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Clinical Law Review



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Lawyers serve as leaders throughout our society, and it is more important than ever that these leaders are effective in order to address the country’s challenges. Yet few lawyers have had any formal leadership training. Contrary to popular belief, leadership opportunities are not limited to those who serve in traditional positional leadership roles because leadership is increasingly thought of as an influence process. Thus, lawyers have many opportunities to lead, including leading their colleagues who are peers. As a result, the opportunities to lead can come early in a lawyer’s career, even in law school.

This article provides a framework for students to learn and practice leadership skills while taking a clinic. The clinic is an ideal setting to teach leadership because so much of the work is accomplished by teams in a collaborative manner. The author adopts a Shared Leadership Model of collaboration where students take turns leading and supporting each other throughout the semester. Clinical professors are ideally situated to provide leadership training as they are experts in teaching skills. As a result, by using the Shared Leadership Model, students will have the opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills in an experiential setting and be equipped to lead early in their careers.

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