Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Leadership Programming

As the legal field rapidly evolves in response to changing economic conditions, new attorneys are increasingly being asked to do more than simply provide information about the state of the law.

Today they must lead teams of their peers, contract attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants in managing complex litigation and transactions, contribute to organizations in the midst of transition, and otherwise hit the ground running. In this competitive environment it is imperative that lawyers seek to develop necessary skills early on so that they can assume leadership roles at each stage of their legal careers.

In the context of the leadership roles that students at Penn Law take on in student activities, it is the goal of the Student Affairs Office to assist students in developing their strategic planning and organizational/management skills. As part of these efforts, we sponsored the following leadership development workshops during the 2011-2012 academic year.   

Student Affairs’ Leadership Workshops
2011-2012 Academic Year


  • October 21st – Building Trusting, Goal-Driven Teams, 1pm-4pm

The team or group is an essential element in any organizational structure. People involved in managing groups and group members themselves can benefit from studying and understanding group behaviors and dynamics.  This workshop educates participants on the nature of teams and groups so that communication and trust are enhanced and performance is maximized. 

  • November 14th – Giving and Receiving Feedback, 4:30pm-6:30pm 

This workshop will examine the “art” of giving and receiving feedback, with fun (non-threatening) feedback exercises.  Understanding how to give and receive feedback effectively will help you both as a law student and as you enter the workforce. 

  • January 27th – Interpersonal Profiling: Harnessing the Power of Your Personality & Others, 1pm-4pm 

Are you reading the message between the lines?  Does the individual you’re communicating with mean “no,” although he/she appears to be saying “yes”?  Is this person more likely to push back – or readily accept what you’ve put on the table?  Is he/she more focused on the task at hand – or is relationship building a primary concern?  How would you interpret his/her non-verbal cues? 

The ability to “read people” is a complex process involving people’s voices, words and body movements.  This module helps make a science of intuition.  The ability to decipher behavioral nuances allows us to communicate more effectively so people listen, understand and are persuaded. Penn’s law students are given practical methods for understanding others – clients, peers, leadership, staff, etc. – and strategies for handling any interpersonal encounter. 

  • February 18th – Managing Conflict with Power and Presence, 10am-2pm 

How does conflict impact our success as students, lawyers, and human beings?  Is it possible to view conflict – or at least how we engage the conflict – as a choice?  And what if we could increase power by using our opponents’ energy?  The abilities to manage, resolve, and transform conflict are key skills in and out of the office and courtroom. 

This dynamic and experiential program involves both body and mind in simple and powerful kinesthetic activities from the martial art Aikido (“The Way of Blending With Energy”).  You will examine beliefs about conflict that hold you back, physically understand concepts such as power and presence, and learn to use emotional energy with intention.  This program is for kinesthetic learners who like to immerse themselves in the educational experience.  Come prepared to learn, explore, participate, and have fun. 

  • March 30th – Intercultural Communication, 1pm-4pm 

At some point in their careers, all lawyers are immersed in a new culture. That culture might be any of the following: a different country, a new job, a new client, a new neighborhood, and sometimes even a new profession. This session will promote intercultural competence and heighten cross-cultural awareness. Participants will engage in a presentation and discussion about culture, values, perceptions, communication styles and cultural patterns of thought and behavior that will help them understand the basic concepts, theories and issues of intercultural communication related to intercultural relationships and how these concepts apply to their personal and student lives. The participants will be involved in role-plays, simulations, and cross-cultural sharing.