Dean Barton Addresses Challenges and Opportunities in Unprecedented Times

Dean April BartonApril Barton, dean of the school of law, recently served as a panelist for Santa Clara University's "Lawyers, Leadership, and Change: Addressing Challenges and Opportunities in Unprecedented Times" virtual symposium.

Dean Barton was joined by other higher education leaders as part of a panel entitled "Leadership Issues in Legal Education." Dean Barton spoke about leading Duquesne Law School through the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in March of 2020.

Speaking at the symposium, Dean Barton shared that perspectives on leadership are changing with the generation of students in our classrooms today. She said, "Our next generation expects leaders to be inclusive and champions of equity and inclusion. Our students also share that great leaders are focused on others; exceptional leaders see the strengths of others and take care of their team in meaningful ways."

She went on to explain that leadership is not a position of authority. "True leadership is a mindset that one possesses no matter where you are in an organizational chart. This is important to stress with law students who may not envision themselves in a position of leadership coming right out of law school."

Barton has taught a course "Leadership for Lawyers" since 2017 and has launched a Leadership Fellows Program at Duquesne Law.

The conference, comprised of notable leaders in law, including The Honorable Leon Panetta, former U.S. Congressman from California and former Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta delivered the day's keynote address on lawyer leadership in public life.

The symposium was sponsored by the Santa Clara Law Review, the Association of American Law School's Section on Leadership, Santa Clara University School of Law, the Institute for Lawyer Leadership Education, and The Edwin Heafey Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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