Foley Continues Its Investment In Leadership Development

Foley & Lardner


Foley & Lardner LLP looks beyond the law to focus on the constantly evolving demands facing our clients and their industries. With over 1,100 lawyers in 24 offices across the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia, Foley approaches client service by first understanding our clients’ priorities, objectives and challenges. We work hard to understand our clients’ issues and forge long-term relationships with them to help achieve successful outcomes and solve their legal issues through practical business advice and cutting-edge legal insight. Our clients view us as trusted business advisors because we understand that great legal service is only valuable if it is relevant, practical and beneficial to their businesses.
At Foley, we understand that leadership development is a marathon, not a sprint. For that reason, we go beyond traditional training to offer a cohort of our attorneys at the senior counsel level...
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Special thanks to co-author Erica Gerson, Manager of Coaching, for her contributions to this article.

At Foley, we understand that leadership development is a marathon, not a sprint. For that reason, we go beyond traditional training to offer a cohort of our attorneys at the senior counsel level the opportunity to participate in a unique four-module internal leadership development program to help them develop their leadership skills in an experiential and active manner. Prior and current participants in the program, now in its third year, have lauded Foley's investment in cultivating their growth as emerging firm leaders by tailoring the program to skillsets crucial for leadership success at Foley and offering the perspectives of current firm leaders.

The 2024 Leadership Development Program, which presents participants with a mix of live in-person and virtual programming, is primarily centered around the premise that one does not have to sit in a formal leadership position or hold a leadership title to engage in acts of leadership. This year, the program exposes 24 emerging firm leaders from across our Corporate, Intellectual Property, and Litigation Departments to programming that helps them focus on how to not only capitalize on their strengths, but also identify and implement behavior changes and actions that will allow them to maximize their own leadership effectiveness.

During each live training module, participants focus on particular aspects or competencies of leadership. In between these modules, participants meet in individual and group coaching sessions with one of Foley's in-house executive coaches to reflect on their learnings and how they will apply them in real time as they progress through the program.

During the first module, which was presented in Chicago last month and focused on self-leadership, the participants learned directly from the firm's Chairman and CEO Daljit Doogal, department chairs and vice chairs, and Leadership Development Program alumni who are current Foley partners about their respective leadership journeys. The participants also worked through a leadership case study as a team, discussed values-aligned and inclusive leadership, and participated in an effective communication workshop.

Key takeaways from this first module include:

  • Opportunities to demonstrate leadership through actions and behaviors exist on a daily basis, irrespective of position or title.
  • While effective leaders have different leadership styles, leadership itself is a mindset and skillset that can be learned and taught, and cultivating it requires continuous self-reflection to develop one's own unique style.
  • Identifying personal values and leading in alignment with them, as well as with the firm's core values, can increase one's engagement, motivation, and connection to their purpose.
  • Self-awareness is the first step in mitigating unconscious barriers to inclusivity.
  • Effective leadership communication starts with understanding one's own natural and preferred communication and behavioral styles and how these styles may be perceived by and impact others.

Participants will not only develop their leadership skills through this program, but they will also strengthen bonds with their peers from different departments and offices and deepen their connections to the firm. Recognizing that leadership development is a continuous process of learning and growth, Foley sets itself apart by offering this comprehensive in-house leadership development training.

Future modules of Foley's 2024 Leadership Development Program, scheduled to conclude in September, will focus on leading people, leading process, and leading change.

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