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Dean's Speaker Series

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law has a well-earned reputation for welcoming distinguished scholars, judges, government officials, and leaders to campus to share their views on important current issues with our community. Our speakers, like our community, have diverse perspectives and believe that we all benefit when we engage in meaningful dialogue with each other in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Through the years, we have hosted a dozen Supreme Court Justices on campus to share their varying judicial philosophies, from Harry Blackmun to Sandra Day O'Connor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Antonin Scalia.

Caruso Law holds several high-profile events each year with esteemed guest speakers, including our annual graduation ceremony and law school dinner, as well as symposia and the William French Smith Lecture Series. In recent years we have hosted speakers such as English Court of Appeals Lord Justice Mary Mance Arden, California Governor Jerry Brown, Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, American Bar Association President Linda Klein, and Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai.

A recent peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Legal Studies examined the political ideologies of all law school faculties and determined that the Pepperdine Caruso faculty is the most ideologically diverse in the country [Adam Bonica (Stanford), Adam Chilton (Chicago), Kyle Rozema (Northwestern), and Maya Sen (Harvard), The Legal Academy's Ideological Uniformity, 47 J. Legal Stud. 1 (2018)]. The chart below has more details of the article's findings.

Caruso Law launched a Dean's Speakers Series in 2019 to enrich the intellectual life and enhance the diversity of speakers on our campus.

2022-2023 Speakers

deans speaker series panel

  Danny Drysdale, Ed Larson, Tom Stipanowich

Danny Drysdale

Danny Drysdale: Director, The Prayers of Both Could Not Be Answered Documentary

September 28, 2022 

Abraham Lincoln's Use of the Bible In His Second Inaugural Address 

  Morse Tan, Colleen Graffy, Trey Childress

Morse Tan Headshot

Morse Tan: Dean, Liberty Ambassador-at-Large 

November 10, 2022

The Role of the State Department in Global Justice 

  Sanford Williams 

Sanford Williams

Lecturer of Law at UCLA Law School, Special Advisor to Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, and Deputy Managing Director at the Federal Communications Commission

February 1, 2023

Accessibility, Diversity, and Digital Discrimination 

  Mike Paulsen, Barry McDonald

Mike Paulsen Headshot

Michael Paulsen: Distinguished University Chair and Professor University of St. Thomas School of Law

February 15, 2023

The Supreme Court's Decision in Dobbs: Law, Politics, or Morality?

  Ruth Okediji

Ruth Okediji

Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

February 23, 2023 

Justice and Poverty in Biblical Law


2021–2022 Speakers

Deans Speakers 2021 2022

  Dean Patricia Wilson
Patricia Wilson


Former Dean, George Washington and Wake Forest

  Professor Blake Morant

Blake Morant

Former Dean, George Washington and Wake Forest

February 23, 2022

Faith and Black Leadership

  Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.)

Ann Williams

Of Counsel, Jones Day

September 16, 2021

A Conversation with Judge Ann Claire Williams (Ret.): Insights and Lessons Learned

  Allyson McKinney Timm

Ally Mckinney

Founder and Executive Director, Justice Revival

January 20, 2022

Why Equal Rights? The Story Behind Justice Revival’s #Faith4ERA Campaign



  Father Gregory Boyle

Father Booyle

Founder, Homeboy Industries

March 31, 2022

The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness



2019–2021 Speakers

Deans Speaker series participant collage


  David Nammo


David Nammo


Executive Director and CEO, Christian Legal Society

April 7, 2021

The Road From Babylon to the Christian Legal Society


  Eugene Volokh

Eugene Volokh

Gary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA

March 11, 2021

Protecting Free Speech in 2021 and Beyond


  Anita Phillips

Anita Phillips

Trauma Therapist and Life Coach; Host, "In The Light with Dr. Anita Phillips"

February 2, 2021

Deconstructing Us: Self-Interrogation at the Intersection of Christian Worldview and Social Justice



  Eugene Cho and Sharon Brous

Eugene ChoEugene Cho: Pastor and President/CEO, Bread for the World

Sharon BrousSharon Brous: Founder and Senior Rabbi, IKAR

January 26, 2021

The Intersection of Faith, Social Justice, and Racial Reconciliation 

  William Morris

William Morris

Deputy Global Tax Policy Leader, PwC
Assisting Priest for Engaging Faith and the Workplace, St. John's Church (D.C.)

November 17, 2020

Where Is God At Work? Love Thy Colleague: Being Authentically Christian at Work



  Robert George


Robert George

McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton

October 19, 2020

Campus Illiberalism and the Future of Higher Education


   Dorothy Brown


Dorothy Brown

Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory

September 14, 2020

Critical Race Theory: Fighting Racial Bias in the 21st Century




  Blake Morant

Blake Morant

Former Dean, George Washington and Wake Forest

February 24, 2020

Preparing the Next Generation of Diverse and Dynamic Leaders

  Noel Francisco

Noel Francisco

U.S. Solicitor General

January 20, 2020

The Rule of Law and the Role of the Solicitor General


  Haben Girma

Haben Girma

Disability Advocate

November 11, 2019

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law

  Neil Gorsuch

Justice Neil Gorsuch

U.S. Supreme Court Justice

September 11, 2019

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

Nominate a Speaker

The Pepperdine Caruso Law community is invited to participate in developing a robust roster of speakers with diverse backgrounds and perspectives for the Dean''s Speaker Series. Submit a speaker or topic for consideration by completing this form. All submissions will be considered and evaluated based on programming needs.


Ideological Diversity of Caruso Law Faculty

Graph demonstratinig ideological diversity at Caruso Law and other universities