John Alford and Ron LeMay serve as co-chairs of the University of Arkansas School of Law Campaign Arkansas committee. Committee members share their time and talent to help position the School of Law for continued excellence.
The committee set a $14,200,000 fundraising goal on Sept. 16, 2016, as part of the official launch of Campaign Arkansas, the University of Arkansas’ capital campaign to raise $1 billion by 2020. The funds generated by the law school’s committee will allow the school to attract the best students from Arkansas, across the country and around the globe; attract and retain renown legal scholars as faculty; provide facilities and technology to help students and faculty excel; and fund programs and initiatives to support research.
John Alford (J.D. ’80), campaign co-chair, is a real estate lawyer in Fort Smith and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Alford and his wife, Jayne, created the John D. and Jayne Alford Endowed Scholarship for Tribal Citizens in early 2016.
Ron LeMay (J.D. ’72), campaign co-chair, is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Kansas City-based OpenAir Equity Partners. In 2014 he and his wife, Casondra, created the Ron and Casondra LeMay Endowment for Entrepreneurial Law.
Nick Patton (LL.B. ’63) is retired from Patton, Tidwell & Culbertson LLP in Texarkana where he was the founding partner. He has more than 50 years of experience and is recognized as one of the region’s finest trial lawyers. Patton is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a generous supporter of the University of Arkansas School of Law, especially through the Law Building Fund.
Gary McDonald (J.D. ’75) is with the Tulsa firm of McDonald McCann Metcalf Carwile LLP. He has practiced law for 38 years, building a practice recognized for excellence. He specializes in business law, business litigation and corporate restructuring. He and his wife Marjean (Fulbright ’71, COEHP ’74), are longtime supporters of the School of Law and serve as liaisons with alumni in Oklahoma.
Richard “Rick” Ramsay (J.D. ’76) began his certification as a mediator and arbitrator in 2010 after more than 30 years as a lawyer. He has been involved in an active mediation and arbitration practice since 2011, most recently opening Ramsay Mediation & Arbitration in June of 2016. He also served as a Federal Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee from 1977 until he left the panel in 2014.
Woody Bassett (J.D. ’77) is a partner in Bassett Law Firm LLP in Fayetteville. He specializes in civil and criminal litigation and maintains a robust practice. He, and his firm, are generous contributors to the University of Arkansas School of Law, especially through support of the Law Building Fund, the Bassett Law Firm Trial Advocacy Prize and support of the LL.M. Program in Agricultural Food Law.
Connie Lewis Lensing (J.D. ’77) is senior vice president in the legal department at FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company, and heads a department with offices in Memphis, Tennessee and Orange County, California. In addition to serving on the law school’s committee, Lensing is also a member of the university's Campaign Arkansas Steering Committee.
Robert R. “Bob” Ross (J.D. ’77) is retired from the litigation division of FedEx Express in Memphis, where he practiced nationwide commercial litigation. His prior experience includes Atchley, Russell, Waldrop & Hlavinka in Texarkana, Texas, and Arkansas Deputy Attorney General. While in Little Rock, he was a member of the Supreme Court Committee on Continuing Legal Education, served on the board of Arkansas Opera Theater and was active with the Arkansas Repertory Theater.
John Raffaelli (J.D. ’78) is the founding partner of Washington, D.C.-based Capitol Counsel LLC. His expertise in strategy development, taxation, finance and general business matters has earned him a national reputation as one of Washington’s most effective lobbyists. He has served as a high-level manager of presidential campaigns and on advisory committees and boards of organizations such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Rodney Slater (J.D. ’80) is a partner at Squire Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C. He held two posts in the Clinton/Gore administration. In 1993, he was appointed the first African-American director of the Federal Highway Administration, and in 1997, he became the United States Secretary of Transportation. His many awards and honors include the National Bar Associations President’s Award, the Silas Hunt Legacy Award and honorary doctorates from Eastern Michigan University, Howard University and the University of Arkansas.
William C. “Bill” Chevaillier, Jr. (J.D. ’81) is a partner in the Tulsa-based Mysock, Chevaillier and Bolden LLP, where he specializes in business and corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, tax litigation and estate planning. He is a certified public accountant (Walton ’78) and a member of the American Institute of CPAs.
Warner “W.H.” Taylor (J.D. ’81) is founder and partner at Taylor Law Partners LLP in Fayetteville and specializes in family law, criminal defense and business and commercial litigation. He is known for his courtroom manner and zealous representation of clients. Taylor was appointed to the Arkansas Public Defender Commission in 2007 and continues serving as commissioner. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been selected to Super Lawyers 2006-17.
Mike Lax (J.D. ’83), a native of Hot Springs, is the founding member of Lax, Vaughan, Fortson, Rowe & Threet in Little Rock. He practices extensively in estate planning and probate, representing some of the state’s most successful individuals. In addition to being a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law, Lax holds an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida and is a certified public accountant.
Dina Wood (J.D. ’88) is the senior director of development, northwest Arkansas region, for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She has a wealth of experience in fundraising and political strategy and supports many endeavors at the University of Arkansas and the School of Law. Prior to joining the UAMS, Wood was a development officer for the J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and was an appointee in the Clinton-Gore administration.
John Goodson (J.D. ’89) is a partner in the Texarkana law firm of Keil and Goodson PA. He is a long-time advocate for the University of Arkansas and the School of Law. In 2011, he began his 10-year term on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and champions academic excellence throughout the University of Arkansas system. Goodson serves on the University’s Campaign Arkansas Steering Committee and is married to Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Courtney Goodson (J.D. '97).
Steve Caple (J.D. ’93) is president of Dallas-based Unity Hunt, Inc., where he oversees holdings for the Lamar Hunt family. He focuses on developing and implementing Unity Hunt’s strategic directives, and he supervises the members of the management team who are responsible for its investment, operating, legal, finance, accounting and tax functions. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Archives Foundation in Washington, D.C., and other national and state organizations.
Mary Elizabeth Eldridge (J.D. ’03) is the director of programs for The Ross Foundation headquartered in Arkadelphia, and she has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, legal skills and lifetime of connections with the people of Arkansas. She and her husband, Conner Eldridge (J.D. ’03), live in Fayetteville with their three children Henry Ross, Will and Tull.