Science & Law

Terence Centner

Terence J. Centner Adjunct Professor

Professor Centner joined the law faculty in 2019. His research focuses on the agricultural-environmental interface looking at current issues from a scientific and legal perspective. He has published more than 160 scientific papers and law review articles, and has lectured in 50 countries around the world. He has also published four books: Empty Pastures; Blame Culture; Environmental Law and the Protection of People; and Consumers, Meat and Animal Products.

Prior to joining the Law College faculty, Professor Centner practiced law in New York state, clerked at the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Florida, and taught at the University of Georgia. During his tenure at Georgia, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung research scholar at the University of Göttingen (Germany), Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Mannheim (Germany), Professor at the University of New Orleans Innsbruck Summer School (Austria), Fulbright-Scotland Visiting Professor at the University of Aberdeen (UK), and lecturer at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland).

Professor Centner served as president of the American Agricultural Law Association and received the association’s Distinguished Service Award. Under the auspices of Great Plains AG*IDEA, an interactive distance education alliance, he helped develop an online agricultural law certificate. In 2015, he was awarded the Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in University Teaching Award by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Professor Gus Hurwitz

Justin (Gus) Hurwitz Professor of Law, The Menard Director of the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center, and Co-Director of Space, Cyber, and Telecom Law Program

Professor Justin (Gus) Hurwitz work’s builds on his background in law, technology, and economics to consider the interface between law and technology and the role of regulation in high-tech industries. He has a particular expertise in telecommunications law and technology, including data- and cybersecurity, and was recognized as a Cyber Security & Data Privacy Trailblazer by the National Law Journal. His work has appeared in the Brooklyn, Connecticut, DePaul, George Mason, Iowa, Michigan State, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, and other law reviews and journals.

He is the The Menard Director of the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center and the Co-Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program. Since joining the College of Law Faculty, his work has been cited by the FCC, FTC, Federal District and Circuit judges, and United States Senators, and he has spoken or testified before the Senate Commerce Committee, FCC and FTC, the United States Army's 7th Signal Command, and German and Colombian competition regulators.

He is also the Director for Law and Economics Programing with the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE), a think tank based in Portland, Oregon, where he directs a new law and economics-focused research program and helps to translate academic research into applied policy issues. He also is, or has been, affiliated with the Classical Liberal Institute at New York University School of Law, the National Security Institute at George Mason University, and the American Enterprise Institute.

Professor Hurwitz previously was the inaugural Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition (CTIC), prior to which he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at George Mason University Law School. From 2007–2010 he was a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in the Telecommunications and Media Enforcement Section.

Professor Hurwitz has a background in technology having worked at Los Alamos National Lab and interned at the Naval Research Lab prior to law school. During this time his work was recognized by organizations such as the Federal Laboratory Consortium, R&D Magazine, Los Alamos National Lab, IEEE & ACM, and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California. In addition, he held an Internet2 Land Speed World Record with the Guinness Book of World Records.

Professor Hurwitz received his JD from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an articles editor on the Chicago Journal of International Law and received Olin and MVP2 law and economics scholarships. He also holds an MA in Economics from George Mason University. He received his BA from St. John’s College.


Watch to learn more about Professor Hurwitz's impact on rural communities.

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A. Christal Sheppard Adjunct Law Professor

Dr. Christal Sheppard was the first Director of the first United States Patent and Trademark Office located outside of the nation’s capital in 227 years. Prior to joining the Agency, she was assistant professor of law at the University of Nebraska where she co-founded a program of Concentrated Study in Intellectual Property law. In 2018, she joined IPwe, a patent based, startup company headquartered in Paris, France, as Executive Vice President for Strategy and Business Development. IPwe applies blockchain and artificial intelligence to the patent ecosystem to create a global marketplace for patent assessment, due diligence, licensing, sale and portfolio management. 

Dr. Sheppard educational background includes an M.S. and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from Cornell University Law School, completion of Harvard’s Executive Education – Senior Managers in Government, the Federal Executive Institute’s - Leadership for a Democratic Society and George Mason University Law and Economic Center’s Economic Institute for Law Professors programs. She is currently enrolled in the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program. 

She has over two decades of Science and Intellectual Property Law and Policy work experience including as practicing attorney at Foley & Lardner, the United States International Trade Commission, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and internships with Judge Rader at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Executive Office of the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

Her successful career in intellectual property law and policy also includes her tenure as Chief Counsel on Patents and Trademarks for the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary where she was integral in many endeavors including the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most comprehensive change to this nation's intellectual property laws in over 60 years. 

Dr. Sheppard’s commitment to education is so strong that she continues to teach two courses a year, Patent Law and International Intellectual Property, at the University of Nebraska law college, in her free time. 

Dr. Sheppard has testified before the United States Congress and been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones News Wire, Fox Business News, the Chicago Sun Times, Politico and others on a variety of intellectual property and business issues. She regularly presents on intellectual property matters, from basics to advanced, to solo inventors, incubators, small and large companies, students, professors, attorneys, regulators, judges, administrators, regulators and others throughout the innovation ecosystem. 

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