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LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law
Robert A. Leflar Law Center
School of Law
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Email: llm@uark.edu

(479) 575-4334
FAX (479) 575-3320

Follow us on Twitter @aglawllm

LLM program blog at www.agfoodllm.com

School of Law
1045 W. Maple St.
Robert A. Leflar Law Center
Waterman Hall
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Phone: (479) 575-5601

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Current LL.M. Candidates

This year’s LL.M. class is a diverse and talented group of attorneys with law degrees from the UCLA, the University of Colorado, Indiana University, Vermont Law School; the University of Londrina in Brazil; the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (William Bowen School of Law), Arizona State University, the University of South Carolina, and, our own University of Arkansas School of Law. We have fifteen candidates in total, with three special candidates attending part-time to allow for their full-time employment. Two are participating in the Program by distance education, helping us to perfect our use of the University’s new video conferencing capabilities.

Jeremy Baker

Served as Research Assistant to Professor Lakshman Guruswamy on manuscript, GLOBAL ENERGY JUSTICE to be published by Foundation Press

J.D., University of Colorado Law School

  • Associate Editor, Colorado Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law Review,
  • Sandgrund Environmental Law Fellowship (Summer 2012)
  • Dean’s Scholar (full tuition merit scholar)
  • Clerking, internships and research assistantships: USDA, Golden Colorado: WildEarth Guardians; Natural Resources Law Center
  • B.A., Northwestern University (Economics)

Publications: Note, The Waikato-Tainui Settlement Act: A new High-Water Mark for Natural Resources Co-management, 24 COLO. J. INT’L ENVTL. L. & POL’Y 163 (2013)

Experience includes: Produce Manager, Mediterranean Market, Queenstown, New Zealand; General Manager, Trimet Associates; ESL Instructor, Hiosaki, Japan; Lead Underwriter, Jones Lang LaSalle; Financial Analyist, Jones Lang LsSalle

Lauren Bernadett

J.D., University of California School of Law at Los Angeles

  • Managing Editor, UCLA LAW REVIEW, (2012-13); Staff (2011-12)
  • Associate Editor, JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY (2010-11)
  • Recipient, Joyce A. Will Scholarship in Environmental Law (2013 merit based award)
  • Clerking, internships and research assistantships: Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, Islands First, Office of California Attorney General
  • B.A., cum laude, University of California at San Diego (Sociology with High Distinction)

Publications: Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration Offset Programs: Strengths, Difficulties, and Suggestions for Their Potential Use in AB 32’s Cap and Trade Program, 31 UCLA J. ENVTLL. L. &POLY (forthcoming 2013); Federal and State Aquaculture Permitting and Leasing Regulations: Balancing a Growing American Industry with Environmental Protection, 23 SAN JOAQUIN AGRIC. L. REV. (forthcoming 2014); The Parties to the Nauru Agreement’s Vessel Day Scheme: Accounting for the Rare Success of an International Agreement (forthcoming 2014, in expedited review process).

Mark Cohen

Attorney, The Cohen Law Group

  • Board of Editors, COLORADO LAWYER; Chairperson of the Board (2012-2013)
  • J.D., University of Colorado School of Law
  • B.A., Whitman College (Economics)

Prior legal experience includes: Cohen Horner, LLP; Municipal Prosecuting Attorney; Interim Municipal Judge; Judge Advocate, U.S. Air Force, (Captain); Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Omaha, NE)

Numerous Legal Publications for the Bar including: Book Review-Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law, The Colorado Lawyer (Nov. 2012); Book Review-Preparing Witnesses: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients, The Colorado Lawyer (Dec. 2012); Cause of Action to Establish Liability of Corporate Director or Officer for Corporation’s Wrongful Conduct, 36 COA2d 441 (2008), Elements of an Effective Workplace Violence Program, THE COLORADO LAWYER, (July 2004).

Published works: BLUETICK REVENGE: A PEPPER KEANE MYSTERY, Mysterious Press (Div. of Time/Warner); THE FRACTAL MURDERS: A PEPPER KEANE MYSTERY, Mysterious Press (A Book Sense 76® Top Ten Mystery Selection (Fall 2002) and a Finalist for the Colorado Book Award).

Licensed to Practice Law in the states of Colorado, and Nebraska (inactive)

Mark is teaching Upper Level Legal Writing in the J.D. Program this year.

Kelly Damewood

J.D., Vermont Law School. magna cum laude

  • Staff Editor, VERMONT LAW REVIEW
  • Full-time Judicial Extern to Judge Ricardo S. Martinez (Fall semester 2012)
  • Recipient, Vermont Law School Academic Excellence Award
  • Clerking and legal internship experience includes: Summer Associate position with the Crag Law Firm (public interest law environmental organization) and legal internship with Rural Vermont (a non-profit small farm advocacy organization)
  • B.A., University of Portland (English, Philosophy minor)

Prior farming and horticulture experience includes founding a operating a certified organic farm in Oregon

Licensed to Practice Law in the state of Oregon

Kelly was awarded the 2013-14 Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship and is already authoring articles for Food Safety News.

Teresa Cristina Garcia

LL.B., State University of Londrina, Brazil

  • Internships with the First Level Federal Court, Office of Legal Affairs, and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office
  • Publications: “Agricultura Sustentável na Amazônia” (Sustainable Agriculture in Amazon Rainforest), Oficina de Disseminacao de Artigos (Dissemination Workshop Articles); “O direito à educação no ECA” (The right to education in ECA), VII Simposio Londrinense sobre o Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente: do direito à educação e seus reflexos na formação cidadã infantojuvenil (Londrinense Symposium on the Child and Adolescent Statute: From the Right to Education and its Reflection inthe Formation of children and youth citizen); “A desaposentação no Regime Geral de Previdência Social e seus efeitos (Exlusion from the General Social Security System and its Effects)”, XI ENINCE – Encontro Integrado de Iniciação Científica e de Extensão (Integrated Meeting Undergraduate Research and Extension); “A desaposentação no Regime Geral de Previdência Social (Exlusion from the General Social Security System)”, IV Fórum de Disseminação de Trabalhos de Conclusão do Curso de Direito (Form for the dissemination of completion project of the Law course).

    Adam Lichtenberger

    J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law, magna cum laude

    • Member, ARKANSAS LAW REVIEW
    • Research Assistant, Susan Schneider
    • Communications Director, Equal Justice Works
    • Member, National Lawyer’s Guild
    • B.S., New College of Florida (Political Science)
    • Sarasota Conservation Award

    Clerking and related legal experience includes: The Family Law Project in Ann Arbor, MI. (working to represent indigent survivors of domestic violence in family law matters); Texas RioGrande Legal Aid Inc.; Equal Justice Works Summer Fellow (advocated for agricultural workers in employment, wage theft, and labor trafficking disputes);
    Legal Aid of Arkansas, AmeriCorps Member

    Prior farming experience includes serving as Manager, Geraldson Community Farm (nonprofit organic vegetable farm)

    Brian Mathison

    Instructor (Chemistry), Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point

    • M.S., Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry, University of California, Davis
    • M.S., Finance, Indiana University Kelley School of Business
    • J.D., Indiana University School of Law
    • B.A., Indiana University (English Literature)
    • B.S., Indiana University (Biochemistry)

    Military Education includes: Chemical Corps Captains Career Course, Criminal Law Advocacy Course, The Judge Advocate General’s Corps Officer Basic Course, Finance Corps Officer Basic Course, Administrative Specialist Course, Finance Specialist Course, Basic Combat Training

    Publications: A Rapid Method to Determine the Sterol, Erythrodiol, and Uvaol Concentrations in Olive Oil, J. AGRIC. & FOOD CHEMISTRY

    Additional legal experience includes: Administrative and Operational Law Attorney, Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan; Trial Counsel, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Ft. Bliss, Texas; Trial Counsel, Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Daegu, Korea; Deputy Legal Advisor, Joint Task Force-North (JTF-N), Ft. Bliss, Texas; Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA), Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Ft. Bliss, Texas; Legal Assistance Attorney, Tax Center Officer-in-Charge
    Licensed to Practice Law in the states of New York, Florida, and Texas

    Brian is attending the LL.M. Program part-time and participating this semester via LifeSize videoconferencing.

    Ruth Laws McLain

    J.D., University of Arkansas at Little Rock William Bowen School of Law

    B.A., Haskell Indian Nations University, Summa Cum Laude (American Indian Studies)

    Publications: Bittersweet, TRIBAL COLLEGE JOURNAL (2010); Wakarusa, TRIBAL COLLEGE JOURNAL (2009); Hesitation, TRIBAL COLLEGE JOURNAL (2009)

    Extensive professional experience in the non-profit and community sector including serving as the Executive Director of the North Arkansas Medical Foundation, the NOARK Girl Scout Council, the Northwest Crisis Intervention Center, the Moberly Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Foundation;

    Other related positions include Director of Volunteers, Episcopal Social Services; Coordinator of Hospice Volunteers, Faith Home Health and Hospice, LLC; Office Manager and Human Resources Manager, HistoRX, Inc.

    Other experience includes: General Manager and Owner of Channel Z Cablevision, Inc., and work as a licensed realtor for Re/MAX One in New Mexico
    Licensed to Practice Law in the state of Arkansas, and the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation

    Vena A-dae Romero

    Executive Director, Cochiti Youth Experience

    • Pro Tem Judge, Karuk Tribe of California
    • J.D., Arizona State University College of Law
    • Arizona State University American Indian Legal Program
    • Co-Founder, Native-Poll-Ooza, Inc.
    • VITA tax preparation program
    • Arizona State Lead for MTV Rock the Vote
    • B.A., Princeton University (Public and International Affairs)
    • President, Native Americans at Princeton

    Prior professional experience includes: Special Assistant to the Governor, Pueblo de Cochiti; Grant writer, Big Valley Rancheria; Education Director, California Tribal TANF Partnership; Director of Native Vote 2006, National Congress of American Indians, Washington, DC; Tribal Advocae, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Scottsdale, AZ; Legislative Correspondent, Office of Senator Pete Domenici, Washington, D.C.; Assistant for Permanent Forum on Indigenous Affairs, The United Nations, New York, NY

    Published Works: SELECTED POEMS IN WHEN THE RAIN SINGS, edited by Lee Francis, Simon &Schuster Children’s Publishing; 1st ed edition (November 1, 1999); SELECTED POEMS IN NIGHT IS GONE, DAY IS STILL COMING, edited by B. Franco, Candlewick; 1 edition (July 14, 2003);

    Erin Shirl

    Former Staff Attorney and Research Coordinator, National Commission on Indian Trust Administration &Reform

    J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

    • Junior Editor, JOURNAL OF ISLAMIC LAW &CULTURE (2010-2011)
    • President/Founder, Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, Fayetteville (2010-2011)
    • Benjamin J. Althemimer Moot Court Competition Quarterfinalist (2010)
    • Philanthropy Chair &Marshal, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity-Garland Chapter (2009-2010)

    B.A., Magna cum laude, Ouachita Baptist University (Political Science)

    • Outstanding Graduate in Political Science (2006)

    Licensed to Practice Law in the state of Arkansas

    Kathryn D. Smith

    J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

    • Editor in Chief, Journal of Food Law &Policy (2011-12)
    • Outstanding Contribution to Law School Publications Award

    B.S., cum laude, University of Alabama (Criminal Justice)

    • Departmental Honors and Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society

    B.A., University of Alabama (Spanish) with University Honors

    DELE Certified at the Intermediate Level (Spanish)

    Prior professional experience includes Law Clerk/Discovery Specialist, Bailey &Oliver Law Firm; Research Assistant for Prof. Carlton Bailey; Legal Assistant for a small estate planning law firm; and Assistant Manager with various retail companies.

    Licensed to Practice Law in the State of Arkansas

    Kathryn is working as a Teaching Assistant for Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Carl Circo in the development of a new Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiating course for the J.D. Program and will assist with the course next semester.

    William Mitchell Spearman

    Director of Development and External Relations, The Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

    Prior experience includes, Director of Planned Giving, University of Arkansas, Assistant Vice-President, Gift Planning and Major Gifts, Drexel University; Director of Gift Planning, Presbyterian College; Assistant Director, Planned Giving, Presbyterian College

    J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law

    • G.G. Dowling Student Award (2006) (presented to a student that exhibits unwavering care and compassion to others)
    • Lieutenant Governor of the Fourth Circuit, ABA Student Section
    • Student Editorial Board, ABA , REAL PROPERTY, PROBATE AND TRUST JOURNAL
    • Clerking experience includes South Carolina House of Representatives, McNair Law Firm

    B.A., cum laude, Presbyterian College (Political Science, with honors)

    • Joseph O. Nixon Leadership Award (2003)
    • Commendation from the Presbyterian College Board of Trustees (2003)
    • Presbyterian College Student Leader of the Year (2002)
    • Internships with Governor Jim Hodges, Senator Strom Thurmond; Project Coordinator, USDA

    Research and Publications: The United Citizens Party in the Racial Milieu of South Carolina (with David Gillespie, 2003), Presbyterian College Honors Research

    Licensed to Practice Law in the state of South Carolina

    Mitchell is attending the LL.M. Program part-time in residence while he continues work for the Bumpers College.

    Kelvin Stroud

    Legislative Assistant, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor

    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Global Policy Fellowship focusing on U.S. Russian agricultural trade issues; Partnership for Secure America, Congressional Fellowship; Scholar, Congressional Research Service Legislative Process Institute

    J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

    • President, Student Bar Association
    • President, Student Arkansas Trial Lawyers
    • Clerking and internship experience includes work for the Arkansas Municipal League and for Senator Mark Pryor, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and Congressman Vic Snyder
    • B.S.B.A. Dual Degrees, University of Arkansas (Finance and Accounting)

    Prior experience includes serving as Legislative Assistant for Tyson Foods and Legislative Counsel for the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee; Founder, proprietor and Of Counsel, CollegeTokens.com Inc.

    Licensed to Practice Law in the state of Arkansas

    Kelvin is attending the LL.M. Program part-time and participating this semester via LifeSize videoconferencing while he continues his work for Senator Pryor in Washington, D.C.

    Sonia Sylls

    J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

    Member, JOURNAL OF FOOD LAW &POLICY

    Externship and clerking experience includes: Corporate Counsel Extern (Realty Management) at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR; Judicial Extern, Honorable John R. Scott, Benton County Circuit Court, Bentonville, AR; Summer Associate clerkships with Davis, Clark, Butt, Carithers &Taylor, PLC (Fayetteville, AR); and with Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon &Galchus, P.C. (Little Rock, AR)

    B.A., University of California at Los Angeles (Political Science, Spanish Language minor)

    Previous business experience includes: Marketing and Account Specialist, Triad Retail Media, Rogers, AR; Business Sales Division Marketing and Sales Coordinator, Tiffany &Co., San Francisco, CA; Real Estate Marketing Coordinator, Sotheby’s International Realty, Los Angeles, CA

    Licensed to Practice Law in the state of Arkansas

    Wesley Ward

    Member of the Marine Corps Reserve and an Officer with the 3rd Civil Affairs Group in Great Lakes, Illinois

    Former Battalion Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps; Former Field Coordinator for U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01)

    J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

    • Trial Competition Finalist; National Trial Competition Team Member
    • Clerking and externship experience includes externship with Circuit Court Judge Mary Ann Gunn and clerkship at the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office
    • U.S. Marine Corps Education

    Specialized training includes Marine Corps Recruit Training, Marine Combat Training, Administrative Clerk Course, Senior Administrative Clerk Course, Sergeant’s Distance Education Program, Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (Honor Graduate), The Basic School (Honor Graduate), Naval Justice School, Expeditionary Warfare School

    B.S., Arkansas State University Magna Cum Laude (Agricultural Business)

    A.S., Park University (Management)

    Additional legal experience in the U.S. Marine Corps includes: Operational Law Attorney (detainee cases); Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Federal Magistrate Court; Civil Law Attorney, Tort Claims Office for Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton; Assistant Trial Counsel, Special Court Martial cases

    Licensed to Practice Law in the state of Arkansas

    Wes is enrolled as a Joint Degree candidate, working toward both an LL.M. and a Masters in Agricultural Economics. He is teaching Upper Level Legal Writing in the J.D. Program this year.

    School of Law

    1045 W. Maple St.
    Robert A. Leflar Law Center
    Waterman Hall
    University of Arkansas
    Fayetteville, AR 72701

    Phone: (479) 575-5601

    Law School Directory

    University of Arkansas School of Law