Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
In a few years’ time, Reed Smith hopes to be the first major law firm staffed entirely by alumni of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of business. Not that the 1,000-lawyer firm is shedding its JDs for MBAs. But it is committing itself to specialized management education for lawyers by partnering with one of the nation’s most prestigious business schools. The jointly developed executive education program will be known as Reed Smith University and will include five schools, covering leadership, business development, technology, professional support and continuing legal education. John F. Smith, the Philadelphia-based partner who will serve as the first chancellor for the “university,” said the firm plans to develop courses for all of its employees, including lawyers, secretaries, paralegals and other staff. He said the program is a response to the business challenges that Reed Smith had increasingly confronted as it has grown rapidly through acquisitions in recent years. “That growth prompted a great deal of thinking here about how we cultivate the kind of leadership skills we need,” Smith said. The program, which Smith said had a “six-figure” annual budget, will begin in the fall with a one-week, on-campus course for more than 30 of the firm’s senior partners, including practice leaders and office heads. Michael Pollack, another Philadelphia partner and the firm’s director of strategic planning, will serve as dean of the firm’s School of Leadership. He said the fall course will address topics including strategic thinking and managing across practice groups. He said partners will be given tools to evaluate their own leadership skills and styles. Though the fall leadership courses will take place on campus, the firm is still working out details of later courses, including where they will take place. Reed Smith held discussions with many other top business schools, including Harvard, Stanford and Columbia. All were interested in a program with a law firm, Pollack said, but Wharton provided the best program for them. William Dunworth, the relationship manager at Wharton for Reed Smith, said a number of law firms have talked to the business school in the past but Reed Smith was the first to go ahead with a program. “This could be the start of a trend,” he said. Though Reed Smith may be the first U.S. firm to have embarked on an educational program, Clifford Chance has sponsored a research and training program for lawyers and law firm staff at Oxford University’s Said Business School.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.