Harvard Law School Executive Education  

The Teaching Team

The core teaching team includes faculty members of Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School and includes distinguished academicians, educators, researchers, authors, and practitioners in their respective fields who are close to practice through relationships with law firm leaders and through personal involvement as consultants for top firms around the world.

Scott Westfahl, Program Chair

Scott Westfahl is the faculty director of HLS Executive Education.  He recently joined HLS from the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP, where he served from 2004-2013 as the firm's Director of Professional Development. In that role, Professor Westfahl was responsible for all aspects of the professional development of Goodwin Procter's attorneys and staff, focusing on organizational and leadership development, feedback, mentoring, career progression, diversity, professional skills training, attorney and staff integration and transitions and alumni.  As a Lecturer on Law from 2010-2013, he teamed with Professor David Wilkins to teach an 80-student section of the law school's innovative Problem Solving Workshop for first-year students.  In 2008, Professor Westfahl was chosen as one of Law Firm, Inc.magazine's five "Innovators of the Year" for his development of a cutting edge attorney assignment system and database called iStaff, which effectively ties attorney work assignments to their professional development needs. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Chair of the Professional Development Consortium, a 450-member professional association for law firm professional development and training leaders across North America and the U.K.  He is the author of the book You Get What You Measure: Lawyer Development Frameworks and Effective Performance Evaluations (NALP, 2008)

Prior to his work at Goodwin Procter, Professor Westfahl spent six years leading professional development for the Washington, D.C. office of McKinsey & Company.  He is also an experienced business and federal regulatory attorney, having practiced law with Foley & Lardner's Washington, D.C. office from 1988 to 1998. Mr. Westfahl earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988, and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1985.


John C. Coates

John C. Coates IV joined the Harvard faculty in 1997 after private practice at the New York law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he was a partner specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate and securities law, and financial institutions.

He teaches courses on Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Institutions Regulation, Contracts, Corporations, Corporate Governance, and the Legal Profession.  He was promoted to Professor in 2001, was named the John F. Cogan Jr. Professor of Law and Economics in 2006, and appointed Research Director of the Harvard Program on the Legal Profession in 2007.  He co-founded and chairs the committee overseeing Harvard Law School Executive Education, in which he teaches law firm and legal department leadership, management, governance and strategy, and also teaches in Harvard Business School’s MBA and executive education program on professional service firms.

He frequently speaks on M&A, financial regulation, and the legal profession, and is a member of the American Law Institute.  He has been a consultant to the White House, DOJ, Treasury, the SEC, FHFA, Congressional staff, law firms, investment funds, other participants in the M&A and capital markets, and multinational corporations’ legal departments, such as GE, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and State Street. 

He is the author of numerous articles on corporate, securities, and financial institution law, for seven years co-authored the leading annual survey of developments in financial institution M&A.  His research includes analysis of recently adopted or proposed laws, regulations and court decisions affecting large companies, the capital markets, and M&A transactions, as well as case studies and large sample empirical studies of S&P 500 companies, M&A transactions and disputes, mutual funds, and the legal profession.  Recent publications include “Evidence-Based M&A:  Less Can Be More When Allocating Risk in Deal Contracts,” 27 Journal of International Banking, Finance and Law 708 (2012); "Managing Disputes Through Contract: Evidence from M&A," 2 Harvard Business Law Review 301-49 (2012); "Corporate Politics, Governance, and Value Before and After Citizens United," 9 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 657-96 (2012); “Hiring Teams, Firms and Lawyers: Evidence of the Evolving Relationships in the Corporate Legal Market, 36 Law & Social Inquiry 999-1031 (2011) (with Michele DeStefano Beardslee, Ashish Nanda and David B. Wilkins); "M&A Break Fees: U.S. Litigation versus U.K. Regulation," in Regulation versus Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law (Daniel Kessler ed., Chicago University Press, 2011).


Heidi Gardner

Heidi K. Gardner is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Gardner researches, teaches and speaks on topics related to leadership, collaboration and teamwork in knowledge-based organizations, focusing especially on professional service firms. Her current research explores issues of peer collaboration (such as between partners in professional service firms) in complex, knowledge-based, high autonomy environments where people can choose whether to work solo or jointly, and where collaboration is especially challenging because it stretches over time and across projects. This work analyzes the benefits and costs to firms and individuals of working collaboratively, and investigates elements of leadership and organizational design that support (or hinder) the collaboration and innovation necessary for high-quality client service. She has also extensively investigated issues that allow project teams to most effectively use their members’ expertise in order to achieve their fullest potential.

Professor Gardner’s research was awarded the Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division’s prize for Outstanding Practical Implications for Management. She has published articles in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, and Journal of Organizational Behavior, as well as chapters in edited volumes focusing on organizational behavior, multinational teams, and the management of professional service firms. She serves on the editorial board of Administrative Science Quarterly. Her research has been featured in media such as The Economist, Boston Globe, MSN.com, CNN Money, Fortune.com and CBSNews.com.

She currently teaches the Leading Professional Service Firms course both in the Executive Education program and as a second-year MBA elective. Professor Gardner also teaches a number of executive offerings at both the Business School and Harvard Kennedy School focusing on professional service firms, talent management and teamwork. Previously she taught the required Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD) course in the MBA program.

Prior to her academic career Professor Gardner worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. in London, Johannesburg and New York, as well as a manager for Procter & Gamble. She also held a Fulbright fellowship in Germany and previously lived in Japan while majoring in East Asian studies as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania (graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). More recently, Professor Gardner earned a Masters degree (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and a Masters and PhD in Organizational Behavior from London Business School.

Guhan Subramanian

Guhan Subramanian is the Joseph Flom Professor of Law and Business at the Harvard Law School and the H. Douglas Weaver Professor of Business Law at the Harvard Business School. He is the first person in the history of Harvard University to hold tenured appointments at both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. At HLS he teaches courses in negotiations and corporate law. At HBS, he teaches in several executive education programs, such as Strategic Negotiations, Changing the Game, and Making Corporate Boards More Effective. He is the faculty chair for the JD/MBA program at Harvard University and the Vice Chair for Research at the Harvard Program on Negotiation. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty he spent three years at McKinsey & Company in their New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. offices.

Professor Subramanian’s research explores topics in negotiations, corporate dealmaking, and deal process design. He has published articles in the Stanford Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Business Review, and the Harvard Law Review, among other places. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal’s “Heard on the Street” column, the New York Times, the American Lawyer, The Deal’s “Corporate Control Alert.” His new book Negotiauctions: New Dealmaking Strategies for a Competitive Marketplace (Norton 2010) synthesizes the findings from his research and teaching over the past decade.

Professor Subramanian has been involved in major public company deals such as Oracle’s $10.3 billion hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, Cox Enterprises’ $8.9 billion freeze-out of the minority shareholders in Cox Communications, the $6.6 billion leveraged buyout of Toys “R” Us, and Exelon’s $8.0 billion hostile takeover bid for NRG. He also advises individuals, boards of directors, and management teams on issues of dealmaking and corporate governance. Professor Subramanian holds degrees in Economics, Law, and Business, all from Harvard University


David Wilkins

David Wilkins is the Lester Kissel Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. He is also the Faculty Director of the School’s Program on the Legal Profession and Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry, as well as, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Faculty Associate of the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.

Wilkins has written over 60 articles on the legal profession in leading scholarly journals and the popular press and is the co-author (along with his Harvard Law School colleague Andrew Kaufman) of one of the leading case books in the field. His current scholarly projects on the profession include After the J.D., a ten-year nationwide longitudinal study of lawyers’ careers, a quantitative and qualitative examination of how corporations purchase legal services, an empirical project on the development of “ethical infrastructure” in large law firms based on a series of focus groups with leading practitioners and regulators, and over 200 in-depth interviews in connection with a forthcoming Oxford University Press book on the development of the black corporate bar.

Wilkins also teaches several courses on lawyers and other related professionals, including the country’s only four credit course on the Legal Profession, a course entitled “Professional Service Firms in the Twenty First Century,” seminars on The Future of the Large Law Firm and Cause Lawyers, and an introductory lecture for all first year students on the legal profession and careers. Professor Wilkins is a frequent speaker at academic conferences, law firms and other professional service organizations, and bar groups both in the United States and around the world. He is also a member of Harvard University’s Task Force on Professional Schools.


In addition, Executive Education programs will benefit from the insights of visiting faculty.

Michele DeStefano

Michele DeStefano is the founder and co-creator of LawWithoutWalls and an Associate Professor of Law at Miami Law.  She is an expert in entrepreneurship in the law.  Before joining the Miami Law faculty, she was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where she was previously the Associate Research Director of the Program on the Legal Profession.  Her primary area of scholarly interest is in the growing intersection between law and business, how this intersection is reshaping the role of both inside and outside counsel, and the consequences of these developments for clients, the profession, and the public.  Employing a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, Professor DeStefano’s research investigates the impact changes in the law and business marketplace (like litigation funding, social media, and public relations) will have on the legal profession and its potential for innovation.  Currently, she is conducting interviews of general counsels and chief compliance officers of large, publicly traded corporations to analyze and assess the changing role of compliance.

In addition to spearheading Law Without Walls with Michael Bossone, Professor DeStefano teaches courses about the Legal Profession, professional responsibility, civil procedure, and business associations.

From 2003 to 2004, Professor DeStefano clerked for Chief Judge William G. Young of the Federal District Court of Massachusetts.  Before attending law school, she was a Senior Marketing Manager at Levi Strauss & Company (1995-1998) and an Account Executive at Leo Burnett Advertising Company (1991-1995). 

Professor DeStefano earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and has been admitted to the Massachusetts, Minnesota, and District of Columbia bars.

Kevin Doolan

Kevin Doolan is a partner in the Møller Professional Service Firms Group, based at Churchill College, University of Cambridge where he specialises in Business Development, Pricing and Market Strategy,  For 25 years he was a partner in Eversheds, the international law firm and was Head of Client Services with particular responsibility for the creation of new client relationships and training lawyers in business development skills in Eversheds’ offices in 28 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Professor Doolan studied for his MBA at Henley Management College, during which time he developed a model for the pricing of professional services (The 5 Ps of Pricing) which has led to his teaching this topic throughout Europe and the USA.  This has included delivering his paper at the Professional Pricing Society Annual Conference.  He negotiated the terms of Eversheds’ groundbreaking deal with Tyco, under which Eversheds replaced 282 previous law firms as their sole adviser throughout EMEA under an innovative fixed fee deal, and he served as their first Global Client Partner.  The project is a Harvard Law School case study.

Professor Doolan was the winner of a “Financial Times Innovation Award” for his project to proactively rework fee deals with clients after the recession, to create aligned solutions that would benefit both the client and the firm.  He was also given the “Law Society’s Award for Innovation in Client Service” for collaborative working across a group of clients.

For several years, Professor Doolan has been on the faculty of IE Business School in Madrid where he teaches in the Lawyers Management Program.  He also teaches Business Networking in the Masters Program at the London School of Economics and is on faculty of the University of Miami Law Without Walls Program teaching business skills to young lawyers.
Professor Doolan is currently carrying out research into the role of personality types in professional services partnerships and how practice management and business development activities need to be tailored to be most effective with each personality profile.

George G. Triantis

George Triantis is a Professor of Law at Stanford University and an affiliated faculty of the Stanford’s Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance. Prior to joining the Stanford Law faculty in 2011, he was the Eli Goldston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and formerly held the chairs of Seymour Logan Professor at the University of Chicago and Perre Bowen Professor at the University of Virginia.

Professor Triantis began his academic career in 1989 on the faculties of Law and of Management at the University of Toronto. His teaching and scholarship are in the fields of contracts, business law and bankruptcy. His recent work includes “Strategic Vagueness in Contracts: The Case of Corporate Acquisitions” (Yale Law Journal, 2010) and “Completing Contracts in the Shadow of Verification Costs” (Journal of Legal Studies 2008), as well the book, Foundations of Commercial Law (Foundation Press, 2010). He is a former editor of the Journal of Law & Economics and a former director of the American Law and Economics Association.

Professor Triantis is currently Vice-Chair of the Avoiding Powers subcommittee of the ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee, and a member of the American Law Institute and the American Law and Economics Association.






Boston Web Design