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Future of the Profession Initiative


Members of FPI’s Leadership and Advisory Board integrate into the Law School’s curriculum a variety of offerings designed to prepare law students for a dynamic profession.

The Connection Between Attorney Well-Being and Ethical Obligations to Clients (John Hollway C’92, MAPP ’18, Jennifer Leonard L’04)

Penn Law’s unique integration of attorney well-being into the formal law school curriculum highlights the importance of holistic lawyer formation. 

Innovation in Practice: Design Thinking for Lawyers (Jennifer Leonard L’04)

In this semester-long seminar, students learn how to “radically co-design” new legal service delivery vehicles with their clients.  Working in small teams and with a real small business owner, students move through the five stages of design thinking to develop and test an innovative legal services solution.  Students also learn best practices for “pitching” an idea and compete to be selected as the group with the best concept.

Leadership in Law (Jim Sandman L’76)

Lawyers occupy leadership positions across many segments of American society — not only in law firms, corporate legal departments, and public interest organizations, but in public service, business, academia, and a variety of non-profit organizations. Lawyers often come to leadership positions with less preparation and training than leaders in other disciplines. This course will examine how lawyers can become effective leaders in different settings.

Law, Technology and Access to Justice (Claudia Johnson L’97, Miguel Willis, FPI Innovator in Residence)

Technology has become ubiquitous in the legal profession. And technology brings the potential to democratize the law, and improve access to justice to the under-represented poor, working, and middle class people in the US and across the world. However, automation, greater data generation and aggregation, the rise of AI, and predictive algorithms entrench social and economic inequality by design and run the risk of creating an even bigger justice gap. How do attorneys benefit from technology advanced in the Access to Justice space and not cause further harm? How do we create, design, and use tech for good, without selling our clients short and being strategic and sage about the technology choices we make to leverage and enhance our work and services?

This class will help students understand how and why technology is being developed to address the Justice Gap in the US. Students will understand what the Justice Gap is, how it has been defined and measured over time, and then borrow from critical race and gender analysis theory to understand how the models, approaches, and new technologies being developed to close it play out in the lives of communities that have been othered.

Positive Psychology in Legal Practice (John Hollway C’92, MAPP ’18)

This course will attempt to address an existential challenge facing each of us: how can we, as lawyers, design a life of thriving and fulfillment? As Penn Law graduates, you will be well equipped to solve our clients’ technical problems; the starting hypothesis of this course is that you can be similarly well equipped to handle the social and emotional aspects of the practice of law in the mid-21st Century. Positive psychology, the scientific study of well-being, offers a path to help law students optimize their outcomes in the practice of law, and within the complementary human dimensions of life that you will encounter as lawyers.