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Vanessa A. Silke’s practice encompasses all areas of real estate development, real estate law, and water, energy, and natural resources law. Vanessa’s focus is on traditional real estate acquisition and disposition, leasing, environmental compliance, water rights, land use, development and zoning. Vanessa has represented public and private entities in a number of multi-faceted property rights transactions. Many of these transactions were the first of their kind for the State of Nebraska, requiring extensive due diligence, litigation, new legislation, and coordination with a number of administrative agencies. Vanessa has represented governmental and private interests in administrative and judicial proceedings involving natural resource allocation and land-use decisions at the state and federal level, and ensuring compliance with state and federal environmental laws. Vanessa has built productive relationships among clients, technical consultants, agency decision-makers, potential project partners, and legislators on behalf of her clients.

Vanessa also maintains an active practice as a lobbyist, drafting legislation, testifying before legislative committees, and negotiating with stakeholders to achieve positive outcomes for clients. 

Vanessa attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she received her B.A. in political science and attended the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she graduated with distinction, was a member of the Moot Court Board, completed areas of concentrated study in Real Estate Transactions and Natural Resources Law, and received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Secured Transactions. Vanessa began her legal career with a boutique water law and public power firm located in Lincoln, Nebraska.


  • University of Nebraska College of Law, J.D., with distinction, 2012
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln, B.A., political science, 2004

Professional & Civic Affiliations

  • Nebraska Bar Association
  • Iowa Bar Association
  • Nebraska Water Resources Association

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Nebraska, 2013
  • Iowa, 2012
  • U.S. District Court – District of Nebraska, 2015

Selected Practice Highlights

  • Advocating on behalf of the Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild for the passage of LB 1105, facilitating the growth of the craft beer industry in Nebraska
  • Serving as counsel for the development, coordination, and implementation of conjunctive water management projects and associated property rights acquisitions in the Republican, Platte, and Niobrara River Basins in Nebraska
  • Serving as part of the outside counsel team for the State of Florida in Original No. 142 before the U.S. Supreme Court (interstate water rights litigation involving the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin)
  • Appearing before the Tax Equalization and Review Commission for appeal of governmental tax exemption determination

1700 Farnam Street | Suite 1500 | Omaha, NE 68102 | 402.344.0500