Elizabeth Bentley

Elizabeth Bentley

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
340 Mondale Hall


  • Northwestern University, B.A.
  • Harvard Law School, J.D.

Professor Elizabeth (“Betz”) Bentley is a visiting assistant professor of law and the director of the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic. She specializes in federal and state constitutional law and appellate practice.

Professor Bentley served as a law clerk to Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court of the United States during the 2017-2018 term. She previously clerked for Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge Jed S. Rakoff on the Southern District of New York.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Bentley was Special Counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar and the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson. Before that, she represented clients in federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as a member of the Issues & Appeals practice group at the law firm Jones Day. She maintained a robust pro bono practice focused on immigrants’ rights, criminal justice, and civil rights. She also contributed to a report on the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson on behalf of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. After law school, Professor Bentley was a legal fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice.

Professor Bentley is an active member of the local bar community. She serves on the executive committee of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, on the Appellate Practice Section Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association, and on the Federal Practice Committee of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. She was named by Best Lawyers in America (2022) as “One to Watch” in appellate litigation.

Constitutional Law: Federalism and Separation of Powers

Civil Rights Appellate Clinic

Civil Rights Appellate Clinic Student Directors