Leading the Change: The Potential and Power of Women in Law – Margot E. Halpenny Memorial Lecture

March 12, 2021

For this academic year’s Margot E. Halpenny Memorial Lecture, we welcome Gillian Lester, Dean, Faculty of Law, Columbia University, and Camille Nelson, Dean, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa, who will be presented by doctoral candidates Maria Ceballos and Valgerður Guðmundsdóttir.



To connect to the talk: mcgill.zoom.us/j/87068858500

About the speakers

Gillian Lester is the current Dean of Law and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law at Columbia University. She was born and grew up in British Columbia and earned her BSc from the University of British Columbia. After obtaining her LLB from the University of Toronto and her JSD from Stanford University in 1998, Dean Lester began her legal academic career at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and later joined Berkeley’s Faculty of Law where she served as co-director of the Berkeley Center for Health, Economic and Family Security. Columbia’s Law Dean as of 2015, she continues to serve on various prestigious legal boards and advisory committees and enjoys international recognition for her scholarship in employment law and policy, distributive justice, and social insurance programs. 

Camille Nelson is a law professor currently serving as Dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she moved to Canada and earned her BA from the University of Toronto, her LLB from the University of Ottawa, and her LLM from Columbia University. She was the first black female law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada in 1994. Dean Nelson has taught as a law professor at Saint Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. She was the first woman and first person of colour to become Dean and Professor of Law at Suffolk University where she initiated the Law Practice Technology and Innovation Institute. Before moving to Hawaii, she served as Dean of the American University Washington College of Law, and her achievements in leadership have been recognized by, among others, Columbia University’s School of Law from which she received a Distinguished Alumni Award. 

About the Margot E. Halpenny Memorial Lectures

Margot Halpenny, BA’72, LLB’76, became a member of the Ontario Bar and spent the last ten years of her career working for Noranda as legal counsel. After her passing, donations poured in from friends in her honour. Her family felt that these donations would be properly directed to the McGill Law Faculty, given Margot’s educational background and the family’s overall strong affiliations with McGill. The Margot E. Halpenny Memorial Lecture honours her memory.

This event is eligible for inclusion as 1.5 hours of continuing legal education as reported by members of the Barreau du Québec.