I recently learned that I have something in common with both candidates for President-we all have the same legal alma mater
, the Harvard Law School. President Obama graduated with a juris doctor
degree in 1991; Mitt Romney with both a juris doctor
and MBA degree in 1975.*
The latest issue of the Harvard Law Bulletin contained a forward by Dean Martha Minow asking why many law school graduates become leaders?** Her answers are quite thought-provoking:
Self-Selection: Many pursue a legal education because they have a commitment to lead, along with crucial talents like intellectual acuity and tenacity. Many people are drawn to law school to follow the same path as others who are already in a leadership position. They also want to meet and connect with like-minded individuals.
Features of the Law School Experience: Law school teaches you to analyze a problem from many points of view. It teaches you to draw conclusions from the particular, to derive general principles and to apply those general principles to individual situations. Some recent research even suggests that studying for the LSAT affects parts of the brain associated with reasoning. Law practice sharpens thinking and reasoning especially in those areas relevant to reading comprehension and inference. A good lawyer has empathy in that he or she can take the perspective of another by devising arguments supporting competing points of view.
Leading People: Law school teaches people how to work with various types of individuals with independent minds and spirits. Legal education models leading by conversation, taking turns asking questions and answering them. We proceed with the knowledge that everyone will not agree.
My many years of practice have forced me to hone these skills and refine them. Let me put them to work for you and provide you with peace of mind. And regarding the election, one thing is sure: I will have something in common with whoever wins.
Written by Attorney David B. Goldstein,email@example.com
*This is the first time in American History that the standard bearers of both parties are alumnae of the Law School.
** Of the 24 US presidents who served before 1900, 18 were lawyers, but only two attended law school. 34 of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention were lawyers.