Faculty and Staff: Kathy Olson

Personal Information

In the few moments she has away from work, Kathy likes to walk or bike, read and spend time with her cats and dog - but only when there is absolutely no chance to play golf.


  • B.A. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Psychology
  • J.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Law
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, UN-L Law-Psychology Program
  • M.A. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Psychology

Areas of Interest

  • Juvenile, family and elder law
  • Legal advocacy for children and Guardian ad litem representation
  • Child protection policy
  • Child support
  • Judicial education on child welfare issues
  • Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
  • Youth Peer Courts
  • Domestic violence
  • Juvenile justice
  • Adoption and guardianship

Professional Activities & Community Service

  • Member, Nebraska State Bar Association and Lincoln Bar Association
  • Chairperson (2002), District One Committee on Inquiry (Nebraska Supreme Court appointment)
  • Nebraska Legal Services, Board of Directors
  • Nebraska Lawyers Trust Account Foundation (IOLTA), Board of Directors
  • Nebraska Permanency Planning Task Force
  • CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) of Lancaster County, Board of Directors
  • Nebraska Health and Human Services System Steering Committee on Fatherhood Issues
  • Nebraska Child and Family Services Review, Advisory Team
  • Nebraska Court Improvement Project, Advisory Board
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County, Nebraska Community Services Implementation Project, Consultant
  • Cather Circle, University of Nebraska Alumni Association, Charter Membe
  • Nebraska P.E.O. Home, Board of Trustees (Secretary)
  • Private legal practitioner since 1983 specializing in juvenile and family law

CCFL Projects

  • Child Protection and Safety Training Academy: Administration of the Center's activities under contract with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to provide competency-based training to its child protection and safety workers and juvenile services officers. Develop and conduct specialized training on juvenile law and child welfare issues, particularly related to the Adoption and Safe Families Act and Title IV-E regulations.
  • Nebraska Juvenile Law Digest: Faculty advisor for an annual publication for lawyers, judges, social service workers and other professionals that provides a quick reference to recent appellate decisions in Nebraska on areas pertinent to juvenile law, including child maltreatment, termination of parental rights, adoption, and juvenile justice.

Selected Projects/Publications

  • Tomkins, A.J. & Olson, K.A. (2002). Some initial ideas about implementation of a child-centered, neighborhood-based child protection system: Impressions from focus groups in Nebraska. In Melton, G.B., Thompson, R.A. & Small, M.A. (Eds.), Toward a child-centered, neighborhood-based child protection system. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.
  • Small, M.A., Melton, G.B., Olson, K.A., & Tomkins, A.J. (2002). Creating caring communities: The need for structural change. In Melton, G.B., Thompson, R.A. & Small, M.A. (Eds.), Toward a child-centered, neighborhood-based child protection system. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.
  • Olson, K.A. (1998). Youth courts: Teens judging teens. Family Futures, 2(3), 15.
  • Paper presentation. Olson, K.A., McKinlay, A., & Melton, G.B., "Peer-networking as a method of dissemination of information to judges on child sexual abuse." Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March, 1994.
  • Olson, K.A., (1993). Legal actions. In Bulkley, J. (Ed.), Child sexual abuse training manual: A curriculum for judges. American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law: Washington, D.C.
  • Olson, K.A., (1993). Role of the guardian ad litem. In Stick, R.S., & Brooks, C.M. (Eds.), Nebraska juvenile court manual. Nebraska Continuing Legal Education, Inc.: Lincoln, Nebraska.
Photo of Kathy Olson.