Chris Behan, USD School of Law Dean FinalistChristopher W. Behan

Professor Christopher W. Behan joined the faculty at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Law in July of 2006. He served as Acting Dean from September 2017 to July 2018 and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from July 2014 to October 2017. His research and teaching interests include evidence, military justice, criminal law, and trial advocacy pedagogy. In addition to teaching at SIU School of Law, Professor Behan teaches trial advocacy for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Justice Advocacy Africa and Lawyers without Borders. He has taught trial advocacy courses throughout the United States and in Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania. He also served as a member of the faculty of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, where he taught advanced evidence courses to state court trial judges.

Prior to joining the faculty at SIU, he was an officer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps for more than ten years. He served in a variety of legal assignments at Fort Drum, New York; Fort Riley, Kansas; and The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Professor Behan earned an L.L.M. in Military Law (Criminal Law Specialty) from the Judge Advocate General's School of the Army in 2003 and was named to the Commandant's List. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1995 and his B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University in 1992. He graduated from Brandon Valley High School in Brandon, SD, in 1986.

He is married to Valery Christiansen Behan (J. Reuben Clark Law School Class of 1994). They have seven children, three dogs and a gecko.


Neil Fulton, USD School of Law Dean FinalistNeil Fulton

Neil Fulton is a native of Miller, South Dakota. The youngest son of Tex and Annie Fulton, Neil grew up with three brothers in a ranching and rodeo family; he was a state steer wrestling champion in high school. Following graduation from Miller High School, he attended Yale University and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science in 1994.

Following college, Neil attended the University of Minnesota School of Law. He graduated summa cum laude, first in his class, in 1997. He received the Devitt Award for excellence in trial advocacy courses and the Kaplan Award for overall academic excellence at graduation. He spent two summers working with the May Adam Law Firm in Pierre during law school, trying his first jury trial in Fort Pierre between his second and third years.

Neil was a law clerk for Judge Diana Murphy of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals after graduating from law school. Judge Murphy remained a lifelong mentor, sharing a deep interest in Indian Country issues and federal sentencing policy.

After his clerkship, Neil returned to May Adam. He had a diverse practice with an emphasis on criminal law and defense of civil rights claims against state and local officials. He served as general counsel to the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance and the South Dakota Public Entity Pool for Liability, the South Dakota Bankers Association and the Office of the Governor. Neil lobbied the South Dakota legislature for a variety of public and private clients. He has significant appellate practice experience, having argued almost forty cases before the Eighth Circuit and more than ten before the South Dakota Supreme Court.

In 2007, Neil became Chief of Staff for Governor Mike Rounds. In that capacity he oversaw the day to day operations of state government, managed legislative and budgetary proposals for the Office of the Governor, drafted legislation on many issues and worked with public and private organizations across the state.

Neil was chosen by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals as Federal Public Defender for North Dakota and South Dakota in 2010. He oversees a staff of 45 lawyers, investigators and support staff in five offices across both states. Neil has his own caseload, primarily involving violent crimes arising in Indian Country and appeals. He has served on the Defender Sentencing Guideline Committee, the Performance Measurement Working Group and is co-chair of the Defender Legislative Committee. He has testified before the United States Sentencing Commission about tribal sentencing issues, violent offenses and child pornography; he has served the Sentencing Commission on both an ad hoc and standing Tribal Issues Advisory Group


Elena Langan, USD School of Law Dean FinalistElena B. Langan

Dean Elena B. Langan joined Concordia University School of Law in January 2017 with experience in teaching and working in the field of law, along with a strong commitment to student success, community engagement and furthering Concordia’s mission of preparing future leaders.

Before accepting the deanship at Concordia Law, Dean Langan served as the associate dean for academic affairs as well as a professor of law at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Previously she had served as the director of NSU’s first-year lawyering skills and values program and was appointed the law school’s interim dean during the 2013-14 academic year. In 2007, Langan accepted a faculty position at NSU. Her 25 years of prior practice experience greatly enhanced her role as a law professor, lending her instant credibility and making her all the more valuable to students eager to learn about “real-life” legal situations.

An undergraduate political science major, Dean Langan attended Johns Hopkins University. She then received a juris doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. Langan worked as an attorney in Maryland for three years before moving to Miami, Florida, where she practiced marital and family law for 22 years before she shifted from practicing to teaching law by joining the faculty of NSU.

Dean Langan is member of The Florida Bar and was Board Certified as a specialist in marital and family law by the Bar. She was also admitted to practice before the Maryland bar, the United States Supreme Court and the United States District Courts for the District of Maryland and the Southern District of Florida.