Philip K. Howard
Vice-chairman at the firm Covington & Burling in New York City, Howard is also one of America's leading proponents of legal reform. In 2002, he founded Common Good, a non-profit, non-partisan legal reform coalition dedicated to developing practical solutions to restore reliability to the United States legal system. The group conducts studies and host forums that bring attention and focus to legal reform movements in health care, education, and civil justice.
Howard has advised leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties on reform initiatives. He was special advisor to the Securities and Exchange Commission on regulatory simplification, worked on environmental and management reforms with Vice President Al Gore's reinventing government program, advised the Republican leadership on regulatory reform, and worked on overhauling civil service and other bureaucratic institutions with several governors, including Zell Miller in Georgia, Bill Weld in Massachusetts and Jeb Bush and Lawton Chiles in Florida.
Howard is also a prolific writer. He is the author of The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America and The Collapse of the Common Good: How America's Lawsuit Culture Undermines Our Freedom. He is a periodic contributor to the op-ed pages of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and speaks before judicial, government, and professional organizations around the country. In the Oxford Companion To American Law, Howard contributed the section on American law since 1968.
As an attorney, Howard is a senior corporate adviser and strategist, representing corporations and executives in a wide range of issues, including governance, regulatory disputes, securities litigation, and business transactions. For many clients, Howard acts as coordinator of lawyers in different practice areas, particularly in corporate and litigation matters that have a significant regulatory component.
The students at Washington and Lee University School of Law founded the Lewis Powell, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series in 2002 in honor of Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. '29A, '31L, who was appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1972. Justice Powell's judicial legacy, celebrated recently by the University with a yearlong series of symposia and lectures, was defined by a respect for both sides in a dispute and a desire to craft judicial opinions that struck a middle ground. This student-run lecture series features nationally prominent speakers who embody this spirit in their life and work.