JDs Advancing Justice

This site was created to share the stories of the Nebraska Law students, alumni, and faculty who are dedicated to serving unmet legal needs in communities across the country and, as the name implies, advancing justice, which, as you might expect, can take on many different forms. We hope to educate you by examining the resources that exist to support this type of work, but more importantly, to inspire you by showcasing the incredible achievements and far-reaching impact of those in the Nebraska Law community.

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Faculty / Staff Posts

Headshot of Danny, who has short dark hair and a beard. He is smiling and wearing glasses and a black suit and tie.

Martinez Swalley Selected as 2021-22 Legal Education Police Practices Consortium Fellow

In 2020, the American Bar Association, in coordination with a number of U.S. law schools, established the Legal Education Police Practices Consortium. The University of Nebraska College of Law is one of four Big Ten law schools, and 52 nationwide, participating in the effort. 2L Danny Martinez Swalley was chosen to serve as this year’s Consortium Fellow for the College of Law.

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Sammy Conners in front of courthouse

Conners Worked to Defend the Rights of Her Clients

Samantha Conners, ’22, is drawn to helping people. After spending a summer with the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association (SLLDA), she has a better idea of how she will use her law degree.

SLLDA is a nonprofit law firm organized to provide high quality representation to eligible individuals accused of crimes in Salt Lake County. During her time with SLLDA, Conners helped conduct research on cases, wrote briefs and memos, and interviewed clients.

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Miranda Cannon at the courthouse.

Cannon Seeks Justice for Families Facing Eviction

Miranda Cannon, '23, is passionate about helping others find the resources to defend their rights.

Her own experience suing a former landlord compelled her to become involved with the Tenant Assistance Project (TAP), and ultimately to work as a Nebraska Public Interest Law fellow with the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP).

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A gold statue of Lady Justice with a bright blue sky in the background

Realities & Myths of Public Interest Law: Part I

This is the first post in a multipart series where we will examine and attempt to dispel some of the common misconceptions surrounding legal careers in the public sector. To kick off the series, 3L Bobby Larsen interviewed several recent graduates on the process of finding their first post-graduate job.

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Student Posts

Emma is standing in front of wall of large windows and smiling at the camera. She has long blonde hair and is wearing a gray skirt suit. Above her is a long row of flags from different countries.

Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund (NPILF) Spotlight: Emma Lentsch, U.S. Department of State

The Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund (NPILF) provides a limited number of stipends to University of Nebraska College of Law students who secure unpaid public interest positions for the summer. 2L Emma Lentsch, a 2022 NPILF recipient, worked with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Migration Working Group.

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Kelly is pictured from the chest up smiling at the camera. She has long blonde hair and is wearing glasses. There is greenery and red flowers behind her in the background.

NPILF Spotlight: Kelly Shanahan, Earth Law Center

The Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund (NPILF) provides a limited number of stipends to University of Nebraska College of Law students who secure unpaid public interest positions with a host organization that serves an unmet legal need. 2L Kelly Shanahan, a 2021 NPILF recipient, worked with Earth Law Center, which is based in Boulder, CO.

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Two people are sitting at a table with a sign that says Lincoln Commission on Human Rights. They are looking at the camera and smiling. The person on the right is wearing a red shirt and sunglasses and has their hair tied back. Ivy is on the right wearing a dark blue polo shirt, eyeglasses, and red lipstick and has brown curly hair.

NPILF Spotlight: Ivy Lutz, Lincoln Commission on Human Rights

The Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund (NPILF) provides a limited number of stipends to University of Nebraska College of Law students who secure unpaid public interest positions with a host organization that serves an unmet legal need. 2L Ivy Lutz, a 2021 NPILF recipient, worked with the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights.

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Grant is pictured from the shoulders up, looking at the camera, and smiling. he is wear a black suit jacket and red tie. He has short brown hair.

NPILF Spotlight: Grant Friedman, Legal Aid of Nebraska

The Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund (NPILF) provides a limited number of stipends to University of Nebraska College of Law students who secure unpaid public interest positions with a host organization that serves an unmet legal need. 2L Grant Friedman, a 2021 NPILF recipient, worked with Legal Aid of Nebraska's Health, Education, & Law Project (HELP).

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Alumni Posts

Shailana is pictured in a headshot with long brown hair and wearing a purple blazer. She is smiling at the camera.

Q&A: Shailana Dunn-Wall ('20) - Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellowship

Shailana Dunn-Wall (’20) is a UNL College of Law alumna and is currently working for Legal Aid of Nebraska as a tax attorney. She was awarded the Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellowship to support her work at Legal Aid.

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Q&A: Margene Timm ('83) Reflects on a Long Career in Public Service

Upon graduating from Nebraska Law in 1983, Margene Timm spent one year working at a small general practice firm in Bemidji, Minnesota before returning to Nebraska to work for Legal Aid. After five years, she was hired at the Lancaster County Public Defender’s office, where she worked for thirty years until her retirement in 2019.

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Amy Peters ('16), Yohance Christie ('09), and Mark Carraher ('15) (L-R) representing the Lancaster County Public Defender's Office at the 2019 Summer Training Institute

Q&A: Amy Peters ('16) - Gideon's Promise Summer Training Institute

Amy Peters is a 2016 graduate of Nebraska Law who has worked as Deputy Public Defender in Lancaster County since 2018. Last summer she was selected to attend the Gideon’s Promise Summer Training Institute, a 14-day “boot camp” in Atlanta for public defenders from across the nation. Peters spoke with JDs Advancing Justice about her career as a public defender and her experience at the Summer Training Institute.

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Shannon Seim

Q&A: Shannon Seim ('19) - Volunteer Lawyers Project

Shannon Seim is a 2019 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law. She currently works for the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project as EVOLVES Program Attorney and Clinic Facilitator. Recently, as part of the National Celebration of Pro Bono, which takes place annually during the last week of October, Shannon answered some questions for JDs Advancing Justice.

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