Joan E. Neal teaches transactional skills courses, including upper-level contract drafting and a 1L introductory course on transactional lawyering, as well as ethics for transactional lawyers. Prior to joining the Law School, she spent almost 20 years in Morrison & Foerster's Communications Group, with a focus on regulatory and transactional work in the telecommunications industry. She has (i) negotiated and drafted a wide variety of contractual arrangements governing carriers' customer and wholesale supplier relationships (both domestic and international) and construction of submarine cable systems; (ii) counseled clients regarding regulatory compliance, US market entry, and structuring of ongoing businesses and new ventures; and (iii) acted as regulatory counsel in a wide range of transactions (including mergers, public and private equity and debt offerings, and foreign investments).
Professor Neal has a BA in Russian & East European Studies from the University of Michigan (1986) and a JD from Yale Law School (1989).
Yale Law School
Harvard Law School
Special Student, 1987-88
University of Michigan
BA with High Distinction, 1986
Concentration: Russian & East European Studies
University of Chicago Law School
Professor from Practice, 2017-present
Class of 1949 Lecturer in Law, 2010-2017
Private Legal Consultant
Chicago, IL, 2010-2017
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Communications Group of Counsel , Washington, DC, 1997-2010
Mayer, Brown & Platt
Litigation Department Associate, Chicago, IL, 1989-1990
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Graduate Fellow, June-September 1989
"Beyond the First Year," Best Practices in Legal Drafting Courses, DePaul University College of Law, April 21, 2018
Law School Committees
- First Year Curriculum Committee, Subcommittee on Transactional Law, 2020
- Professor from Practice Committee, 2019-present
- Admissions & Career Services Committee, 2018-2019
Legal Activities & Awards
- Co-editor and co-author of Morrison & Foerster’s monthly Communications Law Bulletin, 2002-2010.
- Member, Advisory Board, Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), 1992-1998.
- Pro Bono Award, International Human Rights Law Group, 1992.
- Member, Board of Trustees, Court Theatre (2015-present)
- Member, Recovery on Water (women’s masters rowing team) (2012-present)