Law and Leadership: Integrating Leadership Studies into the Law School Curriculum

Law and LeadershipLaw and Leadership: Integrating Leadership Studies into the Law School Curriculum is edited by Paula Monopoli and Susan McCarty, both at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, USA.

Law and Leadership includes a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and noted leadership scholar, James MacGregor Burns and a foundational essay by prominent leadership scholar and one of the founders of the International Leadership Association, Georgia Sorenson.

‘Many lawyers will become leaders – decision-makers, not just advisors – in legal, social, economic and political institutions and will have to express and implement a substantive vision. Law schools at present do little to train students for this vital role. This book presents important perspectives on why that must change.’   Ben W. Heineman, Jr., former GE general counsel, senior fellow at Harvard’s schools of law and government [co-teacher of Lawyer as Leader: The Challenges of the General Counsel]

‘This long overdue book not only answers the question of why leadership education for lawyers is essential, it also offers a clearly articulated explanation of how leadership must be integrated into law school curriculum and what should be offered and why. It is a must read for every dean, professor, practitioner and student of the law.’   Cynthia Cherrey, Princeton University, USA

Paula Monopoli and Susan McCarty’s introduction to the book:

Lawyers have always been leaders. If leadership is defined as the ability to persuade others to embrace your ideas and to act upon them, then lawyers are remarkably well suited to be leaders. We learn the art of persuasion the very first year of law school. So why is it that legal academics find it so odd that a new generation of students is clamoring for leadership studies in law schools?

Perhaps it is that we have never articulated the nexus between what we do— teach our students how to “think like lawyers”—and the skills that effective leaders deploy. This book is an effort to reflect upon that nexus. It is a collection of essays by law professors, professors of leadership studies, deans, a former congressman, law students, and lawyers in private practice, nonprofits, and government.

The book proceeds in three parts.

Part I explores the what: What is leadership in the context of the legal profession? What are its particular challenges in legal academia, in private practice, in the nonprofit sector and government?

Part II explores the why: Why do our students need to study leadership in law school and why are they demanding that we offer it as part of the curriculum?

And, finally, Part III explores the how. Faculty who have designed new courses grounded in leadership, and who are integrating leadership into their existing courses, reflect on how to effectively blend law and leadership in doctrinal, clinical, and experiential classrooms.

Each part begins with a foundational essay that lays the groundwork for the essays that follow.

In Part I, Phoebe A. Haddon, dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, describes the significance of leadership studies for both future lawyers and legal education and Maryland’s leadership in this area. Georgia Sorenson explores the nexus between leadership theory and law. Her chapter is followed by Larry Richard’s analysis of the nature of lawyers and the competencies they require to be effective leaders. Alexina Jackson lays out a new model of practice and the leadership skills required of lawyers to succeed in this new environment. Specific leadership challenges in various sectors of the profession are then explored in the context of private practice and government by Maura DeMouy and Mickey Edwards.

Part II is anchored by Leary Davis, founding dean of Elon Law School, another institution on the cutting edge of integrating leadership into the law school curriculum. He analyzes why law schools are resistant to embracing the discipline of leadership studies and lays the foundation for the chapters that follow. These chapters further evaluate the need for leadership education in law school and whether or not it is a compatible discipline. They include Diane Hoffmann’s argument for leadership education in law schools and Michael Kelly’s analysis of how teaching students to think like lawyers—what we say we do in law schools— differs from teaching them how to think like leaders, and whether we can or should do the latter in law school.

Finally, in Part III we turn to how we actually integrate leadership into our law school classes. This process calls for an interdisciplinary approach where we borrow from our colleagues in other disciplines like philosophy, political science, business, economics, social psychology, and literature. Brenda Bratton Blom, Lydia Nussbaum, and Bonnie Allen anchor this section with their description of an innovative new approach to teaching professional responsibility and ethical leadership. Avery M. Blank describes the new Maryland course in leadership theory from a student’s perspective. Blom and Dorcas R. Gilmore then explore the development of leadership concepts in the context of mentoring and professional identity formation. Robert J. Rhee explores how concepts so important to the modern lawyer, like working in teams and taking risks, can be integrated into the law school classroom. Alan D. Hornstein discusses how literature can be used to illuminate leadership issues within the context of law. Susan Leviton, Kerry Cooperman, and Jeremy Grant-Skinner explore learning leadership skills by teaching them to others. And, finally, Paula A. Monopoli reflects on teaching gender and leadership in the context of legal education.

Taken together, these chapters create a blueprint for others in legal education to evaluate whether leadership studies can and should be integrated into the modern law school curriculum and, if so, how it may be done.

About the Editors:

Paula Monopoli is Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law. She is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Virginia School of Law and she is an elected member of the American Law Institute. Professor Monopoli also founded the School of Law’s Women, Leadership & Equality Program in 2003.

Susan McCarty is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Maryland School of Law. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Maryland School of Law, order of the coif. As Senior Research Fellow, McCarty edits and prepares faculty books and articles for publication.

More information about Law and Leadership

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