Third-year law students Donta Dismuke and Nicholas Hays have been selected as the 2021-22 Ron and Casondra LeMay Business Law Fellows. They were selected based on their interest in and commitment to business law, significant leadership potential and prior performance within the business law program.
Dismuke and Hays will serve as student leaders of the law school’s business law program. Among other things, they will attend outreach events with other law students, participate in program offering, assist with recruitment of law students for business law, assist with social media presence and engage in planning and research related to the program. They will also receive a stipend of $1,000 each.
“I am delighted that Donta and Nick have received this recognition for their important work with the business law program,” said Arkansas Bar Foundation Professor of Law and Business Law Society Adviser Will Foster. “I look forward to collaborating with them and the business law faculty as we continue to craft opportunities for students to develop deeper insights into representing businesses and entrepreneurs.”
The Ron and Casondra LeMay Business Law Fellowship was established to recognize and support exemplary law students committed to business law. It also seeks to promote the business law program to all law students.
On being selected as one of the two business law fellows, Dismuke said, “At this time, where I feel like our most vulnerable populations are at risk of further marginalization and systemic exclusion, I find myself re-reading quotes from my two favorite Shakurs – Tupac, who said, ‘All good things come to those who stay true.’ and Assata, who said, ‘I advocate revolutionary changes… an end to capitalist exploitation, the abolition of racist policies, the eradication of sexism and the elimination of political repression. If that is a crime, then I am totally guilty.’ These quotes serve as positive affirmations for my fight against social injustices and progressive, structural changes.”
Dismuke is the managing editor of the Journal of Food Law and Policy, president of the Black Law Students Association and women and minority representative of the Student Bar Association. He is also the recipient of Joseph Hickey Honorary Law School Scholarship, Robert C. Compton Union County Bar Association Scholarship, Walmart Legal Diversity Scholarship, Hemingway Family Award and Lee and Bernal Seamster Scholarship.
He recently won the Arent Fox Excellence in Writing Award and was also the first place winner of the 2021 U of A Negotiations Competition.
“I’m incredibly excited to work with Donta and Professor Foster throughout this semester,” Hays said. “My goal is to reinvigorate interest in the law school’s business law program and leave a lasting impact for future students. The LeMay Business Law Fellowship gives me the ability to communicate directly with faculty and staff and to let student voices be heard. This will ensure I am able to achieve that goal.”
Hays is the president of the Business Law Society, member of the Student Bar Association, BARBRI student representative and takes the Non-Profit Clinic at the law school, which helps student attorneys to gain experience in transactions law while assisting Arkansas non-profit organizations with organizational legal issues.
Upon graduation, Hays will attend Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law’s Tax LL.M. program as a recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship. Recipients receive a full-tuition scholarship and a position on the American Bar Association’s editorial board of The Tax Lawyer.
About the School of Law: The law school offers a competitive J.D. as well as an advanced LL.M. program, which are taught by nationally recognized faculty. The school offers unique opportunities for students to participate in pro bono work, externships, live client clinics, competitions, and food and agriculture initiatives. The school strives to identify, discuss, and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity, and the impact(s) they have on students, faculty, and staff members in an effort to achieve a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. From admitting the Six Pioneers who were the first African American students to attend law school in the South without a court order to graduating governors, judges, prosecutors, and faculty who went on to become President of the United States and Secretary of State, the law school has a rich history and culture. Follows us at @uarklaw.