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Marily Nixon

Professor of Practice  
Director of Online Master of Studies in Law Program 
Director of the Practical Business Law Certificate


Marily Nixon is a Professor of the Practice at Pitt Law, where she also created and directs the Online Master of Studies in Law program and the Practical Business Law certificate. She teaches law, policy, and legal skills to diverse student populations, including MSL students, JD students, licensed attorneys seeking their LLM degree, and undergraduate students.

Professor Nixon maintains a diverse teaching portfolio.  At Pitt Law, she teaches primarily in areas that relate to real property. She has special expertise in property law, land use law, legislation and regulation, local government/ administrative law, environmental law, and public lands law.  She also teaches law and legal culture to international attorneys; she directs and teaches in the Summer Institute on Law, Language and Culture at Duke University School of Law. Outside of the legal field, she teaches professional communications skills to students in technical master degree programs.  

Before beginning her teaching career, Professor Nixon practiced law for more than 20 years in Big Law (Holland & Hart LLP and Dorsey & Whitney LLP), leading nonprofit legal groups including the Southern Environmental Law Center, and a County Attorney's office in the Denver metro area. She also managed an air quality improvement initiative for The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh.  She gained her interest in matters related to property and environmental protection through seasonal work prior to law school with the National Park Service at several inspiring national park sites. 

Professor Nixon is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania.  She is also admitted in Colorado and North Carolina (both inactive). Professor Nixon received her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was a member of the Virginia Law Review, and received her BA in English and French from Duke University.

Professor Nixon is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and Colorado.  She is also admitted in North Carolina (inactive). Professor Nixon received her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was a member of the Virginia Law Review, and received her BA from Duke University.

Key/Recent Publications

Selected Publications

  • Editor, Wondwossen Demissie Kassa, Ethiopian Criminal Procedure (Washington, D.C.: American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, 2012).
  • “Marcellus Shale Lease Guide,” proposing conservation-oriented oil and gas lease terms for landowners, Pennsylvania Environmental Council (July 2011).
  • “Environmental and Social Protection Regulations,” draft of regulations applicable to Mining Industry in Afghanistan, completed under World Bank contract (Draft 2008).
  • “The Wilderness Act’s Impact on Mining Activities,” 76 Denver University Law Review 591 (1999) (with Kenneth D. Hubbard and Jeffrey A. Smith). Article reprinted in 37 The Public Land Law and Resources Digest 11 (2000).
  • “Current Regulatory Approaches to Mine Closure in the United States,” in Environmental Policy in Mining: Corporate Strategy for Closure, Lewis Publishers (Boca Raton: Lewis Publishers, 2000) (with Luke Danielson).


  • Legislation and Regulation (Fall 2019) (Law 5032)
  • Environmental Justice Law (Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019) (Law 2807)
  • Property (Spring 2019) (Law 5024)
  • Wicked Problems Innovation (Spring 2018, Spring 2019) (Law 5627)

Programs & Courses