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LL.M. Faculty and Staff
The faculty and administrators of the LL.M. program have exceptional academic credentials, teaching experience in a variety of cultures, and a range of experiences with democracy and governance programs in transitional democracies. The following are brief biographies of those directly involved with the program.
Professor David Pimentel is the interim director of the LL.M. program and teaches American Legal System and the Rule of Law Seminar. Before beginning his academic career in 2007, he worked with the United Nations as the Chief of Court Management at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and as Head of Rule of Law in South Sudan for the U.N. Mission there. He has also led court reform projects in Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2010-11, he returned to Bosnia on a Fulbright, as Visiting Professor at the University of Sarajevo, researching the impact of the post-conflict judicial reform. He worked for over 12 years in the federal judiciary, including in 1997-98 as a Supreme Court Fellow in Washington DC, and in 1990-91 as a law clerk for the Honorable Martin Pence in the U.S. District Court in Honolulu, after two years of private practice with the Seattle law firm Perkins Coie. He studied at Brigham Young University, University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard Law School, receiving both his M.A. (in economics) and JD from Berkeley.
Professor Elena Helmer is the assistant director of the LL.M. program and assistant professor of law. She teaches International Business Transactions and Competitiveness and Corruption. Prior to joining the ONU faculty, she taught at the University of Michigan Law School and Capital Law School and was a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at St. Petersburg Institute of Law in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received her first law degree from Kazakh State University School of Law in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and her LL.M. from Yale Law School. Helmer currently co-chairs the International Anticorruption Committee of the ABA Section of International Law. She was a recipient of the Open Society Institute International Policy Fellowship and served on the Board of Directors of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law in Washington, D.C.
Professor Howard N. Fenton is the former director and founder of the LL.M. program and teaches Comparative Administrative Law and the Rule of Law Seminar. He received both his BS and JD with honors from the University of Texas. He has more than 30 years of experience in administrative and legislative law as well as public international and international trade law. For the past 15 years, he has consulted on law reform in developing democracies, focusing on reforms in administrative law and procedure, the legislative process, and public participation and awareness. He has authored numerous materials on law reform and served as chief of party for the USAID-funded Rule of Law Project in Tbilisi, Georgia, from 2001-02.
Professor Bruce Frohnen joined the College of Law in 2008. He teaches Comparative Constitutional Law in the LL.M. program. Prior to joining the ONU faculty, he served as a visiting scholar with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, a legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham, and a senior fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. His co-edited volume, American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia, was the subject of a front-page article in The New York Times. His two most recent volumes, The American Nation: Primary Sources and Rethinking Rights (edited with Kenneth Grasso), were named Outstanding Academic Titles by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. His articles have appeared in journals such as The George Washington Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and The American Journal of Jurisprudence. His research interests focus on the nature, development and prospects for constitutionalism and human rights given changing views regarding the nature of human community and the person. He holds a JD from the Emory University School of Law and a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University.
Professor Jean-Marie Kamatali joined the College of Law in 2008 and teaches International Human Rights Law, International Comparative Law: NGOs, and Legal Issues in Transitional Democracies - Public Law. He holds a law degree from the National University of Rwanda, an M.A. in international peace studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a doctorate in law from Karl Franzens University-Graz in Austria. Kamatali has taught at Notre Dame Law School and different universities in the U.S., Africa and Europe. He was dean of the law school at the National University of Rwanda from 1998-2002 and contributed significantly to the legal and institutional rebuilding of Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. He has worked as consultant for numerous international organizations and has published multiple articles and book chapters in Africa, Europe and United States.
Professor Michael Lewis joined the Ohio Northern faculty in August 2006. Lewis flew F-14s for the United States Navy in Operation Desert Shield, conducted strike planning for Desert Storm and was deployed to the Persian Gulf to enforce the no-fly zone over Iraq. After his naval service, Lewis graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, was a management consultant with McKinsey and Company, and served as a litigation associate with McGuire Woods LLP in Norfolk, Va. Lewis currently teaches International Law, Law of War Seminar, Commercial Law, and Torts. He has numerous publications and presentations on the laws of armed conflict and the appropriate responses of the legal system.
Associate Dean Bryan H. Ward joined the ONU Law faculty in 1999 and teaches International Criminal Law and International Law of Terrorism in the LL.M. program. He received his JD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Ph.D. in political science/international relations from Ohio State University. Ward also teaches in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, and legal ethics and professionalism. He writes in the areas of criminal sentencing and criminal procedure. Ward also frequently gives continuing legal education presentations in the areas of legal ethics and professionalism as well as legal issues affecting churches and other nonprofit organizations. He was member of the 2008 Fellows Class of the Ohio State Bar Foundation and served for two terms on the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on the Certification of Attorneys as Specialists.