CBA Record February-March 2019
EDITORIAL BOARD Editor-in-Chief Justice Michael B. Hyman Illinois Appellate Court Associate Editor Anne Ellis Proactive Worldwide, Inc. Summary Judgments Editor Daniel A. Cotter Latimer LeVay Fyock LLC YLS Journal Editors-in-Chief Natalie Chan Sidley Austin LLP
BY JUSTICE MICHAEL B. HYMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Lead Like Lincoln Are lawyers prepared to lead in the fast-paced digital age?
A new book by a New York University Law School professor contends today’s lawyers lack adequate training and know-how to be successful leaders. According to Prof. Anthony C. Thompson, “lawyers who lead without significant and focused exposure to leadership lessons often make the sort of judgments that can derail organizations or pervert entire systems, which makes them [we unprepared lawyers] dangerous.” Hence, the title, Dan- gerous Leaders: How and Why Lawyers Must Be Taught to Lead. I don’t buy Thompson’s premise that lawyers without grounding in leadership pose a danger, though it does make for a rather controversial claim. I do agree, however, that law schools and the profession would benefit considerably from instruction on leadership because leadership is not a subject usually studied in or after law school, and America has a tradition of lawyer-leaders. The best example is Illinois’ own, Abraham Lincoln. Thompson calls for lawyers to commit to “intersectional leadership.” Thompson thinks intersectional leadership will produce better and more effective lawyers, remedy performance deficiencies, and minimize disastrous outcomes. For me, the key elements that define Thompson’s intersectional leadership sound a whole lot like a summary of Lincoln’s leadership style. They include: (i) engaging a team of individuals bringing different traits, styles, and experiences; (ii) searching out diverse and independent views; (iii) working collaboratively, including subordinating one’s own interests for the common good; (iv) challenging assumptions and questioning agreement; and (v) placing moral integrity over personal interests. If you read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals or know anything about Lincoln’s leadership methods, you too may recognize the parallels. Attributes of Lawyer-Leaders Here again are Thompson’s lawyer-leader attributes matched with statements by or about Lincoln’s leadership: Thompson: Lawyer-leaders cultivate and invite diverse views. Lincoln: “I do not impugn the motives of anyone opposed to me,” and “He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.” Thompson: Lawyer-leaders derive insights from individuals whose interests, needs, and expectations diverge from their own. Lincoln: (by Kearns Goodwin) “form[ed] friendships with men who had previously opposed him,” and (by biographer William E. Gienapp) “displayed an absolute genius
Daniel J. Berkowitz Aronberg Goldgehn
Carolyn Amadon Jonathan B. Amarilio Taft Stettinus & Hollister LLP Ali Ammoura Cook County Public Defender's Office Amy Cook Amy Cook Consulting Nina Fain Janet Sugerman Schirn Family Trust Anthony F. Fata Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP Clifford Gately Heyl Royster Jasmine Villaflor Hernandez Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Lynn Semptimphelter Kopon Kopon Airdo LLC John Levin Kathryn C. Liss Schiller DuCanto & Fleck/DePaul University Family Law Center Bonnie McGrath Law Office of Bonnie McGrath Clare McMahon Law Office of Clare McMahon Pamela S. Menaker Clifford Law Offices Peter V. Mierzwa Law Bulletin Publishing Company Kathleen Dillon Narko Northwestern University School of Law Adam J. Sheppard Sheppard Law Firm, PC Nicholas D. Standiford Schain Banks Kenny & Schwartz Ltd. Richard Lee Stavins
Robbins, Saloman & Patt, Ltd. Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. Circuit Court of Cook County Rosemary Simota Thompson William A. Zolla II The ZOLLaw Group, Ltd.
for getting individuals of diverse viewpoints to work together.” Thompson: Lawyer-leaders subordinate personal ambition.
Lincoln: “I freely acknowledge myself the servant of the people,” and (by biographer William E. Gienapp) “He never lost sight of his larger objectives, yet he remained flexible in his approach and not afraid to change his mind or admit that he had been wrong.”
THE CHICAGO BAR ASSOCIATION David Beam Director of Publications Rebecca Martin Manager of Advertising and Sponsorships
6 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019
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