In most business contexts, the word “leader” gets associated with being the boss. In law firms, where the business’s most valuable assets walk out the elevator banks each day (or, nowadays, possibly just log off their computers), leadership is more closely associated with listening and building consensus. Litigators, who make their living in the persuasion business, have a lot to offer on those fronts.

That’s the conclusion I came to after going through a year’s worth of responses from litigators who participated in’s “How I Made It” Q&A series over the past year. My colleague Tasha Norman regularly quizzes new partners and law firm leaders about how they rose up through the ranks. The Litigation Daily spent some time this summer exploring what it takes to make partner as a litigator these days. But yesterday, I homed in on the responses of litigators who have taken on firm-wide leadership positions to see what nuggets they offer for others aspiring to lead a litigation department or law firm.