Faculty Highlights

Eurilynne Williams and Marlese Wells are named 2022 PLEDGE Fellows

Faculty HighlightsFaculty Highlights
 
Eurilynne Anise Williams is the interim director and instructor of Academic Success & Bar Preparation, and Marlese Wells is the instructor of Academic Success & Bar Preparation at Florida A&M University College of Law.
Their Capstone will test the efficacy of two interventions designed to improve analysis, reading, and writing skills among students who experience academic difficulty.
 
The Professionals in Legal Education Developing Greater Equity (PLEDGE) Fellowship is an 18-month professional development program and intervention-based research project, which launched in June 2022 as a partnership between AccessLex Institute and the Southern Education Foundation. The fellowship targets experienced law school administrators, faculty members, or other similarly situated and experienced professionals.

Professor Maritza Reyes Led as Chair of the 2022 Inaugural Graciela Olivárez Latinas in the Legal Academy (“GO LILA”) Workshop 

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Professor Maritza Reyes led as Chair of the Planning Committee of the 2022 Inaugural Graciela Olivárez Latinas in the Legal Academy (“GO LILA”) Workshop. The workshop was sponsored by Stanford Law School. It welcomed over 70 participants who joined for two days of programming (June 24-25, 2022) aimed at supporting and mentoring Latinas in and aspiring to enter, succeed, and lead in the legal academy. The workshop included plenary sessions for conversations with guests of honor who were the “first.” On Day 1, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined for a conversation that was moderated by N.Y. Court of Appeals Associate Judge Jenny Rivera. On Day 2, Supreme Court of California Justice Patricia Guerrero, the first Latina in this court, joined for a Q&A discussion with President of the Harvard Law Review Priscila Coronado, the first Latina in this role. Workshop participants included fellows, law professors at all stages of academic careers (including deans), and retired law professors. The panels covered a variety of important discussions led by stellar legal academics. Professor Reyes led the opening session with Stanford Law School Dean Jenny S. Martinez. She also co-led the LILA History and Identities plenary session and the plenary sessions with the guests of honor. The workshop website provides additional information and photos of the session with Justice Sotomayor.  

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FAMU Law Professor Ann Marie Cavazos was elected Vice Chair of The Advisory Counsel of Faculty Senates(ACFS) for one- year term.

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In May 2022, Ann Marie Cavazos was elected vice chair of The Advisory Counsel of Faculty Senates (ACFS) for a one-year term. The purpose as defined in the ACFS Constitution: “To represent the Faculty Senates of the SUS institutions in advising the Chancellor of the State University System, the Board of Governors, the Florida State Board of Education, the state Legislature, the Governor and other officials and organizations involved in the establishment of policies, administration, or funding of public higher education in the State of Florida. 

The State University System recognizes the importance of a collegial system of shared academic governance. The Advisory Council of Faculty Senates (ACFS) establishes the means for faculty participation in the process of statewide public university governance.


 

 

FAMU Law Professor Maritza Reyes Reappointed to the Publications Board of the American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Professional Responsibility

 

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Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law Professor Maritza Reyes has been reappointed to serve on the Publications Board of the Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR) of the American Bar Association. She has served on the Board since 2015.

Professor Reyes stated: “I am glad to participate in the promotion of legal ethics within legal practice and the judiciary. Service in the CPR Publications Board is one way to contribute toward this goal. My input in this Board allows me to contribute to the legal profession as a legal academic and attorney.”


FAMU Law Professor Robert Abrams Writes Paper for Supreme Court Water Law

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Robert Abrams joined a small group of water law experts to write a brief for the Supreme Court. The paper is titled “Does the Doctrine of Equitable Apportionment Apply to Conflicts Between States over Groundwater Resources When Such Resources Are Derived from an Aquifer That Lies Beneath More than One State?”

The American Bar Association published the document in its October 2021 Preview of Supreme Court Cases publication. In November 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Mississippi v. Tennessee. The Court unanimously ruled that water in an underground aquifer that flows across State lines is subject to equitable apportionment between the States, in similar fashion to interstate streams and rivers. The ruling dismissed Mississippi’s complaint.


 

Dean Deidré Keller joins the deans from North Carolina Central University School of Law and Southern University Law Center for AbbVie Legal Day

 

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Keller brought remarks as part of the virtual program designed to introduce law students to the AbbVie law firm, as well as to share information regarding legal careers in healthcare and career opportunities as an in-house lawyer.

Additional speakers from AbbVie included Laura Schumacher, vice chairman, external affairs and chief legal officer; Perry Siatis, senior vice president and deputy general counsel; and Eugenia Blackmon, executive director, social media & digital health compliance.


Ann Marie Cavazos has been re-elected Faculty Senate President

 

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“I am looking forward to building bridges, strengthening foundations, supporting faculty, and the mission of our great institution and the vision of President Larry Robinson,” said Cavazos.

The Faculty Senate, which includes representatives from every school and college within the University, is recognized by the University as an advisory body to the president on general matters that may affect the attainment of the University’s educational objectives.

As our nation continues to battle the pandemic, Cavazos said the faculty is doing its part in ensuring FAMU maintains its standard of “Excellence with Caring.”

“The faculty continues to work collaboratively and remains committed to creating a nurturing and safe environment for the education of our next generation of outstanding students,” she said. “I believe the heart of any great University is a great faculty and we will continue to maintain our relevance in an ever-changing world.”


College of Law Professor Jennifer Smith selected to serve on a committee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners
 

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“I am honored to use my background as a legal practitioner and professor to participate in shaping the bar exam for future lawyers,” said Professor Jennifer Smith. “My background provides diverse representation that has traditionally been excluded from committees developing standardized exams.”

Professor Smith will participate on the Content Scope Committee which is described as a cross-disciplinary and cross-functional committee composed of practitioners, including newly licensed lawyers, and academics who will work together to develop the test content specifications for the next generation of the bar exam. The focus will be on what knowledge and skills entry-level lawyers need to practice competently.

Professor Smith adds, “It is important to ensure a voice for institutions, like FAMU Law, that are historically underfunded and educate historically underserved students. I expect the committee’s work will help launch an exam that will enrich the testing experience and license a more diverse and better qualified body of lawyers, resulting in a legal profession that more accurately reflects our America.”