Johnson looks to demystify the law, collaborate with students
20 Nov 2023
Professor Brandon Johnson joins the College from the New York University School of Law, where he was an acting assistant professor of lawyering. He now teaches Civil Procedure and Administrative Law.
Johnson’s experience at NYU informs his teaching style in a number of ways. His aim is to encourage students to build community with their fellow classmates and support one another. He also hopes to make the law accessible for students instead of overcomplicating it.
“Some of the most effective professors that I had in law school were professors who tried to demystify instead of mystify the law,” he said.
In the classroom, Johnson enjoys seeing collaboration between faculty and students.
“You, the students, and me, the professor, are trying to figure out something together about this area of law,” he said. “Watching that light bulb moment is really fun.”
Johnson’s research sits at the intersection of administrative law, the separation of powers, and the law of democracy. His writing focuses on the ways in which government and democratic institutions interact, and the ways in which the judiciary intervenes in those interactions.
His latest publications analyze cases argued before the Supreme Court (Allen v. Milligan and Moore v. Harper) and the North Carolina Supreme Court’s third opinion in Harper v. Hall. The pieces center on election law jurisprudence and political decision-making, respectively.
Alumni News | September 2023
20 Nov 2023
Every month, we bring you the latest updates from our alumni near and far.
Tiffany A. Wasserburger, ’00, was named associate professor of justice studies at Chadron State College.
Adam A. Hoesing, ’12, was named assistant professor of justice studies at Chadron State College.
Endeliza Hampton, ’22, published “Lessons from Dean Shavers, 101 Nebraska Law Review 389.”
ALUM IN THE NEWS
Former State Senator Tom Briese, ’85, was appointed by Gov. Jim Pillen as Nebraska’s 46th State Treasurer. He was sworn in Nov. 1, taking on the role of the state’s chief financial officer.
Children’s Justice Clinic receives Advocacy in Education Award
20 Nov 2023
The Advocacy in Education Award is given to a lawyer or legal entity who advances the education rights of children across the state of Nebraska.
The Children’s Justice Clinic, a partnership between the College of Law and the Center on Children, Families and the Law, was established in 2017 to provide students with the knowledge, skills and ethical underpinnings necessary to function as effective advocates in a setting involving the legal needs of young children. This holistic approach allows third-year students to serve as guardians ad litem in the Lancaster County Juvenile Court under the supervision of Professor Michelle Paxton.
Pearlman’s animal welfare research guide published
16 Nov 2023
Professor Stefanie Pearlman and co-author Melissa Serfass have published Animal Welfare Laws: A Legal Research Guide.
The legal research guide focuses on the growing body of animal welfares laws in the United States. It updates and incorporates material from the authors’ previous research guide, Animals Confined for Human Benefit: A Legal Research Guide and adds additional sections discussing animal welfare protections for other animals, including wildlife and companion animals. The guide assists researchers by providing both research strategies and lists of selected statutes, regulations, and secondary resources to help begin their research in this area of law.
Shoemaker presents at Property Rights Conference
16 Nov 2023
Professor Jessica Shoemaker was an invited speaker at the 2023 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference presented by the William & Mary Property Rights Project. In her second year as a presenter, Shoemaker participated in the “The Scalability of Property Rights,” panel, a discussion of issues of land access, equity, and exclusion.
The conference is designed to bring together members of the bench, bar, and academia to explore recent developments in the law that affect property rights.
At Nebraska Law, Shoemaker is the Steinhart Foundation Distinguished Professor of Law and co- directs The Rural Reconciliation Project. She has been recognized for her work on adaptive change in pluralistic land-tenure systems, as well as property law’s power to shape the contours of human communities and natural environments.
Brown, ’24, selected as FBA Law Student Division Board Member
13 Nov 2023
Taylor Brown, ’24, has been selected to serve as a Board Member for the Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) Law Student Division, where he will represent the 8th circuit after establishing an FBA Chapter at Nebraska Law.
Brown will serve as the liaison to the Federal Career Service Division, which monitors legislation and regulations that would impact federal attorneys. He is also on the Publications and Publicity Committee, which sends out invitations for events at local chapters and he will assist in gathering submissions for the FBA publication The Federal Lawyer.
Sullivan, Mueller, Kostal selected for AALS Pro Bono Honor Roll
09 Nov 2023
Professor Ryan Sullivan, Director of Public Interest Programs Kala Mueller and Cassandra Kostal, ’24, were recently selected for the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Pro Bono Honor Roll. The AALS Pro Bono Honor Roll acknowledges and highlights the exceptional work of individuals engaging in, expanding and/or supporting their law school community in providing pro bono legal services.
For the purposes of this award, pro bono is defined as work that is primarily legal in nature, supervised by a licensed attorney (for law students), not for pay or academic credit and of service to underserved individuals, groups, or those with barriers to access to justice. Each recipient was nominated for their unique contributions to their community.
Professor Sullivan is the Robert J. Kutak Distinguished Professor of Law and the director of the Estate Planning Clinic. In 2020, he created the Tenant Assistance Project, expanding it to create the Housing Justice Clinic in 2022. Professor Sullivan demonstrates a consistent commitment to pro bono work and to Nebraska Law students. Since 2019, Professor Sullivan has received annual recognition as an American Bar Association Free Legal Answers Pro Bono Leader. He is one of 64 faculty members on the honor roll.
Kala Mueller leads the administration of the Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund, which provides a limited number of stipends to Nebraska Law students who secure unpaid summer positions that serve the public interest. She advises students and alumni interested in public sector work and regularly develops and presents programming and materials on careers in government, nonprofit and policy work. Most recently, Kala presented on the benefits of pro bono for law students, law firms, and law schools at the National Association for Law Placement Annual Education Conference. She is one of 63 staff members on the honor roll.
Cassandra Kostal, a third-year student, has been engaging in pro bono work since the fall of her first year. She has completed more than 350 pro bono hours volunteering for the Tenant Assistance Project, the Debtor Defense Project and for the Naturalization Clinic hosted by the Nebraska Law Immigration Clinic. She is one of 76 students on the honor roll.
Hoetger draws on experience in psychology and practice
07 Nov 2023
Professor Lori Hoetger, ’18, joins the College from the University of Illinois College of Law where she was a visiting assistant professor. Prior to her work there, she clerked on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and then represented indigent clients in criminal court as a public defender in Omaha, Nebraska. Hoetger received her J.D. with highest distinction and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska.
Hoetger’s research focuses on how individuals make decisions regarding their legal rights and the evolving nature of expectations of privacy and implications for Fourth Amendment Law. She teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Capital Punishment, and Mental Health Law.
A number of factors drew Hoetger back to Nebraska Law, including her connection as a graduate of the Law and Psychology program as well as the size of the student body and the college’s mission.
“I wanted to be at a school that valued teaching and relationships between faculty and students,” she said.
In the classroom, Hoetger combines her experience in academia and practice. Her work with individuals who had little knowledge of the legal system and who may have felt like all odds were stacked against them inform the way she approaches courses like Criminal Procedure.
“Sometimes we can get lost in the weeds of what the statutes say, but we have to remember that it's all about people,” she said.
Pulling from her background in psychology, Hoetger utilizes empirical methods in her research to help address the behavioral assumptions courts make.
“I take the approach of asking what psychology has to say about these behavioral assumptions and if can we empirically test them,” she said. “That for me, is a really interesting question, especially in the area of criminal law, because we have a lot of research and a lot of theory that can be applied.”
In Hoetger’s research on Fourth Amendment Law, she’s found that she can learn a lot from her students about emerging technologies and new digital platforms.
“My students are coming in with their own experiences, their own background, and I'm really excited to learn about that and be able to incorporate that into my classroom,” she said.
2023-23 National Trial Team members selected
06 Nov 2023
Please join us in congratulating the members of the 2023-2024 National Trial Team! This group was selected out of a large number of students in a competitive selection process.
- Tyrone Fahie
- Tindra Norris
- Jordyn Piper
- Kenessa Smith
- Olivia Stanek
- Courtney Thompson
- Zach Baker
- Zach Schwindt
- Alex Hanson
- Kate Taylor
Cooper aims to humanize legal profession
06 Nov 2023
Professor Jamie Cooper joins the College as an assistant professor after practicing law in the areas of family law, criminal defense, and juvenile justice for 14 years. Prior to joining the permanent faculty, Cooper served as an adjunct professor at Nebraska Law, teaching Pretrial Litigation. She now teaches Torts, Family Law, and Mediation Advocacy.
Cooper has extensive trial experience and has successfully argued cases before the Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska Court of Appeals. In communicating her practical experience, she aims to show her students the human side of lawyering. Cooper looks to engage students to embrace the law school experience, step outside of their comfort zones, and take challenges while offering support if they become discouraged in their law school journey. She hopes to accomplish this by being open, sharing that we are all just people who are constantly learning, people who become frustrated, and even make mistakes at times.
One of the main lessons she hopes to share with students is the importance of kindness in the practice of law.
“I really wanted to instill in them that you can be an avid advocate for your clients, but you can still be a really good person,” she said.
This semester, Cooper said she’s most looking forward to getting to know her students on an individual level. This kind of connection, she said, was particularly impactful while she was in school.
“I remember having professors I could talk to about jobs and things that didn’t have to do with the class, like how to navigate law school,” she said.
The environment at Nebraska Law was part of the draw of the position for Cooper. Without being bogged down by overwhelming student loan debt, students are free to explore many different areas of the law. Cooper said she can feel their energy and curiosity in the classroom.
“They really can change the world if they want to,” she said.
Behind the Scenes with Student Development
02 Nov 2023
Each month, we’re giving an inside look at the work happening behind the scenes at the College of Law. The Student Development team supports and advises College of Law students, helping them make the most of their time in law school. They also assist students in the areas of financial aid, wellness resources, and academic accommodation.
External Relations/Events team:
Molly Brummond, Assistant Dean for Student Development & Chief of Staff
Darice Cecil, Assistant Director of Student Development
Bambi King, Student Services Office Associate
Jill Stohs, Academic Advisor
Q: How does the Student Development Office support students at Nebraska Law?
MB: The Student Development Office supports Nebraska Law students in ways too numerous to count! We provide academic support and advising. We administer exams. We connect students to resources within the College, at UNL, and within the Lincoln community more broadly. We help make certain reasonable accommodations in both the classroom and in testing environments are made for students who need them. Our goal is to make sure all of our students are able to make the most of this once in a lifetime educational experience.
DC: As the name implies, the Student Development Office plays a critical role in supporting students as they are on the pathway toward obtaining their law degree. We strive to be a one-stop shop for students seeking guidance when it comes to course planning, enrollment, financial aid as well as overall student health and wellness.
BK: Student development supports students by helping them find the resources they need.
JS: The Student Development Office is here to support students on a holistic level: academic advising, scholarships and financial aid, mental health resources, academic accommodations, and more. I like to say that we’re a good place for students to start if they need much of anything – if we can’t help, it’s likely we will know who can. Our office is a safe space, and our hope is for students to feel welcomed and comfortable whenever they are here.
Q: What is your favorite part of working with Nebraska Law students?
MB: My favorite part of working with Nebraska Law students is getting to know the students. Our students are bright, motivated, hardworking people who have unique perspectives and experiences. I learn from them every day and truly feel privileged to get a front row seat to their evolution into lawyers.
DC: I gain great satisfaction in assisting students navigate through difficult situations. Although there are policies and guidelines for many of the areas that we in Student Development must implement and function within, I enjoy providing students with guidance to helps them find the best path forward by providing them with the information they need to make the best decision. It is an honor for me to be a part of their journey and being a resource during their journey.
BK: My Favorite part of working with students is being able to help them get the answers or resources they need.
JS: I love that I am able to be a part of students’ journeys in so many different ways – from the time they arrive at orientation to the time they walk across the stage to receive their diploma. I feel honored to be able to support them, challenge them, make effective referrals, and help them navigate the many different (and sometimes complicated) parts of their lives. My goal is to work with students through all kinds of situations, fostering growth and learning in the process, resulting in greater development and preparedness for school, profession, and life in general. At the end, I want them to look back and realize all they have accomplished!
Q: How has the approach to Student Development evolved over the years?
MB: We have always been a student-centered office. The evolution has really been behind-the-scenes with respect to technology and taking advantage of the many platforms that UNL has in place that we've not used in the past. It sounds incredibly boring and tedious but we have done some important work in this regard over the last 18 months and that work will make how we work much more efficient. It will also make information easier to access for our students.
Q: What part of the school year do you most look forward to and why?
MB: The beginning of the fall semester is my favorite because there's so much positive energy in the building. First year students have arrived and are learning so many new skills, developing new friendships, and although overwhelmed, are generally excited that they've begun the endeavor that they've been working towards. Second year students are returning with a confidence they didn't feel the prior year; and, third year students can't believe that they're in their last year, have accepted post-graduate jobs or are thinking about and planning for the next phase. It's a fun time of year.
DC: There are parts of every time of the school year that I look forward. I enjoy meeting and working with potential future Nebraska law students during Admitted Student Day and then get excited to see who will commit to becoming a part of Nebraska Law. First year law students are wonderful to work with because they are so eager and excited about the new journey. I also enjoy working with returning students as they explore the various options for courses and figuring out how they are going to manage their finances to make that happen. For those 3Ls getting ready to move on to their next adventure, I want to provide them with the financial resources and education that can reduce the anxiety over things like finances while studying for the bar, loan repayment, other financial situations that they now need to address and plan for in the future. I also feel very proud of all they have accomplished and share in their excitement as they graduate and move on in their journey.
BK: I look forward to spring when everything is winding down and graduation is just around the corner.
JS: The fall semesters are always full of excitement – new 1Ls just starting law school, 2Ls returning from a summer full of adventures, and 3Ls with a second summer experience under their belts ready to finish their final year. I also enjoy the conclusion of spring semesters, which are full of a different kind of excitement – for what is to come over the summer and, for those graduating, after law school. I appreciate the enthusiasm and anticipation that comes with beginnings and endings.
Aeilts, '25, wins 2023 Grether Moot Court Competition
01 Nov 2023
The final round of the 2023 Grether Moot Court Competition was held Friday, October 27 before the Nebraska Court of Appeals. Judges Bishop, Riedmann, and Welch presided over the competition. Following oral arguments, Joe Aeilts, '25 (right) was named the winner, and Dallas Jones, '25 (left) the runner-up.
Grether Competition Co-Chairs Sydney Pabelico, '24, and Anna Reganis, '24 helped organize the event, which saw 49 competitors in total.
Alumni News | October 2023
30 Oct 2023
Every month, we bring you the latest updates from our alumni near and far.
Brian L. Wagner, ’97, was named partner at Dinsmore & Shohl in Denver when his former firm, Mateer & Harbert, merged with Dinsmore in August 2023.
Melissa S. Sprague, ’08, was named Arenac County public administrator within the Michigan Department of Attorney General.
Benjamin J. Swanson, ’22, has joined Rembolt Ludtke as an associate attorney.
ALUM IN THE NEWS
Bryan E. Slone, ’83, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Service, an annual honor that recognizes Nebraskans' support and advocacy for the NU system and higher education in the state.
Votruba selected as AALS "New Voice in Dispute Resolution" Scholar
25 Oct 2023
Assistant Professor in the law-psychology program and social psychology program at UNL, Ashley Votruba, has been named an AALS "New Voice in Dispute Resolution" Scholar. Votruba has a courtesy appointment at the College of Law.
Dr. Votruba's research examines how cognitive biases, heuristics, and culture influence policy and legal decision-making in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, tort law, criminal law, and family law.
This new program was established to foster emerging talent in the ADR field, providing a platform for their growth and development. The scholars are paired with a mentor renowned in the ADR community, who will provide guidance and support.
Mueller, Pearlman featured in The Nebraska Lawyer
25 Oct 2023
Director of Public Interest Programs Kala Mueller and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Stefanie Pearlman have published "Neurodiversity and the Legal Profession" in the September/October issue of The Nebraska Lawyer. The article is included in the Equity and the Law column, which highlights equity and inclusion topics within the legal profession.
The article discusses ways to make the legal profession in Nebraska more accessible and inclusive for neurodivergent attorneys, beginning in law school and continuing through licensing and hiring practices.
Meet the 3L Public Interest Scholars
25 Oct 2023
The inaugural class of Public Interest Scholars have been selected for the 2023-34 academic year. The Public Interest Scholars Program at Nebraska Law reflects the college’s commitment to developing inclusive leaders who advance justice, solve problems and serve with integrity.
Students participating in the program will have demonstrated exceptional dedication to public service. The goal of the program is to foster that commitment throughout a student’s time in law school by offering financial support, mentoring, individualized assistance and unique programming and networking opportunities.
3L Public Interest Scholars
Taylor received his bachelor's degree in public health from Brigham Young University in 2019, master's degree in emergency management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2021, and is in his third year of law school. While in law school, Taylor has been a summer clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and an intern first for Judge Buescher at the U.S. District Court of Nebraska and then Judge Grasz at the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. At the law school, Taylor has served as President of the UNL Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the 8th Circuit Representative on the National Law Student Board for the Federal Bar Association, and as a senior certified law student in the UNL Immigration Clinic. He is also a member of the Nebraska Law Review, which resulted in the publication of his article on intrastate mutual assistance compacts for first responders in Nebraska. Taylor hopes to specialize in emergency management/disaster law working for federal agencies or local and state governments.
Blake received his bachelor’s degree in History & Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2021. During undergrad, Blake interned for Nebraska Appleseed and served as a chapter director for Kesem at UNL. Following his first year of law school, Blake clerked with Legal Aid of Nebraska’s Lincoln office and helped provide services to low-income Nebraskans through Lincoln’s Access to Justice (A2J) Walk-In Center. Before graduating, Blake will work with the College of Law’s estate planning clinical program. He currently clerks for Blazek Law Group, LLC, a firm specializing in helping clients with issues related to guardianships and conservatorships.
Prior to enrolling at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Tyrone served six years in the United States Navy. Tyrone received his bachelor's degree in Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2009 and his MBA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011. While completing his MBA, Tyrone formed a nonprofit organization that assisted the University in selling surplus inventory to rural Nebraska school districts and the general public. Following school, Tyrone worked at TD Ameritrade and Nike and was highly involved in their veteran led initiatives that supported local veteran organizations. Tyrone returned to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for law school and is involved in the Student Bar Association and the Black Law Student Association. Tyrone has clerked for the Douglas County Attorney’s Office since the summer after his 1L year and is participating in Children’s Justice Clinic as a Guardian ad Litem in Lancaster County.
Emma graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2020 with a degree in Global Studies and Political Science. She is currently in her last year of law school at Nebraska. During law school, Emma clerked at Brown Immigration Law from May 2021-May 2022. She also worked at the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense during her 2L and 3L summers. Emma is currently working as a senior-certified law student in the Immigration Clinic. She plans to work in immigration law upon graduation in May 2023.
Ryan is currently a 3L at the Nebraska College of Law. He received a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Drake University in 2017. Prior to law school, he spent four years as legislative staffer for a United States Senator in Washington, D.C. During law school, Ryan spent a summer as an associate for Baird Holm and another summer as an intern for a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. He was also a judicial extern for Federal Magistrate Judge Michael Nelson. Ryan plans to pursue a career in energy regulatory law and policy after law school.
Anna received her bachelor's degree in Sociology and Faith, Peace, and Justice from Boston College in 2019. Upon graduating college, she participated in a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where she worked for a mitigation organization for those facing the death penalty and those charged to life without parole as juveniles. It was this experience that inspired her to apply to law school. At the University of Nebraska College of Law, Anna has been in the Housing Justice Clinic where she provides limited-scope representation for tenants facing eviction in Lancaster County. She was a winner of the 2023 Frank & Lawson Client Counseling Competition. Anna has also been involved with Moot Court, serving on the Moot Court Executive Board to put on the fall Grether Moot Court Competition, as well as the Events Coordinator for the American Constitution Society. She has worked at the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association, the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, and the Nebraska Federal Defender. Anna hopes to continue her passion for social justice and working with those most marginalized in society by working in public interest law.
Space, Cyber, and Telecom Students Attend Annual DC Conference
24 Oct 2023
Annually, the Nebraska Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program extends student travel awards, funded in part by a NASA Nebraska grant, enabling them to attend our Fall Space Law Conference in Washington D.C. This year, the program was able to send 6 JD students and 5 LLM students to the conference. Zach Hellen (JD ’25), a recipient of one such travel award, shared his insights, remarking, "I gained a profound understanding of the challenges confronting the space industry, such as the imperative for a more efficient contracting framework and enhanced life cycle management for space assets." Moreover, the conference offered students invaluable opportunities to network with seasoned industry professionals. Hellen, in particular, had the privilege of "reconnecting with some of his prior professional contacts, including the Senior Council of Space X."
During their stay in the nation's capital, the program organized visits to the Satellite Industry Association and the Pentagon for the students. At the Satellite Industry Association, they had the opportunity to hear from Tom Stroup, who provided insights into the complexities of lobbying for the diverse interests of satellite businesses, as well as educating government stakeholders and the general public about the satellite industry. Stroup also emphasized the increasing demand for legal experts well-versed in the intricacies of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The Pentagon visit provided students to meet with Nebraska alumni Vicki Belleau and Jillian Sloan. After a tour of the building, representatives from each division within the AF/JAO office provided students with an overview of the type of work they deal with on a daily basis. Hellen commented, "Walking through the Pentagon and meeting high-level Air Force JAGs was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!"
Children's Justice Clinic receives grant from Women Investing in Nebraska
11 Oct 2023
Women Investing in Nebraska grant will support Nebraska law students who advocate for children.
Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) announced awards totaling $220,684 to two programs at its annual awards ceremony Oct. 4. Grants were awarded to the University of Nebraska College of Law Children’s Justice Clinic, which provides legal representation to vulnerable Nebraska children; and to a Nebraska Panhandle Area Health Education Center program, which seeks to grow the rural healthcare workforce pipeline.
WIN members contributed personally to make the grants possible. Its membership is comprised of women in and outside Nebraska who, through their collective giving, address issues that matter to Nebraskans.
“This year WIN is able to make two grants of more than $100,000 each in support of two worthy projects that will have lasting, positive impacts for many individuals in Nebraska. I greatly appreciate the commitment of the members of our 259-member network from Nebraska and beyond who make this possible,” said WIN Chair Meg Lauerman.
WIN Grants Chair Jaci Lindburg, Ph.D., said that this year, the organization received 116 grant applicants, the highest number in its 12-year history.
“We are thrilled to see such incredible projects from across the state of Nebraska seeking support for their efforts, and it is humbling to be able to align our funding to proposals that apply bold new ideas and approaches to important issues in our state,” Lindburg said.
Grant to fund social worker for Children’s Justice Clinic
The Children’s Justice Clinic, a partnership between the College of Law and the Center on Children, Families, and the Law, was awarded a $110,342 grant to provide a social worker to partner with law students who advocate for children in juvenile court, serving as guardians ad litem. Most cases involve family situations that include domestic violence, neglect, unsafe housing or substance abuse.
Michelle Paxton, director of the Children’s Justice Clinic, said the clinic has changed the landscape of child representation in Nebraska since it launched in 2017.
“We train future attorneys using a holistic advocacy approach which includes training in trauma, substance use, domestic violence and other complex circumstances often involved in juvenile court cases,” Paxton said. “The support from Women Investing in Nebraska will allow us to partner with an in-house social worker, further enhancing clinic students’ ability to advocate for the state’s most vulnerable children.”
About Women Investing in Nebraska
WIN operates in partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation and the UNF Charitable Gift Fund to support women philanthropists. The UNF Charitable Gift Fund is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Nebraska Foundation. It provides options for donors to support the University of Nebraska as well as other worthwhile charitable causes in their community or across the country. For information on becoming a WIN member, contact WIN Director Morgan Holen at 402-458-1254 or 800-432-3216, or visit womeninvestinginnebraska.org.
Von der Dunk presents at IAC in Baku, Azerbaijan
10 Oct 2023
Professor Frans von der Dunk recently participated in several notable events at the International Astronautical Congress in Baku, Azerbaijan. Von der Dunk participated in a board meeting for the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), which is an independent non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering the development of space law. Additionally, during the conference, he presented his paper on “States in Space? Extraterrestrial Exercise of Jurisdiction and its Future Scenarios” and co-chaired a session on “UNCOPUOUS and ITU Registration of Large Constellations.”
Von der Dunk was also featured on a panel during the session “Could You Help Us With This Asteroid? A Planetary Defense Workshop to Save the World and Introducing the Schweickart Prize.” To complete the week, he also served as a judge for the world semi-final round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition.
Behind the Scenes with External Relations
10 Oct 2023
Each month, we’re giving an inside look at the work happening behind the scenes at the College of Law. The External Relations/Events team works to celebrate successes, facilitate connections, and keep community members updated with news and events throughout the college.
External Relations/Events team:
Molly Brummond, Assistant Dean for Student Development & Chief of Staff
Amber Ediger, Senior Director of Marketing and Information Systems
Katie Pfannenstiel, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Event Planning
Ramey Vachal, Communications Specialist
Q: What does your role on the External Relations team entail? What is your favorite part of working at Nebraska Law?
AE: I currently lead the brand strategy for the college. As the director of marketing, I work to determine the appropriate strategies and tactics to meet our promotional goals, support events, and help share the important work that is happening at the college. I enjoy this work because I believe marketing has the power to connect people to each other, to our students and to the college. And doing that work at Nebraska Law is even better because we have small teams and everyone works together to achieve our goals.
KP: My role entails collaborating with various colleagues and outside groups to coordinate logistics of events. Whether it’s helping a student organization plan an annual event or alumni event hosted off-campus, I work to ensure details are not missed and everything is in order to make the best experience for all involved. I also coordinate the student/attorney mentor program, which annually matches an estimated 125 partnerships, most of which are first-year students. This program allows alumni and area attorneys to interact with and learn more about the College of Law but also provides students a way to build their network and learn more about the profession outside of the classroom.
RV: As the communications specialist, I support all facets of internal and external communication at the college. I oversee and produce content for social media channels, our alumni newsletter, and our annual magazine, The Transcript. I work with many different people throughout the building, whether it be helping students promote their event or celebrating the successes of our faculty and staff. You can often find me with a camera in hand at any one of our events. My favorite part of working at Nebraska Law is that, as I’ve found, there are always going to be interesting stories to tell about those connected to the college. I also enjoy the fact that I get to try new things and my days never look exactly the same.
Q: How do you keep current students and alumni engaged with happenings at the College of Law?
AE: There is no shortage of opportunities for our students at the College of Law. We use SharePoint as a communication platform at the college. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators are able to share their events and we use that information to curate periodic emails that are sent to the law school community on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For alumni, we distribute two emails a month that share new initiatives, stories of our faculty and students, event information and other announcements that are relevant to alumni. We also publish an annual alumni magazine, and of course, hope alumni follow us on social media. The alumni section of our website has information about how alumni can volunteer, and events that we host that are eligible for Continuing Legal Education credit.
KP: I work very closely with both members of our marketing and communications team, who create our social media posts, as well as our monthly eNews, and our annual magazine, The Transcript. Through these vessels, we are able to communicate continuing legal education opportunities, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and more!
RV: As mentioned above, we use many different channels to engage the College of Law audience. We also use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tiktok to communicate about events and news. The Sharepoint emails we send out a few times a week serve many purposes—one focuses only on events for that week, one has information and resources to promote wellness and wellbeing, and the rest keep the student body up-to-date on everything they need to know.
Q: How does your work facilitate community at the college?
AE: We use our communication platforms to share information and events, and to highlight the great things happening at the law school. I hope that helps bring people together and find the things they feel a connection with.
KP: Community building is a lot of what I do and why it’s important to me. I look forward to watching the mentor relationships blossom, especially when it’s an alum who was a mentee as a student and now wants to give their time as a mentor. To me, it shows the work I do continues to impact our graduates in the profession, who want to stay involved. I enjoy seeing the same or similar faces at continuing education presentations or the annual holiday party. I especially enjoy working with student organization leaders to plan their events. It’s a skilled I’ve honed, and they are students, who are swimming through law school. I enjoy being that person who helps and building those relationships along the way.
RV: By enhancing communication and openness between those at the college, I hope to help students engage with each other and faculty in meaningful ways. By shining a light onto what’s going on, everyone in the community gains a better understanding of the great work being done throughout the college.
Q: What event do you most look forward to and why?
KP: I always look forward to our Dean’s Advisory Board Awards Luncheon, which happens each spring, usually in April. At this event, we honor two alumni or friends of the college, a member of the faculty, and a third-year student. The event brings together a variety of attendees, from alumni, area attorneys, faculty, or students. I’m continually in awe of the work the alumni have done to support the college, the research and work the faculty member contributes to our community, both locally and nationally, and I love hearing about the students’ experiences during their time at Nebraska Law.
RV: Some events I enjoy photographing include Mel Shinn Day, HLSA’s Cinco De Mayo celebration, and S.T.I.R. Talks.
Q: Describe the value of communicating faculty, student, and alumni news to the College of Law audience.
AE: We want everyone to have a positive experience with the College of Law, and part of a good experience is having good information. I want alumni to feel a connection to the college so that they support us through dollars, time or even just with positivity in conversations. I want our students and prospective students to feel like they have the information they need to make important choices. And I want our faculty to feel that we support their work and that people inside and outside our building understand their work.
KP: The value is immeasurable. The more forward we are with what’s going on within and around our Nebraska Law community, the more we can impact the lives of others. Whether it’s creating new clinics or showcasing the talents of our students at competitions, people are watching. We want to remind our constituents of the value their alma mater and the way in which we serve others, knowing we’re providing opportunities for students to be the best leaders, who are problem solvers and who serve with integrity
RV: We try to capture the supportive, welcoming environment and communicate that to all of our audiences. Helping them gain a better understanding of the culture at the College of Law and the hard work of our students, faculty, and staff will hopefully show why it’s a great place to work and learn.