For a change of pace in this edition of the spotlight section, we will be looking at leadership courses at two schools to get a feel for how others are treating the topic of leadership in the classroom.
The University of North Carolina School of Law offers Leadership for Lawyers in the fall semester and has been doing so since 2014. This is a three-credit course which meets once a week for three hours. According to the course description, topics for the course include “adjusting leadership styles based on context, seeking and providing mentorship, cultivating and managing diverse teams, resolving conflict, strategic planning and goal setting, delegating tasks, and managing programs, projects and events.” While there are no prerequisites for the course, permission is required for enrollment to confirm students have leadership experience in their background.
The current instructors for the course are John Kasprzak, Assistant Dean for Student Development, and Jared Smith, Programming and Engagement Associate, NC Equal Access to Justice Commission. Additional information on the Leadership for Lawyers course at UNC Law can be found at http://www.law.unc.edu/academics/courses/leadership/.
Washburn University School of Law also offers a course entitled Leadership for Lawyers, with the class first offered in the Spring of 2018. The Washburn version is a two-credit course also meeting once a week. For the first iteration, the class was capped at 30 students and was at capacity within the first few hours of registration. Leadership for Lawyers covered many of the same topics as the UNC Law version, with additional topics including HR issues, different generations in the law firm setting, and succession planning. Assessment came in the form of case study write ups with an additional assignment involving a service project. For the service project, students were asked to pick a non-profit organization and either describe their volunteer efforts for the organization or create a hypothetical event to help market the organization.
Thomas Sneed, Associate Professor and Director of the Law Library, was the instructor and plans to continue to offer the course in future Spring semesters. Additional information on the Leadership for Lawyers course at Washburn Law can be found at http://washburnlaw.edu/academics/courses/k-m.html.