“In the law, just like in life, you are penalized for what you don’t know. So, seek to know.”

–  Joe Richardson, Esq.


Joseph L. Richardson combines legal knowledge, common sense, and ethical considerations to provide information to individuals in professional and educational settings. His presentations inform on legal and ethical duty, leadership, and justice issues. Common to all of his presentations is a “call to action” that encourages all to go above and beyond merely legal compliance to embracing ethics in their endeavors.

Power, Principle, and Positivity

Avoiding hardship in life is impossible. Accepting this truth is one of the telltale signs of real maturity; being an adult means moving forward, turning perceived negatives into actual positives in the process. In this keynote, Joe Richardson shares his personal story of great triumph and tragedy and the priceless lessons he learned along the way. Joe empowers audience members with ideas to help each of them understand who they are, what they have, and the ingredients necessary to move toward what they can truly become. He helps them unleash their full potential and inspires them to keep up the fight. After leaving this program, audience members will have a new appreciation for life and some new, useful tools for mastering positivity. This keynote is a great choice for any community.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will learn:

  • how true power is unleashed through identification of one’s passion
  • how to find great strength in the midst of great difficulty
  • how personal trials and tribulation create a foundation for campus success
  • how to keep anything life brings in its proper perspective

Life as a Courtroom

While courtroom dramas may be quite unrealistic in ways, there are some distinct similarities between the courtroom and “real life.” These similarities may not be apparent at first, but upon recognizing them, students will gain a greater understanding of themselves and the larger world. In this keynote, Joe Richardson acts as a guide through this allegory and lends his insight to help frame various parallels within it. Joe uses examples and analogies from the courtroom to teach larger life lessons. He speaks non-judgmentally and engagingly, keeping audience’s attention throughout. Joe’s lessons will help those in campus communities effectively communicate and work together toward common goals. He includes such nuggets of insight as “hearsay doesn’t count,” “a moral compass is mandatory,” and “passion makes for a better result.” This keynote is a great choice for any community.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will learn:

  • the parallels between a courtroom and everyday life
  • how to responsibly serve on campus as “judge,” “jury,” or “spectator,”
  • how to communicate effectively through listening as well as talking
  • how a thoughtful process in participation and leadership yields results

Creating Safe Spaces for Difficult Conversations

You understand the importance of diversity. You know you want your group to be more inclusive on the march toward equity. So how do you start to create safe spaces for your members when there has been an increase in polarization, insecurities when discussing differences, and fear? This takes difficult conversations.

In this presentation, designed for those who understand and believe in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals and want to go further, Joe will give you the tools to break down these issues in a practical way. The presentation will underscore the need for an “all hands on deck” approach where all stakeholders contribute toward solutions and validate different perspectives that strengthen and fortify the path to equity. Joe will demonstrate how students, fueled by proper self-image, embrace of other perspectives and desire for honest dialogue, can use ethical responsibility to create a safe space where difficult conversations can occur. An innovative talk that uses stories and analogies to make larger points, and models a potentially difficult conversation, Joe equips students and confirms their standing as catalysts in moving us toward justice on our campuses, in our communities and in our world.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will learn:

  • How to identify the most pressing conversations in your group to undertake, and the elements that make where you are a potential “safe space” for difficult conversations;
  • The things that both qualify you and require you to participate in conversation creation and execution;
  • How to pinpoint the ethical ramifications of the identified conversation;
  • How ethics will encourage participants to embrace other perspectives and desire honest dialogue toward justice goals.

Sprains, Strains, and Fractures: College Students and the Law

Using his background in law, Joseph Richardson shares recent cases and legal situations involving conduct on college campuses and by college students. By sharing these real-life examples, Joseph explains to college students the ramifications of the law for campuses in general, the legal relationship between colleges/universities and groups (sports, Greek and otherwise) and, most importantly, that group members are not necessarily able to hide behind a university to escape liability in negligent actions. This keynote includes talking about “groupthink” mentality that is often the cause of crimes such as DUI, hazing practices, and sexual assault. Joseph presents how group mentality often leads to the minimization of inappropriate and even illegal activity that makes problems more likely to occur. From a distance, we minimize or “skirting the law” or “towing the line,” like a “sprain,” however, the minimization is what leads to unnecessary risk taking, and it turns out to be a full-blown “fracture.” Sprains, Strains, and Fractures: Greeks and College Students, highlights legal trends as it pertains to college liability issues to give a vision of where the law is going. It is a real “wake-up call” that still manages to be engaging, interesting, and most importantly, empowering.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will learn:

  • The current state of the law related to the conduct of college students, and involvement groups in particular, through case studies and recent legal decisions
  • The differences and intersection between legal standards that originate off campus and conduct standards that originate on campus and the importance of both
  • How to identify the “groupthink” mentality that often makes group members more likely to minimize questionable activity


  • Attorney at Law
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Media Appearances