Leadership Program Spotlight: Frohnmayer Leadership Program, University of Oregon School of Law

For our second Leadership Program Spotlight, we present The Frohnmayer Leadership Program at the University of Oregon School of Law. 

The Frohnmayer Leadership Program is named after Dave Frohnmayer, who served as both President of the University of Oregon and Dean of the Law School.  A leadership gift also allowed the School of Law to establish the Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law, with Dean Marcilynn Burke serving as the first person to receive this honor.   The Program provides students with multiple opportunities to engage with leadership concepts and theories, including a Leadership Practices course, the Dave Frohnmayer Leadership Lecture, and other training sessions.  A Leadership in Practice Certificate of Completion is granted to students upon the achievement of a set number of leadership development training hours, with the number of hours based on whether the student is in the J.D., LL.M or Master’s in Conflict Dispute Resolution program.

The Leadership Practices for Professional Success course is currently taught by Jennifer Espinola, Law School Dean of Students and Director of the Frohnmayer Leadership Program.  Leadership Practices is a one credit, pass/no pass course and was most recently offered during the J-term prior to the Spring 2019 semester.  According to Dean Espinola, the course addresses several topics: emotional intelligence, interpersonal communication, values-based leadership, team development, and change management.  This year’s readings included “Leadership and Self-Deception” by the Arbinger Institute, and “The Truth About Leadership” by Kouzes and Posner.  The course is capped at 20.  The course was originally developed and taught by Dave Frohnmayer himself, before he passed away in 2015.  Dean Espinola has been teaching it ever since.

Dean Espinola and Chris Esparza, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Development, co-advise nine Frohnmayer Fellows in the program.  The Fellows work with the advisors to offer a robust menu of offerings for students pursuing the certificate of completion for the Frohnmayer Leadership Program (FLP).  Programs include:

  • A monthly “Leader Ledger” newsletter covering various topics such as self-care, inclusive leadership, imposter syndrome, EQ, self-actualization, etc.
  • A semesterly leadership retreat.  This one-day experience allows students to take a deeper dive with notable national leadership educators such as Dr. Tanya Williams who presented the LeaderShape program “Resilience” to Oregon Law students in Fall 2018.
  • Monthly “Leader Lunches” – these workshops are presented by campus educators, alumni, and other professionals on different leadership topics.
  • “Read to Lead” sessions – participating students are assigned a leadership reading and then they attend a dinner co-hosted by a law school Dean or faculty member with a prominent alumnus or alumna in order to discuss the reading.
  • Leadership Coach – each student pursuing the certificate of completion is assigned to a respected leader in the profession for two separate coaching sessions to discuss the coach’s leadership experience and the topics the student is learning throughout the program.

For more information on the Frohnmayer Leadership Program, see the following link:  https://law.uoregon.edu/explore/frohnmayer-leadership-program.