Professor Nelson joined the Villanova Law School faculty in 2017 as the Associate Professor of Law (Business Ethics), and she holds a courtesy appointment in the Management & Operations Department of Villanova Business School. A scholar, legal consultant, and start-up advisor, Professor Nelson teaches and writes on issues related to business law, ethics, and white collar crime. She also works collaboratively with two of the Law School’s Centers of Excellence—the John F. Scarpa Center for Entrepreneurship and Law and the David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity, and Compliance—to advance legal scholarship and teaching that lie at the intersection of ethics and business. Professor Nelson came to Villanova from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she has served since 2015 as a Senior Fellow at the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research. She also was an advisor in the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Professor Nelson has received numerous awards from the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, including its 2016 Ralph Bunche Outstanding International Paper and its 2015 Outstanding Proceedings awards. Her scholarship has been published in both legal and business journals, including the Harvard Law Review, The Cornell Law Review, Berkeley Business Law Journal, Journal of Management Inquiry, Cardozo Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review, Journal of Legal Studies in Business, and The Georgetown Law Journal. Her forthcoming book co-authored with Lynn Stout, Business Ethics: What Everyone Needs to Know, will be published by the Oxford University Press.
In addition to her roles at Penn and Stanford, Professor Nelson previously taught at the Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, the Mihaylo School at Cal State Fullerton, and was a faculty mentor at the Haas Business School of the University of California at Berkeley.
Prior to her work in academia, Nelson served as staff counsel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and clerked for the Honorable David M. Ebel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the Honorable William H. Yohn Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She previously worked as a deputy district attorney and as a business litigator in Denver, Colorado. Nelson is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she was the Supreme Court Co-Chair of the Harvard Law Review. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with honors and distinction in the major from Yale University.
- Judicial clerk for the Honorable William H. Yohn, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Judicial clerk for the Honorable David M. Ebel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Staff Counsel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Deputy District Attorney, Denver District Attorney's Office
- Business Litigator, firm formerly known as Brownstein, Hyatt & Farber, P.C.
- Started teaching in business and other schools from 2008