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Professor Frans von der Dunk shakes hands with the award presenter at the IAC Awards Banquet.

Professors Beard and von der Dunk Contribute to Award-Winning Book

21 Oct 2022    

The book “Legal Aspects of Planetary Defence” edited by Irmgard Marboe, recently received the 2022 IAA Social Science Book Award. The annual award recognizes excellence in the creation of a social science publication made by an International Academy of Astronautics member. Professors Jack Beard and Frans von der Dunk both made contributions to the book, which covers legal and policy aspects of “planetary defence” activities aimed at the mitigation of impact threats for objects in Earth’s orbit. 

Professor von der Dunk contributed two chapters to the book. One covered the enhancement of public awareness of planetary defence and international cooperative efforts, while another chapter covered the legal aspects of threat response for objects in Near-Earth Orbits. Professor Beard contributed a chapter on nuclear non-proliferation as it relates to planetary defence.

The award was presented at the IAC award ceremony in September 2022 in Paris.

Professor von der Dunk gives remarks during the presentation of the IAA Social Sciences Book Award

Pictures by Dr. Dorin Prunariu, published with kind permission. 

Photo of Jason Grams

Grams, '07, Elected President of NSBA

20 Oct 2022    

At the conclusion of the Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA) Annual Meeting Oct. 11-14, 2022, Jason W. Grams of Omaha accepted the gavel from outgoing NSBA President William J. Mueller and began his term as NSBA President for the next year. 

Jason Grams is a partner of Lamson, Dugan & Murray, LLP.  Grams advises businesses and individuals in complex litigation matters. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to Chief Judge William Jay Riley of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and to Senior Judge Lyle E. Strom of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska. 

Grams has served the NSBA as a House of Delegates member since 2013, is a graduate of the NSBA leadership academy, and a member of the Practice and Procedure Committee and the Appellate Practice Section.  He is also President of the Eighth Circuit Bar Association, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, and a member of the Omaha Bar Association and American Bar Association. He has been a member of the Robert M. Spire (Omaha) American Inn of Court for many years and served as its treasurer from 2010-2014 and its president from 2014-2015.

Jason is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble and is listed in Best Lawyers and Great Plains Super Lawyers for commercial litigation.  He graduated with high distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law (order of the coif, order of the barristers).  In law school, Jason was an executive editor of the Nebraska Law Review, a member of the national moot court team, and winner of numerous scholarships and awards.  Jason and his wife, UNO philosopher Dr. Laura W. Grams, have three children, Elizabeth, Alexis, and Patton. 

The Manfred Lachs Finals Winners

Nebraska SCTL Program Sponsors IISL Banquet and Manfred Lachs Finals at IAC Paris

20 Oct 2022    

The Nebraska Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program recently sponsored the International Institute of Space Law's (IISL) Annual Banquet at the International Astronautical Congress in Paris. The IISL Awards Dinner celebrates members who have demonstrated excellence in the field of space law, specifically those whose hard work and dedication have contributed to the larger space law community. 

Additionally, the Program sponsored the finals of the Manfred Lachs International Space Law Moot Court Competition. The Manfred Lachs Competition offers a unique opportunity to students by allowing them to argue issues in international and space law. The finalists have the opportunity to argue before justices from the International Court of Justice. 

Professor Matt Schaefer headshot

Schaefer Publishes First Faculty Blog for the Clayton Yeutter Institute

20 Oct 2022    

Professor Matthew Schaefer wrote the initial faculty blog for the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance website. “Can Geopolitics Help Restore Missing Tools to the U.S. Trade Toolbox?” examines the traditional tools missing for U.S. trade negotiators, specifically legally-binding, comprehensive (including tariff-cutting) regional and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs). The article will also be reprinted in Yeutter Trade Policy Review Vol. 1.

Schaefer is the Clayton Yeutter chair at the University of Nebraska College of Law and Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. He previously served as the Veronica A. Haggart and Charles R. Work Professor of International Trade Law and the Founding Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program.

The panelists for the commercial panel speak on a variety of industry hot topics

Nebraska Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program Holds 15th Annual Space Law Conference

19 Oct 2022    

Nebraska Law’s Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program held the 15th Annual Space Law Conference on October 14th. After two years of a virtual format, this year marked the return of the in-person conference in Washington D.C. Over 70 attendees heard from speakers and panelists discussing a variety of current issues facing the space law industry at the Army and Navy Club in downtown Washington D.C.

The conference featured a joint keynote from Nebraska adjunct faculty and industry professionals, Franceska Schroeder and Dennis Burnett. Also featured were two panels: one discussing the military and national security implications posed by proximity operations in outer space, and one discussing international and domestic regulations and its effect on commercial space activities.

Keynote Speakers and Panelists:

  • Space Regulation and Risk Management 
    • Franceska Schroeder, Founder and Managing Member, Schroeder Law PLLC
    • Dennis Burnett, General Counsel at Hawkeye 360 
  • Unfriendly Rendezvous and Proximity Operations: How Close is Too Close? 
    • Moderated by Program Director and Professor Jack Beard, University of Nebraska College of Law
    • Dr. Brian Weeden, Director of Planning, Secure World Foundation 
    • Lt. Col. Susan Trepczynski, USAF, Operations and International Law Directorate, HQ Dept. of the Air Force 
    • Col. Matthew King, USAF, Joint Legal Staff 
    • Lt. Col. Seth Dilworth, USAF, Deputy Chief of Space Law, Operations and International Law Directorate, HQ Dept. of the Air Force 
  • Risk Management, Prescriptive v. Performative Regulation, and Other Industry Hot Topics 
    • Moderated by Professor Matt Schaefer, University of Nebraska College of Law 
    • Frans von der Dunk, Harvey and Susan Perlman Alumni & Othmer Professor of Space Law, University of Nebraska College of Law 
    • Margaret Vernal, Associate General Counsel, Corporate and Securities, Voyager Space 
    • Caryn Schenewerk, Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs, Relativity Space 
    • Kristen Price, Legal Director, Blue Origin 

Following the conference, professionals and students met at The Exchange Saloon for a networking hour to foster industry connections and friendships.

Nebraska’s Annual Space Law Conference was sponsored by the American Society of International Law Space Law Interest Group, The American Branch of the International Law Association, and is in collaboration with the ABA Committee on Air and Space Law. The program also thanks Col. Marc Warren, for being our site sponsor for the Army and Navy Club. 

For updates on our program and future events, sign up for our mailing list

Professor Colleen Medill in McCollum Hall.

Professor Colleen Medill completes new version of “Developing Professional Skills: Property”

18 Oct 2022    

Professor Colleen Medill has completed a new electronic version of her book “Developing Professional Skills: Property.” The publisher, West Academic, has revised and reformatted the "Developing Professional Skills" series into interactive, online modules for student use. Each module presents a client scenario and a legal drafting assignment for the student to complete. The module reviews the applicable law and tests the student’s knowledge of the law before the student attempts the drafting task. Once the student’s work product is complete, the module provides feedback in the form of exemplars that the student may compare their work product against along with further explanation.

This new type of interactive law school textbook anticipates the substantive areas of real property law, professionalism concepts and legal skills that law students will be tested on by the NextGen Bar Exam beginning in 2026. The online modules cover the substantive real property areas of adverse possession, defeasible fees, real estate deeds and easements. Additionally, it provides students with the opportunity to practice and apply the legal skills of client counseling, advocacy and transactional document drafting. 

Professor Medill is nationally recognized as a scholar of Employee Benefits Law and as a teacher of Property and Legal Skills Development. In the fields of Property and Legal Skills Development, she has been at the forefront of the movement in legal education to integrate the teaching of doctrinal theory, legal skills, and the ethical responsibilities of lawyers.

Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton University.

Roscoe Pound Lecture to feature Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton University

18 Oct 2022    

Robert P. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and the director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. George will present his lecture, “Modern Legal Philosophy,” on Tuesday, October 25 at noon in McCollum Hall. 

George will survey ideas and debates about the nature and functions of law, and the relationship between law and morality, in the tradition of Anglo-American jurisprudence beginning with Oliver Wendell Holmes’ famous lecture “The Path of the Law” presented in Boston on January 8, 1897. He will discuss movements such as legal realism, legal positivism, critical legal studies and natural law theory. Among the thinkers he will engage, in addition to Holmes, are Karl Llewelyn, Jerome Frank, H.L.A. Hart, Lon L. Fuller, Ronald Dworkin, Roberto Unger, Joseph Raz and John Finnis.

George has served as chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and before that on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). George is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he holds J.D. and M.T.S. degrees from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., D.C.L., and D.Litt. from Oxford University. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

This annual lecture is named after Roscoe Pound, an American legal scholar and former dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law and Harvard Law School.

This program has been approved for 1.0 continuing education credit in Nebraska.

Register by visiting https://marketplace.unl.edu/default/pound2022.html/

Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould and Professor Ryan Sullivan, director of the Civil Clinic, at the 2022 Good Apple Awards ceremony. Photo by Mike Machian.

Seeds of Justice Award presented to Civil Clinic

12 Oct 2022    

On October 6, Nebraska Appleseed presented the Seeds of Justice Award to the Civil Clinic at the College of Law. The award honors outstanding legal contributions to public interest law and/or pro bono contributions by private lawyers and law firms advancing the public interest through public policy reform.

The Civil Clinical Law Program is the College of Law’s first formal clinical program. Since 1975, students in the Civil Clinic have had opportunities to represent low-income clients in a wide variety of civil and administrative cases selected by the faculty for potential litigation and trial experience and maximum pedagogical benefit. Over the years, hundreds of students have passed through the Civil Clinic during their time at the College of Law and have had the benefit of the experiential learning it afforded them. Although the primary goal of the Civil Clinic has always been to enable students to develop and hone their lawyering skills by assuming the role of practicing lawyers, those students have also provided thousands of hours of legal services to low-income clients who otherwise would have been unable to afford legal representation.

“The Civil Clinic not only trains law students to represent clients in their individual civil cases, but also teaches those students to use their expertise and resources to advocate for policies and best practices at the Nebraska Legislature regarding legal issues they are working on, including housing issues, family law, and criminal history assistance. They teach the importance of pro-bono representation and public interest legal work in all areas of the law, encouraging law students to provide access to justice and advocacy for all individuals.” – Allison Derr, '18, Child Welfare Sr. Staff Attorney.

For more on the 2022 Nebraska Appleseed Good Apple Awards, visit their website. Photo provided by Mike Machian.

Blind lady of justice statute standing over an open book

Nebraska Law Launches New Public Interest Scholars Program

12 Oct 2022    

The University of Nebraska College of Law has launched its new Public Interest Scholars Program for prospective students applying for admission to Nebraska Law in 2023. 

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.

"When we drafted the college's strategic plan in 2019, one of our goals was to become the best place in America for students interested in public interest work and public service," said Dean Richard Moberly. “The new Public Interest Scholars Program is an important step in achieving that goal. It further strengthens our commitment to advancing justice and will help students build the skills they need to become leaders within the Nebraska Law community, and eventually, the public interest legal community." 

Benefits for Public Interest Scholars include:

  • Half-tuition scholarship
  • Alumni mentor
  • One-on-one advising session with the Director of Public Interest Programs prior to orientation and individualized guidance throughout law school
  • Welcome dinner with public interest faculty and alumni
  • Guaranteed summer funding for unpaid qualified public interest internships through the Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund
  • Individual counseling session on loan repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness with an Accredited Financial Counselor through AccessLex
  • Exclusive programming and events for Scholars throughout the year
  • Paid registration for the national Equal Justice Works Conference & Career Fair and Midwest Public Interest Law Career Conference
  • Guaranteed seat in one of the law college clinic programs as a third-year student

Applicants who wish to be considered for the Public Interest Scholars Program must include a separate essay when applying for admission describing their public service commitment and career goals and any factors that have influenced them. In evaluating candidates for the program, the committee will look at the whole person, but will focus primarily on demonstrated interest, experience, and commitment to public service along with leadership potential.

Click here for additional details on the application process. 

Dean Richard Moberly leads a meditation session with students.

Mental Health and Wellness at the College of Law

11 Oct 2022    

Law Student Mental Health and Wellness Week at the College of Law is underway. From October 10-14, faculty, staff and students will partake in a variety of activities to prioritize their well-being. Student Bar Association Mental Health Committee member Ashly Helfrich said this applies to many aspects of student life, including mental, physical, economic and social wellness. “There are many components to it,” she said. “While mental health itself is obviously very important, there’s so many other things that go into good mental health.”

The week’s schedule includes group walks around campus, workshops on a variety of topics and yoga classes in the new Wellness Room in the Schmid Law Library. Assistant Dean for Student Development Molly Brummond, ’03, is leading a handful of the activities throughout the week. She said the Wellness Room provides a space dedicated solely to well-being where students can focus on following through with their self-care practices. Brummond emphasized the importance of well-being in the law field, as the profession has relatively high rates of alcoholism and addiction. According to the American Bar Association, as many as one in five lawyers experience alcohol use disorders. “So, we have to do something differently at this stage so they know how to deal with the stress that comes with the profession,” Brummond said. “We’re really working hard to make wellness and well-being a part of the culture of the College of Law.”

As a 2L student, Helfrich said she’s still learning how to balance school and her well-being. “Last year, I was just trying to survive,” she said. Now, she reserves time for socializing with friends and checking in with family members. One thing she’s looking forward to during the week is connecting with other law students. “Especially coming off of COVID, the second- and third-year classes haven’t mingled a lot,” she said. “Because the events are so generalized, anyone can come to them and gain something from them.” Health and wellness programming will continue throughout the year through a variety of events. Helfrich said wellness punch cards and various on-campus resources aim at making these activities more accessible for students.

The Student Bar Association Mental Health Committee also includes Tatiana Eskridge (1L/representing MCLS and SBA), Sophie Holtz (2L/representing OUTLaw), Emma Schlenker (2L/representing SBA) and Erik Strickland (1L/representing MCLS).

Anthony Michael Kreis

Georgia State Law Professor to discuss Constitutional Rot and Reconstruction

10 Oct 2022    

Georgia State University College of Law Assistant ProfessorAnthony Michael Kreis will discuss constitutional rot as part of the College of Law’s Law and Democracy Series on Thursday, October 13 at noon in McCollum Hall.

Throughout American history, there have been cycles of democratic crises that have been followed by major changes in the constitutional order. Critical elections like 1800, 1828, 1860, 1932, and 1980 all ushered in a groundswell of multi-generational change in political thought and American constitutionalism. Where do the 2020 and 2022 elections fall in comparison? Where are we now in political time and what does that mean for the future for American democracy and constitutional law? In this presentation titled “Constitutional Rot and the Third Reconstruction,” Kreis will discuss the current condition of the constitutional order and whether the United States is on the verge of a shift in jurisprudential thought. 

Kreis teaches employment discrimination and constitutional law at Georgia State. His research focuses on social change and the law, specifically how this impacts vulnerable persons. Kreis has contributed to a variety of media outlets, such as NPR, The New York Times, Politico, Slate and USA Today. He received his Ph.D. in political science and public administration from the University of Georgia and his law degree from Washington and Lee University.

Kreis’s presentation is open to the public and approved for 1.0 in-person or distance learning continuing legal education credit.

Information about the Law and Democracy Series is available at https://law.unl.edu/law-democracy.

Greg Stejskal

Stejskal, '74, to discuss FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago

30 Sep 2022    

Greg Stejskal, ’74, will discuss the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago as part of the College of Law’s Law and Democracy Series at noon Oct. 3 in McCollum Hall.

The use of a search warrant by the FBI is a common investigative tool. It entails developing “probable cause” as required by the Fourth Amendment, documenting that probable cause in an affidavit, swearing to the veracity of the affidavit before a U.S. magistrate judge, then executing the warrant and conducting the search.

Stejskal joined the FBI in 1975 and was a member and senior team leader of the FBI SWAT team. From 1995 until his retirement in 2006, Stejskal was a senior resident agent for the FBI’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, office. He was assigned to violent crimes, bank robbery, white collar crime, organized crime, narcotics and terrorism squads during his tenure. Stejskal had significant experience executing search warrants during his 31 years with the bureau.

During his presentation, “The FBI Search of Mar-a-Lago: The Fourth Amendment, FBI Procedure and Politics,” Stejskal will discuss FBI search warrant procedures and protocols and what happens when a search and its aftermath are critiqued on the world stage.

The presentation is open to the public and approved for one in-person or distance learning continuing legal education credit. Register here.

Lauren Bruning headshot

Lauren Bruning, '23, Lands Internship at Hawkeye 360

23 Sep 2022    

Third-year student Lauren Bruning always found space fascinating. She also studied National Security and Humanitarian Affairs during her undergraduate degree. Through her time at Nebraska Law, she has found a way to marry those two interests. “I liked that space, cyber, and telecom law was futuristic. This trifecta combines three emerging and rapidly developing industries. So much of the law is interpretation, not development. Space, cyber, and telecom are bringing something new!”

While taking courses in the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Program, she met Dennis Burnett, who works as General Counsel at Hawkeye 360 and teaches Satellite Business Law & Exports Law. Professor Burnett is known for bringing a number of significant guest speakers in for his classes, ranging from NASA, the FCC, the Department of Defense, Space Force, and more. Bruning’s interest was piqued, and so she asked Professor Burnett for his advice on how to get more involved in the industry. He suggested she apply for an internship at Hawkeye 360, a Radio Frequency data analytics company. 

Bruning, who also works part-time at Hudl, has worked hard to be able to take a second clerkship, taking as many credit hours as possible during her second year. She is thrilled to be working for a company that plays “a vital role in defense and intelligence by collecting and analyzing data” and also helped to “provide urgent humanitarian needs for Ukraine earlier this year.”  

John Rockenbach

Rockenbach, ’19, Appointed as 2022-2023 United States Supreme Court Fellow

09 Sep 2022    

John L. Rockenbach, ’19, has been appointed as a 2022-2023 Fellow assigned to the Supreme Court of the United States where he will serve in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice. 

Prior to this appointment, Rockenbach was the Si Karas Fellow for the Office of the Solicitor General in the State of Ohio. Rockenbach previously clerked for Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for Judge David R. Stras of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

The Supreme Court Fellow Program offers mid-career professionals, recent law graduates, and doctoral degree holders from the law and political science fields an opportunity to broaden their understanding of the judicial system through exposure to federal court administration.

In addition to the responsibilities of working in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice, Rockenbach will also engage in a variety of activities, including:

  • A Supreme Court Preview conference to learn about cases for the upcoming Term.
  • Gallery seating at Supreme Court oral argument and non-argument sessions.
  • Luncheon seminars sponsored by the Counselor to the Chief Justice, featuring speakers such as the Solicitor General, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and the White House Counsel.
  • Meetings with various jurists and senior judicial administrators.
  • Supreme Court Historical Society events, including an annual lecture series on Supreme Court history presented by distinguished scholars.
  • Other programs hosted by the judiciary, the Smithsonian, and various government and non-profit institutions.

While serving a year-long appointment in Washington, D.C., Rockenbach will also produce a publishable-quality work of scholarship that he will present to senior judicial administrators and federal judges.

Kelly Shanahan

Shanahan, ’23, Wins ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Writing Competition

09 Sep 2022    

Kelly Shanahan, ’23, was named the winner of the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources’ 2021-2022 Law Student Writing Competition for her International Environmental and Resources Law article. Her article, “Dam(n)ing Definitions: Ecocide and the Movement to Punish Mass Environmental Destruction at the International Criminal Court,” is available on the American Bar Association website.

The paper is about the concept of ecocide, a crime that punishes instances of mass environmental destruction. Shanahan’s paper focuses on the definition of ecocide created in 2020 by the Stop Ecocide Foundation (SEF). SEF plans to have a member state of the International Criminal Court petition the ICC to amend the Rome Statute and introduce this definition as the fifth international crime. Shanahan argues that ecocide is an important concept and should be implemented as a crime by the ICC however, the SEF definition has some deficiencies which should be addressed.

Iowa State University Spaceflight Operations Workshop Class

07 Sep 2022    

Executive Director of the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center (NGTC) Elsbeth Magilton spent two days in Ames, Iowa with undergraduate aerospace and engineering students at the Iowa State University Spaceflight Operations Workshop.

This workshop was held from August 2nd – August 14th, and its main objective is to create operational thinkers. Open to undergraduate students at Iowa State, students from other institutions, and educators, the Spaceflight Operations Workshop provides hands-on opportunities to learn planning, execution, and teamwork. The crewmember students participate in seminars and exercises similar to those used in actual astronaut training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, such as wilderness survival training, skydiving, and SCUBA diving certification. These activities aim to push personal boundaries and promote working as a team.

Working alongside Clayton Anderson, a retired NASA astronaut and workshop creator, Elsbeth taught attendees the importance of law and policy in space operations.

Information for the Iowa State University Spaceflight Operations Workshop can be found here:

https://www.aere.iastate.edu/spaceflight-operations-workshop/

Professor Ryan Sullivan discusses case paperwork with a student attorney

New program at Nebraska will advocate for tenants’ rights

31 Aug 2022    

The University of Nebraska College of Law is launching a Housing Justice Program.

The program is a collaborative legal effort intended to expand on and supplement the work of the successful Tenant Assistance Project. By partnering with other legal service providers and nonprofit organizations, the program aims to prevent homelessness while providing access to resources and services. The program includes the eviction prevention work of the Tenant Assistance Project, a Housing Justice Clinic, a Housing Justice Fellowship Program, and resource navigation and continuing non-legal support for struggling families. 

“The Tenant Assistance Project has already made a difference for many families in Nebraska,” said Richard Moberly, dean of the College of Law. “I applaud the leadership efforts of Professor Ryan Sullivan in the creation of the Housing Justice Program. I am confident the program will continue to advance justice for renters across our state.”

Tenant Assistance Project
Since it began in 2020, the Tenant Assistance Project has helped more than 2,000 Nebraska families avoid immediate eviction while connecting them to more than $20 million in federal rental assistance.

A primary function of the Housing Justice Program is to support the Tenant Assistance Project at the Lancaster County Courthouse. Clinic students will provide direct representation of tenants at their eviction hearing, and volunteer law students will create eviction defense packets and support outreach efforts, including ensuring that families facing eviction are aware of their hearing date and the resources available to them. Families in need will also be connected to the program’s resource navigator, who will be available at the courthouse each day eviction hearings are held.

 Housing Justice Clinic
The Housing Justice Clinic will be the sixth legal clinic at Nebraska Law to offer hands-on training to students. Alongside volunteer attorneys, senior-certified law students will represent tenants during eviction hearings. Students will make court appearances on a regular basis and will focus their work on eviction defense, tenants’ rights, and improving housing conditions for Nebraska renters.

“Our students have shown a tremendous interest in providing access to representation for tenants,” said Sullivan, who will direct the Housing Justice Program and Clinic. “The Housing Justice Clinic allows students to spend time during their third year supporting tenants’ rights, and also gives them the opportunity to practice their oral argument and litigation skills.”

 Housing Justice Fellowship Program
Housing Justice Fellows will maintain a consistent presence at the Lancaster County courthouse every day eviction hearings are held, support volunteer and student attorneys, and provide representation to clients. Fellows will also train, mentor and supervise law students in their provision of legal services to families facing eviction or who are struggling with other housing-related legal matters. Alan Dugger and Rachel Tomlinson Dick are Nebraska’s inaugural Housing Justice Fellows.

The Housing Justice Program is anticipated to have 30 to 40 student participants each semester, whether through pro bono opportunities or enrollment in the Housing Justice Clinic.

 

Chelsea Borchardt headshot

Borchardt, ’22, Selected as Runner-Up in LGBTQ+ Bar Association Writing Competition

25 Aug 2022    

Chelsey Borchardt, ’22, was named the runner-up in the LGBTQ+ Bar Association’s Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition for her submission, “Gibson Prison Blues: Categorical Bans on Gender Confirmation Surgery for Inmates as Per Se Unconstitutional.”

Borchardt, a first-generation law student, served as the Membership Chair of the Nebraska Moot Court Executive Board, the Articles Editor for the Nebraska Law Review, and a student representative for Nebraska OUTLaw.

Miranda Cannon and Ivy Lutz headshots

Cannon, Lutz, Recognized as Outstanding Law Student Advocates by Nebraska State Bar Association

25 Aug 2022    

Miranda Cannon, ’23, and Ivy Lutz, ’23, were recognized with the Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA) Tenant Assistance Project Outstanding Law Student Advocate Award. This award recognizes law students each semester who have made a significant contribution to the Tenant Assistance Project (TAP) and exceed expectations in their effort to support the program and contribute to its success.

Cannon started volunteering with TAP in the spring of her 1L year, and in the summer was hired by the Volunteer Lawyers Project as a clerk to assist with TAP. She assisted TAP in this role through the spring of 2022. In this role she created eviction defense packets for Douglas and Lancaster Counties and assisted with facilitation at the courthouse in both counties as well. For Douglas County, Cannon took point in creating the docket sheets and making EDP assignments and observed court hearings and notified volunteers when a case was being called. In the summer of 2022, Cannon became senior certified and dove into the direct representation of tenants as part of her clinical work. Throughout this summer, Cannon has been a zealous advocate for her clients, fighting to earn dismissals and when that was not possible, negotiating for a reasonable time for the tenant to find replacement housing. Her growth this summer has been incredible as she took on a more advanced role in representing clients and in mentoring new volunteers.  

Lutz began her work with TAP in the spring of 2021, attending hearings at the courthouse and providing support in catching tenants as they came off the elevator. She also handled court observations and reported hearing outcomes. Later she began assisting with packets and rental assistance applications. In May, Lutz took on two new roles as Outreach Coordinator leading the outreach efforts and as a senior certified law student representing tenants at the courthouse. Lutz’s performance in both roles has been spectacular. Her work on outreach has brought additional organization to that component, in addition to new volunteers that she personally recruited. Her advocacy at the courthouse has been amazing. She fights her for clients, she holds firm when up against difficult landlords, and she serves as a model for others to replicate. Lutz not only helps at the courthouse, but when needed, she jumps at the opportunity to provide continued services to ensure positive outcomes for her tenant clients.

Professor von der Dunk Completes Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

22 Aug 2022    

Professor Frans von der Dunk recently summitted Mount Kilimanjaro as part of the Kilimanjaro Charity Climb. The climb helped to sponsor the building of a sanitary block accessible for 140 students with disabilities at the Port Reitz School in Mombasa, Kenya. Created to serve children with physical and social disabilities, the Port Reitz School was found in 1965 to improve the quality of life, health, and education of these children to give them a better future. To this day, it is the only primary school of its kind in the coastal province of Kenya offering services to needy children. 

A number of von der Dunk's University of Nebraska colleagues and Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications alumni donated to the climb. After successfully summitting, von der Dunk shared his completion of the climb on July 21: 

"We did it! Two days ago, July 19 at 11.20 am, the inspiration of the team members, the wonderful guides, cooks and porters, the charity purpose and last but not least the many pledged donors got me to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,341 ft). On top of Africa but feel on top of the world, really."