Outline and Boxes on a Blue Blackground

Leadership

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? 

Through the Davis Polk Leadership Initiative, 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. Students learn not only to manage the everyday practice they will pursue, but also to rise to complex challenges throughout their careers.

Why Columbia?

Take an intensive seminar in “lawyer leadership” that builds on the capacity to interact effectively in groups, give and receive feedback, develop constructive work relationships, and navigate new and challenging environments. 

Earn grants to launch a collaborative project designed to have a positive impact on the Law School, the profession, and the larger community. 

Develop essential skills, such as persuasive communication, networking, managing, and mentoring, through professional development workshops. 

Receive one-on-one coaching for student mentors, peer coaches, teaching assistants, heads of student organizations, and other leaders.

“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 the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law

Related Faculty

Avery Katz

Avery W. Katz

  • Milton Handler Professor of Law and Reuben Mark Professor of Organizational Character
Dean Gillian Lester

Gillian Lester

  • Dean of the Faculty of Law and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law
Susan Sturm

Susan P. Sturm

  • George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility

Related Centers and Programs

Center for Public Research and Leadership

The Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) aims to revitalize public education while filling substantial gaps in professional education. CPRL’s rigorous coursework, skills training, and research and consulting projects prepare graduate students in law, business, and public policy for careers in the education sector. With an eye toward improving outcomes for all children, CPRL utilizes the latest techniques in education, such as organizational design, democratic accountability, team-based problem-solving skills, and socio-emotional learning. Students can also participate in a semster-long intensive around transformational change in public education by enrolling in the Public Education Policy Lab-Seminar and Skills courses. 

 

Columbia Law School Mindfulness Program

Founded in 2017, the Columbia Law School Mindfulness Program is a community of faculty, staff, and students committed to the practice of mindful awareness and the examination of how it informs our understanding of law and lawyering.

Areas of Study

Davis Polk Leadership Initiative

Through the Davis Polk Leadership Initiative, 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. Students learn not only to manage the everyday practice they will pursue, but also to rise to complex challenges throughout their careers.

Areas of Study

Close up of the columns of the Supreme Court building with an American flag and the US Capitol in the background

Public Interest/Public Service

No matter what your area of interest, find ways to incorporate public interest and public service into your academic program and career.

Academics Careers

Related Student Groups and Journals

  • Harlem Tutorial Program
  • High School Law Institute
  • Loquitur Mentoring Youth Through Legal Education
  • Negotiation Association
  • Society of Law and Ethics