Professor Erin Nelson, accepts a two-year assignment as Senior Legal Counsel at the Alberta Court of Appeal, September 2012

Katherine Thompson - 12 September 2012

The University of Alberta's Faculty of Law is pleased to announce that our colleague, Professor Erin Nelson, has accepted a two-year assignment as Senior Legal Counsel at the Alberta Court of Appeal starting in September 2012.

Professor Nelson, as the new Senior Legal Counsel, will be required by the Court of Appeal to assist and work directly with the Chief Justice of Alberta, Catherine Fraser, in the administration of justice by drafting speeches and presentations, providing high level research and advice, and assisting with the preparation of judgments.

"I am anticipating that I will learn a great deal in this position, both about the judicial process and about seeing the law from different perspectives." said Professor Erin Nelson. I also expect to learn a lot about the administration of justice in Alberta. As a faculty member, one becomes quite specialized in specific areas of teaching and research, and I am really looking forward to having an opportunity to think about areas of law beyond that which I have been writing and teaching about for the last several years. I will be dealing with a huge variety of legal issues at the Court of Appeal, far more so than I do as a professor. I expect that this will be a significant challenge."

At the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law, Professor Nelson has taught tort law, health care ethics and the law, and was a Research Associate with the Health Law Institute. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta. She completed her B.Sc.P.T. in 1991 and her LL.B. in 1995. After clerking for Mr. Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada, Professor Nelson completed her articles at Witten Binder in Edmonton. She then spent two years as Project Manager at the Health Law Institute in the Faculty of Law before leaving for Columbia University, where she received both an LLM and an SJD degree.

Professor Nelson joined the Faculty of Law in 2000. Her research interests include: the interface of health care law and ethics, women's health, issues in reproductive health, and feminist legal theory. She has published articles and book chapters on a number of health law related topics, such as consent, the regulation of health care practitioners, intervention in pregnancy, pediatric genetics and the tort law duties of pregnant women.

"Dr. Nelson is an outstanding colleague, and the fact that she has been given this opportunity by the Court of Appeal speaks well of the respect she enjoys in the legal community" said Dean Philip Bryden. "The contribution she will be able to make to the work of the Court of Appeal is an excellent example of the way in which the expertise of our Faculty members benefits the people of Alberta."

When asked what she would miss most, over the next two years, in relation to her work as a professor at the U of A Faculty of Law, Professor Nelson replied that she will miss her colleagues and interacting with students.

The University of Alberta's Faculty of Law would like to congratulate Professor Erin Nelson on this great honour, and wish her all the best in her new position. She will be much missed at the Faculty of Law by faculty, staff, and students alike, and we look forward to having her back in the Faculty of Law in two years time.

Professor Erin Nelson's Publications