The L Word

Erin E. Rhinehart

Leadership. Quite frankly, when I graduated from law school nearly ten years ago, leadership was not as common a topic of discussion among young attorneys as it is today. Now, as law students become newly minted lawyers, the ability to lead is vital to the success of one's legal career (or any career for that matter). News articles, legal books and journals, social media, and blogs often tout the necessity of leadership skills, how to get and develop these skills, and how to become a strong leader. Indeed, nearly every major metropolitan city now hosts its own leadership program. Bar associations boast a variety of leadership development programs and seminars. Even the ABA's own Student Lawyer magazine recently devoted an entire edition to leadership. Sure, it is easy to tell a young attorney that he or she must be a leader to succeed in her firm, company or office. But what does it really take to be a good leader? Over the years, I have culled through heaps of leadership articles and identified, what I consider to be, the top four leadership qualities. While this list is nowhere near exhaustive, and hardly easy to master, it is an excellent start.

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