The role of a lawyer is to advocate, persuade, engage in difficult conversations, and work with others to resolve conflicts or to achieve a common goal. In short, lawyers must lead. Acquiring a core set of skills can transform lawyers into strategic and creative leaders with the vision to change the world for the better—and influence others to do the same.
What skills do law students need to become lawyers who lead teams and institutions effectively?
Students learn not only to manage the everyday practice they will pursue, but also to rise to complex challenges throughout their careers. Through programs such as Davis Polk Leadership Initiative and the Reuben Mark Initiative for Organizational Character and Leadership, Columbia Law offers courses, workshops, and research and professional development opportunities to teach students to be leaders in both the private and public sectors worldwide.
Take intensive courses to develop leadership skills and advance meaningful institutional and social change, such as Lawyer Leadership, Structural Change in Public Education (an immersive full-semester program in public education), and Vision, Action, and Social Change.
Spearhead real-world projects to make a positive impact on the Law School community, the legal profession, and the broader community through funding and resources provided by the Davis Polk Leadership Fellowship and Innovation Grants.
Develop essential skills around vision and strategy, management and teamwork, problem solving, and cultural literacy through workshops, coaching, training, and other programming.
Receive one-on-one mentoring from from experienced practitioners, staff, and faculty to develop leadership skills related to your career goals and aspirations.
Learn from visiting leaders-in-residence in the Reuben Mark Initiative’s In-House Counsel Program, who have served as general counsel, chief legal officers, and senior executives at top companies, such as Former Apple GC Bruce Sewell and Nike General Counsel Hilary Krane.
“We are committed to teaching the skills that prepare students to excel in the diverse roles they will occupy over the course of their careers—as both lawyers and leaders in society.”
—Gillian Lester, Columbia Law School Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law