The University of Nebraska College of Law is establishing a First Amendment Clinic, thanks to a generous gift from the Stanton Foundation.
The clinic will support First Amendment rights by focusing on local and regional cases concerning freedoms of speech, the press, assembly and petition. It will also enhance law students’ understanding of the First Amendment and serve as a resource for organizations, students, journalists and citizens defending First Amendment rights.
“Our clinical programs help students develop skills as they work on real cases and are a highlight in many students’ law school careers,” said Richard Moberly, dean of the College of Law. “I’m grateful to the Stanton Foundation for allowing us to create another meaningful way for our students to advance justice and solve problems.”
The First Amendment Clinic will add another clinic to Nebraska Law’s growing number of clinical offerings, which includes the Children’s Justice Clinic, Civil Clinic, Criminal Clinic, Debtor’s Defense Clinic, Estate Planning Clinic, Housing Justice Clinic, Immigration Clinic and Weibling Entrepreneurship Clinic.
The First Amendment Clinic will be led by Director Daniel Gutman and Assistant Director Sydney Hayes.
Gutman spent several years in private practice, litigating constitutional claims, election law matters and commercial claims before joining the College of Law faculty. Hayes also has experience in litigation involving complex constitutional issues and business disputes. Both are graduates of Nebraska Law.
“We will defend the First Amendment rights of our clients while at the same time educating students on the intricacies of First Amendment law,” Gutman said. “To do that, we intend for our cases to span the ideological spectrum.”
Nebraska’s First Amendment Clinic will be offered to third-year law students in spring 2024 but is already seeking clients.
“We’re looking for a wide range of cases and clients,” Gutman said.
More information about the clinic and how to request an initial consultation is available here.
The Stanton Foundation was created by Frank Stanton, a longtime president of CBS News, to advance First Amendment and democratic values through an informed citizenry. Stanton, a founding figure in modern broadcast news, led CBS News for a quarter century, from 1946 to 1971. During his tenure, he organized the first televised debate in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, presided over CBS’ defense of the famous libel action brought by Gen. William Westmoreland and remained a zealous defender of the First Amendment until his death in 2006 at age 98.