Brian D. Lepard Harold W. Conroy Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of LL.M. Program in Global Legal Practice
Professor Lepard is a leading expert in the fields of international law, human rights law, comparative law, and tax law. He joined the faculty in 1995. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1983. At Princeton, he was named a Scholar of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and concentrated on the study of international law and organization, receiving a prize from the Woodrow Wilson School for his thesis on the development of the idea of the League of Nations in France during the First World War. Following his graduation from Princeton, he worked for three years as an international human rights law specialist at the United Nations Office of the Baha'i International Community, a non-governmental organization. In 1989, he received his J.D. degree from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Journal of International Law. From 1989 until 1995 he practiced tax law as an associate with the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dechert Price & Rhoads, with a special focus on international tax law as well as exempt organizations law.
Professor Lepard has multidisciplinary scholarly and teaching interests in the fields of international human rights law; humanitarian intervention; international legal theory; comparative law, including comparative religious law; ethics; and tax and business law, including international tax law. He is the author of eight books and numerous articles relating to these diverse subject areas. Professor Lepard has spoken on the subjects of international law, human rights, and comparative law at conferences and other gatherings around the world, including in Albania, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, French Polynesia, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Professor Lepard holds the Harold W. Conroy Distinguished Professor of Law chair at the College of Law. He also serves as Academic Director of the Law College’s LL.M. in Global Legal Practice Program. He is the faculty adviser for the Law College’s program of concentrated study on international human rights law. He is a member of the editorial review boards of a number of academic journals, including The Journal of Human Rights, Religion and Human Rights: An International Journal, and The Journal of Baha'i Studies. He currently serves as chair of the Committee on the Formation of Customary International Law of the American Branch of the International Law Association and has served as chair of the International Legal Theory Interest Group of the American Society of International Law. He is a member of the International Board of Consultants of the Global Ethics and Religion Forum and of the Board of Advisors of Genocide Watch. He has also served as faculty adviser to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bahá'í Association.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, Professor Lepard is teaching International Human Rights Law Seminar, Comparative Law: World Legal Systems and Their Relevance to U.S. Law and Practice, International Perspectives in the U.S. Legal System: Practicing Law in a Global Legal Environment, and Business Planning.
Professor Lepard is admitted to practice in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and before the U.S. Tax Court. He is fluent in French and proficient in Portuguese.
Michelle Paxton Adjunct Law Professor and Director of the Children's Justice Clinic
Michelle Paxton joined the College of Law in April, 2017 to create and lead the newest clinical program, the Children’s Justice Clinic. Ms. Paxton has served as the Director of Legal Training at University of Nebraska’s Center on Children, Families and the Law (CCFL). She develops curriculum and trains child welfare workers, probation officers, and mental health professionals on all aspects of juvenile court process and procedure in Nebraska. Ms. Paxton also receives Guardian ad Litem appointments from the Lancaster County Juvenile Court. Through her work at CCFL, she came to realize that effective advocacy in juvenile court requires both an understanding of the law and appreciation of the complex dynamics of children, families, and stakeholders comprising the child welfare system. Ms. Paxton initiated the University of Nebraska College of Law and CCFL’s partnership to create a new clinical program wherein law students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively advocate for young children utilizing the training, support, and consultation from experts at CCFL.
Michelle Paxton received her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she served as Executive Editor for the Law Review. Ms. Paxton has served as a Deputy County Attorney in Douglas and Lancaster Counties, specializing in juvenile law, domestic violence, and general criminal prosecution. She has presented comprehensively on all aspects regarding juvenile court including the Indian Child Welfare Act, Termination of Parental Rights, Expert Witness Testimony in Juvenile Court, and Observing Development in Young Children.