The LEAD Curriculum and Projects
Lawyers as Leaders
As Ben W. Heineman, Jr. reminded us in a 2006 lecture, Law and Leadership, delivered at Yale Law School, more and more, a primary role of lawyers is to be leaders and problem-solvers who not only advise, but also decide; who not only dispense "practical wisdom" but also serve as "practical visionaries."
In the Lawyers as Leaders component, the School of Law is collaborating with James McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland College Park (the "Academy of Leadership") to create a new leadership development program that examines the roles of lawyers as legal, community and civic leaders. Under the direction of Professor Paula Monopoli, we are:
- A Complete Course of Study in Law and Leadership. This Course of Study is comprised of doctrinal, clinical and experiential work. To develop it, in addition to reviewing the available scholarly work, the School of Law consulted responses to a questionnaire and a subsequent Roundtable sponsored by the Academy of Leadership, studied a report the Academy of Leadership recently issued, as well as considered feedback received from judges, academics and practicing lawyers through the Leadership Forums described below.
- Offering New Coursework. As part of the development of this new curriculum, the School of Law is offering or developing several new courses.
- As of fall 2009, the School of Law will offer Foundations of Leadership Seminar: Theory and Praxis. Dr. Georgia Sorenson, renowned leadership scholar and founder of the Academy of Leadership, is teaching the seminar. This course will provide students with a foundational understanding of key research and scholarship on leadership, as well as to provide an opportunity to begin to apply that knowledge to their own leadership.
- As of spring 2010, the School of Law will offer Law and Public Leadership for Social Change Seminar. Former Congressman and current Vice President at the Aspen Institute Mickey Edwards is teaching the course. The seminar will focus on the passionate undertakings of ordinary men and women who take it upon themselves to bring about a change in the societies of which they are a part.
- A new course tentatively titled Law and Moral Reasoning is under development at the law school. Expected to be a groundbreaking course for law school curriculum, the class will cultivate the students’ ability to identify ethical issues, apply theoretical frameworks to these conflicts and then make and assess moral arguments for a particular course of action.
- Holding Student Leadership Retreats. The goal of the program is to introduce students to basic leadership skills that they can use while in law school and later as legal and community leaders. The workshop sessions address: becoming self-aware (a first step in developing one’s leadership potential); collaborative leadership; effective communication (including sensitivity to differences, among people, in forms, methods, and styles of communication); conflict-resolution; and leading across differences—including cultural, racial, gender, and ethnic differences. The training methods and techniques include: team building exercises; diversity-sensitivity exercises; nuts and bolts information about how to effectively lead (from how to run a meeting to the importance of delegation and follow through); and taking and analyzing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment.
- Convening Leadership Forums. With a working group comprised of outstanding lawyers, judges, and academics, we are working to identify and analyze leadership challenges facing the legal profession. In the first forum, we heard from Dr. Larry Richard of Hildebrandt International about leadership traits and the ways in which common traits of lawyers can undermine leadership. In the second forum, we heard from Cynthia Calvert of the Project for Attorney Retention about the ways in which the legal profession can continue to address leadership challenges given current economic conditions. In the third forum, the group examined the new proposed leadership curriculum and heard from students and their professors currently involved in new LEAD course offerings.
- Developing a book. Entitled Reflections on Law and Leadership, the book will be comprised of essays by lawyers, academics, judges and others involved in the legal profession, each of whom explores the links between law and leadership and the challenges facing the profession. The book is designed to offer interdisciplinary solutions to teaching about, and solving, leadership challenges that arise in modern law practice.