O'Grady's will discuss collaborative work teams in the practice of law and the challenges of maintaining professional autonomy while working in a hierarchical work team.
"The plenary panel presentation will explore conformance pressures that often exist in professional law work collaborations," O'Grady said. "We will discuss Stanley Milgram’s famous shock experiment on obedience and apply his findings to the dynamics in play on legal work teams from the perspective of the newer associate (our students). We will also discuss other leading social psychology experiments in group thinking and conformance decision making.
"In general, the results of this work indicate that we may have a natural human instinct to conform to the status quo and obey an authority figure.The legal profession provides an important and interesting setting to consider the implications of this work because even the newest lawyers on hierarchical work teams have independent ethical and professional responsibilities that demand careful attention. Thus, the panel will discuss the importance of providing our students with the tools they will need to face the challenges of maintaining professional autonomy while working in hierarchical professional work teams."
O'Grady oversees the College's eight clinics, as well as the Legal Research and Writing Program, the Externship Program and the Academic Success Program. She teaches Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Civil Justice Clinic, The Practice of Law in a Digital Era, and an upper-class seminar on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her current research focuses on law and emotions, clinical pedagogy, and the legal profession.