Lisa Rohrer has been appointed as the new executive director of Executive Education and the Case Development Initiative at Harvard Law School.
Rohrer comes to HLS from Georgetown University Law Center, where as director of executive education she developed and taught in open-enrollment and custom programs focused on business and leadership skills for law firms and law departments. She also served as research director at Georgetown’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession.
“We are so fortunate that Lisa has decided to join us,” said Scott Westfahl, newly appointed director of Executive Education at Harvard Law School. “Her unique blend of academic and consulting experience will help ensure that HLS Executive Education continues to provide cutting edge and practical insights and tools to leaders across the legal profession. Lisa has extensive experience in executive education leadership, case development and research, and is a wonderful colleague and collaborator. Her intellectual curiosity and rigor, as well as her positive spirit and personal warmth, will no doubt deeply resonate to the benefit of our team and our mission.”
John C. Coates, professor at HLS and chair of the faculty board of the Executive Education Program at the school, said: “I am delighted that Lisa Rohrer will be returning to HLS, and I am confident our executive education program and case development initiative will thrive with her on the team. Her experience at Georgetown and Hildebrandt will be invaluable in helping HLS thicken the connections between practice, research and teaching, both in the JD program and in our leadership and development programs for practitioners.”
Harvard Law School Executive Education (HLSEE) offers high quality executive education programs oriented towards legal practitioners, both in open enrollment programs (such as the flagship Leadership in Law Firms program targeted to law firm leaders, the unique Leadership in Corporate Counsel program targeted to chief legal officers, and the innovative Emerging Leaders in Law Firms program targeted to emerging law firm leaders) and focused programs, including the path-breaking Milbank@Harvard program.
By studying a cross-section of professional service organizations in sessions facilitated by Harvard faculty, participants address the unique challenges of leading their organizations, and develop perspectives and skills to be more effective leaders. Through these executive education programs and colloquia and alumni groups, HLSEE nurtures close contact and interaction between practitioners and HLS faculty.
The Case Development Initiative uses interviews, data, and research to develop written and video summaries of strategic and organizational issues that law and other professional service firms face. Readers become situation-based problem solvers by analyzing a case study; they must identify key challenges and develop appropriate strategies to resolve them. Harvard Law School case studies force readers to consider each situation from multiple perspectives and reconcile the interests of different groups or individuals. This initiative is partially funded by a generous grant from Dechert LLP.
Said Rohrer: “I’m thrilled and honored to be returning to Harvard to join the executive education and case development teams at Harvard Law School. With the legal profession experiencing profound changes, the mission of these two initiatives — to provide leadership insights to legal practitioners through education and case studies — is more critical than ever. I’m looking forward to being a part of an outstanding team that is producing exceptionally high quality programs and case studies to the legal community.”
In addition to her work in executive education and case writing, Rohrer is also conducting research on law firm culture and is a speaker and consultant on strategic and organizational issues facing law firms in the post-economic crisis era.
Prior to joining Georgetown, Rohrer was the director of research at the Hildebrandt Institute, a division of Thomson Reuters. She was also a research fellow at Harvard Law School, where she coauthored numerous case studies on law firms and other professional service firms. Rohrer also spent a number of years in market research and was CEO of a mid-sized firm specializing in customer satisfaction research. She holds a BA in Psychology from Wellesley College, an AM in Sociology from Harvard University and a PhD from the joint program in Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School, where her dissertation focused on the effects of law firm mergers on attorney career paths.