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Deborah Epstein Henry to Keynote Program Exploring Personal, Professional Development in a Changing Legal Industry

Deborah Epstein Henry

December 19, 2014

Armed with information about their personality types from the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, 1Ls will begin charting career strategies at an intensive day-long program on Jan. 7.

The program, organized by Associate Dean Donna Gerson of the law school’s Career Strategies Office, will give students insights about the impact of personality on career development.  Key insiders will offer their predictions and perspectives on the evolving legal industry, informed by decades of practice at major firms and the in-house counsel offices of large corporations.

Deborah Epstein Henry, an author and internationally recognized expert, will give the keynote on “The Future of Law: New Delivery and Design of Work.”  The president of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC and co-founder of Bliss Lawyers, Henry is the author of the best-selling “Law & Reorder” and co-author of “Finding Bliss: Innovative Legal Models for Happy Clients & Happy Lawyers,” which will be published by the ABA in January. 

Gerson designed the program with the aim of enabling students to develop career plans that are tailored to their personal strengths and interests as well as the emerging job market.

“To enter the legal profession at this moment requires students to be very clear about who they are, what they value most and what options exist for them,” Gerson said. “In order to address professional development, we also need to focus on personal development and this includes understanding one’s communication skills, strengths and values.”

All 1Ls took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator at the start of the school year. They will learn their own scores at a morning session of the Jan. 7 program that will focus on the impact of personality types in influencing professional and personal interactions.  The morning will be led by Michelle Nash, the senior vice president for the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, to strengthen students’ communication skills and problem-solving in groups. Donna Branca, director at SJL Shannon LLC, will be the co-presenter. 

In the afternoon, the program will feature a panel presentation moderated by Henry featuring Tom Sager, the former general counsel at DuPont Co. and a partner at Ballard Spahr, who helped pioneer the DuPont Convergence and Law Firm Partnering Program, an industry benchmark that has received national acclaim for its innovative approach to the business of practicing law.  Rachel Branson, corporate counsel at SunGard Data Systems, Inc., will join Sager and Nash.

The day will conclude with team exercises that will require students to create their own innovative law delivery systems.