Republican and Democrat Law Clubs Host Speakers: Former Attorney General Gonzales & Judge Vance

Posted: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 12:33

Over the last few weeks two law student organizations, the Cumberland Republicans and the Cumberland Democrats, have each hosted a speaker to the law school.

On Tuesday, October 16, 2012, the Cumberland Republicans hosted former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.  Gonzales is the nation’s first Hispanic U.S. attorney general [AG]. He served for two years as AG when George W. Bush held The Office of President.  Gonzales was invited to visit Alabama by the Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill Armistead.

On the day of his visit, Gonzales spoke about his time with President George W. Bush.  He showed a slide show of pictures depicting his years as AG.  Gonzales recalled several of his encounters with President Bush. One encounter he noted was a private tour of the White House given by President Bush.  Gonzales noted that a U.S. President’s time is valuable and to have one-on-one time with any President is rare.  A second encounter he described was his first-person account of September 11, 2001.  Before taking questions from students, Gonzales talked about “Fast and Furious,” the current issue in front of current AG.

On Thursday, October 25, 2012, the Cumberland Democrats hosted Judge Robert Vance, candidate for Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. Vance has served as a civil circuit judge for Jefferson County, Ala., since October of 2002.  Before 2002, Vance practiced law with Johnston, Barton, Proctor, & Powell, L.L.P.  He also clerked for Hon. Tom McGee on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

On the day of his visit, Vance spoke about his ten years as a judge in Jefferson County, Ala.  He recalled the tough financial situation the Alabama court system has been facing.  Speaking directly to the law students in the room, Vance noted that over his ten years on the bench he has seen less cases go to trial; therefore, noting that today there is an ever growing need for law students and lawyers to develop their trial skills.  Before taking questions from the audience, Vance ended by giving his views on the role of the chief justice and the issues the newly elected chief justice will face.