The Pepperdine School of Law and members of the board of the Pepperdine Law Review hosted The Lawyer of the Future, a symposium that explored the impact of past and present lawyers and the lessons they provide for future generations. The one-day symposium was held on the Malibu campus on April 20.
With 12 presentations from top experts in the field, The Lawyer of the Future symposium showcased the lawyers of the past and present, the variety of roles they serve within American society, and what their experiences and models teach us about who the lawyers of the future can and should be. From public servants to philanthropists, government officials to business entrepreneurs, the symposium focused on the role of lawyers as working models of the rule of law.
Among the presenters was Paul D. Carrington, professor of law at Duke University; Connie Collingsworth, general counsel, secretary, and member of the Management Committee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Chris Cox, president of Bingham Consulting LLC and partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP; James C. Duff, president and CEO of the Freedom Forum, Inc. and CEO of the Newseum and Diversity Institute in Washington, D.C.; Stephen Gillers, Elihu Root Professor of Law at New York University School of Law; William Henderson, professor of law and Val Nolan Faculty Fellow at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law; James E. Moliterno, the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law; Patricia K. Oliver, president and executive director of Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles; Deborah L. Rhode, the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford University Law School; Richard Watts, founder and president of Family Business Office; and Malcolm Wheeler, founding partner of Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP in Denver, Colorado.
Each symposium presenter articulated the role that he or she sees lawyers serving in society. Given the cacophony of public and political rhetoric concerning the practice of law, the symposium addressed a new form of lawyer for the future: one who models civil discourse, seeks the orderly resolution of conflict, and participates in informed public discussion and debate. The underlying purpose of the symposium was to gain a better understanding of the role that American lawyers have played in the past, what challenges and opportunities they face in the present, and how lawyers will best be equipped in the future to meet the needs and expectations of their clients.
This year’s symposium was the first to be led by School of Law dean Deanell Reece Tacha.
“The Law Review Symposium was an important step in our effort to examine the path that legal education should follow in responding to dramatic changes in the legal profession,” Dean Tacha said. “Our distinguished panelists were each superbly qualified to talk about these changes and to inform our understanding of the ways in which law schools can best prepare students to continue to be effective, ethical, creative problem-solvers and attorneys, who serve both their clients and the broader community. The interchange among the speakers was inspiring, challenging, and visionary. Their presentations will help this law school and others in legal education steer an informed course in training the lawyers of the future.”