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Women in Law Student Chapters Clark Society Advisors Appendices
Definition of Leadership
"Leadership": The activity and art of stimulating interest in people and influencing them to work together toward the achievement of common, desirable goals.
- The ability to direct or guide action, conduct, or opinion, but especially to involve others in guiding themselves to achieve selected goals.
- Influence with people" which causes them to communicate, select goals, and go into action toward achieving those goals.
An earned responsibility.
You have been chosen as a Law Society leader due to, inter alia, your professionalism, your integrity, your commitment to service and to the mission of the Law Society, and your ability to guide and direct groups, in short, because of your leadership abilities. Your status as a leader states that you are both trusted and entrusted. You have "earned" the responsibility of leadership. Your Chapter succeeds or fails based on how effectively you exercise your leadership.
Make your experience as a leader exciting and fun. Focus on your destination, but do not forget to enjoy the experience.
"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." Sir Winston Churchill
Leadership Vision - The Key to a Successful Chapter
Your effectiveness as a leader will depend in large part on what was characterized by one of our modern day US presidents as the "vision thing." To paraphrase scripture, "without vision, the Law Society Chapter perishes." Common vision is what motivates groups of individuals. Without a vision of the mission and purpose of the Law Society, your leadership will suffer as will the interest and enthusiasm of Law Society members in your Chapter.
Vision should not be confused with goals. Vision is the focus and purpose of your Chapter; goals are the means used to make your vision reality. Vision comes first; goals follow.
What should be your vision for your Law Society Chapter? Your vision should be more than the casual interest of Law Society members in an occasional gathering at which they can socialize and, perhaps, learn of some new legal development. Your vision needs to encompass the noble traditions of the legal profession coupled with the strength of personal religious conviction combining to produce great strength in service to the community in which your Chapter operates. Your vision needs to give inspired purpose to participating in the Law Society.
The vision you introduce for your Chapter should be prayerfully selected, yes prayerfully. While your position is not an ecclesiastical one, you are nevertheless entitled to Divine guidance in fulfilling your leadership role.
The mission statement of the Law Society sets a powerful vision for direction, a reason to enthusiastically support the Law Society. This should be your starting point:
- To assist Law Society members in integrating their legal professional activities with their religious convictions
- To inspire Law Society members to use their legal skills to enrich and bless their communities through service
Once you have refined a vision for your Law Society Chapter, then your role as a leader is to stimulate interest in Law Society members and influence them to work together to achieve this vision. In short, you need to sell your vision to Law Society members and inspire them to achieve the vision, both individually and as a Chapter. You need their buy-in.
With your vision firmly in place, your next step as a leader of the Chapter is to work with Chapter leadership to formulate goals and then action items for achieving these goals. By way of example only, the 2002-03 goals of the International Board of the Law Society were:
Goal #1: Chapter Organization
- Strengthen Chapter leadership
- Provide resources to Chapter leadership
- Utilize International Board Liaisons to support Chapter leadership
Goal #2: Individual Member Outreach
- Create identity of each Law Society member as part of an international professional association, not merely as a member of a local Chapter
- Establish and support Student Chapters
Goal #3: Community Outreach/Service
- Work with similarly-situated associations to promote service
- Encourage pro bono initiatives in each Chapter
These goals, and the activities which were planned in order to implement these goals, were monitored monthly to assure that they were achieving the intended purpose: fulfillment of the vision (mission) of the Law Society. Set your vision high and then enjoy the journey.