Beth Burkstrand-Reid

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Beth Burkstrand-Reid

Assistant Professor of Law

260 LAW UNL 68583-0902
(402)472-3158 | Email

Areas of Expertise
  • Family Law
  • Abortion, Pregnancy, Contraception & Reproductive Health Law
  • Sex-Based Discrimination Law
  • Feminist Legal Theory & Masculinities Theory
  • Tort Law
Education
  • J.D. summa cum laude, American University Washington College of Law (2002)
  • B.A. Emory University (1998)

Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Law
  • Women's and Gender Studies Program Faculty

Biography

Professor Burkstrand-Reid joined the College of Law faculty in 2010. Her research focuses on reproductive rights and women's health, specifically abortion, birth control and pregnancy-related law. She is the recipient of the 2014 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Status of Women, presented by the UNL Chancellor and the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women.

Professor Burkstrand-Reid was formerly a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, where she taught Sex-Based Discrimination Law, Legal Writing and Introduction to Advocacy. Prior to her time at Illinois, she taught Family Law and Sex-Based Discrimination Law as an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.

Professor Burkstrand-Reid has a diverse practice background. She is a former associate with the Washington, D.C. office of Crowell & Moring LLP, where she had a broad-based litigation practice. She also served as a fellow in the Georgetown University Law Center Women's Law and Public Policy Program.

She received her J.D., summa cum laude, from American University and her B.A. in political science from Emory University. Upon graduation from law school, Professor Burkstrand-Reid was a pro se law clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.

Prior to her legal career, Professor Burkstrand-Reid was a journalist. Her writing has appeared in several newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Professor Burkstrand-Reid now frequently assists reporters working on reproductive health and family law matters. She has been quoted by the Associated Press, CNN.com and the Christian Science Monitor, among other media outlets.

 

Family Law

(Law 630/G) (3 credit hours) Family Law examines how families and intimate relationships are regulated. While the law of marriage and divorce is emphasized, this course also examines other significant matters, including what constitutes a "family" in the eyes of the law and how race, gender, sexuality and socioeconomic factors influence both family structure and regulation. The course borrows from current events in law, politics and culture to illustrate and examine the continuing evolution of family law and policy.

Emerging Family Law Issues

(Law 626/G) (3 credit hours) This course focuses on cutting-edge legal issues related to family law and policy. Topics may include the regulation of reproduction, sexuality and family formation, but will largely be dictated by family law controversies in the courts at the time of the course. Family Law is not a pre-requisite for this course.

Sex-Based Discrimination Law

(Law 688) (3 credit hours) This course introduces two theoretical frameworks applicable to anti-discrimination law and uses them to examine efforts to curb discrimination against women and men. Feminist Legal Theory and Masculinities Theory are used as foundations through which students can analyze whether legal controls on discrimination are effective. Specific topics that may be discussed include the law as it is related to the military (male mandatory registration and female integration); obscenity (pornography and art); family (custody-related sex preferences and family structure); crime (rape and sex work); education (Title IX athletics and single-sex education); and employment (sex-specific work).

Torts I & II

Law 503/G & 504/G (EDAD *874 & *875) (1-6 cr, max 6 per class) Legal protection afforded in civil proceedings against interference with the security of one's person, property, relations, and other intangible interests. Substantive principles that govern tort claims (ranging from claims for intentional wrongdoing, to negligence claims, to claims that the defendant is strictly liable for harms caused to the plaintiff), and the theoretical bases and practical implications of such claims.

Presentations

  • Gender Matters: Women, Social Policy and the 2012 Election, From Sex for Pleasure to Sex for Procreation: How the Law Manufactures Mothers (April 2013)
  • TEDxUNL, Center of the Country, Center of the Controversy (Sept. 2012)
  • Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Push! (June 2012)
  • Work and Family Researchers Network, The Man of the House? (June 2012)
  • University of Missouri at Kansas City, Women as Decision Makers conference, Stuck in the Middle With You (Feb. 2012)
  • Nebraska State Bar Association Annual Meeting, Section on Women and the Law, Reconceiving Sex-Based Discrimination (Oct. 2011)
  • Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Media, Masculinities and the Man of the House (July 2011)
  • Big Ten Untenured Faculty Conference, Media, Masculinities and the Man of the House (Aug. 2011)
  • American Association of Law Schools, Workshop on Women Rethinking Equality, Media, Masculinities and the Man of the House (June 2011)
  • Law and Society Annual Meeting, Media, Masculinities and the Man of the House (June 2011)
  • Emerging Family Law Scholars Annual Conference, Media, Masculinities and the Man of the House (June 2011)
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas Boyd School of Law, Multidimensional Masculinities and Legal Theory: A Colloquium, Objectifying (At-Home) Masculinities (Feb. 2011)
  • University of Denver, Motherhood: Reclaiming Our Past, Transforming Our Future, What’s Mothering Worth?
  • Big 10 Aspiring Scholars Conference, Spouses, the State and Contractual Enforcement of Marital Responsibilities (Aug. 2009)
  • Midwest Family Law Consortium, Conference on the Future of Family Law Education, Teaching Controversial Topics and Innovative Family Law Skills Teaching (June 2009)
  • Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Reinforcing Feminist Perspectives in Interpretations of Gender (In)Equality Claims (Chair & Presenter, The Invisible Woman: Availability and Culpability in Reproductive Health Jurisprudence) and Teaching Gender Inequality in Law School (May 2009)
  • Emerging Family Law Scholars Annual Conference, Stuck in the Middle With You: Spouses, the State and Contractual Enforcement of Marital Responsibilities (May 2009)
  • University of Illinois Gender and Women’s Studies Department, 2008-2009 Feminist Scholarship Series, The Invisible Woman: Availability and Culpability in Reproductive Health Jurisprudence (Feb. 2009)
  • University of Illinois College of Law, Faculty Workshop, The Invisible Woman: Competition and Culpability in Reproductive Health Jurisprudence (Jan. 2009)
  • University of Illinois Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, Reproductive Rights in the Courts: Past and Present (Nov. 2008)
  • American University Washington College of Law, Integrating Sex and Gender Issues into Traditional Curriculum: Strategies for Academics Working in Dangerous Political Environments (for academics from the University of Peshawar, Pakistan) (June 2008)
  • American University Washington College of Law, This Term in the U.S. Supreme Court: The Significance of Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood (Nov. 2005)
  • District of Columbia Bar, Pro Se Plus Divorce Clinic (multiple presentations, 2000-2001)

Research Areas

  • Abortion
  • Pregnancy
  • Contraception
  • Work-Family Balance Law
  • Feminist Theory
  • Masculinities Theory