Schedule and Speaker Bios

Schedule and Speaker Bios

Schedule is Tentative and Subject to Change

 

 

Vision for Leadership Conference Agenda

Monday, Sept. 14, - Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

Register For The Free, Virtual Conference

Monday, September 14

 
2:00 - 2:05pm EDT   ≡  1:00 - 1:05pm CDT   ≡ 
12:00 - 12:05pm MDT  ≡  11:00 - 11:05am PDT
Welcome Remarks

Leah W. Teague
Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Baylor Law
Stephen L. Rispoli
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs, Baylor Law

 
2:05 - 2:55pm EDT  ≡  1:05 - 1:55pm CDT  ≡ 
12:05 - 12:55pm MDT  ≡  11:05 - 11:55am PDT
Reflections on the Challenges Facing Legal Education

Law schools, now more than ever, need to prepare their students to be active, engaged, ethical leaders and difference-makers from the moment they graduate. This session will address current issues as well as future opportunities for law schools as they strive to achieve this goal.

Darby Dickerson
Dean and Professor of Law at UIC John Marshall Law School,
President of the Association of American Law Schools

    Supplemental Material: Law Schools and Leadership in a VUCA World - Darby Dickerson    
Leadership Lessons from the Challenges of 2020

This session explores the leadership challenges that arose in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread protests following the killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd. Lawyers have been key players in both crises, as politicians, general counsel, and leaders of protest movements, law firms, bar associations, and law enforcement agencies. Their successes and failures hold broader lessons for the profession generally.

Deborah L. Rhode
Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession, and director of Stanford's Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship.

  Supplemental Material: Draft: Leadership in Times of Social Upheaval: Lessons for Lawyers - Deborah L. Rhode    
3:00 - 4:25pm EDT  ≡  2:00 - 3:25pm CDT  ≡ 
1:00 - 2:25pm MDT  ≡  12:00 - 1:25pm PDT  
Law School Deans Panel: Leadership Programing in Law Schools
 

In recognition of the need for law schools to better prepare students for future leadership opportunities, the number of leadership development programs in law schools has skyrocketed over the past decade. Currently, more than 80 law schools have some form of leadership development programming for students. These programs provide significant opportunities for students to grow and hone skills that not only will enable them to make a positive difference for their clients and communities, but also to advance their careers. Leadership development programs also offer exciting opportunities for alumni and employers to get involved and share their leadership lessons and insights with students. Legal employers appreciate these efforts that add value in the employment relationship.

 

Moderated by:
Bradley J.B. Toben
Dean and M.C. & Mattie Caston Chair of Law, Baylor Law

Panelists:
Robert B. Ahdieh
Dean and Anthony G. Buzbee Endowed Dean's Chair, Texas A&M University School of Law
April M. Barton
Dean and Professor of Law, Duquesne University School of Law
Martin H. Brinkley
Dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
Lee Fisher
Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law, Cleveland Marshall College of Law
D. Gordon Smith
Dean and Woodruff J. Deem Professor of Law, Brigham Young University School of Law

 
4:30 - 5:30pm EDT  ≡  3:30 - 4:30pm CDT  ≡ 
2:30 - 3:30pm MDT  ≡  1:30 - 2:30pm PDT
Leadership Development Learning Outcomes and How to Implement Them
 

Many law schools are still implementing and revising their learning outcomes as required by ABA Standard 302. Learning outcomes for law schools should be developed in light of the best data available related to competencies expected by clients and legal employers. Panelists will discuss the latest research related to competencies needed at graduation to succeed in the legal profession and then describe a process for developing learning outcomes for leadership development programming. This panel will also discuss best practices for measuring outcomes after implementation.

 

Moderated by:
Neil W. Hamilton
Holloran Professor of Law and Co-director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Panelists:
Sara J. Berman
Director of Programs for Academic and Bar Success, AccessLex
Elizabeth M. Fraley
Associate Professor of Law, Baylor Law
Natalie Runyon
Director of Enterprise Content, Thomson Reuters

  Supplemental Material: Layered Progression of Learning Outcomes - Professor Neil W. Hamilton Supplemental Material: Draft: The Major Transitions in Professional Formation and Development from Being a Student to Being a Lawyer Present Opportunities to Benefit the Students and the Law School - Neil Hamilton  

Tuesday, September 15

 
 
2:00 - 2:30pm EDT   ≡  1:00 - 1:30pm CDT   ≡ 
12:00 - 12:30pm MDT  ≡  11:00 - 11:30am PDT
Keynote Address
  Co-Sponsored by: Baylor Law Women's Legal Society
MCLE ETHICS
 
This session has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 0.5 credit hours, of which 0.5 credit hours will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.

Judy Perry Martinez
Immediate-Past President, American Bar Association

 

As Immediate-Past President of the ABA, Judy will focus on members of the legal profession’s special responsibility to fight injustice, especially injustice caused by laws and practices that are racist and unjust in word or effect. She also will address the transformation occurring within the legal profession as a result of the pandemic and the need for lawyers to embrace change and innovation, including diversity and equity among our ranks, while also ensuring that people have access to essential criminal and civil legal services.

 
2:30 - 3:55pm EDT   ≡  1:30 - 2:55pm CDT   ≡ 
12:30 - 1:55pm MDT  ≡  11:30am - 12:55pm PDT
 
Women Leaders Panel
  Co-Sponsored by: Baylor Law Women's Legal Society
MCLE ETHICS
 
This session has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1 credit hour, of which 1 credit hour will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.

This panel will discuss the unique challenges that women face as leaders of an organization and in our profession. These high-profile speakers will share insights regarding best practices for women lawyers in leadership positions. Topics will include the methods by which female lawyers assemble the right legal teams for matters, strategies for dealing with adversity while delivering high-quality legal services, and leading organizations through difficult situations.

 

Moderated by:
Jerry K. Clements
Chair Emeritus, Locke Lord LLP

Panelists:
Melissa Essary
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law, Campbell Law School
Justice Eva Guzman
Supreme Court of Texas
Caren Lock
Regional Vice President and Associate General Counsel, TIAA
Judy Perry Martinez
Immediate-Past President, American Bar Association

  Supplemental Material: Top 10 tips for the November election from the 10 female ABA presidents

 


4:00 - 5:30pm EDT   ≡  3:00 - 4:30pm CDT   ≡ 
2:00 - 3:30pm MDT  ≡  1:00 - 2:30pm PDT
 
Civil Discourse Workshop- Brave Listening and Passionate Speaking
MCLE
 
This session has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1.5 credit hours.

How Leaders Facilitate Dialogue.
This session will include suggestions for encouraging civil discourse and how leaders can facilitate dialogue on difficult topics. Breakout sessions also will be included for conference participants to experience civil discourse in action.

 

Raytheon "Raye" M. Rawls
Senior Public Service Associate, University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development
Robert “Bob” R. Stains, Jr.
Principal of Bob Stains and Associates, Conflict Transformation and a Senior Associate of Essential Partners, f/k/a The Public Conversations Project.
David H. Gibbs
Visiting Leadership Fellow, University of Tennessee College of Law

 


Wednesday, September 16

 
10:00 - 11:00am EDT   ≡  9:00 - 10:00am CDT   ≡ 
8:00 - 9:00am MDT  ≡  7:00am - 8:00am PDT
 
Leadership Lessons from the Military
  Co-Sponsored by: Baylor Law Military Law Society
MCLE
 
This session has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1 credit hour.

The roles of the military and the legal profession are essential in protecting our democracy. The sacrifices of military servicemembers ensure the freedoms Americans enjoy. The legal profession is charged with protecting the rule of law – the basis of our system of democracy – and advancing society toward “a more perfect union.” For lawyers in the military, the connection between the military and law is particularly evident. This panel will discuss the military lawyer’s unique perspective on the role of the legal profession in society and give attendees some “lessons learned” that can be incorporated into their own practices and leadership programs.

 

JAG Panel
Moderated by:

Donald J. Polden
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law

Panelists:
Vice Admiral John G. Hannink
Judge Advocate General, United States Navy
Brig. Gen. R. Patrick Huston
Assistant Judge Advocate General for Military Law and Operations, United States Army
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Rockwell
Judge Advocate General, United States Air Force

 

 


12:30 - 1:55pm EDT   ≡  11:30am - 12:55pm CDT   ≡ 
10:30 - 11:55am MDT  ≡  9:30 - 10:55am PDT
 
Leadership of Differences
  Co-Sponsored by: Baylor Law Diversity in Law Association

This panel will discuss the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the legal profession. Diversity also impacts the important conversations about access to justice initiatives. This panel will also discuss the benefits of creating an inclusive environment within a law firm or organization to help lawyers assemble better teams, improve lawyer/client relationships, and achieve more positive outcomes.

 

Moderated by:
Kellye Y. Testy
President and Chief Executive Officer, Law School Admission Council

Panelists:
Garry Jenkins
Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School
Degna Levister
Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Access Initiatives, City University of New York School of Law
Kathy Seward Northern
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
 

  Each month, Deans Emeritus Kellye Testy (LSAC CEO) and Ken Randall (iLaw President) lead an expert panel of law school deans and other industry experts in an engaging online discussion of today’s important topics surrounding legal education and leadership. PODCAST: Live with Kellye and Ken  

 


2:00 - 3:30pm EDT   ≡  1:00 - 2:30pm CDT   ≡ 
12:00 - 1:30pm MDT  ≡  11:00am - 12:30pm PDT
 
Beyond the Statements
  Co-Sponsored by: Black Law Students Association
 
MCLE
 
This session has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1.5 credit hours.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King penned Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.

Lawyers are the stewards of the rule of law and have highly distinctive capabilities as leaders. They hence have a special role and responsibility to play in addressing societal ills. They must ask the piercing questions about how we can do better – and then act. Law schools have the responsibility to foster these conversations, develop leaders, and equip law students to be change agents.

Many law school deans issued statements condemning racism and violence in the wake of recent tragedies. This session is a focused conversation about the response that law schools must now make.

Moderated by:
Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley Law

Panelists:
Mark C. Alexander
Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Mario L. Barnes
Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law
Paulette Brown
Senior Partner and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Locke Lord LLP. Past-president American Bar Association
Angela Onwuachi-Willig
Dean and Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
 


Thursday, September 17

 
1:30 - 2:55pm EDT   ≡  12:30 - 1:55pm CDT   ≡ 
11:30am - 12:55pm MDT  ≡  10:30 - 11:55am PDT
 
Lawyers as Public Servants
  Co-Sponsored by: LEAD Counsel, part of the LEAD Conference
MCLE ETHICS
 
This session has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1 credit hour, of which 1 credit hour will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.

Lawyers have historically played a vital role in the preservation in society. As guardians of democracy, this role can be fulfilled in a variety of ways: whether it be with a pro bono case, through the cost-effective delivery of quality services to the underserved, in the state or local bar to benefit other lawyers and encouraging them to serve as well, or as publicly-elected officials. This panel will highlight opportunities and benefits of service.

 

Moderated by:
Judge Ed Kinkeade
District Judge, U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas

Panelists:
Kyle Deaver
Mayor, City of Waco
Britney E. Harrison
President, Texas Young Lawyers Association
Judge Lora Livingston
261st Civil District Court, Travis County, Texas
Sen. Kirk Watson
Founding Dean of Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston

 
3:00 - 3:55pm EDT   ≡  2:00 - 2:55pm CDT   ≡ 
1:00 - 1:55pm MDT  ≡  12:00 - 12:55pm PDT
 
Access to Justice and the Role that Law Schools Play
  Co-Sponsored by: Baylor Public Interest Legal Society
MCLE ETHICS
 
This session has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1 credit hour, of which 1 credit hour will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.

Access to justice is fundamental to the rule of the law – the notion that every person can appeal to the court system to peacefully resolve disputes. Yet access to justice is elusive for many Americans. Few are able to meaningfully access the courts. The implications of this issue threaten our democracy.

This discussion will include the challenges that our society and the legal profession face regarding the lack of access to the courts. Also included will be advice to law school faculty and staff regarding best practices for preparing law students to address access to justice issues.

 

Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht
Supreme Court of Texas

Interviewed by:
George T. "Buck" Lewis
Shareholder, Baker Donelson

Supplemental Material: ABA Free Legal Answers PowerPoint Presentation Supplemental Material: ABA Free Legal Answers Report - August 2020 Supplemental Material: ABA Free Legal Answers Video   
4:00 - 5:00pm EDT   ≡ 3:00 - 4:00pm CDT  ≡ 
2:00 - 3:00pm MDT  ≡ 1:00 - 2:00pm PDT
MCLE ETHICS
 
This session has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1 credit hour, of which 1 credit hour will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.
 
  Banner image for John Grisham Session at Vision for Leadership Conference  
The Lawyer as Leader

John Grisham discusses the Lawyer as Leader with Talmage Boston:

John Grisham, author of A Time to KillThe FirmThe Pelican Brief, and a broad array of other perennial best-selling books, will be interviewed at the conclusion of the conference by attorney and author Talmage Boston. The dialog will focus upon the imperative for lawyers to lead in the many venues in which they live and work. The interchange between Mr. Grisham and Mr. Boston will be wide-ranging, but will be anchored in a siren call to lead in the public and private sectors. 

Topics will include: (i.) how Grisham has used his novels to address wrongs and inequities within our legal system, as he has done in The Innocent ManThe Guardians, and The Appeal; (ii.) how he is using his Theo Boone series to teach kids and adolescents about the legal system; (iii.) his thoughts about, and involvement in, the Innocence Project movement; (iv.) the importance of legal aid and access-to-justice programs; and (v.) advancing the cause of the No Kid Hungry program.

Join us for this engaging and enlightening time with one of America’s foremost authors 

Introduced by:
Bradley J.B. Toben
Dean and M.C. & Mattie Caston Chair of Law, Baylor Law

Interviewed by:
Talmage Boston
Partner, Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP

  John Grisham's Books     Talmage Boston's Books  

 


5:00pm - 5:15pm EDT   ≡ 4:00 - 4:15pm CDT   ≡ 
3:00 - 3:15pm MDT  ≡ 2:00 - 2:15pm PDT
 
Closing Remarks

Closing remarks and final announcements for the 2020 Vision for Leadership Conference. This short wrap-up will include announcement about upcoming leadership and MCLE opportunities.

 

Leah W. Teague
Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Baylor Law
Stephen L. Rispoli
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs, Baylor Law

 

 


 

About the Speakers


 

Leah W. Teague
Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Baylor Law

Associate Dean Leah W. Teague’s 28-year tenure as an associate dean is unique in law school academe, especially at the same law school. When asked why and how she has been able to stay in this position when the average tenure at most other law schools is three to six years, her reply is, “I love Baylor Law and I believe in our mission. Baylor Law is a very special place. Baylor is rich in the tradition of faculty, staff, and even deans loving what they do here and choosing to stay long term. Dean Toben and I are in our 28th year working together for the law school and we have an incredible faculty who are just as committed as we are to our first priority—teaching and training the next generation of Baylor Lawyers. We have a great working relationship among the faculty and staff and we have talented and hard-working students. I am truly blessed to be part of the Baylor Law team.”

Dean Teague comes from a three-generation Baylor Law family. She followed in her father’s and brother’s footsteps and attended Baylor University (1983, B.B.A., summa cum laude). She never looked at another law school, even though she was fairly certain at the time she entered Baylor Law that with her accounting background she was not likely to want to be a trial lawyer. She recalls that she was surprised to find that she “enjoyed” the Practice Court experience, as much as one can, and she recognizes the valuable training and professional development gained through the experience which has served her well. After earning her J.D. cum laude in 1985, she entered private practice with the Waco law firm of Naman Howell Smith & Lee, where she practiced for four years in the firm’s business section. Her primary interest and focus was tax planning.

In addition to her administrative duties she teaches tax classes and the Leadership Engagement and Development course, which is part of Baylor Law’s unique Leadership Development Program. She also serves as the chair of the university’s Illuminate Steering Committee, a university faculty committee charged with assisting with the university academic strategic plan.

Dean Teague recognizes that being a lawyer is a privilege that requires her to give back to society. She is a member of the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network Executive Council and past chair for Texas Women in Higher Education. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Texas Federal Tax Institute. This year she joined the initial board of directors of Waco Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Collaborative, Inc., She is an elected member of the Texas Bar Foundation and a past president of the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association and Midway Education Foundation. She is an alumna of the Leadership Texas and Leadership America programs. She has been recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus for Leadership Waco and a Woman of Distinction by the Bluebonnet Council of Girl Scouts. Having participated in two Oxford Round Tables on the topic of the status of women leaders in society, she is highly involved in women’s leadership development efforts. She writes and speaks on tax, business, nonprofit, and leadership topics.

Dean Teague and her husband Ted are very active in the Waco community. Dean Teague’s two daughters and son-in-law are graduates of Baylor University. One of her daughters is also a graduate of Baylor Law.



Stephen L. Rispoli
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs, Baylor Law

Stephen L. Rispoli earned his political science degree from Baylor University in 2009, his J.D. from Baylor Law in 2012, and his LL.M. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2018.

Stephen worked as a District Director for former Texas State Representative Carol Kent. He describes his time working in the 81st Legislature as the experience that fostered his interest in the law. During law school, Stephen was active in student organizations, serving as the Executive President for the Student Bar Association, and Justice for the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. One of his most rewarding experiences in law school was interning for Federal Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Manske. While working for Judge Manske, Stephen learned a great deal about Federal procedure and the judicial process.

Service has always been an integral part of the law school’s mission and one to which Stephen has been dedicated since starting his career at Baylor Law. Stephen worked with Professor Bridget Fuselier on providing legal services to veterans and helped organize and expand the Veterans Clinic. The Veterans Clinic provides monthly clinics along with a dedicated estate planning clinic every year. As the Assistant Dean of Pro Bono Programs, Stephen is also actively involved in all other areas of pro bono service at Baylor Law. Stephen describes pro bono work at Baylor as a great learning experience for the students and much-needed help for the Waco community. He also strives to learn more about the access to justice gap our nation is facing, and what legal education can do to help.

Another integral part of Baylor Law’s mission is to prepare all students to be competent, ethical lawyers as soon as they cross the graduation stage and pass the bar. As Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Stephen is always seeking new ways to accomplish this mission and help law students succeed at Baylor Law. Although Stephen believes that law school should be a challenging learning experience, he also believes that health and wellness are essential components of preparing to enter the practice of law. His goal is for the law school to help students develop lifelong habits that help address the stresses of the practice of law. In addition, he provides guidance and support to student organizations, working with them to achieve their goals and enhance the law school experience.

Stephen assisted Professor Jeremy Counseller in developing the St Andrews Academy of the Advocate, and continues to be involved as co-director of the program. Every summer, the Academy brings law students from around the country to St. Andrews, Scotland and immerses them in the art of trial and appellate advocacy.

Stephen’s wife, Jeanine, is a family lawyer who started her own law firm – Rispoli Law Firm, PLLC. In his free time, Stephen enjoys spending time with his wife and Khaleesi, their black lab, hunting, fishing, sailing, skeet shooting, and working on his 1968 Ford Torino.



Deborah L. Rhode
Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession, and director of Stanford's Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship.

Deborah L. Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Yale College and received her JD from Yale Law School. She clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1979.

She is the founding chair of the Section on Leadership of the Association of American Law Schools and was the founding president of the International Association of Legal Ethics, a former president of the Association of American Law Schools, a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, a former founding director of Stanford’s Center on Ethics, a former director of Stanford’s Institute of Research on Women and Gender, a former director of Stanford’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship, and a former trustee of Yale University. She worked as counsel to the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton.

She is the nation’s most frequently cited scholar on legal ethics. She is the author of 30 books in the fields of professional responsibility, leadership, and gender, law and public policy. She has received the American Bar Association’s Michael Franck award for contributions to the field of professional responsibility; the American Bar Foundation’s W. M. Keck Foundation Award for distinguished scholarship on legal ethics, the American Foundation’s Distinguished Scholar award, the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for her work on expanding public service opportunities in law schools, and the White House’s Champion of Change award for a lifetime’s work in increasing access to justice.



Darby Dickerson
Dean and Professor of Law at UIC John Marshall Law School, President of the Association of American Law Schools

Darby Dickerson became Dean and Professor of Law at The John Marshall Law School in December 2016. She is the President of the Association of American Law Schools during 2020. In 2016, she was named one of the “most influential people in legal education” by National Jurist.

From July 2011 until December 2016, she served as Dean and the W. Frank Newton Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law. Before that, she served as Interim Dean and Dean at Stetson University College of Law in Florida from 2003–2011. She started her full-time academic career at Stetson, joining the faculty in 1995. At Stetson, she also served in a wide variety of other administrative roles, including Vice Dean, Associate Dean, Director of Legal Research & Writing, Moot Court Board Director, and Law Review Advisor.

A nationally known leader in legal education, Dickerson is active in the Association of American Law Schools. In addition to serving as President, she also is serving her second term on the Executive Committee. She is a past Chair of several AALS sections, including the Section for the Law School Dean and the Section on Institutional Advancement. She chaired the AALS Deans Forum Steering Committee during 2019 and also has served on the Membership Review Committee.

She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a Past President and current Board Member of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers, and a former Director of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. She is active in the American Inns of Court, having been part of four Inns: The Mac Taylor Inn in Dallas, the Ferguson-White Inn of Court in Tampa (where she served on the Executive Board and as President), the Texas Tech University School of Law Inn of Court in Lubbock (where she was a founding member and on the executive committee), and the Chicago Inn of Court. She has also been active in bar activities at the local, state, and national level.

Dickerson received her B.A. and M.A. from the College of William & Mary, and her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. Following law school, she clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then practiced commercial litigation with the firm now known as Locke Lord in Dallas, Texas. In 1995, she was named both Outstanding Young Lawyer in Dallas and Outstanding Director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. In January 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the Darby Dickerson Award for Revolutionary Change in Legal Writing, named by the Association of Legal Writing Directors to honor her contributions to legal writing. In 2018, she received the AALS Section of Legal Writing, Research, and Reasoning’s lifetime achievement award. She has also received a variety of awards for her professional, charitable, and community service.



Bradley J.B. Toben
Dean and M.C. & Mattie Caston Chair of Law, Baylor Law

Bradley J.B. Toben looks upon his position as dean of Baylor Law, indeed he looks upon the profession of law, as a way to help individuals, his community and our larger society. “The law is a calling to serve. As lawyers, we meet people in their hour of greatest need. Their family relationships, their property, their business interests, and maybe even their civil liberties may be at stake. They're scared, worried, and feel adrift, and they come to their lawyer for guidance and solutions they can trust,” he said. “I hope all our law students adopt the mindset that they are not in this profession to advance self, for prestige or for hoped-for financial security - they are here to serve others. This truly is a vocation.” Dean Toben graduated from Baylor Law with the J.D. degree, with honors, in 1977, after completing his B.A., with honors, in political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received the LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 1981 and then taught at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.

He joined the Baylor Law faculty in 1983 and was named as Dean of the Law School in 1991. His academic interests have focused in the areas of commercial law and the relationship of debtors and creditors under state and federal law.

Dean Toben, the M.C. and Mattie Caston Professor of Law, is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served by appointment of the Governor of Texas as a Commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He has been recognized as an Outstanding Young Alumnus of Baylor University. He also has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and has received the University of Missouri-St. Louis Distinguished Alumni Political Science Award. Dean Toben was recently recognized by the Texas Trial Lawyers Association at a reception in his honor, for “exemplary service and commitment as a guiding light in legal scholarship and the pursuit of justice.”

Additionally, Dean Toben has participated regularly in accreditation and membership inspections of law schools for the American Bar Association and Association of American Law Schools, and has been active in the State Bar of Texas, especially in the bankruptcy specialization certification program. He is licensed in Texas and Missouri, practiced in St. Louis, Missouri, and was previously of counsel to the firm of Dawson & Sodd in Texas. He is a Master of the Bench in the Judge Abner V. McCall American Inns of Court and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. Dean Toben has been active in numerous civic and charitable activities and has served as an elder, trustee, deacon, and chair of the board of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For many years, he also has taught an adult Sunday School class at Central Christian. His wife, Beth, is a long time child sexual assault and abuse prosecutor. The Tobens have two children.



Robert B. Ahdieh
Dean, Texas A&M University School of Law

A graduate of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Yale Law School, Robert B. Ahdieh served as law clerk to Judge James R. Browning of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before his selection for the Honor's Program in the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice.

While still in law school, Ahdieh published what remains one of the seminal treatments of the constitutional transformation of post-Soviet Russia: "Russia's Constitutional Revolution—Legal Consciousness and the Transition to Democracy." Ahdieh's work has also appeared in the Boston University Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, NYU Law Review, and Southern California Law Review, among other journals.

Ahdieh’s scholarly interests revolve around questions of regulatory and institutional design, especially in the financial arena. His particular focus has been on various non-traditional regulatory structures and modes of regulation, including those grounded in dynamics of coordination. Though relatively less studied in the legal literature, the framework of coordination holds significant promise both in helping us theorize existing regulatory patterns and in defining new regulatory constructs for the future.

Ahdieh has served as a visiting professor at Columbia and Georgetown law schools, as well as at Princeton University. He has also visited at the Institute for Advanced Study, at the University of British Columbia, the University of Warsaw, and Singapore Management University, among other overseas institutions.



April M. Barton
Dean and Professor of Law, Duquesne University School of Law

April M. Barton became the new dean of the School of Law on July 1, 2019. She succeeds the Hon. Maureen Lally-Green, who has served as dean since 2017.

Barton most recently served as associate dean for academic affairs at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. In that role, she oversaw the academic program and successfully launched numerous initiatives on leadership development, including a student Lawyers as Leaders program and a new course, Leadership and Management Skills for Lawyers.

At Villanova, Barton taught a course on administrative agency rulemaking and also has taught classes on computer law, the First Amendment and regulation in cyberspace and digital law. She previously served as director of the University's JD/MBA and JD/MPA joint degree programs as well as director of academic compliance and distance learning. Barton also served as assistant dean for academic computing and was the faculty director of the Global Democracy Project.

In addition to authoring Best Practices for Building a High-Tech Law School: The Process of Designing Educational Spaces published by the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Barton's work has been published in the Washington University Law Review, and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology. She has presented and moderated discussions on innovations in law school teaching, law school distance learning, technology and classrooms of the future at Harvard Law School, New York Law School, the Gruter Institute, Carnegie Mellon University and the National Association of Attorneys General and Appellate Chiefs, among others. Barton also has testified before the U.S. Congressional Commission on Online Child Protection and the European Commission for Democracy through Law, Venice Commission, in Brussels.



Martin H. Brinkley
Dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

Martin H. Brinkley is Dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor of Law. Brinkley came to the deanship in 2015 directly from practice, the first person to do so in the modern history of the Law School. In his more than two decades at the bar, he practiced in the fields of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and regulated industries, public finance and charitable organizations law. He has been recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers and Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America.

At the law school, Brinkley teaches a transition-to-practice course on mergers and acquisitions. He has research interests in American legal history and the legal institutions of ancient Greece and Rome.

Brinkley is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B. summa cum laude, Classics) and the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was executive articles editor of the North Carolina Law Review. He clerked for Chief Judge Sam J. Ervin, III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Prior to law school, he was a fellow in papyrology at the University of Cologne. In 2011-12 Dean Brinkley served as President of the North Carolina Bar Association. He was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2003. He was the 2017 recipient of the Bar Association’s H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award and an Honorary Master of the Bench of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.

Brinkley has served on the boards of or acted as pro bono counsel to dozens of nonprofit institutions with charitable, religious, artistic and educational missions. He is Vice Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and a former Senior Warden, Junior Warden and Vestryman of his parish. He is a passionate musician, performing as pianist of the Fairview Chamber Players and studying with Mimi Solomon and Myriam Avalos Teie. He is also an oboe student of Joseph Robinson, former Principal Oboe of the New York Philharmonic.



Lee Fisher
Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Lee Fisher is the Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University.

Fisher’s diverse career has spanned the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors. In addition to serving as Dean, he is Senior Fellow, Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs, and Urban Scholar, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and the Great Cities Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago. Fisher served as President/CEO of CEOs for Cities, nationwide innovation network for city success, for six years.

Fisher clerked for Judge Paul C. Weick of the U.S Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. He has decades of experience in legal practice, most extensively with Cleveland-based Hahn Loeser as Of Counsel from 1978-1990 and Partner from 1995-1999. He served as Ohio Attorney General and was the first Ohio Attorney General to personally argue cases before the Ohio Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

In addition to serving as Attorney General, Fisher has served as Ohio Lt. Governor; Director, Ohio Department of Development; Chair, Ohio Third Frontier Commission; State Senator; and State Representative. He also served as President and CEO of the Centers for Families and Children. Fisher is a graduate of Oberlin College and served on the Oberlin College Board of Trustees for 12 years. He earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law; he was the first recipient of the School of Law’s Distinguished Recent Graduate Award and was inducted in the School of Law’s Society of Benchers. He also earned his Master of Nonprofit Organization from the CWRU Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations.

Fisher is married to Peggy Zone Fisher, President and CEO of the Diversity Center for Northeast Ohio. They have two children, Jason, an actor in Los Angeles, and Jessica, a 2018 graduate of Cleveland State University.



D. Gordon Smith
Dean and Woodruff J. Deem Professor of Law, Brigham Young University School of Law

Dean Smith is a leading figure in the field of law and entrepreneurship and has done foundational work on fiduciary theory. He has also made important contributions to the academic literature on corporate governance and transactional lawyering. After writing extensively about venture capital contracts early in his career, Dean Smith began thinking more broadly about the connections between law and entrepreneurship. Among other works, two articles with Darian Ibrahim of William & Mary Law School are aimed at advancing the nascent field of law and entrepreneurship. Law and Entrepreneurial Opportunities, 98 Cornell L. Rev. 1533 (2013); Entrepreneurs on Horseback: Reflections on the Organization of Law, 50 Ariz. L. Rev. 71 (2008). Dean Smith served as the associate director of the Initiative for Studies in Technology Entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin, where he launched the annual Law & Entrepreneurship Retreat. More recently, he co-founded (with Brian Broughman of the Indiana University School of Law) the Law & Entrepreneurship Association, a scholarly society that encourages the study of law and entrepreneurship by organizing conferences and building networks of scholars. He is also one of the founding faculty members of the Crocker Innovation Fellowship at BYU.

A Delaware corporate lawyer, Professor Smith has written extensively on fiduciary law, including two foundational pieces -- The Shareholder Primacy Norm, 23 J. Corp. L. 277 (1998) and The Critical Resource Theory of Fiduciary Duty, 55 Vand. L. Rev. 1399 (2002) -- that have become standard citations in the field. One of his more recent works, Fiduciary Discretion, 75 Ohio State L.J. 609 (2014) (with Jordan C. Lee), continues his effort to build an overarching theory of fiduciary law. Professor Smith also co-authors a popular teaching casebook, Business Organizations: Cases, Problems & Case Studies, with Professor Cynthia Williams of Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, and he is editing The Research Handbook on Fiduciary Law (Edward Elgar) with Andrew Gold of DePaul University College of Law.

Throughout his career, Dean Smith has been active in developing scholarly communities. In 2004 he co-founded (with Christine Hurt, also of BYU Law School) The Conglomerate Blog, a popular law professor blog focusing on business law. He has served as Chair of the Section on Business Associations in the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), and he participated in the creation of the Section on Transactional Law and Skills, for which he currently serves as Secretary. In 2009 he served on the planning committee for the AALS Workshop on Transactional Law. During that same year, he co-founded the annual Rocky Mountain Junior Scholars Forum. In 2012 he co-founded (with Afra Afsharipour of UC Davis School of Law) the Transactional Law Workshop, a monthly virtual gathering of transactional law scholars. And in 2013, he co-founded (with Colleen Baker) the Business Ethics Book Club, a virtual book club of law professors, who meet once a semester to discuss a recent work on business ethics.

During his five years as the Associate Dean of Faculty and Curriculum (2009-14), BYU Law School developed a large number of new course offerings, including a Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic. He has taught at six law schools in the U.S., as well as law programs in Australia, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, and Hong Kong. Before entering academe, Dean Smith clerked for Judge W. Eugene Davis in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and was an associate in the Delaware office of the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.



Neil W. Hamilton
Holloran Professor of Law and Co-director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Neil W. Hamilton received his B.A. from Colorado College, his M.A. in Economics (Industrial Organizations) from the University of Michigan, and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Professor Hamilton is Holloran Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He served as Interim Dean in 2012 and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs twice at St. Thomas. From 1980-2001, he served as Trustees Professor of Regulatory Policy at William Mitchell College of Law. He has taught Professional Responsibility and an ethics seminar to law students and professionals for over 30 years. He is the author of four books, over seventy law journal articles, and over 100 shorter articles as a bi-monthly columnist on professionalism and ethics for the Minnesota Lawyer from 1999-2012. Most recently, he published Roadmap: The Law Student’s Guide to Preparing and Implementing a Successful Plan for Meaningful Employment (ABA Books 2015), which received the American Bar Association’s Gambrell Award for excellence in professionalism.

Among other awards from the practicing bar, the Minnesota State Bar Association gave him its highest honor, the Professional Excellence Award, in 2004. He received the University of St. Thomas Presidential Award for Excellence as a Teacher and Scholar in 2009. And in 2012, Minnesota Lawyer honored him again for outstanding service to the profession and placed him in its Circle of Merit for those who have been honored more than once.

The Holloran Center, which Professor Hamilton directs, focuses on interdisciplinary research, curriculum development, and programs to help the next generation form professional identities with a moral core of responsibility for self and responsibility and service to others. Hamilton’s research and scholarship likewise focuses on the professional formation of new entrants into the ethics of the professions, particularly the legal profession.



Sara J. Berman
Director of Programs for Academic and Bar Success, AccessLex

Sara J. Berman received a B.A. in political science and French literature from the University of California - Santa Barbara and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. Her publications include Pass the Bar Exam: A Practical Guide to Achieving Academic and Professional Goals and Bar Exam MPT Preparation & Experiential Learning for Law Students: Interactive Performance Test Training and she regularly contributes to The Learning Curve, the official newsletter of the AALS Section on Academic Support.

Ms. Berman became the Director of Programs for Academic and Bar Success of AccessLex on January 29, 2018. Prior to this position at AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence, Ms. Berman served as Director of Critical Skills and Bar Success Programs at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law. Ms. Berman had served as a Professor of Law since 1998 and had lectured nationwide for bar reviews for more than two decades, preparing students for both substantive and skills portions of bar exams across the country.



Elizabeth M. Fraley
Associate Professor of Law, Baylor Law

Professor Fraley graduated from Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1985 before attending Baylor Law. While at Baylor Law, she was a member of the Baylor Law Review and active in national moot court and mock trial teams. Following graduation, she joined Scott, Douglass & Luton (now Scott, Douglass & McConnico) in Austin, becoming a partner in three years. Professor Fraley then opened Fraley & Fraley, LLP in Dallas in 1995 where she served as managing partner. The firm and Professor Fraley hold an AV Preeminent rating of 5.0/5.0 with Martindale Hubbell. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and various U.S. District Courts. Her practice focuses on litigation and mediating medical malpractice claims, professional licensing claims, and business and commercial disputes, and she has tried more than fifty civil jury trials.

For years, Professor Fraley served as adjunct faculty for Baylor Law and SMU, teaching trial advocacy. She joined the Baylor Law faculty as a full-time professor in 2015. She is a frequent faculty member for NITA’s Southern Deposition Institute and serves as trial faculty for the Notre Dame Law School Intensive Trial Academy. She also serves on the faculty of Baylor Law’s Academy of the Advocate in St Andrews, Scotland and works with the Law School’s mock trial teams.

Professor Fraley is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and has served on the Masters in Trial team. She is president-elect of the Waco ABOTA Chapter. She is a member of the Abner V. McCall Inn of Court where she serves as a Master. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly annually since 2004 and has been named a Best Lawyer in Dallas by D Magazine annually since 2011. She is a frequent CLE speaker and contributor. She is the author of the updated version of Texas Courtroom Evidence.

Professor Fraley teaches Practice Court III at Baylor Law. This mandatory course focuses on trial and post-trial procedure, summary judgments, and jury selection. During this course, students plead, discover, and try a lawsuit from start to finish. Additionally, she assists Professor Gerald Powell, Director of the Practice Court program, in Practice Court II, which focuses on trial evidence, procedure, and advocacy. She teaches trial advocacy skills, including witness examination, opening statements, and closing arguments.

While serving full-time at Baylor Law, Professor Fraley also maintains a trial practice and actively tries cases. Periodically, her students have the opportunity to observe her in trial and are able to watch the techniques taught in her classroom put into practice in the courtroom.

Professor Fraley is a half-marathon runner, a traveler, and the proud mother of three children, twins Zach and Alex, and Katie.



Natalie Runyon
Director of Enterprise Content, Thomson Reuters

Natalie Runyon earned her M.B.A. from The George Washington University and her B.S. in International Trade and Finance from Louisiana State University. She completed an Organization Development & Leadership certificate from NYU in April 2016 and is a Certified Leadership Coach and Certified Protection Professional. She resides in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Natalie has more than 20 years of experience working and volunteering for multinational corporations, non profits, and the US Government - Thomson Reuters, Goldman Sachs, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Currently, she is the director of enterprise content for talent, inclusion and culture within the brand marketing function of Thomson Reuters. Before her current role, she ran the strategy and operations team supporting key account programs within the Legal business, and before that, she ran global security in the Americas for three years. As a volunteer leader, she has led strategic leadership and change initiatives on the global and local levels for business resource groups at Thomson Reuters.

Natalie is a conference speaker and an author of articles for the Legal Executive Institute, The Glass Hammer, Security magazine, and CSO Online. Natalie was named one of the Top 20 under 40 in Security Director News in 2013. She also serves on the board of She Should Run, a non-partisan nonprofit focused on building the pipeline of women to run for elected public office in the U.S.; and the board of Middle Church, a faith institution in the East Village dedicated to nurturing souls, advocating for social justice, and standing up for those within marginalized communities.



Judy Perry Martinez
Immediate Past-President, American Bar Association

Judy Perry Martinez of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans is president of the American Bar Association, the largest voluntary association of attorneys and legal professionals in the world. Over the past 35 years, Martinez has held various leadership positions with the ABA, including chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all nominees to the federal bench. Earlier, she served as the ABA’s lead representative to the United Nations and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee.

She also has served on numerous ABA committees dealing with critical issues in law and society. She served as chair of the ABA’s Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services and its Commission on Domestic Violence. She was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, and the Council of the ABA Center on Diversity.

Between 2003 and 2015, while at Northrop Grumman Corporation, Martinez served as assistant general counsel-litigation before becoming vice president and chief compliance officer in 2011. After retiring from the aerospace technology industry, she spent a year as a fellow in residence at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. Martinez returned to Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, where she had worked as a commercial litigator from 1982 to 2003, rising to partner and member of the management committee.

Martinez has held several leadership positions within the New Orleans and Louisiana State Bar Associations, and she served on the board of the Innocence Project-New Orleans, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and as an officer of the World Justice Project. She also has served as a Distinguished Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellow for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

Among her various honors, Martinez received the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Counsel, the Distinguished Attorney Award from the Louisiana Bar Foundation, the Alliance for Justice Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Michelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys. She was honored in 2017 with the Louisiana State Bar Association’s David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the New Orleans Bar Association’s Presidents’ Award.

She is a member of the board of directors of the American Bar Foundation, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute.

Martinez earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and her juris doctor, with honors, from Tulane Law School.



Patricia Wilson
Professor of Law, Baylor Law

Professor Patricia A. (Pat) Wilson has been a member of the Baylor Law faculty since 1993. Her teaching responsibilities include Employment Discrimination, Employment Relations, Labor Law, and Family Law. She taught the first year Property course for 12 years, and she has also taught courses on Antitrust, Intellectual Property, Consumer Protection, and Legal Writing. Professor Wilson serves as the Minority Law Student Advisor. She is currently taking a hiatus from serving as the Faculty Advisor to Baylor Law's Client Counseling Team given her duties as a member of the ABA Law Student Division Competitions Committee, which include writing the problems used in the Regional and National Client Counseling Competitions.

Professor Wilson speaks regularly at continuing legal education seminars in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago on such topics as legal ethics and complex real estate negotiations. She has presented and led discussions at the Oxford Round Tables at Oxford University on gender issues in the tenure process. She is a former member of the State Bar of Texas Consumer and Commercial Law Council, and served as the Council secretary from August 2006 to July 2008. She is currently contributing editor for the Family Law section of the General Practice Digest of the State Bar of Texas. Wilson is a trained mediator and she is actively involved in the Waco community and serves on the boards of a number of local and national nonprofit organizations.



Jerry K. Clements
Chair Emeritus, Locke Lord LLP

Named One of the Top 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers by the National Law Journal and one of 30 Extraordinary Women in Texas Law by Texas Lawyer, Jerry Clements is Chair Emeritus of Locke Lord LLP after serving as Chair of the Firm from 2006-2017. She has been recognized as a Baylor Lawyer of the Year and been named one of the "Top Ten Litigators" in Dallas. During her more than 35 years of litigation experience, Jerry has worked collaboratively with high-level executives representing their Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries and built an impressive record of resolutions in complex disputes in the area of commercial litigation.

Under Jerry’s leadership, Locke Lord rose in the American Lawyer rankings from No. 110 to No. 60 and its annual revenue increased from $222 million to $449 million. She strengthened the Firm’s deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, and received numerous recognitions for its efforts. During her tenure as Chair, Locke Lord tripled the number of women and diverse lawyers in Firm management and nearly doubled the number of women and diverse lawyers in practice group leadership.

She also has extensive experience in corporate governance, having structured two significant law firm mergers during her tenure as Chair and has served as a Regent on the Baylor University Board of Regents since 2011. At Baylor, she currently serves as Chair of the Board of Regents. She also has served on committees dealing with audit and compliance, development, and governance, compensation and nominating.



Melissa Essary
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law, Campbell Law School

Melissa Essary joined Campbell Law School as its fourth dean in July 2006 following a 16-year career as a professor at Baylor University School of Law. Essary served as Campbell Law Dean for six years before moving into a full-time faculty position in July 2012.

Essary is a 1982 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a 1985 magna cum laude graduate of the Baylor University School of Law. While studying at Baylor Law, she served as Executive Editor of the Baylor Law Review. Following graduation, she served as a trial lawyer for two Texas firms, most notably the Vinson and Elkins firm of Dallas, where she litigated complex commercial cases.

Essary joined the faculty at Baylor Law in 1990 where she served with great distinction, teaching courses primarily in Employment Discrimination Law and Torts Law. She was a popular instructor, scholar, and speaker at Baylor and was awarded the university’s Outstanding Tenured Teacher Award in 2001. The Texas Bar Foundation awarded her the Outstanding Law Journal Article Award in 1997 for a series of articles entitled “Privacy in the Workplace.”

Upon joining Campbell Law, Essary immediately became a vital member of the Campbell University leadership team. In October 2007, the Campbell University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to relocate the law school from its traditional home on the Campbell campus in Buies Creek to a new location in the heart of downtown Raleigh, following the recommendation of a task force that she led. Under Essary’s leadership, the law school realized unprecedented demand from highly credentialed prospective students, raised the profile and scholarship of law faculty, and developed new business and community partnerships throughout Raleigh and across the state.

Essary has been appointed by the North Carolina Chief Justice to a three-year term on the Committee on Professionalism. She serves on the Wake County Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee. She recently completed a second term as Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Law School Liaison Committee. An active member of the Raleigh community, Essary serves on the board of directors of the Triangle/Eastern NC chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and its Development Committee, as well as on the Board of Governors of the Brier Creek Country Club. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, where she also serves on the planning committee for the Executive Women’s Luncheon. She has served as Vice President of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association, as well as on the Board of Directors of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and its Government Affairs Committee, the Executive Board of Directors of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, and the Board of Governors of the Cardinal Club in Raleigh. She also has served on the Strategic Planning Committee of the Public Service Committee of the Wake County Bar Association.

Since joining Campbell Law, Essary has been honored as a Woman of Justice by N.C. Lawyer’s Weekly. N.C. Business Leader media honored her several times for her work and leadership in the Raleigh region, including recognition as a Triangle Area Woman Extraordinaire, Business Impact Leader, and Education Impact Leader. She has received the Women of Achievement Award from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina in recognition of her professional and community work and serving as a role model for future generations. Essary and her husband, Larry, live in Raleigh. They have two daughters, Amber and Rachel.



Justice Eva Guzman
Supreme Court of Texas

Eva Guzman joined the Supreme Court of Texas in 2009, making history as the first Latina to sit on the state’s highest civil court. The next year, the people of Texas elected her to a full term. And Eva Guzman became the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in Texas. A proud Texan, Eva Guzman strives for excellence in her work on our state’s highest civil court. Justice Guzman believes “a judge’s highest duty is to uphold the Constitution.”

Before taking her seat on the high court, Justice Guzman served at two other levels of the state judiciary, authoring hundreds of published opinions as a justice on the Houston-based Fourteenth Court of Appeals and disposing of thousands of cases as judge of the 309th District Court in Harris County. Now in her sixteenth year on the bench, Justice Guzman consistently receives high marks in judicial evaluation polls as well as accolades from professional, civic, and law enforcement groups. Her honors and awards are many.

As the Supreme Court of Texas Liaison to the Texas Access to Justice Commission, Justice Guzman works hard to expand access to justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. She also chairs the high court’s Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families, working with leaders across the state to improve outcomes for Texas’s most vulnerable children and families. In addition to bringing big vision to this important work, Justice Guzman lends leadership and fresh ideas to other institutions within the legal community:

  • Board of Trustees for The Center for American and International Law
  • Duke University School of Law Board of Visitors
  • Board of Trustees of South Texas College of Law
  • Executive Committee, Appellate Judges Conference-American Bar Association Judicial Division
  • Advisor to the American Law Institute

Before taking the bench in 1999, Justice Guzman enjoyed a successful ten-year legal career in Houston. She holds a B.B.A. from The University of Houston, a law degree from South Texas College of Law, and an LL.M from Duke University School of Law.

Married for over 25 years, Justice Guzman and her husband are parents to one daughter, who recently graduated from Harvard University.



Caren Lock
Regional Vice President and Associate General Counsel, TIAA

Caren K. Lock is the Regional Vice President and Associate General Counsel of TIAA. In her role at TIAA, Caren is the primary interface for the company on all legislative, executive, administrative, and regulatory matters in the southwest and mountain regions. She also directs all legislative lobbying and regulatory advocacy in her states. At the company, Caren is active in gender and racial diversity initiatives. She was the former Corporate Co-Chair of the Women’s Employee Resource Group and is currently a member of the Denver/Broomfield Leadership Council and Dallas Leadership Council.

Prior to joining TIAA, Caren was General Counsel with a consumer financial company. Before entering the corporate world, Caren spent over a decade litigating complex business matters including copyright and trademark infringement, employment discrimination, shareholder and partnership disputes, aviation, and toxic tort.

Caren is the Board Chair and a member of the Executive Committee at the Dallas Women’s Foundation. Caren is also an Exective Board member of the Texas State Bar College. Previously, she has also served on the Boards of Girls Inc. Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas Bar Association, State of Texas Asian Pacific Interest Section, and was President and former Board member of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, and the Center for Nonprofit Management in Dallas. Caren is also a member of The Dallas Assembly and a graduate of The Leadership Dallas Program. From 2008 - 2013, she served on the Texas State Bar Grievance Panel and was Chair of her panel. Caren co-founded The Orchid Giving Circle that provides community grants to support social change and services to the DFW Asian Community.

Caren is a frequent speaker on racial and gender diversity, nonprofit regulatory issues, legal ethics and grievances, generational dynamics, and community and political engagement. She regularly presents at legal continuing education courses for the local and Texas bar organizations. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Cancer Support Community (formerly Gilda’s Clubhouse) teaching yoga to cancer survivors and their families. She resides in Allen with her husband, Michael Bahar, and her two sons.



David H. Gibbs
Visiting Leadership Fellow, University of Tennessee College of Law

David practiced law for over 30 years and mediated hundreds of disputes before joining academia in 2010. He has been selected for Best Lawyers in America for over 15 years and, in 2016 ,was selected by his peers as the Lawyer of the Year in Mediation and Arbitration in Orange County, California. He established an Investor Advocacy Clinic Suffolk University Law, developed courses in transactional practice and leadership as an Associate Professor at Chapman Law School, and was the Director of Business Programs and the Corporate Counsel Externship at Roger Williams University Law School. He will be a Visiting Leadership Fellow at the University of Tennessee Law School beginning in the Fall.



Raytheon “Raye” M. Rawls
Senior Public Service Associate, University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development

At the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Raye is a senior faculty member with a focus in mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes as well as dialogue. She is an attorney, a member of the State Bar of Georgia and has mediated and arbitrated thousands of cases in government institutions, court systems, corporations and with private parties. In addition, her courses have been approved by several state bar associations, the National Association of Social Workers and other professional organizations. In 2018, she received the Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution in Georgia.

Prior to joining the Fanning Institute in 2004, Raye worked in the private sector teaching and providing services in mediation, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution and conflict management. She was also an Administrative Law Judge in the State of Georgia and a former assistant dean of the Georgia State University College Law.



Robert ("Bob") R. Stains, Jr.
Principal of Bob Stains and Associates, Conflict Transformation and a Senior Associate of Essential Partners, f/k/a The Public Conversations Project.

Bob Stains is a seasoned facilitator of challenging conversations about identity, religion and values and has trained over 30,000 professionals in communication and dialogue facilitation skills in the US and abroad. He is the Principal of Bob Stains and Associates, Conflict Transformation and a Senior Associate of Essential Partners, f/k/a The Public Conversations Project.

Bob helped build the Public Conversations Project –a pioneer of the modern dialogue movement- from a small local group to an internationally-renowned team of practitioners, trainers and consultants. His work with PCP has been honored by the American Family Therapy Academy and other organizations.

Bob advises leaders on preventing and engaging conflict and is currently working with organizations in the US and six other countries. For 15 years he consulted to the Harvard Negotiation Project and has taught dialogue at Pepperdine and Mitchell-Hamline universities' schools of law and Harvard Divinity School. He currently serves as a Visiting Researcher at the Boston University School of Theology's Program in Religion and Conflict Transformation.



Donald J. Polden
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law

Professor Polden received his B.B.A. from George Washington University in 1970 and his J.D. cum laude from Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis in 1975.

Professor Polden served as Dean of Santa Clara University School of Law from 2003 to 2013. In addition to his service as dean, he is a well-known scholar in the areas of employment law and legal education and has practiced law, principally in the areas of federal antitrust law and employment law, in the federal and state courts. He is co-author (with U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett) of Employment Relationships: Law and Practice, published by Aspen Publishing Company. He also is the author of several law review articles on topics of federal antitrust and securities law and legal education and he is a contributing writer on employment law and business topics to Huffington Post.

Previously to being appointed as Santa Clara Law’s Dean, Polden served as Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Memphis (1993-2003).

At Santa Clara University School of Law, Dean Emeritus and Professor Polden was instrumental in developing the curriculum for leadership education, a movement that is growing in significance in American legal education. He also served as chair of the American Bar Association’s Standards Review Committee during the ABA’s revisions to the accreditation policies for American legal education. He was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 1992, selected for membership in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and serves as chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics. He also continues his work on leadership education for lawyers and law students with several national organizations including the Center for Creative Leadership.

During his service as Dean, the School of Law completed its first major capital campaign (which included 43 newly endowed student scholarships), initiated the second major campaign emphasizing funding for the new law school building (a project coming to a very successful conclusion soon!), hired almost a third of its full time faculty (including several “junior” faculty members who have developed into national stars!) , was initiated into the national Order of the COIF (the Phi Beta Kappa of legal education), secured the gift and launched the annual Katharine & George Alexander Prize, launched the tremendously successful annual Jerry Kasner Estate Planning Seminar, and grew the summer international programs to ten with addition of programs in Munich, The Hague and San Jose, Costa Rica.



Vice Admiral John G. Hannink
Judge Advocate General of the Navy

Vice Adm. John G. Hannink is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He completed pilot training at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. While assigned to Sea Control Squadron (VS) 33, he deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean onboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68). He served as the squadron’s public affairs officer, quality assurance officer and nuclear safety officer.

Hannink then entered the Navy’s Law Education Program, and graduated from Baylor Law in 1994. He later earned a Master of Laws in International Law from George Washington University Law School.

Hannink has completed several assignments within Naval Legal Service Command (NLSC) and the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG). NLSC assignments include personal representation attorney and prosecutor at Naval Station San Diego, and commanding officer of Region Legal Service Office Southeast. OJAG assignments include general litigation attorney, and executive assistant to the deputy judge advocate general and the judge advocate general. He also served as assistant judge advocate general (Operations and Management) and chief of staff, Region Legal Service Offices.

Hannink’s staff and operational experience includes deputy staff judge advocate (SJA) for U.S. 5th Fleet, SJA for U.S. 2nd Fleet, special assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, deputy legal counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, special counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations, and SJA for U.S. Pacific Command. He also served as a fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, Newport, Rhode Island.

Hannink served from 2015-2018 as the deputy judge advocate general of the Navy and commander, Naval Legal Service Command. As commander, Naval Legal Service Command, he led the judge advocates, enlisted legalmen and civilian employees of 14 commands worldwide, providing prosecution and defense services, legal assistance services to individuals and legal support to shore and afloat commands.

Hannink is the 44th judge advocate general of the Navy. Hannink is the principal military legal counsel to the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations. He also leads the 2,300 attorneys, enlisted legalmen and civilian employees of the worldwide Navy JAG Corps community. Hannink is a member of the state bar of Texas. His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal.



Brigadier General R. Patrick Huston
Brigadier General U.S. Army, Assistant Judge Advocate General for Military Law and Operations

Brigadier General Patrick Huston is the Assistant Judge Advocate General for Military Law and Operations (MLO) in the Pentagon. He oversees international legal engagements, criminal prosecutions and government appeals for the Army. He also supervises the legal teams that provide advice on national security law, contract actions, administrative law and criminal law. He is focused on the legal and ethical development and use of artificial intelligence, autonomous weapons, cybersecurity and other emerging technologies. He also supports diversity and inclusion initiatives as part of talent management for the JAG Corps, one of the world's largest legal organizations.

General Huston started his military career as an Army Ranger and helicopter pilot in Europe. He then attended law school and became a military prosecutor in Korea. General Huston has completed five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been the Staff Judge Advocate of three major organizations: the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), and the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). He previously served as the Commanding General of The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center & School, the federal government’s only ABA-accredited law school, and supervised the Army's global Trial Defense Service (TDS).

General Huston has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from West Point, a law degree from the University of Colorado, an LL.M in Criminal Law from the JAG School, and a Master’s of Strategy from the Army War College. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star Medal. He has also earned the Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge (U.S.), and multiple foreign parachute wings.



Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Rockwell
Lieutenant General, The Judge Advocate General, U.S. Air Force

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Rockwell is The Judge Advocate General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia. In that capacity, General Rockwell serves as the Legal Adviser to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and all officers and agencies of the Department of the Air Force. He directs all judge advocates in the performance of their duties and is responsible for the professional oversight of more than 2,200 judge advocates, 350 civilian attorneys, 1,400 enlisted paralegals and 500 civilians in the Total Force Judge Advocate General's Corps worldwide, overseeing military justice, operational and international law, and civil law functions at all levels of Air Force command.

General Rockwell entered the Air Force through the Direct Appointment Program in June 1987. He has served as the Deputy Judge Advocate General, Commander of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency, and as a Staff Judge Advocate five times. He has written on several national security law matters, advancing Department of Defense and United States government interests on a variety of topics to include: Military Justice; United States government liability for civilian use of the Global Positioning System; customary international law; European Union law; rule of law development in Romania; the Solidarity movement in Poland; an interagency legal capability for rule of law development and State-Building; and the politics of strategic aircraft modernization. He has also authored several chapters in the DoD Law of War Manual, the Army Operational Law Handbook, and the Air Force Operations and the Law Handbook, in addition to contributing to the Tallinn Manual on International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations, and current efforts to publish manuals on international law applicable to military uses of outer space.



Kellye Y. Testy
President and Chief Executive Officer, Law School Admission Council

Kellye Y. Testy is the president and chief executive officer of the Law School Admission Council, a 350-employee not-for-profit organization that serves as the leading assessment, data, and technology hub for law schools and their candidates in the United States, Canada, and throughout the world. Under her leadership, LSAC is committed to working collaboratively with its members, colleges and universities, leading organizations in legal education, business leaders, and, most importantly, potential law school candidates to build a more just and prosperous world. Named the nation's second most influential leader in legal education in 2017, Testy joined LSAC after leading the University of Washington School of Law for eight years as the school’s 14th dean and the first woman to hold that post. During her tenure, the school hired a new generation of outstanding faculty, established the endowed Toni Rembe deanship, launched both the Barer and the Gregoire Fellows programs, and secured the largest gift in the school’s history, a $56 million bequest from alumnus Jack MacDonald for student scholarships and faculty and program support. Testy also served as a professor and dean of Seattle University School of Law, where she founded several key programs, including the Access to Justice Institute and the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality. Known throughout academic and legal communities for her dedication to the rule of law and its commitment to justice and equality, Testy served as president of the Association of American Law Schools in 2016, with the presidential theme "Why Law Matters," to focus on how the law plays a critical role in setting the foundation for justice and human prosperity. She also served on the Executive Committee of AALS from 2013–2017, co-chaired the AALS Section for the Law School Dean, and served on the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and Students. In addition to her work with the AALS, Testy is a member of the American Law Institute and has served on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers, as well as on several committees and initiatives of the ABA Section on Legal Education. She currently serves on the boards of the Washington Law Institute, a leadership development program designed to promote diversity in the legal profession, and LSSSE, a research institute focused on understanding legal education from the student perspective. She is a nationally sought-after speaker and consultant on legal and higher education, leadership, diversity and access, and corporate law and governance. Testy has received numerous honors and awards for her teaching, leadership, and service, including, most recently, the CLEO EDGE Award for Greater Equality and the MAMA Seattle 2018 Betty Binns Fletcher Leadership and Justice Award. Testy is a first-generation college graduate who is proud to have obtained both her undergraduate degree in journalism and her law degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, her hometown. She graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University Maurer School of Law—Bloomington, where she was editor-in-chief of the Indiana Law Journal. During law school, she worked for Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago and Ice Miller Donadio and Ryan in Indianapolis. After graduating, she clerked for Judge Jesse E. Eschbach, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.



Garry Jenkins
Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School

Garry W. Jenkins is the dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Prior to assuming his post as the Law School’s 11th dean, he was associate dean for academic affairs and John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he was also director of the Program on Law and Leadership, a leadership education and development initiative that he co-founded.

Dean Jenkins’s research and teaching interests are in law and philanthropy, corporate governance, and leadership studies. His scholarly articles have been published in leading law reviews and interdisciplinary journals, and his scholarship has been honored for excellence in three different subfields: nonprofit law, global justice, and corporate law.

Prior to entering academia, Dean Jenkins was chief operating officer and general counsel of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, a $200 million-plus international corporate foundation. Before joining Goldman, Sachs & Co., he was an attorney with the New York law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he counseled public charities and private foundations, formed and advised private investment funds, and negotiated mergers and acquisitions.

He earned a B.A. from Haverford College, a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Upon graduation, he clerked for Judge Timothy K. Lewis of the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

Dean Jenkins currently sits on the governing boards of Haverford College and the Guthrie Theater. He serves by gubernatorial appointment as one of Minnesota’s commissioners to the Uniform Law Commission. He also serves on several committees of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).



Degna Levister
Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Access Initiatives, City University of New York School of Law

Degna P. Levister is presently the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Access Initiatives, Executive Director of Pipeline to Justice at the City University of New York School of Law. Dean Levister began her career as a Registered Professional Nurse. She holds a Master’s Degree from Columbia University Teacher’s College and received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, where she was awarded the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship. Before joining the faculty of CUNY Law School in 2001, she ran the Urban Justice Center’s Homelessness Outreach and Prevention Project, which provides direct civil legal representation to the poor via soup kitchen/food pantry outreach clinics. Her prior work was in a variety of positions at the Legal Aid Society including the Brooklyn Office For The Aging, the Criminal Appeals Bureau, and the Bronx and Brooklyn Neighborhood offices.

As a Clinical Law Professor at the law school she has taught in every year of the program. Courses include 1L Lawyering Seminars, the Health Law Concentration, the Irene Diamond Professional Skills Center and the Pipeline to Justice. As Clinical Law Professor and Supervising Attorney at Main Street Legal Services, the law school’s clinic, she co-taught in the Economic Justice Project and in the Elder Law Clinic through December 2014. In January 2015 she stepped into the role of Interim Assistant Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Management.



Kathy Seward Northern
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Dean Kathy Seward Northern served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert M. Duncan, Southern District of Ohio, following graduation from law school, and then became an associate with the law firm of Porter, Wright, Morris, & Arthur in Columbus.

In 1990, she joined the law faculty of Ohio Northern University, moving to Ohio State in 1991. She served as chair of the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and was a member of the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Her research areas include the use of tort law in social policy formation, the application of traditional tort principles to mitigate the effects of environmental racism, and products liability.

She teaches Advanced Topics in Tort Law, Environmental Justice, Law & Technology, Products Liability, and Torts.



Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley Law

Erwin Chemerinsky became the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law on July 1, 2017, when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law.

Prior to assuming this position, from 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science. Before that he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and from 1983-2004 was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. He also has taught at DePaul College of Law and UCLA Law School.

He is the author of eleven books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. His most recent books are, We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century (Picador Macmillan) published in November 2018, and two books published by Yale University Press in 2017, Closing the Courthouse Doors: How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable and Free Speech on Campus (with Howard Gillman).

He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He writes a regular column for the Sacramento Bee, monthly columns for the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court.

In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States.



Mark C. Alexander
Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Mark C. Alexander, JD is the Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As the School’s chief administrator and chairperson of the faculty, Alexander is responsible for all facets of the Law School, including its long-term strategic and academic planning, curricular initiatives, faculty research and teaching support, student services, and fundraising and alumni relations.

Alexander previously served as Associate Dean for Academics at Seton Hall University’s School of Law. His responsibilities included oversight of the curriculum’s academic components, collaboration with the faculty and administration on implementation of the School’s strategic plan, and management of the career, enrollment and student services offices. A member of Seton Hall’s Law School faculty for two decades, he was honored as Professor of the Year on numerous occasions.

Alexander’s areas of expertise include constitutional law, criminal procedure, election law, criminal law and the First Amendment. His research interests focus on the constitutional dimensions of election law and campaign reform. Alexander has authored several books on the First Amendment and constitutional law, and his scholarship has been published in leading journals such as Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Stanford Law & Policy Review and NYU Review of Law & Social Change.

Regularly interviewed by national print and broadcast media, Alexander is a sought-after speaker and panelist for national and international law symposiums and academic forums. He possesses significant international experience, having spent a year in Spain teaching American law and politics on a Fulbright Scholarship, as well as teaching in the Seton Hall Law-in-Italy program. He is also a fellow of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program. Alexander served on the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board from 2010 to 2014, having been appointed by President Barack Obama.

In addition to his leadership in academia, Alexander has also served as an adviser and issues director for several high-profile political campaigns. Prior to joining the Seton Hall Law School faculty in 1996, he clerked for Chief Judge Thelton Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and was a litigator with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in San Francisco. Alexander earned a Juris Doctor from Yale University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University.



Mario L. Barnes
Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law

Mario L. Barnes is the Toni Rembe Dean of the University of Washington School of Law and a nationally recognized scholar for his research on the legal and social implications of race and gender, primarily in the areas of employment, education, criminal and military law.

Dean Barnes joined UW from UC Irvine School of Law where he served as professor and senior associate dean for academic affairs and taught courses in criminal justice, constitutional law, critical theories and national security law.

Before joining UCI in 2009, he was a faculty member at the University of Miami School of Law, where he was twice selected as Outstanding Law Professor.

Prior to his academic career, Barnes spent 12 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, including service as a prosecutor, defense counsel, special assistant U.S. attorney, and on the commission that investigated the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. His reserve assignments included service with the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command in San Diego, the Navy Inspector General's Office in Washington, D.C., and U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa. He retired from the Navy in 2013, after 23 years of combined active and reserve service.

Barnes earned both his bachelor's degree in psychology and his juris doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his master of laws at the University of Wisconsin.



Paulette Brown
Senior Partner and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Locke Lord LLP. Past-president American Bar Association.

Paulette Brown is a member of the labor & employment practice group of Locke Lord LLP and is the Immediate Past President of the American Bar Association. Throughout her career, she has held a number of positions, including in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a Municipal Court Judge. For the past 30 years, Paulette has engaged in the private practice of law, focusing on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation. She has defended employers in cases involving discrimination on the basis of age, sex, marital status, sexual harassment, disability, race and national origin. Paulette has received results in class action employment discrimination cases based upon race and wage and hour claims. She is also experienced in all aspects of workplace training and collective bargaining.

Paulette litigates in both federal and state courts, as well as arbitration forums for both unionized and non-union employees. She is a certified mediator for the United States District Court, District of New Jersey and a member of the Employment AAA Panel. Paulette is a frequent lecturer on labor and employment issues and issues related to electronic discovery and serves as Chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She is also a member of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyer and American Law Institute. Additionally, Paulette has been recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the prominent women and minority attorneys in the State of New Jersey and by the National Law Journal as one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America." She has been listed as a NJ Super Lawyer since its inception and for the past three years as one of the top 50 women lawyers and one of the top 100 lawyers. Ms. Brown has also repeatedly been named by US News as one of The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Commercial Litigation. Paulette also received DRI's Pioneer Diversity Award and the NJ State Bar Association's Excellence in Diversity Award, and she was honored with the Spirit of Excellence and Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards by the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession. In 2014, Paulette was honored by the Rutgers Law-Camden Black Law Students Association for exemplifying the values advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



Angela Onwuachi-Willig
Dean and Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law

Angela Onwuachi-Willig is dean and professor of law at Boston University School of Law. A renowned legal scholar and expert in critical race theory, employment discrimination, and family law, she joined the law school as dean in August 2018.

Before joining the School of Law, Dean Onwuachi-Willig served as Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Previously, she taught at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she was the Charles and Marion Kierscht Professor and at the University of California, Davis, King Hall, where she was acting (assistant) professor of law. As a classroom teacher at her previous institutions, she taught employment discrimination, evidence, family law, critical race theory, and torts.

Onwuachi-Willig is author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale 2013). Her articles have appeared in leading law journals such as the Yale Law Journal, Virginia Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Texas Law Review, UCLA Law Review, and Vanderbilt Law Review, to name a few.

Onwuachi-Willig is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Clyde Ferguson Award (2015), the AALS Derrick Bell Award (2006), the Gertrude Rush Award (2016) from the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys and the Iowa Chapter of the National Bar Association, and Law and Society’s John Hope Franklin, Jr., Prize (2018). Along with her coauthor Mario Barnes, she is the first faculty member to win both the Ferguson and Bell Awards. In the 2017–18 academic year, Onwuachi-Willig served as the William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the American Bar Foundation. Most recently, she was nominated as an EXTRAordinary Woman in Boston, 2019.

Onwuachi-Willig received the 2016 Collegiate Teaching Award at the University of Iowa College of Law and the 2012 Marion Huit Award, a University of Iowa award given to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding teaching and assistance to students, exceptional research and writing, and dedicated service to the University and the surrounding community. Other honors include her selection as a finalist for the Supreme Court of Iowa in 2011; identification by the National Law Journal as one of the “Minority 40 under 40” in 2011 and by Lawyers of Color as one of the “50 Law Professors of Color Under 50” in its inaugural list in 2013; and election to the American Law Institute (ALI), American Bar Foundation (ABF), and Iowa Bar Foundation.

Onwuachi-Willig’s leadership roles include her service on the Grinnell College board of trustees, the AALS Membership Review Committee, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) board, and the Warren-Markey Judicial Selection Committee. She also served as the Grinnell College Alumni Council president and the chair for AALS Committee on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and Students for two years, leading the committee as it drafted and developed an official Statement of Good Practices on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers. She also is the founder of the Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop, which has resulted in the production of many books and hundreds of articles and essays by its participants and has assisted dozens of women on the path to tenure. Onwuachi-Willig also has served as the chair of the AALS Minority Groups Section, the AALS Law and Humanities Section, and the AALS Employment Discrimination Section and was chair of the 2015 AALS Mid-Year Workshop.

Onwuachi-Willig graduated from Grinnell College, Phi Beta Kappa, and received her JD from the University of Michigan, where she was a Clarence Darrow Scholar, a Michigan Law Review note editor, and an associate editor for the founding issue of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. After law school, she clerked for US District Court Judge Solomon Oliver of the Northern District of Ohio and US Sixth Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore. She received her PhD in sociology and African American studies from Yale University. She has practiced law as a labor and employment associate at Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio and Foley Hoag in Boston, Massachusetts.



Judge Ed Kinkeade
District Judge, U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas

Judge Kinkeade received his B.A. from Baylor University in 1973. He then received his J.D. from Baylor University School of Law in 1974, his Master of Laws from the University of Virginia in 1998, his Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Dallas Baptist University in 2004, and his Honorary Doctor of Laws from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2004.

Judge Kinkeade has served as a Judge for the Criminal Court No. 10 in Dallas County, Texas in 1981. Judge Kinkeade also served as a Judge on the Texas District Court, the 194th Judicial District, Dallas, Texas from 1981 to 1988, and a Justice on the Texas Court of Appeals, Fifth District from 1998 to 2002.

Judge Kinkeade was an associate at Dennis G. Brewer, Inc. from 1974 to 1975, and then a Partner at Power & Kinkeade from 1975 to 1980.

As an academic, Judge Kinkeade has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law from 1981 to 2011, and he currently is the Jurist-in-Resident at Baylor School of Law.

Judge Kinkeade is currently a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, the Texas Bar Foundation (Life Fellow), the American Law Institute, the Fifth Circuit District Judges Association, and the Federal Judges Association.



Kyle Deaver
Mayor, City of Waco

Kyle Deaver was elected Mayor on May 9, 2016 and was unopposed in the May 2018 election for his second two-year term as Mayor. He previously served four years on the Waco City Council as the representative for District V. Kyle is an attorney and businessman who is active in the Waco community.

Deaver is currently on the board of the Waco Foundation. He has served on the boards of the Cameron Park Zoological Society, Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Vanguard College Preparatory School, and St. Paul's Episcopal Day School. He served six years on the Waco Plan Commission.

Kyle is in partnership with his brother, John Deaver, in their law firm of Deaver and Deaver. They are also directors of American Bank and co-owners of American Guaranty Title. Kyle has a business degree and a law degree from Baylor University.

Kyle is married to Diane Elliott Deaver. Their growing family includes their two adult children: Morgan Snyder and her husband, Scott, and Nick Deaver and his wife Anna-Louise, as well as their daughter, Anna-Prescott.



Britney E. Harrison
President, Texas Young Lawyers Association

Britney is an experienced attorney who thrives on the personal touch of family law and the opportunity to guide clients through one of the most difficult times of life. Combining the advocate and counselor sides of being an attorney, she builds trust with clients and makes them feel comfortable. Most important, she strives to resolve marital issues while preserving respectful relationships.

Britney listens attentively to her clients and discovers the little details that can make a difference in their cases. She excels at developing creative solutions for custody and co-parenting issues. Britney begins with an amicable approach when it can produce favorable results for her clients, but will aggressively litigate matters if necessary. In the end, she understands that divorce is deeply personal because it involves family. Britney’s overall goal is to achieve the most satisfactory outcome that enables clients to find closure and make a fresh start.

In addition to family law, Britney has also practiced employment law and commercial litigation. Her diverse background has honed her ability to think on her feet in the courtroom, understand the different approaches of judges, and prepare clients for what to expect as their cases advance.

An Austin native, Britney was first in her undergraduate class at the University of North Texas. She received her law degree, with honors, from the University of Texas School of Law in 2010. Britney spent a semester abroad in Lyon, France, and loves traveling and spending time with her family. Of all her achievements, Britney is most proud of obtaining a job out of law school that gave her the income to put her dad through college.

Britney practices in both the Dallas area and Austin area.

 



Judge Lora Livingston
261st Civil District Court, Travis County, Texas

Judge Livingston is a 1982 graduate of the UCLA School of Law. She began her legal career as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow assigned to the Legal Aid Society of Central Texas in Austin, Texas. After completion of the two-year fellowship program, she continued to work in the area of poverty law until 1988 when she entered private practice with the law firm of Joel B. Bennett, P.C. In 1993, she and S. Gail Parr formed a partnership and opened the law firm of Livingston & Parr. She was engaged in a general civil litigation practice with an emphasis on family law. In January 1995, she was sworn in as an Associate Judge for the District Courts of Travis County, Texas. After her successful election, Judge Livingston was sworn in as Judge of the 261st District Court in January 1999. She is the first African-American woman to serve on a district court in Travis County, Texas. Since 2011, she has served as the Local Administrative Judge for the Travis County Courts.

Judge Livingston has been active in local, state and national bar association activities and has served on the boards of the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, Texas Access to Justice Commission, the National Center on Women and Family Law, the National Association of IOLTA Programs, the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, and the Board of the Texas Center for the Judiciary. She is a member of the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the National Association of Women Judges. She has served as a delegate to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association (ABA) representing the State Bar of Texas and the Travis County Bar Association. Her ABA service includes Chair of the Commission on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA), Chair of the Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, Chair of the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID), member of the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, member of the Commission on the Future of Legal Services, the ABA Center for Innovation and member of the ABA Judicial Division. She is a Texas Delegate to the ABA Judicial Division National Conference of State Trial Judges. She has also served on a number of committees in various state and local bar associations, including the Austin Bar Association, the Austin Black Lawyers Association and the Travis County Women Lawyers Association.

Judge Livingston is a proponent of pro bono activities and has served on the Board of Volunteer Legal Services (formerly Austin Lawyers Care). Judge Livingston is the 2015 Chair of “And Justice for All: An ABA Day of Service,” a National Pro Bono Celebration. Judge Livingston was instrumental in the establishment of the Travis County Self Help Center for self-represented litigants, and she led the effort to adopt a language access plan in the Civil Courts. She is a passionate supporter of access to justice initiatives on the local, state and national level.



Senator Kirk Watson
Founding Dean of Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston

Senator Watson graduated from Baylor University and then graduated first in his law school class at Baylor Law. He has been named an outstanding young alumnus of Baylor, Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year, and the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas. He is currently of counsel at the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP. First elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, Senator Watson has been reelected four times. He represents most of Travis County and all of Bastrop County. In 2019, the Texas Senate elected Senator Watson to be the Senate’s President Pro Tempore for the 86th Legislature.

His priorities center on education, health care, transportation, government transparency, and state employees. He serves as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Nominations and also sits on the committees overseeing Finance, Education, and Higher Education as well as the Sunset Advisory Commission.

As a cancer survivor, Senator Watson is passionate about making sure that all Texans have access to health care. He has been active in numerous health organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and served on the original board of what is now known as the LiveStrong Foundation.

In 2011, Senator Watson laid out 10 Goals in 10 Years to transform the health and economy of Austin and Travis County. The results have been transformative, resulting in the creation of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and a new modern teaching and safety-net hospital, Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. The American Medical Association recognized Senator Watson's contribution to healthcare with the prestigious Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service in 2017.

Building on those and other successes, Senator Watson launched a community-based effort to develop a center for world-class brain health treatment, research and education and has been honored by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and NAMI Austin for his leadership.

Among many other recognitions, Senator Watson has been named one of the state's "10 Best Legislators" by Texas Monthly. The President of the University of Texas at Austin presented him with the prestigious President’s Citation. Watson also received the Pro Texana Medal of Service from Baylor University and the Baylor Line Foundation (formerly the Baylor Alumni Association) named him a Distinguished Alumnus. The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas gave him its award as the Open Government Lawmaker of the Year and the Texas Press Association named him a Friend of the First Amendment for “his steadfast support of free speech and open government." He’s also been named Austinite of the Year by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and received the W. Neal Kocurek Award for Healthcare Advocacy from People’s Community Clinic.

From 1991 to 1993, Watson served as Chair of the Texas Air Control Board, the state agency that was charged with addressing air quality in Texas. He was Vice-Chair of the committee that oversaw the consolidation of the Texas Air Control Board with the Texas Water Commission creating the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

He also has served as Chair of both the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Advisory Board of Environmental Defense, and he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Texas. He has chaired the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the primary transportation planning agency for Central Texas.



Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht
Texas Supreme Court

Nathan L. Hecht is the 27th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. He has been elected to the Court six times, first in 1988 as a Justice, and most recently in 2014 as Chief Justice. He is the longest-serving Member of the Court in Texas history and the longest-tenured Texas judge in active service. Throughout his service on the Court, he has overseen revisions to the rules of administration, practice, and procedure in Texas courts, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. He is also active in the Court's efforts to assure that Texans living below the poverty level, as well as others with limited means, have access to basic civil legal services.

Chief Justice Hecht was appointed to the district court in 1981 and was elected to the court of appeals in 1986. Before taking the bench, he was a partner in the Locke firm in Dallas. He holds a B.A. degree with honors in philosophy from Yale University, and a J.D. degree cum laude from the SMU School of Law, where he was a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar. He clerked for Judge Roger Robb on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps. He is President of the national Conference of Chief Justices, a Life Member of the American Law Institute and a member of Council, and a member of the Texas Philosophical Society.



George T. "Buck" Lewis
Shareholder, Baker Donelson

George T. "Buck" Lewis has practiced law for almost 40 years. His clients have included prestigious companies such as American Home Shield, FedEx Ground, First Horizon Bank, Geico, International Paper, TruGreen, USAA, and Wright Medical. His class action, business litigation, and appellate work has resulted in him being named Class Action Lawyer of the Year and Appellate Lawyer of the Year (twice) by Best Lawyers in America® and Lawyer of the Year by the Memphis Business Journal. Buck was recently inducted into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He serves as chair of the Firm's Appellate Group and is the past chair of the Business Litigation Group and Litigation Department.

Buck's service to the profession has included President of the Tennessee Bar Association, President of the Memphis Bar Foundation, Chair of the ABA Pro Bono and Public Service Committee, and Chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. He is the Larry Wilks Distinguished Practitioner In Residence at the University of Tennessee College of Law and co-founder of the Institute for Leadership and Professionalism. He has also taught leadership courses at Tulane Law School and for a Fortune 500 legal department.

Buck has received two ABA Presidential Citations, one from President Laurel Bellows in 2013 and another from President Bob Carlson in 2019, in addition to receiving numerous other professional awards. He has authored or co-authored more than 40 publications and made more than 40 presentations on topics such as access to justice, appellate practice, arbitration, class actions, good faith/bad faith, insurance coverage, judicial recusals, statutory damage caps, leadership, summary judgments, the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, and 30(b)(6) depositions.

He is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 listed mediator and an American Arbitration Association arbitrator.



Talmage Boston
Partner, Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP

Talmage is a partner in the Firm’s Dallas office who handles commercial litigation in both trials and appeals. During his 40-year career, he has successfully represented clients in state and federal court lawsuits and arbitrations involving oil and gas, real estate, banking, intellectual property, partnership disputes. He has successfully tried many jury trials throughout Texas and prevailed in appellate courts all over the state including the Texas Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In 2019, Talmage received the prestigious Terry Lee Grantham Memorial Award from the Texas Bar Foundation which is given annually to the Texas lawyer who is “an accomplished, talented, and dedicated Texas lawyer who is a servant of the profession and a dedicated advocate.”

View all of Talmage Boston's Books, here: https://talmageboston.com/portfolio-item/books/.

 



John Grisham
New York Times Bestselling Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, The Associate, The Confession, The Litigators, Calico Joe, The Racketeer, Sycamore Row, Gray Mountain, Rogue Lawyer, The Whistler, Camino Island, The Rooster Bar, The Reckoning, and The Guardians) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of $683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.

When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

View all of John Grisham's books, here: https://www.jgrisham.com/books/.