Kevin Ruser

M.S. Hevelone Professor of Law

172 LAW UNL 68583-0902
(402)472-3271 | Email

Areas of Expertise
  • Clinical Practice - Civil
  • Immigration
Education
  • J.D., 1979, University of Nebraska College of Law
  • B.A., English, 1975, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Appointments

  • Assistant Clinical Professor, 1991
  • Associate Clinical Professor, 1992
  • Clinical Professor, 1997

Biography

Professor Ruser joined the Law College faculty in June, 1985, as a supervising attorney in the Civil Clinical Law Program. He received a B.A. from UNL in 1975, with an English major and a history minor. Professor Ruser attended UNL College of Law and received his J.D. in 1979. He worked for Western Nebraska Legal Services from 1979-1985; the first two years were spent in the Grand Island branch office, and the last four years were spent in the Scottsbluff office, where he was managing attorney. Professor Ruser is the Director of Clinical Programs at the College of Law and teaches in the Civil Clinic and the Immigration Clinic. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Clinical Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and the Clinical Legal Educators Association. He has been a member of the Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court and is currently a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Pro Se Litigation Committee. He also serves on the boards of directors of various non-profit corporations.

Ruser has worked abroad on law reform and legal education reform projects. He is currently involved in a project in which he is evaluating and making recommendations for curricular changes in the Masters Level clinical programs at the University of Pristina Law Faculty and Iliria University Law Faculty in Pristina, Kosovo.  From 2000 to 2005, he was involved with law and legal education reform efforts in several countries of the former Yugoslavia, most notably Montenegro and Serbia. From 2010 to 2012, he was, along with Professor Steven Schmidt, principal investigator of a USAID-funded grant to help teach oral advocacy techniques to faculty at the law school of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. These skills are needed by Mexican law students and practitioners to enable them to function effectively in Mexico's new oral adversarial system, which was created by recent constitutional reforms in Mexico.

Ruser's research interests lie primarily in the area of “crimmigration” – the intersection of immigration and criminal law.  In August, 2012, he published an article in The Habeas, which is the monthly newsletter of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association, reviewing and analyzing recent decisions by the Nebraska Supreme Court in the area of post-conviction “crimmigration” cases.  Also in 2012, he made substantial updates to The Nebraska Criminal Practitioner’s Guide to Representing Non-Citizens in State Court Proceedings, which he first published in 2008.  The Guide's purpose is to background criminal law practitioners in immigration law, in order to enable them to effectively advise their non-citizen clients of possible immigration consequences to criminal proceedings in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky holding that non-citizens have a 6th Amendment right to be advised by their defense counsel of immigration consequences in criminal cases.  Ruser developed a 4-hour seminar on "crimmigration" issues and presented this seminar in each of Nebraska's 12 district court judicial districts in 2011 and 2012.

In 2011, Greg McLawsen, Julia McLawsen and Ruser co-authored an article entitled Demonstrating Psychological Hardship: A Statistical Study of Psychological Evaluations in Hardship Waivers of Inadmissibility. The article, which was published in the January 1, 2011 issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin, reviewed decisions of the Administrative Appeals Office (AA0) to see how helpful it is for non-citizens to submit psychological evaluations with their applications for hardship waivers to certain grounds of inadmissibility. Ruser has written other practice-related manuals and guides, the most recent of which are in the following areas: Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy (2012); powers of attorney, guardianships and conservatorships (2012); and landlord/tenant law (2011).

Clinical Practice-Civil

Law 798/G (2-6 cr) Open only to students with senior standing. Students are also required to attend a seminar on lawyering skills and the representation of clients. Students, under close faculty supervision, advise and represent clients in a variety of civil cases, including landlord-tenant, consumer, collection, bankruptcy, immigration, tax, and domestic relations cases.

Immigration Law

Law 624/G (1-4 cr) History of immigration to the United States, federal authority to regulate immigration, immigrant visas, nonimmigrant visas, deportation, political asylum, citizenship, rights of aliens in the United States, and ethical issues for immigration lawyers.

Articles

  • “Crimmigration” Post-Conviction Claims in Nebraska: What’s Old, What’s New, What’s Up, and What’s Next (The Habeas 2012 - newsletter of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association)
  • Demonstrating Psychological Hardship: A Statistical Study of Psychological Evaluations in Hardship Waivers of Inadmissibility (Bender’s Immigration Bulletin 2011)

Books

  • The Nebraska Criminal Practitioner's Guide to Representing Non-Citizen's in State Court Proceedings (2008; revised 2010, 2012)
  • Nebraska Chapter 7 Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Manual (with Lubken) (Revision 2012)
  • Nebraska Divorce Practice Manual (Clinical Manual) (Revision 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990)
  • Protecting Nebraska's Vulnerable Adults (published with Alicia Hendersen in 1999)
  • Family-Based Immigrant Visas (first published in 1997 for the biannual NCLE Immigration Conference and updated in 1999 and 2001)
  • A Criminal Practitioner's Guide to Immigration Law (published in 1998 and updated in 2001)
  • Office Manual For Clinical Law Students (Clinic Manual) (Revision 1987 - 1990, 1992 - 2002)