Wade’s portrait to grace state Supreme Court

Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 21 — Dean Gary Wade of Lincoln Memorial University’s John J. Duncan School of
Law was honored for his 28 years of service to the state appellate courts on Monday, Dec. 19, with the unveiling of a judicial portrait that will hang in the Knoxville courtroom of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Presiding over the program were William M. Barker, retired chief justice of Tennessee Supreme Court; D. Michael Swiney, chief judge of the Tennessee Court of Appeals; and Thomas T. Woodall, presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Each gave welcoming remarks and offered reflections on Wade’s judicial career. Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Norma McGee Ogle gave further remarks and assisted Wade in unveiling the Sergi Chernikov portrait.

“It has been a special honor for me to serve the people of my community and my state for the last 40 years.  Tennesseans have been well served by the judicial branch of our government, and I am indeed grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many outstanding jurists in the appellate courts,” Wade said. “I have not retired yet, however, and I have truly enjoyed my role as dean of Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law.”

Wade, who retired from the Supreme Court to become LMU Law’s dean, is the only Tennessean to have held the position of chief justice of the Supreme Court and presiding (chief administrative) judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals. In 2014, during his term as chief justice, he led a successful retention election of the high court after a partisan challenge by then-Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville. He was appointed to the Court of Criminal Appeals in 1987, where he also served as a presiding judge from 1998 until 2006. Prior to his judiciary appointment, Wade ran a private law practice. He was elected Mayor of Sevierville in 1977, where he served for a decade. He also served as city attorney for Pigeon Forge from 1973 to 1987.

Wade received a bachelor of science in 1970 from the University of Tennessee. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1973.

Throughout his career, Wade has received honors including the Tennessee Bar Association Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award (2014); Appellate Judge of the Year, Southeastern Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (2004); Judicial Excellence Award, Knoxville Bar Association (2004); East Tennessee Regional Leadership Award (2006); and the United States Department of Interior Citizens Award for Exceptional Service (2007). Wade has served on dozens of community and legal organization boards and commissions and was instrumental in the formation of the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, of which he was a co-founder and past president.

Wade and his wife of 44 years, Sandy, have three children and five grandchildren.

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LMU Law finishes fourth at 28th Annual National Criminal Procedure Tournament

20161112_134050Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 13 — Emily Persinger and Erin Wallin of Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law Moot Court team won fourth place overall at the 28th Annual National Criminal Procedure Tournament hosted by the University of San Diego School of Law this weekend.

The national moot court competition attracted 36 teams from law schools across the country. Persinger, a third-year law student who will graduate in May 2017, and Wallin, a fourth-year law student who attends part-time and will graduate in May 2017, turned in an impressive performance, advancing to the semifinals and earning Best Petitioner’s Brief recognition. Persinger was also honored as tenth-place oralist in the competition, which featured 72 competitors.

“This competition boasted some of the best appellate advocacy I have ever observed, not just from law students, but from actual lawyers in practice,” Assistant Professor of Law and Moot Court Advisor Brennan Wingerter said. “Especially in the final rounds, the competition was spectacular and hard to judge. Emily and Erin were tremendous ambassadors for LMU Law, showcasing the quality of our curriculum with their performance. We have a lot to be proud of with these students.”

The tournament provided advocates with the opportunity to argue challenging and timely issues related to criminal procedure before experienced and knowledgeable members of the California Bench and Bar at both the trial and appellate levels. The mock case was set before the U.S. Supreme Court and involved an appeal of evidence presented in a child sex trafficking case from lower courts. Teams were given the opportunity to examine and present the case from the perspective of both the government and the criminal defendant.

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LMU Law hosts panel on diversity issues

diversitypanelKnoxville, Tenn. — Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law hosted a panel discussion on diversity issues and initiatives in higher education institutions on October 26, 2016.

The event was presented by the LMU Law Faculty Diversity Committee with the assistance of the OUTLaw Student Group. Guest speakers included Executive Director of the Tennessee Equality Project Chris Sanders, LMU Director of Multicultural Student Services Cathy Eldahan and Dr. Joann Hall, a professor of nursing at the University of Tennessee.

The panelists discussed topics including the debate over “Safe Space” and “Safe Zone” programs; the creation of gender-neutral restrooms; and the impact of federal and state funding on decision-making processes in higher education. The panel also focused on the ethical and legal responsibilities of colleges and universities grappling with issues of diversity and inclusion.

Nearly 120 people, including 99 LMU Law students, attended the event, which was an installment of LMU Law’s professionalism series. During the event, Sanders invited students to engage with policy by attending legislative sessions and becoming active in the legal community. Eldahan encouraged students to communicate with other students, faculty and administration so that institutions can address specific campus needs. Hall urged students to use their writing skills to draft policies, articles and papers raising important issues in diversity.

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Magazine names LMU Law a ‘Best Value’ law school

image001Knoxville, Tenn. — preLaw Magazine published its “Best Value” issue in October, naming Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law a Best Value Private Law School.

The distinction came after the magazine calculated an estimated “true tuition,” the average amount students pay once grants and scholarships are factored, and weighted it with other factors including graduate employment rates, bar passage, debt and cost of living in ranking private law schools.

LMU Law was recognized among institutions including Boston College, Boston University, Brigham Young University, Wake Forest University, Washington and Lee University and Washington University in St. Louis, among others. A total of 13 private law schools were included on the national list.

It marks the first time LMU has been added to the list and comes on the heels of the school’s most successful bar exam showing to date. With a first-time taker pass rate of 87.5 percent, LMU Law beat the state average of 73.23 percent for first-time bar takers on the July 2016 examination. LMU Law’s first-time taker pass rate, re-exam pass rate, and overall pass rate were each the second-highest among all Tennessee law schools.

Since the law school graduated its first class in May 2013, 93 percent of LMU Law graduates who have taken a bar exam have passed it.

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LMU Law hosts ‘Wills for Warriors’ event

willsforwarriors1 Knoxville, Tenn. — Students, faculty and alumni of Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law assisted active military and veterans by answering questions and preparing wills on Saturday, Oct. 22, during its inaugural Wills for Warriors event.

Estate planning can be an uncomfortable and expensive process. However, without a will in place, the state will determine who will receive assets, who will become guardian for minor children and how and by whom an estate will be settled. The LMU Law event provided veterans and service members an opportunity to draft, sign and notarize a Last Will and Testament, free of charge.

LMU Law’s Veterans Law Society sponsored the event and was assisted by Knox County Veteran Service Officer Tom Humphries, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Vet2Vet Greater Smoky Mountains and Steve Parella of the Vet Clinic, all of whom helped to get the word out. VLS officers Jacob Ankrom, Tony Hill, Shane Pertain and Michael Caldwell, all second-year law students, organized the event and recruited faculty members Bruce Beverly and Akram Faizer and six LMU Law alumni to provide pro bono legal services. A total of 26 LMU Law students participated in the event, which was the first of its kind at LMU Law.

During the event, veterans and service members completed a questionnaire with first-year law students and were matched, based on the results, with upper-level law students and faculty to complete their will forms and filing. Twenty wills were completed and three additional consultations were held during the event.

While this was the first Wills for Warriors event at LMU Law, the Veterans Law Society assisted Vet2Vet of the Greater Smoky Mountains in filing for its Tennessee Domestic Non-Profit Corporation status in June. The student organization plans to hold other events to benefit veterans later this year.

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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 (ABA).

Information About the ABA’s Accreditation Process

Questions concerning ABA accreditation may be directed to:

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          American Bar Association
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          Phone: 312.988.6738

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