Leadership Competencies for Business Lawyers: Using a Framework that Links Strategy, Law, and Ethics
Business Law Today Volume: 26:9 Issue: May 2017
10 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 18, 2017
Harvard Business School requires MBA students to take a leadership course based on a practical framework for decision making that combines economics, law, and ethics. By broadening economics to strategy, this triadic framework can enable law students in Contracts and Torts courses to move beyond the traditional legal risk management focus to a value creation mindset. For example, product liability prevention processes can be used for new product development, and lean contracting and contract visualization can enable success in achieving business goals while managing legal risks.
Beyond its introduction in Contracts and Torts courses, a framework that links strategy and law with ethics provides a model for a capstone course on Law and Leadership or Legal Strategy. Much like a capstone MBA course, this course could aggregate learning from required courses using the lens of value-creating legal strategies.
This article, published in the May 2017 issue of the American Bar Association publication Business Law Today, discusses (1) the framework used in the Harvard leadership course, (2) the expansion of the framework to include strategy, (3) the gap between law and strategy created by the increasingly-important risk management function of law, and (4) suggestions (with examples) for closing the gap.
Keywords: legal education, legal strategy, law and leadership, ethics, strategy, torts, contracts, leadership, legal risk, risk, value creation, competitive advantage, stakeholders, shareholders, product liability, regulation, intellectual property, employment law, government regulation, ethical leadership
JEL Classification: K10, K12, K13, K19, K20, K29, K30, K39, K40, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation