Our Team

Institute Leadership & Staff

Institute Leadership


David F. Levi

David F. Levi

Levi Family Professor of Law and Judicial Studies and Director of the Bolch Judicial Institute

David F. Levi 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

Melinda Myers Vaughn

Associate Director and Marketing Manager

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

Amelia Ashton Thorn

Associate Director for Special Projects

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 laudefrom 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

Jack Knight

Frederic Cleaveland Professor of Law and Political Science

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.

Margaret H. Lemos

Margaret H. Lemos

Duke Law Professor

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

Marin K. Levy

Duke Law Professor

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.

Fellow


Jessica L. Waddle

Jessica L. Waddle

McGovern Fellow

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 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

Ann Yandian

Program Manager

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. 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

Kristin Triebel

Program Coordinator

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

Lora Beth Farmer

Program Coordinator

Lora Beth Farmer is a program coordinator at the Bolch Judicial Institute. She joined Duke Law in 2016. A North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 20 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

Eric Surber

Communications Specialist

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, newsletters, and press releases. 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 enjoys music and was the 2015-2016 organ scholar at Duke University Chapel.

Student Fellows


Meredith Criner

Meredith Criner

Student Fellow

Meredith Criner is a third-year law student, research assistant of the Bolch Judicial Institute, and student editor of Judicature. At Duke, she serves on the editorial board of Law & Contemporary Problems and as a member of the Moot Court and Mock Trial Boards. In 2020, she was a Dave Kennedy Fellow at the Institute for Justice and in 2021, a summer associate at Paul Hastings LLP in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Following graduation, she will clerk for Judge James C. Dever III of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Isabel Gao

Isabel Gao

Student Fellow

Isabel Gao is a third-year law student and a research assistant of the Bolch Judicial Institute. At Duke, she serves on the editorial board of the Duke Law Journal. In 2020, he was a judicial intern for Judge Pamela K. Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. In 2021, She interned with Kirkland & Ellis in its New York office. She hopes to clerk after graduation.

Connor Leydecker

Connor Leydecker

Student Fellow

Connor Leydecker is a third-year law student and student editor for Judicature. At Duke, he is a Founder of the Competition Law Society and a Moot Court Board member. He interned with the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He hopes to clerk after graduation.

John Macy

John Macy

Student Fellow

John Macy is a third-year law student and a research assistant of the Bolch Judicial Institute. At Duke, he serves on the editorial board of the Duke Law Journal and the Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum. In 2020, he was a judicial intern for Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Following graduation, he will clerk for Judge Justin Walker of the D.C. Circuit.

Eric Tucker

Eric Tucker

Student Fellow

Eric Tucker is a third-year law student. At Duke, he serves as an Articles Editor for the Duke Law Journal. He is also a member of Duke Law’s mock trial and moot court boards, and he won the 2020 Hardt Cup. Eric recently worked as a summer associate in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C. office, and after graduating, he will clerk for Chief Judge Colm Connolly of the District of Delaware.

Undergraduate Assistants


Mina Jang

Mina Jang

Undergraduate Assistant

Mina Jang is a current junior at Duke University studying English, Creative Writing, and Markets and Management. She is passionate about the arts and enjoys DJing for WXDU, the school’s radio station, in her spare time.
Anna McFarlane

Anna McFarlane

Undergraduate Assistant

Anna McFarlane is a third-year international undergraduate student at Duke, studying Political Science and Policy Journalism, with a concentration in Security, Peace and Conflict. Anna is a student assistant at the Bolch Judicial Institute, assisting Institute staff with digital communication and program administration.