Michele DeStefano is the founder and co-creator of LawWithoutWalls and an Associate Professor of Law at Miami Law. Before joining the Miami Law faculty, she was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where she was previously the Associate Research Director of the Program on the Legal Profession. Her primary area of scholarly interest is in the growing intersection between law and business, how this intersection is reshaping the role of both inside and outside counsel, and the consequences of these developments for clients, the profession, and the public. Employing a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, Michele’s most recent published research investigates the role general counsels play in managing public relations for high profile corporate legal controversies. She is currently researching the changing role of compliance by conducting interviews of general counsels and chief compliance officers of large, publicly traded corporations.
In addition to spearheading and continually recreating LawWithoutWalls with Michael Bossone, Michele teaches courses about the Legal Profession, ethics, professional responsibility, civil procedure, and business associations.
From 2003 to 2004, Michele clerked for Chief Judge William G. Young of the Federal District Court of Massachusetts. She also worked for a year as a Special Master on a patent law case. Before attending law school, she was a Senior Marketing Manager at Levi Strauss & Company (1995-1998) and an Account Executive at Leo Burnett Advertising Company (1991-1995). Michele earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and has been admitted to the Minnesota, Massachusetts, and District of Columbia bars.
Michael Bossone is the co-creator and a founding member of LawWithoutWalls. His career has been dedicated to building and sustaining human connection and institutional culture. It is what first drew him to LawWithoutWalls and what motivates the time, energy, and commitment he joyfully gives to this innovative project. He is currently the Special Advisor to Dean Patricia White at the University of Miami School of Law, and previously served as Assistant Dean during his nine years at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
Frustrated by the high degree of disengagement and dissatisfaction experienced by law school students, Michael became the architect of the Student Development program. He meets one-on-one with hundreds of students per year to get to know their personal stories, goals, and aspirations, and then works with them to develop and execute a customized plan for success in their educations, careers, and lives. His vast experience in law school administration includes educational technology, space planning and interior design, leadership and management consulting, marketing and web design, and just about every aspect of student services. In addition to his work in law schools, Michael regularly advises business, religious, education, and community leaders to help them excel in their endeavors.
Michael majored in philosophy and theology at the University of Notre Dame where he wrote his thesis under the direction of Professor Alasdair MacIntyre. He then worked with Professor Ronald Dworkin while earning his J.D. from New York University School of Law. Michael lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife, Tressy, and children, Aidan, and Aria.
Patricia D. White
Trish White is the University of Miami School of Law’s eleventh dean and a founding member of LawWithoutWalls. In her work in tax law, Trish has brought to bear a unique combination of practical experience and philosophical acuity. Her work in bioethics has schooled her in the complexities of contemporary medical institutions and practices and deepened her sense of the skills needed to do legal work in complex interdisciplinary settings. Her decade’s service as law school dean at Arizona State University has made her a nationally-recognized leader in legal education.
Trish was educated at the University of Michigan where she received degrees in philosophy and law (B.A. 1971, J.D. 1974, M.A. 1974). While attending law school, she was also a graduate student in philosophy, and an associate editor of the law review. In 1975 she began practice with Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, DC, and then moved to Caplin & Drysdale. Trish joined the Georgetown University Law Faculty in 1979, and in 1988 joined the University of Michigan. While at Michigan she was of counsel to several area law firms. During this period she also served for a year as Tax Advisor to the Economic Study Committee of Major League Baseball. In 1994 she joined the law faculty at the University of Utah, and was of counsel to Parsons, Behle & Latimer. Across her career, Trish has worked in the areas of tax law, the legal profession, torts, bioethics, philosophy of law, and trusts and estates, and has published in prominent law and bioethics journals.
In January 1999 she became Dean of the College of Law at Arizona State University. She was the first woman to serve as a law dean in Arizona, and served until July 2008 – the longest serving dean in the history of the College. Her leadership marked a transformative and innovative period for the ASU Law School. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Michigan, and Utah bars and is an elected Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. Trish has won many awards, including the Judge Learned Hand Award for distinguished public service by the Arizona chapter of the American Jewish Committee.
Peter D. Lederer
Peter Lederer’s career has spanned more than five decades of sophisticated work in law and the business world. He served many years as a partner of Baker & McKenzie, the global law firm. After seven years in Zurich, where he opened the Firm’s office, he returned to New York, serving as the Senior Partner of that office until 1994. He also served for many years as a member of the Firm’s top global management bodies. For some 25 years Peter served as general counsel to the electric utility owned insurance companies, Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited and Nuclear Mutual Limited. He also acted as counsel for the establishment of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the international accounting firm, then serving as its general counsel from 1989 to 1994.
Peter was educated at the University of Chicago, where he received his undergraduate degree as well as JD and MCL degrees from the University’s law school. The latter degree was awarded after two year’s post-graduate study in German and Swiss law in Chicago and at the University of Bern. He was an editor of The University of Chicago Law Review, and was Professor Karl N. Llewellyn’s research assistant.
Peter’s professional affiliations include the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the American Bar Association, and the International Nuclear Law Association. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He has served multiple terms on the Visiting Committees of the University of Chicago and University of Miami law schools. A close friendship with Soia Mentschikoff led him to become a frequent visitor to the University of Miami Law School. He helped found and works on the development of LawWithoutWalls.