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Amber Ediger, Katie Pfannenstiel, and Ramey Vachal

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. 

Book and Lady Justice figure.

Meet the 2L Public Interest Scholars

09 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.

2L Public Interest Scholars

Zack Baker

Zach Baker

Zach’s work and studies have focused on building advocacy skills for just causes. Zach received a bachelor's degree in History from Weber State in 2019, a master’s degree in Communication Studies from Kansas State in 2021, and is currently a J.D. candidate in the Class of 2025 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a law student, Zach has worked as a law clerk for the Lancaster County Public Defender. Zach is also a Candidate member of the Nebraska Law Review, has volunteered for the Tenant Assistance Project, and is active with student groups such as OUTLaw and the Equal Justice Society. Prior to law school, Zach worked with both US and international students as a debate coach, with expertise on policy and philosophical styles of argument. 

Mikayla JonesMikayla Jones

Mikayla earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Baylor University in 2013 and a Master of Social Work from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2021. Prior to law school, Mikayla had a career in social work. She had the privilege of serving children and families impacted by violence, exploitation, and abuse while working at a sexual assault crisis center, a children’s advocacy center, and in child protection. During law school, Mikayla has been involved with the Nebraska Law Review, the Schmid Legal Research Fellowship, and Women’s Law Caucus. In summer 2023, Mikayla interned at the Department of Justice in the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division in Washington, DC. She is currently interning at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska. After law school, Mikayla hopes to serve as a criminal prosecutor or civil litigator in federal or state government. 

Elliot Lund

Elliott Lund

Elliott, Class of ’25, received his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice with minors in Psychology and Spanish from Wayne State College in 2022. Elliott is pursuing his J.D. with concentrations in Civil Rights Litigation and Criminal Law. After his 1L year, Elliott worked for the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance under the NPILF Program. Now in his 2L year, he is President of Equal Justice Society and Vice-President of American Constitution Society. He has already completed 100 hours of Pro Bono service on various projects, including immigration, police accountability, debtor defense, and document translation. Elliott hopes to work in immigration or criminal defense after graduation.

Brenna MiliusBrenna Milius

Brenna received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, with minors in Legal Studies and Marketing from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2022. After her first year at the College of Law, Brenna completed a Summer Clerkship with Legal Aid of Nebraska’s Health, Education, and Law Project. Brenna currently serves as Equal Justice Society’s Secretary, is a current member of the Women’s Law Caucus, and is a volunteer for the Tenant Assistance Project. Before attending the College of Law, Brenna was a passionate Certified Pharmacy Technician where she observed that health care impacts communities differently based on race, economic status, and disability. She also witnessed the impact of drugs and addiction as a Development and Special Projects Assistant for St. Monica’s, a local nonprofit serving women suffering from substance use disorders. Brenna plans to continue to use her knowledge of health disparities by providing legal services for underserved members of her community.

Kalie SaundersKalie Saunders

Kalie has her bachelor's degree in International Rescue and Relief and a master's degree in International Development Administration with an emphasis in Emergency Management. Before deciding to go to law school, she worked in the humanitarian sector, assisting refugees and internally displaced people in disaster and civil conflicts around the world, including places like Ukraine, Iraq, Malawi, Nicaragua, and Honduras. After her 1L year, she accepted a position as a Law Clerk with the Lancaster County Attorney's Office Criminal Division. She is also a Schmid Legal Research Fellow, a Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research Teaching Assistant, and just recently accepted an externship with the Air Force JAG Corps. She hopes to work in the International humanitarian and criminal law sector and use her law degree to assist victims of war crimes, especially refugees and asylum seekers. 

Alison UeckerAlison Uecker

Alison received her bachelor's degree in Social Work from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Alison is a law clerk for Nebraska Appleseed and worked as a research assistant over the summer through the Schmid Research Fellowship. At Nebraska Law, Alison is an Inclusive Leader Fellow, the vice-president of Equal Justice Society, and the 2L Representative for American Constitution Society. Between undergrad and law school, Alison spent over two years working for the South Dakota Department of Social Services where she helped clients understand and enroll in economic assistance benefits such as SNAP and Medicaid. She also served as an Americorps Member for City Year Denver. After law school, Alison hopes to work for a nonprofit organization with a focus on public policy and impact litigation. 

Professor Brandon Johnson

Johnson's essay published in Wake Forest Law Review Online

05 Oct 2023    

Professor Brandon Johnson's essay, "Harper v. Hall and State Courts as Politically Accountable," has been published in the Wake Forest Law Review Online.

The article examines the North Carolina Supreme Court's third opinion in Harper v. Hall (the state court case underlying Moore v. Harper) and criticizes the way in which the opinion engages in political decision-making while claiming to be deferring to more politically accountable branches of state government.

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker's essay published in Southwestern Law Review

05 Oct 2023    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker's essay, "Land Reform in the Fifth World," has been published in Volume 52 of the Southwestern Law Review. 

Read the abstract below:

Our current property systems are strained by rapid climate change and growing inequality.  If change is needed, how does it actually happen?  Land reform is difficult to imagine, much less implement, within a physical landscape already so engineered and embedded with deep layers of tradition, experience, and law. In this short Essay, I argue that there are important lessons from Ezra Rosser’s recent book, A Nation Within: Navajo Land and Economic Development, for the wider project of Indigenous and, ultimately, American land reform.  Property scholars ignore these issues of Indigenous property and land governance to our collective detriment.

This Essay makes three particular contributions.  First, I outline with some specificity why centering contemporary Indigenous land tenures within any wider study of America’s already pluralistic property system is so important.  Second, building on Rosser’s detailed case study of Navajo land and economic development, I draw some wider lessons about the process of how land reform happens.  Although law change is needed to implement many desired innovations, the Navajo experience underlines the critical role of local action, imagination, and persistence.  Finally, the Essay takes a brief journey to review the experience of some First Nations in Canada—where Indigenous-led land reforms are also being pursued in a similar but different context—to expand on ideas about the architecture of successful land reform projects.  When we widen our scholarly attention—humbly, and with respect—we find an abundance of critical, active land-reform projects that are ongoing and worthy of greater care and concern as we reimagine our future together in this world, and maybe the next.

Book and Lady Justice figure.

Inaugural 1L Public Interest Scholars named

04 Oct 2023    

The inaugural class of 1L 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.

1L Public Interest Scholars

Madison Castor

Madison Castor

Castor, '26, is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her public service experience includes working at Camp Easter Seals, participating in the UNL Disability Club, and interning at Legal Aid of Nebraska. Following undergrad, she worked as a caregiver at a retirement community and a hospice, and later at a high school as a special education paraeducator. 

"While pursuing these careers, I constantly felt the disabled and elderly communities were the communities I wanted to serve, but I wasn't serving them the way I was meant to. Each of those experiences and individuals helped me grow and improve as a person and are daily reminders about why I want to go into public service." - Madison Castor, '26

Sullivan JonesSullivan Jones

Jones, '26, is a graduate of Chadron State College. In his hometown of Papillion, the experiences of his mother (deputy finance director at City Hall) and father (deputy chief of the fire department) informed his understanding of public sector employment. As a student trustee on the Nebraska State College System's Board of Trustees and a member of student government, Jones has dedicated much time and effort to helping others solve important problems. 

"My generation-- like each before it-- has an opportunity to improve the direction of our communities and the nation. I believe that we can correct the gridlock among people of older generations yet keep their values of hard work and passion for their beliefs." - Sullivan Jones, '26

Charles LeechCharles Leech

Leech, '26, is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University. His experience volunteering at Clinic with a Heart and serving as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients gave him the opportunity to facilitate equal opportunities for health care and overcome language barriers. Leech has also worked for the Alternate Defense Counsel of Colorado and interned at the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance (CLIA). He hopes to pursue a career in immigration law.

"In facilitating a person's final step in their journey toward a better life, I can make the community around me a more diverse and welcoming home for those from all walks of life." - Charles Leech, '26

Velma LockmanVelma Lockman

Lockman, '26, is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her interest in law began after shadowing a public defender in Lancaster County, as she found a way to channel her passion for social justice for low-income and marginalized people. Lockman hopes to be on the front lines, defending the most vulnerable members of her community.

"For people without the financial resources to defend themselves against criminal prosecution, any lawyer they can find or are assigned can be a lifeline, and I want to be as well-equipped as possible to be that lifeline." - Velma Lockman, '26

Russell McFall

Russell McFall

McFall, '26, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. His background includes experience in teaching, researching, social work, and serving others, including working at an Americorps-funded teaching program where he supported the mission of decreasing the achievement gap between low-income and wealthy students. After law school, he hopes to practice labor law and advocate for Latino laborers and immigrants.

"Serving others is part of my DNA and I believe that as a lawyer, I can best serve my Latino community." - Russell McFall, '26

Jessica ValdezJessica Valdez

Valdez, '26, is a graduate of Creighton University. Her interest in public service is a result of both her personal and professional experiences as well as her passion for justice for the immigrant community. Valdez hopes to address the power imbalance she's seen in many immigration cases within the community and provide representation to those who would otherwise have to go without it.

"I aspire to continue to seek justice for everyone, regardless of their immigration status, because if the laws cannot protect the most vulnerable, they are not made to protect people like you and I." - Jessica Valdez, '26

Panelists speak at the Army and Navy Club

Nebraska Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Holds 16th Annual Conference

02 Oct 2023    

Nebraska Law’s Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program held the 16th Annual Space Law Conference on September 29th. 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 keynote from The Honorable Peter J. Beshar, General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force. Also featured were two panels: one discussing the concerns about military uses of U.S. Commercial satellites, and one discussing current issues in commercial space.

Keynote Speakers and Panelists:

  • Current Dynamics and Looming Challenges in Commercial Space
    • Elsbeth Magilton (moderator), University of Nebraska 
    • Krystal Azelton, Secure World Foundation 
    • Laura Cummings, Astroscale
    • Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, RPK Advisors 
    • Professor Matt Schaefer, University of Nebraska 
  • Legal Questions about Growing Uses of U.S. Commercial Satellites
    • Program Director and Professor Jack Beard (moderator), University of Nebraska 
    • Dr. Brian Weeden, Secure World Foundation 
    • Professor Frans von der Dunk, University of Nebraska
    • Makena Young, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
    • Jeremy Grunert, Maj., USAF, Operations and International Law (AF/JAO)

Nebraska’s Annual Space Law Conference was sponsored by the American Society of International Law Space Law Interest Group and The American Branch of the International Law Association. The program also thanks Franceska Schroeder, 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 Eric Berger

Berger's article published by Administrative Law Review

02 Oct 2023    

Professor Eric Berger's article, "Constitutional Conceits in Statutory Interpretation," has been published by the Administrative Law Review.

Read the abstract below:

 For all its talk about textualism, the Roberts Court has a recent habit of ignoring statutory texts in highly politicized cases. In NFIB v. OSHA, West Virginia v. EPA, and Brnovich v. DNC, the Supreme Court steered around broad statutory language to narrow important federal legislation. In each case, the Court brushed aside inconvenient statutory texts, focusing instead on background constitutional concerns. Significantly, though, the policies at issue were not unconstitutional under current doctrine. The challenged policies, then, did not violate constitutional law so much as the conservative Justices’ constitutional sensibilities. Admittedly, the Court has long interpreted statutes in light of constitutional anxieties, employing a variety of Constitution-based canons of statutory interpretation.

The cases examined here, however, either applied those canons unusually aggressively or departed from them altogether. NFIB and West Virginia ostensibly relied on the major questions doctrine but transformed it from a modest interpretive aid into something far more intrusive. Brnovich did not even bother to invoke any of the constitutional canons, though amorphous federalism principles drove that decision.

While the Constitution-based canons of statutory interpretation have always afforded courts substantial discretion, these recent cases go much further. Rather than using constitutional canons to resolve statutory ambiguities, these decisions swept aside clear statutory language to advance the Justices’ constitutional conceits—that is, to further inchoate libertarian values inconsistent with contemporary constitutional law. Collectively, these cases paint an unflattering portrait of a Court willing to navigate around statutory text and constitutional doctrine to limit the scope of federal power.

Professor Elsbeth Magilton

Magilton's article forthcoming in University of Minnesota Journal of International Law

02 Oct 2023    

Professor Elsbeth Magilton's article, "Mutually Assured Discussion: Lessons in Space Law to Mitigate a Waning Nuclear Arms Regime," has been accepted for publication in the Minnesota Journal of International Law.

The article investigates the feasibility of applying the lessons of the Artemis Accords to the nuclear arms regime – specifically asking whether strategic soft law agreements could create a stop gap for the shortcomings of long-held nuclear arms agreements. To do so it explores multiple instruments of international law, their uses in the existing nuclear and space frameworks, and how that may inform future actions for security or arms agreements.

In conclusion, it is determined that the approach developed by the Accords may benefit future nuclear arms communications. The Accords bring many states to the table, largely underscoring mutually accepted existing international law while subtly and incrementally expanding it. The responding criticism of the Accords is just as healthy to the process as praise, because it keeps the dialogue in motion – and this is the success of soft law. While lacking in legal might, the ease of its creation is its superpower. Creating consistent and constant communication helps build predictability and trust, which is a recipe for a more secure world.

A shorter and differently constructed version of the paper is also to be published in the political science publication, The Space and Defense Journal. The Space and Defense Journal is operated by the United States Air Force Academy in collaboration with the University of Nebraska - Omaha.

Professor Anthony Schutz

Schutz presents at Rural Law Symposium

02 Oct 2023    

Professor Anthony Schutz presented on a panel of academics titled, "How Other States and Industries Draw Talent to Rural Areas" at the University of South Dakota's Symposium on Rural Lawyers last month.

His presentation described the College of Law's Rural Law Opportunities Program, which he leads, and provided insights on its successes over the past seven years. Professor Schutz also discussed a number of takeaways from the program as it has progressed, as well as possible changes that could accompany program design in other places.

Professor Colleen Medill

Medill publishes Developing Professional Skills: Property (Interactive Exercises)

01 Oct 2023    

Professor Colleen Medill has published Developing Professional Skills: Property (Interactive Lessons) (West Academic 2023).

The six online lessons focus on Property-related topics covered on the NextGen Bar Exam while providing students with the opportunity to practice the professional lawyering skills of drafting, analysis, persuasion, and advocacy. Students review the law, practice norms, and professional responsibility concepts before analyzing an interactive client scenario and drafting the required work product. The lessons also have feedback-focused assessment tools for students and instructors to use in evaluating student work.

Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley's essay forthcoming in Journal of Dispute Resolution

29 Sep 2023    

Professor Kristen Blankley, with co-authors Kathleen Claussen (Georgetown) and Judith Starr (private mediator), will be publishing their article "Alternative Dispute Resolution in Agency Administrative Programs" in the Journal of Dispute Resolution.

This article follows up on the report they published in 2021 for the Administrative Conference of the Courts outlining ADR practices in federal agencies and providing recommendations for best practices. The report is the culmination of an 18-month study of agency practices in the area of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), as well as recommendations for agencies looking to create or improve ADR programs.

Professor Ruth Pritchard-Kelly poses in front of SCTL signage

Pritchard-Kelly visits Nebraska, teaches Telecommunications Law

25 Sep 2023    

This past week, Professor Ruth Pritchard-Kelly came to Lincoln to teach her Telecommunications Law class in person. Pritchard-Kelly is a renowned expert in satellite regulatory policy with over 30 years of experience. Her course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the global legal framework governing wireless communications, including both terrestrial and space-based systems.

While in Lincoln, Pritchard-Kelly joined students to visit the UNL campus radio station, 90.3 KRNU. She had the full Nebraska experience, visiting the SAC museum and the Omaha Zoo.

Headshots of Hassebrook, Marks, Lancaster, and Doyle.

Alumni News | September 2023

25 Sep 2023    

Every month, we bring you the latest updates from our alumni near and far.


Kristen J. Hassebrook, ’11, an associate at Mueller Robak, replaces Heath Mello as NU’s lead advocate at the Capitol. She also was named associate vice president for government relations.

Daniel L. Marks, ’16, was named partner at Pace Selden Gilman Marks in Phoenix.

Todd W. Lancaster, ’98, has been named the new chief counsel at the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy. 


Dawson County District Judge James E. Doyle IV, ’81, has been named the recipient of the 28th Annual William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. The award honors state court judges who demonstrate "integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, professional ethics, creativity, sound judgment, intellectual courage and decisiveness."

Shannon Mangram

Mangram, '24, named Inspire Scholarship finalist

20 Sep 2023    

Shannon Mangram, ’24, has been named as a finalist for the Inspire Scholarship through the 2023 Inspire Lincoln awards. 

The Inspire Lincoln awards celebrate women who have excelled as leaders and role models. These women are chosen for their success-driven work ethic and the commitment, vision, and talents that make them leaders. The Inspire Scholarship is awarded to a Lincoln-area female high school or college student who has contributed to her community, excels in the classroom, and has great career aspirations. 

Mangram is highly involved in the Lincoln community and takes part in a number of organizations at the College of Law. She was part of a group of students who re-established the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at Nebraska Law in 2022 and is a member of both the Multicultural Legal Society (MCLS) and the Student Bar Association (SBA).

This year, Mangram is also the president of the Community Legal Education Project (CLEP). She said her involvement with CLEP has been especially impactful, as she’s been able to channel her passion for removing barriers to information. She said that having a basic understanding of the law can make a big difference if an individual gets into legal trouble or must make an appearance in court. 

“There’s a lot of ambiguity around the law in the community, and I think everyone deserves a baseline legal education,” she said. 

One of the projects organized by CLEP is an outreach activity for Constitution Day each September. This usually consists of Nebraska Law students visiting middle school classrooms to educate students on the Constitution and other areas of the law, as well as the importance of civic participation. Mangram can recall one Constitution Day when one eighth-grader was especially engaged and asked many questions. 

It's moments like that for me that make it really clear that people want this information,” she said. “And sometimes the way it's packaged makes people either more engaged or less engaged.” 

The goal of providing an engaging, meaningful legal education to those who would otherwise not have access to it is what drives Mangram. She is especially interested in seeing how high schoolers engage with information on their individual rights. 

“The more educated and informed they are, the better our system will be,” she said. 

The Inspire Lincoln Award winners will be announced on September 20, 2023.

Professor Brandon Johnson

Johnson featured on Election Law Blog

19 Sep 2023    

Professor Brandon Johnson's essay "Election Aggrandizement" has been published as a guest post on the Election Law Blog.

The essay discusses the ways in which two cases decided at the end of this Supreme Court term--Allen v. Milligan and Moore v. Harper--seemed to reverse a trend in the Roberts' Court's election law jurisprudence. Prior to these cases, the Court had signaled a willingness to retreat from deciding election law cases, but the holdings in Moore and Milligan significantly expanded the Court's ability to shape state election regulations.

Professor Johnson joined the Nebraska Law faculty earlier this year. His research sits at the intersection of administrative law, the separation of powers, and the law of democracy. His writing focuses on the ways democratic institutions, including Congress, the Presidency, and the Administrative State interact, and the ways in which the courts attempt to shape those interactions.

Read the article here:

Professor Danielle Jefferis

Jefferis appointed to Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women

19 Sep 2023    

Professor Danielle Jefferis has been appointed by Chancellor Rodney Bennet to serve on the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women as a member of the faculty council. Jefferis will also advise the Commission's student council.

The purpose of the commission is to enhance the status of all women at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln by advising the Chancellor on issues pertaining to gender equity and on specific concerns of women faculty, staff and students at the university.

Elsbeth Magilton

Magilton named Scowcroft National Security Fellow

13 Sep 2023    

Elsbeth Magilton, '11, has been named a Scowcroft National Security Fellow at the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense in the U.S. Air Force Academy for the 2023-2024 academic year. At the College of Law, Magilton serves as the Director of Externships, Executive Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law programs, and Adjunct Professor of Law at the College of Law.

The Eisenhower Center provides students and faculty with unique opportunities to participate in research and policy discussions on the future of American security through first-hand contact with senior leaders and experts in the military, civilian government, and private sector from the United States and major space-faring nations. Building on this foundation, the Eisenhower Center examines challenges to America’s national security across other frontiers of technology development to include cyber security and developments in hypersonic delivery vehicles.

Magilton's work relating to the fellowship will center on drawing analogies between space law and the international nuclear regime to develop concepts for innovative legal instruments that could bridge the gap for aging and weakening agreements. She will visit the Academy in the fall and spring to guest lecture in several courses and attend conferences. 

Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley publishes article in Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation

12 Sep 2023    

Professor Kristen Blankley has published Coinbase v. Bielski - More than a Case About Stays for Arbitration Appeals? in the September issue of Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation.

The case considers the very technical question of the status of district court litigation when a party has the statutory right under the Federal Arbitration Act—the FAA—for an immediate appeal to a federal court of appeals.

Professor Blankley teaches and researches in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, legal ethics, and at the intersection of ethics and dispute resolution.

Professor Colleen Medill

Medill publishes updates to Employee Benefits Textbook for SECURE Act 2.0, other developments

12 Sep 2023    

Professor Colleen Medill has published updates to her law school textbook, Introduction to Employee Benefits Law: Policy and Practice (5th ed. 2018). These updates include the following new legislative and Supreme Court developments:

  • SECURE Act 2.0 and SECURE Act 1.0 changes to the qualified plan rules
  • New material on the No Surprises Act
  • New material on pooled employer plans and association health plans
  • Revised and streamlined material on the Affordable Care Act
  • New material on group health plans after Dobbs
  • New material on digital assets as 401(k) plan investments
  • The new regulations on fiduciary considerations of ESG factors in selecting plan investments and exercising proxy voting rights
  • The Supreme Court’s decisions in Hughes, Thole, and Rutledge
  • Dollar amounts for pension and welfare plans in 2023
  • A statutory supplement with selected provisions of OBRA, the ACA, and the No Surprises Act. The update also includes a statutory supplement containing the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the No Surprises Act, and other federal laws applicable to group health plans sponsored by employers.


Professor Michelle Paxton

Paxton presents at NACC Conference

12 Sep 2023    

Lecturer Michelle Paxton, '02, presented at the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Conference last month. She spoke on two different topics, Reflective Practice: Leading from the Inside Out and Preventing Legal Deserts in Our Rural Communities: Insights from a Child Welfare Attorney Fellowship.

This year, the NACC Conference aimed to recognize "that all system actors have a shared responsibility to promote family integrity, center the voices and experiences of individuals with lived expertise, engage in authentic partnerships, and actively work towards equity and justice." 

At Nebraska Law, Paxton is the director of the Children's Justice Clinic and the Children's Justice Attorney Education Program and a lecturer. She has presented comprehensively on all aspects regarding juvenile court including the Indian Child Welfare ActTermination of Parental Rights, Expert Witness Testimony in Juvenile Court, and Observing Development in Young Children.