The American Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Leadership has announced a Call for Papers from which one additional presenter will be selected for the section’s program, “Learning from Lawyer-Leaders Throughout the Profession,” to be held during the AALS 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington on Friday, January 3, 2020 at 1:30pm.
For more information and to submit, view the Call for Papers, here.
Information about the Section on Leadership’s 2020 program and co-sponsored sessions is available on the AALS Section on Leadership website, here.
Leadership development programs are part
of the standard operating procedures for business schools but not so for law
schools, at least historically. At a Group Discussion during the January 2017
AALS Annual Meeting, we met with about 50 faculty members from all over the
country and we asked them to share thoughts about challenges and roadblocks to
creating leadership development programs and courses. Here are some points from
What is leadership development anyway? How do we explain it to our skeptical colleagues?
Some lawyers and law students resist instruction in “soft skills.” The very use of the term when describing leadership development adds to the problem. For many lawyers the soft stuff is the hard stuff.
Many still think leaders are born not trained. You either have it or you don’t, they would say.
Doctrinal law faculty (especially those who have not been in formal leadership roles) feel uncomfortable with the subject and certainly do not feel equipped to teach it.
Current law students think they have already done leadership development … in high school and in college. “What could possibly be added in a law school leadership class?”, they might wonder. Some faculty and administrators probably share these thoughts.
For those that believe in the benefit of leadership development programming, how can we scale up the programming to insure all students are exposed to leadership development in a meaningful way?
are some of the challenges we face. If you have encountered others, please
share. As we continue this blog, we will address these issues and offer
suggestions for overcoming.
Be notified when new articles are posted:
Why Leadership Development for Lawyers?
As the co-founders of the Baylor Leadership Development Program and early adopters of the leadership movement in legal education, we established this blog to address several questions:
(1) What do we mean by leadership development?
(2) Why are these efforts important and relevant to individuals - law students and lawyers?
(3) As guardians of the rule of law and defenders of our democracy, how can these efforts benefit our profession and our country?
(4) What does leadership development look like for lawyers and how is it different from leadership development for other professions?
All of us who have started a leadership development program or class (as well as those who attempted to do so) are commonly faced with questions and preconceived notions such as: Aren’t leaders born not made? Why should law schools devote attention to leadership when so few lawyers will serve as a managing partner of their firm? How is a leadership course in law school different from the leadership program or course from their high school or college days?
Promoting a National Movement
We will address these questions (and more) in this blog. For those who have leadership programs or classes, we hope you will share your challenges faced and wisdom gained. We hope all will join in the conversation. Just as we know civil discourse results in better outcomes, we know that engaging in robust discussions around these questions can lead to more effective conversations and programming in law schools, bar associations and legal offices throughout the nation.