Celebrating 125 Years

Lectures & Events

August 2017
Chautauqua Institution
This is a multi-day event
October 2017
CWRU Law School
This is a multi-day event
February 2018
CWRU Law School
This is a multi-day event
June 2018
CWRU Law School
This is a multi-day event
The Role of Lawyers in Building a Culture of Health
Maxwell J. Mehlman Lecture
OCT 8, 2015
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Moot Courtroom (A59)
CLE Credit
Approved for 1 hour of in-person CLE credit

America is at a crucial moment of both great urgency and unprecedented opportunity to change our nation’s trajectory when it comes to health – and lawyers have a key role to play. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health—has proposed building a national movement toward better health. Katherine Hatton, a Case Western Reserve Law graduate and the Foundation’s General Counsel and Secretary, will provide an inside look at the varied ways lawyers can contribute. Opportunities go well beyond traditional corporate law firm practice and medical malpractice advocacy. Ms. Hatton will show how lawyers are tackling our nation’s disparate health issues: designing programs, building alliances, advocating change, researching how law can be used to advance public health goals, and representing those who have not had a voice in health policy debates. Combined, these efforts demonstrate the key role of lawyers in building a Culture of Health, enabling all in our diverse society to lead healthier lives, now and for generations to come.
Speaker Information
Katherine Hatton

Katherine Hatton
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Katherine Hatton, JD, is vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She came to the Foundation in 2004, drawn by what she describes as its “mission-driven approach to social change and its focus on improving health and health care for all Americans.” She views the Foundation’s Law department as a “client-focused office that collaborates with management and staff to provide responsive, value-added, and effective solutions, with an appropriate balance of risk and reward, so the Foundation can realize its vision of building a Culture of Health.” Hatton also serves as secretary to the Board of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Formerly, Hatton was vice president and general counsel of Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. (PNI), publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and philly.com, with responsibility for overseeing the legal affairs of the company, including its business and First Amendment matters. Before joining PNI in 1992, Hatton was a shareholder at the Philadelphia law firm now known as Kohn, Swift & Graf, where she focused her litigation practice on media issues, particularly First Amendment concerns. She began her career as a reporter at The Plain Dealer (Cleveland).

Hatton, a director of The Forum of Executive Women in Philadelphia and a member of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Gender Equity, long has been active in nonprofit organizations. She is the former chair of the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a nonprofit legal services organization that provides pro bono legal assistance to artists and cultural organizations, and served in leadership positions and as a member of the boards of numerous other national and regional nonprofit organizations. She is a 2010 recipient of the Platinum Award from the New Jersey Women Lawyers' Association and the 2004 recipient of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association’s Benjamin Franklin Award for outstanding contributions to newspapers.

Hatton believes that her favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird, captures three important strands in her life and explains why she is so pleased to be working at the Foundation. As she notes: “The book stands for the transforming power of persuasive narratives, the compelling need to eliminate disparities based on race and ethnicity, and the crucial role lawyers play in bringing about societal change. The Foundation staff approaches the difficult issues of health and health care in America with the focus, courage, compassion, justice, and passion of Atticus Finch and because we look at these problems in a broad context, we hope to have impact well beyond individual cases.”

Born in Ohio, Hatton received a JD from Case Western Reserve University, graduating with honors. She earned a master of studies in law degree from the Yale Law School and graduated with honors from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University with a BS in journalism and a BA in political science. She enjoys travel, hiking, and reading and lives in Pennington, N.J., with her husband, Richard Bilotti, retired publisher of the Trenton Times.
Additional Information
Register at the door
Free & open to the public

Browse Lectures
Current LecturesPast Lectures

Get the latest news from CWRU Law directly to your inbox