Faculty and Staff

Jim Hilbert

Executive Director

Jim Hilbert is an experienced civil rights attorney, negotiator, public speaker and instructor, combining all four disciplines in his approach to using principled negotiation as a tool for solving client problems and promoting social justice. Mr. Hilbert has personally negotiated the resolution of numerous civil rights and other legal matters, as well as complex, high stakes business deals.

Mr. Hilbert has led and developed negotiation and conflict resolution workshops for business executives, lawyers, and community activists around the world, including a regional program of “empowerment workshops” designed specifically for low-income communities to resolve conflict more effectively, build stronger relationships, and promote positive community change. He has lectured and served as a guest speaker at public and private sector conferences throughout the United States on topics of negotiation, conflict resolution, civil rights, and education policy.

At William Mitchell, Mr. Hilbert currently teaches Transactions and Settlements, Advanced Negotiation, International Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, and Advanced ADR. He will be teaching Deals and Dispute Resolution during J-Term in January 2012. He is also the Director of the LL.M. Program at William Mitchell. Previously, he was a Guest Lecturer at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, where he taught negotiation, and he is a former Legal Fellow at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota.

Mr. Hilbert is vice president of professional services for Alignor, an international negotiation firm with offices in the United States and India.

Gregory Duhl

Managing Director

Gregory Duhl is a leading authority on ethical issues in drafting and commercial practice, and has designed cutting-edge classes and materials to teach students transactional skills. He currently teaches Bankruptcy, UCC-Sales, UCC-Secured Transactions, and Transactions and Settlements, a course in which students negotiate and draft transactions and settlement agreements. He will be teaching Deals and Dispute Resolution during J-Term in January 2012. At William Mitchell, Professor Duhl is Chair of the Curriculum Committee, Director of Adjunct Faculty, and Chair of the First-Year Pilot Implementation Committee. He was formerly Director of the William Mitchell Fellows Program, a leadership development program for students with the capacity for academic excellence and leadership in the legal profession.  

Professor Duhl is the Associate Editor-in-Chief of The Business Lawyer, the premier scholarly business journal in the country. Professor Duhl chaired the Predatory Lending Subcommittee of the ABA’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and served as vice chair of the Pro Bono Committee from 2005 to 2007. He previously taught as an assistant professor of law at the University of Tulsa College of Law and as a visiting professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Law and the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. From 2002 to 2004, he was an Abraham L. Freedman Fellow and Lecturer-in-Law at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law.

Prior to entering legal teaching, Professor Duhl practiced law at Mayer Brown in Chicago; Perkins Coie Brown & Bain in Phoenix; and Schiff Hardin in Chicago. Professor Duhl has a Master of Laws degree from the James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Yale University.

Christine Ver Ploeg

Faculty Director

A member of the William Mitchell faculty since 1977 and chair of the ADR department, Christine Ver Ploeg’s work has long focused on ways to resolve legal disputes outside of the court system. Professor Ver Ploeg is a recognized expert in ADR processes for law, labor and management, education, government, social services, and business. In 1988 Professor Ver Ploeg became the first woman from Minnesota admitted to the National Academy of Arbitrators, and she continues to serve as an arbitrator and mediator in a wide range of legal and labor disputes across the country. In addition to her work in legal education, Professor Ver Ploeg has also been a special assistant U.S. attorney as well as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Washington, D.C.

Professor Ver Ploeg has been a frequent faculty member for a host of ADR CLE programs, including programs certified by the Minnesota Supreme Court to train persons as qualified neutrals for placement on court rosters pursuant to Rule 114, as well a frequent lecturer at national conferences sponsored by the Labor Arbitration Institute. She has also presented coursework in cross-cultural dispute resolution at numerous international programs sponsored by the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education, including at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in a program offered by the Irish Centre for Human Rights. She is currently Director of WMCL’s summer study abroad program in London.

In addition to the above professional activities, in 1994 Professor Ver Ploeg helped to found an organization that has now become the largest and most influential non-government organization in Bolivia. Mano A Mano International Partners has now, among other things, built, staffed and equipped over 100 rural clinics, provided numerous communities with schools and teacher housing, community sanitation facilities, airstrips, major agricultural water reservoirs and smaller holding ponds, built over 1,000 km of roads through otherwise impassable terrain, and founded an aviation program that airlifts critically ill or injured persons to city hospitals. See http://www.manoamano.org/results. Until recently, Mano A Mano was an all-volunteer organization.

Nancy Ver Steegh
Nancy Ver Steegh

Faculty Director

Nancy Ver Steegh is currently Vice Dean for Academic Programs at William Mitchell. A member of the William Mitchell faculty since 2002, Nancy Ver Steegh’s work has focused on seeking justice for powerless and vulnerable members of society. Prior to joining the faculty, she negotiated class action settlements in law reform litigation involving public housing, public benefits, police and prosecutor response to victims of domestic violence, and other civil rights matters. As a community organizer, mediator, and legislative advocate, she developed substantial expertise in consensus building and creation of community coalitions.

Vice Dean Ver Steegh is also a recognized expert in family law and domestic violence. Much of her scholarship concerns the effect of court reform (including use of alternative dispute resolution processes) on the handling of cases involving domestic violence. Articles such as Yes, No, and Maybe: Informed Decision Making About Divorce Mediation in the Presence of Domestic Violence, Differentiating Types of Domestic Violence: Implications for Child Custody,and the Report from the Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts (coauthored with Professor Clare Dalton) are widely read by family law professionals from a variety of disciplines.

Vice Dean Ver Steegh is a frequent speaker at national conferences, is the coauthor of two family law books, and is a member of the board of editors of the Family Law Quarterly and the Family Court Review. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). Prof. Ver Steegh earned her J.D. from Washington University School of Law and her M.S.W. from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

Jaclyn Millner


Jaclyn Millner is an in-house attorney at Liberty Mutual where she practices in the areas of workers’ compensation and insurance law and oversees all aspects of litigation. Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Ms. Millner worked at Fitch, Johnson, Larson & Held, P.A., where she represented employers and insurers from initiation of litigation through appellate work. Ms. Millner currently teaches Transactions and Settlements as an Adjunct Professor at William Mitchell. She previously taught UCC-Sales as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at William Mitchell. In addition to practicing law and teaching, she is the Alumni Advisor to the William Mitchell Fellows Program and an Attorney Mentor for first-year law students. Prior to her legal career, Ms. Millner served as Regional Director for a U.S. Congressional race in Illinois.

Ms. Millner has written articles on mediation in housing court, discovery and admissibility of social networking evidence, and insurance fraud. She has lectured at conferences and CLEs on topics of mediation, legal ethics, and social networking. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) with a double major in political science and sociology with a concentration and certification in social inequality: race, class and gender. She graduated with a J.D., magna cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law.