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Volume 69, Issue 6


Raising the Bar

Lawyers and Leadership
by  Sophie J. Hart

The legal profession provides a disproportionate number of leaders in American society, everywhere from law firms and law schools to government, the private sector, and the nonprofit realm. The 2017 Stanford Law Review Symposium, “Raising the Bar: Lawyers and Leadership,” explores the role lawyers play as leaders in our society, why so many lawyers fill leadership…


Remembering Justice Scalia

by  Jeffrey S. Sutton

While Justice Scalia would have been grateful for the many warm tributes written about him over the last year, I wonder whether he would have noted, with his wry smile, one potentially awkward feature of them. Is not what we are doing uncomfortably close to one of his favorite targets in life: after-the-fact legislative history?…


Leadership in Law

by  Deborah L. Rhode

This Article argues that the occupation that produces the nation’s greatest share of leaders needs to do more to prepare them for that role. Attention is long overdue. Over two-thirds of Americans think that the nation has a leadership crisis, and only a small minority have trust in lawyers, particularly those in leadership roles. To…


The Leadership Imperative

A Collaborative Approach to Professional Development in the Global Age of More for Less
by  Scott A. Westfahl & David B. Wilkins

Notwithstanding the increasing importance of technology, the practice of corporate law is—and is likely to remain for the foreseeable future—a human capital business. As a result, law firms must continue to attract, develop, and retain talented lawyers. Unfortunately, the traditional approach, which divides responsibility for professional development among law schools, which are supposed to teach…


The Return of the Lawyer-Statesman?

by  Robert W. Gordon

Ben W. Heineman, Jr., a former general counsel of General Electric, has written a book (The Inside Counsel Revolution) proposing an ambitious role for legal advisors to corporations, which he calls “resolving the partner-guardian tension.” Corporate lawyers, Heineman argues, must be effective agents in helping their clients attain their performance goals. But they must also…


Leadership in Law Schools

by  Erwin Chemerinsky

Leadership in law schools fundamentally requires the same as leadership skills in any organization. I had the tremendous benefit of being in a number of leadership positions before becoming the dean of a law school. For example, I served as the director of a program for high school students at Northwestern University, spent a year…


Where Are We Trying to Get to?

by  Dana K. Chipman

At the beginning of every Pentagon meeting involving the Army’s senior staff, General George Casey, then-Chief of Staff of the Army, asked: “Where are we trying to get to?” That question never lost relevance. For the leader of any organization, identifying the desired end state constitutes the critical task. For example, CEOs develop and direct…


Beyond Weber

Law and Leadership in an Institutionally Fragile World
by  Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

Can one even imagine law without leadership? Walk inside a county courthouse anywhere in the country, and you will find more than jurors waiting to be empaneled or trial counsel holding juries rapt at attention. Down the hall, past judges adjudicating felony trials or contentious family disputes, is a presiding judge—the local trial court’s leader,…


On Lawyers and Leadership in Government

Lessons from “America’s Advocate,” Robert H. Jackson
by  Gregory G. Garre

Lawyers serve in critical positions across the federal government. But lawyers play a special role at the Department of Justice, which is foremost charged with enforcing the laws on behalf of the President and representing the government in court. Naturally, it is lawyers who assume leadership roles at the Department. This can present a challenge.…


Everyday Leadership as a Practicing Lawyer

by  Kirtee Kapoor

I have practiced law for the last seventeen years as a lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardwell. During this time, I have had the opportunity to live in New York, Germany, Hong Kong, and California and have had the privilege of leading projects and practices and serving many clients in hundreds of transactions. As I…


Leadership in Educational Institutions

Reflections of a Law School Dean
by  Robert Post

As Deborah Rhode observes in her superb book Lawyers as Leaders, there is a vast literature on leadership. It has become an object of microscopic study. It is as though leadership were an element that could be measured, its essence extracted, its secrets replicated, and its puissance transmitted to those capable of learning. I have no…


Attention, Law Students

Our Country and Our Planet Need You to Lead!
by  Katie Redford

Never during the course of my life and career as a lawyer have I felt that there was more urgency for lawyers to step up and lead than there is today. Never have the ideals that we define as ours—truth, justice, fairness, rule of law—been more threatened, yet simultaneously more urgent. And rarely have I…


Reflection on Lawyers as Leaders

by  Laura Stein

As a lawyer and a leader, I am extremely privileged and honored to have served as the first woman general counsel at two wonderful Fortune 500 companies, as a director on three leading Fortune 500 company boards, and in leadership roles with professional organizations and nonprofits whose missions and volunteers inspire me to do more.…


Reflections on Leadership in Government and Private Practice

by  Benjamin B. Wagner

Most lawyers in the United States practice in law firms or serve in government, and quite a few, like myself, have crossed between those spheres at least once. Many have been successful leaders in both government and private practice by demonstrating qualities associated with leadership generally—substantive expertise, high ethical standards, a commitment to hard work…