Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke University School of Law
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Our Team

David F. Levi is the Levi Family Professor of Law and Judicial Studies and Director of the Bolch Judicial Institute and was the James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law from 2007 to 2018. He previously served as the Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California with chambers in Sacramento. He was appointed United States Attorney by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and a United States district judge by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. He has served as chair of two Judicial Conference committees by appointment of the Chief Justice. He was chair of the Civil Rules Advisory Committee (2000-2003) and chair of the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure (2003-2007); he was reappointed to serve as a member of that committee (2009-2015). In 2014, he was appointed chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, and in 2015, he was named co-chair of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves as president of the American Law Institute (ALI). He also is a member of the ALI Council and was an advisor to the ALI’s Federal Judicial Code Revision and Aggregate Litigation projects.

Melinda Myers Vaughn is associate director and marketing manager for the Bolch Judicial Institute and managing editor of Judicature, the Institute’s scholarly journal about judging and the administration of justice. She joined the Institute in 2015 to help launch Judicature after Duke took over the 100-year-old publication from the now-defunct American Judicature Society. She is experienced in strategic communications, content marketing, writing and publications development, web and multimedia initiatives, media relations, and event planning. She previously served as executive director of communications and events for Duke Law School (2007-2013); as senior editor and then senior manager for content marketing for Citrix’s software-as-a-service division (2013-2015); and as executive director of communications and events at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law (2003-2007). She has worked in development communications, public relations, and as an editor and journalist in Utah, California, and Ohio. She holds degrees in English Literature and Mass Communications from the University of Utah.

Amelia Ashton Thorn is assistant director for special projects at the Bolch Judicial Institute. In her role, she designs educational programming for state and federal judges and serves as the articles editor for Judicature, the Institute’s scholarly journal about the administration of justice. She was previously the inaugural Bolch Judicial Institute Fellow. Amelia clerked for Justice Don R. Willett of the Texas Supreme Court (now of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit) as well as for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She subsequently worked as an associate at Williams & Connolly and Crowell & Moring, as well as an assistant general counsel at the American Chemistry Council, one of the nation’s oldest and largest trade associations. She has substantial publishing experience, having worked as a writer and editor prior to law school, including acting as editor-in-chief for a magazine with a circulation of more than 70,000. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke Law, where she headed all student publication as the Senior Notes Editor of the Duke Law Journal and was a recipient of the Justin Miller Award.  Amelia received her Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University with university distinction and departmental honors. She has been published in law reviews, magazines, and poetry journals.

Associated Faculty

Jack Knight is the Frederic Cleaveland Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University. A renowned political scientist and legal theorist, he focuses his scholarship on modern social and political theory, law and legal theory, and political economy. He holds a joint appointment with Duke Law School and Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, where he teaches in the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Program. At the Law School, he teaches courses on social scientific approaches to law and courts, as well as courses on the political economy of social institutions.

Mitu Gulati has been on the faculty of the Duke Law School since 2005. His research touches upon the following subject areas: international finance, judicial behavior, and financial contract evolution.  His articles have appeared in the Capital Markets Law Journal, the Journal of Legal Studies and the Review of Finance.


Margaret H. Lemos is a scholar of constitutional law, legal institutions, and procedure.  Her scholarship focuses on the institutions of law interpretation and enforcement and their effects on substantive rights. She writes in four related fields: federalism; administrative law, including the relationship between courts and agencies; statutory interpretation; and civil procedure. Her articles have been published in the Supreme Court Review as well as in the Harvard, New York University, Texas, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, and Notre Dame law reviews.

Marin K. Levy is an associate professor of law at Duke. Her principal academic interests include civil procedure, judicial administration, remedies, and federal courts. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, and the California Law Journal, among others. Levy is also a co-author of Federal Standards of Review: Appellate Court Review of District Court Decisions and Agency Actions (2nd ed.) with Judge Harry T. Edwards and Linda A. Elliott.


Jessica L. Waddle is the inaugural McGovern Fellow at the Bolch Judicial Institute. She works to advance leadership and build knowledge in civil litigation by engaging the bench and bar through events and programs such as the annual McGovern Symposium and the Institute’s Mass-Tort and MDL Certificate Program. Jessica was previously an associate at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C., where she worked extensively on the national opioid litigation. Subsequently, Jessica clerked for Judge Gray H. Miller of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She is a graduate of Duke Law, where she served on the Duke Law Journal. She also holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor of arts in political science from Texas Christian University. Before becoming a lawyer, Jessica served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force, deploying three times in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

Institute Staff

Ann Yandian is a program manager at the Bolch Judicial Institute. She came to Duke Law in 2012 to manage the Master of Judicial Studies Program, and she now also manages the Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI), the Bench-Bar Conference series, and other events and programs for the Institute. She previously worked at the Maine State Legislature in the nonpartisan fiscal office, staffing the Appropriations Committee (2006-2012), and the University of Maine System (1992-2006).  She holds a degree in Public Administration.

Kristin Triebel is a program coordinator at the Bolch Judicial Institute. After eight years as a litigation paralegal in Raleigh, she came to Duke Law School as an administrative assistant in the Dean’s Office in 2016.  She joined the Institute in 2018.  She assists with the planning and implementation of programming related to judicial education and training, scholarly conferences and symposia, awards programs, board meetings, and alumni gatherings.

Lora Beth Farmer is a program coordinator at the Bolch Judicial Institute. She joined Duke Law in 2016 and now assists in managing EDRM, a professional organization focused on e-discovery, and supporting AJEI, the Duke Bench-Bar Conference series, the North Carolina Thought Leadership organization, and various other programs. A North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with 17 years of experience in litigation, Lora Beth also holds a degree in business and accounting and helps to manage finances for the Institute’s various programs.

Eric Surber is a communications specialist at the Bolch Judicial Institute. In his current role, he is primarily responsible for maintaining the institute’s digital presence, including social media and newsletters. Eric is a 2016 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism, and has held marketing leadership and content creation roles at lifestyle magazine and digital media companies. He has a particular interest in applying UX/UI principles and inbound marketing methodologies to expand audiences. Outside of the law school, Eric is a member of the Duke Evensong Singers and was the 2015-2016 organ scholar at Duke University Chapel.

Undergraduate Assistants

Hadeel Hamoud is a student assistant at the Bolch Judicial Institute. She assists Institute staff with planning related to Judicature, AJEI, and other programs. She is a Duke University undergraduate student studying Political Science and International Comparative Studies with a concentration on the Middle East. Outside of the law school, Hadeel is the Director of Media for Duke’s chapter of Amnesty International and Secretary-General for the Duke Association for the Middle East.

> Meet the Bolch Judicial Institute Student Fellows and Judicature Student Editors

> Read about our founders, Carl Bolch Jr. and Susan Bass Bolch