Leadership in theLegal Profession

By equipping legal professionals with key adaptable skills, we empower them to succeed and create business and societal impact.

Leadership in the Legal Profession is a ten-week, business school-style course for legal professionals who want to challenge intuitive approaches to leadership and management, as well as learn new mental models and dynamic leadership skills that can be quickly applied to their practices. Each two-hour class is held once a week and conducted virtually via the groundbreaking learning platform, Minerva Forum™. 

Join us and earn a certificate of completion from Berkeley Law Executive Education! 

Please add yourself to our Notify Me list to be the first to learn when we start accepting applications for the Fall 2021 cohort(s).

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Watch the trailer for Leadership in the Legal Profession:

The Leadership in the Legal Profession course is designed to address a significant deficit in legal training; namely that most attorneys are only trained on legal acumen and knowledge, while in today’s world, they need to be effective people and project managers.

“The program exceeded my expectations. Even during a time when my workload was extremely heavy, I looked forward to reading the course materials in preparation for the weekly two-hour class. The time commitment  was significant, but it was very worthwhile and enjoyable.”

— Wei Chen, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Salesforce and past Leadership in the Legal Profession participant

Participants will join a small cohort of similarly situated legal professionals for weekly virtual classes. This format allows learners to participate from the comfort of their home or office and really get to know each other as the course progresses. It also provides for an effective learning experience, as participants can apply course takeaways to their work over an extended period of time, thereby reinforcing new skills and eliciting insights through self-reflection and group discussion. This is in contrast to other executive leadership courses, which attempt to condense all material over a few days and also typically cost substantially more.

What to Expect

Each cohort runs for two hours, one day per week, for 10 consecutive weeks. Please see the Program Details section of this page for more information about timing. Participants are also expected to prepare for each class by spending approximately 1-2 hours per week reading course materials.

If you are interested in taking the course at a time that is optimized for a different time zone, please contact us.

Course Design

Unit 1 – Leading in Complex Systems

Systems thinking is a discipline of understanding interrelationships, of seeing whole and parts of the whole, of recognizing patterns of change.

We begin the course by applying the framework of systems thinking to understand the complex web of interactions among individuals and groups, which provides a powerful lens for analyzing the dynamics of human systems. We build on this framework by identifying factors that motivate individual behavior, including habits and cognitive biases, and then consider how to leverage this knowledge to inspire others to achieve a common purpose.

Week 1  — Systems Thinking
Week 2 — Behavioral Science and Motivation
Week 3 — Purpose-Driven Leadership

Unit 2 – Engaging with Interpersonal Intelligence

Self-awareness and listening empathically to others is the foundation of effective communication and team enablement. 

We study techniques to build these capacities and then turn to an understanding of how emotional intelligence manifests in groups that collaborate well. Leaders must also learn to express themselves clearly and persuasively, which requires understanding both the verbal and nonverbal components of communication.

Week 4 — Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Week 5 — Effective Team Dynamics
Week 6 — Communicating with Impact

Unit 3 – Navigating Uncertainty and Driving Innovation

Inspirational leaders navigate and resolve problems, support innovation, manage change, and address challenges. 

We examine how to approach problems using a structured process of analysis, ideation, decision making, and implementation that draws on knowledge of motivation and communication discussed earlier in the course. Then we apply this approach to addressing strategic challenges that arise in an evolving environment. We conclude by considering how to synthesize the different components of effective leadership to adapt to new challenges and changing conditions.

Week 7 — Problem Analysis in Evolving Systems
Week 8 — Agile Innovation
Week 9 — Decision Leadership
Week 10 — Course Synthesis

Course Benefits

  • Improve your interaction with internal clients, customers, and executives.
  • Challenge your intuitive approach to management and push yourself to consider strategies and approaches outside your current leadership comfort zone.
  • The 10-week schedule allows participants to learn in a safe, supportive virtual environment that encourages self-reflection and idea-sharing.
  • Dive deep into leadership theories during pre-class reading assignments and in-class discussions.
  • Become part of a growing international network of legal professionals who have completed the course.
  • Earn MCLE credit (where applicable).

To better understand how you can benefit from the course, learn what some past participants had to say about their experience in this interview.

“We can no longer add value merely by being an expert in a substantive legal area. We are now business partners with our clients and we must understand the business.”
—Jackie Donaldson, General Counsel – Zone Americas at Nestle and past Leadership in the Legal Profession participant

Program Details

When & Where

The next cohorts will begin in Fall 2021. The exact dates will be announced later in the year. Please add yourself to our Notify Me list to be the first to learn when we start accepting applications.

This is an online program that takes place “live” in a virtual classroom so participants can join from the comfort of their home or office anywhere in the world.

Who Should Apply

Practicing attorneys (from law firms, in-house corporate teams, governmental agencies, and non-profits) who want to advance their leadership, people, and project management skills.

Participants who successfully complete the program will earn a certificate in leadership from Berkeley Law Executive Education.


  • $5,500 general tuition
  • $4,500 Berkeley Law alumni tuition

Discounts are also available for attorneys working for non-profits and governmental agencies. Please email us at executive@law.berkeley.edu for more information.

If you are interested in financing this course, Sallie Mae provides competitive education loan programs for credit qualified borrowers.  For more information and to apply, visit the Sallie Mae website. If you decide to pursue such financing, please submit your application to Sallie Mae first and then contact us at executive@law.berkeley.edu. We will provide additional instructions on completing your registration.


We accept qualified candidates on a rolling basis and space is limited, so we encourage you to apply early.


This program has been authorized by the California State Bar to offer up to 20 credit hours of MCLE. Attorneys from other states will need to contact their local bar to verify their own certification requirements.


For disability accommodation requests and information, please contact Lily Yang at lily_yang@law.berkeley.edu. Please attempt to make your service request with as much advance notice as possible.

Please add yourself to our Notify Me list to be the first to learn when we start accepting applications for the Fall 2021 cohort(s).

Notify Me


Meet the Instructors

  • Luke Owings

    Luke Owings

    • Luke is faculty and course manager for Minerva Project Professional Learning programs. As a former Associate Partner at McKinsey and a leader of McKinsey Academy, he has advised senior executives at some of the world’s largest organizations in the design, development, and delivery of their learning systems. Luke has extensive experience playing operational and people leadership roles at a variety of entrepreneurial ventures and building edtech companies. In between these experiences, he has served as faculty at a number of higher educational institutions (including Harvard) around the world (including East Africa, Europe, Saudi Arabia, and Korea), helping build the skills of high-level executives.

  • Anya Grossmann

    • Anya directs the global outreach strategy for Berkeley Law's LL.M. degree program. The best part of her job is meeting attorneys at all stages of their legal careers, on almost every continent (not Antarctica, unfortunately), helping them to decide whether an advanced degree at Berkeley Law is the right next step for their careers. Anya previously worked with students as an academic and career advisor. Prior to joining Berkeley Law, she worked as an attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in New York. Anya has a JD from University of Pennsylvania School of Law and a BA in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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