President – Mark R. Hayes, ’86, Arkansas Municipal League
Mark Hayes is the Executive Director 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.
President-Elect – 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.
First Vice President – 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.
Secretary – 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.
Treasurer – 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.
Immediate Past President and Chair of Nominating Committee – 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.
Board Members include:
Justice Brooks, ’14, Cable Huston LLP
Justice Brooks is a litigation attorney with Cable Huston LLP of Portland, OR, where his practice primarily focuses on commercial, business, employment, and tort litigation. Prior to joining Cable Huston, Justice was an attorney at Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC. While in Arkansas, he served on the board of Red Cross-Greater Arkansas and as President of W. Harold Flowers Law Society. Justice has been recognized as a “Mid-South Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and honored by the Arkansas Bar Foundation for his legal writing. He is a current member of the Arkansas Bar Association and former member of the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel.
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.
Jacob (Jake) Fair, ’15, Wright Lindsey Jennings
Jake Fair is an attorney at Wright Lindsey Jennings, where his diverse practice ranges from real estate transactions to complex commercial litigation. His transactional and commercial litigation practice includes banking, commercial lending, municipal finance, bankruptcy and secured transactions. Fair was the recipient of the prestigious John & Ruth H. Brunson Award, given annually by the Law Review Editorial Board for distinguished service to the Bowen Law Review. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Arkansas Bar Association, Pulaski County Bar Association, the Debtor-Creditor Bar of Central Arkansas, and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Jake is a board member of the Central Arkansas Chapter of the Risk Management Association and also participates in Junior Achievement.
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.
John Hummel, ’95, Deschutes County District Attorney
John Hummel has served as Deschutes County District Attorney since his election in 2014. Immediately prior to his service as District Attorney, he was the State and Federal Policy Director for the Oregon Primary Care Association, a non-profit organization comprised of 200 Oregon health care clinics that provide care primarily to Oregonians with low incomes. John has 23 years of legal, policy and conflict resolution experience. Prior to working for OPCA, he served as Director of the Oregon Consensus Program, as well as previously serving as the Liberia, Africa Country Representative for the Carter Center. John’s other professional experience includes 12 years as a criminal law defense attorney; teaching; serving as a Bend, Oregon City Councilor; and his current service as a board member for the Deschutes United Way. In addition to his J.D., John has a Master’s degree in International Public Policy from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Melanie H. Martin, ’92, Little Rock District Court, 1st Div.-Criminal
The Honorable Melanie H. Martin is the judge for the Little Rock District Court, 1st Div.-Criminal. She assumed the bench on January 1, 2019. As District Judge, she oversees the largest criminal district court docket in the state. Her court handles not only misdemeanor cases, but also daily felony arraignments and felony preliminary matters. Using her experience in the area of criminal justice reform, her court is set to pilot a mental health diversion program in 2019, working with Little Rock Community Mental Health, Center for Youth and Families, and the Arkansas State Hospital. She graduated from UALR Bowen School of Law in 1992 and became a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Sixth Judicial District upon her admittance to the Arkansas Bar. She has extensive bench and jury trial experience in general, juvenile, drug, domestic violence/sexual assault, gangs, major crimes, and homicide/capital cases. She served as Division Chief of District Courts/Complaints Division, Division Chief of the Drug Division, and Division Chief of various general Circuit Courts. She was promoted in 2005 to a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney position. She served as a representative to the United States Department of Justice’s Violence Reduction Network, a partnership with the Little Rock Police Department, which sought to reduce violent crimes in all areas of the city. She has served on juvenile justice committees, exploring juvenile diversion alternatives. She has lectured frequently at the local, state and national levels, provided instruction for in-house programs to law enforcement and to District Attorneys’ offices at all levels on crime related and legal topics. She has served as a Peer Reviewer for the United States Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance. She served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Bowen, teaching Lawyering Skills and Trial Advocacy. In addition to serving as a Board Member of the Bowen Alumni Board, she is a Master of the Bench of the Judge William R. Overton Inn of Court, a member of Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers, and of the Arkansas Bar Association. She is President of the Pulaski County Bar Foundation and is a past President of the Pulaski County Bar Association.
John Rainwater, ’09, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton
John Rainwater is an Arkansas injury attorney with Rainwater, Holt & Sexton. He has consistently been recognized as a nationally-renowned trial lawyer, as one of the “Best Lawyers for Bankruptcy” by Little Rock Soiree (2015-2017), as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer”, and as the recipient of the Judith Ryan Gray Outstanding Young Lawyer Service Award (2016-2017). He is an active member of the Arkansas Bar Association and the Debtor-Creditor Bar of Central Arkansas. John is a board member of Volunteers’ Organization Center for Arkansas Legal Services.
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.
Tasha Taylor, ’05, Taylor & Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
Tasha is a Partner at Taylor & Taylor Law Firm, P.A., where her practice focuses on appellate advocacy and personal injury litigation. Following graduation from Bowen, Tasha served for two years as a judicial law clerk on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She entered private practice in 2007 and co-founded Taylor & Taylor Law Firm, P.A. with her husband in 2010. Tasha has repeatedly been recognized as one of “Little Rock’s Best Lawyers” by Little Rock Soiree (2014-2018), as a “Top Attorney in Arkansas” by Arkansas Life (2015-2018), and as a “Rising Star Mid-South” by Super Lawyers (2015-2017). She is frequently invited to speak to her peers on the topic of handling appeals in Arkansas’s state appellate courts. Tasha created and co-authors the Arkansas Appeals blog. Tasha resides in Little Rock with her husband, Andy Taylor, and their three children.
Mona Wedad, ’12, 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.
Megan Wooster, ’09, M.W. Law, PLLC
Megan opened M.W. Law, PLLC in 2013. Prior to that, she was a domestic relations litigation attorney at the James Law Firm and an insurance defense litigation attorney at Anderson Murphy Hopkins, LLP. In 2010, Megan became a qualified Attorney Ad Litem for children in custody and visitation cases. She has also been consistently recognized as a “Family Law Top 10 Attorney” by Attorney & Practice Magazine (2017-2018), one of the “Best Lawyers in Little Rock” by Little Rock (2015-2017), and a “Top Attorney” by Arkansas Life. Megan is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association and the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers.