February Legal Briefs News from Wake Forest Law


Save the Date for Law Alumni Weekend: Nov. 6-8, 2020

Our 2020 Law Alumni Weekend is happening in conjunction with Wake Forest University's Homecoming and Reunion Weekend for the very first time in history! In addition to a Law School-only celebration, you'll be able to enjoy all that Homecoming has to offer, including a variety of events and kid-friendly activities that celebrate Mother So Dear!

No matter how long it's been since you visited us last, we look forward to celebrating you and your Wake Forest memories. In addition to celebrating our whole Wake Forest Law family, we'll recognize reunion classes. If your Wake Forest Law class year ends in a 0 or a 5, it's your time for your class reunion! If you would like to help contact classmates to encourage their attendance, please contact Megan Ratley at ratleyml@wfu.edu.

Stay tuned for more information on registration and #GoDeacs!


Come from everywhere, go anywhere. Our alumni roots are far and wide, but no matter where members of our Wake Forest Law family come from, they have the skills and knowledge to go anywhere. Discover some of the big moments happening in the careers of Wake Forest Law alumni below.

  • Gene Boyce (BS ’54, LLB ’56) was an experienced trial lawyer when he joined the Watergate Committee as lead investigator and associate major counsel during the summer of 1973. According to the New York Times, many see a striking parallel between the discovery of the Nixon Tapes—an effort led by Gene Boyce—and the account of John Bolton. wfu.law/9dy
  • Chris Coughlin (JD '90) becomes the sixth Wake Forest faculty member elected to the American Law Institute (ALI).
  • The right of a criminal defendant to enter a plea without admitted guilt—known as the Alford plea—was developed by Fred Crumpler (LLB '57) who passed away in January. wfu.law/95b
  • Mark Edwards (BA '94, JD '97), attorney for the town of Spring Hope, named chairman of the North Carolina Bar Association's (NCBA) Elder Law and Special Needs Section. wfu.law/fb9
  • Michael Grace (JD '16) named among Black Business Inc.'s "40 Under 40 Most Influential African Americans in the Triad." wfu.law/a82
  • David Knight (JD '94) elected to Raleigh City Council. wfu.law/d4y


Wake Forest Law students to help detained asylum seekers in Texas

Six Spanish-speaking Wake Forest Law students will help mothers in detention prepare for interviews that allow them to apply for asylum. These sessions are called credible or reasonable fear interviews which involve a screening with immigration officials that determine if there is a significant possibility that they will qualify for asylum.

These students — Raquel Gonzalez-Padron (JD ’21), Natalia Nino (JD ’22), Kenya Parrish (JD ’20), Alejandro Ramirez (JD ’21), Jenell Scarborough (LLM ’20), and Aaron Walck (JD ’21) — will travel to Dilley, Texas over spring break as part of a pro bono project to help these detained mothers and children.

This effort has been over a year in the making with student coordinators Sophia Pappalardo (JD ’20), Andrea Schwehr (JD ’21), and Raquel Gonzalez-Padron taking on leadership roles to organize the project. The group has raised more than $3,000 to pay for travel expenses.

There are opportunities to support this project. If you would like to support these students, you can make a monetary donation to the Dean’s Discretionary Fund.

Faculty Highlight

Prof. Rebecca Morrow to receive the 2020 Joseph Branch Excellence in Teaching Award

Rebecca Morrow, professor of law and tax law expert, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Joseph Branch Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dean Jane Aiken emailed faculty, students, and staff to publicly congratulate Morrow on this achievement.

“The graduating class has recognized Professor Morrow’s talents in the classroom three times over, and I am delighted that Professor Morrow this year will be honored at the University level for her teaching."

"Tax is an ever-changing subject, full of twists and turns through an exceptionally complex statute. Yet, the students call her 'the bomb-dot-com.' Alumni have called her 'possibly the best tax professor in the United States,' a sentiment echoed many times over on her student evaluations. Wake Forest Law is lucky to have Professor Morrow on its faculty, as is the field of tax. She is creating a generation of lawyers who understand the tax code instead of running away from it.”

The Joseph Branch Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1985 to honor Wake Forest Alumnus Joseph Branch (LLB ’38, LLD ’83) upon his retirement from the North Carolina Supreme Court for his embodiment of the humanistic and student-centered approach to legal education that remains characteristic of Wake Forest Law. Recipients are chosen from the School of Law faculty on the basis of outstanding teaching and service to the legal profession.

Save the Date for "Sports, Life, and Death" CLE: Feb. 21, 2020

Join Wake Forest Law faculty and alumni for a 4-hour CLE course entitled "Sports, Life, and Death." North Carolina attorneys can earn up to 3 hours of general CLE credits as well as 1 hour of required ethics credit. Space is limited.

Attendees will spend an afternoon exploring an exciting, eclectic combination of topics, including collegiate athletics, cemetery law, Shakespeare, and income/estate planning.

Here is a list of the courses:

  • "Tax and Gift Planning"
  • "The Evolving Student-Athlete and University Relationship"
  • "Unearthing the Law of Decedent Control of Their Remains"
  • "The Merchant of Venice and Questions of Legal Ethics"

Sessions will be held in classroom 1101 in the Worrell Professional Center.

The cost is $20/person which includes North Carolina Bar fees and refreshments. Attendance will be submitted to the North Carolina Bar after the CLE takes place.

Wake Forest Law to host executive education program on blockchain and fintech

“Blockchain, Crypto, & Fintech Law: Decoded and In Practice” will bring together nationally recognized experts for a daylong executive education program that includes courses on blockchain, cryptocurrency, and fintech. Designed and led by Wake Forest Law Professor Raina Haque, this event will focus on training and applying core concepts to multiple businesses that span industries.

The program will be held on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at Wake Forest University Charlotte Center in Charlotte, N.C. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion. Seven N.C. and S.C. CLE credits are pending.