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Research Programs

Center on the Legal Profession

  • a vertical combined image of five HLS black lawyers

    ‘Lawyering and justice in a world that we know is riven by injustice’

    March 22, 2022

    “This is a unique moment, particularly to be a Black law student,” Harvard Law School Professor David B. Wilkins ’80, told an audience of students during a talk titled Black Lawyers Matter — Race, Obligation, and Professionalism from the Civil Rights Movement to BLM and Black Corporate Power.

  • Illustration of three business people wearing face masks and using a giant umbrella to shield themselves and a giant earth from a rain of viruses.

    ‘Don’t just be a lawyer. Be a strategist’

    November 10, 2021

    The Center on the Legal Profession convenes experts from public and private sectors for a day-long symposium on crisis lawyering.

  • Judge Julie M. Lynch presides over a courtroom remotely

    Online courts: reimagining the future of justice

    December 4, 2020

    Even if there was no COVID-19, online courts would still be the wave of the future: This idea was the starting point for a recent webinar, “Online Courts: Perspectives from the Bench and the Bar,” a half-day event convened by the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession.

  • Proskauer Chairman Joe Leccese talks firm’s winning strategy with Professor Wilkins

    Proskauer Chairman Joe Leccese talks sports law market diversification and technological innovation with Professor Wilkins

    March 14, 2019

    Joe Leccese, chairman of Proskauer, joined Professor David Wilkins ’80, faculty director of Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession, for a lunchtime talk sponsored by the Harvard Association for Law and Business.

  • 2018 Harvard Legal Technology Symposium brings together practitioners and innovators 1

    2018 Harvard Legal Technology Symposium brings together practitioners and innovators

    December 3, 2018

    Practitioners, technologists and innovators from across the legal spectrum came together for a series of discussions on the impact of ever-changing modern technologies on today’s practice of law at the 2018 Harvard Legal Technology Symposium.

  • Internal Legal Team post-its

    Operationalizing innovation in legal organizations

    August 29, 2018

    On Google’s main campus in Mountain View, Calif., Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession convened more than 80 innovation leaders from around the world—half from law firms and half from in-house legal departments—in June, for a series of in-depth workshops around how their organizations operationalize innovation.

  • Extending access and quality: A conversation with Mary E. Klotman

    Extending access and quality: A conversation with Mary E. Klotman

    August 20, 2018

    Mary E. Klotman M.D., dean of Duke University School of Medicine and vice chancellor for health affairs, recently sat down with Professor David B. Wilkins, faculty director of the Center on the Legal Profession, for a conversation on how medicine has changed over time, particularly with respect to the development of professional roles within it.

  • A photo illustration

    Faculty Books in Brief: Summer 2018

    June 25, 2018

    HLS Professor Mnookin, who for many years chaired the school’s Program on Negotiation, joins two other Harvard-affiliated professors in a study of the former secretary of state’s public and private deal-making, based on extensive interviews with Henry Kissinger on negotiation strategy and tactics.

  • Crossing over from a legal to a financial career

    Crossing over from a legal to a financial career

    March 20, 2018

    Kicking of the Harvard Association for Law & Business' seventh annual symposium on Feb. 26, a panel of top-level executives in the financial world explored the possibilities of crossing over from a legal to a financial career.

  • David Wilkins on globalization, lawyers and emerging economies

    David Wilkins on globalization, lawyers and emerging economies

    February 8, 2018

    Prof. David Wilkins, vice dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession and faculty director of Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession (CLP), recently sat down to discuss CLP's project on Globalization Lawyers and Emerging Economies (GLEE) and what lies ahead for the innovative program.

  • Kristin Turner ’17 named Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellow

    Kristin Turner ’17 named Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellow

    February 6, 2018

    Kristin Turner ’17 was selected as the recipient of Harvard Law School's Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship. She will spend year working with Upsolve, a nonprofit that has developed a platform designed to guide both debtors and attorneys through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.

  • On the Bookshelf: HLS Library Books 2017 12

    On the Bookshelf: HLS Authors

    December 14, 2017

    This fall, the Harvard Law School Library hosted a series of book talks by HLS authors, with topics ranging from Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts to a Citizen's Guide to Impeachment. As part of this ongoing series, faculty authors from various disciplines shared their research and discussed their recently published books.

  • The  Root  Room 1

    The Root Room

    November 29, 2017

    A room that was meant to offer a respite from the rigors of the Harvard Law School curriculum became a portal to exploring some of the most important issues in American law.

  • Coates named fellow in European Corporate Governance Institute

    Coates named fellow of European Corporate Governance Institute

    November 14, 2017

    Harvard Law Professor John F. Coates has been named a fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI).

  • John Coates named fellow of American College of Governance Counsel

    John Coates named fellow of American College of Governance Counsel

    September 12, 2017

    John Coates, the John F. Cogan, Jr., Professor of Law and Economics at Harvard Law School, has joined the American College of Governance Counsel as a Fellow.

  • David Wilkins named to ABA’s Commission on the Future of Legal Education

    August 24, 2017

    David Wilkins ’80, the Lester Kissel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, has been named to the American Bar Association’s Commission on the Future of Legal Education, the ABA has announced.

  • Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab aims to challenge legal exceptionalism 4

    Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab aims to challenge legal exceptionalism

    May 10, 2017

    Since its founding nine months ago, Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab has aimed to revolutionize thinking about access to legal help. Often misunderstood and sometimes controversial, the lab sponsored a five-hour symposium in April that drew scholars from across the country to Harvard Law School.

  • Coates named to SEC Investor Advisory Committee

    July 12, 2016

    The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that HLS Professor John Coates and Former SEC Chairman Elisse Walter are two of three new members appointed to its Investor Advisory Committee. The SEC also reappointed five members whose terms recently expired.

  • Another HLS renovation receives LEED Gold certification

    June 8, 2016

    Harvard Law School’s 2016 renovation of Pound Hall’s second floor has received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, marking the seventh certification for HLS.

  • The Laws of Adaptation

    October 5, 2015

    Change is coming to the legal profession—whether attorneys like it or not—and HLS is at the forefront of efforts to anticipate it, and prepare students.

  • Harvard Law Thinks Big: Innovative faculty scholarship in brief

    June 19, 2015

    In late May, four Harvard Law faculty members, Charles Fried, Michael Gregory, Kathryn Spier and David Wilkins, each shared a snapshot of innovative research with the HLS community, followed by discussion as part of the 2015 Harvard Law School Thinks Big lecture.

  • Westfahl_Scott

    More women means more success

    June 17, 2015

    HLS Professor of Practice Scott Westfahl '88, faculty director of HLS Executive Education, recently wrote "More women means more success," an article for the National Association of Women Lawyers' Women Lawyers Journal on the economic reasons for diversity at the management level.

  • The New Empiricists

    May 4, 2015

    For the growing number of empiricists at HLS, there’s nothing quite so satisfying—or unimpeachable—as resolving a thorny, often contentious, legal or policy question through rigorous analysis of cold, hard data.

  • At the Center of the Profession

    November 24, 2014

    The legal profession is going through dramatic change, affected by factors ranging from globalization to new technology to a fragile economic recovery. And a Harvard Law School institution dedicated to studying the profession is undergoing its own big change.

  • Firmly Outside the Box

    November 24, 2014

    From rethinking how venture capital firms meet their legal needs to focusing on broadening access to legal services for all people, Sarah Reed '91 has been a pragmatic innovator.

  • The renamed Center on the Legal Profession sets new course with digital magazine and relaunch of website

    November 21, 2014

    Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Professionnhas announced the release of their revamped website and the launch of the first-of-its-kind digital magazine, The Practice

  • Center on the Legal Profession explores challenges of family-led firms in India (video)

    October 8, 2014

    Bharat Anand, a partner at Khaitan & Co., in New Delhi, India, was the keynote speaker on Sept. 23 at an event sponsored by the Center On The Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. Khaitan & Co. partners with the Center on the Legal Profession’s Globalization, Lawyers and Emerging Economies (GLEE) on research in India.

  • Wilkins receives two academic awards in Spain in July

    August 6, 2014

    Professor David Wilkins was honored twice in July by academic societies in Spain. Wilkins is the Lester Kissel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, as well as the director of the Program on the Legal Profession and Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession.

  • Conference examines ‘disruptions’ in law and marketplace (video)

    March 19, 2014

    When Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School and best-selling author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” coined the term “disruptive innovation,” he wasn’t focusing on the world of law.

  • Attorney and author Grover E. Cleveland

    Swimming with sharks: Grover Cleveland shares some lessons for new attorneys

    March 7, 2014

    Grover Cleveland, a Seattle attorney and the author of "Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: The Essential Guide to Thriving as a New Lawyer," delivered a talk at Harvard Law School on Wednesday, March 5. Cleveland’s talk, sponsored by the Program on the Legal Profession, focused on career advice for students and recent law school graduates. In a Q&A with Harvard Law Today, Cleveland offered practical tips for career success.

  • Greiner, HLS students spearhead new Consumer Debt Relief Project

    January 29, 2014

    How best to assist people in financial trouble is the focus of the Consumer Financial Distress Project, a groundbreaking new study designed and led by Harvard Law School Professor Jim Greiner, Professor Dalié Jiménez at the University of Connecticut School of Law, and Professor Lois Lupica at the University of Maine School of Law.

  • William P. Alford, Alonzo Emery, Robert C. Bordone, Michael Stein, Matthew Bugher, Tyler Giannini, Noah Feldman, Vicki Jackson, Howell E. Jackson, David Kennedy, J. Mark Ramseyer, Hal Scott, Matthew C. Stephenson, Jeannie Suk, David Wilkins, and Mark Wu

    HLS Focus on Asia: Faculty and clinical highlights

    January 1, 2014

    Some recent faculty and clinical highlights—from research on anti-corruption efforts to conferences on financial regulation.

  • HLS hosts International Bar Association panel on the Global Legal Profession (video)

    October 25, 2013

    Thousands of international attorneys gathered in Boston in October to attend the week-long International Bar Association's 2013 Annual Conference.

  • HLS Professor of Practice Ashish Nanda

    Nanda appointed director of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

    August 14, 2013

    Ashish Nanda, the Robert Braucher Professor of Practice, faculty director of executive education, and research director at the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School, has been appointed director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), in India.

  • Senator Richard Blumenthal

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal at HLS: bring more accountability to the FISA Court (video)

    August 9, 2013

    On Thursday, Aug. 8, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) delivered an address at Harvard Law School on proposed legislation to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, just hours after news outlets reported additional revelations concerning the scope of information gathered by the National Security Agency.

  • Conference explores the future of corporate business in India

    December 18, 2012

    On Dec. 11, Harvard Law School’s Program on the Legal Profession (PLP) and the Indian School of Business (ISB) co-hosted a major international conference on the future of corporate business in India and the role of the legal profession. The event was held at the ISB campus in Hyderabad, India.

  • Wilkins being honored

    Wilkins honored by the University of Stockholm

    October 23, 2012

    Stockholm University conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Harvard Law School Professor David B. Wilkins ’80, director of the Program on the Legal Profession and vice dean for global initiatives on the legal profession.

  • Professor Viet D. Dinh '93

    Viet Dinh ’93 on government, academia and boutique law practice (video)

    September 26, 2012

    Viet D. Dinh '93, founding partner of Bancroft and a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, spoke at Harvard Law School on Sept. 18 at an event sponsored by Harvard Law School's Program on the Legal Profession. Dinh, who served as U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy from 2001 to 2003 and played a key role in developing legal policy initiatives to combat terrorism, focused his remarks on “Peripatetic Reflections: Government, Academia and Boutique Law Practice."

  • Case studies developed at HLS available through new website

    July 31, 2012

    Harvard Law School has launched a new program to develop and distribute case studies, role plays, hypothetical problems and other experiential tools for the classroom. The centerpiece of the program is a website designed as a one-stop-shop for all participant-centered teaching tools developed and sponsored by HLS.

  • Going Global: U.S. General Counsel Model Spreading to Emerging Economies, HLS Research Finds

    July 1, 2012

    Over the past 40 years the role of the general counsel has changed dramatically, according to HLS Professor David Wilkins '80, “so that it has become, in my view, the most important position in the legal profession, particularly in the corporate legal world,” he says. But until recently, that model remained uniquely American.

  • ABA President William Robinson III

    ABA President calculates the real cost of state court underfunding (video)

    March 20, 2012

    On February 27, the Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession sponsored a lecture by ABA President William Robinson III about a critical issue facing the legal system – state court underfunding. Robinson outlined facts and figures that speak to the enormity of the crisis, and underscored what those numbers mean to those seeking justice and to the American concept of democracy.

  • Professor David Wilkins '80

    Wilkins in NYTimes’ ‘Room for Debate:’ Keep the method, not the focus

    December 16, 2011

    In today’s NY Times ‘Room for Debate’ online forum, Harvard Law School Professor David Wilkins ’80 writes on the topic of whether or not the Socratic method should still have a role in American legal education today.

  • Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

    Youth Empowerment and Leadership: An Evening with former president of India, A.P.J Abdul Kalam (video)

    October 18, 2011

    It was hard to see him though the cheering crowd when he first walked in, a small, amiable-looking man. By the end of the session, he had gotten his message across about the importance of global leadership and youth empowerment. He was even able to get a room full of people to recite poetry with him. He is Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the 11th president of India.

  • Attorney and author Grover E. Cleveland

    A partner offers some advice to new lawyers

    October 12, 2011

    According to attorney and author Grover E. Cleveland, young lawyers should be reassured by assignments that require all-nighters. “If a senior lawyer left work on your desk and went to sleep, that means that you’ve successfully earned her trust,” he said. Cleveland offered this and other nuggets of wisdom at “Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Thriving in the First Two Years of Law Practice,” an event jointly sponsored by the Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession and Office of Career Services on October 4.

  • Professor David Wilkins '80

    Wilkins to receive Outstanding Scholar Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation

    February 10, 2011

    Harvard Law School Professor David B. Wilkins will receive the Outstanding Scholar Award from The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. The award is given annually to a member of the academy who has engaged in outstanding scholarship in the law or in government.

  • Stephen F. Gates ’72 (M.B.A. ’72)

    Stephen Gates reflects on a career as general counsel for ’Fortune 10’ companies (video)

    February 8, 2011

    In a Jan. 27 talk titled “Line of Fire: On Being a 'Fortune 10' General Counsel," sponsored by the HLS Program on the Legal Profession, Stephen F. Gates ’72 (M.B.A. ’72) addressed the role and responsibilities of in-house counsel in today’s changing world of legal practice, and he spoke candidly about some of the specific situations he has faced in the “line of fire.”

  • FutureEd 2: A major conference explores how legal education will change amidst rapid globalization (Video)

    November 17, 2010

    Legal education is in a period of profound and much-needed change. That was the unanimous assessment of a group of experts at FutureEd2, a major conference at Harvard Law School that attracted more than 150 legal educators, practitioners, businesspeople and students from around the world.