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 and a leadership mindset can transform lawyers into strategic and creative thinkers with the vision to change the world for the better—and influence others to do the same.
How do law students become lawyers who can effectively guide teams and institutions through complex challenges?
Through programs such as the Davis Polk Leadership Initiative and the Reuben Mark Initiative for Organizational Character and Leadership—along with courses, workshops, and other professional development opportunities— students learn to be leaders in both the private and public sectors.
Take advantage of intensive courses and experiential learning opportunities 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 the Community Advocacy Lab Clinic and Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic.
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.
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 Pierre Gentin, McKinsey’s Global General Counsel, and Sheila Cheston, corporate vice president and general counsel for Northrop Grumman Corporation.
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 experienced practitioners, staff, and faculty to develop leadership skills related to your career goals and aspirations.
“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