Note: This course is restricted to first-year J.D. students only.
The drop deadline for 1L January Experiential Term (JET) classes is TBD. Students may not drop a course if they do not have an offer to enroll in a different JET course.
1L JET courses are intensive learning courses. Class attendance is required in each course every day of the term. Students should make their travel plans accordingly. Students should not take on other work commitments during the term.
Exam Type: No Exam
Background. Harvard Law School graduates have a long history of leadership, drawing on the critical thinking, advocacy, and negotiation skills and technical legal knowledge they learn and practice during law school. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of effective leadership and help them to explore and practice different leadership approaches and skillsets. The course will be highly interactive and team-based, allowing students to learn from each other as well and also to build stronger relationships among their peers. We will learn about leadership through various case examples and also from guest speakers who are leading change in the legal profession, both in the public and the private sector.
Teaching goals of the course/who should consider this course: This course is designed for students who are interested in building a deeper understanding of leadership frameworks, practices, and tools to accelerate their ability to create impact as leaders in their respective fields.
Course content: We will discuss and practice applying fundamental leadership frameworks and tools, and build related professional skills, including:
- Personal leadership:
- Understanding your own working style and preferences and how to work more effectively across lines of difference
- Understanding motivational and influence psychology in order to gain buy-in as a leader
- Developing effective listening skills, human-centered design interviewing, negotiating conflict, and giving and receiving feedback
- Team leadership:
- Working in teams and leveraging important research about what makes for effective teamwork, such as how to improve team performance and communication, and how to create safe, inclusive team environments
- Presenting and communicating effectively as an individual team member and as a team
- Understanding and building team resilience to help teams adapt to uncertainty, failure and rapidly changing circumstances
- Leadership practices and frameworks:
- Applying the leadership practice of public narrative and storytelling to drive change and grow personally and professionally
- Applying design thinking principles to lead positive, human-centric change
- Leading effectively in a crisis
- Developing yourself as a leader:
- Building professional and personal networks
- Managing the increasingly complex levels of responsibility you encounter as you advance your career
- Understanding career management strategies that help you grow and learn more effectively
Course structure and expectations: Through a mixture of leadership case studies with guest speakers, interactive exercises, and extensive work in teams, students will explore the real-world skills and mindsets that leaders call upon to catalyze change across the legal profession. Instructors and teaching assistants will provide regular feedback to teams with respect to written and oral presentations. Especially because this is a team-based course, students are expected to attend each class in order to work in their teams and contribute to team assignments. Students will complete light homework assignments each evening, often with their assigned team, and will have a final team project and presentation at the end of the course.
Note: There may be days throughout the winter term that require attendance beyond the scheduled times. Please refer to the course syllabus and page for more information.