Founder and Content Curator CEJ

Founder and Director, LawWithoutWalls

Professor, University of Miami School of Law

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Michele DeStefano

Michele DeStefano is the founder and director of » LawWithoutWalls and a Professor of Law at » Miami Law. She is an expert in entrepreneurship in the law. Her scholarship focuses on the growing intersections between law and business and legal entrepreneurship. Through qualitative interviews of general counsels and other professional service providers, 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.

In addition to spearheading LawWithoutWalls, Michele presents regularly on Innovation, Teaming, Collaboration, Compliance, Technology and Education, and Litigation Funding. She teaches courses on the changing legal profession, law, technology, and innovation, civil procedure, professional responsibility, and compliance. 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.

The Leader Upheaval Handbook: Lead Teams on an Innovation & Collaboration Journey with The 3-4-5 Method

One of the barriers to innovation in professional services is a lack of training in how to apply design thinking principles and lead multidisciplinary teams in collaborative problem solving. With this handbook, which accompanies her other books Leader Upheaval and Legal Upheaval, Professor Michele DeStefano attempts to fill in this training gap.

DeStefano – a former marketing executive and now a professor at the University of Miami School of Law and Affiliated Faculty and Program Chair in Harvard Law School’s Executive Education program – has spent over a decade researching client-centricity, collaboration, and innovation. This handbook, and the method it is based on, are the fruit of DeStefano’s 13 years of experience leading over more than 230 multidisciplinary, multicultural, and intergenerational teams on a 4-month innovation journey from a problem to a viable solution.

In a conversational and descriptive fashion, DeStefano provides detailed instructions on how to get teams to proactively collaborate and innovate with a process she developed over the years. The 3-4-5 Method™ helps teams move from problem to innovative solution in 3 Phases, over 4 months or less, in 5 Steps. With real examples, this handbook brings to life how to help teams collaborate on solving problems or seizing opportunities of any kind and yield a higher level of collaboration, inclusivity, creative thinking, and actionable results.