Power of Speech Schedule and Speaker Bios
Thursday, September 28, 2023
10:30am PDT / 11:30am MDT / 1:30pm EDT
Interim Dean and William Boswell Chair of Law, Baylor Law
10:35am – 12:00pm PDT / 11:35am – 1:00pm MDT / 1:35 – 3:00pm EDT
The State of Civil Discourse in America and the Legal Profession:
Discussion of the significance of freedom of speech and techniques for encouraging law students and lawyers to exercise this right civilly and professionally
Introduced by: Leah Teague
Baylor Law School, Professor of Law and Director of the Leadership Development Program
Opening Remarks and Moderator:
UC Berkley School of Law, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Immediate Past ABA President
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law, President, AALS
Duquesne University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Dean and Professor of Law, Chair, AALS Leadership Section
CUNY School of Law, Dean and Professor of Law
12:15pm – 1:45pm PDT / 1:15pm – 2:45pm MDT / 3:15 – 4:45pm EDT
Creating a Culture of Civility:
Discussion of specific offerings, programs, and activities to support a culture of civility, including professional identity formation, diversity and belonging training, public relations, and crisis management plans, among many others
Introduced by:Lee Fisher
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law
Opening Remarks and Moderator:
Law School Admissions Council, President and CEO
Timothy W. Floyd
Mercer University School of Law, Tommy Malone Distinguished Chair in Trial Advocacy and Director of Experiential Education
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Louis D. Bilionis
Cincinnati College of Law, Dean Emeritus and Droege Professor of Law
Baylor Law School, Professor of Law and Director of the Leadership Development Program
4:00 – 5:00pm CDT
2:00pm – 3:00pm PDT / 3:00 – 4:00pm MDT / 5:00 – 6:00pm EDT
Starr Federalist Papers Lecture Series
The Founding Fathers and the Importance of Civil Discourse
About the Speakers
Leah W. Teague
Professor of Law and Director of the Leadership Program
Professor Leah Teague served as the Associate Dean of Baylor Law for almost 30 years, a feat quite uncommon considering the average tenure in legal education is three to six years. She currently teaches business and leadership classes. She serves as the Director of Business Law Programs, a position she assumed in order to expand opportunities for our students and elevate the profile of Baylor Law’s business and transactional programs. Professor Teague teaches the Leadership Engagement and Development course, which is part of Baylor Law’s unique Leadership Development Program. She writes and speaks on tax, business, non-profit and leadership topics.
Recognizing that being a lawyer is a privilege that requires her to give back to society, she spends significant time in service to the profession and her community through local, state, and national organizations. On a national level, she was instrumental in the creation of a new section within the American Association of Law Schools. The AALS Section for leadership was created to promote scholarship, teaching, and related activities that will help prepare lawyers and law students to be better prepared to serve in positions of influence and impact as lawyers. She served as Chair of the Section in 2020 and continues to play a vital role in the continuing development and growth of the section by currently serving on the Executive Committee.
She served as an appointed member of the American Council on Education's Women Network Executive Council, a national advisory council to the Women's State Network, where she chaired the council’s New Initiative Committee which led its Moving the Needle Initiative aimed at increasing the national awareness of the economic and social benefits of, and therefore importance of, greater diversity in leadership. She also joined other academic leaders from the U.S. and abroad to discuss the status of women leaders in society at two Oxford Round Tables.
In Texas, she currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Texas Federal Tax Institute. Appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas, she served on the Professional Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Texas. She is an elected member of the Texas Bar Foundation. She is an alumnae of the Leadership Texas, as well as the Leadership America program. She was founding co-chair the Texas Women in Higher Education, Inc.
Locally, Teague serves on the board of directors and chair of Governance Committee for Start Up Waco, a non-profit created to lead Waco’s entrepreneurial support efforts and elevate Waco as a hub for business innovation. She is a past president of the Waco McLennan County Bar Association and the Midway Education Foundation. Teague and her husband Ted are active members of the Waco community.
Interim Dean and the William Boswell Chair of Law
Patricia A. Wilson was named Interim Dean of Baylor Law on July 1, 2023 after serving as Associate Dean since 2021. Dean Wilson is also the William Boswell Chair of Law. She has been a member of the Baylor Law faculty since 1993 and has taught courses on Employment Discrimination, Employment Relations, Labor Law, Family Law, Property, Antitrust, Intellectual Property, Consumer Protection, and Legal Writing. 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. Dean Wilson also serves as a Minority Law Student Advisor. For the past 10 years, she has coached multiple moot court teams each year, and her teams have done exceptionally well.
In the classroom, students benefit both from Dean Wilson’s professional and personal experience, where she supplements textbook cases with real-life examples. Before joining the Baylor Law Faculty, she practiced law for seven years, including four years with American Airlines, Inc. There, she managed litigation matters worth millions of dollars, negotiated and drafted contracts for topics as diverse as software licensing and health care plan administration, and handled matters involving airline regulation and employment discrimination.
Dean Wilson has published articles on property and real estate issues and client counseling. For years, she regularly spoke at continuing legal education seminars in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago on such topics as legal ethics and complex real estate negotiations.
Service is particularly important to Dean Wilson. In 2005, she established the People’s Law School program at Baylor Law—an annual event designed to educate members of the Waco community about their legal rights and make the law “user friendly.” For the first 15 years of that program, she served as the driving force behind it. Dean Wilson has served as the National Moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, having been a member of the Governing Board on two separate occasions and was the Moderator of the Texas Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Dean Wilson has served on numerous national boards and committees, including the State Bar of Texas Consumer and Commercial Law Council, the American Bar Association Competitions Committee, the Dispute Resolution Center Board, and as President of the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association. In 2016, Dean Wilson was honored as the Outstanding Professor for Contributions to the Academic Community.
Dean Wilson earned her undergraduate degree from Purdue University (B.A., 1982, Sociology), graduating with distinction. She received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1985), where she was named a Wigmore Scholar and was a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of International Law and Business.
Dean Wilson and her husband, Michael Jones, are the parents of four children. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her three spirited grandchildren.
Mark C. Alexander
Dean, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, President, AALS
Mark C. Alexander 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 constitution law, election law, the First Amendment and criminal procedure. 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.
April M. Barton
Dean and Professor of Law at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University
April M. Barton is Dean and Professor of Law at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University. Under her leadership, the Law School has steadily increased enrollment, raised the academic profile of the entering class, and the bar passage and post-graduation employment rates of its students.
Dean Barton has launched a number of initiatives in alignment with Duquesne's Mission and shared vision focused on three pillars of interdisciplinary learning, leadership development, and community well-being. Understanding that leadership development is a critical part of professional development and a lawyer's greater duty to advance justice and preserve democracy in our society, she established the School's distinctive Leadership Fellows Program in 2019, the Leadership Honors Program in 2021, co-teaches the first course in Law and Leadership, and has worked collaboratively with faculty to ensure that leadership development is introduced in all Professional Responsibility courses taught at Duquesne. Focused on creating a culture of belonging for all, Dean Barton formed the Dean's Diversity Action Council in 2019, to focus on creating long-term, sustained progress toward justice, equity, and human dignity.
She serves on the AALS Deans' Steering Committee, is Chair to the AALS Leadership Section, and is a Board Member of the Pittsburgh Legal Diversity and Inclusion Coalition.
She previously held various positions at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, most recently as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Barton successfully launched 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 courses in administrative agency rulemaking, computer law, the First Amendment and regulation in cyberspace, and digital law. She previously served as the director of the JD/MBA and JD/MPA joint degree programs.
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 law reviews including the Washington University Law Review, Baylor Law Review, and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology. She is a frequent speaker and has presented and moderated discussions on teaching leadership in law school, promoting diversity, innovations in law school teaching, distance learning, technology, and classrooms of the future. 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. Barton served as an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Division of Marketing Practices, where she worked on policy and law enforcement issues related to internet fraud and deception.
Louis D. Bilionis
Dean Emeritus and Droege Professor of Law, College of Law
Dean Emeritus Louis D. Bilionis served as Dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law from 2005 to 2015. He is a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of constitutional law and criminal law and procedure, with his work published in leading law journals such as the Michigan Law Review, Texas Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, University of California-Los Angeles Law Review, Emory Law Journal, North Carolina Law Review, and Law and Contemporary Problems. He also is a leader in efforts to strengthen legal education and its support of the professional identity formation of law students. His publications in the field include Law Student Professional Development and Formation: Bridging Law School, Student, and Employer Goals (Cambridge University Press 2022) (with Neil W. Hamilton), and he is a Fellow with the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota School of Law. He regularly teaches Constitutional Law I, Criminal Procedure I, and a seminar on advanced problems in constitutional law and theory.
Dean Bilionis graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1982. Upon graduation from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he was elected Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tar Heel and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Economics and English.
Before joining academia, Dean Bilionis was in private practice with the firm of Ropes & Gray in Boston, representing major national and multinational corporations in litigation. His interest in constitutional law and commitment to the cause of equal justice led Dean Bilionis back to North Carolina, where he served in the Office of the Appellate Defender as an assistant appellate defender representing indigent criminal defendants, with an emphasis on capital punishment appeals. Dean Bilionis joined the law faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1988, focusing his research and teaching on diverse issues in constitutional law and criminal law, including the transformation of judicial review in the Supreme Court, the Constitution's relationship to substantive criminal law, the Eighth Amendment and capital punishment, and state constitutional law. In 1999, he was appointed UNC's first Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law.
Active in civic and professional organizations, Dean Bilionis has served on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union and chaired the committee of the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar charged with programming for the deans of accredited law schools. He served on the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he was vice chair for community engagement, and serves on the board of Linton Chamber Music.
Dean, UC Berkley School of 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. 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. From 1980-1983, he was an assistant professor at DePaul College of Law.
He is the author of sixteen books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. His most recent books are Worse than Nothing: The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism (2022) and Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights (2021).
He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He is a contributing writer for the Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, and writes regular columns for the Sacramento Bee, 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. In 2022, he served as the President of the Association of American Law Schools.
American Bar Association, Immediate Past President
Deborah Enix-Ross, a senior adviser to the International Dispute Resolution Group of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City, is the immediate past president of the American Bar Association, the world’s largest voluntary association of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals. Enix-Ross served as chair of the ABA’s policymaking House of Delegates and as chair of the ABA Center for Human Rights. As chair of the ABA International Law Section, she co-founded the Women’s Interest Network and worked with the International Bar Association to create its Women’s Interest Group. She also led an international legal exchange delegation to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana, where she delivered an address commemorating the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. She is a member of the American Law Institute. Ms. Enix-Ross is a Vice President of the World Justice Project, a former Chair of the ABA’s Section Officers Conference, and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is a former Vice Chair of the International Bar Association (IBA) Bar Issues Commission and a past ABA representative to the IBA.
Enix-Ross joined Debevoise & Plimpton in 2002. Previously, she served as senior legal officer with the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center in Geneva, Switzerland. She also was a director of international litigation with Price Waterhouse and the American representative to the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration. She started her legal career with MFY Legal Services in New York City. Ms. Enix-Ross was named on the 2022 Forbes 50 Over 50: Impact list. She is recognized for being “a change maker who uses her empathy, insight and savvy to make the world a better, more equitable place.”
Enix-Ross earned a B.A. in broadcast journalism from the University of Miami and J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law. She also received a diploma in comparative law from the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law of Columbia University and a certificate in international law from the London School of Economics.
Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law, Cleveland State University College of Law
Lee Fisher, Dean and Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law, Cleveland State University College of Law.
Dean Fisher’s diverse career has spanned the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors with a focus on law, public policy, economic development, and leadership education. Lee has served as Dean of CSU|LAW since 2017. One of his signature initiatives was creating a Leadership and Law Program and a Leadership Certificate, and he teaches a law school course, Leadership Lessons of Highly Effective Lawyer-Leaders. He is the Chair-Elect of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Leadership Section.
He earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He was the first recipient of Case Law School’s Distinguished Recent Graduate Award, and was inducted into its Society of Benchers. After graduating, Lee clerked for Judge Paul C. Weick of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Lee 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 practiced in the areas of antitrust, business litigation, and legislative/government regulation. He is a Life member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Judicial Conference and the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Eighth District Judicial Conference.
He served as Ohio Attorney General and was the first Ohio AG to personally argue cases before the Ohio Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. In 1992, he defended the constitutionality of Ohio’s Hate Crime Law in the Ohio Supreme Court, the law that he authored years earlier as a State Senator. As General Counsel for the State of Ohio, he managed the largest law firm in Ohio - a team of 1200 professionals including 350 lawyers, 23 legal divisions, a $50 million budget, and an average daily caseload of 40,000 pending cases. He supervised the writing of over 300 formal legal opinions.
Lee is a recipient of the American Constitution Society’s Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Service Award, and the Anti-Defamation League’s Jurisprudence Award. In 2021, Lee and his wife Peggy (President/CEO of the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio) received the highest award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation, the Richard Pogue Award for Excellence in Community Leadership and Engagement, the first couple to receive the award. In 2022, Lee was inducted in the Cleveland Magazine Business Hall of Fame for his decades-long work on state, regional, and local economic development.
He serves on the Board of the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation and is a past Board member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Cleveland Legal Aid Society. He is a regular legal commentator for WKYC-TV3, the Cleveland NBC affiliate, and is a regular columnist for Community Leader, a publication of Cleveland Magazine.
President Bill Clinton appointed Lee as Chair of the National Commission on Crime Control and Prevention. Lee was a charter member of the Cleveland Community Police Commission and he served as Special Transition Advisor on Ethics to Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb.
Lee served as President and CEO of the Center for Families and Children in Cleveland from 1999-2006, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Midwest. During that time, he received the Smart Business Magazine’s Nonprofit Executive of the Year and the Visionary in Business Award. He also received the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King 50th Anniversary Fair Housing Leadership in Higher Education Award, and the Nonprofit Leadership Award from the Case Western Reserve University Mandel School for Applied Social Sciences.
Lee also served as President and CEO of CEOs for Cities, a national network of mid-sized U.S. cities focused on innovation and economic growth, from 2011-2016. As President, Lee developed a strategic framework for revitalizing cities known as City Vitals. He is a former Senior Fellow at Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs, and a former Urban Scholar at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and the Great Cities Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Timothy W. Floyd
Tommy Malone Distinguished Chair in Trial Advocacy and Director of Experiential Education
Timothy W. Floyd is the Tommy Malone Distinguished Chair in Trial Advocacy and Director of Experiential Education at Mercer University School of Law. He was the developer and Director of Law and Public Service Program, which became the Experiential Education Program in 2014. The centerpiece of the program is experiential learning opportunities for students through clinics and externship opportunities. In addition, the program coordinates and encourages volunteer community service and legal service opportunities by law students.
In addition to supervising clinical and externship programs, Professor Floyd has taught courses in legal ethics, criminal law, civil procedure, legal skills, law and religion, and human rights. He has published three books and is the author of numerous articles in the area of legal ethics, law and religion, criminal law, and the death penalty.
His most recent book is The Formation of Professional Identity: The Path from Student to Lawyer (with Pat Longan and Daisy Floyd). While teaching at several law schools in his career, he has represented persons facing the death penalty and worked to insure access to justice for all in civil cases. He received a B.A and an M.A. from Emory University and his J.D from the University of Georgia, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Georgia Law Review.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Tania Luma is the Assistant Dean for the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, working in partnership with academic and administrative departments to promote inclusion, diversity, and equity both in and out of the classroom.
Prior to joining Loyola Chicago, Luma served as assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, where she worked to strengthen the institutional culture and dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion principles, and cultivated a sense of belonging for the entire law school community.
She has taught courses in Critical Thinking, Criminal Justice, and Homeland Security. She studied public leadership at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and used this training to coach.
After earning her J.D. from UIC Law in 2009, Tania practiced civil litigation in the Cook County Child Protection Division, representing children affected by abuse and neglect. In addition, she managed legal teams and created Jobs for Youth, an employment program for disadvantaged youth in Cook County foster care and advise individuals and institutions on leadership and organizational development.
As a UIC Law student, Tania chaired the SBA’s Diversity Affairs Committee, a position through which she lobbied for the college to establish an Office of Diversity; the office was created in 2009.
Dean and Professor, CUNY School of Law
Sudha Setty joined CUNY Law as dean and professor of law on July 1, 2022. She is the first person of South Asian descent to lead a CUNY campus and is the first woman of South Asian descent to serve as dean of any ABA-accredited law school. Under her leadership, CUNY Law has revived the W. Haywood Burns Chair in Human and Civil Rights, launched the path-breaking First Impressions Youth Legal Collaborative, created a new Emerging Needs Clinic to serve asylum seekers and other vulnerable New Yorkers, and launched its first strategic planning process in nearly a decade.
Dean Setty is a nationally recognized scholar in national security and comparative law, writing more than two dozen articles and the monograph, National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law (Cambridge 2017). She currently serves on the Deans Steering Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, on the editorial board of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, and on the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Artificial Intelligence.
In 2021, Dean Setty co-founded the inaugural Workshop for Asian-American Women in Legal Academia, now an annual event, in which participants to engage in professional development, scholarship support, and building community. Dean Setty is the recipient of the National Conference for Community and Justice 2021 Human Relations Award; was on the Lawyers of Color Power List in 2020; was recognized as a Top Woman in the Law by the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2019; was named a Trailblazer by the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut in 2015; and received the 2017 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award from the Connecticut Bar Association. In 2018, Dean Setty was elected to membership in the American Law Institute and as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
From 2018 to 2022, she served as dean of Western New England University School of Law, during which time she led the creation of its Center for Social Justice and led the faculty in commitments to antiracism across the curriculum. While on faculty there, she was awarded Professor of the Year three times. Dean Setty started her legal career as a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell. She earned an A.B. in History (with honors) from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Kellye Y. Testy
President and CEO, Law School Admission Council
Kellye Testy is the president and chief executive officer of the Law School Admission Council, a global nonprofit organization that encourages diverse, talented individuals to study law and supports their enrollment and learning journeys from prelaw through practice. LSAC also develops and supports the technology products that enable schools and candidates to connect with one another in the admission process.
Prior to leading LSAC, Testy served as a law school dean and faculty member for 25 years, including as the first woman dean at the University of Washington School of Law (2009-17). During her tenure, she established the endowed Toni Rembe deanship, launched the Barer and Gregoire Fellows programs, and delivered the largest gift in the school’s history: a $56 million bequest from alumnus Jack McDonald for student scholarships and faculty and program support. Testy also served as dean at Seattle University School of Law (2004-09), where she founded the Access to Justice Institute, the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, and other key programs.
Always a teacher first, Testy continues to offer courses at several law schools in her areas of specialty, including business law and leadership development. She is currently University Scholar & Harris Visiting Professor at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, her beloved alma mater. Testy has been recognized numerous times as an innovator in education and technology and as one of the nation’s most influential leaders consistently advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in legal education. She especially enjoys working with law school deans to support their leadership and help advance their school’s mission and goals. An expert in corporate governance, Testy serves on several boards, both corporate and nonprofit, and conducts trainings for boards to help them meet their fiduciary duties and add value to the organizations they serve. 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. In 2016, she served as president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). She served on the AALS Executive Committee from 2013 to 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.
Testy is a nationally sought-after speaker, panelist, and consultant on legal and higher education, leadership, diversity and access, and corporate law and governance. Recent speaking engagements include numerous conference and event panels on which she served as both moderator and featured speaker.
Testy is a first-generation college graduate who earned 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. After graduating, she clerked for Judge Jesse E. Eschbach, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.