absence of some compelling state interest, and compelling state interests, in law, are really difficult to find.”


777, Is it Really a Right to Farm? Panelist, Oklahoma City University School of Law (September 2016)


macdougall DIRECTOR, HEALTH LAW PROGRAM B.A. University of Oklahoma J.D. Oklahoma City University


2017 Pocket Part, Oklahoma Product Liability Law, Volume 8, Oklahoma Practice Series (Thomson West 2017)


Editor-in-Chief, Negligence Purpose, Elements, and Evidence: The Role of Foreseeability in the Law of Each State (forthcoming 2017)


o’shea B.A. Harvard University M.A. University of Pittsburgh J.D. Harvard University

Introduction: The Restatement (Third) and Foreseeability – “What Does It All Mean?”, Negligence Purpose, Elements, and Evidence: The Role of Foreseeability in the Law of Each State (forthcoming 2017)


Author of the chapters on District of Columbia, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Negligence Purpose, Elements, and Evidence: The Role of Foreseeability in the Law of Each State (forthcoming 2017)

Did you know


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nona lee

The Emergent Case Against the Missouri Plan, Student Chapter of the Federalist Society, St. Louis University (April 2017)

JD ’95

Panelist, The Second Amendment: Enforcing the Heller Decision, 2016 National Lawyers Convention, Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, Washington, D.C. (November 18, 2016) Panelist, Oklahoma’s State Questions, The Federalist Society, The University of Tulsa College of Law (October 2016)

is Senior VP and General Counsel for the Arizona Diamondbacks?


peoples B.A. University of Oklahoma J.D. University of Oklahoma M.L.L.S. University of Oklahoma

Named Interim Dean, Oklahoma City University School of Law (July 2017)


“A grand expression of the city’s ambition,” The Oklahoman, Darla Slipke (April 30, 2017), quote on right



Oklahoma City University School of Law – Growing Forward, co-authored with Bob Burke (forthcoming)

Is the Internet Rotting Oklahoma Law? MALLCO Published Paper Workshop, Mid-America Association of Law Libraries Meeting, Oklahoma City, OK (October 2016)

Is the Internet Rotting Oklahoma Law? 52 Tulsa Law Review 1 (2016)


We are proud of the role the building played in the aftermath of the bombing. I think it is symbolic for the role that law plays in society. In times of chaos and disaster, the law is a calming force.

prilliman B.A. University of Central Oklahoma J.D. University of Oklahoma M.L.L.S. University of Oklahoma

Faculty Liaison, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court (2017)

Oklahoma Bar Association’s Legislative, Law Day, and Women in Law Committees (2017)

President, Mid-America Association of Law Libraries (MAALL) (2016)

Co-chaired the Local Arrangements Committee for the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries Conference (October 2016)

SHANNON ROESLER PROFESSOR of LAW B.A. University of Kansas M.A. University of Chicago M.A. University of Wisconsin J.D. University of Kansas LL.M. Georgetown University

roesler —



Zero-Sum Environmentalism, contribution, 47 ENVTL. L. REP. 10-328 (2017)

Panelist, Standing After Scalia, Environmental Law in the Administrative State, Center for the Study of the Administrative State, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University (September 2016)

” — Lee Peoples

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spiropoulos B.A. Carleton College J.D. University of Chicago M.A. University of Chicago


Chair and Panelist, State Legislative Politics, Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting (April 2017)

Panelist, The Intellectual Architecture of Anti-Equality Conservatism, Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting (April 2017) Presentation on the structure and operation of Oklahoma government, Leadership Exchange Academy (July 2016, October 2016, and March 2017) Speech on The Real Federalist Papers, English Speaking Union (February 2017) Presentation on the Trinity Lutheran religious freedom case to the Oklahoma Political Science Association annual meeting (November 2016)

Weekly column on state law and politics for The Journal Record

Academic advisor for the Oklahoma League of Women Voters ballot information pamphlet Served as a paper reviewer for the journal American Political Thought, published by the University of Chicago Press

Speech on American Principles and Values, Tommy Franks Leadership Institute (July 2016)


spivack B.A. Princeton University J.D. New York University Ph.D. Boston College

Organizer, Ethics in Estate Planning: Serving and Protecting Elderly Clients, Oklahoma City University School of Law (March 2017)


The Tampon Tax, Equal Protection, and Human Rights, Human Rights and Tax in an Unequal World Conference, New York University (September 2016)

The Tampon Tax, Equal Protection, and Human Rights, Wisc. L. Rev., co-authored with Bridgett Crawford (forthcoming 2017)

Panelist, APTs: Pros and Cons, Wills, Trusts and Estates Meets Gender, Race and Class: Part II Symposium, Oklahoma City University School of Law (September 2016)



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— Oklahoma City University School of Law is pleased to share the developments in the lives and work of several important faculty members who have been with the university for a collective 210 years. Professors Dennis Arrow, Peter Dillon, Alvin Harrell, and Art LeFrancois took emeritus faculty status on June 30, 2017. These four faculty members will remain with the school, teaching courses, mentoring students, maintaining their faculty offices, and remaining involved in the life of the school in ways they choose. Professor Arrow has taught at OCU Law for 42 years, Professor Dillon for 41, Professor Harrell for 45 years, and Professor LeFrancois for 38 years. Together with other colleagues, they built the academic program and reputation of our school and can accurately be called iconic. For generations of law students, they symbolize the excellence, rigor, professionalism and engagement of our school. We are glad they are staying with us, and we will continue to benefit from their presence.


Professor Deborah Tussey retired on June 30th. Professor Tussey has taught at OCU law school for 16 years, bringing her expertise in property and intellectual property to hundreds of law students and providing her special brand of mentorship and contributions to the school. The university has granted emeritus status to Professor Tussey to recognize her contributions to the university, but she will be relocating to the east coast and plans to retire in Virginia. Professor Phyllis Bernard retired as of the end of last year after serving on the faculty at OCU Law for 28 years. Her husband Dann May also taught at OCU as an adjunct faculty member for many years. She and Dann moved to the west coast for their retirement. The University has conferred emeritus status on Professor Bernard in recognition of her achievements.

Each one of these faculty members has contributed greatly to our university. We thank them for their service and for their continuing friendship and devotion to the well-being of Oklahoma City University.

tussey B.A. College of William and Mary J.D. University of Virginia LL.M. Harvard University


Keynote Address, Mid-America Association of Law Libraries Conference, Oklahoma City University School of Law (October 2016)

Did you know

former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives TW Shannon was the

first African American and youngest Speaker in Oklahoma’s history?

Shannon TW

Managing Partner at Premier Capital Partners Juris Doctor 2004 • oklahoma city university school of law


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Gene Winston Collins November 2, 1925 – February 16, 2017

Stephen Wilson Elliott Former Adjunct Professor

December 20, 1954 – August 23, 2016

John E. Green Sr.

Namesake for the John E. Green Black Law Students Association at OCU Law March 2, 1929 – March 21, 2017

Philip D. Hart Former Adjunct Professor September 16, 1936 – April 12, 2017

John Carnes Huffer Former Full-time Professor – 1974-1977 January 30, 1932 – October 19, 2016

Rebecca Jane Spahn March 20, 1920 – February 26, 2016


Donald Keith Groom December 1, 1920 – June 22, 2016

Jack Hugh Herndon August 10, 1926 – January 27, 2017


Roy Chandler Former OCU Trustee

December 29, 1935 – January 29, 2017

John Joseph White November 14, 1929 – December 1, 2016

William S. Myers Jr.

Jerald C. Walker

Former OCU President – 1979-1997 May 22, 1938 – December 24, 2016


Robert “Bobby” Jackson August 10, 1934 – August 23, 2016


Tom “Tommie” R. Stephenson June 8, 1936 – April 9, 2016


Harold Lee Witcher January 7, 1929 – July 6, 2016

Charles Gurner Ming September 6, 1929 – July 9, 2016

Respectfully hand drawn by Doris Fullgrabe

Former Adjunct Professor

February 6, 1924 – February 18, 2017


1980 continued

February 17, 1938 – October 2, 2016

Harold Lee Robinson

The Honorable Eugene F. Mowery Ellen Colclasure Steely November 20, 1939 – December 30, 2016

December 11, 1954 – August 25, 2016

The Honorable Jon. T. Staton January 7, 1933 – April 25, 2017


Robert Ben “Bob” Smith January 11, 1942 – February 7, 2017


Hugh Alan Manning July 7, 1953 – March 9, 2017


Bill D. McCarthy March 7, 1934 – February 25, 2017


Edward Browning Quist December 17, 1948 – April 28, 2017


R. Thomas Lay November 4, 1948 – September 21, 2016


Mary Lu Tracewell Gordon October 28, 1935 – June 13, 2016



Lana K. Cohlmia January 5, 1959 – February 11, 2017

Mary Ellen Lee January 2, 1927 – July 11, 2016


Larry Tedder

The Honorable John M. Jacobsen

November 29, 1946 – February 8, 2017

August 27, 1958 – December 25, 2016



Scott C. Emerson April 12, 1953 – August 30, 2016


Jerry Earl Benson October 13, 1946 – October 5, 2016

Rodney “Rod” Mulcahy April 3, 1972 – May 22, 2017


Daniel L. Forman October 24, 1974 – May 13, 2017

The Honorable Vicki Robertson October 5, 1949 – December 5, 2016



Anna Dovedan December 17, 1976 – October 14, 2016

Eileen Echols March 16, 1951 – June 30, 2016


Bryan B. Young 1980

Robert James Campbell, Jr. June 22, 1952 – April 30, 2017

March 26, 1969 – February 7, 2017

Brennan Lecture Idealogical Consequences of Judicial Selection NOVEMBER 10, 2016

2 0 1 6


2 0 1 7

Brian Fitzpatrick Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School


Professor Brian Fitzpatrick’s research focuses on class action litigation, federal courts, judicial selection and constitutional law. He joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2007 after serving as the John M. Olin Fellow at New York University School of Law. He graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School and went on to clerk for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. After his clerkships, Professor Fitzpatrick practiced commercial and appellate litigation for several years at Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C., and served as Special Counsel for Supreme Court Nominations to U.S. Senator John Cornyn. Professor Fitzpatrick’s lecture dissected the different methods used for selecting and retaining judges to the highest state courts – a subject that’s been debated for many years by scholars and policymakers. They have considered which method leads to the most independent judges, the most accountable judges, the smartest judges, the most diverse judges, the judges with the most integrity, etc. But not considered is whether some methods of selection skew our highest courts to the left or to the right. Professor Fitzpatrick’s lecture displayed that some methods do. Why does this matter? Because skewed courts lead to skewed interpretations of the law, including constitutional law.


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1:15 PM

Integris Lecture

Quinlan Lecture

Protecting Physician Speech: Can We Rely on The First Amendment?

The Lost History of Congressional Violence In Antebellum America

J A N UA RY 2 6 , 2 0 1 7

APRIL 6, 2017

Nadia N. Sawicki

Joanne Freeman

Professor of Law & Academic Director of Loyola’s Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy, Loyola University Chicago

Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University Professor Joanne Freeman is a leading expert on early









With the support of a sponsorship from INTEGRIS Health, Oklahoma City University School of Law presented its fourth in a series of lectures on the intersection of health care and law. An expert in health law and bioethics, Professor Nadia N. Sawicki researches and publishes on issues relating to informed consent and patient decision-making, legal accommodation of personal and professional beliefs in a pluralistic society, and the authority of state medical boards to define the scope of ethical medical practice. “I hope to describe the new landscape of physician speech regulations and provide a framework for understanding the boundaries of the state’s constitutional power to control how physicians communicate with their patients,” says Professor Sawicki. The physician-patient relationship has long been viewed as a sacred space for honest and confidential communication about matters relating to health, but increasing state regulation of physician speech has called this traditional model into question. In recent years, many state legislatures have adopted laws prohibiting physicians from speaking with patients about controversial topics such as gun ownership, physician aid-in-dying, medical marijuana and abortion. As such laws proliferate, courts have struggled to apply the Supreme Court’s limited guidance regarding the First Amendment principles applicable to physician speech.

American politics and culture. She has written numerous award-winning publications, frequently appears in documentary films and radio programs, has coordinated a number of public programs and curated exhibits for the Library of Congress, and has been an historical advisor for writers, documentary filmmakers and most recently, a playwright. She is particularly well-known for her expertise on dirty, nasty politics, an interest that has made her work particularly relevant in recent years. Freeman’s lecture followed up on her latest publication, The Field of Blood: Congressional Violence and the Coming of the Civil War, which explores physical violence in the U.S. Congress and what it suggests about the institution of Congress, the nature of American sectionalism, the challenges of a young nation’s developing democracy, and the longstanding roots of the Civil War. Freeman discovered a remarkable amount of physical violence in the U.S. Congress between 1830 and the Civil War. Roughly 120 violent incidents, including fistfights, duel challenges, wielded guns and knives, mass brawls and the occasional street fight, were uncovered. “Masked in the period’s equivalent of the Congressional Record and underplayed in the press, this thread of violence has long been overlooked by scholars, yet it had a profound shaping influence on the workings of Congress and the coming of the Civil War,” said Freeman.

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is the

of life

RSITY spice OCU law students and alumni bring their talents, experiences and individualism into the law profession B Y TA R A LY N N T H O M P S O N • P O R T R A I T S B Y S I M O N H U R S T P H O T O G R A P H Y

Every organization claims to have it. Colleges invite it. Politicians seek it. Private companies promote it.


Diversity is the hot topic movement, a campaign to create inclusive environments that thrive without limitations on anyone.

ence. To be diverse with diversity.

But what does diversity look like? When it’s put into action, what does diversity bring to the law profession?

diversity of talents, strengths,

Oklahoma City University School of Law tries to go beyond the expectations to encapsulate individuals of all kinds of diversity, from ethnicity to background, from age to experi-

the brilliance and heart of our

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To open any boundaries not yet even defined. To not only bring a diversity of individuals, but a and even executions of the law. As always, our contributions to the law profession are due to students — past and present. These students are a few that are bringing their unique perspectives, experiences and passions into the practice of law.


inman legal protection for animals

Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

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BUT IT WASN’T FAR BEHIND. remember. She was the little girl asking for a horse at Christmas who grew into a woman competing nationally in dressage and winning nationally for 30 years. Year-end awards, national awards, regional awards, U.S. Dressage Federation awards, bronze and silver and gold, you name it. Inman’s talent for training horses has been a huge part of her life. And now she’s taking her passion for animals into law school. “There are a lot of things that go on where animals don’t have many rights in the law,” says Inman. “This isn’t only my second career, but I’m also doing this to provide legal protection for animals.” Inman’s first career was in the corporate world of advertising. Although she had always been interested in the law, she obtained an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master’s degree in advertising and business, all to make enough money to own a horse farm. And it worked. Her 25 years in advertising included clients like Budweiser and M&M Mars, while her employers included companies like Proctor & Gamble and USA


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Today, all while still pursuing her work with horses. Finally, she was able to move full-time in the dressage business, working as an instructor, competitor and trainer for horses over the last decade. “Horses are incredibly sensitive and incredibly bonded to humans. With corporations owning these animals and the farms, they’ve stopped thinking of them as sentient, intelligent beings and think of them as food for corporate profits,” says Inman, whose lifelong passion to protect animals motivated her at age 53 to start law school. “Now I have the time, money, and ability to be focused and obtain a law degree.” It hasn’t been easy. Inman, whose permanent residence and dressage facility is in St. Louis, Missouri, had to leave her husband and horses back home while she earns her juris doctorate. “I knew this would require devotion, and I’ve devoted everything to law school,” says Inman. “If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do the best of my ability, and I didn’t want to be distracted. I knew that’s what it would require to succeed.” Being an older law student comes with its advantages, Inman says.

Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

She’s loved horses since she can

She’s had years in the business world to hone her communication and organizational skills, as well as ingraining in her the importance of being on time, being courteous, and being open to all sides of an issue. “You don’t have to like the other person to be respectful,” says Inman. “You need to acknowledge the input of everyone and truly try to understand that person’s perspective.” Once she graduates in May, Inman says she hopes to go back to work in the corporate world but, this time, as an advocate for companies producing, manufacturing and making food products without animals. “There’s not much in the grocery store without animal meat. I want to help companies break through those barriers in whatever way I can.”

With corporations owning these animals and the farms, they’ve stopped thinking of them as sentient, intelligent beings and think of them as food for corporate profits. L AW. O KC U . E D U


Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

justice for filipinos


need improvement, the United States judicial system still offers every person a chance to be heard, she says. In the Philippines, her birthplace and where she practiced law for seven months, that is not always the case.” “People here in the United States get a day in court and a chance for justice. If you do a good job, research, and make a good argument for your client, they have a fighting chance,” says Mercado-Gephart. “In the Philippines, it is not always like that.” She came to the U.S. with her husband, a petroleum engineer from Houston, Texas, whom she initially met online. Soon, they fell in love, married, and he moved to the Philippines while she completed law school. But Mercado-Gephart rarely only completes a task, she exceeds it. After taking the national bar exam, she took the fifth spot in the nation, an achievement that caught the attention of the Solicitor General’s office. She was invited to serve on a special task force while working in Manilla, the capital, for Francis Jardeleza, the Solicitor General of the Philippines from 2012 to 2014 and cur-


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rently an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. “When he invited me to join the office of the Solicitor General, he came to Cebu City and treated my entire family to dinner,” says Mercado-Gephart, who still stays in contact with Justice Jardeleza and recently chatted with him about a landmark case. For Mercado-Gephart, the experience of working in the Philippine judicial system and seeing the issues up close cemented her already natural idealism and passion for justice. She wants to make a change. And that means bringing the American judicial system to her native country. “I want to incorporate some parts of the American justice system into the Philippines,” she says. “The courts there are so clogged. When I was in law school, I handled a case where the penalty for the crime was only 30 days but the defendant had already been in jail a year.” Not only are the courts weighed down and the process slow, but justice often comes at a price. “Even if you make the best pleadings, at the end of the day it’s sometimes about who has the deeper pockets,” she says.

Photograph by Jonald John Morales

Whatever the flaws and areas that

When her family moved to Oklahoma City for her husband’s work, Mercado-Gephart knew practicing law in the United States would require a degree from an ABA accredited school. It was time to return to law school. But where? She chose OCU School of Law due to the evening courses, which allowed her to be home during the day to care for their daughter. But beginning again also meant she needed to reassess her ultimate career objectives. Where could she make the biggest impact? “In the short term, my goal is to learn as much as possible of how to make the justice system really work. And, also, to help people in individual cases get what’s rightly due them, and fight for justice. For example, this semester, while working as a law clerk, I worked on a case involving a whistleblower who brought down corruption but suffered a prohibited reprisal. I want to bring justice for people like him,” says Mercado-Gephart. “In the long term, I want to bring something back and contribute to the Philippines by using a framework patterned from portions of the U.S. justice system.” So, for her American or Filipino clients, she stays focused on getting the answer to that one question and, as cheesy as she says it sounds, spending her life fighting for justice.

I want to bring something back and contribute to the Philippines by using a framework patterned from portions of the U.S. justice system. L AW. O KC U . E D U


Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

a history in police work


Now, he’s walking the halls of Oklahoma City University’s law school. Even though the environment has changed, the objective has not.

you’ve actually saved lives in

“I love the law, but I love it because it pursues justice,” Barnett says. “What I loved about police work in the beginning was the pursuit of justice. I’m now coming to the realization that sometimes we fail in the pursuit of justice, which is what attracted me that much more to the practice of law. In the practice of law, it feels like we have a greater input into the processes we use to pursue justice.”

police officers to erode into

As a retired OKCPD Lieutenant, Barnett has seen the intricacies of this pursuit up close. Whether from the perspective of the officer responding to the call or the victim making the call or the criminal running from that call, he’s seen firsthand the reality of situations where justice is absent. “Most police officers want to go out and save the world. In the end, if you actually go out and save one or two people, if


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the course of your career, that’s a big deal,” says Barnett. This reality is what often causes the optimism in new pessimism. It’s a battle he knows well and has seen often. “When I’ve seen bitterness setting in, I’ve often told these officers, ‘On every call, you’re dealing with someone who needs help. Your attitude towards them and your desire to help them, even if you can’t fix what’s happened, is making a difference. You’re bringing your skills and ability to bear on their problems. It may not be the difference you envisioned when you were hired, but don’t discount the difference you are making.’” It’s his own passion to make a difference that kept the hope and desire to eventually attend law school in the back of his mind all these years. Finally, the time just seemed right. “It’s different when you’ve wanted something for a long

time and it hasn’t worked out. All of a sudden, when the door opens and it’s available, you don’t take it for granted.” Making this move for he and his family was a sacrifice, but it wasn’t a tough call. In fact, he said the day he told his wife of the opportunity to attend law school and all the financial sacrifice it would make, her response was, “It’s about time.” Now, as a new graduate, his shift is about to end. The days of official schooling will be coming to a close, and the days of practice will be starting. That keen observation and understanding of people, those lessons he learned on the streets, he’ll be taking into the courtroom. The beat may have changed, but the objective remains. This is still about justice. “I want to contribute to the world around me until I die, until they put me in the ground,” Barnett says. “Being an attorney is my way of continuing to encounter people in need and really make a difference. For them. For society. For the better.”

Photograph by MiHo-Photography

on every call, you’re dealing with someone who needs help. your attitude towards them and your desire to help them, even if you can’t fix what’s happened, is making a difference.

Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

solution-focused outlook

JOSHUA IS GOOD AT CREATING WHOLE PICTURES FROM DIFFERENT PIECES. He fits one piece here. Another there. Each day he learns and practices law is a piece in itself. “The way I look at law school generally is that it’s a puzzle every day,” says Johnson. “I don’t work. I get to play with puzzles because no two clients are the same. They don’t present the same. The nuances are different.” Johnson is an expert at nuances. Being born with cerebral palsy, he knows how to maneuver the differences and challenges he faces that others don’t. Even understanding his disability and how it affects him has required a keen mind, easy acceptance, and a solution-focused outlook. “Cerebral palsy doesn’t have one set of or even a small set of symptoms or physical manifestations. You can have severe cognitive impairment to no fine motor control to people who only have an odd gait when they walk,” says Johnson. “I’m on the higher functioning end of that scale mentally, but drew the shorter end of the physical stick.” His limitations, however, weren’t going to, nor have they, stopped him from pursuing his passion and one of the most “I guess, because it’s normal for me, I don’t see challenges. I just see life,” says Johnson, explaining how he completed the intense amount of


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Photograph by Sean Locke

challenging career options available.

I guess, because it’s normal for me, I don’t see challenges. I just see life. writing required in law school by using

“The best piece of advice I got came

voice recognition software. “There’s

on the first day of law school,” says

nothing, absolutely nothing, that can

Johnson, who recalls being called into

stand in my way unless I let it.”

Professor Dillon’s office and petrified

He didn’t recognize his love for the law when he started taking civics in eighth grade. However, that was the first class that put him on his path toward the legal profession. “I wanted to understand how all the puzzle pieces fit together,” he says. “Did I want to go into government? Not really. How else could I be involved in this larger puzzle? The law was the missing piece.” After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Johnson took time off to pursue other things, including a near completed master’s degree in public administration. Eventually, medical issues forced him to withdraw from the program. But his fiancée encouraged him to try again.

he’d already done something wrong. “He told me, ‘You have to find something about the law you love and you have to fall in love with it everyday.’…I’ve never forgotten that over the last three years.” With law school now done, Johnson says he’s going to settle down and live for awhile. He and his fiancée are planning to marry this year. Meanwhile, he’ll be deciding his next step, whether that’s practicing health or family law, moving toward eventually teaching law, or pursing an LLM in health law. “For the most part, I can be whatever I want to be, whether that’s a lawyer or a teacher. I think that translates phenomenally well to a professional environment. They’re going to give you projects and need them done by X day.

In 2013, Johnson retook the

And I’ll find a way to get it done,” says

LSAT and applied to several law

Johnson. “There’s not anything that

schools, ultimately moving back to

anybody can give me where I’ll say,

Oklahoma City, his childhood home,

‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that because of my

to attend OCU School of Law.

disability.’ That doesn’t compute.”

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Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

mathematiciaN lawyer


Javier Hernandez started speaking for others shortly after he learned to speak complete sentences. As the infant son of an emigrant, he left Mexico City as a one-year-old with his mother and came to America to live near other family. She only spoke Spanish. He didn’t speak at all. Language could have been a barrier, but, instead, it’s been a gateway to his future. “When I started pre-K and kindergarten, it was a struggle. So I started teaching myself English,” says Hernandez. “My mom taught me how to tie my shoes, fix my hair, and she guided me through my homework. But she didn’t speak English. I decided right then that I could learn it and that education would be my key to success.” From the sixth to 12th grade, Hernandez attended Oklahoma City’s Dove Science Academy, a newly opened charter school that admitted area students through a raffle. “I knew I didn’t want to attend the middle school near me due to a lot of gang violence in the neighborhood. I had a cousin who lived two houses down and was always in gang activity,” says


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Hernandez. “I experienced friends and a couple of family members go to prison for committing crimes. It was heartbreaking to watch, and I knew there was another way out.” Javier’s way out started with him working for his uncles’ pallet company on the weekends at age 14. Soccer, his favorite sport, took a backseat while he learned the ins and outs of collecting, destroying, recycling and building custom wood pallets. Although the work was far from what he and his mother wanted for him or what he felt he was meant to do, he said it gave him a sense that, even in this small way, he was already making a positive difference in the world by helping the environment. Working for the pallet company and sacrificing his free time helped develop his work ethic, and eventually, his skills as a translator opened a new door through a job opportunity at a local law firm. The summer following his high school graduation, Hernandez began working as a translator for Lambert Dunn & Associates

while attending Mid-American Christian University for a mathematics degree and playing soccer. He also continued his work in helping others and joined the Student Success Center, a tutoring program at school, and began tutoring upperclassmen in college math. “It was an eye-opener for me. Being a freshman tutoring a junior and a sophomore. It was nice I could help them learn this and progress in school.” Meanwhile, he continued working at Lambert Dunn translating, organizing files, maintaining files, and assisting clients going through the immigration process. Law, however, hadn’t been his plan after obtaining his undergraduate degree. He initially saw himself as an architectural engineer. Or even a teacher. But a lawyer? Could a mathematics major even do it?

Photograph by Mel Roach

I experienced friends and a couple of family members in prison for committing crime. It was heartbreaking to watch and I knew there was another way out.

Lambert Dunn, who mentored him since high school, believed he could. With Dunn’s encouragement, Hernandez took the LSAT, and suddenly his gifts of translating and interpreting, whether mathematic equations or various languages, became a valid career path. “I went from math equations to thousand-page textbooks. I went from writing one or two papers in undergrad to reading and writing every day in law school,” Hernandez says. “It opened my mind to a new way of thinking.” Although he believes immigration law will be his primary field of practice, he’d also like to do some work with national security, income tax law, patent law, as well as tap into his math skills. “Mr. Dunn says not everyone has luxuries, but even when they don’t have the best, we can still help others with what we have. That’s been my journey for now.”

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by the numbers

oklahoma city university school of law

Entering Class Data - Fall 2016



total first year students

women, 48% men 16% of students identify as two or more ethnicities

43% multicultural

20-62 age range


former military

63 undergraduate

institutions represented


states represented


countries represented

our first year students’ median GPA is 3.05 and median LSAT is 147


School of Law founded

6,000 alumni across the US and around the world

first law school in Oklahoma

thousands 11 certificate programs 3 joint JD degree options 4 flexible scheduling options

of pro bono service hours

our Summer Start Program enables students to begin their education in late May rather than waiting for the fall

students have 24-hour library access and may participate in 1 of 6 moot court and mock trial teams

414 nearly

total student enrollment

100 externship sites


student to professor ratio

3 law school clinics

want to learn more? visit law.okcu.edu or follow us on


Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

reforming foster care


Beatrize Martinez started her legal education at 15. Not from books or classrooms or professors or papers. Her education came through personal experience. Through living in a domestic violence situation and having to testify against her own father. Through entering the California foster system before she could fathom all the implications - the bad and the ultimate good - it would have on her future. It’s also what started her passion for helping others going through the same experience. “I call them ‘my people.’ Those who grew up in poverty or domestic violence situations,” says Martinez. Growing up in Fresno, Martinez faced one of the toughest decisions of her life. Would she testify against her father, a noncitizen, for battery of a minor, which is a felony and guaranteed deportation? Or would she choose to not talk, which, according to the prosecutor,

would mean she could be

they didn’t see was a family

charged as a runaway and

environment already broken

end up in juvenile jail?

due to poverty. What we needed

“I was 15 at the time and thought

was help, not a life sentence.”

I was really smart. But nothing

Eventually, her help would come

can prepare you for the legal

through education, hard work,

system,” says Martinez.

and building her life as an adult

After testifying against her father, from the age of 15 to 17,

over a thousand miles away from her home and family.

she became one of the voiceless

“My culture is to stay at home

many who enter the world of

and live close to family. But my

foster care. Her life shifted from

family environment wasn’t going

one bad situation to another.

to be conducive to success.”

Nevertheless, even though she found out later she could have opted not to testify against her father, she’s never blamed those in the criminal system working to get her out of her home.

Martinez, who’d been wrestling competitively in school since the seventh grade, googled women’s wrestling in college and found out the team at Oklahoma City University had won the national

“All those people meant well,”

championship three times. It was

she says. “They saw my dad as

a long way from home in a state

a monster who should be in jail

she believed was populated with

for the rest of his life. But what

tumbleweeds and dirt roads,

i call them “my people,” Those who grew up in poverty or domestic violence situations.


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but she was brave enough to make the journey. After graduating OCU with a bachelors degree, Martinez decided to attend OCU Law. Since moving to Oklahoma and attending OCU, she’s found a lot of help from mentors, counselors and professors who have given her guidance on how to build a successful future and how to fund it. Each time, Martinez relies on the same attributes that have gotten her this far: her willingness to work hard, to forge ahead, to never quit, and to use her academic and athletic ability to its fullest. In 2015, she attended training for the Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia, but suffered an eye injury. In 2016, she tried again, and she plans to reapply once more this year. “I need some stability in my future and if it’s not a good fit, it’s not a good fit,” says Martinez. But that doesn’t mean she won’t give it everything she’s got to succeed. “My end goal is to help reform the foster care system. I’m not entirely sure what that’s going to look like, yet. I’m just taking opportunities as they come and making the most of Photograph by Gary Martin

them,” she says. “Mostly, I hope in the future I’m able to advocate on behalf of disadvantaged youth.”

Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

law and marriage


Ashley Murphy is dedicated to the profession of true love. It may not have been her initial focus when obtaining her juris doctorate, but her education and her passion have evolved into a beautiful marriage of love and legality. It started with a simple project. “A good friend of mine is a graphic designer, and she and I were planning our weddings around the same time,” says Murphy. “Neither of us was originally from Oklahoma, but we were both getting married in Oklahoma. At that time, we couldn’t find a great resource in the marketplace to help us identify who were the best vendors.” They decided to start a magazine. For Murphy, she believed it would be a side project… a hobby. An extracurricular activity beyond her new law career with Hall Estill. It didn’t work out exactly like that. Soon, Murphy, still a young associate at the law firm, was coming into work at 5 am in order to leave by 6 pm. She would then head straight to her


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friend’s house to work on the magazine until midnight.

she learned as a lawyer into her

“We joke about it now,” says Murphy, referring to her and her business partner, Kami Huddleston. “We must have thought magazines magically appear on shelves. But law school prepares you for anything, and I wasn’t afraid to enter the world of publishing, a world I knew nothing about.”

2017, Murphy and her “hobby”

After a year of diligent work, Brides of Oklahoma published its first edition and the reviews were in. Everyone loved it.

think the same. You learn to ana-

“The phone started ringing. People wanted to advertise and announce their weddings in the magazine,” says Murphy. “We now have one hundred-plus pages of wedding announcements in every issue from people all over the state. It became something bigger than we ever anticipated.”

makes you better in business.”

With the success of the magazine (and the incredible amount of work it required), Murphy had to make a decision. Let go of her hobby and stay in the legal profession – or take the skills

only a certain type of person

new grand adventure. In January celebrated their 10-year anniversary. Brides of Oklahoma is now a 500-page magazine and multimedia source for all things wedding. “Many successful entrepreneurs don’t have a law background. For me, it was such an advantage,” says Murphy. “They say when you leave law school you will never lyze, think through problems, and contemplate the repercussions of every decision you make, and that For Murphy, she’s continued to keep her bar membership active, while using her business knowledge, marketing mind and legal education to run the business side of Brides of Oklahoma. “There was a time when I thought goes to law school,” she says. “But now I know it’s a path anyone should consider taking if you want to be successful in life and your career.”

Photograph by Lyuba Burakova

They say when you leave law school you will never think the same.

Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

upholding casino rules


Hershel Gorham remembers the struggles of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes before casinos reversed their economic fate. Growing up in Geary, Oklahoma, with a population of roughly 1300 people, he saw the financial limitations of his rural community, and the challenge for his fellow tribal members.

When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) passed in October 1988, the fate of Gorham’s tribe, as well as his own career, changed. The IGRA established the National Indian Gaming Commission, the


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Photograph by Sean Locke

“If you look at the opportunities that were available to tribes prior to Indian casinos, there weren’t that many,” says Gorham. “I worked for my tribe prior to us having any casinos on our land. We had a small bingo hall back then, but it didn’t make much money.”

governing body that regulates gaming on Indian Lands and where Gorham now works as one of three commissioners. “The gaming commission is regulatory in nature. I’m not involved in the operation of the gaming or casinos. I provide oversight to make sure casinos follow all the rules of the Indian Gaming Act and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” Gorham says. Not only is this a chance for him to work in the area of the law he loves, but to help the community that he loves, too. “The heartbeat of my tribe and a lot of tribes is economic development,” says Gorham. “When I looked at Indian law, I wanted to go into an area where I could have the most impact. For me, that’s economic development. And the economic driver of our tribe is our casinos.” With six casinos, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma profitted over $40 million last year, while paying nearly $3 million in exclusivity fees to the

state. With all tribes combined, Gorham said, the state of Oklahoma received nearly $130 million in exclusivity fees last year. Over the last ten years, he said that amount has reached more than $1 billion. “Everyone benefits from gaming, whether that’s money going back to the tribe, exclusivity fees paid to the state, or all the jobs created. And not just jobs for the tribe, but also jobs in the restaurant businesses, too. People from all areas of businesses benefit directly from Indian gaming,” he says. After watching his tribe struggle through his earlier years, Gorham says he’s thrilled to be part of the governing body that not only provides regulatory oversight for the casinos, but also serves to protect the gaming industry for future generations of his tribe. “Once Oklahoma allowed Class 3 gaming, it opened up a floodgate of opportunities for tribes,” he says. “Now, they can control their own destiny, control their own sovereignty, and be the sovereign nation they were meant to be.”.

people from all areas of business benefit directly from indian gaming. L AW. O KC U . E D U


OCU Law Welcomes Two New Administrators New Assistant Dean for Advancement & External Relations

Stephen G. Butler When my wife Gabrielle

our location in the capital city

and I first considered the

and focus on public service,

opportunity to move back to

there is something special

Oklahoma and for me to work

about OCU Law that you’re

for the law school, we loved

not going to find at other

the idea of being closer to

law schools in this area. I’ve

family and I was immediately

had numerous students and

drawn to the idea of working for Dean Couch, who has

alumni tell me that they could

become a mentor and a

have attended many other law

friend. I loved the challenge

schools in the state and region

of finishing our historic cap-

and they chose OCU Law

ital campaign, this beautiful

because of the community

building and the chance to

they felt during their visit – a

continue working in legal

sense of community that

education, especially given the

continues on during their

once-in-a-lifetime challenges

matriculation through school

we are facing. For anyone who is passionate about the law

and even into their time as

and the study of the law, this

alumni. No amount of money

is a time to make a difference.

or ranking can buy that.

What I was not as prepared for

In my short time here, this

was the community that we

sense of community is

have here at OCU Law. Pep-

something I’ve sought to em-

perdine was a pretty unique

phasize with our team. We are

place, and a wonderful place

committed to being a resource

for me to start my fundraising

to every alumnus, alumna,

career, but OCU Law is unique

donor, friend and anyone else

in its own right. From our origins as the oldest law

who crosses our path. For

school in Oklahoma and our

me, it’s a critical piece to our

rebirth as a night school, to

being the City’s law school.

———— “... there is something special about OCU Law that you’re not going to find at other law schools in this area ...” STEPHEN G. BUTLER

———— 60

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New Director of Student Life:

Leslie Bleichner I have always been

our world. These ideals

an insatiable learner;

have propelled my career

naturally, my entire career

and ultimately led me to

has been in education.

OCU. As the Director of

I believe the university

Student Life at Oklahoma

setting is uniquely situated

City University School of

to be a place of active

Law, my job is two-fold:

interrogation and critical

to assist students in a way

thought about life and our

that allows them to make

place and purpose within

powerful decisions about

it. With different identi-

their future and to work

ties, perspectives, beliefs

to ensure that all people

and ways of thinking in

can be 100% of their

a central place with a

authentic selves 100% of

central goal of taking in

the time. By developing

information and trans-

and implementing a

forming it into practice,

robust co-curricular

I think students who

program at the Law School

fully immerse themselves into their education

centered on student

experience can gain a

excellence, I am excited

more comprehensive

to support our student

understanding of them-

leaders who are poised

selves and one another,

to make a significant

which, in turn, empowers

difference in Oklahoma

us to positively impact

City and beyond.

Did you know

jason smith

JD ’04

represents Missouri’s 8th District in the United States House of Representatives?




NE OF THE DRIVING motivations for relocating the School of Law to our new downtown campus just over two years ago was putting our students, faculty, and staff into the middle of the action. Our location straddles the booming Midtown district and the Central Business District. Students are within walking distance of federal and state courthouses, law firms, governmental agencies, and many other legal employers.


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To further enhance our role as the City’s Law School, we will launch an innovative program called Capital City Connect in the fall of 2017. The inaugural year of Capital City Connect will feature six unique programs. Each program will focus on one of the school’s most active centers or certificate programs. The Capital City Connect programs will be co-chaired by a faculty member and a distinguished practitioner with expertise in

the relevant subject matter area. Alumni and local practitioners are invited to attend programs in their areas of expertise. The goal of each program is to connect second and third year law students with members of the practicing bar before graduation. The substantive content of each program will focus on cuttingedge issues faced by lawyers in each practice area. Programs will also include a networking and

career development component. Students will gain insights into their potential practice area while networking and developing relationships with potential mentors.

overwhelmingly enthusiastic

Dean Valerie Couch developed the idea for Capital City Connect to capitalize on the school’s location and strong ties to alumni and local practitioners. She believes the program will “build strong connections between our current students and our alumni and friends in the legal community.” She described the program as one “OCU Law is in a unique position to offer because of our location in the center of the State’s capital city and our impressive network of alumni who are leaders in law, business, and government.”

Capital City Connect

Homeland Security Law

programs planned for the

and Policy) and Murrah

fall 2017 semester include:

Center Senior Fellow Homer

Dean Couch drew inspiration for Capital City Connect from Professor Carla Spivack’s successful Wills, Trusts, and Estates events held annually since 2015. The event includes a CLE program that provides networking opportunities for students. Her most recent event, Ethics in Estate Planning: Serving and Protecting Elderly Clients, was held in the spring 2017 semester and was attended by over 50 practitioners, academics, and students. Planning to launch Capital City Connect was guided by student input obtained during focus groups. 2L and 3L students were

about the opportunity to gain practical knowledge and begin networking with lawyers in their desired areas of practice.

• Health Law co-chaired by Professor Vicki MacDougall (Director of the Health Law Certificate) and Adjunct Professor Mary Richard (Phillips Murrah) • State and Local Government co-chaired by Professor Andrew Spiropoulos (Director of the Center for the Study of State Constitutional Law and Government) and Adjunct Professor Andy Lester (Spencer Fane) • Energy Law co-chaired by Professor Eric Laity (Director of the Certificate in Energy and Natural Resources Law) and Adjunct Professor Jim Roth (Phillips Murrah).

(Mugg Scott & Winston) • Homeland Security Law co-chaired by Professor Marc Blitz (Director of the Murrah Center for

Pointer (former Assistant General Counsel, FBI). • Public Interest Law co-chaired by Professor Shannon Roesler. The second year of programs is also taking shape, with events planned for Property and Land Use Law, American Indian Law, Criminal Law, Civil Trial Practice, Family Law, and Bankruptcy and Commercial Law. The schedule will feature programs held over the lunch hour or a 5 pm program followed by a happy hour networking event. Alumni and practitioners interested in attending a Capital City Connect program in their area of expertise should fill out the short

Capital City Connect programs

practitioner sign up form available

for the spring 2018 semester

here: http://law.okcu.edu/?cur-

programs include: • Wills, Trusts, and Estates

rent=capital-city-connect. Additional questions should be

co-chaired by Professor

addressed to Professor Lee Peoples

Carla Spivack (Director

(lpeoples@okcu.edu) who will

of the Certificate in Estate

oversee the program while serving

Planning) and Adjunct

as Interim Dean of the School

Professor Christin Mugg

in the coming academic year.

Dean Valerie Couch described the program as one “OCU Law is in a unique position to offer because of our location in the center of the State’s capital city and our impressive network of alumni who are leaders in law, business, and government.” L AW. O KC U . E D U



c C













Irven Box was presented with a Seminole County Bar Association Lifetime Membership Award at the Seminole County Bar Association’s 10th Annual Las Vegas CLE.

Rick Goralewicz delivered the keynote address, “Wounds of Silence: An LGBTQ Perspective on Elder Abuse,” at the Canadian Elder Law Institute in Vancouver, Canada.


Ross Plourde was named Best Lawyers’ 2017 “Oklahoma City Lawyers of the Year” for bankruptcy and debtor-creditor rights/insolvency and restructuring law.

Jack S. Dawson was sworn in as associate municipal judge for the city of Piedmont.

1973 Pete S. White announced his retirement as Ward 4 Councilman in Oklahoma City after serving for 19 years.

1975 John Mark Smith announced his retirement from Comanche County District Judge.

1976 Gregory Bistram was named 2017 Minnesota “Lawyer of the Year” in the practice area of Mediation by Best Lawyers in America. Justice Douglas Combs of the Oklahoma Supreme Court was elected as Chief Justice.

1983 Timothy L. Martin was named partner at Durbin, Larimore & Bialick P.C.

1984 Barbara Hatfield was awarded Judge of the Year from the OBA Family Law Section during the OBA Annual Meeting.

1985 Steven S. Camp was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017 edition. Howard Haralson was appointed as an Oklahoma County district judge.


1977 Phil Busey and family were honored at the 2017 Oklahoma City University Alumni Association awards dinner.


Kit Addelman was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in the article titled “SEC Presses Effort to Protect Whistleblowers.”

Eileen Echols received the Mona Salyer Lambard Spotlight Award posthumously.

Elizabeth Kerr received the 2017 Sustainer of the Year Award given by the Junior League of Oklahoma City.



Barry Grissom was appointed to the Board of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys.

Steven L. Tolson reopened his law practice on January 1, 2017, practicing in business and civil litigation, business formation, corporate and commercial law, probate, divorce, general practice and civil mediation.

The Honorable Kim D. Parrish served as an instructor for newly appointed ALJs in Falls Church, Virginia.

David F. Howell was named a municipal judge of Midwest City.

1989 Elaine Turner was selected for the Leadership OKC Program Class 35.

1991 J. Kevin Gray was named managing principal of Fish & Richardson’s Dallas, TX office.

1992 Gregg Luther is a principle attorney for The West Law Firm of Shawnee which was named to the 2017 “Best Law Firms in America” list by U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers in the Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Tier 1 category. Becky Pasternik-Ikard was named the Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO.

1993 Max Moss retired from the Oklahoma National Guard, ending a 30-year military career. Dana Murphy was sworn in for her 2nd and final six-year term as the Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner.

1994 Tom Bates was named as special advisor on child welfare and Pinnacle Plan implementation for Governor Mary Fallin. Brad Donnell was honored as “Local Litigation Stars” in the 2017 edition of Benchmark Litigation. Eric L. Johnson moderated a panel at the Consumer Financial Services Conference in Chicago.

Top to bottom: Pete S. White ’73, Phil Busey ’77, Timothy L. Martin ’83, Elaine Turner ’89, Gregg Luther ’92 L AW. O KC U . E D U


Michael J. LaBrie was named Best Lawyers’ 2017 “Oklahoma City Lawyers of the Year” for patent litigation, and was included in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Jim Roth served as the first ever Practitioner in Residence at OCU Law for the Spring 2017 semester, during which time he chaired an Energy Roundtable. Michael Schag was appointed to the position of military trial judge and will preside over general and special courts-martial. Michael Wilds was recognized with the Directors Award from the OBA Criminal Law Section during the OBA Annual Meeting.

1995 Amir Farzaneh presented “Intro to Family & Humanitarian Immigration Law” at the 19th Annual Federal Bar Association Immigration Conference in New Orleans.

1997 Blake Bittel was appointed as a 23rd District Judge by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Catherine Riordan was appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court as Chair of the District XB Ethics Committee.

1998 Thomas Kendrick was named partner at Durbin, Larimore & Bialick P.C. Michael McClintock was honored as “Local Litigation Stars” in the 2017 edition of Benchmark Litigation.



Patricia A. Rogers was named Best Lawyers’ 2017 “Oklahoma City Lawyers of the Year” for healthcare law, and was included in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Trae Gray was named to the 2016 Super Lawyers list of Oklahoma “Rising Stars” and was the speaker at the REALTORS Land Institute, National Land Conference in Charlotte, NC.

Donna P. Suchy was announced as incoming chair of the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property law section. Courtney Warmington joined the firm of Fuller, Tubb, Bickford & Krahl.

2001 Ryan Jackson was hired as the EPA’s Chief of Staff for Scott Pruitt. Lisa Zastrow joined Greenberg Traurig’s Las Vegas office as Of-Counsel in the form’s dynamic Litigation Practice.

2002 Jennifer Castillo was elected as the Vice President of the Oklahoma Bar Association, and received the Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award.


Leanne McGill received the 2016 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the Oklahoma Bar Association.

2007 Lindsay Archer was selected for The Journal Record 2017 Achievers Under 40. Suvir Dhar was elected shareholder for the firm of Simmons Hanly Conroy in Alton, Illinois. Hollye Hunt was named Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. Keren Williams McLendon was promoted to CEO of Robinson Aviation, Inc. Irma Newburn was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin as district judge for Comanche County.

Solola Webb joined the NaLydia Green was named tional Litigation Law Group Special Judge for the Oklahoma (NLLG) in Oklahoma City. Juvenile Justice Center.

2005 Theodore J. Fleming was appointed as magistrate judge in Elmore County for the Fourth Judicial District in Idaho. Juan Garcia received the 2016 Outstanding Service to the Public Award from the Oklahoma Bar Association. Kevin Sellers was promoted to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Rebekah Stewart was named the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for Diamond Healthcare.

2008 Brian C. Beatty was elected a shareholder at the firm McAfee & Taft. Andrew M. Bowman was named shareholder of the Oklahoma City law firm Foliart, Huff, Ottaway & Bottom. Jesse Chapel was elected as a shareholder the Oklahoma City firm Andrews Davis. Thomas Ishmael was named general attorney of AT&T Mobility in Dallas, TX.

Top to bottom: Mike LaBrie ’94, Amir Farzaneh ’95, Pat Rogers ’99, Lydia Green ’03, Kevin Sellers ’05 66

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Reginald Smith was assigned to the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Division of Information Disclosure Policy.

Jason Sutton was hired to serve as the Press Secretary and Senior Advisor for Public Affairs for Oklahoma House Representative Speaker Charles A. McCall.

David Smith was awarded Attorney of the Year from the OBA Family Law Section during the OBA Annual Meeting.


Trevor Pemberton was named a Special Judge for Oklahoma County.

2009 Ryan Brown joined Rosetta Stone Ltd. as the Corporate Counsel for Global Operations. He was also admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. L. Wayne Edgar was named Senior Contracts Attorney at Leidos Engineering, LLC where he supports the Energy Systems, Environmental and Capital Projects Division.

Lorenzo Banks was selected for The Journal Record 2017 Achievers Under 40. Shea Bracken joined the law firm of Cathy Christensen and Associates PC. Lysbeth George was featured in the Q&A section of The Oklahoman regarding liability for chip-enabled credit and debit cards.

2012 Daniel Aizenman joined the litigation group at McAfee and Taft. Justin Bracket was appointment by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory as district judge.

Stuart R. Hene was elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Judy Burdg joined the firm of McAfee & Taft in Oklahoma City

Senator David Holt was appointed by the president pro tempore of the Oklahoma Senate as one of the commissioners representing Oklahoma to the nation’s Uniform Law Commission. He was also recognized as “OKC Friday’s Cityan of the Year.”

Lauren Clark was selected for LOYAL Class XII with Leadership Oklahoma City.

Blake Jones joined Hayman Capital Management, LP as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer.

2010 Allen Hutson was featured in the Q&A section of The Oklahoman regarding EEOC and workers with disabilities. Shane Pate II was named the city manager for Nichols Hills, Oklahoma.

2013 Brooke Baum was selected for LOYAL Class XII with Leadership Oklahoma City. Ande Burchfield was named a 2016 OKC NextGen Under 30 award winner. Elizabeth Lauderback Issac was selected for LOYAL Class XII with Leadership Oklahoma City, and The Journal Record 2017 Achievers Under 40.

2014 Ericka Mackey was named a partner at the law firm of Shelton Walkley Mackey.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Olsen will serve as majority director of operations for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Ally Rodriguez was named a 2016 OKC NextGen Under 30 award winner. Monica Ybarra was selected for LOYAL Class XII with Leadership Oklahoma City.

2015 Thomas Schneider was selected as the Staff Assistant for Representative Tom Cole who represents Oklahoma’s Fourth Congressional District. Chynna G. Scruggs joined the firm of Baer & Timberlake PC. Mary P. Tate Westman joined the firm of Shelton Walkley Mackey. Brian J. Barrett joined the Edmond-based law firm Evans & Davis.

2016 Teresa Green joined the Oklahoma City firm of Andrews Davis where she will be focusing on estate planning, business law and family law. Benjamin M. McCaslin joined the firm of Pignato, Cooper, Kolker and Roberson PC. Daniel X. Resendez joined the firm of Crain and Associates PLLC. Gaylan Towle II joined the Oklahoma City firm of Crowe and Dunlevy. Jace T. White joined the Oklahoma City-based firm Pignato, Cooper, Kolker and Robertson PC. ——————————————— Class Notes are from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017

Top to bottom: Rebekah Stewart ’05, Trae Gray ’06, Beatty Brian ’08, Trevor Pemberton ’08, Elizabeth Lauderback Issac ’13 L AW. O KC U . E D U


Before the Blueprints Law Libraries Conference in OKC BY J E N N I F E R P R I L L I M A N


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Photograph by Zocky Photography

Image credit: Zocky

Associate Director of the Chickasaw Nation Law Library & Law Library Professor


LIBRARY IS SO MUCH MORE than just a space where books are housed. It is the role of a librarian to create a sense of place – one that is welcoming, vibrant and informative. A librarian’s job is to connect patrons to accurate and authoritative information using all available tools and technology at their disposal. Because the legal information landscape is constantly changing, law librarians must be knowledgeable about changes and trends in technology and legal publishing. One way of doing this is by attending and participating in conferences. This ensures that we stay ahead of the curve and offer the best services to our students, faculty and alumni. The Mid-America Association of Law Libraries (MAALL) is an organization that provides such opportunities. MAALL is a regional chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries and has over 250 members. Once a year, MAALL hosts a business meeting and educational conference for its members and other law librarians across the country. The meeting location varies from year-to-year and has recently been held in Chicago, St. Louis and Omaha. Librarians who attend work in law schools, law firms and courts in states spanning Wisconsin to Tennessee.

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This year, and for the first time

Consortium pre-conference.

Closing out the first day, attendees

in over ten years, the conference

The meeting lasted two and a

were treated to an opening

was held in Oklahoma. In fact,

half days and offered a mix of

reception at VAST on the 50th floor

before the law school opened its

educational sessions, networking

of the Devon Tower, where conver-

doors at 800 N. Harvey Avenue,

events and social gatherings. OCU

sations from earlier in the day were

the Mid-America Association of

Law librarians attended sessions

continued atop the highest room

Law Libraries was already eagerly

that covered topics including

in the city. The final day of the

planning to host their upcoming

marketing, teaching legal research,

conference was held at OCU Law,

annual meeting in Oklahoma City

trends in legal practice and

where attendees were offered tours

at our newly renovated building.

developments in technology. Legal

that highlighted the building’s

Association leadership and

research vendors also attended to

historic architecture, unique

members were drawn to the city’s

exhibit the latest legal research

artwork, and modern technology.

renaissance and the exciting plans

products and technologies.

for our new downtown law school.

Library directors from several

before travelled to Oklahoma City,

Coincidentally, I served as MAALL’s

law schools, including our own

or had not been in many years, but

Professor Lee Peoples, presented

all left with an improved impres-

2016-17 President and had the

presiding over the meeting. Professor Lee Peoples, Director of the Chickasaw

A librarian’s job is to connect patrons to accurate and authoritative information using all available tools and technology at their disposal.

Nation Law Library,

their scholarship. Professor

sion of our great and growing city.

Peoples shared the findings from

But more impressive than the

his recently published article, “Is

skyline or downtown amenities

the Internet Rotting Oklahoma

was OCU Law’s historic building

Law?” which examines the use

and state-of-the art classroom

of internet links by the Oklahoma

technology. We feel strongly that

judiciary and the impact it has on

hosting the conference enhanced

future research and jurisprudence. 1

the law school’s prestige among

OCU Law’s Professor Deborah

the legal education and law library

Tussey presented the keynote

community. The MAALL Con-

address, in which she spoke about

ference was another reminder of

the role librarians played in her

how lucky we are to have a space

life and scholarship. Head of

that accommodates educational

Participants began arriving

Access Services Librarian Susan

opportunities like this one,

Wednesday, October 12th,

Urban, Metadata and Systems

and allows us to bring together

and the conference officially

Librarian Kathy Broad, and I all

members of the legal community,

began Thursday morning with

presented during the educational

not just within the city, but from

a Mid-America Law Library

portion of the conference.

around the country.

co-chaired the planning committee with me, and the entire library staff helped with conference preparations. Planning began eighteen months before the first attendee arrived. We selected the Aloft Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City as our conference site, where attendees could enjoy floor to ceiling windows that provided beautiful, sweeping views of the city throughout the conference.

Did you know

Nabeel Mansour JD ’99


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is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the world’s largest oil company?

Lee F. Peoples, Is the Internet Rotting Oklahoma Law, 52 TULSA L. REV. 1 (2016)

hosting, but also


privilege of not only

Many participants had never

Dean Couch, Larry Derryberry, Robert Naifeh, President Henry

What Larry Derryberry Taught Me

About Lawyering BY P E T E S E R R ATA , Assistant Dean for Law Career Services


BEGAN MY LEGAL CAREER with the Oklahoma City law firm

of Derryberry & Naifeh. Larry Derryberry was the senior and founding partner of the Firm. He was also a former Attorney General, state legislator and one time gubernatorial candidate. Larry’s gift was that he could make people feel instantly and singularly valued. It didn’t matter whether you were a respected jurist on the state’s highest court, a young lawyer just getting started, or a client

with a problem. Larry made people feel like they mattered. One day during my first year with the Firm, Larry called me with the following facts: the spouse of one of the firm’s largest commercial clients called Larry in tears. The day before, the client was walking her dog when it broke away from its leash and bit a neighbor who had a history of taunting it. The bite was serious and the police were called. A short time later, the city animal control took the dog into custody in order to

determine its fate. That morning, the client received notice that the city had deemed the dog to be “dangerous” and had ordered it to be euthanized. My assignment was simple: find a way to save the dog. I cleared my calendar for the day and immediately began pulling the ordinances, state law and scant legal authority that existed on the topic. After hours of fruitless searching, I reported back to Larry that sadly the city had followed the proper procedures in condemning the dog and

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that its decision was likely unassailable. I fully expected to be sent back to my desk in failure with the admonishment to continue the search. Larry simply nodded in agreement and began dialing the phone. “We’ll just have to ask the city,” he explained as the speakerphone began to ring.

enforcement in a slow and

To say that I was aghast is an understatement. Law school had taught me that the answer to any problem was a well-plead complaint and the reasoned opinion of the law. Yet, here was the senior partner of the firm eschewing two hundred years of legal orthodoxy. Having no idea what was going to happen, I did what any young lawyer in that situation would do, I sat quietly and did my best to look useful.

voice on the phone I feared

Larry’s cadence on the phone was impressive as he navigated the labyrinth of city policies and those entrusted with their

went ear to ear. As luck

steady march to the phone of the person in charge of “doggie death row.” At each level, Larry made the person feel both respected and important in our quest to save the dog. Nearly an hour later, he succeeded in reaching the person in charge. When I heard the that all was lost. She came across as unimpressed by our story as she was hostile to our audacity in bothering her with it. Larry simply smiled and began to work his magic. He told the woman that she sounded familiar and asked whether her father was an attorney in town. She said that indeed he had been but had passed away some time ago. The smile on Larry’s face would have it, we were speaking to the daughter of a man that Larry had hired to work in the attorney

“A good lawyer never dies, he merely appeals to a higher court.” UNKNOWN .

Did you know

Heidi Weingartner JD ’94


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is the Chief HR Officer for the Dallas Cowboys?

Did you know

Sandra Mitchell

JD ’88

serves as Deputy Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)?

general’s office nearly thirty years before. For the next forty-five minutes Larry and the woman caught up on families, children and careers. They spoke about everything it seemed, except the dog. The woman, who now spoke to us like lifelong friends, casually mentioned that our client should pick up the dog before the end of the day. How or why the dog’s life had been spared was never mentioned, and we didn’t ask.

are both caused, and remedied, by people. Unlike “the law,” the people and the problems they bring to us are real. The problems have real causes and real consequences. Our job as lawyers is to find the person that can solve the problem and make them feel good about solving it. In this way, the law is merely a set of tools with which we work. To forget that people are the basis of our calling is to miss the point entirely.

After we called the client and delivered the good news, Larry explained the lesson to be learned. As lawyers, it is easy to believe that the law is a force in and of itself. In reality, laws are merely words on a page. New laws get written and old ones get removed, reworked, or simply forgotten and ignored. Lawyers, he explained, solve problems. Those problems

Working with future lawyers is an experience far more rewarding than I ever imagined. Watching a student transform into a professional over the course of three to four years is like experiencing the best parts of my own past. My hope is to equip our students with those experiences and lessons that helped me to find success. As the greats of the last generation

leave the practice, it becomes ever more important for us to pass on the lessons that we received from our mentors. It is both our highest achievement and greatest obligation to be the mentors that our future lawyers need. Larry Derryberry passed away on November 20, 2016, at the age of 77. Not surprisingly, those present at his funeral included governors, state legislators, members of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and numerous lower courts, federal judges, tribal leaders, celebrated attorneys, civic leaders and many of the clients that Larry loved serving. To say that it was an honor to know and to work for Larry would be an understatement. It is because of the lessons I learned from him that I can now usher in the newest generation of lawyers into the profession.

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Giving —————

2016-2017 DONOR LIST

Visionary $500,000-999,999

The Chickasaw Nation

Innovator $100,000-249,999

E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation


Mr. and Mrs. Ray H. Potts ’65


Norick Investments Ronald Norick/Marjorie Norick Gift Fund Oklahoma City

Mr. Herman Meinders


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Community Foundation


Benefactor $25,000-99,999

Giving to the School of Law allows me to support the quality of education our law students receive and to directly impact their futures and

the future of the legal profession BancFirst

in a tangible and personal way.

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis R. Box ’78

Our robust externship program with over 100 placement sites; our comprehensive legal writing and academic achievement programs; our commitment to a student-centered, personalized, and rigorous educational experience make OCU unique and of extraordinary value to all involved in this marvelous endeavor.

Crowe & Dunlevy Dr. Emmanuel E. Edem ’82 Hartzog, Conger, Cason & Neville, LLP President Robert Henry Mr. and Mrs. Gary B. Homsey ’74 McAfee & Taft, PC Mr. and Mrs. John W. Norman Oklahoma City Community Foundation Sarkeys Foundation Mr. and Mrs. William F. Shdeed ’65 Mr. H. E. Rainbolt


It’s an honor, a privilege, and a sacred commitment to give back to the institution that has given so much to me and to so many others.

Platinum $10,000-24,999

Anonymous Donor Dr. Joseph B. Couch and Dean Valerie K. Couch Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Harroz, III ’09 Robert and Shannon Haupt ’00

————— LAURIE L . JONES A S S O C I AT E D E A N for A D M I S S I O N S

Mr. & Mrs. Steven M. Katigan ’92

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President and Mrs. Andrew K.

Midtown HC, LLC

D E A N ’ S C I RC L E

Oklahoma Bar Foundation, Inc.


Mrs. Sandy Chang & Mr. Fonda

$5,000- 9,999

B. Wu ’08

Mrs. Rachel ‘08 & Dr. Reiji Pappy

Benton ’79

Mr. Tom Quinn ’74 and Mr. Tommy

Mr. and Mrs. William R. Corum ’77

Thompson Mrs. Ann W. Doolittle Ruth Ruhl, P.C. Mrs. E. Ruth Ruhl ’93 Dr. R. Cullen ’99 and Mrs.

Nancy and Robert Anthony

Steve Goetzinger and

The Honorable Deborah Barnes ’83

El Dorado Corporation

and Ron M. Barnes ’80

Steven Camp ’85

Bonnie Thomas

Professor Michael T. Gibson The Honorable Niles L. Jackson ’75 and Mrs. Barbara J. Thornton Dean Eric T. Laity Ms. Melinda Marglous Mass ’05 Mr. and Mrs. Knighton Meade ’65 Mrs. Keri Coleman Norris ’97 Phillips Murrah, PC Pierce, Couch, Hendrickson, Baysinger & Green, L.L.P.

WCM Investment Company

Dr. Jeanne Hoffman Smith

I give because I appreciate the opportunity

I had to attend law school and receive a fine legal education at the OCU School of Law. I also feel that I have a responsibility to

give back to those institutions which have been helpful to me. —————

D R . G E RA L D L . GA M B L E ’ 6 5

Silver $2,500- 4,999

The Honorable Jerry D. Bass ’91 Mr. Jack G. Bush ’59 Mr. and Mrs. George A. Cohlmia Mr. M. Joe Crosthwait, Jr. ’74 Shellie Greiner Mr. Bradley A. Gungoll ’80 Mr. and Mrs. Glede W. Holman ’01 Ms. Karen L. Howick ’78 Frank S. and Julia M. Ladner Family Foundation, Inc. Professor Art G. LeFrancois Mr. George R. Milner, III ’92 Mr. Robert N. Naifeh, Jr. ’83

I place a high value on embracing the road that each of us has been placed

” on because I believe we gain an

appreciation for where we are today when we reflect on all of the experiences and people who have passed through our life and enabled us to learn and grow.

OCU Law was an important milestone in my journey and I love giving back to the school that believed in me along the way.

Ms. Linda J. Byford ’03 Conklin Family Foundation Professor Von R. Creel Professor Paula J. Dalley Ms. Patricia R. Demps ’79 Mr. George E. Proctor, Jr. ’76 and Mrs. Nancy Dumoff Fellers Snide Law Firm Mr. Timothy E. Foley ’92 Garfield County Bar Association Mr. Harry H. Goldman ’77 The Honorable Lydia Y. Green ’03 The Honorable Ronald L. Howland ’64 John & Janet Hudson Professor Barry L. Johnson

Mr. David E. Rainbolt

Dean Laurie L. Jones

Professor Deborah S. Tussey

Mr. Thomas M. Jones and Dr.

Ms. Mary P. Westman

Leslie C. Tregillus ’76 Mr. Richard B. Kells ’78 Mr. and Mrs. Duke R. Ligon


Mr. and Mrs. Donald W.

$1,000- 2,499

MacPherson ’78 Mr. Robert C. Margo ’74 Mrs. Rozia M. McKinney-

Mr. David G. Aelvoet ’93

Foster ’81

American Fidelity Foundation

Mrs. Nikki P. Miliband ’90


Mr. Kenneth A. Nash ’56

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Bates ’94

Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual

Mr. and Mrs. David O. Beal ’74

Insurance Company

Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Beale


Oklahoma County Bar

RAC H E L PA P PY ’ 0 8

Ms. Cahterine Quinlan

Professor Emeritus Norwood P. Beveridge, Jr.


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Ralph A. Sallusti, PC


Mr. and Mrs. John M. Crittenden ’79

Mr. Brandon P. Long ’04

Mr. Hiram S. Sasser, III ’02


Mr. Michael L. Decker ’78

Mrs. Claudia Holliman ’78

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew R. Schroeder ’07

$500- 999

C. Spiropoulos Mr. and Mrs. Irwin H. Steinhorn Ms. Elaine R. Turner ’89 Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence E. Young

Mr. and Mrs. R. Clark Musser

Mr. Jonathan L. Downard ’84 Mr. Robert T. Nguyen ’01

Simmons Charitable Foundation Professor and Mrs. Andrew

Ms. Melissa DeLacerda

Faulk Law Firm, PLLC Ms. Jordan Piel

Ms. J. Angela Ables ’75

Mr. and Mrs. Richard D. Forshee ’80

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Mr. Stephen H. Greetham

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond B. Roush ’76

Mrs. Nancy Arroyo ’78

Mr. Barry Grissom ’81

Mr. Dennis L. Schaefer ’75

Mr. and Mrs. Hamden H.

Mr. J.R.Homsey, Jr. ’73 and Patsy

Baskin, III ’82

B. Homsey

I give because

if the roles were reversed I would want an advocate and friend speaking for me “For those who have been given much, much is expected” Should be the motto of all OCU Law graduates.

The Reverend Dr. Stanley L. Basler

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph B. Huber ’01 Mr. Garvin A. Isaacs, Jr. ’74

V. Arthur & Breda M. Bova ’75

Mr. Robert T. Kemps ’77

The Honorable and Mrs. Rick

Mr. and Mrs. C. Alan

M. Bozarth ’76

Kennington ’96

Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Cooper ’09

Mrs. Dana C. L. Laverty ’84

————— DR. R. CULLEN THOMAS ’99


Mr. Blake C. Erskine, Jr. ’92

$100- 499

Mr. and Mrs. Jay D. Evans ’08 Dr. Mari Fagin Dr. Leighann Farrar

Ms. Christin M. Adkins ’98 Mr. and Mrs. Irving L. Faught Mr. and Mrs. Hady Aghili Mr. Robert D. Allen ’12 Ms. Joni L. Autrey ’12 Mr. J. Edward Barth Mr. and Mrs. William O. Bays ’91 Ms. Janet F. Beard ’84 Mr. and Mrs. Scott Behenna The Honorable Charlotte H. Berry ’77 Mr. Stephen M. Booth ’74

Mr. Dallas E. Ferguson Mr. Timothy H. Gatton ’10 Mr. Pete Gelvin ’79 Ms. Terri Gibbs Ms. Drew Gillum Ms. Sarah J. Glick ’01 Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Goldman ’71 Gunter Hensley, P.C.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hunnicutt ’64

Mrs. Christina E. Murray ’01 Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. ‘Buddy’

Jay G. Israel, P.C. ’74

Neal, Jr. ’75

Mr. and Mrs. R. Lee Ivy ’89

Mr. and Mrs. A. David Necco ’65

Mr. Joseph P. James ’94

Carol North

Mr. Harrison K. Houser ’78

Ms. Kathryn Offermann

Mr. and Mrs. Ted Kavrukov ’77

Ms. Penny S. Oleson ’12

Mr. John F. Kempf, Jr. ’77

Oklahoma City Foundation

Mr. John A. Kenney

Ms. Kendra Orcutt

Knight Mediation

Parker and Parker, Attys at Law

Services LLC Ms. Nicole Kuhns LandownerFirm, PLLC - Mr. Trae Gray ’06 Lange and Lange

Mr. William G. Paul ’99 PayPro LLC Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth E. Pedersen ’03 Mr. Michael R. Perri

Mr. Rick Bragga and Mrs. Debbie

The Hadrava Law Firm PLLC

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy M.

Mohring-Bragga ’86

Mr. Philip D. Hart (deceased)

Larason ’68

Hawkins Law, P.L.L.C.

Pat Layden Law Office, P.C.

Ms. Suzanne C. Hayden

Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Lewis ’68

Richard M. Healy PC

Little Law Firm, PLLC

Mr. Stuart Hene

Ms. Joyce A. Mayer

Hetherington Legal

Mr. James W. McCann ’77

Mr. and Mrs. Larry G. Cassil ’64

Services, PLLC

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McCoy ’70

Mr. Roy W. Chandler ’61

Mrs. Janie S. Hipp

McDivitt & Casey P.C.

Sara J. Rose

Mr. Mickey L. Clagg

Carrie E Hixon, PLLC

Mr. Keith McGlon

Michael A. Rubenstein P.C.

Mr. James A. Clark ’89

Mr. Philip D. Hixon

Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. McGrew

Mr. and Mrs. Joshua A. Rummel ’13

Colcord Hotel

Mr. and Mrs. Donald L. Hoeft

Mrs. Allison C. McGrew ’14

Mr. Roland P. Schafer ’06

Mrs. Jodi C. Cole ’08

The Honorable Jerome

Ms. Joni Menard

Paul and Phyllis Schlessinger

Ms. Stephanie Coulter

A. Holmes

Mr. Donald Mileur

Mr. Kevin L. Sellers ’05

Ms. Carolyn D. Cuskey

Ms. Carla G. Holste

Mr. Samuel Fulkerson and The

Mr. and Mrs. John T. Severe ’78

Dimick Green Brown & Stark PC

Senator and Mrs. David F. Holt ’09

Honorable Suzanne Mitchell

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen E. DiNovis ’78

Mr. and Mrs. Curtis L. Horrall ’57

Professor Daniel J. Morgan

Sheets ’79

Ms. Karen Eby

Mr. Harrison K. Houser ’78

Mrs. Angela R. Morrison ’90

Mr. Richard M. Smith ’73

Mr. Christopher Elliott

Ms. Tina A. Hughes ’90

Mr. and Mrs. Caleb J. Muckala ’04

Mrs. Kimberlee Taggart Spady ’93

Ms. Dorothy J. Brown ’80 Mr. and Mrs. Justin A. Bryant Mr. P. Scott Buhlinger Mr. and Mrs. Randall K. Calvert ’90 Mr. Earnest C. Cash ’74

Mrs. Patricia A. Podolec ’06 Mr. and Mrs. Gary Reid ’96 Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Resnick Revel 8 Salon & Spa Ms. Cindy L. Richard ’92 Mr. Lee Peoples and Mrs. Emma Rolls Mr. Jay Shanker and Ms.

Mr. Robert Sheets and Dr. Mary

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Mr. and Mrs. Brian J. Stanley ’85

Ms. Heidi M. Weingartner ’94

Mr. and Mrs. John T. Greiner, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. John Stansbury

Mr. R.L. Reynolds

Dr. Scott Gronlund

Major (Ret.) Robert C. Stillwell ’93

The Honorable Noma Gurich

Mr. and Mrs. Dan M. Stroup ’86

The Honorable Barbara P.

Mr. Robert J. Strunin ’73


Law Office of Paula Kim

$25- 99

Hatfield ’84

Ms. Bambi A. Hora

Sweet Mimosa Day Spa

Ms. Heather L. Howerton Donor Unknown - Cash Mahmood and Samina Karim Christopher and Brook Arbeitman

Mr. Thomas M. Jones and

Mr. Benjamin Kempton

Dr. Leslie C. Tregillus ’76

Mrs. Leslie Barrows ’00

Mr. Robert P. Van Cleef, Jr. ’77

Ms. Vicki Barton

Vanhooser Law Firm PLLC

Ms. Sue Battle

Mr. Earle D. Wagner ’70

Mr. Stephen Butler

The Honorable Ray L. Wall ’68

Mr. and Dr. Stephen S. Bracken ’11

The Reverend and Mrs. William

Mr. William S. Ruggierio and Mrs.

C. Wantland ’64 Courtney Warmington PLLC Ms. Jane F. Wheeler Ms. Patty A. Whitecotton ’76

Ms. Diane Lewis Mr. Jason T. Maher Mahoney & Mahoney, Inc. Ms. Kelly S. Monroe

Mr. and Mrs. Carl W. Young ’74 Mr. Wilson Roberts and The

Mrs. Shyla Dwyer ’09 Mr. Ming Gu ’01 Mr. and Mrs. John M. Gunter ’77

Mrs. Sandra Pantlik

Mr. and Mrs. Howard S.

Ms. Nancy S. Cain Ms. Lavaughn Carey

Mrs. Shelley Phillips ’93 Mr. David Postic Mr. and Mrs. King F. Price ’88 Ms. Jennifer S. Prilliman

Cochran-McCall ’09

Ms. Deidra Ritchhart

Ms. Charlotte R. Cooper

Mrs. and Mr. Kate Rutledge

Ms. Carolyn D. Cuskey

Mr. and Mrs. William H.

Mrs. Gayla J. DeGiusti ’98 Professor Gregory N. Eddington Ms. Anna M. Eischen ’00

Daniel M. Delluomo, Inc. ’86

Flint Restaurant

Professor Casey Ross ’03 Mr. C.

Ms. Ramona K. Freels

Mr. F. William Thetford ’78

Mr. Elhrick J. Cerdan ’13

Mr. and Mrs. Dusty Burchfield ’13

Ms. Cynthia Finneran

Mr. Brent Stockwell

Mrs. Vickey J. Cannady

Professor Danne L. Johnson

Honorable Bana Roberts ’74

Sean Spivey ’09

Mr. and Mrs. William R. Burkett

OKC Kayak

Mrs. Amanda J.

Mr. Charles W. Wright ’84

Mr. Malcolm H. Branch ’70

Linda Bucher ’75

Wiese Law Firm, PLC

Dr. Michael A. Wolf ’00


Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Hay ’84

Mr. Paul Clark

Wishnuck Investments LLC

Mr. Cornell R. Woodard


Mr. and Mrs. Larry S. Wiese ’95

Wine and Palette

Winchester ’77

Ms. Sandie Holguin

Sullivan, PLLC

Mrs. Milissa R. Tipton-Dunkins ’03

Justice and Mrs. James R.

Ms. Rita Geiger The Honorable Douglas W. Golden ’78

Josephson ’77 Mr. Billy Keene Ms. Erica R. Mackey ’14 Mama’s Tofu Ms. Sylvia Marks-Barnett Professor Huang Mingmir Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Moore, Jr.

Sanford ’68

Mr. and Mrs. Mike D. Potts ’14

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schlesinger

Ms. Christina Rodriguez

Mr. Kevin L. Sellers ’05

Mr. Pete G. Serrata, III ’06

Mr. Larry M. Spears ’73

Mr. Joe B. Wheeler, Jr. ’67

Mr. Brent Stockwell

Mrs. Nancy A. Winans-Garrison ’97

Mr. William R. Thomas ’16

Ms. Maria Winnie

Mr. Travis N. Weedn ’14 Ms. Leslie M. Wileman ’98 Ms. Beverly J. Willey

It was The Innocent Man by John Grisham that struck a passion I did not know I had. His only non-fiction novel told the devastating story of two men that spent over 10 years on death row for a crime they did not commit. When I heard OCU Law was starting an

Innocence Project clinic, I immediately knew I wanted to help...

As an alum, when you see your alma mater doing great things for a city and state that you love, there is a true feeling of pride. We need good lawyers in this country in all areas of law and OCU


Law is definitely producing some incredible ones. This is why I give.

C A R LY M A D E R E R ’ 1 0

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America’s Most-Loved Legal Team B Y A L LY R O D R I G U E Z


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Derek attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with business degree in 2006. At that point,

carhops on roller skates. Founded in

he needed to decide what career path

1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, SONIC

he would take. His parents always sug-

revolutionized the ordering process

gested that he should attend law school

with its curbside speakers, which al-

because he was so argumentative as a

lowed customers to place food orders

child, but Derek saw other reasons that

without leaving their vehicles. Today,

he should attend. “I was drawn to the

it is the nation’s largest chain of drive-

legal profession because of the breadth

in restaurants with more than 3,500

of impactful opportunities it provides.

drive-ins in 45 states. SONIC Drive-

I realized at a young age that lawyers

In’s corporate headquarters is located

can be, and indeed are, influential in

in the Bricktown neighborhood of

many different areas, whether it be

Oklahoma City, which is where Derek

politics, industry, criminal justice or

Ensminger, 2009 graduate of OCU

social reformation. I felt that the legal

Law, works as the Associate General

profession has the best path for me to

Counsel for Labor and Employment.

make a difference.” After graduating

Image credit: Sean Locke


ONIC DRIVE-IN is known for its foot-long coneys, endless drink combinations and


from OCU Law in 2009, he began his career with the Oklahoma City law firm of Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville, the law firm of former OCU General Counsel Bill Conger and Dean Valerie Couch, where he practiced for 6 years. It was during that time that he realized his enjoyment for practicing employment law.

“When I see a drive-in or a SONIC advertisement, I’m filled with pride and gratitude that I get to be a part of this brand.” As an employment and labor law attorney for SONIC Drive-In since 2016, Derek provides legal guidance and support to management and human resources on all labor and employment issues. Although much of employment law is driven by federal and state statutes, it can also include interesting contract, tort and constitutional issues. Helping people in matters where they may not know how to help themselves fuels Derek’s passion for his work. Working for SONIC is a unique experience. The company has a history of integrity, creativity and strong leadership. It is an iconic and innovative brand that is known for being a part of the community. They have community giving programs that help advance education and opportunities for the Oklahoma youth. “When I see a drive-in or a SONIC advertisement, I’m filled with pride and gratitude that I get to be a part of this brand.” Derek knows that the work he is doing on a day-to-day basis affects the lives of many, and he knows he is making a difference – which makes it that much tastier when he drives in for his favorite SONIC order: a corn dog, tater tots, and an orange slush.

Derek has been married to his wife Kitty for 10 years and they have three children; Will (6), Abby (4), and baby Link. Derek also serves on OCU Law’s adjunct faculty, teaching labor and employment law.



karli M c M U R RAY

Transforming Life One Drop of Water at a Time B Y A L LY R O D R I G U E Z


and human rights.


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Image credit: B. Harvey


HILE IT’S TRUE that OCU Law can take you anywhere, few young alumni embody that notion quite like Karli McMurray. A 2011 graduate, McMurray stretches the idea of a global career about as far as you can: it is 6,614 miles from her native Hobbs, New Mexico, to Ghana, Africa. After growing up in Hobbs, she graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and a Supplementary Major in Law and Society. This led McMurray to pursue a legal degree and to focus her dreams on children’s rights

communities through the rehabilitation of inoperable boreholes, holes that have been drilled into the ground through use of a manual pump to reach ground water. Water is then delivered to the surface. One Love Worldwide currently has 29 water projects across Ghana’s Eastern Region providing over 45,000 people with safe access to clean water. McMurray personally travels to Ghana to complete the projects and manages all fundraising efforts. Carli has always had an interest in justice, law and the legal process. “I view a lawyer as someone who has the power to help others seek justice.” After her first year in law school, she spent her summer in Ghana, where she studied law and interned for a judge at the High Court of Accra. She spent time in rural villages where she witnessed unimaginable suffering. “This experience introduced career possibilities I never anticipated; it changed my life, as well as my career plans.” In February 2010, during her second year of law school, she established a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called One Love Worldwide, with the help of OCU Law’s International Human Rights Association as well as OCU Law’s beloved trial practice professor and University General Counsel Bill Conger.

Life at the OLW Camp is traditional village style – outside showers and bathrooms, and no access to running water nor air-conditioning is standard. Although life in the African bush may pose many challenges, there are numerous reasons she continues the work. “The people, the joy, the music, the culture, the beauty of the country, and the love and appreciation Ghanaians show me create a magnificent environment in which I feel lucky to spend so much time.” McMurray

“I view a lawyer as someone who has the power to help others seek justice.”

and her team at One Love Worldwide are transforming communities as

One Love Worldwide (OLW) is a

the result of safe access to clean

nonprofit organization that works

water, and it is nothing short of

to remedy the world water crisis.

a miracle. This is McMurray’s

Currently 663 million people do not

way of seeking justice for the

have access to clean water. This means

community, one drop of water

almost 1 in 10 are without access to

at a time. For more Information:

the most basic human need. OLW has


worked to bring water to people and

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marla H A R R I N GTO N

Reaching New Heights with NASA B Y A L LY R O D R I G U E Z

of Energy, Savannah River Operations Office in Aiken, South Carolina. These prior

what lies beyond this earth. Many wonder

experiences led her to her current position

what is out there, whether mankind will

as the Director Lead Counsel to the Science

continue to explore space, and dream of someday being able to travel into space themselves. The answer to these and many other questions is the work of the National

Mission Directorate and the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate for NASA. Working at NASA, Harrington addresses

Aeronautics and Space Administration

legal and policy issues impacting NASA’s

(NASA), and OCU Law alumna Marla

Mission Directorates by leading teams of

Harrington is one of the fortunate few who

attorneys in the NASA Office of the General

gets to shape the future of these dreams.

Counsel, other Agency Directorates, centers,

Harrington grew up in Oklahoma City in a family who knew the true meaning of being a public servant. Her father worked for the United States Air Force for 30 years, but it was her cousin, an engineer for the Hubble Space Telescope, who inspired her dream of working at NASA. After graduating from OCU Law in 1990, she began working at Tinker Air Force Base as a contract specialist,


work as an attorney with the Department

international partners and U.S. agencies. She has meetings with scientists, engineers, astronauts, and even Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Dr. John C. Mather, whose work on the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite helped to cement the big-bang theory of the universe. “Every day brings new discoveries and innovations here at home, on Earth and throughout the Universe.”

drafting and negotiating contracts for major

NASA faces unique challenges as almost

weapons systems. She then went on to

everything they do is uncharted territory.

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Image credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/JPL-Caltech/STScI


N A CLEAR OKLAHOMA NIGHT, one can look up and witness a beautiful display of stars and


According to Harrington, NASA is currently considering the “commercialization of space,” specifically with the recent competition for the unused launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Space X and Blue Origin, both privately funded space exploration organizations, submitted bids for the use of the launch pad. Space X was chosen because of its demonstrated ability to use the launch pad more frequently for a wider variety of research and development of new technology. NASA is also working towards privatizing the U.S. portion of the International Space Station after 2024. In determining how to administer this transaction, Harrington and her colleagues must decide, “How does NASA allocate resources to the commercial market in a fair and equitable way?” It is a critical question Harrington and her team are working hard to answer. Within this

“Our future is bright. I can envision each household having an air vehicle much like the Jetsons’. I can envision deep space travel to Mars and eventually to Kepler 16b, an earth-like planet.”

evolving marketplace, NASA seeks to create a regulatory framework for space rides to the International Space Station, scientific labs, mining asteroids, and travel into space, as regulations are not currently in place. Harrington also asks whether corporations have the same duty to protect the earth and its people and inhabitants that countries have. These questions and many more must be answered, and Harrington is intrigued by the path ahead and is up for the challenge. Change brings excitement - excitement for something new and opportunity to create something greater than what existed before. “Our future is bright. I can envision each household having an air vehicle much like the Jetsons’. I can envision deep space travel to Mars and eventually to Kepler 16b, an earth-like planet.” Space exploration is entering a new renaissance, and Harrington is a proud OCU Law alumna shaping the future.

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jeff B E R RY

For Love of the Game B Y A L LY R O D R I G U E Z


the Boston Red Sox minor league system.


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Dick Vitale, Buster Posey and Jeff Berry

Image credit: Sean Locke


OPCORN. HOT DOGS. Seventhinning stretch. The smell of freshly cut grass, and the crack of the bat. These are all things that come to mind when you think of baseball. But have you ever stopped to think about the players behind the scenes who negotiate the deals and create the policies that shape the fan experience? Jeff Berry, a 1998 graduate of the law school, is the Co-Head of Baseball for Creative Artists Agency (CAA), an entertainment sports agency that represents approximately 1,000 of the world’s top athletes. Originally from Owensboro, Kentucky, he graduated from UNC Charlotte with a B.S. in Business Administration and was a catcher for its baseball team. After graduation, he played one season as a minor-league player in

“The thrill for me is working with some of the most talented baseball players in the world and being a small part of helping them accomplish their dreams both on and off the field.”

his three years at OCU as a law student and a baseball coach remain three of the greatest and busiest years of his life. “After Berry loved the game, but ultimately knew he did not have a future as a professional player. On the other hand, he had taken the LSAT in college, yet he wasn’t ready to leave Berry and his wife Sarah have three children: Jax (9), Clark (6) and Whitney (3)

the sport of baseball entirely.

A conversation with a scout from the

the first week, my goal became simple… just try and survive the first semester and not flunk out.” Berry did in fact survive, and right after graduating in 1998 and passing the Oklahoma Bar Exam, he went to work for a sports agency in Houston, TX. Today, he is one of the world’s most powerful sports agents, as well as an advocate for change. When one of his clients, Buster Posey, former National League MVP and catcher for the San Francisco Giants, was injured in 2011, he pushed for a rule change regarding home-plate collisions. As a result of his advocacy, Major League Baseball added Rule 7.13 to protect catchers.

Detroit Tigers led him to Oklahoma City

Attending law school and becoming an

University, as the school was looking for

attorney has allowed Berry to apply the

a graduate assistant coach for its baseball

skills he learned while at OCU Law and to

team. “As soon as the scout told me, I felt

negotiate record breaking contracts for his

immediately that this could be one of the

clients. He has negotiated more than half a

biggest opportunities of my life, as I knew

billion dollars’ worth of contracts, including

I loved baseball and that I wanted to go to

record-setting deals for Posey, Matt Cain of

law school.” He decided to apply to OCU,

the San Francisco Giants and Ian Desmond

even though he had never stepped foot in

of the Colorado Rockies. He also obtained

the state. “I drove to Oklahoma from North

the largest signing bonus in baseball

Carolina with no real plan, just to meet

draft history for Posey at $6.2 million.

with the coaches in person and convince them I was the right person for the job.” Just as he planned, Berry was accepted to the law school and was offered the GA job.

Even with success, Berry is still humbled by the work he does. “The thrill for me is working with some of the most talented baseball players in the world and being a

Berry began both his new job and law

small part of helping them accomplish their

school in the fall of 1995 and says that

dreams both on and off the field.”

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Keynote speaker Steven C. Dixon of Tapstone Energy discussed the future of the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma during the law school’s first Energy Roundtable held in March.

Panelists at OCU Law’s Energy Roundtable included Jim Roth ‘94, Director at Phillips Murrah; Michael Teague, Secretary of Energy & Environment for the State of Oklahoma; Michael Ming, General Manager at General Electric Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center; Dana Murphy ‘93, Chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission; and Steven C. Dixon, President & CEO of Tapstone Energy.

1L student Cassity Reed with her family during the annual Dean’s 1L Welcome Reception held at the start of the 2016/17 school year.

Barbara Kinney ’88 with Connie Calvert ’16 at the 2016 Alumni & Awards Luncheon.


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Artist Adam Lanman discussed his art installation, Skyline: Timeline, on the Gary & Sue Homsey Plaza during an unveiling event.

Students from NALSA (Native American Law Students Association) and PILG (Public Interest Law Group) visited the Cherokee Nation headquarters during Spring Break 2017 for their 2nd Annual Alternative Spring Break in which students assisted tribal members with wills drafting.

Clinical student Todd Adler and OKIP supporters Patsy & J.R. Homsey ‘73 with De’Marchoe Carpenter and his wife Brandy at a meet and greet with the recent Innocence Project exonerees held last September.

OBA Past President Garvin Isaacs along with Dean Valerie Couch, presenting the award for Outstanding Senior Law Student to Cedric Bond at the 2016 Alumni & Awards Luncheon.

The incoming 1L Class of 2016/17 posed for a photo in front of the law school during their 1L Orientation.

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Honorees at the 2016 Alumni & Awards Luncheon. From left, Sallie Cavin accepting on behalf of Janie Hipp, Distinguished Law Alumna; David Holt, Outstanding Young Alumnus; Bryan King receiving on behalf of Fellers Snider, Law Firm Mark of Distinction, Ron Norick, Community & Public Service Award; The Honorable Steven Taylor, Marion P. Opala Award for Lifetime Achievement in Law with Dean Valerie Couch.

2016/17 Law Review Board of Editors at the 2017 Spring Banquet, Emily E. Green, Managing Editor; Cedric C. M. Bond, Editor in Chief; Taylor Tyler, Resource Editor; Sarah Willey, Resource Editor; Christopher Calvert, Articles Editor

David Holt ’09 with The Honorable Yvonne Kauger ’69 at the 2016 Alumni & Awards Luncheon.

“Law school has so easily demonstrated that sometimes steadiness, predictability, and accuracy to perfection are far from possible. But we are living proof that when you surround yourself with others who share passion, determination, insatiable hunger of knowledge, and carefully crafted insight, you will become a driving force that is unstoppable.” K R I S T I N E L I Z A B E T H R I C H A R D S , C L A S S O F 2 0 1 7, 2 0 1 6 - 1 7 S T U D E N T B A R A S S O C I AT I O N P R E S I D E N T


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Faculty and staff Amee Shaw, Allison Rabon, Toni Bourlon, Steven Foster ’08, Stephen Butler, Shanna Pope, Laurie Jones, Jennifer Prilliman and Susan Urban show off their Memorial Marathon shirts and medals. In the middle are Murrah Student Association members and Marathon participants Dana Ashcraft, Blake Batchelor and Nicole Cawood.

April Eberle ’99 and family enjoyed face painting, food, and festivities while watching the OKC Thunder take on the Golden State Warriors at the Thunder Alumni Night.

Jessica Camp ’16 and Christen Moroz ’16 at the OBA swearing In ceremony.

OCU Law Faculty and staff relay team members Allison Rabon, Stephen Butler, Shanna Pope, Jennifer Prilliman and Toni Bourlon.

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Photograph by Simon Hurst Photography

In Conclusion:

Lee Peoples A Journey Toward Change


FTER A FIFTEEN YEAR long career in the law library, Lee Peoples is stepping into a brand-new role. In July, Peoples become Interim Dean, following the departure of Dean Valerie Couch, who, after a year-long sabbatical, will return full time to teaching in Fall 2018. Though her shoes will be difficult to fill, Peoples, a lifelong Oklahoman, is looking forward to the challenge. His commitment and passion for the legal profession, for OCU Law, and for Oklahoma City will inspire great work in the year to come. Peoples is a 1993 graduate of Bishop McGuinness High School. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma, he attended OU College of Law, graduating with his Juris Doctor in 2000. Peoples practiced at the Oklahoma City firm of Klingenberg & Associates before returning to OU for a Master of Library and Information Studies, which he received in 2002. Peoples joined the staff at OCU Law that same year as Head of Reference Services for the Law Library. In 2010, Peoples became Director of the Law Library and Frederick Charles Hicks Professor of Law.

What made you decide to go to law school? In college, I enjoyed researching, thinking, and writing, and I took every political philosophy course offered. Law school was a natural extension of those interests. I was drawn to the legal profession by the role that lawyers play in advocating for the interests of their clients while also serving the broader interests of society as officers of the court.

How did you become interested in library science? Legal research was one of my favorite courses in law school. I was fortunate to become a law librarian at a time of great change in the field. It’s been exiting to explore the intersection of law and technology in my scholarship. My work has looked at the use of Wikipedia and blogs in judicial opinions and how linkrot impacts the growth of the law. My work on placemaking and designing for learning helped guide the renovation of our building.

to pursue opportunities in larger cities. Oklahoma City has changed dramatically since those days and many who left are returning to be a part of the city’s resurgence. There are many opportunities to get involved and be a part of the city’s growth. I’ve served on the Business Improvement District Oversight Board, as Board Secretary for the Midtown OKC Association, and on the City’s Urban Design Commission.

What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as Interim Dean? I’m excited to build upon the strong foundation established by Dean Valerie Couch. I will continue to capitalize on our location and strong connections with the local legal community to offer opportunities only available at OCU Law. Several exciting new programs are in the works and will be announced soon that will help our students become practice

You are very involved with the downtown OKC community. What do you love the most about this city?

ready while giving back to our

Coming of age in Oklahoma City in the 1990s, I remember high school and college friends moving out of state after graduation

students with mentors and

community. The Capital City Connect program discussed in this issue will connect our help launch their careers. The future of OCU Law is bright and I’m excited to be a part of it.


Profile for Oklahoma City University School of Law

2017 LAW Magazine - Diversity  

2017 LAW Magazine - Diversity  

Profile for oculaw