Susan Poser

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Susan Poser

Dean & Richard and Catherine Schmoker Professor of Law

103 LAW UNL 68583-0902
(402)472-2161 | Email

Areas of Expertise
  • Torts
  • Legal Profession
  • Products Liability
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Courts and Social Policy
  • Ph.D., Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, 2000, University of California, Berkeley
  • J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, 1991, Berkeley
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.A. with honors, Ancient Greek and Political Science, 1985, Swarthmore College


  • Dean, 2010-present
  • Professor of Law, 2008-present
  • Associate to the Chancellor, 2007-2010
  • Director, Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics, 2004-present
  • Associate Professor of Law, 2004-2008
  • Assistant Professor of Law, 1999-2004


Susan Poser became the Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law in May 2010.  She received her B.A. in Ancient Greek and Political Science from Swarthmore College and her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2000, Dean Poser received a Ph.D. in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program from the University of California, Berkeley with a dissertation on the remedial phase of desegregation litigation.

After law school, Dean Poser was a law clerk to Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She practiced law in Philadelphia and was the Zicklin Fellow in Ethics in the Legal Studies Department of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, before coming to Nebraska as a faculty member. In Spring 2004, Dean Poser was a visiting professor at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.  From 2007-2010, Poser served as the Associate to the Chancellor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Dean Poser's research interests include professional responsibility, with a focus on Multijurisdictional and Multidisciplinary Practice. She has written and spoken widely on these issues. In 2003, she served as the Reporter to the Nebraska State Bar Association Committee that reviewed the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and proposed their adoption in Nebraska. In 2004, Poser became the director of the Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics. Dean Poser has also published articles on Tort law and has participated in empirical research and scholarship on the effects of Tort rules.

Dean Poser has been a member of the Women's and Gender Studies Faculty, the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women, and she served as Chair of the NU Systemwide Gender Equity Committee. She is a member of the Pennsylvania and Nebraska bars and serves on the Ethics Committee of the Nebraska State Bar Association and has also served on the Nebraska Supreme Court’s District One Committee on Inquiry, which reviews disciplinary complaints against Nebraska attorneys.

Poser is a member of the Board of Humanities Nebraska and the Strategic Air & Space Museum.  She has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska and the National Board of Directors of the ACLU.

Poser received the Law College Distinguished Teacher award in 2004.  She was awarded the Outstanding Contributor to Women in the Law award by the Nebraska State Bar Association in 2011 and the Shining Light Award from the Nebraska State Bar Foundation in 2006. 

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.

Legal Profession

Law 790/G (1-4 cr) This course meets the faculty's requirement for a course in professional responsibility. A systematic study of the principles of professional responsibility governing the practice of law in the United States.

Products Liability

Law 755/G (IMSE 801) (3 cr II) Lec 3 Liability issues arising out of manufacturing defects, design defects and warning defects in various product categories. Specific issues related to product liability, such as identifying proper defendants, establishing causation and the issue of post-sale warnings. Broader policy questions about the role of litigation versus regulation in a democracy and a market economy.

Wills and Trusts

Law 639/G (1-4 cr) Intestate succession and related matters, execution of wills, revocation of wills, problems created by the time gap in wills, limitations on the power to devise, construction of wills (mistake and ambiguity), the elements of trust, formalities in the creation of a trust, the interest of the beneficiary, charitable trusts, and problems of trust administration.

Articles & Book Chapters

  • Case Commentary: Conflict of Interest in Hiring. Michael Pritchard, et. al., The Ethical Challenges of Academic Administration (Springer 2010).
  • A Model Academic Ethics and Integrity Policy for Computer Science Departments,' Charles Riedesel, Eric D. Manley, Susan Poser, and Jitender S. Deogun. Proceedings of the 40th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE '09) - ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, Volume 41 , Issue 1 (March 2009), Pages 357-361, Chattanooga, TN USA, March 2009.
  • Perceptions of Procedural and Distributive Justice in the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (co-authored with Professor Brian Bornstein). 17 Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy 75 (2007).
  • Damages as Metaphor: A Commentary. Bornstein, et. al., Civil Justice and Civil Juries: Psychological and Legal Perspectives (Springer 2008).
  • Unlabeled Drug Samples and the Learned Intermediary: The Case for Drug Company Liability without Preemption, 62 Food & Drug Law Journal 653 (2007) (peer reviewed).
  • A Fledgling Center's Three Strategies for Faculty and Administration Buy-in. Association for Practical & Professional Ethics publication (2007).
  • What's a Judge to Do?: Remedying the Remedy in Institutional Reform Litigation. Book Review of Democracy by Decree, by Ross Sandler and David Schoenbrod. 102 Michigan Law Review1307 (2004).
  • Main Street Multidisciplinary Practice: Laboratories for the Future. 37 Michigan Journal of Law Reform 95 (2003).
  • Measuring Damages for Lost Enjoyment of Life: The View From the Bench and the Jury Box, 27 Law & Human Behavior 53 (2003) (co-authored with Brian H. Bornstein and E. Kiernan McGorty) (peer reviewed).
  • Termination of Desegregation Decrees and the Elusive Meaning of Unitary Status, 81 Nebraska Law Review 283 (2002).
  • The Ethics of Implementation: Institutional Remedies and the Lawyer's Role, 10 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 115 (1996).
  • United States V. Steinmetz: The Legal Legacy of the Civil War, Revisited, 46 Ala. L. Rev. 725 (1995) (co-authored with Elizabeth R. Varon).