“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born—that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” - Warren Bennis

Our students tell us they decided to go to law school because they want to do something important in their careers and become leaders in their chosen fields.

Thriving and succeeding in the legal profession requires more than academic strength alone.  Legal employers from across the profession tell us they are looking for students who are not only smart but can also effectively communicate ideas, collaborate with a diverse team, build a professional network, and manage conflict in a fast-paced, complex professional environment. This is true regardless of whether you want to work in the field with the UN, start your own company, manage a not-for-profit organization, be a government lawyer, work in-house or become a partner at a big downtown firm.

The Faculty of Law’s Leadership Skills Program offers a series of innovative workshops to help you develop the key leadership skills required for professional success. Facilitated by industry experts, and developed in consultation with students, alumni and numerous members of the legal profession, the Leadership Skills Program will prepare you to transition from a stellar law student to a highly-regarded and successful summer student, articling student and lawyer.

'Core Skills' workshop topics include:

  • Identifying leadership styles -- how to leverage your strengths and collaborate with different kinds of leaders
  • Communicating so that people will listen – verbal, non-verbal and electronic
  • Thriving in a team environment – how to collaborate and manage conflict in a diverse workplace
  • Building key relationships – networking and fostering ongoing professional contacts
  • Getting the job done – how to take initiative, innovate and effectively manage your time

'The Inclusive Leader' and 'Future of Law' workshop series

In addition to the 'Core Skills' workshops highlighted above, in 2018-19 we launched two new workshop mini-series: 

'The Inclusive Leader' series focuses on the skills required to contribute to and thrive in diverse and inclusive workplaces.  Watch for new workshops in 2020.

Future of Law logo

The 'Future of Law' series focuses on the rapidly changing landscape of legal services and equip students with the skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve. Watch for new workshops in 2020.

Overall program highlights:

  • Sessions are short and high-impact—90 minutes at lunch so you can fit it into your schedule
  • Taught by top industry experts who are sought out by the top law firms, hospitals, banks, government and MBA programs
  • Program content is developed based on input from legal employers across all sectors

Rotman@Law Certificate Program

Some students come to law school with a solid grounding in basic business concepts, but most don’t. And yet, as lawyers, our ability to provide sophisticated and relevant legal advice often depends on how well we understand our clients’ business activities. Our clients expect that we will quickly become knowledgeable about what they do, as well as the complex factors that influence their strategic and legal decision-making. This is equally true for clients in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.  Moreover, lawyers and law firms, no matter their practice area or size, face challenges, such as obtaining financing, or keeping financial records, that are better met with an understanding of basic business concepts.

Rotman@Law is an exciting collaboration between the Faculty of Law and the Rotman School of Management that gives law students access to Rotman’s superb online pre-MBA courses on accounting, finance, and statistics. Rather than scrambling to learn these topics while on the job, Rotman@Law allows law students to build their business fluency, knowledge and skill-set before they enter the profession and start advising clients.

Click here for more information about participating in the Rotman@Law program.

Workshops and Registration Participation guidelines
Online resources Rotman @ Law

“The Leadership Skills program has been one of the most valuable elements of my U of T Law experience. The program is practical and has immediate applicability – I have successfully used techniques and strategies that I learned in these sessions during the Toronto and New York recruits, in student leadership roles, while networking, and at work. When prospective or lower-year students ask me for advice on navigating law school, I always emphasize the importance of attending the sessions; in a crowded legal market, soft skills help us stand out.”

Josh Lokko, JD/MBA 2020