Law Review Symposium Speaker Biographies

nicholas sNicholas Stephanopoulos, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

Nicholas Stephanopoulos’s research and teaching interests include election law, constitutional law, legislation, administrative law, comparative law, and local government law.  He often writes about law and politics for popular publications and is involved in several policy reform initiatives.  He has been named to the National Law Journal’s “Chicago’s 40 Under 40.”  Before joining the Chicago faculty, he was an Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School.  He previously worked in the Washington, D.C. office of Jenner & Block LLP, where his practice focused on complex federal litigation, appellate advocacy (including ten Supreme Court briefs), and election law (particularly redistricting and campaign finance). Before entering private practice, he clerked for Judge Raymond C. Fisher of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  A 2006 graduate of Yale Law School, Stephanopoulos also holds an M.Phil in European Studies from Cambridge University and an A.B. in Government from Harvard College, graduating summa cum laude in 2001.  While at Yale, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of International Law, received the Jewell Prize for best second-year student contribution to a law journal, and was a finalist in both the moot court and mock trial competitions.


bradley sBradley A. Smith, Professor of Law, Capital University Law School

Bradley A. Smith holds the 2013-14 Judge John T. Copenhaver Visiting Endowed Chair of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law.  A federal elections expert, he is the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio.  He is a past chairman and commissioner of the Federal Election Commission (2000–2005) and was appointed by President Bill Clinton.  Professor Smith has written extensively about federal election law, frequently lecturers, presents, writes, and blogs on federal election law issues, and has testified before Congress numerous times.  Professor Smith received his B.A. cum laude in political science and economics from Kalamazoo College and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School.


briffault largeRichard Briffault, Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation, Columbia Law School

Professor Briffault has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 1983.  He received his B.A. from Columbia and his J.D. from Harvard Law School where he was Developments Editor or the Harvard Law Review.  Professor Briffault is the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation.  At Columbia, he teaches courses in election law, property law, and state and local government law.  Professor Briffault has extensively written and lectured on election law issues and served as Executive Director of the Special Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 1998-2000.


FranFran Hill, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Frances R. Hill is a Professor of Law and a Dean’s Distinguished Scholar for the Profession at the University of Miami School of Law, where she teaches courses in federal tax law, constitutional law, federal election law, and courses related to implementing the Affordable Care Act. She has written extensively on the role of exempt entities in campaign finance.  She is the co-author, with Douglas M. Mancino, of Taxation of Exempt Organizations (Warren, Gorham & Lamont, with semi-annual cumulative supplements).  She has testified before committees of Congress and the Federal Election Commission on a range of exempt organization issues, including their roles in politics. Her current scholarship focuses on the concept of “Charities in the Public Square.” Professor Hill earned her J.D. at the Yale Law School, her Ph.D. in comparative politics and political theory at Harvard University, her M.A. in African politics at the University of Birmingham (England), where she was a Fulbright Fellow and her B.A. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) at the University of Denver.  Before joining the University of Miami faculty, she practiced in the Washington, D.C. and London offices of Jones Day.  She is a member of the American Law Institute, where she is currently participating in the project on government ethics, and the American Bar Association Section of Taxation.


philip hPhilip Hackney, Assistant Professor of Law, Louisiana State University Law Center

Philip Hackney joined the LSU Law Center faculty in 2011 after spending five years at the Office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS in Washington, D.C.  Professor Hackney served as Senior Technician Reviewer in Exempt Organizations in the national office, where he worked on drafting IRS regulations, advising the TEGE commissioner, and litigating exempt organization tax issues.  Professor Hackney earned his B.A. in Political Science at Southern Methodist University in 1992 and obtained his J.D. at LSU Law in 2001. While in law school, he served as the Executive Senior Editor of the LSU Law Review and graduated as a member of The Order of the Coif.

Professor Hackney started his legal career as a law clerk to the late Honorable Henry A. Politz on the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  He joined Baker Botts LLP in Houston, TX in 2002 as a corporate associate working on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, public company corporate compliance, and investigations into accounting irregularities.   In 2006, he obtained an LL.M. in Taxation from the New York University School of Law and joined the Office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS in its Exempt Organizations branch of its Tax Exempt Government Entities division that same year.

Professor Hackney teaches Federal Income Tax, Partnership Taxation and Taxation of Exempt Organizations.  Utilizing his experience with the IRS working with tax-exempt organizations and the non-profit community in general, his scholarship focuses on nonprofit organizations and the tax issues associated therewith.   He is particularly interested in the intersection between for-profit and not-for-profit activities within these organizations.


lloyd mLloyd H. Mayer, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer joined the Notre Dame faculty as an associate professor of law in 2005 and became a full professor and associate dean in 2011.  He earned his A.B., with distinction and honors, from Stanford University in 1989 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1994.  While at Yale, he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics and served as business editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review and as an editor of the Yale Journal on Regulation.  Following graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Lowell A. Reed, Jr., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  He then joined Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., first as an associate and later as a member, where he concentrated on tax issues, particularly for nonprofit organizations.  He teaches courses at Notre Dame Law School in federal income taxation, business enterprise taxation, election law, and not-for-profit organizations. He also lectures at the Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business on legal issues facing nonprofit organizations.

Professor Mayer’s areas of research interest and expertise include advocacy by nonprofit organizations, the growing intersection of election law and tax law with respect to lobbying and other political activity, and the role of nonprofits both domestically and internationally.


donald tDonald B. Tobin, John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Professor Donald B. Tobin has quickly become one of the nation’s leading experts on the intersection of tax and campaign finance laws. Professor Tobin developed his interest in tax, economics, and election law while serving on Capitol Hill and in the U.S. Department of Justice. He arrived at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2001 and has since served as associate dean for academic affairs, associate dean for faculty, the Frank E. and Virginia H. Bazler Designated Professor in Business Law, co-director of the Program on Law and Leadership, and a senior fellow of law at Moritz’s Election Law @ Moritz program.

Professor Tobin has written several journal articles on the intersection of tax and campaign finance laws, most recently focusing on the roles of nonprofit and other taxable entities that wish to participate in political campaigns.  From 1997-2001, Professor Tobin was an attorney on the appellate staff of the tax division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he won an Outstanding Attorney Award in 1999.  He was an adjunct professor at American University’s Washington College of Law and served as a clerk for the Honorable Francis D. Murnaghan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Prior to his service with Judge Murnaghan, Professor Tobin specialized in the fields of budget, tax, and economics while working in Washington, D.C. Professor Tobin was a staff member with the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and for U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes.


jason aJason Abel, Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Jason Abel has a decade of experience in both the public sector and private practice.  From 2009–2011, he served as chief counsel for Chairman Sen. Schumer on the US Senate Committee on Rules & Administration and, for two years prior, as counsel for Sen. Schumer in his personal office.  As chief counsel of the Senate Committee on Rules & Administration, Mr. Abel developed in-depth knowledge of Senate rules and procedures and oversaw numerous legislative, oversight, and nomination hearings.  He worked with Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle to craft and execute strategy for several successful pieces of bipartisan legislation, most recently the bipartisan Senate leadership group that streamlined the Senate confirmation process and reformed the presidential appointment process.  Mr. Abel also was the lead Senate aide for campaign finance issues including the DISCLOSE Act and gave the Democratic response to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United v. FEC.

In addition, Mr. Abel has years of experience counseling clients on the complex intersection of law and political activity.  He has advised Fortune 100 companies and global financial institutions on compliance with federal, state, and local pay-to-play law, campaign finance law, and government ethics.  He has also worked with clients to assess the impact of the STOCK Act and develop appropriate internal policies in light of the scrutiny placed on political intelligence activities.


james bJames Bopp, Jr., The Bopp Law Firm

James Bopp, Jr. is an attorney at The Bopp Law Firm in Terre Haute, Indiana.  He received his B.A. from Indiana University in 1970 and his J.D. from the University of Florida in 1973.  Mr. Bopp practices in the following areas:  First Amendment Law, Campaign-Finance Law, Constitutional Law, Election Law, Civil Litigation, Appellate Practice, and United States Supreme Court Practice.  Throughout his career, he has received several awards, including the Republican National Lawyers Association’s award for Republican Lawyer of the Year in 2009, Legatus International’s John Cardinal O’Connor Pro-Life Hall of Fame Award in 2005, and the Indiana Republican Party State Chairman’s Award.

Mr. Bopp is a prominent figure in the campaign finance arena.  He has spent years fighting campaign finance limits and has played prominent roles in several notable campaign finance cases, such as Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC.  He served as Indiana representative to the Republic National Committee from 2006-2012 and thereafter, as an advisor to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.


paul rPaul S. Ryan, Senior Counsel, Campaign Legal Center

Paul S. Ryan joined the Campaign Legal Center in October 2004.  He has specialized in campaign finance, ethics, and election law for more than a decade and is former Political Reform Project Director at the Center for Governmental Studies (1999-2004) in Los Angeles. Mr. Ryan litigates campaign finance issues before federal and state courts throughout the United States and has published extensively on the subject of election law in journals including the Stanford Law and Policy Review and the Harvard Journal on Legislation.

Mr. Ryan has testified as an expert on election law before Congress, regularly represents the Campaign Legal Center before the Federal Election Commission, and has testified before state and municipal legislative bodies and ethics agencies around the nation. He has appeared as a campaign finance law expert on news programs of CNN, NBC, C-SPAN, NPR and other media outlets and is quoted regularly by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Roll Call and other news publications.

Mr. Ryan is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law’s Program in Public Interest Law and Policy (2001) and the University of Montana (1998), and is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, the State of California, the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


liz kLiz Kennedy, Counsel, Demos

Liz Kennedy is Counsel at Demos working on money in politics, voting rights, and corporate accountability.  She works to expand political participation and prevent voter disenfranchisement by eliminating barriers to voting and empowering voters.  Liz focuses on money in politics increase transparency and accountability for political spending, work towards political equality, and fight corruption of democratic government. She develops policies, writes, and works with partners across the country. In addition to appearing on television and being quoted in the media, Liz is the author or co-author of “Bullies at the Ballot Box,” “Democracy at Stake: Protecting Democracy in the Super PAC Era,” “Citizens Actually United,” “Protecting the Freedom to Vote,” and “Ten Ways Citizens United Endangers Democracy.”

Prior to joining Demos, Liz was an Attorney in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, working on issues of money in politics, democratic accountability, and corporate governance responses to Citizens United.  Liz served as deputy director of voter protection for the 2008 Obama campaign in Ohio.  She has represented unions in industrial bankruptcy and labor democracy cases, and she worked as a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  Liz’s writing has appeared in the American Prospect, the National Civic Review, Human Rights: a Journal of the American Bar Association, the Boston Herald, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Los Angeles Daily News, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Hill’s Congress Blog, and the Huffington Post.

Liz received her J.D. cum laude from NYU School of Law and her B.A. from Smith College.