Georgetown Law Launches Leadership Academy Focused on Professional Competencies

October 28, 2013 —

Georgetown University Law Center is proud to announce the launch of its 1L Leadership Academy. This new program will give a group of first-year J.D. students hands-on, intensive training in a core set of skills integral to managing projects and organizations. Don Graves (L’95), Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at the White House, will speak to the students at the Academy’s launch on November 1. The Leadership Academy fits into Georgetown Law’s overall strategy of equipping students with the much broader spectrum of competencies necessary to excel in today’s legal market. 

“As the demands of the legal profession continue to intensify and evolve, we’re working hard to ensure that our students enter the working world with the right tools to give them a competitive advantage and a foundation for long-term success,” said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor. “We believe the Academy is just one more piece of this very important undertaking. To develop the curriculum, we’ve drawn on input from distinguished alumni in leadership positions across a range of fields.”

Co-sponsored by Georgetown Law’s Office of the Dean of Students and Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, the inaugural Leadership Academy will run through October 2014. It will include 35 to 40 hours of instruction focused on goal-setting, organizational skills, strategic planning, problem solving, audience-sensitive communication, conflict resolution, and other key strengths, and will consist of three major components: Coursework based on the best-selling business book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, designed to enhance personal effectiveness through hands-on exercises; intensive professionalism training to prepare students for summer placements in law firms, non-profit organizations, and other work environments; and collaborative problem-solving and leadership training through interactive exercises.

“We expect that students of the Academy will use these skills not only in their summer and post-graduation employment, but also to assume leadership roles here at Georgetown Law, whether within our law journals and the host of student organizations on campus, as peer advisors, or in other capacities,” said Georgetown Law Dean of Students, Mitchell Bailin. “We’re hopeful that this pilot program will prove so successful that we’ll be able to expand the Leadership Academy in future years.”

The 1L Leadership Academy builds on other recent innovations at Georgetown Law, including its weeklong “Demystifying Finance” class aimed at deepening upper-level students’ proficiency in finance and accounting, and corporate and business law. The number of experiential learning opportunities available to students also continues to grow — this year, Georgetown Law is offering a total of 33 practicums and 15 clinics.