Leadership and Character in the Law

What does it mean to lead with integrity as a lawyer? How do lawyers find meaning and purpose in their work? What character traits and practices are most relevant for successful and ethical leadership in law?  In a day-long session with Smith Anderson, one of North Carolina’s leading business and litigation law firms, Dr. Michael Lamb, Director of the Program for Leadership and Character, and Kenneth Townsend, Director of Leadership and Character in the Professional Schools, explored these and other questions while encouraging participants to reflect on their own values and aspirations.

Townsend, a lawyer whose research and teaching focus on legal and social ethics, jointly directed sessions, with Lamb, a leading scholar on the theory and cultivation of virtue in educational and professional settings.

The seminar featured focused sessions on the purposes of leadership, the virtues of leadership, the pressures of leadership, and concluded with everyday steps regarding the practices of leadership. Approximately fifty members of the firm participated in the session, which was certified for continuing legal education (CLE) credit by the North Carolina State Bar.

The participants praised the seminar for tailoring its content to address particular challenges facing the legal profession as well as for the interdisciplinary nature of the seminar’s examination of leadership and character. The seminar was the first in a three-part series of sessions offered at Smith Anderson in partnership with Wake Forest Executive Education in the School of Business.