Dean Emerita Melissa Essary to moderate at LSAC’s ‘The Legacy of the Pandemic’

Photo of Professor Melissa Essary teaching

RALEIGH — Campbell Law School Dean Emerita and Professor Melissa Essary will be a moderator as part of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC)’s “The Legacy of the Pandemic: How the Experience of the Pandemic Will Drive Lasting Innovation and Disruption in the Legal Ecosystem” virtual symposium from noon to 3 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, March 18.

Speakers include John Valery White, law professor at University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) and chair-elect of the LSAC Board of Trustees; Jason Barnwell, assistant general counsel at Microsoft; Wayne Camara, distinguished research scientist for LSAC; and Jennifer Leonard, chief innovation officer and executive director of the Future of the Profession Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The event is free and open to the public. Register at the following link:

The event features moderated panel discussions on the pandemic’s lasting impact on the delivery of legal education, legal services and assessments, and its disruption of the pipeline to law school, as well as workshops focusing on each of these impacts and potential ways to address them. The symposium will include workshops focusing on each of these impacts and potential ways to address them and an opportunity for participants to share learning from these discussions with attendees as a whole.

Approved registrants will receive a confirmation email containing a participation link for the events during the week of March 15. Essary is moderating a breakout panel with Leonard focusing on the lasting impact of the delivery of legal education. Essary is a member of the LSAC’s Emerging Markets and Innovation Committee, which is a working group that organized this special symposium.

Essary joined Campbell Law as the first female dean in July 2006 following a 16-year career as a professor at Baylor University School of Law. A 1982 graduate of the University of Texas and a 1985 graduate of the Baylor University School of Law, Essary joined the faculty at Baylor Law in 1990 where she taught courses primarily in Employment Discrimination Law and Torts Law. Learn more about her and her extraordinary career at this link. 

Session Details

Thursday, March 18 12-1 p.m. (EST)

Roundtable Discussion on the Lasting Impact of the Pandemic on Law

John Valery White will moderate a panel discussion on the pandemic’s lasting impact on the delivery of legal education, legal services, and assessments and its disruption of the pipeline to law school.

Panelists include Jason Barnwell, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft; Wayne Camara, Distinguished Research Scientist, Law School Admission Council; Jennifer Leonard, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the Future of the Profession Initiative, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School; and Antonette Smith, Executive Director, Just The Beginning – A Pipeline Organization.

1:10-2 p.m. (EST) Breakout Sessions

The Lasting Impact on the Delivery of Legal Services

Moderated by: Jason Barnwell and Jessica Fonseca-Nader

The Lasting Impact on the Delivery of Legal Education

Moderated by: Jennifer Leonard and Melissa Essary

The Lasting Impact on Assessments

Moderated by: Wayne Camara and Catherine Valestuk

The Lasting Impact on the Disruption of the Pipeline to Law Schools

Moderated by: Antonette Smith and Mathiew Le

2:10-3 p.m. (EST) Group Discussion: Findings from the Breakout Rooms

Collaborative plenary session for participants to highlight and discuss what they learned during the breakout sessions.


Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,200 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2021, Campbell Law is celebrating 45 years of graduating legal leaders and a dozen years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.


The Law School Admission Council is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting quality, access, and equity in law and education worldwide by supporting individuals’ enrollment journeys and providing preeminent assessment, data and technology services.