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Participant Bios

SHARON BARNER, ’82
Lions at the Bar: Civil Litigators and Their Greatest Cases
Saturday, 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Sharon Barner is vice president, general counsel at Cummins Inc. She came to Cummins from the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she was deputy undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the United States Patent and Trademark Offices. Prior to that, she was a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, where she also was a member of the Executive Management Committee and chair of the firm’s intellectual property department.

While at Foley & Lardner, Barner was part of the plaintiff’s legal team in Hughes Aircraft Co. v. United States (1995). Hughes sued the U.S. government for patent infringement and unauthorized taking of intellectual property related to geosynchronous satellites. The technology, which is directed to the ability to stabilize a satellite while in space, was critical to achieving 24-hour communication with the earth and thus providing the ability to have continual television and cell phone technology. The actual litigation began in 1973 and took more than 20 years (including two trips to the U.S. Supreme Court) to reach conclusion and a $157 million judgment in Hughes' favor. The trial itself lasted nearly a year.

Barner was named one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal, and she has been cited by both Black Enterprise Magazine and Diversity and the Bar as the top intellectual property lawyer. She was featured and profiled in a 2008 story, “The IP Wild West: Sharon Barner Takes on China,” in Crain’s Chicago.

Barner holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science from Syracuse University.


OTTY BEATTY III, ’94
Alternative Careers: Non-Traditional Choices
Saturday, 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Otto Beatty is an entrepreneur, attorney, business counselor, and go-giver. Throughout his professional life, he has carried on his family’s legacy of involvement in private business, law, politics, and community service.

Beatty co-owns the E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co. LLC, a nationally recognized leader in the transportation and corporate relocation industry. In 2013, E.E. Ward was ranked as the No. 1 agency for volume by North American Van Lines. The company is a past recipient of the Minority Corporate Supplier of the Year Award from the Ohio Minority Business Development Supplier Council, and was named Small Business of Year by the Columbus (Ohio) Chamber of Commerce.

Beatty also owns and operates the Columbus branch of Intelligent Office, a franchised network of virtual office and virtual assistant businesses designed to provide entrepreneurs and other professionals with comprehensive on-demand solutions to allow them to increase their client connectivity and enhance their professional image.    

Prior to launching his career in business, Beatty was a partner with Baker & Hostetler LLP (2003-07), having joined the firm as an associate in 1995. He served as personal business counsel to several small companies, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and professionals. Beatty also has been involved as a partner or investor in real estate projects in the hospitality, student housing, and residential apartment sectors.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Morehouse College.  


GODFREY DILLARD, ’73
Lions at the Bar: Civil Litigators and Their Greatest Cases
Saturday, 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Godfrey Joseph Dillard’s practice is focused on litigation of matters ranging from education to civil rights. He was lead counsel for defendant interveners in the University of Michigan affirmative action cases—Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 US 244 (2003) and Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 US 306 (2003)—argued before the United States Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court has struggled with its mandate to end race discrimination with “all deliberate speed” since the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. In the 1978 landmark case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, the Supreme Court ruled that universities could take into account race in admissions. In contrast to prior remedies, diversity was not compensatory or accusatory and capacious enough to be merit-based. But proponents of constitutional color-blindness continued to challenge the practice, which led to the dual lawsuits filed against the diversity-based admission practices of the University of Michigan. In 2003, with mixed decisions, the Supreme Court, in Gratz, struck down the point-based admission system of the undergraduate school, but in Grutter, upheld the individual assessment-based system of the law school. The Supreme Court, in giving deference to educational institutions, did not close the door to the constitutionality of race-conscious remedies, at least not for another 25 years.

The on-going controversy continues unabated in the recently remanded decision in the 2013 Fischer v. Texas case. The long-accepted analytics of “strict scrutiny” appears now to be a moving target.

Dillard’s many awards include Michigan Lawyer of the Year; the Champion of Justice, State Bar of Michigan; and the U-M Leonard F. Sain Esteemed Alumni Award.


STEPHEN DREW, ’74
Lions at the Bar: Civil Litigators and Their Greatest Cases
Saturday, 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Stephen R. Drew is a founding partner of Drew, Cooper and Anding. Drew has practiced in the areas of civil rights, personal injury, sexual harassment, police misconduct, and employment law, and has litigated complex cases in state and federal courts in Michigan and throughout the United States. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers of the American Bar Association, and he has received the Champion of Justice Award from the Michigan Bar Association and the ACLU Libertarian of the Year Award.
 
Drew has litigated and settled many high profile cases in his career, including Theresa Waldo v. Consumers Energy 1:06, cv-00768 (2010). In 2007, Plaintiff Theresa Waldo filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan against Consumers Energy Co., alleging that she had been subjected to discrimination based on her sex/gender, sexual harassment in the form of a hostile work environment, and retaliation during the time that she sought to be the first woman lineman to complete a four-year apprenticeship program in Consumers’ Western Michigan Region. A jury trial resulted in an initial verdict for Consumers Energy on all counts.
 
Believing that the overwhelming weight of the evidence showed that Waldo was subjected to sexual harassment, Drew and co-counsel requested a new trial as to the sexual harassment/hostile work environment and retaliation claims only. This jury trial returned a verdict of $7.9 million for the plaintiff.


CHRISTINE GREGORY, ’96
Brunch and Weekend Wrap-up
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Aikens Commons, Hutchins Hall

Christine Gregory is a consultant to educational institutions and corporations seeking advice in diversity and inclusion. She has 15 years of experience in designing cross-cultural engagement curricula, cultural competency programs, and leadership development initiatives. Her approach to diversity and inclusion training is best described as creative, innovative, and “out of the box.” Prior to her work in consulting, Gregory was the assistant dean for student affairs at the University of Michigan Law School from 2007-13. In this capacity, she led diversity and inclusion initiatives and was awarded the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Diversity Leaders Award in 2012.
 
Gregory is a member of the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Michigan Bars. Before her role at Michigan Law, she worked as an advocate for low income residents of Washington, D.C.—first as a staff attorney for the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, where her work focused on fair housing issues and public benefits, and then as the executive director of the Urban Alliance Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing disadvantaged high school students with career-focused internships and access to college. During her time at the Urban Alliance Foundation, she established the Health Alliance project, a public-assistance-to-paid-employment initiative that provided inroads for low-income young adults to pursue professional nursing careers.  

Gregory earned a BA from Hampton University.


ROGER GREGORY, ‘78
Hot Topics in Post-Civil Rights Era Advocacy
Saturday, Noon – 2 p.m.
Michigan Union, Anderson Room

Judge Roger Gregory is the first African American to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He was nominated to the Court by President Clinton in 2000, and was re-nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate for a lifetime appointment to the Court. He is the only person in history to be appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals by presidents from different political parties.

Gregory began his legal career as an associate with Butzel, Long in Detroit. He later formed the law firm of Wilder & Gregory with L. Douglas Wilder. Upon Wilder’s election as Governor of Virginia, Gregory became managing partner. He served in that capacity and as head of the litigation section of the firm until his appointment to the bench.

He was a member of the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Commission, established by the president and Congress, and by appointment of the Chief Justice of the United States, he served as chairman of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the United States Courts from 2006-09.  Gregory is a past rector of and has served on the Board of Visitors for Virginia Commonwealth University. He also has served on the Board of Visitors of Virginia State University and as an adjunct professor.

Gregory graduated from Virginia State University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts and holds honorary degrees from Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Widener University, and Saint Paul’s College.


CHARLOTTE H. JOHNSON, ’88
Plugging the Leaky Pipeline: Diversity in Legal Education
Saturday, 2:30–3:45 p.m.

Charlotte Hawkins Johnson is the dean of the college at Dartmouth. In this role, she serves as Dartmouth’s chief student affairs officer, providing leadership for a comprehensive set of undergraduate student affairs programs and services. She works closely with Dartmouth faculty to integrate the school’s curricular and co-curricular experience, and to foster a climate conducive to students’ academic, personal, and professional success. Since beginning at Dartmouth in 2011, Johnson has led initiatives to increase students’ access to health services, championed a new model for academic advising, worked to increase students’ social options on campus, and expanded a wellness initiative that emphasizes a holistic approach to student well-being and productive engagement. In addition, Johnson and her team have advanced anti-hazing reforms and a bystander intervention program targeted at preventing sexual assault and hazing. 

Previously, Johnson was vice president and dean of the college at Colgate University, where she was chief student affairs officer. There she led implementation of a comprehensive divisional diversity plan. Prior to her time at Colgate, Johnson was the assistant dean for student affairs at the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a member of the central communications and legal strategy teams for the Grutter and Gratz affirmative action cases that were ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.

Earlier in her career, Johnson was a litigation attorney and the first African American woman to be appointed a shareholder in the Detroit law firm of Garan Lucow Miller. 

ELLEN D. KATZ
Hot Topics in Post-Civil Rights Era Advocacy
Saturday, Noon – 2 p.m.
Michigan Union, Anderson Room 

Ellen D. Katz, the Ralph W. Aigler Professor of Law, writes and teaches about election law, civil rights and remedies, and equal protection. Her scholarship addresses questions of minority representation, political equality, and the role of institutions in crafting and implementing anti-discrimination laws. Prof. Katz has published numerous articles including an influential empirical study of litigation under the Voting Rights Act. Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, Prof. Katz practiced as an attorney with the appellate sections of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Division and its Environment and Natural Resources Division. She was a judicial clerk for Justice David H. Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court, and for Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She earned her JD in 1994 from Yale Law School, where she served as articles editor of the Yale Law Journal. She graduated summa cum laude from Yale College in 1991 with a BA in history.


HAROLD KENNEDY III, ’77
Lions at the Bar: Civil Litigators and Their Greatest Cases
Saturday, 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Harold L. Kennedy III is a partner in the law firm of Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy and Kennedy, LLP in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has practiced law in North Carolina since 1978.
 
Kennedy concentrates his practice in the areas of sexual harassment, wrongful discharge from employment, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and received the Lawyer of the Year Award from the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers in 1988. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the State Bar of North Carolina, the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, the Forsyth County Bar Association, and the Winston-Salem Bar Association.
 
Kennedy has handled many groundbreaking cases, including Patterson v. McLean Credit Union, which led to Congress passing the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and Hogan v. Forsyth Country Club Co., which opened the door for women to receive large jury verdicts in sexual harassment cases in North Carolina state courts based on the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress. In Bonita Smith Ellis, Administratrix of the Estate of John Henry Perry v. Onward Healthcare, Inc., Carolane Marsh and Michael C. Alston, MD;, the jury awarded the family of a Bertie County (North Carolina) man a $4 million medical malpractice verdict after lethally large doses of insulin were administered to the deceased, John Henry Perry.

Kennedy received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

CHARLES LOWERY, ‘79
Hot Topics in Post-Civil Rights Era Advocacy
Saturday, Noon – 2 p.m.
Michigan Union, Anderson Room

Charles R. Lowery Jr. is the director of fair lending and inclusion at the NAACP. His 30-year career in public service includes positions with local government in the District of Columbia, federal government, and legal services. Lowery previously was acting director of Military Saves, a social marketing campaign cosponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Consumer Federation of America that helps servicemembers and their families save money and reduce debt.
 
Prior to Military Saves, Lowery worked as a policy counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), a nonprofit policy organization that promotes responsible lending practices and access to fair terms of credit for low-wealth families. There, he worked with a coalition comprised of the DoD and consumer advocates to obtain passage of Congressional legislation and enactment of the Military Lending Act, a federal law that places a 36-percent interest rate cap on consumer loans made to military members and their families; and develop and manage a coalition of groups and organizations that successfully persuaded the Council of the District of Columbia to pass a 24-percent interest rate cap for consumer loans made to D.C. residents. In addition, Lowery organized, developed, and maintained military outreach activities with the Department of Defense and the Departments of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force in the areas of predatory mortgage lending, payday lending, and other abusive consumer financial services practices and products. He also served as a state coordinator in states targeted for legislative initiatives in the areas of predatory mortgage lending and payday lending.
 
Lowery earned a bachelor’s degree in economics with honors from Stanford University.


MICHELE COLEMAN MAYES, ’74
Conversation with the Dean
Saturday, 9 a.m.

Michele Coleman Mayes serves as the vice president, general counsel of the New York Public Library, where she is responsible for all legal affairs and plays a key role in the transformation of the Library through creative entrepreneurship.
 
Before joining the New York Public Library, Mayes was executive vice president and general counsel for the Allstate Corp., which she joined in 2007. At Allstate, she guided the company on legal and regulatory matters. Prior to Allstate, Mayes was general counsel for Pitney Bowes Inc. She also held leadership positions at Colgate-Palmolive Co. and the Unisys Corp. From 1976-82, Mayes served at the U.S. Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit and Brooklyn.

Widely recognized as a leader in legal and philanthropic circles, Mayes has been the recipient of numerous professional awards, including the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award; the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Trailblazer Award; Ethisphere® Institute’s 2011 “Attorneys Who Matter” list of general counsels; and The National Law Journal’s 2009 “Most Influential General Counsels” list.

Mayes also earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan.


SONYA MAYs, ’08
Alternative Careers: Non-Traditional Choices
Saturday, 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Sonya Mays is the senior adviser to Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. In this role, she is part of a three-person core internal team advising and assisting Orr on Detroit’s $18 billion municipal bankruptcy filing and its operational restructuring effort. She coordinates and executes confidential and highly sensitive special projects; analyzes and makes recommendations across a wide variety of legal, policy, operational, financial, and other topics; oversees and manages the flow and exchange of information, streamlines interactions between key constituents, and facilitates initiatives on behalf of the emergency manager; and prepares correspondence, memoranda, reports, and other material of a highly confidential nature, including correspondence to and from key stakeholders.

Prior to her current role, Mays was vice president, corporate and investment bank, at Deutsche Bank in New York. There, she raised more than $4 billion in corporate debt, equity, and equity-linked securities for large-cap diversified industrial, construction, building products, automotive, and private equity clients. She also routinely led creation of valuation, financing, leveraged buyout, debt paydown, and cash flow models.

Mays holds a joint JD/MBA as well as a bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology from the University of Michigan. She is a native Detroiter who attended Renaissance High and began her post-undergraduate career as a middle school mathematics teacher in Detroit.


AYANNA McCONNELL
Plugging the Leaky Pipeline: Diversity in Legal Education
Saturday, 2:30–3:45 p.m.

Ayanna McConnell has more than 15 years of professional experience in higher education, with a focus on student engagement, leadership, mentoring, and transition programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. She currently manages student and diversity initiatives for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, which includes the LEAD Scholars Program and research efforts with students and young alumni.

Previously, McConnell was coordinator of orientation and transfer programs at Eastern Michigan University (2009-11) and assistant director and university mentorship coordinator for the Office of New Student Programs at the University of Michigan (2001-07). Her service to U-M includes membership on the University’s Diversity Council, the MLK Planning Symposium, the Women of Color Taskforce, and serving as the institutional representative for the MI-ACE Network. She is a past executive board member of the Michigan College Personnel Association.

McConnell holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership–Higher Education/Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University, and currently she is pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership from EMU. A self-described “connector,” her research interests include succession planning and mentoring of staff and administrators in higher education.


FREDERICK NANCE, ’78
Alternative Careers: Non-Traditional Choices
Saturday, 10:30–11:45 a.m.


Frederick R. Nance joined Squire Sanders directly out of law school and now serves as regional managing partner in the Cleveland office. He leads the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Group, and his practice also focuses on commercial litigation, client counseling, and public-private partnerships.

From 1991-2001, Nance was the primary outside counsel to the City of Cleveland and former Cleveland Mayor Michael White in a variety of impactful initiatives and development projects, including spearheading the battle to keep the NFL’s Browns in Cleveland. In 2009, he joined the Browns’ front office, serving for three years as the organization’s general counsel while remaining a Squire Sanders partner. He now is senior adviser and special counsel to the Browns. In 2012, Nance was recognized by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal as one of the country’s top sports lawyers.

Nance is an active civic leader, especially with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, one of the nation’s largest chambers of commerce. He is a past chairman of the board of the Partnership and currently sits on its executive committee. He also was chairman of the Cleveland Defense Industry Alliance, which successfully retained 1,100 Department of Defense jobs that had been targeted by the Pentagon for elimination. Nance has been named one of Cleveland’s most influential people and, in 2007, was No. 1 on Inside Business magazine’s list of the 100 most powerful people in Northeast Ohio.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.


MICHELE NORRIS
The Race Card Project
Friday, 4:30 p.m.

Michele Norris is a National Public Radio host and special correspondent. She is a frequent guest on NBC’s Meet the Press and The Chris Matthews Show. Before joining NPR in 2002, Norris was a reporter for ABC News. She also has worked as a staff writer for The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times.

Additionally, Norris leads “The Race Card Project,” an initiative to foster a wider conversation about race in America that she created after the publication of her 2010 family memoir, The Grace of Silence. In the book, she turns her interviewing and investigative skills on her own background to unearth long hidden family secrets that raise questions about her racial legacy and shed new light on America’s complicated racial history.

Norris has received numerous accolades for her work, including the 2009 “Journalist of the Year” award from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) for her coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign. As part of that coverage, she moderated a series of conversations with voters on the intersection of race and politics, which earned her and fellow NPR host Steve Inskeep an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcasting. Norris also received the NABJ’s 2006 Salute to Excellence Award for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and earned Emmy and Peabody awards for her contribution to ABC News’ coverage of 9/11. She was named one of Essence magazine’s 25 Most Influential Black Americans and was elected to Ebony magazine’s Power 150 List.

Norris holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, where she studied journalism.


GLENN OLIVER, ’87
Alternative Careers: Non-Traditional Choices
Saturday, 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Glenn Douglas Oliver is the founder, president, and CEO of H2bid Inc., a smart procurement community for the water/wastewater (“water”) industry. H2bid provides cloud-based smart procurement services to water utilities and vendors, has created a global e-procurement exchange, and is the leading source for water utility contract opportunities. H2bid also has the only totally free electronic bidding software for the water utility industry. In October 2013, H2bid was selected as the peer favorite out of 50 technology companies that participated in the Silicon Valley Forum, a startup expo.
 
Oliver is a second-generation entrepreneur, a lawyer, and a former member of the Detroit Board of Water Commissioners. From 1996-2001, he was a group executive in former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer’s Cabinet. In that role, he managed eight city departments; served as public safety director; coordinated two of the largest annual volunteer events in America (Angels’ Night and Clean Sweep, each involving more than 35,000 volunteers); created and managed the City of Detroit’s first Volunteer Office; managed the Mayor’s Office, including mayoral appointments and supervision of legislative and community affairs; managed the Detroit’s Census 2000 Outreach Campaign; and chaired the city’s strategic technology committee. Oliver also served as a member of the Michigan Municipal League’s Board of Trustees. He has practiced law at a major national law firm in Minnesota and as a sole practitioner in Michigan.

Oliver holds a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University’s James Madison College. Upon graduation from law school, he clerked for Justice Dennis Archer on the Michigan Supreme Court. 


ANGELA ONWUACHI-WILLIG, ’97
Hot Topics in Post-Civil Rights Era Advocacy
Saturday, Noon – 2 p.m.
Michigan Union, Anderson Room

Angela Onwuachi-Willig is the Charles and Marion Kierscht Professor of Law at the University of Iowa. Previously, she was on the University of California, Davis School of Law faculty. She is a frequent guest speaker nationwide and was the scholar-in-residence at the Thelton Henderson Center for Social Justice at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She is widely published in law journals and has written numerous newspaper opinion-editorials. In addition, she is the author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale University Press, 2013).

In 2006, Onwuachi-Willig was honored by the Minority Groups Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) with the Derrick A. Bell Award, which is given to a junior faculty member who has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. In 2011, she was named one of America’s top young legal professionals by the National Law Journal. She also has been recognized by the University of Iowa for outstanding teaching, research and writing, and service.

After law school, Onwuachi-Willig clerked for the Hon. Solomon Oliver, now Chief U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, and the Hon. Karen Nelson Moore, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit. She also was a labor and employment associate at Jones Day in Cleveland and at Foley Hoag in Boston.

Onwuachi-Willig holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Grinnell College.


KEVYN ORR, ’83
Keynote, Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter Banquet
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Rogel Ballroom, Michigan Union

Kevyn Orr is the emergency manager for the City of Detroit. His previous restructuring experience has included serving as the chief government legal officer of a failed financial institution and a special master to oversee the operations of a real estate development firm. He also has assisted clients with government requests for proposals and inspector general audits.

After law school, Orr joined a Miami law firm as a litigator and later became a shareholder of that firm. He later worked in the litigation department of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC). Orr went on to become the assistant general counsel for complex litigation and bankruptcy at the RTC, where he litigated and supervised numerous high-profile cases concerning various provisions of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, as well as related federal statutes. He also supervised complex investigatory and bankruptcy matters handled by the agency, including serving as the RTC’s chief lawyer responsible for its participation in the Whitewater investigation.
 
Orr joined the Department of Justice in 1995 as deputy director of the Executive Office for United States Trustees and later became the director of the United States Trustees Program. In 2001, he joined the Jones Day law firm, where he served on the firm’s Advisory Committee and was the Firmwide Partner for Hiring and Diversity. He provided representation to Chrysler LLC with regard to all aspects of its bankruptcy, as well as to healthcare financier National Century Financial Enterprises in its bankruptcy, among others.

Orr also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Michigan.


LARRY THOMPSON, ’74
Plugging the Leaky Pipeline: Diversity in Legal Education
Saturday, 2:30–3:45 p.m.

Larry Thompson is executive vice president, government affairs; general counsel; and corporate secretary of PepsiCo, with responsibility for the company’s worldwide legal function, and government affairs and public policy organizations. He also oversees the company’s global compliance function and the PepsiCo Foundation. From 2004-11, Thompson was PepsiCo’s senior vice president of government affairs, general counsel, and secretary. He left the company to serve as the John A. Sibley Professor in Corporate and Business Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. Thompson rejoined PepsiCo in his current role in 2012.

Earlier in his career, Thompson was a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. He also served in the U.S. Department of Justice as deputy attorney general and led the Department’s National Security Coordination Council. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to lead the Corporate Fraud Task Force, where he oversaw the government’s Enron investigation.

Previously, Thompson was a partner in the Atlanta firm of King & Spalding, where he practiced in the antitrust and litigation departments. He also served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, where he directed the Southern Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and served on the Attorney General’s Economic Crime Council. In addition, he was selected by the U.S. Congress to chair the Judicial Review Commission on Foreign Asset Control.

Thompson holds a Bachelor of Arts from Culver-Stockton College and a Master of Arts from Michigan State University.


REGINALD TURNER, ’87
Hot Topics in Post-Civil Rights Era Advocacy
Saturday, Noon – 2 p.m.
Michigan Union, Anderson Room

Reginald Turner is a member of the executive committee of the Clark Hill law firm, where he handles a wide variety of litigation in federal and state courts, and counsels clients on education law matters and negotiation and administration of labor and employment contracts in the private and public sectors. He was a special assistant to former Housing and Urban Development secretaries Henry Cisneros and Andrew Cuomo and also a White House Fellow. In 2003, Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Turner to the Michigan State Board of Education, and he won a statewide election for a full term in 2006.

Turner is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, reserved to less than one percent of lawyers in each state. He was selected by Best Lawyers as a Michigan Lawyer of the Year in 2012, by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of 10 Power Lawyers for 2009, and as a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Lawyer of the Year for 2005.

A noted leader in civic and legal circles, Turner serves as Michigan’s state delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates and chairs the HOD Committee on Credentials and Admissions. He is a past president of the National Bar Association and past president of the State Bar of Michigan, and he currently serves as chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. Previously, Turner served on the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services and the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence.

He holds a Bachelor of Science from Wayne State University.


MARK WEST
Dean, Nippon Life Professor of Law
Conversation with the Dean

Saturday, 9 a.m.
TBD

Mark D. West is the Nippon Life Professor of Law and the 17th dean of the University of Michigan Law School. He teaches Japanese Law, Criminal Law, and Enterprise Organization.

West’s research focuses primarily on Japanese law. He is the author or coauthor of five books, including Law in Everyday Japan and the casebook The Japanese Legal System. He has published dozens of articles and essays in Michigan Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the American Journal of Comparative Law, the Journal of Legal Studies, Law and Society Review, and (in Japanese) Jurisuto, Horitsu Jiho, and Leviathan, among others. His publications explore such diverse topics as shareholder derivative suits, the evolution of corporate law, the education and career development of Japanese lawyers, and the ways in which Japanese court opinions frame love, sex, and marriage.

West joined the Michigan Law faculty in 1998. He served as director of the University’s Center for Japanese Studies from 2003 to 2007, and as the Law School’s associate dean for academic affairs from 2008 to 2013. He has been an Abe Fellow at the University of Tokyo and a Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at Kyoto University.

Before entering academia, West practiced law at the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York and Tokyo. He clerked for the Hon. Eugene H. Nickerson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

West holds a bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College and a JD from Columbia University.


SARAH ZEARFOSS, ’92
Plugging the Leaky Pipeline: Diversity in Legal Education
Saturday, 2:30–3:45 p.m.

Sarah C. Zearfoss became the assistant dean and director of admissions at the University of Michigan Law School in March 2001. In that capacity, she oversees all aspects of JD admissions (including transfer and visitor admissions), as well as administering LLM, MCL, and SJD admissions. In 2010, Zearfoss also began overseeing the offices of Career Planning and Financial Aid, in order to coordinate a consistent approach to employment and financial resource issues throughout students’ law school tenure.

Zearfoss received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in psychology from Bryn Mawr College. At Michigan, she was the editor-in-chief of the Michigan Journal of International Law, and authored a note on women’s rights for which she received the Eric Stein Award. While at the Law School, she also was a recipient of the Henry M. Bates Memorial Scholarship and the Robert S. Feldman Labor Law Award, and she was a member of the Order of the Coif. She graduated magna cum laude.

After graduation, Zearfoss clerked for the Hon. James L. Ryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and then practiced labor and employment law at Pepper Hamilton LLP’s Detroit office. In 1999, she returned to work at the Law School as the judicial clerkship adviser in the Office of Career Services before becoming part of the admissions office team.

 
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