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I am a…

19 Mar

Last year, LMU rolled out three new television spots. The 30 second spots were aimed at promoting the Caylor School of Nursing, the Carter and Moyers School of Education and the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. They were the first in a series that will ultimately include a total of eight spots on LMU and its individual schools and programs. The spots are written by Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations Kate Reagan and produced in conjunction with WBIR-TV in Knoxville where they will also air. WBIR’s Michael Wiseman directed and produced the two of the four current spots. This week, LMU unveiling the next installment…

I Am a Lawyer.

Lincoln Memorial University 2012 Law Program from Michael Wiseman on Vimeo.

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Taking Homecoming on the Road: Duncan School of Law

1 Oct

LMU Homecoming 2011: Celebrating Our Creative Legacy

Homecoming officially kicks-off on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., in 13 days. The annual event got underway ahead of schedule last evening with what is sure to become a new tradition – Homecoming events at extended learning sites. Director of Alumni Services Donnie Lipscomb teamed with LMU’s Women of Service to host a Homecoming gathering at the Duncan School of Law. Congressman Jimmy Duncan was also on hand and sponsored the food at the event.

After a week of mid-term exams, a celebration was in order.

Students at DSOL spent the week taking exams, including their final mid-term which took place immediately prior to the Friday night barbeque. Once the final exam was submitted, the students were greeted with hot dogs, beans, potato salad, chili and a sea of desserts.  Additionally, a corn hole tournament was held and door prizes given out.

Congressman Jimmy Duncan shared stories from his early law career.

DSOL Dean and Vice President Sydney A. Beckman kicked off the event and invited Congressman Duncan to speak. The Congressman chatted with students throughout the event and shared a few stories from his legal career before congress with the group. Students, faculty, staff and their families all joined in the fun.

As we continue to take Homecoming on the road, our next stop will be LMU-Cedar Bluff on Tuesday.

More photos from the event:

 

Congressman Duncan greets DSOL students at the Homecoming gathering. The gathering was a family event.

 

DSOL student leaders Kyle Vaughan and Matt Ooten.

 

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Woefully behind, trying to catch-up

9 Sep

This has been a busy week at LMU. So busy, I have fallen way behind on this blog. I have attempted to catch back up all week, but at the end of the day, it’s the end of the day and I’m out of time. So here we are at 10:26 p.m. on Friday night. So let’s hit the highlights of the week and call ourselves caught-up. I’ll try to start new with the daily posting next week.

Monday brought a rainy Labor Day to LMU. Classes were cancelled and offices were closed and it turned out, the City of Harrogate Labor Day festivities were called on account of rain. The annual celebration which takes place at the Harrogate City Park includes live music, family activities and fireworks. The celebration has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 17 beginning at 3 p.m.

Tuesday, another rainy day, took me to the LMU-Duncan School of Law where everyone is busy preparing for accreditation events. For my part, I arranged a last minute photo shoot to highlight some of the smaller, but no less equipped, study rooms.

 

East Tennessee Foundation grant presentation.

Wednesday, the rain was finally clearing, brought a new session of Staff Senate with a gaggle of new staff representatives including yours truly. The meeting served as an introduction to the organization for us “newbies” as Staff Senate Chair Julie Longmire reviewed the accomplishments of the past year and went over the projects that were being carried over to this year. New officers were also elected. I literally walked out of that meeting and into the next event. The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum had been selected by the East Tennessee Foundation to receive a $2,500 grant and ETF Senior Vice President for Programs and Regional Development Terry Holley travelled to Harrogate to make the presentation (I will share more on this in a future entry). No sooner had I snapped the last picture at the presentation than my phone began to ring. It was Lieutenant Adam Howland with LMU ROTC and they were presenting a huge scholarship to one of our students. It was really a milestone for LMU’s ROTC program which is in the midst’s of a reboot after dropping off the campus landscape for a while (again more on the presentation in another post). I capped the day with a visit to the Math Science Building site to take some photos of the project’s progress. The trip wasn’t exactly planned, so I was dressed appropriately for a construction site. With all the rain, I was lucky to escape without ruining my dress shoes.

 

Marshall Chapman performs.

I started my day on Thursday in Harrogate for a homecoming meeting. I hit the road before noon heading back to DSOL to finish the ABA photo project. Later that evening Writer-in-Residence Darnell Arnoult welcomed Marshall Chapman for the opening of the Appalachian Reading Series. Chapman, a Nashville-fixture, is an accomplished songwriter and essayist. She even stared alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw in the movie Country Strong, she played Paltrow’s road manager. The program was co-sponsored by the Music Department. Chapman performed her music and read from her new book, They Came to Nashville. Afterwards, she met with the crowd and signed books.

 

Marshall Chapman signs Charlie Allen's kindle during the Appalachian Reading Series event on Thursday.

 

And I’m not really sure how Friday got away from me so quickly, but here I am, signing off at 11:11 p.m. (make a wish) whew…. What a week.

 

A day of days for the Duncan School of Law

6 Sep


And with that, the Tennessee Supreme Court was in session at the LMU-Duncan School of Law. What an exciting time for LMU’s young law school. For the roughly 200 students, it was an opportunity to see the state’s highest court in action; for Dean Sydney A. Beckman, his faculty and the administration of LMU, it was a watershed moment in the institution’s lifespan.

 

LMU Chairman Pete DeBusk and LMU-DSOL Dean Sydney A. Beckman take in the action just prior to the Supreme Court proceedings.

When Beckman and company set out to build a law school at LMU, chief among their goals was to harness technology to enhance a student’s experience. They wanted to employ faculty who had practice experience and could offer advice from the life lessons they had learned in their careers. They wanted to provide their students with mentors, as well as teachers, and make sure access was never an issue. They sought to build a facility that could and would host even the state’s highest court so students could observe the law in action.

Last Wednesday, as Justice Sharon G. Lee, Justice Gary R. Wade, Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Justice Janice M. Holder and Justice William C. Koch entered DSOL’s courtroom to the sound of a gavel striking the bench, I could not help but feel a swell of pride for the school, its students, faculty and Dean Beckman.

 

James Alexander of the Old City Hall Partnership, Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) President Nancy B. Moody and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam sign lease agreements to allow LMU to occupy the Old City Hall Building in Knoxville while LMU Board Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk looks on.

Sitting in the very same room that had hosted the lease signing in February of 2008 it’s impossible to quantify just how much has changed in “Old City Hall.” Back then, LMU was still developing plans for the facility that “might” include a possible school of law. Soon after the lease signing, LMU notified the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners of its intent to pursue a jurisprudence degree. Dean Beckman, hadn’t made his first visit to Knoxville yet and was still a faculty member at the Charleston School of Law. He would join LMU in July of 2008. To think of all the man hours that have been spent to get that “possible law school” to the point where it would host the state’s highest court is staggering.

Beyond the pride in how far we’ve come, Wednesday was a celebration of the potential of what is yet to come. As the overflow crowd gathered to hear oral arguments presented in three cases, including a death penalty appeal, it isn’t hard to imagine that some students might one day present their own arguments before the Tennessee Supreme Court. Likewise, it isn’t a far stretch to envision other judges and area courts presiding over the bench in the LMU-DSOL courtroom.

 

 

The Return of the Mary Todd of Old

31 Aug

I have already shared the story of the LMU-Duncan School of Law’s beloved peahen, Mary Todd. Recently, there has been much concern surrounding Mary Todd and her well being, so earlier this week when I saw her perched on the roof of her purple house I breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

 

The corner where Mary Todd made a nest for her eggs.

Midway through July, the gentle bird that had spent the past three years splitting time between her comfy house, an adjacent courtyard and LMU-DSOL’s roof began to display some uncharacteristic behaviors. She holed up in one area and stayed put. Later she started reacting unpredictably when people approached her, even the students who had been responsible for leaving food for her.

Finally, staff found two eggs that she had laid. Soon after they were first spotted, Mary Todd began nesting. For over a month and a half she sat on the eggs and fiercely defended them. I once witnessed her swooping after a squirrel that I’m sure didn’t realize she was there until she attacked.

Since Mary Todd is a feral bird, we could not be certain the eggs were in fact fertilized. She could have found another feral peacock while away from LMU-DSOL ground and it is also not unusual for peahens to lay unfertilized eggs. After contacting officials with LMU’s Veterinary Technology department and UT’s Veterinary School, it was determined that the eggs had been around longer than a natural incubation period. Following that advice, the eggs were retrieved and just like that we had our Mary Todd back. The UT folks said that had the eggs remained, Mary Todd ran the risk of starvation, since she was not leaving the nest for nourishment.   

Tennessee’s highest court coming to LMU-DSOL

29 Aug

Anyone visiting the LMU-Duncan School of Law on Wednesday afternoon can expect a heavier than normal security presence. While the University has round-the-clock security at the law school, it’s never as noticeable as it will be on Wednesday when the Tennessee Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in LMU-DSOL’s Courtroom on the third floor.

Pictured in the courtroom at the Supreme Court Building in Nashville are (seated) Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark (standing left to right) , Justice Janice M. Holder, Justice William C. Koch, Jr., Justice Gary R. Wade and Justice Sharon G. Lee.

Tennessee’s highest court goes on the road a handful of times each year to promote access to educational institutions.  Through the Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students (SCALES) program the Court visits high schools and high school programs. For instance this year they heard oral arguments to both Tennessee Boys State and Tennessee Girls State. The Court has also heard arguments at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. It will be the first such engagement for LMU-DSOL, though the Courtroom was specifically designed to hold five justices on the bench in hopes that the Supreme Court would one day sit there.

Not only will the students of LMU-DSOL be fortunate enough to witness the Court in action, the docket for the afternoon includes a death penalty appeal. Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark and Associate Justices Janice M. Holder, Gary R. Wade, William C. Koch, Jr., and Sharon G. Lee will preside over  Leonard Edward Smith vs. State of Tennessee, Allstate Insurance Company vs. Diana Lynn Tarrant, et al and SNPCO Inc., dba Salvage Unlimited vs. City of Jefferson City, et al.

The Smith case originated in Hamblen County and is a post conviction appeal. Smith is appealing orders of the Hamblen County Circuit Court denying his initial and amended petitions for post-conviction relief challenging his 1985 conviction and life sentence for the first degree felony murder of John Pierce, his 1989 conviction for the first degree felony murder of Novella Webb and his 1995 sentence of death for that murder.

In accordance with the security requirements of the Court, LMU-DSOL will be limiting access to the building throughout the day. The third floor will be restricted in the afternoon when court is in session and everyone entering the building should expect to be wanded by security.

The arguments will be heard beginning at 1:30 p.m. The proceedings are open to the public.

 

 

What’s Happening: DSOL Orientation

6 Aug

Student laptops ready to be deployed.

The LMU-Duncan School of Law welcomed incoming first year law students for orientation today. Two groups of students, part-time and full-time, gathered in the Courtroom for presentations by the Dean, faculty and administration. The groups also received their laptop computers and training on the technology used in the curriculum. Additionally, the students received parking passes, student IDs and heard presentations on financial aid, student services and more. The approximately 60 students will now go through the Bridge Week program as they prepare for their first class which will start on August 15.