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 Legislation Business.

The U of A School of Regulation and the Law Alumni Society Board of Directors has announced the 2023 Determination to Justice and Career Champion award recipients.

This 12 months Rodney Slater J.D.’80 and Christy Jones J.D.’77 will obtain the Dedication to Justice Award Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler J.D.’17 will be presented the Early Job Award Melissa Lee J.D.’99 will be supplied the Veterans Award Hope Goins J.D.’06 will be supplied the General public Services Award Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC will receive the Occupation Champion Award-Huge Organization (10-furthermore) and Odom Law Agency will be provided the Career Winner Award-Small Business (much less than 10).

Rodney Slater – Dedication to Justice Award

Slater graduated with his Juris Medical doctor from the U of A University of Regulation in 1980. He became an assistant attorney normal on graduation from regulation school and remained in that posture until 1982. In 1983, Monthly bill Clinton named Slater a person of his assistants, the place he labored initially in the financial and group affairs parts, and then later on as special assistant for local community and minority affairs.

In 1987, Clinton named Slater to the Arkansas Highway Fee, the place he grew to become chair in 1992. For the duration of this time, Slater served as director of government affairs for Arkansas Point out University. Adhering to 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 until the conclusion of the Clinton administration.

Today, he is with the regulation firm of Squire Patton Boggs LLP, where he will help consumers reenvision their small business passions to encourage a more environmentally audio, sustainable and safer transportation infrastructure. Slater supports the legislation school and pupils in many approaches, from talking at the 2021 commencement ceremony to mentoring pupils. He generously endowed the Six Pioneers Scholarship, making certain fiscal guidance for learners in perpetuity and promoting range in the authorized profession. He is a member of the Dean’s Govt Advisory Board and served on the Delta Advisory Committee and Funds Marketing campaign Committee.

Christy Jones – Commitment to Justice Award

Jones acquired a Bachelor of Arts diploma in political science from the U of A in 1974 and her Juris Doctor from the Faculty of Legislation in 1977. In a profession spanning more than 40 several years, Jones has turn into a person of the nation’s most respected merchandise legal responsibility and health care litigation attorneys.

She is a trailblazer for generations of feminine and regional lawyers. She has served as national trial counsel symbolizing different corporations and has tried using scenarios during the United States. In lots of of these circumstances, she served as lead counsel in bellwether trials. She is a Fellow in the American University of Trial Attorneys.

Jones, now of counsel at Butler Snow, continues to be focused to the U of A. She is a normal contributor to the Law Dean’s Fund for Excellence, the Law University student Emergency Fund and is a member of the Arkansas Legislation Review Academy. She was a major contributor to the Delta Gamma Home Challenge at the U of A, and in 2019, she, together with colleagues at Butler Snow, established the Butler Snow Christy D. Jones Endowed Scholarship Fund that delivers scholarship assistance to regulation students with a shown desire in litigation.

Dequeshia Prude-Wheeler – Early Career Award

Prude-Wheeler graduated with her Juris Medical professional from the U of A College of Legislation in 2017. She is the proprietor and founder of Prude Legacy Law Group PLLC. Prude-Wheeler commenced her solo observe virtually throughout COVID to produce a house for men and women of colour to go to for lawful services. Remaining virtual authorized her to retain shoppers across the state even though holding her charges low.

Prior to launching her individual firm, she worked in ethics and compliance for Walmart, as an attorney for the Regulation Team of Northwest Arkansas and served as lawful counsel for Mercy Clinic. Prude-Wheeler was named to the Northwest Arkansas Enterprise Journal Class of 2021 Quickly 15. She has been quite active with the regulation college, mentoring and talking to assorted college students.

She has served as a judge in multiple demo competitions and is normally ready to volunteer her time with the law university. Prude-Wheeler signifies the Arkansas Bar Affiliation on the Arkansas Accessibility to Justice Commission and serves in several capacities in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Melissa Lee – Veterans Award

Lee, a member of the Course of 1999,  graduated with her Juris Medical professional from the U of A School of Law a semester early in December 1998. She also obtained her Bachelor of Science diploma from the U of A in 1986. She invested 30 years with the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as colonel in 2015, a placement she held from June 1995 by way of retirement.

Former roles with the U.S. Military Reserve incorporate captain (1985-1995) and deputy director of communications in the Commercialization Division (2008-2009). Lee earlier held roles at Tyson and served as the chair of the Veterans Organization Resource Team. In her present-day job as a actual estate broker, Lee retains the certification of Armed service Housing Expert. She is a Foundation Ambassador for the Ladies in Armed service Provider for The usa Foundation Inc., a member of the Veterans Association of Authentic Estate Industry experts and beforehand served on the board for the Veterans Source and Info Middle at the U of A. Lee gained the Douglas MacArthur Management Award in 1988, which is offered every year to the top 28 organization-quality officers in the active Army, Military Reserve and National Guard.

Hope Goins – General public Assistance Award

Goins gained her Juris Medical doctor from the U of A School of Legislation in 2006. She at present serves as the majority staff director of the U.S. Household of Reps Committee on Homeland Safety. In this purpose, she advises Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson on the oversight of the Department of Homeland Protection and national security during the govt department. Goins is accountable for advancing and coordinating all committee policy and legislation with the leadership of the House of Reps.

During her 15 decades in public assistance and a decade on Capitol Hill, her do the job has impacted millions of folks. She has been identified by Roll Contact and the Joint Middle for Political and Financial Experiments for major one of the most various staffs on Capitol Hill. She was also named 1 of the 40 under 40 coverage leaders by The Root and Effect DC. She has served as a panelist on voting legal rights instruction, is a board member of the Dwelling Main of Personnel Association and the Black Women’s Congressional Alliance.

She is a member of the Congressional Black Associates, Girls in Federal government Relations and the United Negro Higher education Fund Corridor of Honors. Goins is active in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and writer of an significant kid’s e book titled The Adventures of Chloe and Chris: The Three Branches of Govt. The ebook sequence is developed to nurture the curiosity of young viewers and their households and equip them with the expertise to grow into a lot more acutely aware citizens.

Christy Comstock– Gayle Pettus Pontz Award

Comstock acquired her Bachelor of Science from the U of A in 1989 and her Juris Medical professional from the College of law in 1992. Pursuing graduation from legislation faculty, her aim was promptly drawn to transportation-associated litigation and, in a legislation vocation spanning virtually 30 several years, has turn into one particular of Arkansas’ most formidable trucking defense lawyers — if not the nation.

She started the yearly Arkansas Trucking Seminar, considered a leading accumulating in the transportation marketplace, attracting gurus nationwide and from Canada every year to Northwest Arkansas. Comstock is a Fellow of the American School of Trial Attorneys. Federal clerkships early in her job impressed aspirations of a single day currently being a decide, and on Could 1, 2021, Comstock was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas as a federal justice of the peace judge.

She is energetic with the regulation faculty neighborhood, volunteering to decide moot court competitions and welcoming groups of to start with-yr legislation college students to her home during orientation.

Firm Awards

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard – Occupation Winner Award, Substantial Business

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC has been a extensive-time supporter of the Faculty of Regulation. The business is devoted to enhancing lawful education, range within just the profession and opportunities for learners to function within just the company. Every year, Mitchell Williams presents extern and clerkship chances to learners and take part in on campus interviews. A massive proportion of their attorneys are alumni of the University of Regulation, returning to campus to volunteer as guest lecturers in the school rooms and serving in advisory capability on the regulation school’s Business Law Advisory Board.

In addition to their volunteer assistance routines, Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC is a generous financial supporter of the legislation university. The company has manufactured a multi-year pledge to support the Structure Days Delta Initiative and the Business enterprise Legislation Plan. The Mitchell Williams Authorized Variety Fellowship at the School of Regulation was designed by the organization to increase variety initiatives 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 comprehensive-provider corporate legislation company furnishing strategic, detailed lawful counsel to shoppers for anything from day-to-working day demands to the most complicated, subtle enterprise issues. Set up in 1954, the firm has offices in Small Rock, Rogers and Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Austin, Texas.

Odom Legislation Company – Occupation Champion Award, Compact Organization

Founded by Bobby Lee Odom J.D.’70 in 1982, the Odom Legislation Business focuses its sources on the follow of private harm legislation. The agency has exclusively hired U of A University of Legislation graduates, lots of of whom participated in moot court docket competitions although students. About the very last number of several years, the company has amplified their volunteer involvement with the Faculty of Legislation. Customers of the company serve on panels for scholar discussion occasions, volunteer as judges for trial competitions and have hosted a dinner for a group of incoming initial-12 months learners all through orientation.

In addition to their volunteer actions, the agency sponsors a economical award for the student selected as “Finest Advocate” in the course of the William H. Sutton Barrister’s Demo Opposition. Immediately after the closing spherical of the level of competition, the company hosts a reception for all of the individuals and members of BOA. The Odom Firm’s generosity directly enhances the authorized training of our college students by talent making.

The Odom Legislation Company has extensive experience dealing with situations ranging from traffic court docket to the Arkansas Supreme Courtroom. Providing in depth authorized expert services, such as settlement of claims, mediation, litigation and appellate advocacy.

About the Awards: The Legislation Alumni Society Board will acknowledge the 2023 award recipients at the Awards Supper on April 15, 2023, through the University of Law Alumni Reunion Weekend. Order tickets. For far more facts about the awards, recipients or to post a nomination, remember to stop by

About the College of Arkansas College of Regulation: The legislation college provides a aggressive J.D. as perfectly as an sophisticated LL.M. application, which are taught by nationally recognized school. The university offers distinctive prospects for learners to participate in professional bono perform, externships, reside shopper clinics, competitions, and food items and agriculture initiatives. The college strives to detect, focus on, and challenge troubles of race, colour, ethnicity, and the affect(s) they have on college students, school, and staff associates in an work to accomplish a numerous, inclusive, and equitable neighborhood. From admitting the 6 Pioneers who have been the initial African American pupils to show up at legislation university in the South with out a courtroom order to graduating governors, judges, prosecutors, and college who went on to become President of the United States and Secretary of Point out, the regulation university has a rich heritage and tradition. Follow us at uarklaw.