Search Results

Legal Education Institute (LEI) Staff

Nicole Ballenger, Esq., director, professor

Ms. Ballenger holds a bachelor of arts in political science with minors in international relations and foreign languages from Elizabethtown College, a certificate in paralegal studies from the Legal Education Institute of Widener University School of Law, and the JD degree from Widener University School of Law.

Ms. Ballenger worked as a paralegal and as an associate attorney with the Wilmington, Delaware, and Pennsville, New Jersey, law offices of Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, Siegel and Bhaya, practicing in the areas of personal injury, workers compensation, bankruptcy and social security disability. She is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, US District Court of New Jersey, and US Supreme Court.

Ms. Ballenger has been with LEI since 2004. She is a full-time faculty member. On three occasions she has been honored with the Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award. Her teaching is focused on areas of civil practice, legal research and writing, and introduction to law. Ms. Ballenger’s administrative responsibilities involve maintaining outstanding curriculum in paralegal education and American Bar Association approval for the paralegal and legal nurse consulting degree and certificate programs. She is also active in the development of skill-building workshops for court interpreters.

Erin Elizabeth Rybicki, Esq., assistant director, professor

Ms. Rybicki holds a bachelor of arts in political science with a concentration in international studies from Rowan University, the JD degree from Widener University School of Law, and a master of education (M.Ed.EdM) from Widener University Graduate School of Education, where she focused her studies on higher education administration, educational foundations, and leadership.

Prior to her career in higher education, Ms. Rybicki worked in family law. Ms. Rybicki is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and the US District Court of New Jersey. Since 2007, Ms. Rybicki has exclusively worked in higher education and has twice received the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year Award. She is a full-time faculty member and faculty advisor to the Student Legal Association (SLA) and the LEI chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) National Honor Society, and she serves as academic advisor to degree and certificate students. Ms. Rybicki is responsible for implementing numerous continuing education events, career development workshops, and professional panels each year.

Denise Manelski, office manager

Ms. Manelski graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1970 and has been employed by Widener University Law Center for 28 years. For the past 19 years she has worked in LEI where she enjoys working with students on a daily basis. Ms. Manelski processes all applications to LEI and makes sure students reach the required number of credits for graduation.  

Kristin Sheehan, administrative assistant

Ms. Sheehan graduated with a bachelor of science in elementary education from the University of Delaware.