We are excited to announce that the 2017 commencement speaker is Laura Quatela, a 1982 alumna who is currently Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of the tech giant Lenovo Group. During her extraordinary legal career, Quatela previously served as Executive Vice President of Intellectual Property at Alcatel-Lucent and President of Eastman Kodak Company. She has been an active alumna who has played a key role in the Law School’s annual Women’s Law and Leadership Conference.
After graduating, Quatela worked as a defense litigator specializing in mass tort cases. She was counsel for Clover Capital Management, SASIB Railway GRS, and Bausch & Lomb. She joined Kodak in 1999 and held various positions in the marketing, antitrust, trademark & litigation staff in Eastman Kodak's legal department. She served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel from 2011-2012 and Chief IP Officer from 2008-2011, where she developed Kodak’s licensing of its foundational digital camera portfolio into a business which generated more than $4 billion in revenue. In 2012 she became the President of Eastman Kodak.
In 2014, Quatela left Kodak to co-found Quatela Lynch McCurdy, a consulting practice that helps clients leverage significant IP assets and make informed technology investment decisions. Alcatel-Lucent, an early client of the firm, also appointed her the company’s Executive Vice President of Intellectual Property. Alcatel-Lucent includes Bell Labs, one of the world’s foremost technology research institutes, responsible for countless breakthroughs that have shaped the networking and communications industry.
Quatela became Chief Legal Officer of Lenovo in October 2016. Lenovo, headquartered in China and North Carolina, is the world’s number one PC provider, and the world’s third largest smartphone provider. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Technicolor SA, a French public company and a worldwide technology leader in the media and entertainment sectors. She chairs the Strategy Committee, and sits on the Nominations & Governance and Remunerations Committees.
Quatela’s address to the students will take place as part of ceremonies that begin at 3:00 P.M on Sunday, May 21 in the University’s new Maltz Performing Arts Center. The event will be simulcast so that family and friends of graduating students who are unable to attend the Law Diploma Ceremony will be able to view it live online. In addition, the video of the ceremony will be posted on the Law School’s Website for online viewing at any time ten days after commencement. View the simulcast or archived video here
Earlier in the day, another Law School alumnus, Fred Gray (‘54), the famed civil rights lawyer who served as Martin Luther King Jr.’s lawyer during the civil rights movement, will be the University’s Commencement speaker in the Veale Convocation Center. This is the fourth year in a row where a member of the law school community has been honored to serve as the University Commencement speaker. In 2014, the University Commencement speaker was Mohamed Ibn Chambas, LAW ’84, UN Special Representative for West Africa; in 2015, the University Commencement Speaker was Barry Meyer, LAW ’67, retired CEO and Chair of Warner Bros; and in 2016 the speaker was Mark A. Weinberger, LAW ‘87, WSOM ‘87, the Global Chairman of EY (formerly Ernst & Young).
Commencement Day Schedule of Events
Commencement will be on Sunday, May 21. The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. at the Maltz Performing Arts Center. See full schedule of events and more details