Law 409 - Leadership and the Law

General Course Description:

This course will help prepare students for responsible leadership and service in the many roles that lawyers perform both in and out of legal practice, and in their roles as social change agents. Students are introduced to the basic principles of leadership and ethics in the legal profession and explore leadership methods more generally. The course allows students to study and apply methods of leadership to their current work at UCLA law school and in their future practice areas in the law and government. Students will assess their own leadership skills and abilities and critically examine the leadership traits, styles and decision-making processes of prominent leaders who are lawyers. This course meets for the first ten weeks of the semester, including a mandatory Saturday immersion class on September 16, 2017. Students must be able to attend this Saturday class or will not be enrolled or will be dropped from the course. Students in leadership roles at the law school will have priority for this course via application.

Course Goals: Lawyers are frequently asked to take on leadership roles in law firms, government, non-profit and business settings, and political, social and educational organizations. Yet many of our law students graduate from law school without studying methods of effective leadership or assessing their own leadership traits and capabilities. The primary goal of this course is to educate our future lawyers on best practices in leadership and the law, and provide leadership training to law students interested in creating change in their communities. Therefore, in this course students will:
i. Learn to identify leadership traits and styles most conducive to effective leadership, most particularly in the context of being a member of the legal profession.
ii. Reflect critically on their own leadership style and engage in readings, discussions and exercises to further develop their own leadership capabilities and strengths.
iii. Identify and understand the ethical and moral obligations of lawyers as leaders. Drawing on the readings, classroom discussions, exercises and reflections, students will become familiar with those lawyers who demonstrate effective and ethical leadership styles.
iv. Identify and understand issues surrounding diversity, inclusion and social change as these concepts relate to leadership and the law. Students will review historical patterns of exclusion from leadership positions, effective inclusive and diversity-related strategies for engaging and supporting leaders, and approaches to leading in the area of social change.
v. Receive one-on-one feedback about their assignments and reflections, both in conference with the professor and through written comments.
vi. Feel empowered and prepared to take on leadership roles while in law school and in their legal career.

Course Information: