Crisis Lawyering: Legal Practice in the New Normal

November 5, 2021

In an increasingly globalized world, a complex and interlocking web of nations, governments, non-state actors, laws, and rules affect human behavior. When crisis hits—whether that be extrajudicial detention, unprompted deportation, pandemics, or natural disasters—lawyers are increasingly among the first responders, equipped with the knowledge necessary to navigate the regulations of this ever more complex world.

While lawyers are often well prepared to support clients experiencing crises, what happens when such crises test their own professional identities and training in ways that directly impact them and their organizations?

Building off of the recent publication of Crisis Lawyering: Effective Legal Advocacy in Emergency Situations (NYU Press 2020) and the latest issue of The Practice, this Webinar attempts brings together leading experts to identify and define what it means to engage in the practice of law in crisis situations and this new normal.


All Times EDT.

10:00-10:10 AM – Welcome

  • David B. Wilkins, Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, and Faculty Director, Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School

10:10-10:30 AM – Crisis Lawyering: Legal Practice in the New Normal

  • Ray Brescia, Hon. Harold R. Tyler Chair in Law and Technology and Professor of Law, Albany Law School
  • Eric K. Stern, Professor and Chair of the Faculty at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cyber-Security, University at Albany

10:30-11:30 AM – From the Front Lines: Case Studies in Crisis Lawyering

  • Tom Balint, Director, Office of Emergency Management at U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Beatrice Lindstrom, Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor, International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School
  • Ralph C. Martin II, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Northeastern University
  • Jacob Silverman, CEO, Kroll Inc.
  • Moderated by David B. Wilkins

11:30-11:45 AM – Break

11:45 AM-12:45 PM – How to Prepare Lawyers for 21st Century Crises?

  • Muneer Ahmad, Deputy Dean for Experiential Education and the Sol Goldman Clinical Professor of Law, Yale Law School
  • Brad Kieserman, Vice President for Disaster Operations and Logistics, American Red Cross
  • Lisa Tanzi, Corporate Vice President and General Counsel – Customer Experience & Policy, Microsoft
  • Moderated by Scott Westfahl, Professor of Practice and Director, Harvard Law School Executive Education

12:45-1:15 PM – Crisis Leadership and the Transformative General Counsel: Increasing Roles in Business, Government, and Society

  • Brett J. Hart, President, United Airlines

1:15-1:30 PM – What’s Next?