Nels Ackerson

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Nels Ackerson
Ackerson at Purdue.jpg
Nels Ackerson campaigns at Purdue University.
Personal details
Born (1944-04-12) April 12, 1944 (age 70)
Eagletown, Indiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sharon
Alma mater Purdue University
Occupation Attorney

Nels Ackerson is the founding partner of the law firm of Ackerson Kauffman Fex and was a 2008 candidate for the United States House of Representatives in Indiana’s 4th Congressional District. He lives in Maryland and practices law in Washington DC.


Ackerson was raised on his family’s farm in Westfield, Indiana and attended Westfield public schools from elementary through high school. He attended Purdue University where he earned a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics. During his freshman year at Purdue, Ackerson served as Indiana State President of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). Prior to his sophomore year at Purdue, he took a leave of absence to serve as the National President of the Future Farmers of America, helping to lead the FFA into racial integration through a merger with the New Farmers of America, which had been a parallel organization for African-American students in the South.

While at Purdue, Ackerson was also a member of the Farm House Fraternity and was elected Student Body President. At graduation he received the G.A. Ross award given to Purdue’s most outstanding male graduate. [1]

Ackerson attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, receiving a Master in Public Policy degree, and the Harvard Law School, where he received a J.D. degree and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Ackerson lives in Potomac, Maryland. He is a practicing Presbyterian and has been married to his wife, Sharon, for 24 years.


After graduating from Harvard Law School, Ackerson joined the Indianapolis law firm Barnes, Hickam, Pantzer & Boyd (now Barnes & Thornburg). He moved to Washington DC in 1976 to work under Indiana Senator Birch Bayh serving on the staff of U.S. Senate as Chief Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution.

In 1979 Ackerson returned to Indiana and became a partner in the Noblesville law firm of Campbell Kyle Proffitt. In 1982 Ackerson became a partner at the Chicago based law firm of Sidley & Austin. He opened the firm’s office in Cairo, Egypt, the first American law firm in that country. Ackerson was managing partner of the firm’s office in Egypt before returning to the United States.

In 1991 Ackerson left Sidley Austin and founded The Ackerson Group (Now Ackerson Kauffmen Fex). The law firm specializes in the areas of complex trial and appellate litigation, government relations, international law, constitutional law, property rights, and eminent domain. The firm has been widely recognized for its advocacy of farmer and landowner rights in a nationwide series of lawsuits protesting the illegal seizure of railway corridors. [2]

Ackerson is a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and of several federal district courts and federal courts of appeal. He has represented clients in courts in more than 20 states, and has tried cases throughout the United States.

Ackerson has participated in international trade and development missions on behalf of the United States on several occasions, including serving as a member of the USDA Trade and Development Mission to Egypt and Yemen, and a member of the U.S. Advisory Delegation to the Soviet Union on the Transition to a Market Economy.

Ackerson filed to run for the U.S. Congressional seat in Indiana’s 4th Congressional District, losing to incumbent Steve Buyer. His campaign website is

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