Philosophy of Law

Professor Craig Lawson

Craig M. Lawson Professor of Law Emeritus

Professor Lawson joined the faculty in 1978. Born in 1948, he received his B.A. from Yale University in 1970 (French) and his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1974. At Hastings, he was Executive Editor of the Hastings Law Journal. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1974 and practiced with a San Francisco law firm from 1974 to 1976. During the 1977-78 academic year, he was a teaching fellow at the University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana-Champaign.

Professor Lawson directs the first-year Legal Writing Program, coordinating the work in it, and lecturing. His main course is first-year Torts. He also teaches Advanced Torts, three electives in Health Law (Law and Medicine, Bioethics and the Law, the Law of Provider and Patient) and two advanced electives in legal writing (Style and Composition in Legal Writing, and Law & Literature). In 2011, Professor Lawson won the Alumni Council's Distinguished Faculty award.

Professor Lawson is an avid reader, especially in the humanities and the arts (literature - especially lyric poetry - and literary criticism, philosophy, art history and art criticism) and in medicine and the life sciences. He's a self-taught, amateur guitar picker (VERY amateur). When he has the time to couch potato, he favors movies over Monday-night football. He leads a relatively sedentary existence, although he will climb on a mountain bike, when he needs to get his blood moving. When he comes out of the closet, he admits to being an unreconstructed 1960s liberal. He is married to an actress, and has two grown children (one an actress in New York City; the other an out-of-work geologist in Southern California).

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Professor Brian Lepard

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. 

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Professor Bob Schopp

Robert Schopp Robert J. Kutak Professor of Law

Professor Schopp practiced clinical psychology before turning to the study of law and philosophy in an attempt to understand some perplexing issues that he encountered during ten years of clinical practice. So far, he remains perplexed, but he likes to think that he is perplexed in a deeper and more comprehensive manner. He joined the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1989 after completing the concurrent law/philosophy program at the University of Arizona. His primary areas of interest involve questions that lie at the intersection of law, psychology and philosophy. These issues tend to arise in criminal law, mental health law, jurisprudence and professional ethics.

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