Growing Number of Leadership Programs and Courses Supports Professional Identity Formation

19 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2021 Last revised: 30 May 2023

See all articles by Leah Teague

Leah Teague

Baylor University School of Law

Date Written: October 12, 2021


Through service and leadership, lawyers influence people and impact organizations and communities. Law students need to be aware of their opportunity for influence as part of their professional identity and they need to be prepared for the obligations of service that accompany the privilege of acquiring a law degree. The number of law schools with leadership development courses and programs has grown rapidly over the last ten years to: encourage law students to embrace their obligation to serve clients and society; better equip law students for positions of leadership and influence (including building relationships with clients); and inspire them to boldly seek opportunities to be difference-makers in their communities and the world. The movement to increase the development of lawyers’ professional identity also has grown during that time and will continue to advance with the proposed revisions to ABA Standard 303. The author discusses the important role of lawyers as leaders in society, examines the growth of the leadership-development movement, and offers thoughts about its relationship with the professional-identity movement. The author advocates that both professional identity and leadership development complement professional responsibility efforts and are essential to the education and training of modern law students.

Keywords: leadership, professional responsibility, professional development, professional identity, professional formation

Suggested Citation

Teague, Leah, Growing Number of Leadership Programs and Courses Supports Professional Identity Formation (October 12, 2021). 62 SANTA CLARA L. REV. 149 (2022), Available at SSRN: or

Leah Teague (Contact Author)

Baylor University School of Law ( email )

Sheila & Walter Umphrey Law Center
1114 South University Parks Drive
Waco, TX 76706
United States
254-710-4822 (Phone)
254-710-2316 (Fax)

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