Michael Holston ’87
Principles into Practice
Michael Holston ’87 can be persuasive. From writing for Villanova Law Review, to serving as an Assistant US Attorney, to defending individuals and organizations in complex civil and criminal cases as a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, he has been a successful advocate in a wide variety of situations. And his career demonstrates that he also leads by example.
In 2007, Holston joined Hewlett-Packard Company as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Holston is responsible for the company’s worldwide legal affairs, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, patent preparation and IP license agreements, as well as the company’s compliance, government affairs, and privacy and ethics functions. When Holston became head of HP Legal, he made pro bono work a priority for the department. He instituted a comprehensive program encouraging the members of the 900-person department to volunteer in the US, tracking progress along the way and recently expanding the program on a global basis. His colleagues didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Holston has made pro bono work a priority in his own career since his days at Villanova. As a young attorney he represented an Alabama death row inmate who was granted a new trial, acquitted, and freed after 21 years in prison. He currently serves on the Board of Tipping Point Community, a leader in Bay Area philanthropy, which screens nonprofit organizations, funds them, and provides management assistance.