February 2020
Jerome Reso Jr., president of the Kendall Vick Public Law Foundation, recently visited LSU Law to mark the launch of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program made possible through generous funding by the foundation. Reso was joined by (from left to right) second-year student Zakia Nesbitt, LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge, and second-year student Hailey Manint. Nesbitt and Manint plan to pursue a career in public law following their graduation from LSU Law.
LSU Law launches Loan Repayment Assistance Program with support from Kendall Vick Public Law Foundation
Thanks to generous support by the Kendall Vick Public Law Foundation, the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center has established a Loan Repayment Assistance Program to encourage its recent graduates to practice in public service positions in Louisiana.

The goal of the program is to help remove the barriers to public interest practice faced by recent graduates who have incurred significant debt to finance their legal education. LSU Law will offer up to $5,000 to at least five alumni who graduated in the past five years and who are employed in eligible public service positions in Louisiana. The deadline to apply is April 1.

“Our graduates who pursue a career in public interest law do so because they’re passionate about helping others, but public interest work typically does not pay as well, on the whole, as the private practice of law. In other words, lawyers in public service willingly trade away personal financial reward for the reward of serving others and society at large,” says LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge. “We are excited to offer to our recent graduates in public service this opportunity for assistance with repaying some student loan debt, and we are grateful to the Kendall Vick Public Law Foundation for making this program possible.”

The Kendall Vick Public Law Foundation was established in 1999 with the primary goal of encouraging law graduates to seek careers in public law. Vick was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but lived in New Orleans for over 30 years prior to his death in 1997. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Vick completed his graduate studies in international law at the London School of Economics and advanced legal studies at Balliol College of Oxford University. He also served in the U. S. Army during the Korean Conflict.

Kendall Vick's principal professional activity, though, was serving as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the Louisiana Department of Justice from 1972 to 1988. During his tenure, he issued hundreds of Attorney General Opinions and argued nine cases on behalf of the State of Louisiana before the United States Supreme Court.

“Mr. Vick had a burning passion for public law, and he thought it was horrible that public offices like the one he worked in had to rely on outside counsel so often,” says Jerome Reso Jr., president of the Kendall Vick Public Law Foundation and an attorney at Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer in New Orleans. “He felt very strongly that all state, parish and local agencies should be using in-house attorneys, and he wanted his foundation to help them build up their ranks of attorneys. I know Mr. Vick would be very proud that we are making this Loan Repayment Assistance Program available to LSU Law graduates.”

For more information about the LSU Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program, contact Gigi Gauthier at ggauthier@lsu.edu or 225/578-0733.

Photos: 2020 LSU Law Scholarship Reception honoring benefactors and student recipients
LSU Law hosted its 2019-2020 Scholarship Reception honoring benefactors and student recipients on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at The Club at Union Square.

The event annually connects scholarship donors with the students who benefit from their generosity. Students have the opportunity to learn more about the donors, while donors meet “their” students and learn about the unique qualifications, ambitions, accomplishments and challenges that led them to LSU Law.

Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky visits LSU Law to deliver 2020 Rubin Lecture, lead classes
The Robinson Courtroom at the LSU Law Center was filled to capacity on the evening of Feb. 6 as Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky delivered the 2020 Judge Alvin B. and Janice G. Rubin Visiting Professor Lecture.

Chemerinsky is one of the nation’s leading legal scholars on constitutional law. His guest lecture, “Closing the Courthouse Doors,” detailed several ways in which the U.S. Supreme Court has limited individuals’ access to the court over the past decade, including: restricting who has standing to sue; expanding the immunity of governments and government workers; limiting the kinds of cases the federal courts can hear; and restricting the right of habeas corpus.

Among the more than 100 in attendance were LSU Interim President Tom Galligan; U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana Chief Judge Shelly Dick; U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana Judge John W. deGravelles; and members of the Ayan and Michael Rubin, and Robbie and David Rubin families. LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge welcomed the attendees and introduced Chemerinsky. A reception followed Chemerinsky’s lecture, which lasted about an hour and included a brief question and answer session with attendees.

On Feb. 7, Chemerinsky was back at the LSU Law Center to spend the morning leading several classes before having lunch with faculty members and students.

LSU Law chapter of American Constitution Society named ‘Student Chapter of the Week’
The American Constitution Society has named the LSU Law chapter its “Student Chapter of the Week.”

In honoring the LSU Law chapter, ACS cites its impressive lineup of events thus far this year. Among them, the LSU Law chapter has hosted a guest speaker from local non-profit Voice of the Experience (VOTE), which advocates for the rights of formerly incarcerated people. To mark Constitution Day, it taught a lesson on the First Amendment and separation of powers to high school students at LSU University Laboratory School. The chapter also continued to partner with advocacy groups by co-hosting a bake sale with the LSU Veteran’s Advocacy Club, OutLaw, and the SBA’s Diversity and Professionalism Committee to support transgender military members.

The LSU Law chapter has also helped to facilitate two important career discussions through its “Food for Thought” program, which featured guest speaker LSU Law Professor Pedro Gerson on the topic of public interest lawyering, and the “Empathetic Lawyering and Self Care” event. It also launched the “Where’s the Nuance?” series, which continues this semester. The series is a student-led discussion series that provides space for the chapter to discuss a broad range of topics, including gun control to impeachment.

Professor Keith Hall appointed Director of The LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center
Professor Keith B. Hall has been appointed Director of The LSU John P. Laborde Energy Law Center. He had been serving as Interim Director of the center for approximately a year.

Hall has been an LSU Law faculty member since 2012. As Campanile Charities Professor of Energy Law, he teaches courses in mineral rights, energy law and regulation, international petroleum transactions, and civil law property at the LSU Law Center. Hall has also served as Director of the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute at LSU Law since 2012.

“I am honored to be appointed Director of LSU’s John P. Laborde Energy Law Center. Since the center was founded seven years ago, it has done an excellent job of training law students for careers in the energy sector—whether in law firms, companies, or government,” says Hall. “Many of the center’s graduates are now seen as emerging young leaders in this field. Further, the center’s other programs, such as public lectures on important topics and continuing legal education for lawyers, have received favorable attention nationally, and even internationally.”

Professor Heidi Thompson and Advocacy Fellow Annie Scardulla’s article, "The 6 Cs of Legal Writing," appeared in the Baton Rouge Bar Association’s January/February 2020 publication of The Baton Rouge Lawyer. The article encourages legal writers to draft effective documents by ensuring that the content is compliant, clear, compelling, credible, consummate, and collaborative.
Professor Ken Levy was interviewed by WBRZ-TV for a story about the trial of Laura DeJohn, a former East Feliciana coroner facing charges of conspiracy and filing and maintaining false public records.
A headshot photo of a man wearing a suit and tie
Professor Ed Richards is featured in a Reason magazine explanation of the constitutionality of quarantines and similar measures in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
In our latest Dean's Council Spotlight, 2011 LSU Law graduate Michael F. West shares his advice to current law students, and talks to us about gaming law and his work at Penn National Gaming in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

"A couple of weeks ago, we announced a minority investment in a media company called Barstool Sports to help us promote our gaming and sports wagering offerings," West says. "I will be helping with the integration of the minority investment from a regulatory and compliance perspective. It’s an incredible and exciting opportunity to be a part of something truly unique in the gaming space."

LSU Law alumni profiles of success: U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wilder-Doomes
Cold winters drove Erin Wilder-Doomes from the Midwest after she graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in psychology in 1995, and the warmth of those whom she met as a student at LSU Law has kept her in Baton Rouge ever since.

A native of Topeka, Kansas, Wilder-Doomes decided to head to Iowa for college after receiving a full scholarship offer. She enjoyed her time in Iowa City, but as her undergraduate studies came to a close, she began thinking of warmer climates as she started planning to attend law school.

“I remember it being May and there was still snow on the ground and it was freezing cold—and I decided I was only going to apply to law schools in the South,” says Wilder-Doomes, a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana.

She had never been to Louisiana and wasn’t considering LSU Law when she got a letter encouraging her to visit the campus and apply for admission. She took the law school up on its offer and eventually chose LSU Law over a number of other Southern law schools she had applied to.

“In part, the active efforts LSU Law was making to recruit a more diverse student body was one of the things that really attracted me,” she says. “The people were all so nice, too, and the scholarship really made a difference.”

Second-year LSU Law student Hailey Manint is passionate about helping those around her. She’s an active member of the Public Interest Law Society, serving as the Career and Fellowship Board Chair, and she likes to spend her free time doing pro bono work.

She’s serving as a criminal law student tutor this year, is participating in the Juvenile Defense Clinic, and after graduation she’s hoping to use her law degree to pursue a career in public interest law.

“My dream job would be to work for the ACLU doing civil impact litigation,” says the Baton Rouge native and Baton Rouge Magnet High School graduate who earned a BA in English Literature at LSU in 2018. “I want to make a difference in peoples’ lives.”

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