Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading Change

Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading Change

The Davis Polk Leadership Initiative helps students become leaders in their careers and their lives. Through courses, fellowship and grant opportunities, programming, and coaching, the Leadership Initiative enables students to exercise self-awareness, identify values and goals, tackle complex challenges, empower collaborative groups to achieve collective aims, and have meaningful impact in the public and private sectors. More information about how the Initiative defines leadership is available here.

DPLI's 2022–23 Year in Review Report is now available!

two men talking at a desk
Classes & Programming

The Leadership Initiative offers exciting, innovative course offerings and programming that cultivate lawyer leadership and professional skills at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and systemic levels. These offerings have been thoughtfully crafted to develop students’ capacities throughout their law school careers.

Davis Polk Fellows ('19-'20)
Davis Polk Leadership Fellowships and Innovation Grants

The Davis Polk Fellowship and Innovation Grants are designed to provide support to CLS community members engaging in leadership through tackling real-world challenges.

The Davis Polk Leadership Fellowship is a yearlong program that provides recipients with resources and support from faculty, staff, and leadership coaches to build their leadership capacities.  Fellows receive a $5,000 award, attend weekly leadership development sessions with other Fellows, receive individualized mentorship, and are automatically accepted (if interested and otherwise eligible) into the Lawyer-Leadership Seminar, Public Education Policy Lab, and/or the Community Advocacy Lab Clinic. They also receive funding and support to design and implement a yearlong project that builds leadership within the CLS community and effectuates positive change at CLS, in the legal community, and beyond. 

The Innovation Grants provide funding of up to $1,000 and support from faculty, staff, and leadership coaches for individuals or groups of students, staff, or faculty to design and implement semester-long projects designed to effectuate positive change at CLS, in the legal community, and beyond. 


two women at a desk
Coaching and Mentorship

Leadership Coaches are experienced, real-world practitioners who provide coaching and mentorship to CLS students interested in building their leadership capacities. The Leadership Coaches also help design workshops and other experiential learning experiences that give students the opportunity to develop and practice leadership skills necessary to team building and effective advocacy for change in the profession and society generally.

Upcoming Events