Committed to Excellence

Dean Rob WilcoxIt’s hard to believe that two years have passed since the groundbreaking ceremony for our new building. It’s even harder to fathom that this June we’ll make our move and be in our new home when the fall semester begins. And while the anticipation continues to grow, it’s important to remember that the best part of our new building will be the education it will help us provide to future law students so that they will become great lawyers. We have a tradition of outstanding alumni. For almost 150 years, our graduates have used their degrees to change this world for the better. And our incredible faculty, with their passion for the law, continues to shape the lives and careers of future alumni.

In this issue, we wanted to share just a few stories of ways our alumni and new faculty members are making an impact. Stories like that of Lonnie Doles and Jack Cohoon, who worked to correct an oversight in the coding of criminal records that too often prevented otherwise-capable individuals from obtaining jobs and providing for their families. Stories like that of Sheila Bias, whose participation in the mentoring program coordinated by the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Center on Professionalism has provided valuable insight and encouragement to many first-year students. And then there’s Lee Floyd, whose 2006 student paper helped change state Supreme Court precedent almost a decade later.

Prof. Bob Felix was the one who brought Lee’s story to our attention, and it serves as a great example of how the bonds between student and teacher last long after graduation. Likewise, Bill McAninch continues to positively affect the lives of our alumni through the Loan Forgiveness Fund he established, which turns 15 this year and has helped numerous public interest lawyers reduce their student debt.

Also in this issue, you’ll meet our six newest faculty members — key hires in helping us increase our clinical offerings, grow our environmental law program and strengthen our legal research and writing curriculum. And you’ll also learn about Prof. Derek Black’s new book, “Ending Zero Tolerance,” which chronicles the rise of such policies and the unintended consequences they have had on our youth.

It’s stories like these that show the impact our school continues to have on our state and our nation. That positive impact is truly something for all of us to be proud of.

And don’t worry — you’ll also find a few photos showing the exciting progress of the building!