Michele DeStefano

Professor of Law; Founder & Executive Director, LawWithoutWalls

J.D. 2002, Harvard Law School
B.A. 1991, Dartmouth College

Phone: 305-284-2411
Office: G284

Recently recognized by the ABA as a Legal Rebel, Michele DeStefano is the founder of LawWithoutWalls, a multi-disciplinary, international think-tank of over 850 lawyers, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and law and business students that collaborate to solve problems and create innovations at the intersection of law, business, and technology.  She is also the co-founder and co-editor of the Compliance Elliance Journal, an open access e-journal that publishes engaging authors' works about cutting edge issues in compliance and ethics. In 2015 she was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and in 2016 remained as affiliated faculty for Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession and Guest Faculty in Harvard Law School's Executive Education.

As a professor of law, she researches and writes about the growing intersections between law, business, and legal innovation. Her most recent scholarship focuses on the changing role of the compliance officer and is based on interviews of over 70 general counsels and chief compliance officers of S&P 500 corporations. Currently, she is interviewing chief legal officers of publicly traded corporations and leaders of innovation at law firms for her upcoming book: Winning the Innovation Tournament in Law: Tactics to Transform the Way Lawyers Collaborate. Additionally, she writes and presents regularly about Innovation/Entrepreneurship, Teaming, Collaboration/Culture Creation, Compliance and Ethics, Technology and Global Education, and Litigation Funding. Her work has been published in leading law journals and featured in a range of media including Time Magazine, the Financial Times (UK), Forbes Women, ABA Journal, National Law Journal, American Lawyer, Harvard Law Today, The National Jurist, Legal Futures (UK), Inside Counsel Magazine, Harvard Law The Practice, and Bloomberg News

Professor DeStefano has been invited to speak about her work at a number of law conferences, leading law firms, and law schools including Stanford, Harvard, IE Business School, University of St. Gallen, and Fordham.  And she has also delivered talks to legal departments within corporations and legal organizations such as Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, ABA, AALS, and NAFSA. She also regularly consults on ethics, attorney-client privilege and work product issues, and issues related to litigation funding.

Finally, Professor DeStefano is especially proud to be the mother of 3 wonderful children. | CV

 

 Publications

How Can Law Firms Innovate?, with James Batham, Iberian Law. (2015).

Compliance and Claim Funding: Testing the Borders of Lawyers’ Monopoly and the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 82 Fordham L. Rev. 2961 (2014).

Claim Funders and Commercial Claim Holders: A Common Interest or a Common Problem?, 63 DePaul L. Rev. 305 (2014).

Creating a Culture of Compliance: Why Departmentalization May Not Be the Answer, 10 Hastings Bus. L.J. 71 (2014).

NonLawyers Influencing Lawyers: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen or Stone Soup?, 80 Fordham L. Rev. 2791 (2012).

Hiring Teams, Firms, and Lawyers: Evidence of the Evolving Relationships in the Corporate Legal Market, with John Coates, Ashish Nanda, David Wilkins, 36 Law & Soc. Inquiry 999 (2011).

Taking the Business Out of Work Product, 79 Fordham L. Rev. 1869 (2011).

Advocacy in the Court of Public Opinion, Installment Two: How Far Should Corporate Attorneys Go?, 23 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 1119 (2010).

Advocacy in the Court of Public Opinion, Installment One: Broadening the Role of Corporate Attorneys, 22 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 1259 (2009).

The Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege: Third-Rate Doctrine for Third-Party Consultants, 62 SMU L. Rev. 727 (2009).

 Media Appearances

Michelle Deakin, Closing Argument: Innovation, Teamwork Drive Romeen Sheth ‘15 May 21 2015 HARVARD LAW TODAY

Roy Black, Law Without Walls, UM Law School May 13 2015 BLACK’S LAW, A BLOG

Mark A. Cohen, A Feel Good Story for Law? April 2015 LEGALMOSAIC BLOG

Schulich-Osgood MBA/JD Students Take Home LawWithoutWalls Awards April 2015 SCHULICH NEWS & EVENTS

Amir S. Dhillon, LawWithoutWhatNow?!, March 2015 AXIOM NEWSLETTER: AMIR’S CORNER

Asahi Shimbun March 2015

Ellen Rosen, Litigation Finance Communications Protected: Business of Law March 2015 BLOOOMBERG NEWS

LawWithoutWalls LWOW March 2015 THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, SYDNEY LAW SCHOOL NEWS

Edward Fennell, Lawyers with Solutions January 2015 THE TIMES: LAW DIARY

LawWithoutWalls Kicks Off its Fifth Year at University College Dublin January 2015 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI SCHOOL OF LAW NEWS

 Presentations

2017

Faculty Talk, “The Innovation Tournament: Changing the Way Lawyers Collaborate” University of Houston, Houston, TX (upcoming)

2016

@ ALM's InHouse Innovates Super Conference in Chicago (November 2016), Michele presented "Driving Disruptive Innovation: Redefining How Legal Departments Provide Value"

@ Chambers Diversity Seminar Chile: Challenges and Opportunities for Women in their Legal Career, in association with Carey (October 2016) Michele presented "Skills that Benefit Women in the Current Legal Working Environment: Technology, Team Work, and Creative Problem Solving"

@ Spotify Michele presented "The Changing Legal Landscape: How Lawyers Are Meeting (and Exceeding) its Demands" to the legal department

@ the Harvard Law School's, The Practice, Michele's articles and research in compliance along with the Compliance Elliance Journal (CEJ) (co-founded by Michele and Professor Hendrick Schneider, University of Leipzig) was featured (July 2016).

@ Fordham Law School ILEC 2016 Michele Presented Innovation: How Tomorrow's Lawyers Will Practice

@ the Harvard Law School's, Harvard Association for Law & Business Symposium, Michele moderated a fireside chat with Horacio Gutierrez, GC of Spotify (former GC Microsoft) re: entrepreneurship and corporate governance (April 2016).

@ the ABA Tech Show in Chicago, March 2016, Michele presented on a panel re: the importance of technology, collaboration, and diversity to solve laws future problems and provide client service.

@ IE Madrid Spain, LawWithoutWalls Kickoff and is featured in the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_GAedDwPOg

2015

@ the International Association of Law Schools annual meeting, Michele was awarded the Faculty Innovative Curriculum Award for LawWithoutWalls and presented on legal education, innovation, and technology.

In The Harvard Law School Bulletin, "The Laws of Adaptation," Michele was featured about her research and experience in innovating legal education and practice and about LawWithoutWalls.

In Financial Times, Millennials Demand Start-up Skills, Michele was quoted and winners from LawWithoutWalls were featured. 

@ University of St. Gallen Executive School of Management, Technology, & Law, Michele, as a member of the board of advisers, presented about her latest research on the organizational aspects of the legal and compliance function in the U.S. and about LawWithoutWalls.

@ The Clio Cloud Conference, Michele, presented "Global Law School:  Moving Legal Education into the 21st Century.

@ Microsoft (Seattle, WA) Michele gave a keynote talk about innovation in law and transforming the way lawyers and business professionals partner to solve problems.

@ Ethics & Compliance Initiative (Washington, DC) Michele spoke about LWOW X Compliance, our all-virtual initiative focused on solving problems in ethics and compliance.

@ Richard Susskind's 23rd Annual Ross Priory Conference on the Future of Legal Services (Strathclyde University, Loch Lomond, Scotland) Michele gave a keynote talk on Innovation in Legal Services and Legal Education.

In Bloomberg News, Michele was interviewed about her recent article about privilege protections for litigation funders that was cited and quoted in a recent Delaware case Carlyle Investment Management, L.L.C., et al. v. Moonmouth Company S.A., et al.

2014

Presenter, “Compliance and Current Challenges: From the Perspective of the U.S. Market,
     Leipzig Academy of Applied Criminal & Business Law + RP Lawyers, Munich, Germany

“Innovation, Profit and Growth in a Buyer’s Market,” The Future of Law Summit, London, UK

Keynote, “Legal Education, Technology, Extrapreneurship: And a Law Without Walls,”
     Florida Bar Business Law Section, Orlando, FL

Keynote, “Effective and Creative Use of Distance Technology to Internationalize the Domestic Law School Classroom,”
     Internationalizing Legal Education Colloquium, NAFSA, University of San Diego, CA

Presenter, “Innovation in the Delivery of Legal Services and Underserved Markets: Opportunities and Challenges,”
     Stanford Law School, Palo Alto, CA

Lecturer, “Innovating in Teams: The Practice and Theory of Creativity,”
     Harvard Law School Emerging Leaders in Law Firms Program, Cambridge, MA

Speaker, “A New Officer in the C-Suite? Keeping Up With Compliance,”
     Latham & Watkins Compliance Department Annual Retreat, Washington, DC

Keynote, “Legal Education, Technology, Extrapreneurship: An a Law Without Walls,”
     Florida Bar Winter Meeting, Orlando, FL

Panelist, “Enriching Globalization Studies with Low Cost Tech & Social Media: Serving More Than 1 Goal at a Time,”
     Association of American Law Schools, Washington, DC

2013

Panelist, "The Impact and Future of Automation on Legal Services,"
     Boston Legal-Tech-Innovation Meetup,
     Suffolk University, Boston, MA (July 2013).

Presenter, "LawWithoutWalls and Executive Education for Lawyers,"
     Professional Development Roundtable for Global Law Firms,
     Bracewell & Giuliani, New York, NY (June 2013).

Presenter, "Beyond Benchmarking? How Should Law and Corporate Compliance Intersect?,"
     Ethics Schmooze,
     Fordham Law School, New York, NY (June 2013).

Presenter, "Claim Funders and Commercial Claim Holders: A Common Interest or a Common Problem,"
     Clifford Chance Symposium,
     DePaul University, Chicago, IL (Apr. 2013).

Presenter, "Solving the Legal Crisis: Innovation and Entrepreneurship," 
     Stanford Center on the Legal Profession,
     Stanford Law School, Palo Alto, CA (Mar. 2013).

Lecturer, "Innovating in Teams: The Practice and Theory of Creativity,"
     Harvard Law School Emerging Leaders in Law Firms Program,
     Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA (Mar. 2013).

Lecturer, "The Future of Corporate Compliance,"
     IE (Instituto de Empresa) Lawyers Management Executive Education Program,
     IE Law School, Virtual Presentation, Madrid, Spain (Feb. 2013).

Keynote Speaker, "The Legal Network: Lawyers Embracing Social Networking,"
     Miami Law Review Symposium, Social Media and the Law,
     University of Miami School of Law, Miami, FL (Feb. 2013).

Lecturer, "General Counsels and Public Relations,"
     Professor David B. Wilkins, 1L Problem Solving Course,
     Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA (Jan. 2013) (Jan. 2012) (Jan. 2011) (Jan. 2010).

Panelist, "Creating a New Universe: A Virtual Gateway to Learning and Connecting Across the Globe,"
     Annual Meeting: Global Engagement and the Legal Academy,
     Association of American Law Schools, New Orleans, LA (Jan. 2013).

2012

Panelist, "When Outsiders Invest in Law Suits: An Ethical Debate on this Growing Trend, II," 
     Professional Liability Seminar
     DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar, New York, NY (Dec. 2012).

Lecturer, "Commercial Claim Funding: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen or Stone Soup?,"
     Professor David B. Wilkins, Legal Profession Course,
     Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA (Nov. 2012).

Presenter, "Beyond Benchmarking: How Should Law and Corporate Compliance Intersect?,"
     Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession,
     Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA (Nov. 2012).

Panelist, "What Skills Does the 21st Century Need and LawWithoutWalls Hone?,"
     International Association of Legal Ethics Conference, Banff, Canada (July 2012).

Panelist, "Legal Ethics and Regulation Education Around the Globe,"
     International Association of Legal Ethics Conference, Banff, Canada (July 2012).

Panelist, "Lawyer Independence,"
     International Association of Legal Ethics Conference, Banff, Canada (July 2012).

Presenter, "Virtual Third Places,"
     Law Tech Camp, London, UK (Jun. 2012).

Commentator, "Comparative and International Perspectives on Professionalism,"
     The Law: Business or Profession? The Continuing Relevance of Julius Henry Cohen for the Practice of Law in the Twenty-First Century,
     Fordham Law School, New York, NY (Apr. 2012).

Panelists, "Best Practices and Ethical Considerations in Corporate Compliance,"
     Managing Practitioner Risks in a Complex Global Environment,
     Fordham Law School, New York, NY (Apr. 2012).

Panelist, "When Outsiders Invest in Law Suits: An Ethical Debate on this Growing Trend, I,"
     DRI Webcast
     DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar, Chicago, IL (Apr. 2012).

Panelist, "Best Practices and Ethical Considerations in Corporate Compliance," 
     Commercial Litigation Funding and Investment 2012, New York, NY (Mar. 2012).

Lecturer, "The Future of Compliance in Large Publicly Traded Corporations,"
     IE Lawyers Management Executive Education Program,
     IE Law School, Virtual Presentation, Madrid, Spain (Feb. 2012).

Panelist, "Ethical Issues in International Litigation: Fee Sharing, Suit Financing,"
     10th Annual International Litigation and Arbitration Conference, Miami, FL (Feb. 2012).

Presenter, "The "New" Corporate Governance and Compliance,"
     Business Section Paper Competition,
     Association of American Law Schools, Washington D.C. (Jan. 2012).

Panelist, "Busting Out Scholarship: Becoming Relevant Outside the Legal Academy with Non-Traditional Scholarship,"
     Association of American Law Schools, Washington D.C. (Jan. 2012).

2011

Presenter, "Outside Influence on Lawyers, Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen or Stone Soup," 
     Florida State University Speakers Series,
     Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (Nov. 2011).

Presenter, "LawWithoutWalls,"
     Citizens Board Membership Meeting,
     University of Miami, Miami, FL (Nov. 2011).

Presenter, "The Government's Unofficial Stance on Compliance Departments: To Comply or Not To Comply?," 
     In-House Club Working Breakfast,
     Iberian Lawyer, Miami, FL (Nov. 2011).

Presenter, "Alternative Litigation Funding: Current Status and Issues in the US, UK, and Australia,"
     Arbitration Master Class, 
     Iberian Lawyer, Miami, FL (Nov. 2011).

Panelist, "The Government's Unofficial Stance on Compliance Departments: To Comply or Not To Comply?,"
     Financial Services Industry Regulatory Compliance & Ethics Forum 2011 
     Practising Law Institute Conference, New York, NY (Nov. 2011).

Award Winner and Presenter, "LawWithoutWalls and the InnovAction Award,"
     Futures Conference,
     InnovAction Awards, Chicago, IL (Oct. 2011).

Presenter, "Active Third Party Litigation Funding: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen or Stone Soup?,"
     Globalization and the Legal Profession Colloquium,
     Fordham Law School, New York, NY (Oct. 2011).

Keynote and Co-Chair, "The Government's Unofficial Stance on Compliance Departments: To Comply or Not To Comply?," 
      Corporate Council Summit, Las Vegas, NV (Sept. 2011).

Moderator and Co-Chair, "Developing and Negotiating Alternative Fee Arrangements that Will Save You Money and Time," 
     Corporate Council Summit, Las Vegas, NV (Sept. 2011).

Presenter, "LawWithoutWalls: Year in Review," 
     Future Ed 3: New Business Models for U.S. and Global Legal Education,
     Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA (Apr. 2011).

Moderator, "Crisis War Room – General Counsel's Role in Shaping the PR Strategy,"
     11th Annual Super Conference,
     Inside Counsel Magazine, Chicago, IL (May 2011).

Panelist, "The "New" – Third Party Funding of International Arbitration Claims: Similarities and Differences from Funding Litigation Claims, Products, Services, Issues, Recent Jurisprudence, Status,”
     Fordham Law School, New York, NY

2010

Presenter, "LawWithoutWalls," 
     Future Ed 2: Making Global Lawyers for the 21st Century,
     New York Law School, New York, NY (Oct. 2010).

Panelist, "The Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege and Third-Party Consultants, Ethical Pitfalls In An Unethical World,”
     Annual Convention,
     Turn Around Management Association, Orlando, FL (Oct. 2010).

Panelist, "The Year in Review in Confidentiality and Attorney-Client Privilege,"
     National Conference on Professional Responsibility,
     American Bar Association, Seattle, WA (Jun. 2010).

Presenter, "Hiring Teams from Rivals: Theory and Evidence on the Evolving Relationships in the Corporate Legal Market,"
     Law Firm Evolution: Brave New World or Business as Usual Conference,
     Georgetown Law Center, Washington D.C. (Mar. 2010).

Panelist, "Hiring Teams from Rivals: An Overview of the Evolving Relationships in the Corporate Legal Market" "Developing Business: Effective Strategies for
Building Profiles, Networks, and Client Relationships," 
Practicing Law Institute, New York, NY (Mar. 2010).

Phone: 305-284-2411
Office: G284
Faculty Assistant

Gomez, Michelle

Phone: (305)284-3910
Office: G287
Faculty Assistant

Madigan, Lauren

Phone: (305)284-9185
Office: G258
Faculty Assistant

May, Catherine

Phone: 305-284-3910
Office: G287

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