Skip to content

Technology, Law, and Leadership – Fall 2023


This is the home page for LAW 5754 – Technology, Law, and Leadership for the Fall 2023 edition of the course.

The course will meet on Wednesdays from 12:40 pm to 2:40 pm. The class will meet on Zoom rather than face to face. Class meetings will not be recorded. Students are expected to be present for each meeting of the course.

Reading assignments and outline of classes

Class meetings are organized in a loose sequence: Introduction and context (why learn about leadership, and why learn learn leadership skills?); what are relevant leadership skills?: and what comes next? What do you do with what you’ve learned?

Each item below is identified in one of three ways, to indicate how you can access it:

  • [WWW] indicates that the item is on the World Wide Web, that is, it’s free for reading and/or downloading on the open Internet. In almost every case, materials designated [WWW] below are also available as pdf documents in the TWEN site for this course.
  • [YouTube] and [Video] indicates that the item is a video. Most of these are on YouTube, and most of these are approximately 1 hour long. Some are shorter.
  • [Tw] indicates that the item can be found as a pdf document in the TWEN (“Course Materials” subsection) site for this course. Each reading is numbered to correspond to the appropriate class meeting and identified by the first author’s last name.
  • [Spotify] indicates that the item is a podcast episode.
  • [eBook at Pitt’s University Library System] is self-explanatory.

The readings and other assigned materials are front-loaded, so that the workload is heavier at the start of the semester and lighter toward the end. The purpose of the front-loading is to give students more time and space to work their research papers into final form.

The biographies of the authors, speakers, and responsible organizations are provided here. Many of the works assigned below are related to larger works.

Recommended but not required: For continuing looks at the economic and technological challenges facing the legal profession today, I strongly encourage students to take a look at articles on these websites:

And, for podcasting fans, these podcasts:


Not law-themed:

Class 1: Wednesday, August 23, 2023

[A] An introduction to leadership for lawyers and law students:


[B] Context: the changing character of law practice, the legal profession, and the legal industry:

Class 2: Wednesday, August 30, 2023

On the power and importance of law, lawyers, the legal profession, and the legal industry. Why leadership is important now, and why it is important to focus on values and ethics:

Class 3: Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Getting into the details. What should leaders know, and what should they do?

Class 4, Wednesday, September 13, 2023

On the roles of innovation, creativity, imagination, curiosity, and vision.

GUEST SPEAKER during the first hour: Meet Michael Sears

Class 5, Wednesday, September 20, 2023

On emotional intelligence and resilience.

GUEST SPEAKER during the first hour: Meet Joanne Lipman

Class 6, Wednesday, September 27, 2023

On leadership in organizations and groups; the critical role of communication and storytelling.

[A] On organizational dynamics:

[B] On storytelling:

Class 7, Wednesday, October 4, 2023

On collaborating, team-building, and paying it forward.

GUEST SPEAKER during the first hour: Meet Jacob (“Jake”) Dougherty, Pitt Law class of 2022

Class 8, Wednesday, October 11, 2023

On conflict resolution at small and large scales.

Class 9, Wednesday, October 18, 2023

On systems, feedback loops, and change management.

Class 10, Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Connecting the context and the competencies: problems and opportunities in the design of legal institutions.

GUEST SPEAKER during the first hour: Meet Marcy Smorey

Class 11, Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Connecting the context and the competencies: problems and opportunities in the role(s) of law in society.

Class 12, Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Connecting the context and the competencies: problems and opportunities in society.

GUEST SPEAKER during the first hour: Meet Elizabeth (“Lizzy”) Shackelford, Pitt Law class of 2006

Read or watch at least 5 of the following:

Class 13, Wednesday, November 15, 2023 (last class)

Pulling leadership together in a simple, useful, and usable package, the way that clever public intellectuals and management consultants do.