President – Cory Childs, ’08, USAA
Cory Childs advises business and individual clients in all aspects of commercial transactions including a variety of lending, real estate, corporate governance, entity formation, mergers and acquisitions, and general business matters. Mr. Childs drafts annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements, Section 16 reports and other SEC documents for public companies. Childs was Law Clerk to the Honorable Lavenski R. Smith, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2007-2008. He is President, W. Harold Flowers Law Society; Member, Arkansas Bar Association; Board Member, National Bar Association.
President Elect – Mark R. Hayes, ’86, Arkansas Municipal League
Mark Hayes is Director of Legal Services at the Arkansas Municipal League and has worked for the League since 1989. Mr. Hayes advises municipalities, their officials and employees on various statutory and constitutional issues as well as lobbying on their behalf at both the state and national level. His experience includes numerous jury trials and appearances before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Arkansas Supreme Court. He has served the City of Little Rock as an Assistant City Attorney and Municipal Judge. Mr. Hayes received his bachelor’s degree in Personnel Management from Arkansas State University and his Juris Doctor from the Bowen School of Law, where is currently serving his second term on the alumni board. He is a member of the American, Arkansas, and Pulaski County Bar Associations. Mr. Hayes served a six year appointment by the Arkansas Supreme Court to the Arkansas Continuing Legal Education Board, the last year of which he served as Chairperson. He is in his twenty-third year as Secretary/Treasurer of the Arkansas City Attorney’s Association. Mr. Hayes was named Outstanding League Counsel by the International Municipal Lawyer’s Association in 2012 and was recently elected to the prestigious Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel organization. Mark is married to Alison O. Hayes, ’95, who is also a practicing attorney in Little Rock.
First Vice President – Rosalyn Middleton, ’10, Arkansas Attorney General’s Office
Rosalyn Middleton holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a J.D. from the William H. Bowen School of Law. In addition to being licensed to practice in Arkansas and Tennessee, she is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While attending Bowen, she was member of the Law Review. After graduating, she worked as a law clerk for the Arkansas Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. She currently works in private practice and as an adjunct professor. Ms. Middleton serves as the President of the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers. She is also a member of the W. Harold Flowers Law Society, the Arkansas Bar Association, the Junior League of Little Rock and the Beta Pi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Ms. Middleton is serving her first team on the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law Alumni Board.
Secretary – Kenya Gordon Davenport, ’11, Davenport Law, PLLC
Kenya Gordon Davenport, Esq. is the principal attorney at Davenport Law, PLLC. She formally served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Judge Wendell L. Griffen in the Circuit Court of Pulaski County. She was an associate with Carney, Bates & Pulliam, where she litigated consumer protection class action cases. Before joining the legal profession, Kenya was a financial advisor for Edward D. Jones & Co., and she has had an extensive career in education as an algebra teacher. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her Master’s Degree from Christian Brother University in Memphis, Tennessee. She is admitted to practice in Arkansas, Tennessee, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western District of Arkansas. She is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, where she serves in the House of Delegates, and a member of the W. Harold Flowers Law Society, where she serves as the student liaison. She is the proud wife of Kenneth L. Davenport, and is happy to call herself the an Arkansan and Bowen Alumna.
Treasurer – Bill James, ’94, The James Law Firm
Bill James is criminal defense attorney in Little Rock, AR. He is admitted to practice in Arkansas, the U.S. District Court in the Eastern and Western District of Arkansas, the U.S. Court of Appeals – 8th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme. Court. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Arkansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Pulaski County Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association Board of Governors, the American Bar Association, the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association of Justice. In recognition of his criminal defense and white collar crime work, Mr. James has been listed for four consecutive years as a Mid-South Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine. Mr. James received his B.S.B.A. in Finance/Banking from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his J.D. from the UALR Bowen School of Law.
Past President – Brian Clary, ’06, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, 22nd Judicial District
Since 2006, Brian has represented the State of Arkansas as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Saline County. He handles a general felony caseload for the office. Brian is a native of Memphis, TN and completed his undergraduate studies at Rhodes College. During his time at Bowen, Brian served as a member of the Law Review Editorial Board and as a class representative to the Student Bar Association. Brian is a former District Representative for Arkansas and Oklahoma to the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. He currently serves as a member of the Arkansas Bar Association House of Delegates and is Chair of the Association’s Continuing Legal Education Committee.
Board Members include:
The Honorable Vicki Cook, ’82, Retired, Circuit Judge, Division II
The Honorable Cook began her judicial career in 1993 when she was appointed by the the governor to take Judge Robbins place as Chancery Judge when he was elected to serve on the Arkansas Court of Appeals court. In 1995, she was elected Garland County Circuit Judge, Juvenile Division. She was recently reappointed by Governor Beebe to the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence, a position she has held since 1993. Judge Cook is a Community Services Organization board member, a member of the Garland County Juvenile Drug Court program, a member of the Garland County Adoption Coalition, a board member of the Garland County Literacy Council and a member of the Court Improvement Project. She was honored in 2000 as the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Juvenile Judge of the Year and the CASA Juvenile Judge of the Year. In June 2014, her court was selected to participate in the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Implementation Sites Project. After 22 years of service, the Honorable Vicki Cook retired in 2014.
Alice Eastwood, ’03, Walmart
As Senior Director of Walmart International Ethics, Alice Eastwood is responsible for providing Ethics program leadership, oversight, and obstacle removal for Walmart’s 11 international markets. She provides consultation for market-led complex case management and ethics opinions to ensure compliance with Walmart’s Statement of Ethics. Alice recently completed an expatriate assignment in Shenzhen, China from 2014-2015, where she led the Ethics program for Walmart Global Sourcing and Leverage. While in China, she partnered with Responsible Sourcing and led the overhaul of Walmart’s factory/supplier integrity program. Prior to this role, Alice served for two years as Director of Strategic Planning, Global Security, where she led the development of security governance for the enterprise and was responsible for providing strategic plan recommendations. She also served as Senior Manager, Strategic Projects, Global Security, Aviation and Travel and managed high-priority divisional process improvement and change management initiatives. Before joining Walmart in February 2009, Alice served as Legal Counsel and Program Manager to the Arkansas State Police for six years, where she overhauled the commission and civilian policy manuals and drafted the department’s legislative package and annual reports. She represented the department before the Arkansas Claims Commission and other state agencies and managed federal litigation handled by the Attorney General’s Office. Alice also practiced law as an associate attorney at Newland & Associates PLLC in Little Rock, Arkansas. Alice is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and holds a BA in Public Administration from Henderson State University. She is a certified mediator for Arkansas Circuit Courts Civil and Probate Division. Alice is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, Bentonville Noon Rotary Club, UA Little Rock and Bowen Law School Alumni Associations, and serves as a Commissioner on the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
Justin Elrod, ’05, The Elrod Firm
Justin Elrod originally founded The Elrod Firm in his hometown of Bryant after practicing law in several different settings for almost ten years. The firm quickly grew to have a state-wide presence, with physical locations in Bryant, Hot Springs Village, and Hope, serving clients from every corner of Arkansas. His practice focuses on estate planning for clients of all ages and on long-term care planning for those concerned with the high costs of long-term care or facing an immediate, emergency need for long-term care. He is an accredited attorney with the Department of Veteran Affairs, and he regularly speaks to groups across the state on the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, and long-term care benefits. Justin graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas before attending law school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, where he graduated at the top of his class with High Honors.
Matthew B. Finch, ’00, Gill Ragon Owen, P.A.
Mr. Finch is president, shareholder and director with Gill Ragon Owen, P.A. He was educated at Westminster College and University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. Mr. Finch joined the Arkansas Bar in 2001. His practice focuses on general commercial litigation with experience in collections actions, commercial foreclosures, title claim defense litigation, construction litigation, creditor’s rights litigation and personal and corporate contract disputes and litigation. Mr. Finch has been recognized as a “Mid-South Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, as one of Arkansas “Best Lawyers” and as a “40 Under 40” honoree by a statewide publishing group and is a frequent speaker on collections, construction law and banking and foreclosure topics. He is a member of both the Arkansas Bar Association and the Pulaski County Bar Association.
Austin Harrison, ’16, Squire Patton Boggs
Prior to joining the Squire Patton Boggs, Austin interned for the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, focusing on international trade, EU policy and international energy law. Drawing on his international experience, he developed a comprehensive analysis on the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) during his final year at the Clinton School of Public Service. During law school, Austin held various legal clerkships with an emphasis on energy, public utilities, local government and international matters. As a clerk for the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Association (AECC), Austin handled filing matters with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers to obtain permits for the electric cooperative. His knowledge of energy and utility matters strengthened as he served as a research fellow for the Clinton Climate Initiative to produce a report recommending a statewide Healthy Homes Initiative by examining housing and health data along with energy efficiency policies. While working for the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, Austin worked in the Public Protection Department with a focus on environmental, tobacco and healthcare regulatory matters. As an undergraduate student at the University of Mississippi, Austin studied public policy at the Trent Lott Leadership Institute. As a student, he gained various Associate international experiences through his studies in Quito, Ecuador; Port Elizabeth, South Africa; and Seoul, South Korea. Drawing on his domestic policy knowledge, Austin worked as an intern in Washington DC, for US Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and US Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS).
Renae Hudson, ’94, Arkansas Attorney General’s Office
Renae Ford Hudson is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. She is the general litigation supervisor where she trains new attorneys and manages case assignments for the Civil Litigation Department. Since becoming an AAG in 2003, Renae has successfully defended her clients in numerous bench and jury trials in the federal courts of Arkansas. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the UALR Bowen School of Law where she teaches litigation skills. In addition, she serves as a faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Training Program offering litigation training to attorneys from across the state. Renae graduated with honors from Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and from the UALR Bowen School of Law. She is a member of the New Hope Baptist Church in North Little Rock. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Renae and her husband, Kenderick, reside in Sherwood.
Melanie H. Martin, ’92, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Pulaski & Perry Counties
Melanie Martin is a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Sixth Judicial District of Arkansas, serving Pulaski and Perry Counties. She received her BSBA undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas in 1989 and her Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law. She became a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney shortly after her 1992 admittance to the Arkansas Bar and has been a career prosecutor since that time. Ms. Martin has extensive bench and jury trial experience in drug, domestic violence/sexual assault, gangs, major crimes, general, juvenile, and homicide cases. She served as a Division Chief in the District Courts/Complaints Division, the Drug Division, and Fourth Division Circuit Court, before assuming her Senior Deputy position in 2005. She currently carries a caseload of homicides and other violent crimes while serving in her Senior Deputy capacity, providing and assisting with staff oversight and policymaking decisions and with the development and implementation of departmental policy and procedures. She also oversees the office’s training programs. She has served on numerous committees seeking violence reduction and juvenile diversion alternatives in the community. Ms. Martin lectures frequently on the local, statewide, and national levels. She serves as Faculty for the National District Attorneys Association and has served as an NDAA Peer Reviewer for the United States Department Of Justice. She is an Adjunct Professor at Bowen School of Law, teaching Lawyering Skills and Trial Advocacy. She is a member of The Judge William R. Overton Inn of Court, the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers, the Arkansas Bar Association, and the National District Attorneys Association. Ms. Martin is currently serving as President of the Pulaski County Bar Foundation, and has previously served as President of the Pulaski County Bar Association. She has served on the Board of Directors of both organizations. A member of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Greater Little Rock, she has also served on Youth Home’s Eggshibition Committee. Her husband, David, is also a ’92 Bowen School of Law Alumnus.
Rhonda McKinnis, ’90, Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Rhonda McKinnis is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Arkansas Children’s, including Arkansas Children’s, Inc., Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, Arkansas Children’s Care Network, and the Arkansas Children’s Foundation. Ms. McKinnis presides over Legal Affairs, Corporate Compliance, and Enterprise Risk Management. Her experience includes 17 years of trial practice in medical malpractice defense, medical products liability defense, employment law, civil rights, and constitutional law, including time in private practice, service as an assistant attorney general, and in-house for the University of Arkansas System. In 2008, she hung up her trial shoes to become Senior Associate University Counsel for the University of Colorado, and moved to Little Rock in late 2010 to accept the chief legal officer position for Arkansas Children’s. Ms. McKinnis is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the 8th and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeal, the U.S. District Courts for Arkansas and Colorado, and the Arkansas Supreme Court. She is a member of the Arkansas, Colorado, and District of Columbia Bar Associations and the American Health Lawyers Association, where she currently serves as a Vice Chair of the Children’s Hospital Affinity Group. Ms. McKinnis serves on the Board of the Thea Foundation supporting arts in education, and acts as a moderator for the Arkansas Literary Festival.
Bianca Rucker, ’06, Rucker Law PLLC
Bianca Rucker is a bankruptcy trustee for the Western District of Arkansas and bankruptcy attorney at Rucker Law PLLC in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Prior to starting her law practice, Rucker was a partner at Wright, Lindsey & Jennings, LLP in Rogers, Arkansas. Rucker previously served as a staff attorney to the Honorable Ben T. Barry and to the Honorable Richard D. Taylor, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. Rucker obtained her law degree from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, where she was a member of the law review editorial board. Rucker is as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, and she was president of the Northwest Arkansas Debtor-Creditor Bar Association from 2013-2015.
Bob Sexton, ’96, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton
Bob Sexton is a partner with Rainwater Holt & Sexton, specializing in personal injury law. He is admitted to practice in Arkansas, the U.S. District Court in the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and the U.S. Court of Appeals – 8th Circuit. He is a member of the Pulaski County Bar Association, the Arkansas Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Sexton has been recognized for his personal injury work by Martindale-Hubbell and Avvo. He received his B.S. in business and political science from Ouachita Baptist University and his J.D. from the UALR Bowen School of Law.
Derrick Smith, ’00, Mitchell Williams
Derrick Smith co-chairs Mitchell Williams’ Regulated Business practice group. He is a member of the Firm’s Insurance Regulatory, Government Relations, and Energy & Utility practices where he represents clients in their interactions with Arkansas governmental entities and state insurance departments throughout the United States. Prior to joining Mitchell Williams, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Olly Neal, Arkansas Court of Appeals, from 2000-2001.
Jonathan Warren, ’05, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton
Jonathan Warren is a personal injury attorney at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton. Prior to working at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, Warren worked for the state Attorney General, was a Pulaski County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, and clerked for Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Annabelle Tuck (retired). He is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association where he serves on the House of Delegates, as well as a member of the Pulaski County Bar Association, and the ULAR Alumni Association. He is admitted to practice in Arkansas, the U.S. District Court in the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and the U.S. Court of Appeals – 8th Circuit. Warren received his J.D. from the Bowen School of Law in 2005.
Mona Wedad, ’12, Director of Franchise Sales Development at FOCUS Brands
Mona Wedad is the Director of Franchise Sales Development at FOCUS Brands, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. FOCUS Brands is the franchisor and operator of Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s, and Schlotzsky’s. Prior to joining FOCUS Brands, Mona was an HR Consultant for CareerBuilder.com, where she worked closely with large and mid-size companies all over the United States on their recruiting and retention strategies. After law school, Mona began working as a legal recruiter for Robert Half International, specializing in the permanent placement of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff for national law firms and FORTUNE 500 companies. A 2012 Bowen graduate, Mona was the Executive Editor of the Law Review and clerked for The Barber Law Firm, Arkansas Municipal League, and Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus. Mona received her undergraduate degree in Broadcasting Journalism from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.