Law school welcomes four new faculty members

ahmed photoZohra Ahmed joined the law school’s faculty this fall as an assistant professor teaching Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law and a seminar titled Crime and Punishment.

She comes to UGA from Cornell Law School, where she has been a clinical teaching fellow in its Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide since 2018. She co-taught and co-supervised law students in the school’s International Human Rights Clinic, where she and her students represented individuals on death row in Tanzania and the United States and collaborated with groups in both countries challenging life and death sentences. Ahmed also developed a seminar titled Struggles for Liberation and Equality: Human Rights in the 21st Century. In 2020, she received Cornell’s Anne Lukingbeal Award for Service to Women Students.

Her scholarship includes “The Right to Counsel in a Neoliberal Age” in the UCLA Law Review (forthcoming) and “The Sanctuary of Prosecutorial Nullification” in the Albany Law Review.

Before joining the legal academy, Ahmed worked for the Legal Aid Society in New York City as part of their criminal defense practice group for four years. She earned her B.A. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, her M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge and her J.D. cum laude from Fordham University.

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Adam D. Orford became a member of the law school’s faculty this fall and will lead classes as an assistant professor in environmental law, climate law, and renewable energy law and policy.

Having recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, Orford’s research interests include environmental law and policy, climate change law and policy, renewable energy law and policy, and U.S. political history. While at Berkeley, he conducted research for the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission.

His recent scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, the Hastings Environmental Law Journal and the Georgetown Environmental Law Review.

After law school, Orford practiced in New York City and Portland, Oregon, specializing in environmental litigation.

Orford holds a B.A. from Arizona State University, a J.D. from Columbia University, and a M.P.P. and Ph.D. from Berkeley. While in law school, he served as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law.

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Clinical Assistant Professor Elizabeth C. Taxel (J.D.’09) began working at the law school in August 2020 with the Criminal Defense Practicum. She became its director in July 2021, upon the retirement of Russell C. Gabriel (J.D.’85).

Previously, Taxel was a staff attorney with the Law Office of the DeKalb County Public Defender. She served as both a trial attorney and supervisor, defending clients charged with offenses ranging from misdemeanors to complex felonies. In 2015, Taxel was selected as a faculty member for the Georgia Public Defender Council’s Transition into Law Practice Program, where she trained new public defenders across the state. Taxel has also served as a facilitator for the National Association for Public Defense Team Mitigation Practice Institute.

Taxel is a member of Gideon’s Promise, a national public defender organization, and the Georgia Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, where she serves on the Indigent Defense Committee.

A native of Athens, Taxel earned her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from McGill University and her J.D. from UGA. While in law school, she received the Ellen Jordan Award for outstanding work in public interest law and was active in the school’s criminal defense, public interest and family justice clinics.

nolan photoSavanna Nolan (J.D.’13) joined the Alexander Campbell King Law Library as its instruction and faculty services librarian in July 2020. In this position, she promotes and coordinates research service for the faculty and also teaches legal research courses.

Nolan began her professional career in libraries in the Washington, D.C., area working at the Library of Congress, Catholic University’s DuFour Law Library, the University of Baltimore Law Library and the E.B. Williams Law Library at Georgetown University.

She is an active member of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Southeastern Chapter of the AALL. She also serves as the member at large for the Professional Engagement, Growth, and Advancement Special Interest Section of AALL.

She recently published “On the Ground: Real-World Solutions/Writing Winning Personal Statements for Scholarship Applications” in the AALL Spectrum and “Inside Baseball: Justice Blackmun and the Summer of ’72” in The Green Bag Almanac.

Nolan earned her B.A. from the University of Southern California, her J.D. from UGA and her M.S.L.I.S. from the Catholic University of America.