Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

Matt All is a fifth-generation native Kansan with degrees from from the University of Kansas and Yale Law School. After working in private legal practice in Kansas City and Lawrence, he spent eight years in state government, first as Assistant Insurance Commissioner, and then as Chief Counsel to Governor Kathleen Sebelius. In January 2007, he left state government to begin work at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. Today, he serves Blue Cross as General Counsel and Vice President, Public Policy and Human Development. His responsibilities include legal counsel, legislative and regulatory issues, human resources, leadership development, corporate communications, and corporate governance. He has served on the adjunct faculty at KU since 2002, teaching both insurance law and Indian gaming law. He is chairman of the Kansas Bar Association Insurance Law Section, and serves on the Kansas Bar Association Commission on Professionalism.

Courses Taught:
  • Insurance


Russ Brien (Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska) owns Brien Law LLC. His practice almost exclusively involves working with tribes and tribal business enterprises on a variety of issues, with an emphasis on economic development, gaming, infrastructure and doing business in Indian country. Outside of his law practice, Russ works with the Falmouth Institute as a trainer and speaker. He provides tribal leader training on a variety of topics including federal Indian law, tribal economic development, land consolidation, estate planning in Indian country, protection of tribal records, ethics for tribal leaders, negotiation, and tribal constitutions and bylaws. A former partner in the corporate finance group of a large Kansas City based firm, Russ has a broad background in business, securities, finance and municipal law. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America for Structured Finance Law. He has taught at the University of Kansas School of Law since 2007.

Courses Taught:
  • Indian Gaming

Thomas Brous is a partner at the Kansas City based law firm Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP. He serves as chair of the firm’s Employee Benefits Group and practices primarily in the areas of qualified pension and profit sharing plans and exempt organizations. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and an honor graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as an assistant editor of the Michigan Law Review. In addition, Tom served on active duty with the U.S. Army for four years as a captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Tom is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in America and Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Magazine. Along with his faculty duties, Tom is affiliated with numerous professional and community organizations, such as, Kansas City Public Library Foundation, Divinity School Visiting Committee University of Chicago, Kansas City Repertory Theater, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, Missouri Bar Association and Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.

Courses Taught:
  • Executive Compensation
  • Pension and Employee Benefits Law


David J. Brown is managing partner and The Law Office of David J. Brown LC in Lawrence. He began his professional career as an award-winning reporter and editor, working for 10 years in the field before attending Albany Law School in New York and then moving to Lawrence. He taught for one semester at KU's William Allen White School of Journalism, then went to work as a research attorney first for the Kansas Court of Appeals and later for then-Chief Judge Mary Beck Briscoe. He held that post until August 1992, when he opened The Law Office of David J. Brown. Since that time, Brown has held various legal leadership roles in the community and has been an involved board member and advisor for nonprofit organizations working to better life in Douglas County. He has written and lectured extensively on the areas of privacy, family law, and ethics. Brown aims to meet the legal needs of traditional and nontraditional families by addressing issues of premarital and cohabitation agreements, adoption, separation or divorce, child custody, estate planning, wills and trusts, and family business concerns.

Courses Taught:
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Seminar


Christopher Burger is a trial attorney at Stevens & Brand LLP who prosecutes and defends claims, as well as counsels his clients to help keep them out of courtrooms, hearing rooms and losses. As a Kansas country lawyer, Burger handles the complex and simple, whether failed curtain wall or leaky basement foundation, uncompensated cardinal change or a home costing more than expected, a manipulated bid shopped through the demands of an owner or an arithmetic error, or any breached duty or contract resulting in economic loss, property damage or personal injury. He has been on the forefront of Kansas construction and real property law, being in the lead role in key Kansas cases concerning damages, delays, bids, defects and settlements.

Before joining Stevens & Brand in Lawrence, Burger served as an assistant attorney general under Carla Stovall, where he handled all of the state of Kansas' construction litigation and represented the state in a variety of other disputes, saving the state from tens of millions of dollars of losses and generating multiple millions in income.

Courses Taught:
  • Construction Law and Litigation


Robert W. Fairchild is the chief judge of the Seventh Judicial District, Douglas County, Kansas. After graduating from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1973, he entered the private practice of law in Lawrence. He practiced law for 23 years and handled a wide variety of cases. In 1996 he was appointed district judge for the 7th Judicial District and was appointed chief judge in 2002. Since 1991 he has been an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas Law School, teaching alternative dispute resolution and criminal law. He is past chair of the Kansas Supreme Court Advisory Council on Dispute Resolution and has written several articles on alternative dispute resolution. Judge Fairchild has been both a participant in and faculty member for the Institute of Faculty Excellence in Judicial Education of the University of Memphis. He has made more than 60 presentations to lawyers and judges on a variety of topics. He has been a frequent presenter at Kansas judicial conferences and has developed a wrongful convictions program that he has presented to Kansas and Nebraska judges. That program led to his participation in programs on the topic of wrongful convictions at the University of Kansas Law School and at several community organizations.

Courses Taught:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

Career History

Chief Judge, Seventh Judicial District, Douglas County, Kansas, 2002 - present; District Judge, Division One, Seventh Judicial District, Douglas County, Kansas, 1996 - present; Shareholder and Attorney, Riling, Burkhead, Fairchild, & Nitcher, Chtd., 1973 - 1996.

Burke Griggs is Legal Counsel to the Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Agriculture. He represents the State of Kansas in federal and interstate water matters, including litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court (Kansas v. Nebraska & Colorado, No. 126 Orig.), arbitration pursuant to the Court's decrees, and the administration of Kansas' four interstate water compacts. He represents the Chief Engineer and the Division in state court and in administrative hearings, and advises the Department and other state agencies in matters of water policy and legislation. Prior to working at DWR, Mr. Griggs worked in private practice at Stevens & Brand LLP, of Lawrence.

Courses Taught:
  • Oil and Gas
  • Public Lands and Natural Resources
Adjunct Faculty

Marilyn Harp earned a bachelor’s in social work in 1976 and her law degree in 1979, both from KU. She immediately began working for Kansas Legal Services as a staff attorney, then rose to managing attorney and regional director. In 2006, she became executive director. In this role, she directs a statewide law firm of 45 attorneys who share her commitment to representing those who would otherwise struggle to have their voices heard. Harp and her staff at Kansas Legal Services broaden access to justice to more than 30,000 Kansans each year. She received the Kansas Bar Association’s Outstanding Service Award in 1994, 2000 and 2006. She was the recipient of the YWCA Woman of Valor Award in 2001 and was recognized as the Women’s Equality Coalition Woman of the Year in 1990.

Courses Taught:
  • Elder Law Externship


Adjunct Faculty

Since graduating from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1979, John Hickey has been with the law firm of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh LC in Kansas City, Mo. He has practice primarily commercial real estate law with emphasis on finance, bankruptcy and construction matters. His experience includes representation of lenders, borrowers , buyers, sellers, contractors, owners, architects, developers, landlords, tenants property managers and brokers in commercial real estate transactions. Since 2007, he has taught a class in real estate finance at KU. He has been listed under real estate in Best Lawyers in America for the past 12 years.

Courses Taught:
  • Real Estate Finance

Matthew Hoy is an attorney at Stevens & Brand LLP in Lawrence, Kan., where he works with business owners and professionals as they encounter estate planning issues and business succession issues. In addition, he maintains a very substantial practice representing families and financial institutions dealing with estate administration matters such as probate, trust administration, and litigation related to those procedures.

Hoy counsels entrepreneurs and their companies in transactional matters including formation, raising capital, mergers and acquisitions, contract negotiations, and general managerial issues.

He advises business in a variety of industries, including health care, banking, energy, entertainment, real estate development, advertising, technology and life sciences, and financial services.

Courses Taught:
  • Business Planning Seminar

Stephanie Kalahurka is a partner with Fenimore Kay Harrison Ford, which has offices in Kansas City, Missouri, and Austin, Texas. She has significant legal, regulatory and operational experience in the financial institutions industry. She previously served as a financial examiner with the Texas Department of Banking. The sole focus of Ms. Kalahurka’s subsequent legal practice has been the corporate and regulatory representation of commercial banks, thrifts, holding companies, and other financial institutions.

Courses Taught:
  • Banking Law

Erica Landsberg is an honors graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. She served on the University of Chicago Law Review, interned at the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and worked in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, where she tried an employment discrimination case before the Illinois Human Rights Department. After law school, she served as law clerk for the Hon. Paul E. Plunkett in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and worked as an associate in commercial litigation and corporate reorganization at Sidley and Austin in Chicago. She then became Assistant General Counsel for the University of Chicago. More recently, she served as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, handling appeals in over 50 cases. Landsberg began teaching at the University of Kansas School of Law in 2002 with a small section of torts and has been teaching antitrust law at KU for nine years.

Courses Taught:
  • Higher Education and the Law Seminar
  • Antitrust Law


Courses Taught:

  • Accounting for Lawyers
Adjunct Faculty

Steve Leben has taught the Legislation class at KU Law since 2007; his course focuses on statutory interpretation. Leben's teaching is informed by regular experience interpreting statutes as an appellate judge since 2007, nearly 14 years as a trial judge, and 11 years of law practice. Leben is a nationally recognized authority on improving judicial practices to enhance procedural fairness; he coauthored a white paper on procedural fairness for the American Judges Association in 2007. Since then, Leben and his white-paper coauthor, Minnesota trial judge Kevin Burke, have made invited presentations on procedural fairness to more than 2,500 state and federal judges. Leben has published 14 law-review articles in the areas of procedural justice, administrative law, civil procedure, family law, and evidence. His scholarly publications have been cited by state and federal courts in Kansas and in more than 75 law-journal articles by other authors. Leben has edited a national publication for judges, Court Review, since 1998, and received the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence from the National Center for State Courts in 2014 for his work on improving fairness in America's courts. Leben also serves as cochair of the editorial board for the Kansas Bar Association's Annual Survey of Kansas Law.

Courses Taught:
  • Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
Adjunct Faculty

Kenneth Lynn has legal, executive and board-level experience with a variety of private and publicly traded biopharmaceutical and telecommunications companies, including United Telecom Computer Group, Marion Merrill Dow, U.S. Bioscience, Cortech, Valentis and NewLink Genetics Corporation. He has held executive-level positions with the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which work to foster innovation and grow the local technology sector. Lynn currently consults and advises companies and organizations in the technology and biopharmaceutical industries. He launched his own specialty product manufacture start-up venture in 2014. 

Courses Taught:

  • Transactional LawMeet

Reggie Robinson joined the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration in July 2014 as a professor and Director. Previously, Reggie was professor of law and Director for the Center of Law and Government at Washburn University. His earlier service includes President and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents and Chief of Staff to the KU chancellor. He was a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to Attorney General Janet Reno in 1993, and subsequently served in a number of senior positions with the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, including deputy associate attorney general of the United States and acting Director for DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime. Robinson earned his undergraduate and law degrees from KU, where he was editor in chief of the Kansas Law Review. Prior to law school, he was an active duty field artillery officer in the U.S. Army.

Courses Taught:

  • Local Government Law


Robert Ramsdell practices with Thompson Ramsdell Qualseth & Warner, P.A. in Lawrence. He focuses on estate planning and probate administration while handling a variety of other civil matters.

Prior to law school, he served 21 years in the Army Field Artillery with assignments as diverse as teaching Economics on the faculty at West Point to serving as the Operations Officer of an MLRS rocket artillery battalion in Desert Storm. He completed his service as a lieutenant colonel teaching tactics at the Command & General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Ramsdell has successfully tried jury trials in Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson, and Leavenworth counties and has chaired Medical Malpractice Screening Panels assigned by the Douglas County District Court. He is a Past-President of the Judge Hugh Means American Inn of Court and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Douglas County Estate Planning Council. 

Courses taught:

  • Estate Planning: Practice


Jennifer Schmidt is the director of the Public Policy Clinic at KU Law, and host/producer of KPTS Channel 8's "Ask your Legislator" show. She received a B.A. from Texas Christian University and a J.D. from the University of Kansas in 1994, where she served as managing editor of the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Courses Taught:
  • Legislative Clinic
  • Public Policy Clinic


A KU Law alumnus and U.S. military veteran, Kelley Sears brings decades of litigation experience to the classroom. He spent 19 years with top Kansas City firms, including a stint managing his own. Sears served as Acting General Counsel and Head of Litigation at Koch Industries and spent 11 years at Walmart, where he served as General Counsel for the Stores Division and Litigation Division and as Deputy General Counsel for Walmart Stores, Inc. He retired from Walmart and joined the KU Law faculty in 2013.

Courses Taught:

  • Contract Drafting

Deborah Williams is currently an associate professor for environmental science and biology at Johnson County Community College, a position she's held since 2005. At JCCC, she's received several honors, including the 2014 and 2011 Distinguished Service Award, the 2014 and 2010 College Scholar Award, the 2014 Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Award, the 2013 League for Innovation in the Community College Excellence Award, the 2010 Burlington Northern Santa Fe Faculty Achievement and Service Award, and the 2009 NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award. She graduated from KU Law in 2004 with a certificate in natural resources and environmental law, as well as a certificate in tribal law.

Courses Taught:
  • Law and Bioethics
  • ​Health Law and Policy
  • Public Health Law


Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks and treatises
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 34 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,600+ alumni in all 50 states, D.C., and 21 foreign countries
  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 20th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 80 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • More than 600 employment interviews at law school, 2014-15
  • 92 percent overall employment rate for Class of 2014 – top 20 percent nationally
  • 23rd: for number of law alumni promoted to partner at nation’s largest law firms
  • #1 in Kansas and Missouri for July 2015 bar exam performance