Harvard Law School Executive Education  

The Teaching Team

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

Scott Westfahl
Program Chair
Accelerated Leadership Program for Law Firm Partners
Leadership in Corporate Counsel
Leadership in Law Firms

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 Coates IV
Leadership in Corporate Counsel
Leadership in Law Firms

John C. Coates IV joined the Harvard Law School 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 the regulation of financial institutions, including mutual funds. He teaches courses on Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Institutions Regulation, Contracts, Corporations, The Legal Profession and the History of Capitalist Institutions. He was promoted to Professor in 2001, and was named the John F. Cogan, Jr. Professor of Law and Economics in 2006.

Coates is a frequent panelist and speaker on M&A and financial institution regulation and a consultant to the SEC, law firms, mutual funds, hedge funds, and other participants in the M&A and capital markets. He is a member of the Legal Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange. He is the author of numerous articles on corporate, securities,
and financial institution law, and for seven years co-authored the leading annual survey of developments in financial institution M&A.

His current research at Harvard includes empirical studies of the purchasing of legal services by S&P 500 companies, the regulation and taxation of mutual funds, the causes and consequences of the completion or failure of M&A transactions, and the causes and consequences/effects of CEO and CLO turnover.

Heidi Gardner
Accelerated Leadership Program for Law Firm Partners

Heidi K. Gardner, PhD teaches, researches, speaks and consults on topics related to leadership, collaboration and teamwork in knowledge-based organizations, focusing especially on professional service firms.  She is on the faculty at Harvard Business School and is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School’s Program on the Legal Profession.  She teaches executive courses at Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and at Harvard’s learning center in Shanghai, China. 

Her current research explores issues of peer collaboration in complex, knowledge-based, high autonomy environments.  She is currently conducting a large-scale empirical study of partner-level collaboration across several professional service firms.  Using more than a decade of time sheet and financial records from two global law firms, her research analyzes the benefits and costs to firms and individuals of working collaboratively.  Client interviews illuminate their perspective on collaboration.

She also investigates how leadership and organizational design support collaboration, innovation, and high-quality client service.   In another in-depth study, she followed a firm for more than two years as it attempted to move from a highly individualistic, “eat what you kill” environment toward a strategy dependent on cross-selling and collaboration.  Results from four rounds of surveys with hundreds of global partners and over a hundred executive and partner interviews shed light on the role of formal and informal leaders, compensation and culture.

Heidi has published articles in the Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Journal and more. Her research was awarded the Academy of Management’s prize for Outstanding Practical Implications for Management.  Her work has been featured in media such as The Economist, Boston Globe, MSN.com, CNN Money, Fortune.com, and CBSNews.com among others. 

Heidi has lived and worked on four continents.  She previously worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. in London, Johannesburg and New York, and as a manager for Procter & Gamble. She also held a Fulbright fellowship in Germany, and studied and taught in Japan.   She earned a BA in Japanese Studies from the University of Pennsylvania (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), a Masters from the London School of Economics (highest distinction) and a PhD from London Business School.

Ashish Nanda
Leadership in Law Firms

Ashish Nanda is Director of the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad.  Prior to this role, he was the Robert Braucher Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School, where he also served as Faculty Director of Harvard Law School Executive Education and Research Director of the Program on the Legal Profession. Additionally, he taught “Leadership in Law Firms” and “Professional Services: Advanced Topics” in the J.D. program. Before joining Harvard Law School, Nanda was a Harvard Business School faculty member for 13 years, where he continues to teach executive education courses.

Nanda has a Ph.D. in business economics (Harvard), A.M. in Economics (Harvard), PGDM in management (IIM Ahmedabad), and B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering (IIT Delhi). Before coming to Harvard for his Ph.D., he worked for five years with the Tata group of companies as Tata Administrative Services Officer.

A recipient of the Henry B. Arthur Fellowship, the Center in Ethics and the Professions Fellowship, President of India Gold Medal (twice), and the IIM Director’s Gold Medal, he has published several case studies and Harvard Business Review articles and is a coauthor (with Tom DeLong) of Professional Services: Cases & Text. His research, in the form of conceptual articles, case studies, surveys, and large sample empirical analyses, focuses on professional services. It encompasses three streams—professionalism, professionals’ labor market, and management of professional service organizations.

Nanda has advised law firms and inside counsel in companies as well as other professional service organizations including accounting, actuarial benefits consulting, advertising, asset management, engineering consulting, executive search, human resource consulting, investment banking, IT consulting, management consulting, public relations, strategy consulting, and real estate firms. His work with these firms has spanned: (a) strategic planning, including designing and executing strategic planning process and reviewing alliance strategies and options; (b) developing organizational strategy, including organizational structure design and review of communication processes; (c) reviewing governance systems, including independent analysis of executive and oversight bodies and succession planning; (d) analyzing people practices, including compensation systems, recruitment and retention practices at partner and associate level; and (e) designing and delivering leadership programs.

Guhan Subramanian

Accelerated Leadership Program for Law Firm Partners
Leadership in Corporate Counsel

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.

George G. Triantis
Accelerated Leadership Program for Law Firm Partners

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 Standford 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.

David Wilkins
Accelerated Leadership Program for Law Firm Partners
Leadership in Corporate Counsel
Leadership in Law Firms

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 casebooks 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 Dan DiPietro, and Ben Heineman.

Dan DiPietro

Leadership in Law Firms

Mr. DiPietro has been a student of the legal industry for over 25 years. As client head of the Law Firm Group at the Citigroup Private Bank, he regularly meets with law firm leaders to present financial analysis of their firms' performance vs. a group of peer firms. Dan speaks at industry roundtables and partner retreats and has been published in a number of legal industry periodicals including frequent contributions to the American Lawyer.

The Law Firm Group's 200 professionals provide financial advice and services to more than 35,000 attorneys and over 550 law firms in 10 offices in the US and London. The Law Firm Group lends to over 200 law firms in the US & UK, including almost 60 of the Am Law 100, and currently has $6 billion in loans to law firms and their attorneys.

Prior to joining Citigroup in 1987, DiPietro spent five years managing Mellon Bank's middle market lending office in New York. Previously, he was a banker within Chase Manhattan Bank’s middle market lending division. He also managed a not-for-profit organization and taught in the NYC school system.

DiPietro holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA from St. John's University. He resides in Sea Cliff, NY with his wife Ann (35 years). He is the father of three and grandfather of one. Aside from his "day job," he teaches yoga.

Ben Heineman

Leadership in Corporate Counsel

Mr. Heineman is a distinguished senior fellow of the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School and senior fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government.

A graduate of Harvard College (1965), Oxford University (1967 -- graduate degree/political science) and Yale Law School (1971), former Rhodes Scholar, editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, Mr. Heineman practiced law in Washington before serving at HEW from 1977-1980, ending his tenure there as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. He was then managing partner of the Washington office of Sidley & Austin, focusing on Supreme Court and test case litigation.

In 1987, Mr. Heineman became Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the General Electric Company located in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 2004, he was named GE's Senior Vice President for Law and Public Affairs.

Mr. Heineman is a member of the American Law Institute; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; a member of the Board of Transparency International-USA; a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center; and a member of the Board of Managers and Overseers of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is the author of books on British race relations and the American presidency.



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