Law Alumni Society Announces Inaugural Award Winners
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas School of Law Alumni Society Board of Directors has announced the inaugural Commitment to Justice and Career Champion award recipients. The awards were created to recognize alumni and friends for their service to the legal community and law school.
Alex Guynn (J.D. '05) will receive the Commitment to Justice Award, Nathan Bogart (J.D. '10) will be given the Early Career Award, and the Career Champion Award will go to the Legal Team at Walmart Inc.
The Law Alumni Society Board originally planned to present the awards in June during the School of Law Alumni Luncheon, which is held in conjunction the Arkansas Bar Association's Annual Meeting in Hot Springs. After the meeting was moved to a virtual format, the board decided to recognize the winners during the school's online lunchtime event, and the awardees will be formally honored along with next year's recipients at the 2021 luncheon.
ALEX GUYNN – COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE AWARD
Guynn is the managing partner at Neely and Guynn. The firm practices in diverse specialties of law including criminal defense, civil litigation and torts, corporate law, bankruptcy law, domestic relations and family law, personal injury and sports law. Guynn also serves as circuit judge for the Eleventh West Judicial Circuit.
He is a former assistant city attorney, public defender and dependency-neglect attorney ad litem(child advocate). He was previously employed by Walmart's Corporate Legal Department and as a legal support operations manager for a sports management firm. Guynn has also shared his expertise as an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
In 2015, Guynn was appointed by a group of circuit court judges to the federal Criminal Justice Act panel, attorneys authorized to represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases in which the federal defender has a conflict of interest. He was also appointed as a conflict attorney to the Jefferson and Lincoln County Public Defense Commission.
In 2014, he was recognized by Court Appointed Special Advocates, known as CASA, for Outstanding Legal Service as a Jefferson County Attorney Ad Litem, was listed among Soiree's Best Lawyers in Little Rock and received a commendation from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences for an in-depth lecture on criminal justice and juvenile delinquency.
NATHAN BOGART – EARLY CAREER AWARD
Bogart is a founding member of Bogart, Small and Naylor where he leads the firm's removal defense and litigation practice. He regularly takes on pro bono or low pro bono cases, particularly for issues involving violence against women, U-visa victims of crime or those in deportation proceedings where separation from families is common. He has been recognized by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Arkansas United for his service to the community.
Since 2015, he has co-hosted "Preguntas con el Abogado," an immigration law-related program airing on Northwest Arkansas' La Zeta 95.7 FM. Bogart has also provided commentary on immigration law to various local media outlets in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas.
He is frequently invited to present on immigration and law firm management topics by local, state and national professional attorney associations and community organizations. His presentations have touched on the intersection of immigration and criminal defense practice, social media marketing, appellate practice and procedural practice before the immigration courts.
WALMART LEGAL TEAM – CAREER CHAMPION AWARD
The Walmart Legal Team is a long-time advocate for legal education at the University of Arkansas School of Law. The group has participated in the school's summer pre-law program (SPPARK), a project designed to increase diversity within law schools and the legal profession, by hosting a Walmart day on the Bentonville campus and providing financial support to the program.
Since 2006, the team has annually funded a legal diversity scholarship, which has provided assistance to 27 law students. Team members participate in a colloquium for business law students, introducing real world legal issues to the students and overseeing the workshopping of these issues among the student participants. Many members of the team have served, and currently serve, as part-time faculty.
Walmart offers externship opportunities to students allowing them to garner experience in complex legal practices and are a significant employer of students upon graduation.
About the Awards: Alumni who, through personal achievement and service to the law school, their community, and the legal profession, have brought honor and distinction to both themselves and the School of Law may be honored with the Commitment to Justice Award (for those who have been out of law school for 10 years or more) or the Commitment to Justice Early Career Award (for those who graduated less than 10 years ago).
The Career Champion Award recognizes a firm or organization that has provided significant, consistent contributions toward the advancement of career services and student programming. Contributions could include activities such as engaging in career programming, posting jobs or externships, participating in on-campus interviewing, having regular representation at networking events, hosting a networking event, sponsoring academic programming or supporting law school events. Large firms (11 members or more) and small firms (10 members or less) are considered separately.
Nominations for the 2021 awards will open in late fall. Current faculty, staff and Law Alumni Society Board Members are ineligible as are alumni currently in a position of elected or appointed government office or known to be launching a campaign.
Darinda Sharp, director of communications
School of Law
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