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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. Participants learn practical tools and frameworks that allow them to deepen their relational and people management skills so they can more successfully navigate a range of leadership challenges.

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

Location & Start Date


Live Sessions

Program Schedule

Fall 2024

Time Commitment: 10-weeks, 1 class per week, 2 hours per class

Preparation for each class takes approximately 1-2 hours per week.

Cohort Schedule

The fall 2024 cohort schedule will be announced when the application opens.

What to Expect

Leadership in the Legal Profession 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 also need to be effective people and project managers. The learning journey explores how to lead in complex systems, engage with interpersonal intelligence, and navigate uncertainty while driving innovation.

Course Pedagogy

Leadership in the Legal Profession intentionally spreads the learning process over 10 weeks to enable participants to apply course takeaways to their daily work challenges over an extended period of time. This approach reinforces new skill acquisition and implementation and elicits insights through self-reflection and group discussion.

The course synthesizes ideas from a variety of contexts and applies them to the legal profession. Legal expertise is enhanced with social, behavioral, and design-thinking frameworks to create dynamic and flexible leader-lawyers. Learners will be ready to motivate teams, collaborate with diverse groups, implement successful decision making, and promote transformative leadership in their organizations.

Peer to Peer Learning

Participants join a small cohort of similarly situated legal professionals for weekly virtual classes conducted live via Forum, Minerva’s dynamic virtual learning platform designed to increase social engagement and deepen processing. Each cohort is led by one of our trained facilitators, who guide participants through a carefully designed learning process that unfolds over the ten week course. There is no passive lecturing. Instead, participants prepare for each class session and learn from each other by engaging in group discussions that focus on how to apply course concepts to their legal practices. This peer to peer learning approach enables participants to connect with and learn from classmates who have diverse organizational perspectives and life experiences. It also allows the group members to collaboratively work toward the goal of knowledge application instead of passive knowledge acquisition.

Who Should Apply

Mid to senior level 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.

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

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.

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 Systems Thinking
Week Behavioral Science and Motivation
Week 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 Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Week Effective Team Dynamics
Week 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 Problem Analysis in Evolving Systems
Week Agile Innovation
Week Decision Leadership
Week Course Synthesis

Tuition & Discounts

General Tuition


Berkeley Law Alumni Tuition

Applies to Berkeley Law JD and LLM alumni, as well as past participants of paid Berkeley Law Executive Education programs

$4,500 Save 18%

Group Discount

Available for organizations that enroll three or more individuals.

Nonprofit Discount

Available for attorneys working for non-profits and governmental agencies.


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 [email protected]. We will provide additional instructions on completing your registration.

Certificates & MCLE

Certificate Type

Certificate of Completion

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


20 Hours

This program has been approved 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.

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Meet the Instructors

Headshot of Anya Grossmann

Anya Grossmann

Director of Global Outreach and Professional Engagement at Berkeley Law

Anya directs strategy and the global outreach team 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 determine and achieve the next step of 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, where, among other projects, she designed and conducted Code of Conduct and FCPA trainings for senior leadership at Fortune 500 companies. Anya has a JD from University of Pennsylvania School of Law and a BA in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Headshot of Nicholas Kenney

Nicholas Kenney

Assistant Professor at Minerva University

Nick currently teaches courses on leadership, managing complexity, and constitutional law at Minerva University. His training includes academic conference seminars on complexity theory in political science. Nick’s academic expertise centers on the study of complex national security issues and constitutional law, involving the intersection of conventional and unconventional threats. His research focuses on grand strategy and the rise of terrorist organizations, insurgencies, and cyberpower. Prior to entering academia, Nick practiced administrative, environmental, criminal procedure, and constitutional law at both the state and federal levels. In addition, he has worked in Jerusalem for a conflict resolution NGO and for the U.S. Department of State, as well as at the Department of Defense’s Special Warfare School. Nick earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from Tufts University, a J.D. from Boston College, and a B.A. in History from the College of the Holy Cross. He has also served as faculty at Tufts University, National Defense University, and St. Lawrence University.

Headshot of Niki Nabavi Nouri

Niki Nabavi Nouri

Attorney at Folger Levin

Niki is an education and employment law attorney at Folger Levin in San Francisco. Niki’s broad-based practice focuses on advising independent schools on matters that impact educational organizations, as well as employers on the complex legal landscape of employment law. Prior to joining Folger Levin, Niki spent eight years representing California public school districts. Niki is passionate about using her leadership skills and training to help organizations navigate relationships and overcome challenges. Niki holds a JD from Berkeley Law, a MIS in Political Science from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, and a BA in Political Science and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.

Headshot of Luke Owings

Luke Owings

VP of Product at Abilitie

Luke is currently the VP of Product at Abilitie, a platform that delivers unique virtual mini-MBAs and leadership simulations for emerging and senior leaders around the world, with clients that include Fortune 500 brands including Marriott, Coca-Cola, GE, and Southwest Airlines. Luke is also former 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.

Headshot of Catherine Saine

Catherine Saine

Partnerships & Strategy at Mila

Catherine is passionate about helping leaders and organizations adapt to new challenges and develop their full potential. She started off her career as an associate at Norton Rose Fulbright and has since held various business and legal roles for organizations in AI (Mila), entertainment (Cirque du Soleil), strategy consulting (juniper Advisors) and cleantech (Cycle Momentum). Her experience with leadership skills building, strategic planning, negotiation capability building and managing complex relationships, has led her to deliver training programs for executives, professionals and entrepreneurs in collaboration with higher educational institutions. Catherine is also a part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. She holds a BCL/LLB (JD) from McGill University Faculty of Law, as well as a BA in Political Science from McGill.


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