Nicole Ligon joined the Duke Law faculty in 2018 as a Lecturing Fellow and the Supervising Attorney of the First Amendment Clinic. In this capacity, she teaches First Amendment law in a clinical setting as well as Entertainment law. Through her work with the First Amendment Clinic, Ligon mentors students in honing their practical litigation skills and oversees their casework on behalf of clients who claim infringements of their free speech rights. While at Duke and in private practice, Ligon has represented and advocated on behalf of many individuals who have been discriminated against or otherwise targeted for expressing their viewpoints or opinions. She has also filed numerous amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and state courts in cases involving First Amendment and media law issues.
Ligon frequently contributes expert analysis and commentary to news stories involving First Amendment concerns. She has also published articles in outlets across the political spectrum concerning free expression. Some of her most recent works have focused on the constitutionality of statutes banning revenge pornography, campus speech issues, and the intersection between human rights laws and free speech rights with regard to casting practices. Ligon has also guest lectured on First Amendment law in the Summer Institute for Law, Language, & Culture (SILLC) and undergraduate workshops.
Ligon is a member of the Legal Network for Gender Equity, where she supervises students assisting individuals seeking guidance on speaking openly and publicly about their stories of sexual harassment while shielding against defamation concerns. She has been an invited webinar speaker on defamation claims related to sexual harassment for the Network.
Before joining Duke Law, Ligon was an attorney with Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York City. She was a member of the firm’s litigation department, and her practice focused on First Amendment and media law matters. While in private practice, Ligon was honored by the Center for Appellate Litigation (CAL) for her work in helping its Books Beyond Bars project challenge proposed state packaging restrictions that would have prevented people incarcerated in New York prisons from receiving donated books by mail. Ligon’s extensive pro bono practice also included handling matters on issues related to reporter’s privilege, defamation, right of access, and other free speech concerns. Ligon also served on the board of a non-profit organization, Jazz Choreography Enterprises, from 2017-2018.
Ligon received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, where she served as a Notes Editor for the Duke Law Journal. She received her B.A. from Emory University.
Ligon is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, New York, and New Jersey.