On Thursday, November 13, 2014, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law welcomed Melanie D. Wilson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law (recently named the
new dean of University of Tennessee College of Law
). Dean Wilson presented her talk, “The Moral Impediment to Justice,” as the featured guest for our Chapman Dialogue Lecture Series. The event was moderated by
Lawrence E. Rosenthal
, Professor of Law at the Fowler School of Law.


Melanie D. Wilson Chapman Dialogue Lecture

Dean Wilson’s lecture generated tremendous interest – bringing more than 115 attendees to our event hall. It was an enormously successful event, educating those in attendance on the important internal moral battles prosecutors face in their daily work. She explained the ambiguous duties of prosecutors and the concept of “role morality,” delving into these issues in a fascinating discussion that incorporated broad case examples and references to her scholarly work.

“Dean Wilson challenged the audience, providing unique and enlightening insights into the great difficulties prosecutors face in managing multiple roles and demands from diverse constituencies when trying to ‘do justice.’ She helped us understand that the prosecutor has a difficult time identifying a single correct moral choice especially when paired with multiple possible meanings of ‘doing justice.’” – Donald J. Kochan, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, Fowler School of Law

Dean Wilson’s scholarship views the world of criminal procedure from the perspective of a former federal prosecutor. It seeks to reconcile the desire of participants in the criminal justice system (particularly prosecutors, judges and police officers) to act ethically and professionally with the sometimes competing imperative that guilty defendants be swiftly and successfully prosecuted, convicted and sentenced proportionally. She previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Georgia, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia, and clerked for Richard Freeman, United States District Court Judge, Northern District of Georgia.


Fowler School of Law Dean Tom Campbell; Fowler School of Law Professor Lawrence Rosenthal; Dean Melanie D. Wilson; and Fowler School of Law Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development Donald Kochan.

Chapman Dialogue Lecture Series
presents distinguished lectures by innovative and thought-provoking legal scholars as well as some of the nation’s most prominent legal practitioners. Our invited speakers present their research and ideas to a wide audience of faculty, students, alumni and special guests.