May 27, 2024

Law Alumni Society Announces 2023 Award Winners

Law Alumni Society Announces 2023 Award Winners

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This year's recipients include Rodney Slater, Christy Jones, Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler, Melissa Lee, Hope Goins, Christy Comstock, Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard PLLC, and Odom Law Firm.&#13
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Photograph Submitted

This year’s recipients incorporate Rodney Slater, Christy Jones, Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler, Melissa Lee, Hope Goins, Christy Comstock, Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard PLLC, and Odom Law Company.

The U of A College of Legislation and the Law Alumni Society Board of Directors has introduced the 2023 Motivation to Justice and Job Champion award recipients.

This 12 months Rodney Slater J.D.’80 and Christy Jones J.D.’77 will receive the Dedication to Justice Award Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler J.D.’17 will be supplied the Early Job Award Melissa Lee J.D.’99 will be specified the Veterans Award Hope Goins J.D.’06 will be provided the Public Assistance Award Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC will obtain the Job Winner Award-Big Agency (10-in addition) and Odom Legislation Business will be given the Profession Champion Award-Smaller Company (much less than 10).

Rodney Slater – Determination to Justice Award

Slater graduated with his Juris Health practitioner from the U of A Faculty of Regulation in 1980. He became an assistant attorney standard on graduation from legislation university and remained in that placement until eventually 1982. In 1983, Monthly bill Clinton named Slater just one of his assistants, wherever he worked very first in the economic and neighborhood affairs spots, and then later as specific assistant for local community and minority affairs.

In 1987, Clinton named Slater to the Arkansas Highway Fee, where he turned chair in 1992. For the duration of this time, Slater served as director of government affairs for Arkansas State University. Subsequent the election of Clinton as president of the United States, Slater was named the director of the Federal Highway Administration, and in 1997, he was named Secretary of Transportation, a position he held right up until the conclusion of the Clinton administration.

Now, he is with the regulation firm of Squire Patton Boggs LLP, wherever he helps purchasers reenvision their enterprise passions to market a additional environmentally audio, sustainable and safer transportation infrastructure. Slater supports the legislation college and pupils in quite a few means, from speaking at the 2021 graduation ceremony to mentoring pupils. He generously endowed the 6 Pioneers Scholarship, making sure economical help for students in perpetuity and marketing variety in the authorized career. He is a member of the Dean’s Government Advisory Board and served on the Delta Advisory Committee and Funds Campaign Committee.

Christy Jones – Determination to Justice Award

Jones acquired a Bachelor of Arts diploma in political science from the U of A in 1974 and her Juris Health care provider from the School of Regulation in 1977. In a career spanning much more than 40 years, Jones has turn out to be just one of the nation’s most highly regarded solutions legal responsibility and health care litigation lawyers.

She is a trailblazer for generations of woman and regional attorneys. She has served as national trial counsel representing many businesses and has tried using cases during the United States. In numerous of these circumstances, she served as direct counsel in bellwether trials. She is a Fellow in the American College or university of Demo Lawyers.

Jones, now of counsel at Butler Snow, remains committed to the U of A. She is a common contributor to the Legislation Dean’s Fund for Excellence, the Regulation Scholar Emergency Fund and is a member of the Arkansas Law Review Academy. She was a big contributor to the Delta Gamma Residence Project at the U of A, and in 2019, she, along with colleagues at Butler Snow, developed the Butler Snow Christy D. Jones Endowed Scholarship Fund that gives scholarship assistance to law college students with a shown desire in litigation.

Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler – Early Profession Award

Prude-Wheeler graduated with her Juris Medical doctor from the U of A University of Law in 2017. She is the proprietor and founder of Prude Legacy Legislation Group PLLC. Prude-Wheeler began her solo observe just about for the duration of COVID to produce a area for persons of colour to go to for lawful solutions. Being digital allowed her to retain shoppers throughout the point out although trying to keep her fees very low.

Prior to launching her personal company, she labored in ethics and compliance for Walmart, as an attorney for the Legislation Group of Northwest Arkansas and served as lawful counsel for Mercy Healthcare facility. Prude-Wheeler was named to the Northwest Arkansas Enterprise Journal Course of 2021 Quick 15. She has been really lively with the legislation college, mentoring and speaking to varied students.

She has served as a decide in numerous demo competitions and is often prepared to volunteer her time with the legislation university. Prude-Wheeler represents the Arkansas Bar Association on the Arkansas Entry to Justice Commission and serves in different capacities in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Melissa Lee – Veterans Award

Lee, a member of the Class of 1999,  graduated with her Juris Health care provider from the U of A Faculty of Regulation a semester early in December 1998. She also been given her Bachelor of Science degree from the U of A in 1986. She expended 30 several years with the U.S. Military Reserve, retiring as colonel in 2015, a place she held from June 1995 as a result of retirement.

Previous roles with the U.S. Military Reserve consist of captain (1985-1995) and deputy director of communications in the Commercialization Division (2008-2009). Lee beforehand held roles at Tyson and served as the chair of the Veterans Business Useful resource Group. In her current purpose as a actual estate broker, Lee holds the certification of Armed forces Housing Expert. She is a Basis Ambassador for the Girls in Military services Services for The united states Foundation Inc., a member of the Veterans Association of Authentic Estate Industry experts and earlier served on the board for the Veterans Useful resource and Info Centre at the U of A. Lee gained the Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award in 1988, which is introduced on a yearly basis to the best 28 firm-grade officers in the active Military, Military Reserve and Countrywide Guard.

Hope Goins – Community Service Award

Goins acquired her Juris Physician from the U of A Faculty of Regulation in 2006. She at present serves as the bulk staff members director of the U.S. Property of Representatives Committee on Homeland Protection. In this position, she advises Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson on the oversight of the Section of Homeland Safety and nationwide protection through the govt department. Goins is accountable for advancing and coordinating all committee plan and legislation with the leadership of the Residence of Associates.

Through her 15 several years in public services and a 10 years on Capitol Hill, her operate has impacted tens of millions of people today. She has been recognized by Roll Call and the Joint Centre for Political and Economic Scientific studies for main a person of the most assorted staffs on Capitol Hill. She was also named just one of the 40 beneath 40 policy leaders by The Root and Effects DC. She has served as a panelist on voting rights education and learning, is a board member of the Residence Main of Workers Affiliation and the Black Women’s Congressional Alliance.

She is a member of the Congressional Black Associates, Women in Authorities Relations and the United Negro College Fund Hall of Honors. Goins is active in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and creator of an essential kid’s ebook titled The Adventures of Chloe and Chris: The Three Branches of Federal government. The ebook collection is created to nurture the curiosity of youthful readers and their people and equip them with the knowledge to mature into more acutely aware citizens.

Christy Comstock– Gayle Pettus Pontz Award

Comstock gained her Bachelor of Science from the U of A in 1989 and her Juris Health practitioner from the Faculty of law in 1992. Subsequent graduation from regulation university, her emphasis was speedily drawn to transportation-associated litigation and, in a legislation job spanning approximately 30 a long time, has turn into a single of Arkansas’ most formidable trucking protection attorneys — if not the country.

She launched the yearly Arkansas Trucking Seminar, considered a leading accumulating in the transportation business, attracting pros nationwide and from Canada every single yr to Northwest Arkansas. Comstock is a Fellow of the American Higher education of Trial Attorneys. Federal clerkships early in her profession influenced aspirations of just one day staying a decide, and on May perhaps 1, 2021, Comstock was appointed to the U.S. District Courtroom for the Western District of Arkansas as a federal justice of the peace judge.

She is energetic with the legislation college community, volunteering to judge moot court docket competitions and welcoming teams of to start with-yr legislation college students to her dwelling in the course of orientation.

Organization Awards

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard – Vocation Winner Award, Big Organization

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC has been a extensive-time supporter of the University of Law. The firm is devoted to improving authorized instruction, diversity inside the occupation and chances for learners to operate within the business. Each individual yr, Mitchell Williams presents extern and clerkship prospects to students and take part in on campus interviews. A massive proportion of their attorneys are alumni of the College of Legislation, returning to campus to volunteer as guest lecturers in the classrooms and serving in advisory capability on the regulation school’s Business Law Advisory Board.

In addition to their volunteer assistance things to do, Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC is a generous economical supporter of the regulation college. The organization has produced a multi-year pledge to guidance the Structure Times Delta Initiative and the Small business Law Software. The Mitchell Williams Legal Range Fellowship at the School of Law was established by the company to improve diversity attempts among students, and Mitchell Williams has supported an yearly scholarship for the Chair of the Board of Advocates because 1997.

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC is a full-support company law company furnishing strategic, comprehensive lawful counsel to consumers for every thing from working day-to-working day wants to the most elaborate, innovative small business issues. Set up in 1954, the agency has places of work in Minor Rock, Rogers and Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Austin, Texas.

Odom Regulation Organization – Profession Winner Award, Little Agency

Established by Bobby Lee Odom J.D.’70 in 1982, the Odom Law Agency focuses its sources on the exercise of particular personal injury regulation. The agency has exclusively employed U of A School of Law graduates, a lot of of whom participated in moot court docket competitions though students. Over the last number of many years, the organization has improved their volunteer involvement with the School of Law. Customers of the agency serve on panels for pupil discussion gatherings, volunteer as judges for trial competitions and have hosted a meal for a group of incoming 1st-calendar year students throughout orientation.

In addition to their volunteer functions, the firm sponsors a financial award for the pupil selected as “Very best Advocate” in the course of the William H. Sutton Barrister’s Demo Level of competition. Right after the closing spherical of the level of competition, the firm hosts a reception for all of the members and associates of BOA. The Odom Firm’s generosity immediately boosts the legal instruction of our college students through skill developing.

The Odom Regulation Organization has in depth knowledge dealing with situations ranging from targeted traffic court to the Arkansas Supreme Courtroom. Supplying in depth authorized companies, including settlement of statements, mediation, litigation and appellate advocacy.

About the Awards: The Regulation Alumni Modern society Board will understand the 2023 award recipients at the Awards Evening meal on April 15, 2023, for the duration of the University of Legislation Alumni Reunion Weekend. Purchase tickets. For a lot more information and facts about the awards, recipients or to submit a nomination, make sure you visit law.uark.edu/alumni/alumni-awards.

About the College of Arkansas School of Legislation: The law college features a aggressive J.D. as well as an superior LL.M. software, which are taught by nationally identified college. The faculty delivers unique possibilities for college students to participate in professional bono work, externships, stay customer clinics, competitions, and foods and agriculture initiatives. The college strives to identify, talk about, and challenge concerns of race, coloration, ethnicity, and the influence(s) they have on students, school, and personnel customers in an exertion to obtain a assorted, inclusive, and equitable neighborhood. From admitting the Six Pioneers who were the very first African American learners to go to legislation faculty in the South without having a court purchase to graduating governors, judges, prosecutors, and school who went on to come to be President of the United States and Secretary of Point out, the law university has a abundant heritage and tradition. Adhere to us at uarklaw.