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Joel Hyatt ’76 To Discuss First Amendment, Media and Democracy April 26



Joel Hyatt ’76, co-founder and chief executive officer of Current Media, LLC, will give a Dean’s Program on the Profession lecture on Thursday, April 26, at Yale Law School. His topic will be “First Things First: The First Amendment, the Media Industry, and Democracy.” The lecture will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge.  Lunch will be served.

In previewing his upcoming talk, Hyatt said, “I have had three careers thus far, and all of them have been at the intersection of law, policy, and commerce.  My professional journey has explored and involved issues I first examined at Yale Law School, principally related to the First Amendment and the role of the media in a democratic society.  In telling you a little about that journey and discussing those issues with you, I hope to learn from you as well as encourage you to ‘take the path less traveled by’ when you leave Yale.” 

Prior to founding Current Media in 2002, Hyatt was a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Stanford University Graduate School of Business from 1998 to 2003.  He also lectured at Stanford’s law school and was a visiting scholar at the university’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution & Peace

Hyatt founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Hyatt Legal Plans, Inc., from 1990 to 1997. Hyatt Legal Plans pioneered the concept of providing legal services as a fringe benefit to employees and is now the nation’s largest provider of group legal services. From 1977 to 1997, he was co-founder and Senior Partner at Hyatt Legal Services, which helped revolutionize the legal services delivery system by making legal care affordable and accessible to millions of middle- and lower-income families.

Hyatt is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Brookings Institution and co-author of The Long Boom:  A Vision for the Coming Age of Prosperity (Perseus Books, 1999). 

He holds a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he received the Thurman Arnold Appellate Advocacy Award.

Those interested in attending the lecture should RSVP to Beth Barnes at or 203-432-0415.