Smart Collaboration Master Class (Online)

About the Program


PROGRAM DATES:  March 7-10, 2022

Special cohort pricing: $15,000 for a cohort of up to 4 attendees. We recommend participants attend as part of a small team from their firm or organization to maximize the impact of the program. Each cohort will receive a 90-minute private coaching session with Faculty Chair Heidi K. Gardner following the program.



Smart Collaboration Master Class: Create Strategic Advantage and Improve Client Service (Online)

Now more than ever, lawyers must solve increasingly complex problems and provide comprehensive solutions to address their clients’ most pressing strategic issues. To meet clients’ demands for cross-discipline and cross-sector service, many organizations have developed a strategy that hinges on lawyers collaborating across organizational silos.

In Smart Collaboration, Dr. Heidi K. Gardner shows that firms earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across boundaries. The Smart Collaboration Master Class: Create Strategic Advantage and Improve Client Service focuses on how to capture those benefits. Offering pragmatic, research-backed solutions for implementing collaboration, this master class will prepare you to leverage collaboration as a strategic advantage.

Our Smart Collaboration Master Class is a virtual, synchronous program, focused on how to leverage the core concepts of collaboration to drive business performance.


Read the latest: 7 Strategies for Promoting Collaboration in a Crisis

Our Smart Collaboration Master Class is designed to accelerate the collaboration potential, experience, and visibility within your organization. This program aims to prepare you to:

  • Identify, prioritize and quantify the strategic, financial, and talent-related benefits of collaboration across practice groups, offices and other organizational silos
  • Assess your firm’s current collaboration barriers in order to develop a targeted approach for implementation
  • Understand how to meet clients’ demands for collaborative value-added external counsel. Examine the pressures on in-house legal teams along 4 vectors – within legal, within the business, across functions, outside the company
  • Understand one’s own collaboration-related behavioral tendencies and generate a personalized road map for authentically using those strengths to lead more effectively
  • Use data, analytics and technology to make measurable improvements and significant ROI on your collaboration-related initiatives
  • Develop a road map for enhancing collaboration, which in turn enhances diversity and inclusion

The program’s distinguished faculty focus on providing applicable frameworks and tools necessary to cultivate collaboration and effectively manage and influence teams as a leader and driver of collaboration concepts within the firm. The curriculum includes:

  • New research on multi-disciplinary collaboration and creating a collaborative culture in law firms.
  • Case studies that explore the cultural, behavioral and structural elements underpinning the execution of collaboration
  • Tools for analyzing collaboration including tech-enabled solutions and strategic analysis
  • Strategies for fostering, engaging in, and leading collaboration in ways that play to individuals’ unique strengths.
  • Research on the implications of collaboration on D&I (contextualized within the pandemic)
  • Techniques for effective virtual recruiting and improving the success rate of lateral hiring

About the Format

The Smart Collaboration Master Class will take place on the Harvard Zoom platform.  As with our on-campus programs, class size will be limited.

There will be two program sessions every day between the hours of 11:00 a.m. ET and 3:00 p.m. ET. Accepted participants should reserve this window on their calendars until we circulate a finalized program schedule. Each session will be between 1 – 2 hours long, and we will schedule a break of at least 30 minutes between the two daily sessions.

In order to complete the master class and earn a certificate of completion, participants are expected to attend every session.

Building Community and Networks

Our highly interactive sessions and workshops will include frequent breakout group discussions and activities. These opportunities will help ensure that participants get to know each other and learn from each other’s thoughts, ideas and perspectives. Additionally, participants who complete the program will join our global Alumni Network, through which they will be invited to attend future residential and online programs offered by HLS Executive Education.

The Smart Collaboration Master Class is for law firm senior executives and partners and senior executives in professional services firms. People with the following roles would thoroughly benefit from this master class: Country Heads, Practice Group Leaders, Sector Heads, COOs, and Chiefs of Business Development/Marketing.

We recommend participants attend the program as part of a small team from their firm or organization. Attending with colleagues not only provides accountability but also the opportunity for greater impact in your firm. Cohorts that attend the program will receive a 90-minute private coaching session with Faculty Chair Heidi K. Gardner to further the ability to successfully leverage collaboration at your organization.

Visit the Admissions page for information on the process.

The Teaching Team

Our core faculty are members of Harvard’s faculty – distinguished academics, 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.

Program Teaching Team

Heidi Gardner – Program Chair

Rebecca Newton

Learn more about the Smart Collaboration Master Class faculty→


Custom Programs

Need a more customized approach? We provide programming tailored to meet the specific needs of senior firm leaders. Learn more.


Harvard is authorized to offer distance education under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), an agreement that allows institutions of higher education in Massachusetts to offer distance education to students residing in other states that participate in SARA. For information about SARA-related student complaint processes for distance education students, please see