Professor Deborah Rhode Named White House “Champion of Change”

Professor Deborah Rhode (6th from left) being honored as a White House Champion of Change.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 13, 2011 — Stanford Law Professor Deborah Rhode has been selected as a White House Champion of Change for dedicating her professional life to closing the justice gap in America. She was honored today as part of President Obama’s “Winning the Future Initiative” at an event organized by the “Access to Justice Initiative” of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Professor Rhode spoke on a panel moderated by  Attorney General Eric Holder about the need to provide legal services to people who cannot afford them, about the importance of pro bono programs, and about the ability of all lawyers to perform public service throughout their professional lives. The discussion was streamed live over the Internet to law students across the nation.

About Deborah Rhode

Professor Deborah L. Rhode is the Ernest McFarland Professor of Law and director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession. She is one of the country’s leading scholars in the fields of legal ethics and gender, law, and public policy. An author of over 20 books, including The Beauty Bias, Women and Leadership and Moral Leadership, she is the nation’s most frequently cited scholar in legal ethics. She is the Founding President of the International Association of Legal Ethics.

Deborah Rhode is the former president of the Association of American Law Schools, the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, the founder and former director of Stanford’s Center on Ethics, and the former director of the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford.

Professor Rhode also served as senior counsel to the minority members of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary on presidential impeachment issues during the Clinton administration. She has received the American Bar Association’s Michael Franck award for contributions to the field of professional responsibility; the American Bar Foundation’s W. M. Keck Foundation Award for distinguished scholarship on legal ethics; and the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for her work on expanding public service opportunities in law schools.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and vice chair of the board of Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund). She is currently a columnist for The National Law Journal and has also published editorials in the The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Slate.

Before joining the Stanford Law faculty, Professor Rhode was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Updated October 14, 2011

The Justice Blog reports on the Champions of Change and indicates a video of the event and the Champions’ individual stories will be available starting Oct. 17, 2011. In addition, the Champions’ blogs, as well as entries from each of the 118 participating law schools describing their commitment to public service, will be featured. Until then, the video of the panel talk is available on YouTube.