Wayne Law Students Select 2022-2023 Professors of the Year

The Student Board of Governors of Wayne State University Law School has announced three professors for the honor of Professor of the Year.  

Professor Daniel Ellman was chosen as Professor of the Year: Upper Class while Professor Eric A. Zacks and Professor Kirsten Matoy Carlson tied for Professor of the Year: First Year. 

The honor is chosen through a week-long voting process. The votes are then tallied and announced by the SBG. 

Daniel Ellman 

Daniel Ellman is the director of externships and an assistant professor (clinical). Prior to these appointments, Ellman taught Interviewing & Counseling and the Judicial Externship Colloquium at Wayne Law. Ellman entered academia at the University of Michigan in the Department of Sociology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. His teaching career began as a bilingual fifth-grade teacher in Washington Heights, New York City as a member of Teach for America.

After graduating law school, Ellman worked as a public defense attorney at the Bronx Defenders, the originator of holistic defense practice. In addition to litigating criminal cases, he focused on the intersection of the criminal justice system and other legal fields, including immigration, housing, employment, and family law.

Eric A. Zacks

Eric Zacks is an associate professor of law at Wayne State University Law School. His scholarship focuses on modern contracting practices and the relevance of behavioral and cognitive sciences to the legal and social construction of contract formation, breach and enforcement. His recent articles have focused on the problematic evolution of contract law in the home mortgage foreclosure context. His work has been published in many law reviews and journals, including the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, Florida State University Law Review, Journal of Corporation Law, University of Cincinnati Law Review, Marquette Law Review, Penn State Law Review and William & Mary Business Law Review. He also co-authored a contract law casebook, Contracts in Context: From Transaction to Litigation, the second edition of which was published by Aspen Publishers in 2023." 

Kirsten Matoy Carlson  is a Professor of Law at Wayne State University and a Faculty Scholar in the American Bar Foundation/JBP Access to Justice Scholars Program.  She is a Marilyn Williamson Endowed Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Humanities Center at Wayne State University for 2023-2024. She is a leading authority on federal Indian law. Her interdisciplinary, empirical research investigates access to justice issues, including legal mobilization and law reform strategies used by Native peoples to reform law and policy effectively.

Kirsten Matoy Carlson

Her work seeks to elevate Native voices in their quest for justice within the legal system. It has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Levin Center at Wayne Law. Her article, Lobbying Against the Odds, was selected for presentation at the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum at Harvard Law School. Her articles have appeared in the Michigan Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, University of Colorado Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Harvard Journal on Legislation, Law and Society Review, American Indian Law Review and Michigan State Law Review. She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science and a J.D. from The University of Michigan and was a Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand.  


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