Program on Law and Leadership
- News & Calendar
- Get Involved
- Why Participate
- Faculty & Program Staff
- Alumni Profiles
- Student Profiles
- For Current Students
- Contact Us
- PLL Home
Joseph DiPasquale '12
The PLL hosts a variety of guest speakers throughout the academic year, representing nationally-known leadership theorists, distinguished alumnae leading in their respective field, and lawyer-leaders who have a range of leadership experiences to share with our students. PLL students are the first to hear of these presentations and are the first who are invited or are able to rsvp to be at the table. While many of these events are smaller, roundtable discussions, the purpose is to provide meaningful exchange and dialogue, so that our PLL students gain a maximum out of their limited time with each of our guests.
The program's Speaker Series brings distinguished thought leaders to campus to give lectures on the theme of leadership and to interact candidly with students. These accomplished leaders come from a host of backgrounds and experiences, and share their knowledge and insights with students through public lectures. In addition, select students also have the opportunity to meet and network with these leaders through intimate small group lunches or dinners, and other sessions.
Two recent participants in the Speaker Series programming who embody the essence of leadership shared their insights with our PLL students. William Ruckelshaus, currently a Strategic Director with Madrona Venture Group, and former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, former Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, was the featured speaker during the 2009 academic year. His experiences as a governmental leader on the forefront of change inspired our students and served as an ideal spokesperson for our PLL participants to learn about the highest levels of leadership.
During academic year 2010, author and leadership consultant Dennis Perkins shared his insights connecting the Ernest Shackelton expedition to Antarctica to current leadership theory. Again, our Program on Law and Leadership students were privileged to hear from Mr. Perkins, whose book about Mr. Shackelton's leadership prowess in keeping his entire crew alive for nearly two years while they were trapped in the ice, teaches leadership lessons that are easily transferred to today's workplace challenges.
These and other speakers highlight the PLL programming and invite our students to be not only audience members for leadership presentations but engaged participants in thoughtful discussions about how leadership can be learned and applied at every point in their academic and professional careers.
First-year law students are invited to share lunch and conversation with Dean Alan Michaels and a featured guest in a small group. These intimate gatherings allow students to discuss leadership topics, most often with a distinguished Moritz alumnus as the guest, and they offer a unique opportunity to hear real-world stories about career paths, life balance, and lessons learned since graduation. For the first year students, these activities remind our students that leadership can come in many forms, and that every graduate has the possibility of becoming a leader in their own way. The roundtables offer an opportunity to shape how the students think of themselves, by showing them at the very beginning of their law careers that attorneys have much leadership potential, and that leadership continues throughout their lives.
Small groups of students, usually not more than 20, are invited by the program faculty to share lunch with a distinguished guest. The discussion is focused on the guest's career highlights and leadership participation, with an opportunity for students to ask questions and be involved in the conversation. Two to four conversations are held each year, and speakers are typically lawyers whose positions are outside of the usual law firm career track, and include lawyer leaders in non-profit, private business, or in government. Student attendees who have expressed interest in a certain area are matched with the guest in an effort to maximize the experience and allow those students to interact with attorneys who are leading in a non-traditional career environment.