Professor of Law
Founder & Director, LawWithoutWalls
J.D. 2002, Harvard Law School
B.A. 1991, Dartmouth College
Professor Michele DeStefano is the founder and director of LawWithoutWalls, a new part-virtual collaboratory that brings together over 450 students, faculty, practitioners, academics, entrepreneurs, business and law students, and venture capitalists from around the world to innovate legal education and practice, to engage on the burning issues facing the legal profession, collaboratively solve legal problems, and develop the skillsets needed to thrive in the new, global legal marketplace.
She is an expert in entrepreneurship and innovation in the law. Her scholarship focuses on the growing intersections between law and business and legal innovation. Through qualitative interviews of general counsels and other professsional service proiders, Michele’s research investigates the impact changes in the law and business marketplace (including litigation funding, social media, public relations, regulation) will have on the legal profession and its potential for innovation. Her latest project includes over seventy interviews of general counsels and chief compliance officers of large, publicly traded corporations to analyze and assess the changing role of compliance and ethics.
In addition to spearheading LawWithoutWalls, Michele presents regularly on Innovation, Teaming, Collaboration, Compliance and Ethics, Technology and Education, and Litigation Funding. She teaches courses on the changing legal profesion, law, technology, and innovation, civil procedure, professional responsibility, and compliance and ethics. She is also Guest Faculty in Harvard Law School's Executive Education progam and Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Law School's Center for the Legal Profession. Recently, she was recognized by the ABA as one of ten 2013 Legal Rebels.
From 2003 to 2004, Michele clerked for Chief Judge William G. Young of the Federal District Court of Massachusetts. She also worked for a year as a Special Master on a patent law case. Before attending law school, she was a Senior Marketing Manager at Levi Strauss & Company (1995-1998) and an Account Executive at Leo Burnett Advertising Company (1991-1995). Michele earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and has been admitted to the Massachusetts, Minnesota, and District of Columbia bars.