Leadership in Legal

In this module we will look at some of the challenges to leading people in a legal environment, as well as the role of leaders in law firms.

Everyday Leadership

Leadership doesn’t always have to do with implementing an innovative project or changing the world. Sometimes leadership is about connecting with people and helping them feel valued and welcome. That’s my definition of inclusion. Watch this Ted Talk by Drew Dudley on “Everyday Leadership” and making lollipop moments. I challenge you to make more lollipop moments.


Thinking about your role and identify as a leader, what leadership practices might you want to improve? How would those around describe your leadership qualities and skills? What practices do you do now, but may need to increase the frequency or effectiveness? What practices might be needed by your team now that were less important a year ago?

Make a few notes and be intentional about increasing the frequency and effectiveness of those practices.

Additional Resources

Some people say leading lawyers is a lot like “herding cats”. Check out this video to see if you agree with the comparison. My favorite line is, “It ain’t an easy job, but when you bring a herd into town and you haven’t lost a one of them, there ain’t a feeling like it in all the world.”


The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: How Ordinary People Make Extraordinary Things Happen, by James Kouzes and Barry Posner

In Praise of the Incomplete Leader, by Deborah Ancona , Thomas W. Malone , Wanda J. Orlikowski and Peter M. Senge


Here are a few great books to read as a companion to the course. Links are to Amazon.com, but you can purchase anywhere you choose. These books are OPTIONAL, and not required for the course.

The Leadership Challenge, by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner
This is an excellent resource, giving practical and research-based advice to improve one’s leadership capacity.

Leadership is an Art, by Max Depree
Insights on leadership and management by the former CEO of Herman Miller Inc. Quick read, but with challenging insights on the role of a leader in organizations.