Vice Dean, Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession
Director, Program on the Legal Profession
Lester Kissel Professor of Law
Professor Wilkins is the Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, the Lester Kissel Professor of Law, and the Faculty Director of the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. He is also a Senior Research Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Faculty Associate of the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.
Professor Wilkins has written extensively 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 JD, a ten-year nationwide longitudinal study of lawyers' careers, the Harvard Law School Career Study, 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, an examination of the practice of “offshoring” legal work to India, and over 200 in-depth interviews in connection with a forthcoming Oxford University Press book on the development of the black corporate bar. Read More >
In an age of rapid globalization, few lines of inquiry in social and legal studies seem more pressing than the development of the legal profession in emerging economies. The legal profession has traditionally operated primarily within national borders. As globalization intensifies economic, political, social and cultural relations across borders, an increasing number of transactions are affected by multiple legal orders. At the same time, as economic power shifts, emerging economies are becoming central players in the global legal industry, creating new economic relationships and bringing new perspectives to law and global governance. As a result of these developments, the legal profession stands on the brink of a fundamental transformation.
The GLEE project investigates the impact of globalization on the corporate legal sector in major emerging economies and the effect of changes in this sector on other parts of the legal order, including legal education and the provision of legal services to underrepresented populations. It is the first comprehensive attempt to analyze the transformation of corporate legal sectors in major emerging economies and how these developments may in turn reshape legal practice in established markets such as North America and Europe. Read More >