UGA School of Law launches new learning initiative backed by accomplished alumni


Thursday, January 26, 2006

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Ronald L. Carlson, 706/542-5186, mlfield@uga.edu

UGA School of Law launches new learning initiative backed by accomplished alumni

ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia School of Law will be breaking new ground this spring by bringing alumni to Athens for a new educational program targeted to law students. What differentiates the Alumni Advocacy Series from other educational programs utilizing alumni is this initiative will include a series of presentations from six accomplished alumni lawyers, all focusing on key elements for successful advocacy in the courtroom.

"This is the first time a regular series of alumni presenters grouped around the common theme of advocacy has come to pass," Ronald L. Carlson, Callaway Chair Emeritus and one of the organizers of the educational initiative, said. "It stands as a notable effort to bring to students the wisdom of many of the best lawyers in Georgia and at the same moment to identify to the law school community the achievements of some of our most accomplished alumni."

The inaugural session, titled "How to Argue and Win an Appeal," will be held on February 6. Scott A. Farrow, a partner at Troutman Sanders, and Richard H. "Rick" Hill II, the hiring partner at Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial, will address how to successfully prepare an oral argument for a case on appeal.

Carlson said, "The first presentation is specifically targeted to first-year students and student appellate advocates. Both Scott and Rick were dynamos in Georgia Law's advocacy program when they were attending law school and can closely relate their professional experience with what students can expect during the rest of their academic careers."

The second session in the Alumni Advocacy Series, to be held in March, will focus on dramatic exhibits in civil cases and will feature alumni Andrew M. "Andy" Scherffius, a partner with Scherffius, Ballard, Still & Ayers, who will discuss plaintiff exhibits, and Gordon A. Smith, a senior litigation partner at King & Spalding, who will highlight successful defense exhibits.

The final session, to be hosted in April, and will concentrate on experts to be used in criminal and civil cases. Donald F. "Don" Samuel, a partner with Garland, Samuel, Loeb, will discuss expert issues from a criminal perspective and W.G. "Bill" Scrantom Jr., a partner with Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford, will share his thoughts on the use of experts in civil trials.

"The second two sessions will be helpful to all students and will provide vital trial knowledge to second- and third-year students." Carlson said. "These very seasoned legal veterans will elaborate on key elements that will enable our students to become successful litigators."

"The original concept for this educational series came from Dean Rebecca White, who asked me to spearhead the effort. I am pleased to be playing a role in bringing some of Georgia Law's talented graduates back to Athens to share their experiences and understanding of the practice of law with the next generation."


Note to Editors: Members of the media are invited to attend these innovative learning programs, please contact Heidi Murphy at 706/542-5172 to ensure space is available.