PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s first Business and the Law Lecture will be presented by Steven A. Crown, Microsoft senior attorney, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 27, in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 203, on the Pullman campus.

“Microsoft and the Law: An Insider’s Perspective” is the title of Crown’s speech.

“We’re delighted to welcome Steve Crown as the first lecturer in this new series,” said Ray August, business law professor. “Microsoft is one of the largest and best-known companies in the state, and Mr. Crown will have interesting insights into its operations.”

Crown is an in-house legal counsel for the Redmond-based Microsoft Corp. where he manages a team of lawyers and paralegals responsible for providing legal advice and support to two groups within Microsoft. The “Platform Strategy and Partners Group” is Microsoft’s engagement with third parties to realize a vision of software as services, which Microsoft calls “dot-NET.” The “Windows Client Operating System Development Team” is responsible for developing the operating systems for desktop, tablet and laptop computers. That team also oversees the “Windows eHome Division,” which works on the home digital media experience, and the “Windows Digital Media Division,” which is in charge of digital rights management technologies.

Crown earned his law degree at Yale University and two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington, in history and in Slavic languages and literature. Phi Beta Kappa from UW, Crown was selected as a Rhodes Scholar to attend Oxford University in England where he completed the School of Modern Languages with First Class Honors and Distinction in the colloquial use of Russian. He has served on state and district selection committees for the Rhodes Scholarship Trust, and is a member of the board of direction for the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. He also has been the legal counsel, chair and a member of the board for the Seattle-based Foundation for Russian American Economic Cooperation.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Crown ran a solo legal practice in Seattle, was vice president of International Business at Midcom Communications Inc., and was with the law firm of Preston/Gates/Ellis. He also served as a law clerk to Judge Eugene A. Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

August said the new WSU lecture series was begun to bring speakers who will describe the practice of law and the law’s impact on the running of businesses. While on campus, speakers will also visit classes to meet with students and faculty members.

Sponsors of this year’s lecture are the College of Business and Economics and the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. The series was established by a gift from an anonymous donor.

For more information on the lecture, contact August, at (509) 335-2222 or at august@wsu.edu.