August 12, 2009

Dervan, Porter join law school faculty

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University’s School of Law will welcome two new professors to its ranks for the new school year.

Lucian E. Dervan and Tracie R. Porter will be assistant professors of law and will begin teaching duties this fall.

Dervan, whose experience includes white-collar criminal law, has been an associate with Ford & Harrison, LLP in Melbourne, Fla., since 2007. He counseled and represented clients in federal and state court, and also before local, state and federal government agencies, including corporations in appeals before state and federal courts, according to his biography.

Dervan will teach classes on white-collar crime and international criminal law this fall, and a class on federal sentencing in the spring 2010 semester.

He served as a clerk to 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Senior Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch for one year prior to joining Ford & Harrison. His experience also includes nearly four years as an associate with Atlanta-based King & Spalding LLP as part of the firm’s special matters and government investigations team, representing corporations and assisting in trial preparations.

Dervan earned his law degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta in May 2002, ranking in the top five percent of his graduating class. His pro bono efforts include work with Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta in will preparation for home recipients; Atlanta Legal Aid representing poor and or elderly tenants in eviction cases; and as a legal adviser with National Alliance on Mental Illness Georgia.

Porter has been at Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law as a visiting assistant professor of law since July 2006. She taught legal research and writing to first- year students and advanced real property to upper-level students. She also was an adjunct professor at Kent College of Law and the John Marshall Law School, also in Chicago, from August 2004 to May 2006.

Her private sector experience in Chicago also includes being the principal real estate and litigation attorney of the Law Offices of Tracie R. Porter LLC; a senior real estate associate at Brown, Udell & Pomerantz Ltd.; and a commercial real estate/corporate associate with Barnes and Thornburg. Her background also includes four years as a labor litigation attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor in Chicago.

She will teach a consumer protection class in the fall, and classes in international business transactions and real estate transactions in spring 2010.

Porter earned her law degree from the Drake University Law School in May 1994, where she received the NAACP Earl Warren Scholarship and Sadie T.M. Alexander Legal Scholarship. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international business from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, in May 1990.

In addition to the two new law school faculty additions, Michele L. Mekel, a visiting associate professor of law this past year, is now an assistant professor of law.

Before coming to the SIU School of Law, Mekel was a visiting associate professor of law at Drake University Law School. She also served as executive director of the Institute of Biotechnology and the Human Future, and associate director of the Center on Nanotechnology and Society, both at Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology. She was a visiting Fulbright Scholar as a Fulbright U.S. Student Fellow in 2004-2005 at Queen’s University Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, where she conducted a comparative student of Canadian and U.S. academic-affiliated health policy centers.

Mekel earned her law degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in May 2002. She earned a master’s of health administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, Department of Health Management & Informatics, and a master of business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Business, both in May 2003. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.