Academy for Inclusive Leadership Development

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Law firms, legal organizations and corporations are increasingly recognizing the need to foster a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and belonging (DEIB) from the “inside-out.” They seek employees steeped in understanding the principles that undergird a commitment to DEIB ideals—and who are committed to the organization’s efforts to reinforce and uphold them. This is why Case Western Reserve University School of Law developed the Academy for Inclusive Leadership Development (AILD).

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The first such law school program in the country, the AILD is designed for current legal and business professionals and students so they can more effectively take on roles in organizations that seek to strengthen their DEIB efforts. The program is offered on weekends over the course of nine months. 
The AILD consists of specialized readings, training tools, presentations, discussions, exercises, and simulations, as well as opportunities for reflection and application in real-world settings. Lessons will be facilitated not only by legal experts, but also specialists with extensive experience in DEIB training, organizational structure and leadership, and human resource management. 
The AILD will be transformative, enabling business, legal professionals and students to learn essential approaches to sustaining diverse, equitable and inclusive organizations. With numerous networking opportunities, participants will also gain insights into best practices and receive feedback on new approaches.
Through AILD, organizations will be able to leverage their own members as organizational leaders and educators to help develop strategies to implement DEIB initiatives and promote an inclusive culture of global citizenship. 

Date: October 2023

Who should participate?

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Lawyers, managing partners, general counsel/presidents, human resource managers, law firm DEIB managers, ERG members, and graduate students. 

All participants will receive a certificate acknowledging their successful completion of the AILD curriculum. In addition, the Academy will offer lawyers CLE credit.

AILD Mode of Instruction

The Academy will enlist local and national experts steeped in DEIB education and leadership development and training, including members of the CWRU faculty.

  • The live Conference modules will be facilitated by experts in DEIB and law practice, and CWRU faculty.
  • Panel discussions will be composed of law firm managers, law associates, educators, law firm and legal organization clients.
  • Post-conference course modules will be accessed through an online learning management system.
  • The online modules will include facilitated participant discussion, real-time panel discussions and pre-recorded material.
  • Module assignments will include viewing and commenting on live programs and asynchronous videos. Participants will also engage in online conversations via discussion boards, conduct fieldwork, and submit reflection pieces as part of their module assignments.
  • Participants will receive toolkits that they may use and apply to their work, and a list of resources.

Curriculum Overview

  • Structural Biases—Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Ability and LGBTQ+ Status in Law Firms and Legal Organizations
  • The economics of law practice and interrupting structural inequities
  • The science of bias
  • The generational divide in law practice and DEIB policy implementation
  • Building cultural humility and listening for values
  • Microaggressions and micro-interventions in law firms and legal organizations 
  • Empowering middle management to further DEIB policy
  • DEIB in a hybrid reality: ensuring equity and inclusiveness in collaboration, evaluation, retention and promotion
  • Cultural intelligence and attorney-client relationships across borders
  • Performing organizational assessments and developing DEIB Strategic plans
  • Employment law and policy impacting DEIB imperatives
  • Leadership, “Followership,” and self-assessing leadership styles
  • Leading diverse, equitable and inclusive law firms and legal organizations

For more information

Contact: Bryan Adamson, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at