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Events Archive

Spring 2010

PLP Student Fellow Colloquium
Tuesday, May 25, noon

Please join us for student fellow presentations from recipients of the PLP Sstudent Empirical Research Funding Grant and the Harman Public Interest Research Grant.

Structuring Mergers and Acquisitions: How a Deal Team Turns a Handshake into Transactions Steps
Deborah L. Paul
Partner, Tax
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Tuesday, April 20, noon

Deborah L. Paul specializes in the tax aspects of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, spinoffs and financial instruments. Ms. Paul has been the principal tax lawyer on numerous domestic and cross-border transactions in a wide array of industries, including telecommunications, oil and gas, food, defense and energy. She was elected Partner in 2000.

Ms. Paul received an A.B. from Harvard University in 1986, a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989 and an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law in 1994.

Building a More Diverse and Inclusive Legal Profession
Brad Smith
General Counsel and Senior Vice President - Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
Thursday, April 15, 5:30 pm

Co-sponsored with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society

The diversity of the legal profession continues to lag the diversity of the American population. Despite rising awareness of the issue over the last decade and even a number of well-intentioned efforts, progress has been slow. In this speech, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith will make the case for more rapid progress, outline the types of practical steps that are needed at law firms and companies, and speak to new initiatives across the legal profession to make the next decade more successful.

Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel and senior vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs. He leads the company's Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA), which has just over 1,000 employees and is responsible for the company's legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, and its government affairs and philanthropic work. He also serves as Microsoft's corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer.

Since becoming general counsel in 2002, Smith has overseen numerous negotiations leading to competition law and intellectual property agreements with governments and with companies across the IT sector. He has helped spearhead the growth in the company's intellectual property portfolio and the launch of global campaigns to bring enforcement actions against those engaged in software piracy and counterfeiting, malware, consumer fraud, and other digital crimes. As software has migrated online and into a computing "cloud," one of LCA's current principal goals is to help establish the legal foundation for this next generation of technology.

The Linklaters India Internship
Ashish Nanda
Robert Braucher Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School
Wednesday, April 14, noon

Do Public Interest Lawyers in Ghana Need a Different Code?
Abdul Baasit Abdul Aziz
Harman Public Interest Research Grant Recipient, Harvard Law School
Monday, April 12, noon

Future Ed: New Business Models for U.S. and Global Legal Education
April 9-10, 2010
Center for Professional Values and Practice
Institute for Information Law and Policy
New York Law School

October 15-16, 2010
Program on the Legal Profession
Harvard Law School

Got an idea about the future of U.S. legal education? Think it’s time to go clinical? Or global? Or virtual? Should law be combined with other fields of study at the graduate or undergraduate level?

There is no shortage of commentary about the challenges facing American law schools. Driven by the Carnegie Foundation’s highly critical 2007 report and the dramatic downturn in large firm associate hiring, law school deans and administrators are scrambling to predict the future and position themselves within a rapidly changing market. But what is the likely shape of the future market—or markets—for legal education? What are the most promising models for delivering education and training in those markets? And how do we get there from here?

New York Law School and Harvard Law School are hosting a year-long contest of ideas about legal education. The goal is to come up with operational alternatives to the traditional law school business model and to test new designs in multiple audiences of employers, practitioners, publishers, and regulators. The kickoff event is a two-day conference at New York Law School on April 9-10, 2010,  to identify problems, innovations and constraints, and to organize working groups to develop designs and strategies for implementation. Working groups will refine their ideas and reconvene for a second meeting at Harvard Law School on October 15-16, 2010. Final designs will be presented, with commentary, at New York Law School in April, 2011. Learn More!

Interested? Questions? Please email futureed@nyls.edu.

Ready, Set, Go: Preparing for Summer Success
Co-sponsored with the HLS Library, OPIA and OCS
Friday, April 9, 3:00 pm
Watch a video of this event

How to Succeed at Your Summer Public Interest Job
Lisa D. Williams, Associate Director, OPIA & Kirsten Bermingham, Program Coordinator, OPIA
Students are invited to this presentation by OPIA staff on how to prepare for and optimize their public interest summer internships. Topics will include ensuring you leave a good impression, receiving substantive assignments, networking, obtaining constructive feedback and good evaluations, and handling a job that is not meeting your expectations. We will be sharing tips for success passed on from public interest employers and HLS 2Ls and 3Ls.

Tackling that Baffling New Assignment
Sonya Rao, USAO, Boston (Civil Division) & Michael Beauvais, Partner, Ropes & Gray, Boston Office
The red light on your phone is on. A jumbled one minute voice mail from a senior attorney calling in during a break in the trial or board meeting. The choppy message is loaded with unfamiliar jargon, foreign names and novel concepts. Guidance on how to approach the assignment is virtually nil. How should an enterprising law clerk identify and fill in the missing information? Clarify the jargon and ambiguities? Resourcefully gather necessary facts? Identify the right people or team to work with? Formulate a confident but flexible action plan with the clock ticking? Senior attorneys from the public and private sectors will take turns sharing some pointers on what would truly impress.

Find out how to hit the ground running as you begin your summer or permanent job. Whether you are entering the public or private sector, employers are operating with fewer resources than ever with a constant eye on results. Find out how to prepare for your job through this substantive and informative program.

Students will have the opportunity to select up to three sessions offering practical tips on efficient legal research strategies in a variety of areas and offer other concrete strategies for success on the job including how to tackle a new assignment, interact with supervisors, obtaining constructive feedback and how to gain the most from your job opportunity.

One on One with the Everyday Advocate
Areva D. Martin, Esq. '87
Attorney and Author
Tuesday, April 6, noon

Join award-winning attorney, author and television personality Areva D. Martin for a discussion on how to develop advocacy skills that will sustain and empower you, your clients and your community. Known to audiences across the country from her regular appearances on The Dr. Phil Show, as well as national stints on Fox News, NPR, and Court TV Radio Television, Areva Martin is one of television’s most in-demand legal experts/analysts. A quotable authority on workplace, disability rights, education, custody and women’s issues, this accomplished and multi-award winning lawyer, syndicated columnist, author and public speaker is also quoted and or featured on the pages of publications ranging from the Los Angeles Daily Journal to Cookie Magazine to Redbook and the LA Times. The founding and managing partner of Martin & Martin, LLP, Areva has built a reputation for ACTION. In addition to positioning her firm as one of the premier African-American female owned firms in LA, Areva has developed a multidisciplinary civil practice, which serves some of the nation’s top corporations, non-profit organizations, governmental entities and high net-worth individuals. She is also President and co-founder of Special Needs Network, Inc. (SNN), a non-profit launched specifically to support families with special needs children.

In addition to being a sought after legal expert, Areva is also an inspiring author. Her second book, The Everyday Advocate, is scheduled for release by Penguin books in early 2010. Her first book, Journey to the Top, is a must-read for female professionals interested in achieving the ultimate career success. Areva graduated with honors from both the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School (Class of 1987). She is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and currently resides in Los Angeles with her family.

The Indeterminacy of International Humanitarian Law: Difficult Questions for Military Practitioners
Co-Sponsored with the Harvard International Law Society (ILS)
Wednesday, March 31, noon

Join us for a lunchtime chat with four experienced practitioners of IHL in a military setting. The panel will include Gabriella Blum (Israel Defense Force), Juan Gomez (Ministry of Defense, Colombia), Dale Stevens (Royal Australian Navy), and Andru Wall (Coalition Forces, Iraq). Drawing on their varied experience, they will address the practical ethical issues that arise on the contemporary battlefield when trying to apply IHL in good faith. Questions to follow.

Summer Theory Institute Information Session
This event is co-sponsored with OPIA
Friday, February 26, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Pound 202
Watch a video of this event

Interested in participating in an exciting summer public interest workshop focused on social and critical theory? Come meet Nisha Agarwal '06, co-founder of the Summer Theory Institute, to learn more about the program and how to apply.

The Summer Theory Institute is a weekly summer workshop that offers an opportunity for students to discuss larger theoretical concepts on public interest work outside of the work environment. The goal of this program is to enhance the student's sense of the potential for intellectual rigor and personal fulfillment in public interest work. Nisha Agarwal '06, staff attorney for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and former Skadden Fellow, will be on-hand to discuss the program's exciting work and how students can get involved.

The Summer Institute is open to 1L and 2L students. No prior experience with social or critical theory is necessary to participate. Please note that the workshop takes place in New York City. Learn More Here!

The Future of Biglaw: A Debate on Lockstep
David Lat, Founder and Managing Editor, AboveTheLaw.com
Elie Mystal, Editor, AboveTheLaw.com

Tuesday, February 23, noon
Watch a video of this event

The Road Taken: The Graduate Law School of Korea
Kyong-Whan Ahn
Professor, Seoul National University
Friday, February 19, 3:30 pm
Suggested Reading

Kyong-Whan Ahn is currently teaching at the Seoul National University Law School. He served until July, 2009 as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, appointed by the President of the Republic of Korea in October 2006. From March 2007 until his retirement from NHRIK , he was Deputy Chair at the International Co-ordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions—an association of national human rights institutions worldwide.

Kyong-Whan Ahn has taught in Seoul National Univeristy College of Law since 1987 and was College Dean in 2002 – 2004. He also taught as Visiting Professor at the Southern Illinois University Law School in 1996-1997 and as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Santa Clara University Law School in 2005. As legal scholar, he worked as the President of the Korean Constitutional Law Association (1999 – 2001) and a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Asian Law Institute (2003 – 2004). From 2003 through 2004, he served as Chairman at the Committee of Legal Policy of the Ministry of Justice  and University Reformation Committee of the Ministry of Education.

He holds a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University, an LL.M. from the University of Pennsylvania and an LL.B. from Seoul National University. He was admitted to the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar.

A Sociological Approach to Law Firm Market Position: Consequences for Openly Gay Attorney Disclosures
Damon Phillips
Professor of Organizations and Strategy, Chicago Booth School of Business
Thursday, February 11, 5:00 pm

Watch a video of this event

Managing a Team Through a Hostile Transaction: Oracle's Acquisition of BEA Systems
James Cole, Jr.
Partner, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz
Monday, January 11, noon

James Cole, Jr. joined Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in 1996 and was elected a partner in the Corporate Department in 2003. His practice focuses primarily on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and corporate and securities law matters. His practice has included initial public offerings, corporate governance and legal compliance. He has advised a broad range of public and private companies in a variety of industries involving transactions in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and Argentina.

Fall 2009

Client Relationship Extension: How Partners Share Their Clients Following a Law Firm Merger
Forrest Briscoe
Assistant Professor of Management, Smeal College of Business, The Pennsylvania State University
Monday, November 23, 3:30 pm

The Seeds of Success: Early Assignment and Positive Career Outcomes for Associates Who Use Flexible-work Programs
Forrest Briscoe
Assistant Professor of Management, Smeal College of Business, The Pennsylvania State University
Tuesday, November 24, noon

Urban Cowboys: The Effect of Status, Norms, and Bureaucracy on Strategic Patenting in the Legal Services Sector
Stine Grodal
Assistant Professor of Strategy and Policy, Boston University School of Management
Wednesday, November 18, noon

Martha Stewart Sent Me... My Journey Back to HLS
Erik Ramanathan
Executive Director, PLP
Friday, November 13, 2009, noon

Uncovering the Minds of Clients - Do They Choose Law Firms Brands or the Individual Lawyer?
Silvia Hodges
Founder of Legal Marketing Italia; Faculty, Emerson College
Wednesday, October 14, noon

View the slides from this presentation.

Dr. Silvia Hodges specializes in international legal marketing. She founded Legal Marketing Italia and she is currently teaching graduate and undergraduate students in the department of marketing communications at Emerson College in Boston. For more information about her bio and research, please visit www.silviahodges.com.

Spring 2009

After the JD: International Conference on Research on Legal Careers in Transition
May 1-2, 2009

Scholars and practitioners agree that legal careers have changed dramatically over the last few decades. What is much less known is how careers have changed and to what extent traditional issues such as gender, race, law school status, and employment sector continue to structure the opportunities and experiences of young lawyers. The Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession organized an invited symposium to facilitate a dialogue on these important topics by bringing together scholars, educators, practitioners, and students from the US and around the world to discuss the latest empirical research on legal careers. Read More

PLP Book Event: Building a Better Legal Profession's Guide to Law Firms
with Michele Landis Dauber
Stanford Law School
April 20, 2009
Harvard Law School

A law professor and a sociologist, Michele Landis Dauber has written highly original historical and sociological studies about the relationship between welfare programs and disaster relief programs in the formation of the modern American welfare state. She has focused her scholarship on aspects of the history of the New Deal and the fate of the legal doctrines and policies it created. She has also written about such varied topics as abortion clinic conflict, social security privatization, affirmative action, and the early history of administrative law during the War of 1812. In addition to her scholarly work, Professor Dauber is an officer and director of Building a Better Legal Profession, which was founded by Stanford Law students in 2007. The organization uses innovative data advocacy and Web-based social entrepreneurship strategies to mobilize market pressure for workplace reforms in large law firms, including better working conditions, work-life policies, and increased racial and gender diversity. Currently Professor Dauber teaches Law and Wikinomics, which studies this issue.

Building a Better Legal Profession is a national grassroots movement that seeks market-based workplace reforms in large private law firms. By publicizing firms' self-reported data on billable hours, pro bono participation, and demographic diversity, the organization draws attention to the differences between these employers. Building a Better Legal Profession encourages those choosing between firms—students deciding who to work for after graduation, corporate clients deciding who to hire, and universities deciding who to allow on campus for interviews—to exercise their market power and engage only with the firms that demonstrate a genuine commitment to these issues. More Information

Business Development for Law Students and Recent Graduates
Jim Hassett, Founder and Principal, LegalBizDev
Mary Ellen DeWinter, Director of Practice Development, K&L Gates LLP
April 14, 2009

The panelists discussed:

  • How the economy is affecting business development in the legal profession
  • Tips and techniques for gaining long-term benefits for your legal career by building your personal network now
  • The most important business development skills you will need as a first year associate

Jim Hassett founded LegalBizDev (www.legalbizdev.com) to help lawyers develop new business more quickly by applying best practices from other law firms and from other professions.  Before he started working with lawyers, Jim had 20 years of experience as a sales trainer and consultant to companies from American Express to Zurich Financial Services.  Jim has published seven books (including Legal Business Development: A Step by Step Guide and The LegalBizDev Desk Reference) and more than seventy articles in publications ranging from the New York Times Magazine to Law Firm Inc. and Strategies: The Journal of Legal Marketing. He has a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology at Boston University. His blog (www.jimhassett.com) was selected by TechnoLawyer as one of “the most influential legal blogs.” Jim’s most recent publication is The LegalBizDev Success Kit a multimedia reference tool that helps lawyers develop new business more efficiently.

Mary Ellen DeWinter is the Director of Practice Development at K&L Gates LLP (www.klgates.com), a firm with 1900 attorneys in 32 offices located on three continents. As the liaison between the firm's Practice Area Leaders and the Marketing Department, she is responsible for the coordination and execution of strategic firmwide practice development initiatives. Mary Ellen also leads a team of 14 Business Development Managers who support practice groups with specific plans to strengthen relationships with target clients, organize client teams and conduct competitive research. Mary Ellen has over twenty years of experience in business development, marketing, sales coaching and training, and client relationship management. In addition to her experience at law firms, she has held a variety of strategic planning and business development roles within the financial services, technology and non-profit industries. She is a member of the Legal Marketing Association’s New England Chapter and is active in a number of other industry marketing organizations.

Interning in India: A Seminar on the McDermott Will & Emery Internship in India
Sponsored by Professor Ashish Nanda
Tuesday, April 7, 2009, noon

Students from the Winter Term 2009 internship will discuss their experiences and opinions on interning at prominent Indian Firms: Amarchand Mangaldas, ARA Law, Majmudar & Co, and Nishith Desai Associates. Special thanks will be given to McDermott Will & Emery for its support of this program. A question and answer session will follow. This seminar is open to all, particularly to students with an interest in learning about future private sector opportunities in India. Lunch will be provided.

Advocating for International Disability Human Rights
by Michael Stein, Harvard Project on Disability
March 31, 2009

Advocacy in the Court of Public Opinion: Broadening the Role of Corporate Attorneys
by Michele Beardslee
March 10, 2009

Read the Paper (forthcoming, The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Fall 2009)
Read a Related Article quoting Michele Beardslee (Partner: Committee Now Vets Memos Knowing They Could Be Blogged, by Terry Carter, ABA Journal Online, March 4, 2009)

Regulating Law Firm Ethical Infrastructure: An Empirical Assessment of the Potential for Management-Based Regulation of Legal Practices
by Christine Elizabeth Parker, University of Melbourne Law School
February 3, 2009
Read the related paper

Fall 2008

Hari and Kumar go to HLS: The South Asian Graduate Experience at Harvard Law School
by Swethaa Ballakrishnen
December 4, 2008
University of Wisconsin Madison

The Role of Law in Developing and Transition Countries
by Swethaa Ballakrishnen
December 5-6, 2008
Global Legal Studies Center
University of Wisconsin Madison

Job Satisfaction and Mental Health: Trajectories of Female and Male Lawyers
Dr. Gabriele Plickert, PLP Research Fellow
December 2, 2008
Harvard Law School

Globalization of the Legal Profession
November 21, 2008
Harvard Law School

A joint regional event between the Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession and the American Society of International Law

This one-day conference examined the globalization of the legal profession from multiple perspectives. Does international commerce or finance provide common ground for practitioners, for example, or is there broader commonality among counsel in other fields, such as human rights lawyers? Are common legal practices developing through efforts by certain states to develop the “rule of law” in other countries? What are the proper contours of a genuine debate over matters such as ensuring minimum standards of qualification, guarding domestic province from outside intervention, protecting clients and the public, the role of lawyers as aspect of national identity, and the like? What can we do—as international scholars, educators, and practitioners—to adapt to the rapidly-changing economic, social and political environment and prepare the next generation of lawyers—domestic and international—to meet the challenges that globalization will continue to present? Learn More.

Future Revenues in Law Firms
Dr. Peter Sherer, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary
November 12, 2008

Lawyers in the Dock: Learning from Attorneys' Disciplinary Proceedings
Professor Richard Abel, UCLA School of Law
November 5, 2008

Managing Professional and Personal Demands in a Law Firm
Dr. Spela Trefalt, Simmons School of Management
October 29, 2008

An Introduction to the Program on the Legal Profession
Professor David Wilkins, Faculty Director
Dr. David Nersessian, Executive Director
September 17, 2008

Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values
Professor Philippe Sands, QC
University College London
September 16, 2008
Watch Video

The inaugural PLP Speaker Series event will featured Philippe Sands, Professor of Law and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at University College London.  Professor Sands will discussed his recent book Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values (Penguin, May 2008), with commentary by Professor Alan Dershowitz

Philippe Sands joined the law faculty at University College London in January 2002. His teaching areas include public international law, the settlement of international disputes (including arbitration), and environmental and natural resources law.

Professor Sands is a regular commentator on the BBC and CNN and writes frequently for leading newspapers. He is frequently invited to lecture around the world, and in recent years has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto (2005), the University of Melbourne (2005) and the Universite de Paris I (Sorbonne) (2006, 2007). He has previously held academic positions at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, Kings College London, and University of Cambridge and was a Global Professor of Law at New York University from 1995-2003. He was co-founder of FIELD (Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development), and established the programs on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the European Journal of International Law and Review of European Community and International Environmental Law (Blackwell Press).

As a practicing barrister he has extensive experience litigating cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, and the European Court of Justice. He frequently advises governments, international organizations, NGOs and the private sector on aspects of international law. In 2003 he was appointed as a Queen's Counsel.

From the Torture Team publisher's website:
On December 2, 2002 the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed his name at the bottom of a document that listed eighteen techniques of interrogation - techniques that defied international definitions of torture. The Rumsfeld Memo authorized the controversial interrogation practices that later migrated to Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, as part of the policy of extraordinary rendition.

From a behind-the-scenes vantage point, leading international lawyer Philippe Sands investigates how the Rumsfeld Memo set the stage for a divergence from the Geneva Convention and the Torture Convention and holds the individual gatekeepers in the Bush administration accountable for their failure to safeguard international law. The Torture Team delves deep into the Bush administration to reveal:

  • How the policy of abuse originated with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, and was promoted by their most senior lawyers
  • Personal accounts, through interview, of those most closely involved in the decisions
  • How the Joint Chiefs and normal military decision-making processes were circumvented
  • How Fox TV's 24 contributed to torture planning
  • How interrogation techniques were approved for use
  • How the new techniques were used on Mohammed Al Qahtani, alleged to be "the 20th hijacker"
  • How the senior lawyers who crafted the policy of abuse exposed themselves to the risk of war crimes charge

International Human Rights Litigation - An Overview
by David Nersessian
Federal Judicial Center 2008 National Workshop for District Judges
San Antonio, Texas
September, 2008

Why Culture Matters in International Instutions: The Marginality of Human Rights at the World Bank
by Galit Sarfaty
Conference on Empirical Legal Studies
Cornell Law School
September 12-13, 2008
Learn More

Spring 2008

Trial Skills for Everyday Life
by David Nersessian
Keynote Speech – Closing Ceremonies
Lead America Trial Advocacy Program
Bentley College, Waltham, MA
July 11-20, 2008

learn more

International Law 101 for Federal Judges
by David Nersessian
Federal Judicial Center 2008 National Workshop for District Judges
Boston, Massachusetts
July, 2008

Legal Ethics Panel
with David Wilkins
Fordham Law School, New York
June 1-3, 2008

The Corporate Attorney-Client Privelege: Third Rate Doctrine for Third Party Consultants
a talk by Michele Beardslee, PLP Fellow
Friday, May 30, 2008
ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility

The Corporate Attorney-Client Privelege: Third Rate Doctrine for Third Party Consultants
by Michele Beardslee
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Law and Society Annual Conference
Montreal, Quebec

The Migration of Human Rights Norms from the Private Sector to the Public Sector
Why Culture Matters in International Institutions: The Marginality of Human Rights at the World Bank
by Galit Sarfaty
Law and Society Association Annual Meeting
May 29-June 1, 2008
learn more

Legal Implications of the Treaty of Sèvres Under International Law
by David Nersessian
Armenian Bar Association Annual Meeting
New York City
May 2-4, 2008
learn more

Yale Legal Theory Workshop
by David Wilkins
Yale Law School, New Haven
May 1, 2008
learn more

The New Social Engineers? The Relevance of Charles Hamilton Houston's Legacy for the Black Corporate Bar
by David Wilkins
Houston Forum Lecture
Amherst College, Massachusetts
April 30, 2008

Where Did All Those Management Consultants Come From?
 A Short History of the World's Newest Profession
Monday, April 21, 2008
Harvard Law School

The program will feature a presentation by Dr. Christopher McKenna, Reader in Business History and Strategy at the Clifford Chance Centre for the Management of Professional Service Firms at Oxford University's Saïd Business School.  Dr. McKenna will discuss his award winning book on the growth of the elite management consulting firms, The World's Newest Profession, which received the 2004-06 Newcomen-Harvard Book Award by the Business History Review, was awarded the 2007 Hagley Prize by the Business History Conference, and was named one of the best books of the year by the Financial Times.

About the Clifford Chance Centre:
Based at Oxford University's Saïd Business School, the Clifford Chance Centre is a hub for academic research into the management of professional service firms. Its members work closely with top practitioners to explore the key challenges confronting the professional services sector, conduct research into the internal and external dynamics of professional service firms, and provide a program of innovative teaching, based on research and with the collaboration of practitioners.  The Centre brings together theory and practice in order to:

    • Shape the field of professional service firms research and build a network for academic activity in this field.
    • Provide managers of top professional service firms with intellectually rigorous and empirically-based insights into the challenges they face.
    • Provide policy makers with cross-disciplinary perspectives on regulation of the professions, free from professional bias

The Corporate Attorney-Client Privelege: Third Rate Doctrine for Third Party Consultants
by Michele Beardslee
Wednesday, April 15, 2008
Harvard Law School

Why Culture Matters in International Institutions: The Marginality of Human Rights at the World Bank
by Galit Sarfaty
chosen in competition for presentation in a New Voices in International Law panel
American Society of International Law Annual Meeting
Washington, DC
April 9-12, 2008
learn more

International Norm Diffusion in the Pimicikamak Cree Nation: A Model of Legal Mediation
by Galit Sarfaty
invited speaker at conference on “The Individual and Customary International Law Formation,”
Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington
April 3-5, 2008

The Power of a Word – Recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a Path to Reconciliation
by David Nersessian
Denver, Colorado
April 2008

Current Legal Problems Lecture
by David Wilkins
March 18, 2008
University College London

Why Culture Matters in International Institutions
a talk by Galit Sarfaty, PLP Fellow
March 17, 2008
Harvard Law School

Amy Schulman read bio
guest speaker, Legal Profession
March 13, 2008

Toward a Joint Venture Model of the Attorney/Client Relationship Between Corporations and their Outside Counsel
by David Wilkins
March 12, 2008
Nichols Lecture
Stetson University

Practical Advice on Making Pro Bono Work
a panel discussion
March 5, 2008
Harvard Law School

Gregory M. Lipper, Associate, Covington & Burling LLP
Suma Nair, Associate, Goulston & Storrs
Steven Schulman, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Field LLP

After the J.D.: Preliminary Evidence from a Ten-Year Longitudinal Study of Lawyer Careers
by David Wilkins
Yale Law School
February 11, 2008
watch video

On Being a Corporate Lawyer
a talk by John Coates
Monday, February 4, 2008
Read more about this event.
View a webcast of this event.


An Introduction to the Program on the Legal Profession
September 5, 2007
Harvard Law School

This event included presentations by Professors Wilkins and Nanda about the Program’s research initiatives and new course offerings.  Dr. Nersessian, the Program’s Executive Director, also briefed attendees on a new pilot program aimed at funding empirical student research on the legal profession, as well as the other ways in which HLS students could become involved with the Program and its work.

Leadership in Law Firms
May 20-25, 2007
Harvard Law School

Today’s large law firms face the challenge of being both high-quality professional service providers and large, complex businesses. Yet those who are asked to lead these institutions often have had little training in managing these complex tensions.  Leadership in Law Firms is an intensive five-day course designed to sharpen the leadership skills of managing partners, office heads and law firm practice leaders.

Participants in the 2007 offering included high-level managing partners and practice group leaders from law firms worldwide. More than a third of the participants came from outside the United States, including lawyers currently practicing in England, Ireland, Spain, Germany, China, Colombia, and Australia

The program included a comprehensive series of lectures, case studies, and small group discussions across 12-hour days. In an ongoing dialogue with the faculty, the 43 participants discussed the role of strategy in law firms, organizational culture, the changing needs of the marketplace, and recruitment and staff development. The course provided a unique opportunity for managing lawyers to engage with each other and discuss cutting-edge best practices and to learn new and better strategies for promoting, building, and leading their law firms into the rapidly-changing legal services environment.

The core program faculty included Professors Wilkins, Nanda, and Coates. Additional faculty perspectives were provided by Benjamin Heineman, the Program’s Senior Distinguished Fellow and former chief legal officer at General Electric, and Daniel DiPietro, a visiting faculty member who is the client head of the Law Firm Group at the Citigroup Private Bank.

Sloan Industry Studies Program Annual Meeting
April 25-27, 2007
Cambridge, MA
Program description and materials


Jews and the Legal Profession
October 22-24, 2006
Cardozo Law School

The Program also co-sponsored this conference with the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Fordham Law School’s Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyer’s Work, and New York Law School’s Center for Professional Values and Practice. The program included scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, as well as practitioners and advocates from around the world, reflecting upon and discussing the history and current standing of Jewish lawyers and the lessons the issues facing this community hold for the profession generally. Program Description and Materials


Sloan Industry Studies Program Annual Meeting
December 14-16, 2005
Cambridge, MA
Program description and materials


PLP Conference on the Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry
September 23, 2004

On September 23, 2004 the Program on the Legal Profession held its kickoff conference on the Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry. A number of leading general counsels, law firm partners, and academics were at hand for the conference. The first steps were laid down for the Program's first project to examine how corporations purchase legal services. Among the questions investigated were the following:

  • How do companies determine which matters are sent to outside counsel, and at what level in the organization is this decision made (i.e. subordinate lawyers within the general counsels office, the general counsel, the CEO or others with line authority, the board)?
  • What leads firms to choose one firm over another for any given type of matter? Specifically, how important are factors such as firm reputation, lawyer reputation, pre-existing relationships, cost, experience, demographics, marketing, advertising, size, disciplinary scope, and geographic breadth?
  • How do companies go about gathering information on the factors they deem most important (i.e. market research, word of mouth, published sources, evaluating proposals, auditing)?
  • How often is the decision to retain a particular firm reviewed?
  • Is external regulation, either of the company or of law firms, a significant factor in purchasing decisions?

The conference closed with the presentation of three academic papers, which was followed by a dialogue in which expert lawyers practicing in the field provided commentary and additional perspectives on the matters raised in the academic papers:

Post-Siliconix Freeze-Outs: Theory & Evidence
Guhan Subramanian, Harvard Law School
Commentary by Robert Kindler, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc.

Legal Advisors: Popularity Versus Economic Performance in Acquisitions
C.N.V. Krishnan, Case Western Reserve University
Paul Laux, University of Delaware
Commentary by Stephen Fraidin, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis

Innovation in Boilerplate Contracts: An Empirical Examination of Sovereign Bonds
Mitu Gulati, Georgetown University Law Center
Stephen Choi, University of California, Berkeley, Law School
Commentary by Lee Buchheit, Partner, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton

Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.





>Guhan Subramanian