Faculty Highlights




Professor Maritza Reyes published Planning, Executing, and Documenting the 2022 Inaugural Graciela Olivárez Latinas in the Legal Academy (“GO LILA”) Workshop – A Chair’s Account in Volume 26, Issue 2, Summer 2023 of the Harvard Latin American Law Review. The article documents the aspirations, actions, and process that served to start an annual workshop for Latinas in the Legal Academy. It also sets forth the historic participation of Latinas who were the first across areas of legal practice, including in the judiciary. The luminaries included Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, California Supreme Court Associate Justice (now Chief Justice) Patricia Guerrero, N.Y. State Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera, and 136th Harvard Law Review President Priscila Coronado. Professor Reyes said: “This article and the two other articles in the issue will serve as historic records of Latinas in the Legal Academy and will hopefully spark a movement to further document our contributions.”  

 10 People Who Make Orlando a Better Place to Live (2023) 



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FAMU Law Professor Ronald Griffin Among Those Honored for Participation in the Historic Brown v. Board of Education Case 




ORLANDO, Fla – Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law Professor Ronald Griffin is one of the legal experts featured on a special mural to honor those who were associated with the historic Brown v. Board of Education case that ended segregation of the public schools in 1954.  

The Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to separate public school children on the basis of race. This overruled the “separate but equal” principle set forth in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case.  

Griffin and others were honored over the summer by Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. The University opened a new law school building and dedicated a special mural featuring Thurgood Marshall, Griffin and others associated with the Brown v. Board of Education case. 

Griffin was a new member of the Washburn University faculty back in 1979, when along with professors Bill Rich, Myrl Duncan and Allen Easley, he volunteered to be part of a litigation team to file another case with the District Court called Brown II.  

“My colleagues and I developed the legal strategy pointing out the failure to fully desegregate the schools,” said Griffin.  

This allowed Griffin and his colleagues to participate in the historic Brown v. Board of Education case. The professors’ actions helped to make sure the landmark legislation was in compliance and enforced in Topeka Public Schools. Enforcement included busing children of color to schools that had previously been all white. 

“My father and mother were my inspiration for the deeds done in the Brown II case,” said Griffin. “To have it recognized and celebrated with others, in a portrait, commissioned by Washburn University Law School kindles warm feelings. Speaking in historic terms: It is something special to pass on to my wife, children and grandchildren.”  

Please click here to see the entire mural painted by artist Michael Toombs, Non Nobis Solum, Not for Ourselves Alone, 2023 

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS)
Women in Legal Education (WILE) video interview



In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), Creighton University School of Law Professor Victoria Haneman interviewed Florida A&M College of Law Professor Maritza Reyes about her insights as Chair of the 2022 Inaugural Graciela Olivárez Latinas in the Legal Academy ("GO LILA") Workshop. The GO LILA Workshop "is dedicated to supporting and mentoring Latinas in and aspiring to enter, succeed, and lead in the legal academy through an annual workshop, beginning with the 2022 Inaugural Workshop."  Professor Reyes's interview is the third one after the launch of the YouTube channel (in August 2023) for the Women in Legal Education ("WILE") Section of The Association of American Law Schools ("AALS"). The AALS WILE Section is the largest AALS section, with over 2,500 members. Professor Reyes said that "it is important to acknowledge and include the contributions and efforts of Latinas in the Legal Academy ("LILAs")." She also said that she appreciated the opportunity to share about the GO LILA Workshop.

Click Here to view Professor Reyes' interview  

Professor Jennifer Smith co-authors book on Electronic Discovery




Carolina Academic Press has recently published the second edition of A Student Electronic Discovery Primer: An Essential Companion for Civil Procedure Courses by William F. Hamilton and Jennifer M. Smith. William Hamilton is on the faculty of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches courses on Electronic Discovery and Data Analysis and Review. He is also the Director of the law school's International Center for Automated Information Retrieval and the E-Discovery Project, and the Vice Chancellor at Bryan University. Jennifer M. Smith is on the faculty of the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University College of Law, where she teaches Civil Procedure and Electronic Discovery. Prior to academia, Professor Smith was a partner with Holland & Knight LLP and a federal judicial law clerk for the Honorable Joseph W. Hatchett, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. 

 A Student Electronic Discovery Primer is the ideal supplement to the traditional civil procedure textbook. Written by former litigators who are now law professors teaching electronic discovery and civil procedure, the Primer is specifically designed as a practical and accessible guide for the first-year law student. Traditional civil procedure textbooks have given short shrift to what has emerged as a foundation of modern civil litigation—electronic discovery. 

This concise text introduces students to the new, continually evolving, and often troubling themes of electronic discovery: preservation, search methods, proportionality, data collection and processing, review, forms of production, computer forensics and sanctions, while touching upon the major issues that confront the use of digital data in litigation. The Primer also explains key terms used in electronic discovery, introduces students to the major cases in electronic discovery, provides guidance on strategies and risks for retrieving electronically stored information, includes sample electronic discovery practice forms, and outlines the key 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to electronic discovery.  

This book is an excellent electronic discovery introduction for students and practitioners, including in-house counsel, as well as a handy guide for civil procedure professors. This second edition includes updates consistent with the ever-changing developments in electronic discovery. 

Book Information 

A Student Electronic Discovery Primer: An Essential Companion for Civil Procedure Courses, Second Edition by William F. Hamilton and Jennifer M. Smith (ISBN: 978-1-5310-2569-4). 


Professor Maritza Reyes was the closing presenter at the 2023 Graciela Olivárez Latinas in the Legal Academy (“GO LILA”) Workshop, which was held at Stanford Law School



As the closing presenter of the 2023 GO LILA Workshop and planning committee chair for the Inaugural GO LILA Workshop in 2022, Professor Maritza Reyes presented about the workshop history and goals. She also offered some historical background about Latinas in the Legal Academy, described the origins of last year's workshop, and provided some reflections on foundational choices that participants can use to guide discussions about how to carry the workshop forward into the future. 

Professor Reyes said: “My work as Chair of the Planning Committee of the Inaugural GO LILA Workshop was a commitment to a higher calling, to contribute with efforts to make positive changes in the Legal Academy, including by helping Latina law professors to find community and get support to reach their highest potential individually and collectively.”

The workshop was held at Stanford Law School, in Stanford, California, on May 30-31, 2023. The agenda for the 2023 GO LILA Workshop is located at this link: click here

FAMU Law Instructor Recognized on the Florida Supreme Court’s Pro Bono List



ORLANDO, Fla - Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law Clinic Instructor Kim Crag-Chaderton is being recognized for her pro bono work in the community. Crag-Chaderton is one of dozens of Orange County lawyers being recognized by the Florida Supreme Court and the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association for their 2022 pro bono work.

“I am passionate about helping children in the dependency court system,” said Crag-Chaderton . “It is encouraging to see how I can have an impact by identifying services and assisting in providing for the needs of a child.”

The Florida Guardian ad Litem Office represents Florida’s abused, neglected and abandoned children in court and the community.

“What some may consider minor changes can have a major effect on a child’s life,” said Crag-Chaderton. “The love and appreciation that comes with this experience is extremely rewarding. Recently, I had a child refer to me as her ‘Angel ad Litem’ – what better compensation could one ask for.”

Each year, attorneys who contribute 20 or more hours receive a letter from the Chief Justice and a pin recognizing their contributions.                                                                                               

To see the entire list please visit here.

Professor Patricia Broussard featured in published article about challenges facing Black women during COVID 19




We are African American women with a combined forty-four years in academia. We are professors of law and have seen firsthand how COVID-19 has ravaged African Americans across this country. As we conversed with one another in the Spring of 2020 about what we were witnessing, we began to look through the spectrum of the law and discrimination, and how this novel Coronavirus is laying bare the inequities and inequalities that have been evident for hundreds of years in the Black community. We felt compelled to put pen to paper and document our conversations in an attempt to give a voice to those most negatively impacted by this deadly virus-those that have long been most underrepresented. We hope that by calling out these disparities, we somehow elevate our nation and change the course of the lives of Black women for the better.


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 



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.



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




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



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





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




“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



“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.”