College of Law News

COMMENCEMENT INFORMATION

Date: May 10, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM (Doors open at 9:00 AM)
Location: Curb Event Center at Belmont University
Parking: (1) Curb Garage (Entrance to garage off Bernard Avenue)
(2) Spillover parking lot available off Compton Avenue between Belmont Boulevard and 15th Avenue
Ingress: (1) Eastside of Curb Event Center (north of Curb Garage)
(2) Westside of Curb Event Center (from Belmont Boulevard)
Campus Map: http://campus.belmont.edu/mp3/bu-parking-map_lr.pdf
 

Belmont College of Law Students Selected To Attend 2014 Annual Intellectual Property Law ABA Conference

Washington, D.C., April 2014 – Two Belmont University College of Law students were selected by the American Bar Association to attend the 29th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference.  Phillip Turner was selected as one of twelve law students from ABA accredited schools across the U.S. to attend the conference and manage all of the social media and blog coverage for the three-day conference.  The ABA's Law Student Reporters Program allows law students to attend over 30 continuing legal education (CLE) and keynote events in order to live tweet, blog, and engage with attorneys.  The 29th Annual conference features high-profile speakers and panels covering a wide-variety of intellectual property law topics, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, international law, and more.

Franklin Graves, Class of 2014, attended the conference last year as a Law Student Reporter and will be returning to the conference as the newly appointed Chair of the Communications Subcommittee for the ABA's Section of Intellectual Property Law.  Graves and Turner are members of the Law Student Action Group, which is designed to connect law students with attorneys from around the world to work on ABA projects, writing and drafting assignments, online CLEs, and more.

Law Students Win Regional Trial Advocacy Competition 

LOUISVILLE, March 23, 2014 –  Two trial advocacy teams from Belmont University College of Law competed in the Louisville, KY, regional of the 2014 American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition. Both teams went undefeated until they met each other in the championship round.

Katie Blankenship receives TBA 2014 Law Student Volunteer Award

NASHVILLE, November 11, 2013 –  Katie Blankenship (3L) has been selected by the Tennessee Bar Association as the recipient of the TBA’s 2014 Law Student Volunteer Award.  The Law Student Volunteer Award recognizes a student who has dedicated a substantial amount of time in pro bono services to an organization that is primarily engaged in providing legal representation to the indigent.  Award winners will be honored at the Tennessee Bar Association's 2014 Public Service Luncheon January 18 in Nashville.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is the 2014 Charter Class Commencement Speaker

 

Belmont University College of Law Receives Provisional Accreditation from ABA

Program receives provisional accreditation in earliest possible timeframe; first Belmont Law class set to graduate spring 2014

NASHVILLE, June 10, 2013 – For the first time in nearly 50 years, a Tennessee law program has received accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar informed Belmont University College of Law it had been granted provisional accreditation at a meeting this past weekend. The milestone was achieved in the earliest possible timeline allowed by accreditation guidelines.

Belmont University Provost Dr. Thomas Burns said, “We are extremely pleased by this recognition of the legal education program that Dean Jeff Kinsler and the faculty of the Belmont College of Law have developed. The granting of provisional accreditation by the ABA validates the outstanding work being done by our administration, faculty and staff to develop a law program of the highest quality focused on preparing practice-ready attorneys.”

Under ABA rules, provisionally accredited law schools are entitled to all rights of fully accredited law schools. In particular, graduates of provisionally accredited law schools are entitled to the same recognition accorded to graduates of fully accredited law schools. A law school must be provisionally accredited for at least two years before applying for full accreditation. To grant provisional accreditation, the ABA reviews numerous factors including curriculum, facilities, library, admissions and faculty.

College of Law Dean Jeff Kinsler said, “Although a new law school, Belmont has become a sought after destination for law study evidenced by the quality of students enrolling in the program and the talented faculty teaching in the program.”

Jaz Boon, a charter class member who will graduate in May 2014, noted, “ABA accreditation validates the hard work of the Belmont Law administration, faculty, staff and students in building a great program. Receiving ABA approval strengthens the momentum our law program has garnered and allows us to become an even greater asset to the state of Tennessee and beyond.”

On October 7, 2009, Belmont University announced its intention to open a College of Law and the charter class began course work in the fall of 2011. It is now the first law school in Nashville to be accredited by the ABA since 1925. The College of Law provides a natural extension of the university's mission and vision, which emphasize challenging academics, a service-minded approach, real-world experience and community leadership. 



The College of Law is housed in a new building, the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center, which opened in August 2012 and includes a state-of-the-art Law Library. The College of Law is integrated into Belmont's main campus and offers specialties in areas that complement the university's nationally-known undergraduate program offerings, including healthcare and entertainment/music business.

Ranked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the fifth consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of approximately 6,650 students who come from every state and 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs, a fact made evident in the University’s hometown, Nashville, where students served more than 60,000 hours of community service (valued at $450,000) during the last academic year. Belmont is also home to the World Cup champion Enactus team, a group of 42 student leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. With more than 80 areas of study, 23 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information, visit www.belmont.edu.

 

Fall 2013 Law Faculty Appointments

Belmont University College of Law is pleased to announce the hire of four new faculty members.  They will begin teaching in August 2013.

 

TRAVIS BRANDON

Assistant Professor of Law

B.A., M.S., J.D., Stanford University; M.A., M.Phil., Yale University

Prior to joining the Belmont faculty, Travis Brandon was an associate in the Energy & Environment group at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco, where he focused on complex regulatory litigation under major federal and state environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, and NEPA. At Morrison & Foerster, Professor Brandon also maintained an active pro bono practice, where he advised clients such as the Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund on issues ranging from conservation easements to marine spatial planning.

Before entering practice Professor Brandon clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan on the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. He graduated from Stanford Law School, where he also obtained an M.S. in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. Professor Brandon received his B.A. from Stanford University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his M.A. and M.Phil. in English literature at Yale University.

Professor Brandon teaches Environmental Law, Energy Law, and Remedies.

 

DEBORAH FARRINGER

Assistant Professor of Law

B.A., University of San Diego; J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School

Professor Farringer graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Diego with a B.A. in History and received her Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Law where she was a member of the Order of the Coif.  While in law school, Professor Farringer served as the Senior Notes Editor for the Vanderbilt Law Review.  Immediately following law school, Professor Farringer completed a judicial clerkship for Judge H. Emory Widener, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Abingdon, Virginia. 

Prior to joining Belmont University College of Law, Professor Farringer served as Senior Associate General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at Vanderbilt University, where her practice focused primarily on transactional matters for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, including analysis of contracts for compliance with applicable healthcare laws such as the Stark law, Antikickback statute, civil monetary penalties law, and the false claims act, physician practice acquisitions, joint ventures, general corporate governance and corporate maintenance issues, hospital operations, and real estate leasing and purchasing issues.  Prior to joining Vanderbilt University, Professor Farringer was an associate at Bass, Berry & Sims PLC where she practiced in the firm's Healthcare Industry group. 

Professor Farringer is a member of the Tennessee Bar.  At Belmont, Professor Farringer teaches health law courses.

 

AMANDA GARCIA

Visiting Assistant Professor of Law

B.A., Stanford University; J.D., New York University School of Law

Amanda Garcia graduated with distinction from Stanford University and magna cum laude from New York University School of Law. At NYU, Professor Garcia was elected to Order of the Coif and served as Colloquium Editor on the NYU Environmental Law Journal. She clerked for the Honorable Alicemarie H. Stotler of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

After clerking, Professor Garcia joined Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, a boutique law firm in San Francisco that specializes in public law, where her practice focused on litigating issues related to federal jurisdiction. Before coming to Belmont University College of Law, Professor Garcia served as managing attorney at San Francisco Baykeeper, where she developed and managed a litigation docket in federal court.      

Professor Garcia is a member of the California Bar and is admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Northern and Central Districts of California. At Belmont, Professor Garcia teaches Federal Courts, Conflict of Laws and Criminal Law.

 

CHARLES TROST

Professor of Law

B.S., Vanderbilt University; J.D., University of Alabama School of Law; LL.M., New York University School of Law

Prior to joining Belmont University College of Law, Dean Trost served as the Commissioner of Revenue for the State of Tennessee.  Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, he was a partner with the Nashville law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, where his practice focused on state tax litigation.  He continues his affiliation with Waller Lansden as Senior Counsel in the Tax Group.

Before joining Waller Lansden, Dean Trost was Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law where he taught several tax courses, Business Organizations, Wills and Trusts, Law and Medicine, and Legal Ethics.  He has also taught as a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of Tennessee College of Law and Vanderbilt Law School.  Before entering teaching he practiced in Columbia, Tennessee, with Courtney, Trost, Leech & Hardin.  After graduating from law school he served as law clerk to U. S. District Judge William Miller of the Middle District of Tennessee.

Dean Trost is a member of the Alabama and Tennessee Bars and has been a Tennessee Uniform Law Commissioner since 1997.  He serves the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws as its Treasurer and as a member of its Executive Committee.  He is a coauthor of Hartman & Trost, Federal Limitations on State and Federal Taxation, 2d (Thomson West).  Dean Trost received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, and his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law.  He is a Trustee of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and serves as a member of the Board of The Land Trust for Tennessee.

At Belmont, Professor Trost teaches tax law courses.

 

Inaugural Barrister's Ball raises $5,000 for Local Charity

On March 15th, the College of Law held its first-ever Barrister's Ball at the Hutton Hotel.  Find out how Belmont turned this traditional law school event into a fundraiser HERE.   

Faculty Invited to Provide Keynote


Professor Loren Mulraine has been invited to provide a keynote address regarding Social Justice, Entrepreneurship and the Entertainment Industry at the annual meeting of The Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ). IIPSJ will celebrate its Tenth Anniversary and its two-day program will be held on the campus of Howard University School of Law. 
 
Professor Mulraine is excited to be a contributing member of this conference, as IIPSJ continues to focus on the topic of Intellectual Property for practicing attorneys.  IIPSJ states “The continuing convergence of the major forms of IP protection has made it essential that IP lawyers keep pace with important developments in multiple areas of IP practice. Today’s IP attorneys keep abreast of relevant changes in the law, and often find knowledge of major developments in IP jurisprudence.”

Furthermore, IIPSJ explains, “the need for fresh, innovative approaches to new IP challenges spurs the demand for diversity in the IP bar. To meet the evolving needs of today’s IP practitioners, creators, developers, and distributors, IIPSJ presents a comprehensive two-day program, through which seasoned attorneys can enhance their skills, experienced minority and women attorneys can reach wider audiences, and aspiring IP practitioners can enjoy a unique and affordable opportunity to become familiar with key IP principles and important controversies of the day.”

Professor Mulraine’s expertise in the area of Intellectual Property provides Belmont students, specifically Belmont students in the Entertainment & Music Business Law certificate program, insight into this evolving legal area.  

Additionally, Professor Mulraine will be speaking at Valparaiso University Law School - BESLA Student Panel during the spring semester


MORE LAW FACULTY APPOINTMENTS

Belmont University College of Law is pleased to announce the hire of two faculty members.  Their full-time appointment will begin in January 2013.

MELISSA ALEXANDER
Assistant Professor of Law
B.A., Yale University; J.D., University of Virginia School of Law

Prior to joining Belmont, Melissa Alexander was a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, where she focused on complex commercial litigation including intellectual property, healthcare, banking, environmental and entertainment law.  Professor Alexander has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in business litigation by Mid-South Super Lawyers the last three years.  She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, seven federal district courts, and the State of Tennessee.  Professor Alexander served on the Executive Counsel of the Litigation Section of the Tennessee Bar Association from 2007 to 2011.  She has lectured on a variety of topics ranging from Non-Governmental Organizations in Transitional Justice to Evaluating Litigation Claims.

Prior to practicing at Bradley Arant, Professor Alexander clerked for the Honorable John G. Heyburn, II on the United Stated District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.  Professor Alexander graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she represented the school on the National Moot Court team and served as Articles Editor of the Virginia Journal of Sports and the Law.  Before that, Professor Alexander graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, with distinction.  Professor Alexander’s thesis focused on distributive justice in healthcare.  Professor Alexander also has published articles on health care and on human rights.

At Belmont, Professor Alexander will teach Pretrial Litigation, Global Healthcare and Human Rights, Biomedical Ethics, and Trademark Law.

ABBIE DEBLASIS
Assistant Professor of Legal Practice
B.S., Miami University; J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law

Abbie DeBlasis received her Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University where she graduated magna cum laude.  She then received her Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude and Order of the Coif.  While earning her law degree, Professor DeBlasis served as Editor-in-Chief of the Wake Forest Law Review.

Before beginning her teaching career at Belmont, Professor DeBlasis was an associate in the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, where she focused her practice on regulatory and operational matters for health care clients.  Prior thereto, Professor DeBlasis was a senior associate in the Charlotte, North Carolina office of Winston & Strawn LLP working in the areas of syndicated lending and corporate finance and an associate at Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, LLP (now K&L Gates LLP) practicing in the areas of capital markets and private equity.  Professor DeBlasis is a member of the North Carolina and Tennessee bars.

Professor DeBlasis will teach Legal Information and Communication I & II.


A Student's Perspective


The College of Law at Belmont University organized a speaker series for the 2012-2013 academic year.  Current students, faculty, and staff are invited to learn about various topics, such as Global Justice Missions, religious freedom, and First Amendment issues.  A current law student, Douglas R. (2L), attended a presentation of the speaker series and provides his perspective.  

 
One thing that lawyers can almost always count on is that law follows technology.  John Seigenthaler, a journalist and advocate of First Amendment rights, spoke to a group of current law students and the Belmont campus regarding the challenges associated with journalism and other publications on the Internet and related First Amendment implications.  Seigenthaler was involved early on with the technological changes in journalism, as computers and advances in communication enabled the vision and creation of USA Today, where he was the founding editorial director.
 
The Internet has enabled anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to publish just about anything, which has created some problems along the way.  Seigenthaler witnessed some of these problems firsthand when Wikipedia was created with little moderation.  One day Seigenthaler received a call from a friend who told him to check his Wikipedia biography.  Much to his surprise, Seigenthaler’s biography contained false statements such as a claim that he was a suspect in the assassination of a man who entrusted him as an administrative assistant, Robert Kennedy.  Such false claims on Wikipedia were common, and redress was and continues to be difficult because of anonymity on the Internet as well as the difficulties associated with holding Internet Service Providers and other parties liable.  In light of these difficulties, Seigenthaler stressed how important it is to only read reliable sources on the Internet, such as traditional newspaper businesses that are transferring to the digital world.  Presumably, this will encourage companies to pay for advertising on the sources that are reliable and thwart those that allow defamatory speech with little or no regulation.

As a current law student, I was excited that the College of Law brought Seigenthaler to campus and I enjoyed his presentation.  Not only was it informative, but it addressed various issues discussed in class and he provided real life context to these issues.  Additionally, this presentation reminded current students to be meticulous in their research on the Internet.  I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the law outside our normal classroom setting and look forward to attending more lectures that are sponsored by the College of Law.
 
Future speakers include:
Dr.  Ana Aspras Steele
Jay Milbrandt
Fred Thompson


GRAND OPENING

Randall and Sadie Baskin Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony occurred on August 21, 2012. 

MORE LAW FACULTY APPOINTMENTS


Belmont University College of Law is pleased to announce the hire of five faculty members.  Their full-time appointment will begin in August 2012.  All bring a wealth of practice and teaching experience.  There will be an additional two faculty members who will begin teaching in the 2012-13 academic year.  The law school will announce these individuals later this year.


ELLEN BLACK
Assistant Professor of Law & Director of the Externship Program
B.A., Mississippi University for Women; J.D., Texas Tech University School of Law

Ellen Black earned her Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Mississippi University for Women and her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Texas Tech University School of Law, where she held the position of articles editor on the Texas Tech Law Review.  Prior to beginning her career in legal education, Professor Black practiced law for several years at the firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York City.  While at Chadbourne, she practiced in the areas of products liability and commercial litigation and served on the recruiting committee.  Prior to practicing at Chadbourne, Professor Black worked as an associate at the firm Gholson, Hicks & Nichols in Columbus, Mississippi.  She also taught as an adjunct instructor at Mississippi University for Women.  She is a member of the New York, Tennessee, and Mississippi bars.  Professor Black will teach Products Liability and Family Law and will serve as Director of the Externship Program. 

MARK K. BREWER
Associate Professor of Law
B.A., Samford University; Ph.D., University of St Andrews; J.D., Cornell Law School; M.LL.P., Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Professor Brewer comes to Belmont University College of Law from the University of Westminster in London, where he served as a senior lecturer in finance and business law.  Concurrent with his faculty appointment at Westminster, he served as a guest professor at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, a position he continues to hold. 

Prior to his teaching in London, Professor Brewer was a senior associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP in New York and Frankfurt, Germany, where he worked in areas of capital markets and corporate law.  Previously, he was an associate at Linklaters in London and a senior associate at Clifford Chance in Frankfurt, as well as a guest lecturer at the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

Professor Brewer has been named a Truman Scholar in the U.S., a Rotary Scholar in Canada, and a Robert Bosch Fellow in Germany.  He received a DAAD (German Academic Exchange) Scholarship in Germany and an Overseas Research Students Award in the U.K.  He is a member in good standing of the Bar of the State of New York and is active with the Swiss Arbitration Academy.

At Belmont, Professor Brewer will teach Business Associations and Contracts in the fall and International Business Transactions and Payment Systems in the spring.

DONALD Q. COCHRAN
Associate Professor of Law
B.A., J.D., Vanderbilt University

Professor Cochran comes to Belmont University College of Law from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama where he taught for ten years.  At Cumberland, Professor Cochran was the recipient of the Harvey S. Jackson Excellence in Teaching Award and the Lightfoot, Franklin, and White Award for Faculty Scholarship. 

Prior to teaching at Cumberland, Professor Cochran was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Alabama.  As a federal prosecutor, Professor Cochran received both of the highest awards given by the Department of Justice for trial work.  He received the Department’s John C. Marshall Award for the successful 2002 prosecution of Bobby Frank Cherry for the murder of four girls in the bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in 1963.  He also received the 2001 Department of Justice Director’s Award for prosecution of United States v. Harry Snyder and Renee Peugeot, which involved the reporting of falsified drug test results to the FDA.  Prior to his service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was a law clerk for the Honorable Julie E. Carnes of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, then a prosecutor in the Jefferson County (Birmingham, Alabama) District Attorney’s Office, where he handled primarily homicide and sexual assault cases.  Prior to attending law school, Professor Cochran was an Army Ranger and Special Forces officer for nine years. 

At Belmont, Professor Cochran will teach in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Trial Advocacy.


LOREN MULRAINE
Associate Professor of Law
B.A., University of Maryland, College Park; J.D., Howard University School of Law

Loren Mulraine received his B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and his J.D. from Howard University School of Law.  While at Howard, Professor Mulraine was a merit scholar, earned the Dean’s Excellence Award in Government Contracts and served as lead articles editor of the Howard Law Journal. He began his legal career as a government contracts attorney with the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C. before relocating to Nashville to practice entertainment law. His legal clients have included Grammy, Dove and Stellar award winners, gold, platinum and multi-platinum selling artists, producers and songwriters, as well as filmmakers, independent labels and management companies.

Since 1998, Professor Mulraine has taught at Middle Tennessee State University, most recently serving as the Chair of the Department of Recording Industry. He served two non-consecutive terms as interim Associate Dean of the College of Mass Communication at MTSU and has also taught at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. Professor Mulraine has significant experience as a songwriter and independent gospel artist with four solo recordings, several group projects, and session work which includes the Grammy award-winning Andrae’ Crouch project, Tribute: The Songs of Andrae’ Crouch.

Professor Mulraine is a member of The Recording Academy, Gospel Music Association, American Bar Association, National Bar Association, MEIEA, Leadership Music, Leadership Middle Tennessee, and the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association.

At Belmont, Professor Mulraine will teach Entertainment Law courses as well as Intellectual Property.


BRENDA SEE
Professor of Legal Practice
B.A., M.A., J.D., The University of Alabama

Brenda Childs See received her B.S. (1972) and M.A. (1974) degrees from The University of Alabama.  In 1979, she received her J.D. from The University of Alabama School of Law where she was on the editorial staff of the Journal of the Legal Profession.  After serving as the staff attorney for the Alabama Departmental Disabilities Advocacy Program from 1979 to 1981, she practiced law with the firm of Drake, Knowles & Pierce in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, from 1981 to 1983.

Prior to joining the Belmont law faculty, Professor See served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Alabama, where she taught Contracts and Legal Research and Writing.  Prior to joining the law faculty at Faulkner in 2000, Professor See was the Director of the Legal Writing Program at The University of Alabama School of Law.  She has twenty-five years of teaching experience, beginning as an adjunct lecturer at The University of Alabama School of Law in 1986, and joining that law school as a legal writing lecturer in 1993.  She also taught as an adjunct professor in The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration.

Professor See is a member of the American Bar Association, the Alabama Bar Association, the Tuscaloosa County (AL) Bar Association, the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and the Legal Writing Institute.  She will teach Legal Information and Communication I and II.


LYNN RIDGEWAY ZEHRT
Assistant Professor of Law
B.A., University of South Carolina; J.D., University of Alabama School of Law; LL.M., Georgetown University School of Law

Professor Zehrt received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Carolina, graduating magna cum laude, and her Juris Doctorate from The University of Alabama School of Law, also graduating magna cum laude.  While earning her law degree, Professor Zehrt served as a Senior Editor on the Alabama Law Review, and interned both for the Honorable Harold See, Associate Justice on the Alabama Supreme Court, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama.

After graduation, Professor Zehrt served as a law clerk to both the Honorable Ira DeMent of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, and the Honorable C. Lynwood Smith, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.  Upon completion of her clerkships, Professor Zehrt worked for seven years as an associate in the Huntsville, Alabama, office of Bradley Arant Rose & White LLP (currently known as Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP).  While at Bradley Arant, she practiced primarily in the employment and appellate litigation area.  She also demonstrated her commitment to perform pro bono work by representing for numerous years the Downtown Rescue Mission of Huntsville and the Community Action Agency of North Alabama.  She is a member of the Alabama and District of Columbia bars.

Professor Zehrt then received her Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center, graduating with Distinction and earning two Cali Excellence Awards for her studies in Disability Discrimination Law and Employment Discrimination, U.S. and International Perspectives.  She has authored two law review articles, A Decade Later: Adarand and Croson and the Status of Minority Preferences in Government Contracting, 21 Nat’l Black L.J. 1 (2009), and Retaliation’s Changing Landscape, 20 Geo. Mason U. Civ. Rts.L.J. 143 (2010).  Prior to joining Belmont University College of Law, Professor Zehrt taught Appellate Advocacy for three years at George Mason University School of Law. 

At Belmont, Professor Zehrt will teach Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Civil Procedure, and Employment Law.

Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law
Filled by Alberto Gonzales


On October 3, 2011, Belmont University College of Law announced the establishment of the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law. The newly established, endowed position will be filled by former U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. Judge Gonzales will be the only former U.S. Attorney General teaching full time in legal education and will begin his position at Belmont on Jan. 2, 2012.

For more on this story, click here


Belmont Law Enrolls Charter Class


On August 25, 2011, Belmont University College of Law's inaugural class began law study.  The Class of 2014 consists of 132 students from 14 states.  They represent 59 colleges and universities.  The top feeder schools are Auburn University, Austin Peay State University, Baylor University, Belmont University, Lipscomb University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, University of Florida, University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, and Western Kentucky University.


Other national and regional schools represented are Barnard College – Columbia University, Berklee College of Music, Berry College, Clemson University, Elon University, Furman University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University, Mississippi State University, Rhodes College, Sewanee:  The University of the South, The Ohio State University, The University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, University of Cincinnati, University of Georgia, University of Louisville, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Mississippi, University of Notre Dame, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Wake Forest University.


The Charter Class has a median LSAT of 154 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.29.  The 75th/25th percentiles are 157/151 and 3.55/2.94.  Female enrollment is 55.3% and minority enrollment is 17.4%.  The applicant pool was highly competitive with 58% of admitted applicants enrolling in Belmont Law.


The College of Law will enroll its next class in August 2012.  The application cycle runs from September 1 to July 31.  Prospective students should apply early in the cycle as it progressively becomes more competitive.  If you are interested in attending Belmont Law, please contact the Admissions Office at 615-460-8400 or law@belmont.edu to ask questions or schedule an on-campus visit.

Dean Kinsler addresses the Charter Class.

Dean Kinsler addresses the Charter Class.

Students at Law Orientation



Students meet their attorney mentors during Orientation

Students meet their attorney mentors during Orientation.

Students meet their attorney mentors during Orientation.

College of Law Breaks Ground on
Randall and Sadie Baskin Center


Baskins provide $7 million gift in support of new law building, which will feature law library, trial courtroom, five-level parking garage


Baskin Center RenderingBelmont University celebrated today the official groundbreaking for the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center, a 71,000 square foot facility which will serve as the home for the new College of Law and state-of-the-art law library. Randall Baskin, the owner of the Randall Baskin Co. and the founder/ former owner of Brentwood-based Continental Life Insurance Co., has served on Belmont University’s Board of Trustees for 19 years. Known throughout Middle Tennessee for their significant philanthropy and generosity, the Baskins are providing a $7 million leadership gift for the College of Law’s new building. The Baskins already endow a major scholarship fund at Belmont which currently supports five students based on financial need, commitment to work and motivation to succeed. To date more than 100 students have benefited from the scholarship since it was established in 1983. (Click here to see more photos from the groundbreaking.)


Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Randall Baskin built his company the old-fashioned way, through remarkable hard work and dedication. Now, he and Sadie are investing their resources in the people and projects that will shape the future and impact our world, providing an exceptional example of what it means to give back. Opening this College of Law represents a tremendous step for Belmont University, and I’m so proud this building will bear the name of such extraordinary people. The lawyers educated here will one day be community leaders and change agents in Middle Tennessee and around the world, fulfilling the Belmont mission of ‘engaging and transforming the world’ through their efforts on behalf of justice.”

Randall BaskinRandall Baskin said, “I’ve been a part of the Belmont family for a long time, watching this university grow and change at an exponential rate. Throughout my time on the Board, the university’s focus on its Christian mission has remained paramount. Sadie and I take great joy in supporting those efforts. We believe this law school can provide many dedicated students a chance to not only build better lives for themselves, but to also impact their community for years to come.”

The Randall and Sadie Baskin Center will be located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Acklen and 15th Avenues and will include a five-level underground parking garage accommodating more than 500 parking spaces. Total cost for the project is estimated at $32 million once the building is completely outfitted. Slated to open in fall 2012, the Baskin Center is being designed and built by locally-owned companies—Earl Swensson Associates and R.C. Mathews—and will create jobs for hundreds in Middle Tennessee.

The Baskin Center will contain more than a dozen classrooms, a 21st Century trial courtroom, an appellate courtroom, a two-story law library, and more than 20 faculty offices. The building is being designed with the needs of law students in mind and will feature numerous amenities including a student commons, wireless Internet access, offices for student organizations, a locker room and food service.

Jeff Kinsler, the founding dean of Belmont’s College of Law, said, “This state-of-the-art building will be the perfect venue for our first-rate students, faculty and staff. We designed the building for student-centered instruction; it is ideal for preparing professional, practice-ready attorneys for today’s global legal market.”

Baskins with CakeThe Baskin Center will also seek to attain silver LEED certification. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The new building will feature a geo-thermal mechanical system and numerous energy conservation measures within the building to reduce power consumption as part of these efforts.

On Oct. 7, 2009, Belmont University announced the launch of a College of Law, the first new law school in Middle Tennessee in nearly a century. Belmont’s College of Law, the university’s seventh college and fourth doctoral program, represents the university’s most recent venue for educating students to use their talents to meet the world’s needs. The College will begin classes in fall 2011, and when at full capacity, it will enroll approximately 360 students.

The Juris Doctor program will integrate legal analysis, practical legal skills, and professionalism. The unique aspect of the curriculum is the Practicum offered each semester. Through Practicum work, students become proficient in the “practice” of law. Prior to the fourth semester, students elect a “Track” either in Dispute Resolution or Business. Practicum work then concentrates in the specific tracks. Within the Business Track, students may complete a certificate program in Entertainment and Music Business Law. The College of Law’s curricular offerings complement Belmont’s present curricular strengths.

Belmont’s College of Law has also recently completed the hiring for the faculty needed for the charter class.