Joel D. Pedersen represents clients pursuing public-private partnerships as well as construction and development projects. He brings a wealth of experience that spans multiple practice areas including higher education, academic medical centers, non-profit governance and complex problem-solving. Before joining the Firm, Joel served as Vice President and General Counsel for the University of Nebraska since 2008. 

Joel helped to establish and has provided legal support for the University of Nebraska’s affiliated development corporations for the Cancer Center, Med Center, Nebraska Innovation Campus, Kearney University Village, and Baxter Arena. He also served as legal counsel for the University Technology Development Corporation and both the Nebraska Applied Research Institute and the National Strategic Research Institute, the University’s main research development corporations. Joel also helped the University develop the organizational structure and governance in the recently concluded integration of Nebraska Medicine.

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  • University of Nebraska College of Law, J.D., 1988
  • South Dakota State University, B.A., English, 1984
  • Nebraska State and Federal Bar 
  • Bar Foundation Fellow
  • Master of the Bar, Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court
  • Nebraska, 1988


  • Acting as chief legal officer and member of the senior leadership team for the four-campus University system 
  • Advising in multiple strategic projects, including: the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at UNMC, Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Baxter Arena in Omaha, Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, and iExcel at UNMC
  • Leading the team that created NSRI, one of only 13 University Affiliated Research Centers in the United States
  • Representing UNL in moving to the Big Ten Conference and exit from the Big XII 
  • Representing UNO in the move to Division I Athletics, the formation of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and related conference re-alignments
  • Serving as legal counsel to the Joint Antelope Valley Authority (JAVA), the entity created by the city, University and Lower Platte South Natural Resources District to oversee the Antelope Valley Project
  • Representing the City of Lincoln in the public/private partnership that resulted in Haymarket Park
  • Serving as lead counsel for multiple litigation matters, including appellate practice before the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Nebraska

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