The Leadership Program

The First-Year Experience

Working with members of the faculty and with practicing lawyers in the introductory course, Lawyering, Leadership, and Professionalism, first-year students begin to learn more about themselves and how their personal values and skills will shape their professional lives.

The course consists of three components:

  1. lawyering exercises and simulations that reveal the interpersonal skills required to succeed in law firm and group settings,
  2. explorations in the role of the citizen lawyer,
  3. and interviews with leading lawyers in the region, exploring their concepts of leadership in the law and their strategies for success in the profession.

Additional details follow this video segment exploring the first-year leadership experience at Elon Law.

In addition, students participate in the “Leadership Essentials for Lawyers” program led by the internationally recognized Center for Creative Leadership. Through this program, students engage in a series of self-assessment exercises to develop personal and professional objectives, working closely with Elon Law's Distinguished Leadership Coach-in-Residence and with practicing attorneys.

First-year law students also participate in academic skills workshops and intensive communications training, including one-on-one sessions as they prepare to deliver oral arguments in a first-semester legal writing class.

"Engaged learning is very important to how we teach the law at Elon. Second year students, working directly with nonprofits as clients, begin to see how their legal skill and knowledge can propel them to leadership roles in the civic life of the communities where they will practice law."

Faith Rivers James
Professor of Law and Director of Leadership Programs


Roland Smith, Elon Professor of Leadership and Senior Faculty Member at the Center for Creative Leadership"Having first-year law students evaluate themselves against established predictors of lawyering success enables them to develop a plan of action for personal and professional development early on in law school. We want to help students become highly skilled in the core competencies required for advancement in the legal profession and to begin to forge their own vision for leadership in the law.”

Roland Smith
Visiting Professor of Leadership at Elon Law
Senior Faculty Member at the Center for Creative Leadership