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Course Information

Leading in the Law

Law students often identify “doing good in the world” as a reason why they choose to become a lawyer, and students often come to the law desiring to become leaders both in the profession and in the general community. And, lawyers often are found disproportionately represented in leadership roles across business and civic organizations. However, the study of what it means to be leader, and how to identify, practice, and hone effective leadership skills, eludes many lawyers. Decades of research across disciplines has established that leadership skills are identifiable, can be practiced, and that great leaders are in fact made and not born. This course seeks to provide a pathway for law students to begin an intentional study of leadership, specifically exploring the intersection of leading with the role of lawyers and other legal professionals (including judges and policy makers). Throughout the course, we will study methods and styles of successful leaders, including types of leaders that highly talented people (like Vanderbilt Law graduates) find inspiring and are willing to follow.

Students will actively engage in the study of leadership by taking on several roles to master in order to become an effective and credible leader, including follower, team worker, and equal co-contributor within a team setting. We will focus on the fluid and situational nature of leadership and the competencies required in order to influence the behavior of others, learning through collaborative team projects as well as from established and influential lawyer-leaders including many Vanderbilt Law alumni. Enrollment limited.