Case Study: Women’s Leadership Program

An Amlaw 200 firm with offices throughout the United States engaged Leadership for Lawyers for a leadership development program for their emerging women leaders.  


18 women partners; most were non-equity partners; some were equity partners and new lateral partners.


The goal of the program was to support the advancement of the participants.  Specifically, the program provided the participants with a ‘tool box’ of skills, insights and self-awareness that will prepare them to be an effective partner, practice/industry group leader and mentor in the firm.  

Training Program

The program kicked off with a full day training, consisting of interactive modules focused on:

– Communication Skills

– Dealing with Conflict

– Influence and Persuasion

– Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback

– Vision: Creating and Engaging Others 

– Developing a Personal Leadership Plan

A lunch program for all 100+ female attorneys was held featuring a 90-minute workshop on leadership skills for women attorneys.  


ISI:  Each participant completed an Influence Style Indicator (ISI) assessment as part of the module on influence and persuasion.  The assessment was debriefed as part of a group exercise. 

MBTI:  Individually participants completed a Myers Briggs Type Indicator II (MBTI) assessment online and received one-on-one debriefing by a certified MBTI administrator.  

LPI:   Most participants also completed a leadership 360 assessment called the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), which required them to have several “manager”, “co-worker” and “direct reports” assess them anonymously.  The LPI focuses on the frequency of observed leadership behaviors and compares the individual’s self-assessment to those whom work most closely with her.  A certified administrator debriefed the LPI with each participant in a coaching environment.


Participants received five months on individual coaching.  Coaching focused on helping the partners achieve their leadership goals and on navigating leadership challenges as they arose.  

Typical leadership goals included:

– Initiate a new process/system on a department/practice group level

– Be elevated to equity partner

– Increase business development success

– Mentor associates and increase associate engagement

– Develop a stronger network with firm leadership

– Improve recruiting and marketing results

– Land position(s) on non-profit and boards

– Take larger leadership role in practice group

– Expand work with existing clients

– Take leadership role with new client team

– Navigate political issues within group/firm/office

– Increase personal visibility in firm (for partner in regional office)

Community Building

We met as a cohort once a month for six months over lunch.  Regional office participants joined by videoconference.  The closed-door discussions focused on sharing lessons learned, common goals and how to help each other reach goals.  There was a small educational element, but the focus was primarily on building relationships and interdependency between participants.


Each of the participants reported progress or completion of their leadership goals over the six-month period.