Nancy A. Costello

Nancy A. Costello
[Hi-Res Photo]
Associate Clinical Professor of Law
Director, First Amendment Clinic and Director, Free Expression Online Library and Resource Center

Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 230C
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

  • Biography

    Professor Costello teaches Research, Writing and Advocacy from an Intellectual Property Law Perspective and teaches student clinicians in the MSU First Amendment Law Clinic. She has also taught Media Law, Copyright Law, and Intellectual Property in the Internet Age. Before joining the law college she practiced in the area of commercial litigation, defamation law, ebusiness law and collections litigation for the law firm of Dickinson Wright PLLC in Detroit. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University, and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law where she served as an editor of the Law Review and president of the Women's Law Caucus.

    Before becoming an attorney, Professor Costello worked for 15 years as a journalist writing for the Detroit Free Press, the Associated Press, the Harvard University News Office, and news organizations in Seattle, Massachusetts, Ohio and New Hampshire. As a newspaper reporter she covered the Michigan state Legislature, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted suicides, the assimilation of Southeast Asian refugees, 'Northern Exposure' doctors in the Alaskan outback, and the advent of Gorbachev's 'Perestroika' in the former Soviet Union.

  • Degrees

    J.D. University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, 1999; B.A. Michigan State University, 1981

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses

    Media Law
    (Formerly DCL 301) This class will focus on free press/free speech issues and the mass media. Subjects will include the 1st Amendment rights of reporters in print, broadcast and online journalism, as well as news gatherers' privilege, obscenity issues, and freedom of information and open meetings laws. Students will examine defamation claims involving media defendants, copyright issues facing journalists, as well privacy torts such as false light and appropriation claims. The class will also study the ethical and professional considerations of journalists.

  • Bar Admission(s)


  • Publications

    Law Review Articles

    Walking Together in a Good Way; Indian Peacemaker Courts in Michigan, Spring University of Detroit Mercy Law Review (1999)

    Allocating Blame to the Empty Chair: Tort Reform or Deform? Winter University of Detroit Mercy Law Review (1999)

    Other Publications

    Transforming the Way We Work and Play: The Future of eBusiness, Michigan Forward magazine (February 2002)

    Who’s Minding Your Ideas? Protecting Your Intellectual Property, eViewpoint (Summer 2000)