As part of our mission to strengthen the legal profession, we design all of our programs, custom and open-enrollment, to foster inclusivity and diversity. We are dedicated to providing programs that challenge leaders to explore, analyze, and overcome obstacles to diversity in the legal profession. As the needs of clients become increasingly diverse, lawyers and firms must value diverse solutions. Leveraging the differing strengths of fellow team members is a crucial part of that. We believe that the best teams are those that not only value diversity, but embody it.
Not only does our content address these concepts, but we build our participant cohorts with intention. Our programs welcome participants from around the world, who bring differing perspectives and experiences. Through the sharing of these global perspectives, our participants leave with new insight to apply within the context of their own practice.
Listed are some of our diversity initiatives:
In addition to our own programming, we are committed to supporting those organizations that strive to reshape the landscape of the legal profession to one that provides equal access and opportunity to all. We hope to provide valuable frameworks, developed through research and case studies, that will support those organizations in fulfilling their goals.
Listed are some of the organizations with whom we have worked:
American Bar Association – Summit on the Future of Women in the Legal Profession
The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) – Annual Leadership Summit
Diversity Lab – Diversity in Law Hackathon (see the video below)
The Purple Campaign – #MeToo, Now What
Research and Curriculum
We partner with the Harvard Law School Case Development Initiative to identify individuals and organizations whose work inspire case studies resulting in conversation, reflection, and action. Listed below is a selection of the case studies that the Harvard Law School Case Development Initiative has developed to be taught in the HLS Executive Education classroom.
BASF: Driving Diversity One Snapshot at a Time (HLS 18-10) – BASF’s North American in-house counsel was determined to diversity its panel of outside counsel firms. While there were several initiatives, the primary one was the Diversity Snapshot, a two-page narrative that summarized the diversity rankings of BASF’s top 25 strategic outside counsel firms. The case highlights the challenges that the in-house team wrestled with during survey development, data collection and analysis, implementation and final dissemination of results to its panel of outside counsel firms.
Ellen Harvey (HLS 13-21) – As Ellen Harvey, partner at a giant global accounting Bright &Wolf, reflects on how she has developed a successful practice at the firm, she recalls how much of her success is due to the mentoring she had received from her senior partner Tom Barrow. This case examines the effective mentoring systems that Professional Services firms can develop to encourage senior partners to mentor junior partners.
From Brussels to Paris (HLS 09-39) – Jacqueline Paradis, promoted to the new position of division general counsel, must learn how to manage her new role successfully. Her new promotion highlights the manager/producer dilemma. In addition, to thinking about her professional strategy for this new role, she also considers how this role will impact her personal life.
Hewlett Packard and Mark Hurd (HLS 13-12) – Under Mark Hurd’s tenure, Hewlett Packard cut costs and grew profits significantly. X years into Hurd’s tenure, he received a letter from a former HP contractor that alleged she had been sexually harassed by him. The case considers how a company navigates such an issue with special emphasis on the role that the General Counsel and the Board play in navigating such a situation.
The Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession is a leading research organization dedicated to providing a richer understanding of the rapidly changing global legal profession. The Center’s Faculty Director, Professor David B. Wilkins, chairs our Leadership in Corporate Counsel and Leadership in Law Firms programs. The content in our programs is often driven or influenced by research coming out of the Center.
The Practice – The Center’s digital, quarterly publication that iffers thoughtful analysis on the legal profession. Issues have focused on such topics as: Finding the Lawyer Identity, Executive Education for Lawyers, Diversity Nudges, and Women as Lawyers and Leaders. Subscribe today: https://thepractice.law.harvard.edu/
The HLS Career Study – The Preliminary Report on The Women and Men of Harvard Law School seeks to deepen the understanding of career choices made by HLS graduates. It is the first study that provides systematic empirical information about the career trajectories of graduates across the school’s history.
HLS Black Alumni Reports – These reports document the accomplishments and experiences of Harvard Law School’s black alumni. Analyzing over 550 responses, the Center provides an overview of the state of the black legal profession and insights into the career paths of black graduates of HLS.
Globalization, Lawyers and Emerging Economies (GLEE) – With a focus on India, Brazil, and China, GLEE examines how globalization is reshaping the market for legal services. Through this research we can better understand the transforming political economy of these countries and their role in shaping global governance.