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Spring 2021 Reading Group

Resilience and Leadership in the Law

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

The legal profession faces many challenges. New businesses are working on disrupting the legal profession, primarily through technology and legal systems designed to lower legal costs through efficiency and/or to improve legal outcomes through more deliberate and careful process engineering, the practice itself is becoming more global, complex and specialized, forcing lawyers to collaborate and work in teams, and lawyers struggle to balance client vs. non-client demands and the 24/7 “always on” pace of the profession.

Leaders in law must be able to effectively manage through this change and complexity, balance tradition and stability, which continue to have important value for lawyers and clients, and quickly adapt their thinking, behaviors and strategies accordingly. In order to do this effectively, leaders need new tools, and one such tool is resilience. Resilience frameworks allow leaders to adapt to and grow from perceived and actual setbacks and challenges (and then model this behavior for others), create strong networks to allow for teaming and collaboration, proactively monitor emerging issues organizationally and across the profession generally and innovate.

This reading group will explore:

  • How the research relating to resilience is being applied and/or could be applied by legal organizations, public and private, at the leader, team and organizational level
  • The specific ways in which resilience enhances lawyers’ performance, well-being and capacity to lead
  • The ways in which other leading organizations, like Google and the U.S. Army, are using resilience frameworks and tools to enhance leader and team performance and adaptability
  • The specific work attributes that enhance or erode resilience along with the steps leaders can take to influence these attributes in the legal profession

We will also use case studies that illustrate how resilience principles are being applied in various industries and participants will have an opportunity to practice and discuss a wide-range of resilience-building skills.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: February 1, February 22, March 8, March 29, April 12, and April 1.