Andrea Avila

Andrea Avila, MA, JD

Andrea's research interests focus on therapeutic juriprudence, as well as law and social policy related to serious mental illness. She graduated from Providence College in 2008 with a BA in psychology. While an undergraduate, she worked as a Research Assistant at Providence College for Dr. John Colby and Dr. George Raymond, and at Brown University's Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies for Dr. Suzanne Colby. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law with a Juris Doctor in December 2015 and has been a member of the Nebraska Bar since April 2016.  While at UNL's College of Law, Andrea served as an Executive Editor for the Nebraska Law Review.  

Andrea's past practicum placements have included doing research for SAVI (Substance Abuse and Violence Initiative), Disability Rights Nebraska, and University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.   She has also participated in clinical placements in the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and is currently working with OUR Homes.  



Spaulding, W.D., Montague, E., Avila, A., & Sullivan, M.E.  (in press).  The idea of recovery.  In N.N. Singh, J.W. Barber, and S. Van Sant (Eds.), Recovery: Principles, research and practice in inpatient psychiatric hospitals

Spaulding, W.D., Cook, E., & Avila, A.  (2014).  Therapeutic jurisprudence and recovery from severe and disabling mental illness.  In B.H. Bornstein and R.L. Wiener (Eds.), Justice, conflict and wellbeing (124-148).  New York, New York: Springer Publisher. 

Avila, A. (2013). Consideration of rehabilitative factors for sentencing in federal courts: Tapia v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 2382 (2011). Nebraska Law Review, 92(2), 404–430.

Selected Presentations

Bouchard, A., Avila, A., & Spaulding, W.D.  (2015).  Mental health workers’ perceptions of cause and dangerousness: Implications for clinical care.  Poster presented at the 2015 AP-LS Annual Conference, San Diego, CA. 

Bouchard, A., Avila, A., & Spaulding, W.D.  (2014).  What causes mental illness?  Mental health workers’ causal attributions and attitudes toward treatment prognosis. Poster presented at 48th Annual ABCT Convention, Philadelphia, PA. 

Avila. A. (2014).  Did Tapia v. United States end rehabilitation in federal sentencing?  Poster presented at the 2014 AP-LS Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. 

Avila, A. (2013). Training probation officers to work with probationers with mental illness.Poster presented at 47th Annual ABCT Convention, Nashville, TN.

Davidson, C.A., Avila, A., Gallegos, Y., Bottoms, H. C., Cook, E., Hochheiser, J., & Spaulding, W. (2012). Assessment of cognitive biases in a community mental health center compared to a large undergraduate normative sample. Poster presented at 46th Annual ABCT Convention, National Harbor, MD.

Lee, J., Avila, A., DuPree, S., & Maxon, S.  (2012). Bridging generation gaps in coalition work. Paper presented at CADCA’s 24th National Leadership Conference, National Harbor, MD. 

Avila, A. (2012). Mobilizing the higher education community. Poster presented at CADCA’s 24th National Leadership Conference, National Harbor, MD.  

Colby, S.M., Colby, J.J., Avila, A., Haverinen, L., & Swanton, D. (2007). College students' evaluations of problem drinking behavior: A test of the theory of reasoned action. Paper presented at The International Conference on the Social Sciences, Honolulu, HI.

Colby, J.J., Colby, S.M., Swanton, D., Haverinen, L., & Avila, A. (2007). College students' evaluations of the current and future effects of heavy drinking: The influence of drinker and rater characteristics. Poster presented at The International Conference on the Social Sciences, Honolulu, HI.