Accelerated Leadership Program

Program Overview

The Accelerated Leadership Program (ALP) is an intensive, four-day interactive program designed to advance early-stage to mid-stage partners and leaders of smaller legal organizations to the next level of leadership across four dimensions: client leadership, practice leadership, people and team leadership and personal leadership. Participants emerge with the perspectives, concepts and tools they need to succeed as effective leaders in their firms.


March 7-10, 2017




To Apply:


Harvard Law School’s Accelerated Leadership Program is an intensive, four-day program designed to advance the development of partners across four key dimensions of leadership:

  • Client leadership – How to deepen and broaden client relationships and communicate more effectively with clients about value, pricing and collaboration;
  • Practice leadership – How to analyze and develop business unit strategy, build and drive internal collaboration, and develop a keen awareness of the critical levers for building a thriving practice;
  • Leadership of people and teams – How to develop, motivate and manage people and teams more effectively, and understand and apply research-based recommendations for achieving organizational and team buy-in; and
  • Personal leadership – How to have more impact as a leader by building self-awareness and a deeper understanding of how to work across differences more effectively.

Participants will develop a thorough and holistic understanding of the challenges facing, and the skills and perspectives required of, law firm leaders.


The Learning Model

Case studies, lectures, classroom discussions, and small group discussions focused on law firms and other professional service firms will afford participants the opportunity to discuss the determinants of sustained firm success and effective leadership in such organizations.

The sessions will help participants work through possible approaches to the issues that confront partners with leadership responsibilities in professional service firms. Participants will reflect on, and discuss effective leadership in the face of real life challenges in professional service settings.

The program offers participants perspective, concepts, tools, and skills to help them be successful as emerging leaders in their law firms.

Participants in the program will develop a practical understanding of critical business and leadership frameworks and how they can be applied effectively in a challenging market.

Candidates for the Program:

The Accelerated Leadership Program is tailored for partners who typically have been in their role for 3-7 years and who are seeking to advance more successfully to the next level of leadership, including client, practice, team or personal leadership or, preferably, all of the above.

Participants in previous cohorts of the programs have included practice leaders, office managing partners, team managers, heads and co-heads of practice groups, partners-in-charge, and firm-wide committee members. Class size is small and we encourage diversity of participants—from different geographies and from different types of law firms.  

Click here to read testimonials from our participants.

Admission Requirements

Admission is selective and based on the fit between your background and responsibilities and the profile of professionals towards whom the course is targeted. Proficiency in written and spoken English is essential. Participants devote time, attention, and intellect to the learning experience; firms assume fees, provide for reasonable expenses, and relieve the participants of their work responsibilities during the program.

Application Process
All applications are acknowledged and all application information is confidential. The Admissions Committee reviews applications and qualified candidates are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis. The Admissions Committee only reviews completed applications.

Every Applicant Must Submit the Following:

  1. An individual application form
    Complete application online
    Download Application
  2. A sponsorship form
    Complete sponsorship form online
    Download Sponsorship Form

The sponsorship form must be filled and signed by the senior partner, the managing partner, chief executive, or a member of the executive committee of the firm.

Application Deadlines
Applicants are requested to apply at least one month before the program start date. Class size will be small and we encourage diversity of participants – from different geographies and from different types of law firms. Any one law firm will be limited to sending five participants to a program. Early application is encouraged.

Program Fee
The program fee of $10,000 covers tuition, course material, accommodation, and most meals. Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date. If admission is less than 30 days from the start of the program, payment is due upon receipt of the invoice.

Cancellations, Substitutions and Deferrals

Participants who are unable to attend the program have three options: cancellation, substitution or deferral. Cancellations must be submitted in writing up to 30 days prior to the program to receive a full refund. Due to program demand and the volume of pre-program preparations, cancellations received less than 30 days from the start of the program are subject to full payment.

Requests to send a substitute to attend the designated program must be submitted in writing by 5 pm EST up to 3 business days prior to the program.  A Substitute must submit her/his admissions forms and subject to the approval of the Harvard Law School Admissions Committee, the registration fee will be transferred from the registered participant to the substitute without penalty.

Requests for a deferral must be submitted in writing up to 3 days prior to the program, and no later than 5 pm, to be granted; if granted a deferral fee of $500 will be assessed. Deferrals are only granted once to the next program date (i.e. If an attendee is accepted to the May program, they may defer to the following May program). Once a deferral has been granted, cancellations are subject to full payment regardless of when notice is received.

Immunization Notice

To ensure the safety and well-being of our entire campus community, the State of Massachusetts requires that educational visitors are immunized against common contagious illnesses.  Please ensure that your immunizations are up to date prior to arrival on campus.

Planning your visit 

Accelerated Leadership Program Faculty:

The Teaching Team

Our core faculty are members of the Harvard Law School faculty – distinguished academicians, educators, researchers, authors, and practitioners in their respective fields. Representing various disciplines, they are close to practice through relationships with law firm leaders and General Counsel and through personal involvement as consultants for top firms around the world.

Click on faculty names below for biographical information.

John Coates

Kevin Doolan

Michele DeStefano 

Heidi Gardner

Francesca Gino

Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Scott Westfahl