LMU Law dedicates courtroom in honor of Robert Watson

16499862454_0ec62e4f6f_oApril 13, 2015 — Members of the legal community and Lincoln Memorial University officials gathered with Robert H. Watson’s family, friends, and colleagues Friday, April 10, to dedicate the courtroom of LMU’s Duncan School of Law in Watson’s honor. Watson, an LMU trustee and prominent Knoxville attorney, passed away following a brief illness in April 2014.

Watson, a partner with Watson, Roach, Batson, Rowell and Lauderback, played an integral role in the founding of LMU Law in Knoxville. He first served as chair of the advisory board as LMU began developing its plans for a law school in August 2008. He worked tirelessly to bring together a who’s who of legal minds to shape the program. In May 2009, Watson officially joined the LMU Board of Trustees.

During the dedication, LMU Chairman O.V. Autry “Pete” DeBusk credited Watson with keeping the rest of the LMU Board of Trustees invested throughout the law school’s bid for provisional American Bar Association accreditation, a milestone reached in December.

“The devotion that Robert had to the success of this law school was nothing short of amazing. He recognized very early on the potential this venture had to impact this community and became engrossed in it,” DeBusk said. “He was on my mind as soon as we heard the good news from the ABA in December. I knew that he was smiling with us on that fateful day. Robert’s support for the Duncan School of Law was constant. Without a doubt, LMU’s law school would not be a reality today without Robert Watson.”

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary R. Wade also recalled his friendship with Watson during the ceremony. After first meeting as rivals on a high school football field, Watson became a mentor and professional confidant to Wade as they each embarked on celebrated legal careers.

Watson’s widow, Pat, also shared how she and her high-school sweetheart first met. She remembered her husband as a dedicated family man with a huge smile and a career he was passionate about. She said he loved LMU Law and would have loved this honor.

Watson’s legal partner, Jon Roach, also brought remarks on behalf of the firm Watson founded.

LMU President B. James Dawson was joined by Pat Watson, DeBusk, Wade and Roach as they unveiled a portrait to commemorate the courtroom’s new name.

Following the unveiling, LMU Law Acting Dean Matt Lyon presented Pat Watson with a framed print of a Lincoln painting that also hangs in the courtroom.

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Lyon to lead LMU Law as acting dean


Matthew Lyon

March 23, 2015 – Harrogate, Tennessee — Lincoln Memorial University President B. James Dawson announced administrative changes at LMU’s Duncan School of Law this week as the institution continues to search for a permanent dean.

Interim Dean Parham Williams has stepped down effective March 15, 2015. Associate Professor of Law Matthew Lyon (top right) has been named associate dean of academic affairs and will serve as acting dean during the dean’s search process. April Meldrum (bottom right), former associate dean for academic affairs, will lead the newly established Office of Accreditation as the associate dean for accreditation.

“LMU has been incredibly fortunate that Dean Parham Williams came out of retirement to lend his knowledge and experiences to our efforts to obtain provisional accreditation from the ABA,” Dawson said. “He was crucial to the success of those efforts, which culminated in December 2014.”

As acting dean, Lyon will report to LMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Clayton Hess and lead LMU Law’s day-to-day operations. Lyon first joined LMU Law as an adjunct professor in 2009 and became a full-time faculty member in 2011. He has chaired LMU Law’s faculty recruitment committee, assisted with accreditation efforts, and served as advisor to the Law Review.

Lyon served as senior judicial clerk to Justice Gary R. Wade of the Tennessee Supreme Court from 2008 to 2011. Prior to working for Justice Wade, he was an associate at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago. His practice focused on securities litigation, mergers and acquisitions litigation, and energy regulatory work. Lyon graduated cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law. He has a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s in public policy from the College of William and Mary. Lyon is a member of the Tennessee bar and will continue to teach business law courses as an associate professor of law.

Provisional approval entitles LMU Law to all the rights of a fully approved law school and enables its graduates to take the bar exam in any U.S. state. To gain full approval, LMU Law has a maximum of five years to demonstrate it is in full compliance with all the ABA Standards of Approval of Law Schools.

meldrumIn addition to leading the ABA accreditation efforts, Meldrum will also help ensure LMU Law’s continued compliance with its other accrediting bodies, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. Meldrum joined LMU Law in 2010. As the associate dean for academic affairs, she played an integral role in LMU’s journey to provisional accreditation. Prior to joining LMU Law, Meldrum practiced as a trial attorney for nine years and was elected Anderson County (Tenn.) Juvenile Court Judge in 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from LMU and earned her law degree from Samford University. Meldrum will continue to teach as an associate professor of law.

Since the inaugural class graduated in May 2013, 91 percent of LMU Law’s alumni have passed the Tennessee Bar Exam. On the most recent administration of the bar, LMU Law grads posted a 77.14% pass rate for first-time takers – five percentage points higher than the average for all first-time takers from all schools nationally.

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Beckman, Booher to present at Igniting Law in Washington, D.C.

March 16, 2015 — LMU Law Professor Sydney A. Beckman and second-year law student Sarah Booher will present at the LegalED Igniting Law Teaching Conference, to be held March 20 at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.

Booher, of Andersonville, Tennessee, is one of only two law students presenting during the conference. She was selected from a national pool of law students. She will present “Engendering Success: ADHD and Kinesthetic Learners in Law School.” Currently in her second year of legal studies at LMU Law, Booher holds a Master of Science in planning from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary. She currently serves as a research assistant at LMU Law and a youth development specialist at the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley. Booher is very active within student groups, serving in leadership roles with the Moot Court Board, Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyer Division, OutLaw Club, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, and the Student Bar Association Board of Judicial Review. She is the daughter of David and Leslie Booher of Elizabethton, Tennessee.

Beckman will present “Five Tips for Using Interactive Technology to Comply with the New ABA Standard 314.” He was a part of the inaugural LegalED conference a year ago, where he presented “Using Technology for Engagement and Assessment.” An experienced trial lawyer with a passion for teaching, Beckman regularly gives presentations on using technology for assessment and engagement in the classroom. His interests include evidence, copyright, technology and the law, and domestic relations. Beckman received his law degree from Baylor University School of Law.

Igniting Law Teaching is a TEDx-style conference on innovative teaching and the future of legal education. Sessions presented by 37 educators, lawyers, and students will span topics including teaching with technology, learning theory, classroom experiences and more. Each talk is 10 minutes or less and delivered without tables, podiums or a panel.

The event is open to the public and would be of interest to law practitioners, professors and students. Registration is currently open. The 2015 conference will be available for live streaming on the day of the event and all talk videos will be posted for viewing on www.LegalEDweb.com after the conference.

LegalED is a worldwide networked community sponsored by the Uncommon Individual Foundation and created by law professors for teachers and students. It facilitates blended or flipped learning by migrating lecture to the web and frees up class time for active learning that challenges students to learn the essential lawyering competencies while they are in law school.

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Alum appointed attorney for city of Harriman

304671February 25, 2015 — LMU Law alumna Allison Rehn of Harriman, Tennessee, has been selected to fill the vacant city attorney post for the city of Harriman.

“I am excited for the opportunity to supplement my general practice of law by serving my hometown as I already do with the greater community of Roane County,” Rehn said.

Rehn was appointed to the new position earlier this month. She will advise the city council on legal and government matters and attend council meetings as required. Her position will require she represent the city in court proceedings, provide general advice, recommendations and correspondence, provision of legal opinions and perform general research.

Rehn is a member of LMU Law’s inaugural class, which graduated in May 2013. She passed the Tennessee bar exam in July 2013 and was licensed to practice law that same year. She is an associate attorney in the law office of Mark N. Foster in Rockwood. In a little over a year, Rehn has engaged in a general practice of law and has regularly appeared before the judges and magistrates of Roane County, including the child support magistrate, who is also Harriman City Judge Charles Crass.

LMU Law “had a huge part in preparing me for the practice of law beyond passing the bar exam. The faculty and staff at LMU-DSOL provided a great education and gave me the fundamental skills and basic tools needed for any new attorney. Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘I will prepare, and someday my chance will come,’” Rehn said.

Rehn is a graduate of Harriman High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lincoln Memorial University, graduating magna cum laude. She is the daughter of Jeff and Diana Kirk of Harriman, and is married to Michael Rehn.

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LMU Law announces Dean’s List, CALI Awards for Fall 2014

February 3, 2015 — LMU Law is proud to announce the Dean’s List for the fall 2014 semester. Twenty-one students were honored for achieving a 3.25 or above grade point average while carrying at least a nine-credit-hour course load.

Earning Dean’s List honors were Jacob Baggett (Burns, Tennessee), Michael Beehan (Oak Ridge, Tennessee), Sarah Booher (Andersonville, Tennessee), Joshua Dennis (Maryville, Tennessee), Patrick Gallagher (Lafollette, Tennessee), David Graham (Knoxville, Tennessee), Aaron Kimsey (Knoxville, Tennessee), Julie Kuykendall (Knoxville, Tennessee), Thomas McCauley (Greeneville, Tennessee), Bridgett McMahan (Knoxville, Tennessee), Jennifer McNeil (Knoxville, Tennessee), Gregory Nichols (Knoxville, Tennessee), Jesse Oakes (Dandridge, Tennessee), Larry Perkins (Knoxville, Tennessee), Emily Persinger (Tazewell, Tennessee), Ashley Roberts (Knoxville, Tennessee), Benjamin Stallard (Knoxville, Tennessee), Kayla Swiney (Knoxville, Tennessee), Bethany Thompson (Knoxville, Tennessee), Erin Wallin (Chattanooga, Tennessee), and Evan Wright (Alpine, Tennessee).

The administration also presents CALI Awards to the top performing student in each class offered during the semester. CALI Award winners for the fall 2014 semester are as follows: Jennifer McNeil in Advanced Criminal Procedure and Lawyering Skills IV; Michael Beehan in Asylum Law; Jonathan Connor (Knoxville, Tennessee) in Bar Examination Skills; Joshua Dennis in Business Organizations and Criminal Law; Thomas McCauley in Business Organizations; Evan Wright in Civil Procedure I and Contracts I; Bridgett McMahan in Clinical Experience: Juvenile Law; Aaron Kimsey in Conflicts in Law, Employment Law and Technology and the Law; Ashley Roberts in Domestic Relations; Molly Hardin (Knoxville, Tennessee) in Domestic Relations; Julie Kuykendall in Juvenile Law; Larry Perkins in Lawyering Skills I and Torts I; Sarah Booher in Lawyering Skills III; Erin Wallin in Property I; Patrick Gallagher in Remedies; Benjamin Stallard in Tennessee Bar Studies I; Jacob Baggett in Trial Advocacy; and Jordan Davis (Middlesboro, Kentucky) in Wills, Trusts and Estates.

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Lincoln Memorial University

Accreditation Statement
Lincoln Memorial University - John J. Duncan, Jr. School of Law (LMU-DSOL) is provisionally accredited
by the American Bar Association. The earliest LMU-DSOL may apply for ABA full accreditation is December 2016.

Questions concerning ABA accreditation may be directed to:
Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
American Bar Association
321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312.988.6738

American Bar Association FAQ Website

Additionally, Lincoln Memorial University - Duncan School of Law is approved by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners.