UB Law is pleased to welcome four new faculty members this year: three tenure-track professors and a visiting professor.
Jamie Abrams is a visiting professor for the full academic year, teaching Torts/ILS, Family Law, and Rules & Reasoning. Her research focuses on reproductive and birthing decision-making, gendered violence, legal protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, and legal education pedagogy.
She previously taught at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, where she received two teaching awards. She has also taught at Hofstra University School of Law and American University Washington College of Law.
In 2014, while at Louisville, Abrams founded the Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Program to advance the human rights of immigrants and refugees. Prior to entering law teaching, she was in private practice, specializing in complex civil litigation, white-collar criminal defense and environmental law.
Abrams has a J.D. from American University and an LL.M. from Columbia University, both with highest honors. She earned her B.A. from Indiana University at Bloomington.
Sheldon Bernard Lyke is an associate professor teaching Trusts and Estates this fall. His research focuses on anti-discrimination laws regarding racial and sexual minorities in a comparative context. His current research explores anti-affirmative action practices in higher education.
His work is increasingly observing property law institutions in our shared social world — particularly the realms of higher education, fashion, and natural resources (i.e., parks, commons, and shared green spaces) — and understanding their role in creating and ameliorating social inequality.
Before joining the UB Law faculty, Lyke was an assistant professor at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law and at Whittier Law School. He also has held positions as a visiting assistant professor at University of California Irvine School of Law (Fall 2016) and Northwestern University School of Law (2012 thru 2013).
In 2011, he was appointed the inaugural Dorr Legg Law and Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute (UCLA School of Law). Lyke has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago, a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, and an A.B. cum laude in sociology from Princeton University.
Matthew Sipe is an assistant professor of law teaching Introduction to Legal Skills/Civil Procedure this fall.
His research focuses on the relationship among law, innovation and ownership. His work has been published in academic journals such as the Wisconsin Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, and the American University Law Review.
Prior to joining the faculty, Sipe taught at George Washington University Law School as the Frank H. Marks Visiting Associate Professor in Intellectual Property. His previous position was at the U.S. Supreme Court, serving an appointment as a Supreme Court Fellow.
Sipe received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an editor and author for the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Journal on Regulation. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Kathleen O’Malley, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and Judge Samuel Mays, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics from the University of Virginia, where he was honored with residency on the Lawn.
Sonya Ziaja is an assistant professor teaching Environmental Law this fall. Her research interests focus on the overlapping areas of environmental governance and law, technology and society: How can environmental law and institutions sustainably adjust to rapidly changing bio-geophysical conditions and societal demands associated with climate change? And with what consequences for equity and democratic participation?
Her approach to these questions draws on her interdisciplinary background in geography, water policy and law, as well as her practical knowledge of energy regulation.
Ziaja’s scholarship is published in refereed interdisciplinary journals and books, as well as law reviews. She was a lead author of California’s Fourth Climate Assessment. Her research has informed the climate adaptation strategy of the U.S. National Parks Service and the first climate adaptation regulation of investor-owned energy utilities in California.
Before coming to UB Law, she worked in energy regulation at the California Public Utilities Commission and was the research lead for the Water, Energy, Climate Nexus at the California Energy Commission. Ziaja holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Arizona, M.Sc. in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, and J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
A warm welcome to these new faculty members.