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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR – MARCH, 2020

The second year of our Leadership Section was a tremendous success!  While a lot of people contributed significantly over the past year, special thanks are due to the section chair, Leah Jackson Teague, and Deborah Rhode, the immediate past chair.  Without their vision, leadership, and hand work, there wouldn’t be a Leadership Section.

By all accounts, the section program at the annual meeting was inspiring and thought-provoking – and in the top ten of program attendance.  Everyone I have talked to spoke very highly about the remarks of the panel members, ABA President Judy Perry Martinez, Judge Robert Wilkins of the DC Circuit, and LSC President Jim Sandman, and the moderator Dean Martha Minnow.  (While I was sorry to miss it, I am pleased to report that leadership training has a firm foothold at the University of Queensland law school in Brisbane). Fortunately, the audio recordings and transcript of the program are available in this newsletter.  Thanks to Stephen Rispoli and the folks at Baylor for making that possible.

I hope everyone is aware of the upcoming Vision for Leadership Conference, hosted by Baylor Law School, March 26th and 27th in Waco, Texas.   Leah Teague and her team have put together a wonderful conference.  As you will see from the schedule here, the program includes prominent leaders from the legal profession, legal education, the judiciary, and politics.  I encourage everyone to consider attending.

The Baylor symposium will be the fourth in a series of successful leadership conferences – Hofstra, Tennessee, and Santa Clara – since our section was approved.  Be sure to check out the article in this issue by Ellen Yaroshefsky about the Hofstra Leading Through Difference Conference. 

Over 85 law schools now have leadership courses or programs.  Kate Barton highlights one of them, the Konduros Leadership Development Program at the University of South Carolina, in this issue.    Section membership is now over 250.  You have a committed, enthusiastic group of people serving on the Executive Committee.  We all look forward to working with you over the next year to maintain the momentum.

Under the leadership of Don Polden, plans are being developed for the Section Program at the 2021 AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco.  The theme for the meeting is “The Power of Words.”  If you have suggestions, I encourage you to contact me, Don, or any other member of the Executive Committee.

We could also use your help on another issue.  We have yet to find a simple, accessible, and organized method to share course materials, syllabi, and program information with each other.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know. 

Thanks to all of you for your interest, energy, and effort.  Your work matters.  You are making a difference in the personal and professional lives of our students.   You are helping to advance our understanding of leadership and leadership development.  You are having a very positive impact on the future of our schools, our profession, and our country.

Thanks.  I look forward to working with all of you.

Doug