NUSL Welcomes New Faculty


07.01.19 — Northeastern University School of Law is pleased to announce the hiring of two exceptional tenured faculty members: Patricia Williams and Jonathan Kahn.

Patricia WilliamsPatricia Williams, one of the most provocative intellectuals in American law and a pioneer of both the law and literature and critical race theory movements in American legal theory, joins Northeastern University as University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities, with a joint appointment between the School of Law and the Department of Philosophy and Religion in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. In addition, she will serve as director of Law, Technology and Ethics Initiatives in the School of Law and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. (read more)


Jonathan Kahn, a leading authority on biotechnology’s implications for our ideas of identity, rights and citizenship, with a particular focus on race and justice, joins Northeastern University as Professor of Law and Biology. Professor Kahn holds a joint appointment with the School of Law and the Department of Biology in the College of Science. He will also play a key role in the law school’s Center for Health Policy and Law. (read more)

We also welcome five new teaching, clinical and visiting faculty members: Sameer Ahmed, Bruce Jacoby, Deborah Johnson, Stefanie (Stevie) Leahy and Jared Nicholson.

Sameer AhmedSameer Ahmed joins Northeastern Law as an assistant teaching professor in the Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) program. He was previously a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, where he specialized in immigrants’ rights litigation and policy advocacy. His work included challenging federal immigration national security policies that discriminate against Muslim immigrants, ensuring mentally ill immigrants have access to counsel in removal proceedings, protecting the rights of DACA recipients and immigrants in the military and advocating on behalf of immigrants in Orange County. Ahmed has also served as a senior litigation associate at WilmerHale and as a Skadden Fellow at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). He has taught as an adjunct professor in the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine School of Law. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and clerked for Judge Kermit V. Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Chief Judge Patti B. Saris of the District of Massachusetts.

Bruce JacobyBruce Jacoby will serve as associate clinical professor and direct the IP CO-LAB. He previously served as an assistant clinical professor for the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Law Clinic at UConn School of Law, where he earned his JD in 2003. After law school, he joined Wiggin & Dana in New Haven as a member dedicated to the firm’s intellectual property practice group, and held similar positions in subsequent years at other firms, most recently as senior trademark counsel to Kim IP Law Group, an intellectual property boutique. The years between his undergraduate and law degrees were spent as both a freelance cameraman and filmmaker, then as a writer and creative director. His experience on both the creative and legal sides of intellectual property issues gives him a unique perspective on the challenges involved and makes him particularly well-suited for his new role.

Deborah JohnsonDeborah Johnson joins the law school as assistant teaching professor in the Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) program. A 2000 graduate of the law school, Johnson has been the director of diversity and outreach at Roger Williams University School of Law since 2011, and has also served as an adjunct faculty member, teaching Contract Drafting and Transactional Lawyering as well as Insurance Law. In addition, she has taught an Introduction to Cyber Insurance course since 2015 for the Insurance Library Association of Boston. Earlier in her career, Johnson clerked with the US District Court in San Diego and spent six years as a litigation associate at Mintz Levin. She also worked for two years with the Boston Center for Community and Justice, where she held leadership positions in youth programs. In addition to her law degree, Johnson holds a BA in government from the University of Notre Dame. Among Johnson’s many attributes is her commitment to community and service. She has served on Northeastern Law’s Alumni/ae Association board since 2017 and is involved with a wide range of community and professional organizations, including serving as president of the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys from 2015 to 2018.

Stevie LeahyStefanie (Stevie) Leahy joins the faculty as a visiting assistant professor in the Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) program. She has taught in both the Legal Research and Writing and Academic Success Programs at New England Law Boston, where she also served as the school’s writing specialist. Prior to starting her teaching career, Leahy was an attorney with Goodwin Procter, Latham & Watkins and Aeton Law Partners. She is well-acquainted with Northeastern Law, having worked closely with the school’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE). For her work with PHRGE, she collaborated on a project with the ACLU of Massachusetts focusing on Massachusetts municipality response to immigration issues. She is a 2005 graduate, magna cum laude, of Pepperdine Law School. 

Jared NicholsonJared Nicholson will join the law school on August 1 as associate clinical professor and director of the Community Business Clinic. He comes to Northeastern from Latham & Watkins, where he was an associate representing numerous startups and coordinated a number of pro bono projects. Nicholson is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as executive director/student attorney in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, and received his AB from Princeton University at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is a member of the Lynn School Committee and past staff attorney and Skadden Fellow with Northeast Legal Aid. He also spent three years as a senior business analyst with McKinsey & Co.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

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