Director, Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers
Alli Gerkman is Director of Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers, a national initiative to align legal education with the needs of an evolving profession. She became Director of the initiative in 2013, and has been part of its team since its launch in 2011.
She leads all major projects of Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers, including Foundations for Practice, which is identifying the foundations entry-level lawyers need to practice and steering legal education toward that end; By the Numbers, which seeks to give prospective students better information about where and whether to go to law school so they can be more engaged with their decision and its outcomes; and Law School Curriculum, which supports the work of forward-thinking legal educators and law schools, encourages collaboration among educators and the profession, and promotes measurement of program outcomes.
Prior to joining IAALS, she spent five years in continuing legal education, first developing programs for a national provider and then developing the online offerings at the Colorado Bar Association CLE. While at CBA-CLE, she developed an online legal resource that was the recipient of the Association of Continuing Legal Education's 2011 Award of Professional Excellence for use of technology in education. Prior to her work in continuing legal education, she was in private practice.
Gerkman is a commissioner of the Colorado Chief Justice's Commission on Professional Development; a member of the Limited License Legal Technicians Subcommittee of the Colorado Supreme Court Advisory Committee; a member of the Mandatory Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Rules Committee; and a board member of the Colorado Women's Bar Association. She is also chair of the Colorado Bar Association's Public Legal Education Committee and a Colorado Bar Foundation Fellow.
She received her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and her B.A. from James Madison College at Michigan State University, where she majored in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy.
Associate Dean for Library and Information Resources, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
Dean Billie Jo Kaufman serves as the Associate Dean for Library & Information Resources at the Pence Law Library, Washington College of Law, American University. Prior to joining the faculty at WCL, Dean Kaufman was the director of the Law Library & Technology Center and Associate Professor of Law at Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where she held several positions within the library system from 1987-2003.
Dean Kaufman teaches and specializes in advanced legal research; cyberlaw; criminal procedure; legal research and writing, law librarianship, and legal education. She is a member of the ABA where she currently serves as Chair of the Law Libraries Committee, AALL, past-president of the Law Librarian's Society of DC; American Association of Law Schools, where she currently serves as a member of the membership review committee; serves on the editorial board for CALI, and is a member of the advisory board for the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology & the Law.
Director of Industry Relations, Avvo
Dan Lear is a lawyer, blogger and legal industry gadfly. As a technology-focused business lawyer he advised companies from startups to the Fortune 100 and helped develop agreements and terms for early cloud services offerings — well before the notion of \"the cloud\" had entered the common cultural consciousness. Since his transition from tech lawyer to legal technologist Mr. Lear's been mentioned, featured, or published in The ABA Journal, Law Practice Today, Law Technology News, NWLawyer, Above the Law and other legal industry press.
In 2015 he was named to the FastCase 50 — a group of entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers in the legal profession — and in 2014 Mr. Lear was honored with the Washington State Bar Association President's Award for his participation in and and advocacy of legal technology projects locally and nationally. Mr. Lear is currently the Director of Industry Relations for Avvo. Follow him on Twitter or on the web.
CEO, PowerScore Test Preparation
Dave Killoran is the CEO of PowerScore Test Preparation, and the author of PowerScore's renowned LSAT Bible series. A graduate of Duke University, he is a national expert on standardized tests and test preparation. Dave has founded two national LSAT preparation companies, and over the last 20 years he has taught thousands of students and counseled many others in graduate school admissions.
NAC Chair and Legal Education Advocate
David J. R. Frakt graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1994, and clerked for the Hon. Monroe G. McKay on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In 1995, David was commissioned and entered active duty in the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps. In 2005, he transitioned into the Air Force JAG Corps Reserve, where he continues to serve, currently in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Mr. Frakt is a noted legal scholar, with over 40 publications, and has taught at several law schools. He is a regular contributor to the popular blog The Faculty Lounge, where he writes about current issues in legal education. Mr. Frakt is currently in private practice in Orlando, Florida, specializing in criminal defense. He is a member of the New Jersey and Florida bars.
NAC Vice Chair and Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude in 1977 and from Columbia Law School in 1980. While at Columbia, she was managing editor of the Columbia Law Review and won the Robert Noxon Toppan Prize.
After graduation, Professor Merritt clerked for Judge (now Justice) Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Professor Merritt has published widely on issues of equality, affirmative action, federalism, health and technology, legal education, tort reform, and law and social science. Much of her work has focused on public policy issues, and she has made numerous presentations to judges, legislators, and other policymakers. In 2009, the United States Supreme Court invited her to defend the lower-court judgment in Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick, a prominent copyright class action. Professor Merritt also has co-taught courses in Europe with both Justice Ginsburg and Justice O'Connor.
Professor Merritt has been honored as an Ohio State University Distinguished Lecturer (1999), University Distinguished Scholar (2002), and Distinguished Teacher (2009), awards conferred on the university's most outstanding professors. In 2004, the university recognized her work promoting diversity with one of its Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Awards. She also served as the university's general commencement speaker for the Autumn 2004 commencement. From 2000-2005, Merritt directed the John Glenn Institute (now the John Glenn School of Public Affairs) a university-wide institute devoted to encouraging public service and informing public policy.
Prelaw Advisor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Diane Curtis is the director of prelaw advising at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is also Senior Lecturer of Political Science. Her primary teaching interests are in the fields of constitutional, family, and privacy law. She obtained her JD from NYU School of Law.
Assistant Professor of History, Missouri Western State University
Dr. Dominic DeBrincat is Assistant Professor of History at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MO. He teaches American History.
Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, University of Illinois Springfield
Dr. Riaz Tejani is a legal anthropologist with research and teaching interests in law and globalization, comparative legal education, social movements, and race and ethnic studies. His work uses ethnographic methods to understand how law and legal institutions adapt to pluralism and rapid social change. Dr. Tejani's current project explores problems of political economy, racial inequality, and \"access to justice\" among for-profit law schools.
He teaches courses in Law and Society, Theories of Justice, Law and Social Movements, Comparative Law, Legal Anthropology, Social Research Methodologies, and Tort Law. Dr. Tejani is a contributor at New Legal Realism Conversations: An Empirical Law & Society Blog, and his recent writings have appeared in University of New Hampshire Law Review, San Diego Law Review, Political and Legal Anthropology Review, and The New Legal Realism: Translating Law-And-Society For Today's Legal Practice (Stewart Macaulay, Elizabeth Mertz & Thomas Mitchell eds., Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Dr. Tejani has held affiliations with the Ecole Normale Superieure and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in Paris. He earned a PhD from Princeton University, where his doctoral research examined civil and human rights NGO activism in France amid the cultural change wrought by Europeanization and public Islam. He earned a JD from the USC Gould School of Law where he was a Fellow at the Center for Law, History, and Culture. Dr. Tejani completed undergraduate coursework at the University of Oxford and earned his bachelor's degree magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, San Diego.
Former Director of Testing, National Conference of Bar Examiners
In 2013 Dr. Susan Case retired from her position as Director of Testing at the National Conference of Bar Examiners, where she was responsible for the multistate bar examination and any testing initiatives. She was also responsible for the testing research agenda and development of educational programming and publications designed to raise the quality of licensure of lawyers.
Prior to her long tenure with the NCBE, Dr. Case worked at the National Board of Medical Examiners for 25 years (1976-2001), with responsibilities for research, for medical school assessment tests, and for medical licensure and specialty board examination programs. She has worked on various assessment methods, including oral and essay exams, written clinical simulations, standardized patients for assessment of clinical skills, and new item formats for both paper-and-pencil and computer-administered exams.
Her several hundred publications, lectures, and workshops have dealt with all aspects of testing including an emphasis on using the power of testing to enhance student learning. Her Ph.D. And M.S. Degrees are in measurement and evaluation; her undergraduate majors were mathematics and mathematical statistics.
Associate Professor of Law, Elon University School of Law
Eric Fink is Associate Professor of Law at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina. He teaches Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Labor Law, and Consumer Protection. His research interests include the social organization and culture of legal education and the legal profession, ideology and practice in the privatization of public services, and working conditions and labor organizing in marginal and precarious employment. Before becoming a professor, he practiced law in Pennsylvania and California, primarily representing labor unions and employees.
Associate Director, Law Without Walls
Erika Pagano is the Associate Director of LawWithoutWalls and a Lecturer in Law at the University of Miami. She studies cross-cultural communication and the impact of creativity and technology in the changing legal landscape. She received her B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University, where she served on the boards of GUSA, GIRC, and NAIMUN, and completed coursework at Peking University and East China Normal University. She received her J.D. from the University of Miami, where she was Managing Editor of Miami Law Review, the law school's representative to the Miami University Board of Trustees, trial team member, Dean's Scholar, Shapiro Scholar, and a James Weldon Johnson/Robert H. Waters Scholar. At Miami Law, Erika teaches Innovation, Technology, and the Law with Michele DeStefano.
Partner, Phelps Dunbar
John Mullen practices in the areas of labor and employment law and in securities litigation and arbitration. He advises and represents employers throughout Florida in the defense of age, race, gender, sexual harassment, disability, and FMLA discrimination and retaliation claims, in both federal and state court trial practice and in arbitration and administrative proceedings. He also advises clients on a full range of employment-based immigration matters and assists clients in obtaining visas for technical and professional employees and in navigating the requirements of U.S. immigration law. He regularly drafts and negotiates employment contracts, and litigates non-compete agreements and trade secret claims.
Former Dean of Students, Vanderbilt University School of Law
Dean Julie Sandine has had a non-traditional career path. After earning her B.A., summa cum laude, in psychology and her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Memphis, she served as Director of Counseling for a feminist women's health clinic and eventually as its Executive Director after working on a women's health grant funded by the National Cancer Institute. Prior to law school at Wake Forest University School of Law, she worked in crisis intervention, serving as a counselor, advocate, and educator at a rape crisis center. At Wake Forest, she was a Fletcher Scholar and served as Articles Editor of the Wake Forest Law Review. After earning her J.D., cum laude, she clerked for the Honorable Thomas Higgins in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Dean Sandine taught legal writing at Vanderbilt Univeristy Law School for seven years. During this time, she maintained a half-time law practice with the Nashville firm of Dodson Parker Dinkins & Behm. She became Vanderbilt Law's Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in 2002 and served in this capacity until 2015. After her own law school experience, she dedicated her work to the goal of decreasing law school stress and enhancing law students' well-being, as well as improving the legal profession generally. Dean Sandine created and implemented academic success programming, provided individualized academic support to students who were struggling academically, and sought ways to help students find their sense of self and professional identity. She received national recognition in 2014 for her innovative non-course, Professionalism in Practice, from the American Bar Association through its E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award. She also created a course called Supportive Practices, which provides students instruction in skills and techniques beneficial for reducing stress, increasing concentration, improving resiliency and enhancing one's sense of general well-being.
Dean Sandine has been active in the Section on Balance in Legal Education of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), serving as the Section's Secretary, Chair-Elect, and Chair. Dean Sandine also served as the law school representative on the Tennessee Bar Association's Lawyer Well-Being Committee and the Nashville Bar Association's Lawyer Well-Being Committee. She continues to serve as a volunteer attorney in the Nashville Pro Bono Program.
Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Laura J. Maechtlen is a partner with Seyfarth Shaw LLP and serves as a Co-Chair of the Firm's Diversity Action Team. Laura's practice is focused on employment litigation and includes the defense of class, collective and other complex litigation. In addition to her litigation practice, Laura also provides day-to-day counseling and advice to clients about the various laws affecting the employment relationship. Laura is a leader in improving diversity and inclusion within the legal profession, and in 2016 will serve as Co-Chair of the California Minority Counsel Program Board of Directors. She is the past President of the National LGBT Bar Association. Laura has also been recognized as one of the "Top 75 Employment Litigators" and "Top 75 Women Litigators" in California by the Daily Journal.
Law Professor, University of Tennessee School of Law
Professor Jewel teaches Entertainment Law, Torts, and Legal Writing at the University of Tennessee College of Law. She came to teach at UT from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, where, in addition to teaching Entertainment Law, she taught legal writing and legal skills courses and served as Director of Legal Writing. Her teaching is informed by several years of practice experience as a commercial litigator with the New York City firm of Wachtel, Masyr, & Missry, LLP.
Professor Jewel's scholarship focuses on the intersections between culture, law, technology, and rhetoric, with a particular interest in unmasking how rhetorical choices and cultural forces impact legal and social outcomes. Her articles have appeared journals such as the Yale Journal of Law & Technology, University of Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Buffalo Law Review, and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, and Technology.
Professor Jewel is a frequent presenter at national and international academic conferences. Most recently, she has spoken at the American Association of Law Schools Conference, the Law & Society Conference, the International Legal Ethics Conference at City University Law School, London U.K., and the Legal Writing Institute's Biennial Conference. She is a member of the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors. She serves as a member of the Executive Committee for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, and is a founding board member of ClassCrits, an organization of legal scholars dedicated to uncovering the connections between law and inequality.
Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Marty Katz is Professor of Law at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and previously served as the school's dean.
Dean Katz led Denver Law in the development and implementation of a major strategic plan, which included initiatives in specialization and experiential learning. Dean Katz is a founding board member of Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers, a national consortium of law schools that serve as leaders in the experiential education movement. He also serves as a board member for the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.
Dean Katz has lectured and published extensively on changes in legal education, as well as in antidiscrimination law, free speech and religion, separation of powers, defamation, and employment-related intellectual property law. He has made numerous media appearances in both local and national outlets.
His recent scholarship in the field of legal education includes a chapter in the new Beyond Best Practices book on the role of administrators in facilitating curricular reform (with Ken Margolis); "Facilitating Better Law Teaching – No " which appeared in the Emory Law Journal; and "Analyzing Carnegie's Reach: The Contingent Nature of Innovation" (with Stephen Daniels and William Sullivan), which appeared in the peer-reviewed Journal of Legal Education. His piece, "Teaching Professional Identity in Law School" was featured in The Colorado Lawyer. He has a forthcoming article on the costs of experiential curriculum in first issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Experiential Education.
In 2014 Dean Katz was elected co-Chair of the AALS Section for the Law School Dean. He also serves on the AALS Curriculum Committee. The National Jurist selected him as #8 on their 2013 "Most Influential People in Legal Education" list.
Prior to teaching full time, Dean Katz was a partner in the employment law group at Davis, Graham & Stubbs in Denver, Colorado and a law clerk to the Honorable David M. Ebel of the U.S. Court of Appeals. In his spare time, Dean Katz flies search and rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol.
Harvard Law School Student
Michael Shammas is a third-year student at Harvard Law School. He serves as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Record, the oldest law student-run newspaper in the country, and is an active blogger, writing for The Huffington Post and other websites.
Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, University of Kansas School of Law
Dean Michael Hoeflich holds degrees from Haverford College, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School. He taught at the University of Illinois from 1980-1988, was dean of the Syracuse University College of Law from 1988-1994, and was dean at the University of Kansas School of Law from 1994-2000. Dean Hoeflich is the author or editor of 15 books and more than 115 articles. He is also a columnist for the Lawrence Journal-World. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the American Antiquarian Society and the Kansas Correspondent of the Selden Society. He was awarded an honorary degree (LL.D) by Baker University in 2003.
Recent Law School Graduate
With a background in marketing, diplomacy, and law, Nyssa is a serial entrepreneur, marketer, and journalist.
Originally from southern California, Nyssa has lived and worked around the world, calling Paris, Orange County, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, New Delhi, London, and Berlin home. For the past four years, she has worked as a marketing consultant for hospitality and travel clients worldwide, providing insight on branding, social media management, digital content marketing, and millennial marketing strategies. Some of the brands in her portfolio include Emirates Airlines, the Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Go Do Iceland, Visit Detroit, and many other destination marketing organizations, airlines, and luxury hotels.
Prior to law school at the University of Washington, she spent some years in diplomacy and international development at the U.S. Department of State and the Clinton Foundation. Additionally, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and received a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and an MSc from the London School of Economics.
Partner and Consumer Lawyer, Barry & Helwig
Pete Barry is an attorney admitted to practice in the State and Federal courts of Minnesota. He is also admitted in numerous other federal courts including the United States Supreme Court. He is a partner of Barry & Helwig, LLC. His national practice is dedicated exclusively to protecting consumers against illegal debt collection activity and training new FDCPA lawyers. He was twice-named by his peers as a Super Lawyer by Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine. The National Association of Consumer Advocates named him its Consumer Lawyer of the Year in 2005.
Mr. Barry opened his law practice directly out of law school and has been enjoying his private plaintiff's practice ever since. His FDCPA Boot Camps have trained more than 1,000 lawyers in 50 states. Mr. Barry frequently appears in local and national news stories discussing consumer rights issues. He has appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and on numerous local stations discussing abusive consumer collection cases. In 2008, Mr. Barry appeared on the cover of CityPages magazine in a feature story about his life and career suing debt collectors.
Mr. Barry volunteers as a district ethics investigator and as a formal mentor to law students. He volunteers annually with the Minnesota State Bar Association's High School Mock Trial Program as a judge and maintains an ongoing pro-bono legal practice. He is a volunteer with the U.S. District Court and Federal Bar Association's Pro Se Project, assisting unrepresented parties for free in federal civil cases. Since 2003, Mr. Barry has taught as an adjunct Professor of Law at William Mitchell College of Law where he teaches Consumer Rights Law. He was born in San Jose, California in 1964 and lives in St. Paul, with his wife Robin and five beautiful daughters.
Executive Director, Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency
Rocky M. Cabagnot is an attorney licensed to practice in both North Carolina and Florida (inactive). Rocky currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), is a Contributing Editor to the Clinical Law Prof Blog, and is a member of the Board of Advisors to the Center for Governmental Responsibility at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law. He also teaches graduate-level courses at UNC - Charlotte.
Previously, he supervised Charlotte Law's Community Economic Development Clinic and Entrepreneurship Clinic. He founded the the Revitalize Our Communities Project (ROCP), a collaborative partnership between Legal Services of North Florida (Tallahassee, FL) and Three Rivers Legal Services (Gainesville, FL). For six years, the ROCP provided pro bono legal services to nonprofit community-based organizations spanning 32 counties in Florida. He also ran a clinic at Charlotte School of Law.
Rocky obtained his J.D. with Honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he served as Senior Research Editor of the Florida Law Review and Research Assistant to Dean Emeritus Jon Mills. He also has a Masters of Mass Communication from the University of Florida College of Journalism and a B.A. in political science and communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Senior Counsel, Johnson | Moore
Shay-Ann Heiser Singh is senior counsel at Johnson | Moore in Chicago. She was previously a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. She earned her law degree at DePaul University College of Law and her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago.
ABA YLD Chair and Director of National Strategy & Engagement, Boeing
Tommy hails from Charleston, SC and is an Executive in the Boeing Company's Government Operations Division. In his role, he focuses on regulatory, public policy, grassroots strategy, and community engagement matters at Boeing's 787 facility in South Carolina. He is the chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, which represents over 200,000 young lawyers.
Tommy has been involved in the ABA since law school, where he had the honor of serving as the Law Student Representative on the ABA Board of Governors. In this position, he led the successful effort to change the ABA Constitution to allow for a law student vote on the Board of Governors.
As the ABA YLD Chair, Tommy is leading the YLD through a period of significant change. With this year's theme, Driving Innovation, Defining our Futures, and the Association's heightened focus on serving law students and early career young lawyers, the YLD is striving to become more relevant in the lives of young lawyers around the country while also serving as the national voice on issues important to young lawyers.
Public Policy Counsel, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
William Nelson is currently the Public Policy Counsel for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., in Washington, DC, and serves as a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School. He received his Juris Doctor degree, with Honors, from the University of Tulsa College of Law and Master of Laws degree, in International Law, from the George Washington University Law School.
Prior to joining CFP Board, Mr. Nelson was an attorney-advisor at the Board of Veterans' Appeals, where he drafted decisions for an administrative law judge and assisted with drafting legal opinion requests for VA's Office of General Counsel requesting guidance on unresolved legal questions for cases before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Following graduation from the Masters of Law program, Mr. Nelson served as a law clerk in the Special Litigation Section of the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division, where he assisted with ligation of Indian law cases before both appellate and trial courts and reviewed legislation affecting Indian tribes.
Mr. Nelson has published numerous law review articles on anti-corruption law, securities regulation, securities arbitration, corporate governance and campaign finance.