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Biography

Harvard Law School
Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School; and Faculty Director, Harvard Law School Executive Education

Scott Westfahl is the Faculty Director of HLS Executive Education and also teaches courses on problem solving, teams, networks and innovation within the law school’s J.D. curriculum. As the Faculty Director of the Executive Education program, he leads the HLS effort to support and develop lawyers across the arc of their careers, particularly as they advance to new levels of leadership and responsibility. He oversees and teaches in Executive Education’s core, global leadership programs for law firm managing partners, emerging law firm leaders and General Counsel. He also collaborates with HLS colleagues and other Harvard faculty to design and teach custom programs for law firms, law departments and other legal-related organizations. He focuses his Executive Education teaching and writing on leadership, motivation and development of professionals, and organizational alignment from a talent management and diversity and inclusion perspective. To help advance diversity in the legal profession, Professor Westfahl works closely with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity as an advisor and strategic meeting facilitator.

Professor Westfahl joined HLS from the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP, where he served from 2004-2013 as the firm’s Director of Professional Development. In that role, he was responsible for all aspects of the professional development of the firm’s attorneys and staff, focusing on organizational and leadership development, feedback, mentoring, career progression, diversity, professional skills training, attorney and staff integration and transitions and alumni. As a Lecturer on Law from 2010-2013, he teamed with Professor David Wilkins to teach an 80-student section of the law school’s Problem Solving Workshop for first-year students. In 2008, Professor Westfahl was chosen as one of Law Firm, Inc. magazine’s five “Innovators of the Year” for his development of a cutting edge attorney assignment system and database called iStaff, which effectively ties attorney work assignments to their professional development needs. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Chair of the Professional Development Consortium, a 450-member professional association for law firm professional development and training leaders across North America and the U.K. Professor Westfahl frequently lectures and comments upon talent development within professional services firms and is the author of the book You Get What You Measure: Lawyer Development Frameworks and Effective Performance Evaluations (NALP, 2008).

Prior to his work at Goodwin Procter, Professor Westfahl spent six years leading professional development for the Washington, D.C. office of McKinsey & Company. He is also an experienced business and federal regulatory attorney, having practiced law with Foley & Lardner’s Washington, D.C. office from 1988 to 1998. Professor Westfahl earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988, and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1985.

Recent articles and white papers

The Leadership Imperative: A Collaborative Approach to Professional Development in the Global Age of More for Less | Stanford Law Review

The Elephant In The Room: Advancing Women To Partnership | Law360

Leverage the Strength of Millennials: Finding Common Ground and Hidden Opportunities | PD Quarterly

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