The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences


An Interview with Law Professor Michele DeStefano ’91

Michele DeStefano ’91 is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law and founder of LawWithoutWalls, a multi-disciplinary, international think-tank of more than 1,000 lawyers, business professionals, entrepreneurs, and law and business students who create innovations at the intersection of law, business, and technology. She is also co-curator of the Compliance Elliance Journal, an e-journal of articles in compliance and ethics.

DeStefano took part in the 2018 Dartmouth College Law Day celebrations, as a member of a panel, a student lunch, as well as delivering a lecture about “LawWithoutWalls: Enhancing Access to Justice and Lawyers’ Skills with Innovation.” During her visit to campus, Professor DeStefano sat down with Lauren Bishop ’19 for an interview about her career journey and lessons learned along the way.

Lauren Bishop (LB): You took a nontraditional path to law school by working for about a decade in marketing before going to law school. Looking back, would you change anything?

The Supreme Court and National Security Law: Neal Katyal ’91

During a visit to campus this summer, former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal ’91, gave a public lecture on “The Supreme Court and National Security Law” at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center. While on campus, Katyal also participated in a student dinner, where he touched on his time at Dartmouth, on his self-described “circuitous” career path, and on his values.

Currently the law professor at Georgetown University and a partner with Hogan Lovells, LLP, Katyal thinks that his time at Dartmouth influenced his career in two ways. First, after enjoying his four years at the College, he was ready to “hit the books hard” in law school, and second, he learned to value collaboration in academic and professional settings.

“The Dartmouth education is far more collegial and about learning from each other. I’ve always tried to bring that spirit into all the teams I build, whether that’s in the government or at Georgetown or in the private sector,” he said.

Report from the Courts: State Attorneys General and President Trump

As the chief legal officers for their states, state attorneys general (AGs) often file lawsuits challenging the actions of Congress and the President and occupy the crucial and contested boundary between the federal and state governments. The Trump Administration presents new and rich examples for the study of the role of state AGs in litigation with the federal Executive, in cases concerning immigration, the environment, health care, and other subjects.

The Roger S. Aaron '64 Lecture this year was held as a panel discussion. Titled “State Attorneys General and President Trump: Report from the Courts," Elbert Lin, former WV Solicitor General; Jon Miller ’00, MA Attorney Gen. Office; and Ernie Young ’90, Duke Law School participated at panelist. The moderator was Tom Barnico ’77, Boston College Law School. The event was co-sponsored with the Dartmouth Lawyers Association and the Dartmouth Legal Studies Faculty Group

Interview with Professor Anna Kirkland, University of Michigan

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, the Rockefeller Center hosted a public talk by Dr. Kirkland, titled “Vaccine Courts: The Law and Politics of Injury.” Prior to this talk, Nikita Bakhru ’17 sat down with Anna Kirkland for an interview.

2017 Law Day Celebration at the Rockefeller Center

In 2012, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta once warned that the United States is susceptible to a “cyber-Pearl Harbor,” citing the destructive potential of cyber-aggression. Years later, the premise of Secretary Panetta’s statement holds stable, as issues of cyber-security continue to make headlines. As the digital age has progressed, cyberspace has consistently proven to be a dynamic, open, and efficient platform for economic growth and the exchange of ideas. However, the very openness that makes this space so innovative has created critical vulnerabilities. Without setting off a single explosive, state and non-state actors can render infrastructure quiescent, steal/delete information, or even commandeer resources towards malevolent objectives in complete secrecy. Contemporary government policy is reluctant to take substantial steps forward in the realm of cybersecurity so as not to impede on privacy or the economic benefits of an open, fluid internet. Nonetheless, if the U.S.

Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Pamela S. Karlan is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School. Her primary scholarly interests involve constitutional litigation, particularly with respect to voting rights and antidiscrimination law. She has published dozens of scholarly articles. She is also the co-author of three leading casebooks and a monograph on constitutional interpretation: Keeping Faith with the Constitution.

Students Discuss Constitutional Law with Yale Professor Akhil Reed Amar

The Rockefeller Center hosted a Student Coffee Hour with Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University and Law School. Amar has been awarded several honors from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society. He has also been favorably cited by Supreme Court justices in more than 30 cases, has regularly testified before Congress for both Republicans and Democrats, and has written for popular publications such as the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Slate.

During the hour, many students were granted the opportunity to discuss their interests and questions about constitutional law with Professor Amar. Referring to several books he has published as well as his own pocket Constitution, Amar addressed students’ concerns with great detail.

Public Program: “Crime and the Constitution: Arrest, Trial, Incarceration”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the United States had a total correctional population of 6,741,400 people at the end of 2015. Delving deeper into the prison system’s high numbers, we see a disparity in the inmates’ predominant socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. In questioning the social problems such as crime, poverty, prejudice and political corruption, we must also look at the legal system that perpetuates these ideas and systematic issues. The historical and contemporary patterns of inequality are directly influenced by the Constitution and the court. This event will focus on the constitutionality of arrests, trials, and incarceration following crime.

Public Program: “Rights and Rites: The Supreme Court, Voting, and Marriage Equality”

As the highest court in our nation with the power of judicial review, the Supreme Court has always been pivotal in formulating both our nation’s identity and trajectory. Over the last several years, however, the Supreme Court has become an especially hot topic as it has made sweeping and highly publicized landmark decisions that have reverberated throughout the country and that promise to continue reverberating for many years to come. Yet the Supreme Court’s record has been curiously mixed between progressive and conservative outcomes, legalizing gay marriage for the LGBTQIA+ community in 2015 yet striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act for the African-American community just two years earlier. To some, this is seen as moments of social progress on the Supreme Court being punctured by retreats toward conservatism.

2016 Constitution Day: Elizabeth Wydra’s Thoughts on Constitutional Accountability

Elizabeth Wydra is Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC)’s President. From 2008-2016, she served as CAC's Chief Counsel. A graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Yale Law School, Wydra joined CAC from private practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in San Francisco, where she was an attorney working with former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan in the firm’s Supreme Court/appellate practice. Wydra’s legal practice focuses on Supreme Court litigation and high-stakes cases in the federal courts of appeals. She has represented CAC as well as clients including congressional leaders, preeminent constitutional scholars and historians, state and local legislators and government organizations, and groups such as Justice at Stake, League of Women Voters, and AARP. Wydra appears frequently in print and on air as a legal expert for outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, BBC, and NPR.


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences