As the campaign season heats up, Democrats and Republicans are giving their party leaders the spotlight at the presidential nominating conventions. Several Harvard Law School alumni are playing key roles in the Democratic convention, which is taking place this week, and at least one HLS alum will be at the forefront of the Republican convention next week.

Last night, Michelle Obama ’88 kicked off the Democratic convention in Denver, Colo., speaking about her life and the leadership qualities of her husband Barack Obama ’91, the Democratic presumptive nominee.

“I stand here today at the crosscurrents of that history, knowing that my piece of the American dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me,” she said in her speech. “All of us [are] driven by the simple belief that the world as it is just won’t do, that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be. And that is the thread that connects our hearts. That is the thread that runs through my journey and Barack’s journey.”

Today, the convention will feature several HLS alumni. This afternoon, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm ’87 will moderate a town hall discussion about the economy. Tonight, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick ’82, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle ’72, and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner ’80, will each speak about economic issues facing middle-class Americans.

James Roosevelt, Jr. ’71 has played an important organizing role for the Democratic convention as a member of the Credentials Committee, which decided on Sunday that Florida and Michigan delegates would have full voting rights at the DNC. The states were stripped of their voting power after the state parties moved their primaries earlier in the calendar year.

Next week, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ’75, who is rumored to be a potential vice presidential candidate for John McCain, will speak at the Republican National Convention.