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Iowa Law Connection

Professor Emily Hughes

Emily Hughes is a former state public defender who has also represented indigent defendants charged with capital crimes. She is the Bouma Fellow in Law and teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, legal ethics, and capital punishment, and she runs a public defense clinic housed inside the Office of the State Public Defender.

Possible topics: 

  • What “Miranda Rights” do and don’t mean
  • New developments in using “K-9” dogs to investigate crime
  • What it means to be a juvenile charged with killing someone
  • What does “the right to an attorney” mean
  • Ethical issues in prosecution and defense: recent examples of crossing the line.



Professor Todd Pettys

Todd Pettys is a former litigator with the Seattle-based Perkins Coie law firm. He holds the H. Blair and Joan V. White Chair in Civil Litigation and teaches courses on constitutional law, federal courts’ powers, and the United States Supreme Court. He also serves as the College of Law’s Associate Dean for Faculty.

Possible topics:

  • High-profile United States Supreme Court rulings (such as Shelby County v. Holder (voting rights), Windsor v. United States (same-sex marriage), Citizens United v. FEC (campaign finance), Roe v. Wade (abortion and the right to privacy), and Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation), among others
  • Current cases pending before the United States Supreme Court
  • The institutional differences between politicians and judges



Ashley Brosius, Class of 2015

Ashley is from the Quad Cities and graduated in 2012 from Washington University in St. Louis where she studied Women & Gender Studies, Political Science, and Anthropology. Ashley spent her 1L summer studying abroad and clerking at the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa. She is a research assistant for the UI National Health Policy Resource Center and will be working at Fredrikson Byron in Minneapolis this summer.

Possible topics:

  • A day in the life of a law student 
  • Writing on a law journal
  • Moot Court
  • Citizen Lawyer Volunteer Program
  • Research Assistantships
  • Alternative Spring Break Trips
  • Study Abroad
  • Iowa Student Bar Association
  • Organization for Women Law Students and Staff
  • Student life at Iowa

Collins Byrd, Assistant Dean for Admissions

Collins Byrd has served in law school admissions capacities since 1990. He has been the Assistant Dean of Admissions at the University of Iowa College of Law since August, 2005.

Possible topics:

  • Applying to law school
  • Choosing a law school
  • The admission selection process
  • Scholarship awards for entering students
  • What can you do with a law degree





Brian Farrell, Director of Citizen Lawyer Program

Brian is the director of the law school’s Citizen Lawyer Program and assistant director of the Center for Human Rights.  Before joining the College of Law he practiced criminal law in Iowa and Georgia.  He teaches human rights courses and is a co-founder of the Innocence Project of Iowa.  

Possible topics:

  • Understanding and preventing wrongful convictions (including eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, and the forensic science system)
  • The development of human rights in the international system
  • International rule of law and habeas corpus




Jessica Malott, Career Advisor

Jessica Malott has worked as a judicial law clerk, a federal government agency staff attorney, and as an attorney in private practice at an immigration law firm. She advises students about their own individual career paths. Jessica and the rest of the Career Services Office also coordinate student programming on a variety of topics, including job search strategies, résumés, cover letters, judicial clerkships, networking and more!

Possible topics:

  • Career counseling
  • Job search strategy
  • Professional development
  • Judicial clerkships
  • Advising on cover letters, résumés, and mock interviews
  • On-campus interview program and job fair participation