Institute Faculty

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Marily Nixon

Marily Nixon

Senior Lecturing Fellow Marily Nixon directs the Summer Institute on Law, Language & Culture (SILLC). Prior to joining the Institute faculty, Professor Nixon practiced law for more than 20 years with large corporate law firms, local government, and environmental NGOs and spent a short time working in the foundation field. She is also a Professor of Practice at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she teaches a variety of courses and developed and directs the online Master of Studies in Law program.

Professor Nixon is a graduate of Duke University and received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was on the Virginia Law Review. She speaks Italian and French.



Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson teaches first-year Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing, as well as an upper-level writing course on Electronic Discovery. Prior to joining the Duke Law faculty, Hanson taught Legal Writing, Federal Courts, Employment Law, and Employment Discrimination at Florida State University’s College of Law. In 2017, Hanson was the first Legal Writing professor at FSU to be awarded the university-wide Graduate Teaching Award.

Prior to teaching, Hanson spent 11 years as a career law clerk to two federal judges, Magistrate Judge Monte C. Richardson and Judge Brian J. Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Hanson began her career in private practice at Foley & Lardner, where she specialized in labor and employment litigation for seven years.

Hanson graduated second in her class from the University of Florida College of Law, where she served on the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. She received her bachelor of science degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Haiyan Zhao

My experience at SILLC was awesome.  You can make friends with participants from other countries, and they are all very nice and enthusiastic.  Professors and other faculty are very supportive. You can improve your English skills and learn more about common law.

Haiyan Zhao, China