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Murphy Cavanaugh headshot

Cavanaugh, '24, Honored as Women of Courage, Character and Commitment

08 Apr 2022    

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Women’s Center has selected six student winners, including Murphy Cavanaugh, '24, for its 2022 Women of Courage, Character and Commitment Award.

The award recognizes students, staff and faculty who have made positive impacts through personal, professional, mentoring or peer relationships. The winners were recognized and presented with the award during the Women’s History Month Celebration on March 24.

“A consistent theme in the nominations for these recipients was their advocacy, caring and work for inclusive excellence,” Pat Tetreault, director of the Women’s Center, said. “It is important for us to celebrate those who demonstrate their courage, character and commitment to help make the world a better place.”


Murphy Cavanaugh serves as 1L class president of the Student Bar Association at Nebraska, where she connects students to resources that help them succeed in academic, personal and professional pursuits. She advocates for marginalized groups in the college and goes out of her way to make all students feel comfortable and accepted.

Full story from University Communication. 

Program Sends Students to the Space Symposium

06 Apr 2022    

The Space Symposium, held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, has brought together space leaders from around the world to discuss, address and plan for the future of space since the inaugural event in 1984. Today, the Space Symposium welcomes more than 14,000 people from around the world, including speakers, attendees, exhibitors, volunteers, educators, and students. Space Symposium has become widely known as the premier U.S. space policy and program forum and as the “must attend” opportunity for information on and interaction among all sectors of space. 

Adjunct University of Nebraska College of Law Professor and EVP and General Counsel to HawkEye360, Dennis Burnett hosted and served on the Space Law Workshop and Space Law 101 panels focusing on key legal issues impacting the commercial space industry and concluded with a General Counsel Forum including the top lawyers from industry and government agencies. 

Law students Endeliza Hampton ‘22, and Amelia Ruffulo ’23 won the travel award to attend the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

“The Space Symposium was truly an invaluable experience. I made connections with people from around the world. I was able to see where the space world is heading. I also had the opportunity to apply the knowledge that I have learned from my courses at the College to the issues discussed at the Symposium.” Ruffulo said, “attending the Symposium made me think about space in ways I had not considered before and has driven me to delve deeper into legal research on space and other relevant issues, such as environmental law.” 

The Space Symposium was a fantastic!” Endeliza said, “I was able to hear about current advances and issues in the space field from multiple sources, which supplemented my classroom learning experience. The Symposium also offered a rich networking environment, and I was able to engage with, and learn from various private and public professional in the industry. I am grateful for the Space, Cyber and Telecom Program for offering students a travel scholarship to attend such a world-renowned event.”

Showcasing Nebraska at U.S. Space Command Legal Conference

05 Apr 2022    

The Law, Technology, and Warfare Research Cell at the U.S. Air Force Academy is once again partnered with United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) to co-sponsor an Annual Legal Conference, this year focused on responsible behavior in outer space. Professor Jack Beard keynoted the event, discussing the failings of soft law. The event was hybrid, being recorded and streamed and also including in person attendees. 

 The event was co-organized by a number of Nebraska alumni, with over 15 current students, alumni, and program leaders in attendance throughout the event. 


Rachel Tomlinson Dick with her award

Tomlinson Dick, '22, Honored with Student Luminary Award

04 Apr 2022    

Ten University of Nebraska-Lincoln students, including Nebraska Law student Rachel Tomlinson Dick, '22, were awarded Student Luminary Awards to recognize their exceptional leadership and commitment to improving the campus and community.

The awards were announced during a reception at Howard L. Hawks Hall April 1. Those selected create a positive campus environment, advocate for change, demonstrate a significant and active commitment to inclusion and model academic excellence inside and outside the classroom.

Each student was nominated by a faculty or staff member on campus and received $1,000.


Rachel Tomlinson Dick, a law student from Omaha, was honored as a Student Luminary for her devotion to advocacy and initiating positive change. She served as the president of Nebraska OUTLaw and helped organized programming for fellow law students in her role through the Nebraska Chapter of the American Constitution Society. All the while, she has given back to the community through the Tenant Assistance Project.

“Rachel’s dedication to pro bono and public interest work was recognized nationally,” Richard Moberly, nominator, said. “[She] and her clinic partner Jayden argued a case before the Nebraska Supreme Court – a rare opportunity for law students and practicing attorneys.”

Learn more about all of the Student Luminary recipients. Original story provided by Student Affairs.

Profesor Colleen Medill headshot

Medill Publishes Acing Property, 3rd Edition

29 Mar 2022    

Professor Colleen Medill has published Acing Property, 3rd Edition with West Academic.

The study aid features an innovative method of content organization, using outline-like checklists designed to lead students through the analytical steps necessary to evaluate and resolve property issues. Each chapter begins with a review and explanation of the important rules, concepts and principles that govern a particular area of property law. The review material is then synthesized into a checklist. Each chapter concludes with practice problems and solutions that illustrate how students can use the checklist to analyze property issues when writing their exams.

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, Professor Medill 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.

Nebraska Law Competes in 2022 Manfred Lachs Moot Court Competition

28 Mar 2022    

Lauren Bydalek, ’22, Joshua Lee, ’22 and Amelia Ruffalo, ’23, represented Nebraska Law and the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program in the national 2022 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court competition. 

 The competition was based on a hypothetical space law dispute before the International Court of Justice. Participating teams were required to submit a formal written argument for both the Applicant State and the Respondent State on the legal issues of the hypothetical case and to argue each side of the case before panels of judges in their respective region.

 The team is coached by Elsbeth Magilton, executive director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program and the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center, and Professor Frans von der Dunk, Harvey & Susan Perlman Alumni and Othmer Professor of Space Law. Nathan Johnson, ’15 LLM, is a Manfred Lachs competition regional organizer.

Becky Gould headshot

Gould Honored as 2022 Law Alumni Master

23 Mar 2022    

The Nebraska Alumni Association has introduced its 2022 class of Alumni Masters and alumni award winners. This year, the College of Law's Alumni Master is Rebecca L. Gould, '01.

Two other Nebraska Law alumni will also be honored: the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is honoring Alumni Master Michelle Weber, '08, and Sen. Matt Hansen, '13, will receive the Public Service Award. 

The Alumni Masters and award winners will be recognized on campus March 30 to April 1, ending with the Nebraska Medallion Dinner on April 1.

Rebecca L. Gould, J.D. (’98, ’01) College of Law
Since 2001, Rebecca Gould has worked at Nebraska Appleseed, a nonprofit law and policy advocacy organization. Since 2007, she has lead the organization as Executive Director. During her time with Appleseed, she has successfully litigated cases in state and federal court and engaged in policy advocacy at the state and federal levels on issues ranging from economic justice and child welfare to health care and immigration.

In addition to her work at Appleseed, Gould is the past president of the Robert Van Pelt Inn of Court and serves on several Board of Directors, including the Food Bank of Lincoln. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History with High Distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Juris Doctor degree with Distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

Michelle Weber (’05, ’08) College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources 

Michelle Weber is a lawyer and co-founder of Zulkoski Weber, a client-focused lobbying and government relations law firm in Lincoln. Raised on a family farm near Blue Hill, Neb., she took her passion for agriculture to Washington D.C., where she worked as an aide in the U.S. Congress for more than six years, including service to two Nebraska U.S. Senators and the House Committee on Agriculture. She returned to Nebraska in 2015 and now advocates for policies to grow and improve the state to the Nebraska Legislature and state agencies.

As a CASNR student, Weber participated in Nebraska Human Resources Institute Leadership Mentoring, Mortar Board, the Honors Program and New Student Enrollment. She received her Juris Doctor degree with high distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she was Student Bar Association President and an executive editor of the Nebraska Law Review.

State Sen. Matt Hansen (’10, ’13) Public Service Award
Sen. Matt Hansen has represented District 26 (northeast Lincoln) in the Nebraska Legislature since 2015. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science in 2010 and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2013.

In the Legislature, Sen. Hansen serves on the Urban Affairs Committee, the Business and Labor Committee and is the vice-chairperson of the Government, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. In his time in the legislature, he has worked on a number of issues including supporting housing, helping grow our economy and workforce, and improving outcomes in our criminal justice system. Sen. Hansen also is an adjunct professor at Bellevue University and Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he teaches classes in American politics.

ABA Pro Bono leader logo

Nebraska Law Named American Bar Association Pro Bono Leader

11 Mar 2022    

The University of Nebraska College of Law was recognized as a 2021 Pro Bono Leader for its dedication to pro bono work and participation in the American Bar Association’s Free Legal Answers Program. Nebraska Law is the only law school that has received this recognition for four consecutive years.

The ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service presents annual recognition to individual attorneys, law firms and law departments that have provided extraordinary pro bono services through the ABA Free Legal Answers program.

As part of this virtual advice clinic, users post their civil legal questions to their state’s website. Attorney volunteers who are authorized to provide pro bono assistance select questions to answer and provide legal information and advice. 

“The Free Legal Answers Program allows our faculty and students to provide legal advice to a broader population,” said Dean Richard Moberly. “I am extremely proud of Nebraska Law’s continued participation in a program that supports the low-income and rural populations that lack access to justice in our state.”

The Pro Bono Leader distinction recognizes organizations that have collectively answered 75 or more questions during the calendar year, and individuals who answered 50 or more questions.

College of Law students and faculty answered 89 total questions last year.

Professor Sullivan also received individual recognition as a Pro Bono Leader. In addition to dedicating his own time to answering questions, Professor Sullivan supervised law students participating in this program.

Professor Jack Beard headshot

Beard provides expertise on wartime use of commercial satellites

10 Mar 2022    

Jack Beard was interviewed for a March 10 Washington Post article on commercial satellite images being used in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The article mentioned that at least five satellite companies are sharing their images with Ukraine and that Russia has been trying to jam the signals and block coverage of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system.

Beard, a co-director of the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program at Nebraska and an expert on the wartime use of commercial satellites, told the Post that jamming generally is not considered “a use of force.” But he said it remains unclear what the United States’ or other nations’ response would be if a commercial satellite were attacked.

“It is untested whether hitting a commercial satellite rises to the level to justify an armed attack response,” said Beard, editor in chief of the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations. “It’s easy to say that a lot of these things are unsettled, because they are. But they’re becoming more and more relevant.”

The article noted that space has always involved military activities, but Beard said commercial space flight adds a new wrinkle.

“There’s no reference guide to turn to,” he said. “There’s no comprehensive discussion of military activities in space. And yet, space has always had an awful lot of military activities.”

Situated within the College of Law, the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program has bridged law, technology and global security for more than a decade. Students develop the skills they will need to solve problems now and in the future by exploring the laws and regulations that impact every satellite, phone call and online interaction.

Orignial story from University Communication.

headshots of Jonah Clark, Jeanne Kelley, Kathryn Zieno and Halle Hayhurst

Nebraska Law Team Wins Regional Patent Application Drafting Competition

09 Mar 2022    

The 3L team of Jonah Clark, Jeanne Kelley, Kathryn Zieno and Halle Hayhurst, won the Rocky Mountain Regional of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) National Patent Application Drafting Competition. The team, coached by attorney Matt Poulsen, ’10, will advance to the national competition in April.

Teams were required to analyze the invention statement, perform a patentability search, draft a set of patent claims and a patent specification, and then present and defend the application to a set of judges made up of patent experts. The hypothetical invention was a multi-function dog vest equipped with various electronic and mechanical features.

The 2L team of DeLaney Brink, Brady Stuhmer and Jinah Shin also made it to the final round of their regional competition.

Lennox Hinds headshot

International human rights lawyer to deliver law lecture

09 Mar 2022    

International human rights lawyer Lennox Hinds will give a virtual presentation at noon March 11 in the College of Law’s Hamann Auditorium.

During his presentation, “George Floyd: The Legacy of Scott v. Sandford,” Hinds will discuss the legacy of the Dred Scott decision, the continued systemic police violence in the United States, and the findings and recommendations of the International Commission’s report which was filed with the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights. 

Hinds is a professor emeritus of law and former chair of the Administration of Justice Program at Rutgers University. He has lectured extensively in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America on international human rights issues and on the impact of racism on the operation of law, particularly the criminal justice systems of the United States.

Hinds is internationally recognized for his work. He was Nelson Mandela’s attorney in the U.S. and U.S. counsel for the South African government, the African National Congress of South Africa and the South West Africa People’s Organisation of Namibia. He is the permanent representative to the United Nations for the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. In 1998, Hinds was appointed by the UN as lead counsel to represent the interest of defendants accused by the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda of genocide, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. He is one of the few U.S. attorneys appointed to the panel of defense lawyers by the United Nations. 

Hinds’ presentation is free and open to the public and also available online via Zoom . The talk has been approved for 1.0 hour of professionalism and ethics CLE credit in Nebraska. Those wishing to receive credit should register through the UNL Marketplace.

2010 Alum and OTI Director Sarah Morris to Join NTIA as Senior Advisor

02 Mar 2022    

The Biden Administration has tapped veteran public interest advocate and 2010 UNL Space Cyber Telecom Alum, Sarah Morris, ’09, ’10 LL.M., to be the senior advisor at the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), the President's top communications policy arm.

 In her new role, Morris, who has been director of New America's Open Technology Institute (OTI), will advise former NTIA head, Assistant Commerce Secretary Alan Davidson. Morris’ transition comes at a time when the NTIA is undertaking the historic opportunity to invest in bridging the digital divide.  

 For nearly 11 years, Morris worked on broadband access and adoption issues at OTI, including a landmark series of Cost of Connectivity studies. She led this work for several years before becoming director in 2019, and she now oversees the organization’s full portfolio of policy advocacy, research, and technical analysis.

Nebraska Creates World Speaks Space Series with ASIL

27 Feb 2022    

Cooperation between different actors is essential for the successful exploration and use of outer space. From the practicing lawyer’s perspective, this cooperation can mean that it becomes necessary to understand different perspectives on the same sets of legal rules. Conversing about space law for the purpose of enhancing our understanding of space law and of each other’s approaches to space law is therefore an essential aspect of international space cooperation. With the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Space Law Interest Group and the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), Nebraska Law is proud to have presented and hosted the “World Speaks Space Law Series” developed by Matthew Schaefer (Nebraska Law, ASIL, ABILA), Elsbeth Magilton (Nebraska Law, ASIL), and Stefan Kirchner (ASIL). 

The series started with a session on Australia and New Zealand on January 28 2021. The Australia and New Zealand session featured Melissa De Zwart, Dean at the University of Adelaide School of Law, Dale Stephens, Professor at the University of Adelaide School of Law and Director of the Adelaide Military Law Program, Joel Lisk, Attorney at Cowell Clarke and PhD candidate in space law, Val Sim, Director of Legal Services at the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and was moderated by Elsbeth Magilton, (former) ASIL Space Law Interest Group Co-Chair. 

The European session was a part of the 2021 ASIL Annual Meeting and featured Joyeeta Chatterjee (Moderator), Airbus, Irmgard Marboe, University of Vienna, Jenni Tapio, Finnish Space Agency, Frans G. von der Dunk, Black Holes Consultancy, Marco Ferrazzani, European Space Agency, and Mahulena Hofmann, University of Luxembourg.  

The May 19, 2021 session on The Latin American series session featured: Carlos Bello, Partner, Bello, Gallardo, Bonequie Y Garcia, Joao Paulo Campos, President, VISIONA, Jennifer Manner, Senior Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs, Echostar/Hughes, Dr. Felix Menicocci, President VENG, S.A. & Secretary General CONAE (Argentina Space Agency), Ana-Cristina Galhego Rosa, Legal Counsel to the Brazilian Delegation at UN COPUOS, Maureen Williams, Senior Research Officer/Space Law at CONICET/UBA (National Scientific Council of Argentina) & Permanent Representative of the ILA (London) to COPUOS, and was moderated by Matthew Schaefer.

In September 2021 the Africa session was held at part of the University of Nebraska Virtual Space Law Week, featuring Dr. Peter Martinez, Executive Director, Secure World Foundation & former Chairman of South African Council for Space Affairs, Julia Selman Ayetey, Junior Partner, Ashong Benjamin & Associates, and Timiebi Aganaba, Assistant Professor of Space and Society, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University. The session was moderated by Matthew Schaefer.

Hurwitz Joins Silicon Flatirons “Fireside Chat” Panel Discussion, Addressing Current Topics in Communications Policy

17 Feb 2022    

NGTC Director Gus Hurwitz recently joined a panel discussion hosted by Silicon Flatirons, a research center at the University of Colorado Law School that is a recognized leader in interdisciplinary events and programs related to technology and innovation. The panel discussion built on a “Fireside Chat” between Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

Hurwitz was joined on the panel by a number of other leaders in technology law and policy, including Blake E. Reide, a Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado Law School and the Director of the Telecom and Platforms Initiative at Silicon Flatirons; Ernesto Falcon, Senior Legislative Counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Nilay Patel, Editor-in-Chief at The Verge; and Jennifer Tatel, a Partner at Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer LLP, whose work focuses on the communications and information technology industries. 

Silicon Flatirons is a center dedicated to addressing many of the same concerns that animate the work of the NGTC; the need to break down traditional academic silos to foster collaborations between academics and industry stakeholders from a variety of fields. The primary purpose of Silicon Flatirons is “to convene multi-stakeholder discussions, support innovation, and develop the next generation of technology lawyers, policy experts, and entrepreneurs. More information on Silicon Flatirons history and purpose can be found here.

Marc Carns presenting in front of PowerPoint slides

LLM Alum Defends Dissertation to earn JSD

17 Feb 2022    

Marc Carns, ’16 LLM, ’22 JSD, defended his dissertation, “Has Nation-State Practice In Prevention And Mitigation Of Space Debris Become So Consistent To Form Customary International Law?” In his research Carns examined three possibilities for proposed ways ahead in customary international law.  First, whether customary international law is an appropriate solution at all.  Second, in conjunction or separately with the first question, is a new governance model required for future space management. Finally, what other solutions are available to help stem the growth of debris and some potential legal pitfalls if those solutions are pursued. Carns committee included Franc von der Dunk (chair and advisor), Matthew Schaefer, and Brian Lepard.

Jayden Barth and Racehl Tomlinson Dick pictured in the Nebraska Supreme Court chambers following their hearing

Students get rare opportunity with state supreme court

04 Feb 2022    

Jayden Barth and Rachel Tomlinson Dick got an opportunity that few practicing attorneys ever have — arguing before the Nebraska Supreme Court — and they’re just beginning their careers.

Barth and Dick, both third-year law students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Law, have been preparing since December, and presented during hearings Feb. 4.

“When we got the email, I looked at my clinic partner, and said ‘wow,’” said Barth, who will practice family law after graduation in May. “This is a great opportunity, and a little scary, but there’s not many law students who can say they’ve argued in front of a supreme court by the time they graduate. Most attorneys go their entire career without being in front of the Nebraska Supreme Court, so this was just really incredible.”

Dick, Barth’s clinic partner, concurred, adding that it took her some time to fully process what the opportunity meant.

“I felt incredibly honored, and that feeling was very quickly followed by sheer panic,” Dick said. “It is an amazing opportunity, and it took me a few days to sort through my feelings about it. I knew it was going to take a lot of preparation, and I wanted to be sure I had the capacity to do it successfully.”

The case they argued involves a set-aside petition for a conviction from the 1980s. The petition was initially denied by a district court judge, despite agreement from both sides that the petition should be granted.

“We lost at trial and immediately filed an appeal to the Court of Appeals, and the attorney general filed a motion to bypass, which allowed the case to bypass the court of appeals and go directly to the supreme court,” said Ryan Sullivan, clinical associate professor of law and director of the Civil Clinic. “They did that because this is an issue of first impression, or an issue that the supreme court has never ruled on before.”

Barth and Dick estimated they spent more than 200 hours collectively in preparation for the hearings on the case. Preparation included drafting and redrafting their arguments many times and practicing the argument and rebuttal with law professors, law school alumni and student attorneys, who asked hundreds of follow-up questions, simulating what could happen in court.

Aside from what it offered the client, the case could possibly impact Nebraskans in the future.

“It may create precedent in Nebraska law to promote greater access to fair outcomes for people who are seeking to rehabilitate past criminal records,” Dick said. “It is a commonly sought type of relief for people who really have worked to rehabilitate themselves. I think it’s important that Nebraska offers that kind of relief to people and that they have meaningful access to fair review for that relief. There’s so much stigma and so many collateral consequences to any criminal convictions, even from a very, very long time ago.”

The case is part of the Civil Clinic’s Clean Slate Project, and about 10 Nebraska law students have helped move the case through the courts to get it to this point, Sullivan said. Barth and Dick were chosen to argue the case because of their previous litigation experience within the clinic, including with the Tenant Assistance Project and the Veterans Advocacy Project.

The Civil Clinic works with low-income clients in a variety of civil and administrative cases, and its Clean Slate Project assists Nebraskans seeking a fresh start in clearing criminal records to improve employment opportunities and give the citizen a second chance. Barth and Dick have been serving as teaching assistants for the Civil Clinic this semester, under the guidance of Sullivan. They previously worked as student attorneys for the Civil Clinic during the fall 2021 semester.

Now, they wait for the court’s decision, which could take weeks or months to hear.

“We are hoping that the supreme court will offer guidance on these types of cases that we’re working on moving forward,” Barth said.

Dick, who hopes to engage in appellate work and impact litigation after graduation in May, is thankful for this experience and all that Nebraska Law has afforded her.

“This is a hands-on opportunity to engage in appellate practice, which, as a student, is very uncommon. I’m very honored and humbled by this opportunity,” Dick said. “I certainly could not have imagined being able to do something like this when I started law school. I’m very grateful for the mentorship that I’ve gotten at Nebraska Law and I feel like I’ve grown immensely here with their support.”

Orignial story from University Communication. 

Beard Shares Expertise On Outer Space Treaty for Inverse.Com

02 Feb 2022    

Professor Jack Beard was featured in Inverse, sharing his thoughts on the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, better known as the Outer Space Treaty signed 55-years-ago in 1967. The treaty, which was drafted during the cold war is largely an arms control treaty governing that space should only be used for peaceful purposes by all nations party to the treaty. It also discusses bans, and sovereign claims to territory in outer space an assures spacefaring nations that their astronauts will be well treated when they return to Earth.

“There’s always someone saying, ‘Is outer space a lawless void’”? Beard tells inverse. “No – No, it’s not.”

But with increased activity from both NASA and the Chinese Space Agency, along with plans to send humans back to the Moon, and with private space ventures from Space X, Virgin galactic and Blue Origin, the opportunities for disputes and conflicts increases. The Outer Space Treaty was ahead of its time, but the time to which it looked ahead to may be right now. 

“It’s interesting how often a question about space does have an answer that you find in the Outer Space Treaty. It doesn’t answer all the questions, but it is the place to begin,” Beard says. “It should be studied more, and it should be understood better, not relegated to the dustbin, because the basic rules that are set out there have, in some ways, been neglected for the past 55 years.”

You can read the full story from Inverse here

Professor Beard is a Co-Director of the Space, Cyber and Telecom Law Program, teaching courses in International Cyber Security and National Security Space Law. He also teaches courses in National Security Law, Arms Control, and Human Rights & International Criminal Law. His primary research interests focus on public international law and national security law, with a particular emphasis upon space law, cyber capabilities, arms control, the law of armed conflict, and the international legal implications of modern military technologies. 

Professor Beard is the Chairman of the Committee on the Use of Force of the American Branch of the International Law Association and serves as one of the U.S. representatives on the London-based International Law Association’s Committee on the Use of Force. He is a member of the International Institute of Space Law and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations (forthcoming 2022). 

Rachel Tomlinson Dick being interviewed by media with cameras

White House, Attorney General recognize Nebraska Law’s Tenant Assistance Project

29 Jan 2022    

The University of Nebraska College of Law’s Tenant Assistance Project was one of a few anti-eviction programs highlighted by the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice during a nationwide Jan. 28 webinar.

The webinar featured appearances by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and several top officials from the White House and the Department of Justice.

In August, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling lifted a federal pandemic-based eviction moratorium, Garland issued a call to action for the legal community to help Americans who would be facing eviction.

“Law students and lawyers from across the country stepped up to take on cases and assisted their clients and communities at a time when our country needed it the most,” Garland said. “Today, our work is far from over, and making real the promise of equal justice under law remains our urgent and unfinished business.”

Nebraska Law was among 99 law schools in 35 states and Puerto Rico that immediately committed their law schools to the effort.

Third-year Nebraska Law student Rachel Tomlinson Dick joined the webinar to describe Nebraska’s Tenant Assistance Project, which grew significantly after the Attorney General’s Call to Action. In the last five months, law students have assisted more than 400 households and helped 98% of represented tenants avoid immediate orders of eviction.

The program has helped facilitate the distribution of nearly $9 million in federal rental assistance funds, she added. The State of Nebraska has been allotted $158 million in emergency rental assistance funds to assist low-income households that are unable to pay rent and utilities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tenant Assistance Program benefits both renters and landlords by connecting tenants with the funds they need to cover unpaid rent.

“The Tenant Assistance Project, a partnership between the Law School and over 20 organizations, including the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer Project and Legal Aid of Nebraska, expanded from a small group of dedicated volunteers to a community of students engaged with a statewide effort to prevent mass evictions in our state,” Tomlinson Dick said. “Law students are taking a multi-prong strategy that includes conducting file review to identify at-risk tenants; making direct contact with every household with a pending eviction hearing to offer them emergency rental assistance and legal representation; preparing eviction defense packets for pro bono attorneys in every case, and in engaging in courthouse advocacy on the day of hearings.”

Other law schools recognized for their eviction prevention efforts included Rutgers University School of Law; New York University School of Law, in partnership with Fordham University School of Law; Wayne State University School of Law; Atlanta-area law schools; Wake Forest University School of Law; Washington, D.C.-area law schools led by Georgetown University School of Law; Duke Law School; and Boston University School of Law.

In all, more than 2,100 students dedicated more than 81,000 hours, serving 10,000 households, according to a tracking survey by Georgetown University Law Center Dean William Treanor and New York University School of Law Dean Trevor Morrison.

Earlier this year, the Association of American Law Schools recognized Nebraska Law Professor Ryan Sullivan with the 2022 Access to Justice award for his work with the Tenant Assistance Project, launched in April 2020 as the state’s first moratorium on evictions was set to expire.

A planned pilot project — in the works for the previous three years — had been set to launch that spring but had been put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic forced law classes to go remote. Sullivan checked the eviction docket one morning, went to the courthouse and offered to represent any tenant who appeared for an eviction hearing. He and alumna Mindy Rush Chapman began making regular appearances on behalf of tenants facing eviction. They enlisted the help of law students and local attorney volunteers to coordinate the effort. A student organization was formed to support the project.

In August 2021, after a year of success in Lancaster County, the project was expanded to include Douglas County. More than 100 Nebraska Law students, undergraduate students, Creighton University law students and attorneys have volunteered.

According to Sullivan, the program has helped keep more than 1,000 families in their homes and helped avert a spike in eviction filings seen in other locations. Even in cases where families were evicted, lawyers and law students were able to negotiate enough time for the tenants to find a new place to live.

“The impact that Professor Sullivan, our law students and everyone involved with the Tenant Assistance Project have had on our community is incredible,” said Richard Moberly, dean of Nebraska Law. “They are providing legal access to a group that would otherwise go without, and in the process they are improving the way eviction proceedings are handled in our state.”

Original story from University Communication.

Professor Kristen Blankley headshot

Blankley's Article Accepted by University of Missouri Journal of Dispute Resolution

28 Jan 2022    

Professor Kristen Blankley’s article, The Future of Arbitration Law? has been accepted for publication by the University of Missouri’s Journal of Dispute Resolution, one of the nation’s leading journals in the area of alternative dispute resolution. In her article, Professor Blankley examines trends in statutory interpretation of U.S. Supreme Court cases on arbitration. This article provides an in-depth analysis of statutory interpretation across multiple lines of arbitration precedent, and Professor Blankley provides commentary on what these trends might predict for the future of arbitration law.  

Professor Anna Shavers headshot

Shavers remembered for dedicated work as educator, leader

26 Jan 2022    

Anna Williams Shavers, 75, Cline Williams Professor of Citizenship Law and associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Law, died Jan. 22.

A tireless advocate for inclusion and justice, Shavers served as a member of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty since 1989. Her primary area of interest was immigration and its intersections with gender issues.

Richard Moberly, dean of the College of Law, said Shavers left a lasting impact on generations of Huskers. He also said he will miss Shavers' guidance, which has helped the college navigate many societal challenges.

“She listened, she guided, she pushed — and her work made us all better,” Moberly said. “I certainly was not done learning from her and it is tragic she was taken from us before her work here was finished. But, I know we are all better for having known Anna and I feel fortunate to have been able to benefit from her courage and kindness.”

Anna Shavers receives a standing ovation

Shavers was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a teen, she was among a small group of Black students selected as the first to integrate into Little Rock’s Hall High School.

She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and a Master of Science in Business from the University of Wisconsin. Shavers earned a Juris Doctor (cum laude) from the University of Minnesota, where she served as managing editor of the Minnesota Law Review. She was admitted to the Minnesota bar in 1979 and the Nebraska bar in 1989. She remained an active member of the Nebraska State Bar Association until her death.

Prior to coming to Nebraska, Shavers practiced law in Minnesota. She also served as an associate clinical professor at the University of Minnesota, where she established that university’s first immigration law clinic.

At Nebraska, Shavers served in a number of roles from the classroom to administration, including interim/acting dean for the College of Law; diversity and inclusion subcommittee chair on the N150 commission; co-chair of the university’s Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking Planning Team; and a co-leader of the university’s Journey for Anti-Racism and Racial Equity

Shavers was a strong advocate for inclusion, dedicating much of her distinguished career to making sure everyone felt valued and supported. In 2017 Shavers was recognized by the College of Law’s Dean’s Advisory Board with the Distinguished Faculty Award for her work in supporting the College’s mission and furthering her teaching and research. In 2020 she received both the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Diversity Award and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's Chancellor’s Fulfilling the Dream Award for her efforts to make the state’s legal profession and our university as inclusive as possible.

In a Jan. 24 tweet, Chancellor Ronnie Green praised Shavers for her work in the classroom and as a leader.

As a professor, Shavers believed that she had found the position for which she was ideally suited. She loved working directly with students, expanding understanding of the legal system, and appreciating the differences of people from various cultures.

She was faculty co-adviser for the Multi-Cultural Legal Society and Black Law Student Association, faculty adviser for the Muslim Law Student Association and the Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocacy Society, section delegate and former chair of the American Bar Association’s Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and a board member of the Midwestern People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference.

Shavers also maintained active membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, participating in the organization’s Delta Days discussing her research, legal issues and providing mentorship.

In a remembrance released Jan. 24, the co-leaders of the university’s Journey for Anti-Racism and Racial Equity described Shavers as a “truth speaker” and credited her for her compassion, brilliance, humor, and dedication to serving others.

“Anna Shavers remains our compass,” the co-leaders wrote. “She deposited in us both the outrage against racism, discrimination and injustice, and a commitment to do all she can to fight these forces.

“We are committed to letting our efforts to form this consortium carry on fiercely and intensely to honor her.”

Colleagues near and far also responded to Shavers' death. Across a heartfelt, 14-tweet thread, Chris Walker, law professor at Ohio State University, honored Shavers for her career, dedication to the field of law, and ability to connect personally with others.

Stacy Leeds, a professor of law at Arizona State University, was thankful for knowing Shavers and her support through the years.

In multiple tweets, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, a law professor at Penn State University who delivered Nebraska's E.N. Thompson lecture on Nov. 2, 2021, praised Shavers for her pioneering work in immigration law and being a herald for diversity, equity and inclusion.

And, the reverberations of Shavers' passing were especially passionate at Dear Old Nebraska U.

See more reaction from Shaver's death.

Shavers was a frequent national and international presenter on immigration, human trafficking and administrative law issues. She was able to travel the world and taught law courses in numerous locations, including Lithuania, Uganda and Cambridge, England.

She is survived by her husband, Stanley Shavers; daughter, Amber Shavers; sister, Dollie Jones; sister-in-law, Sammie Holmes; and nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service, which will be available live via Zoom, is 5 p.m. Jan. 27 at the College of Law.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Anna Shavers Scholarship Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE, 68508. Condolences may be left online with the family obituary.

Anna Shavers speaking to students in the library 

This story was originally published by University Communication.