Scott Westfahl is a Professor of Practice and the Director of Executive Education at Harvard Law School. Within the school’s J.D. curriculum, Professor Westfahl teaches courses on leadership, design thinking and innovation, resilience, teams and networks. His primary focus is leading Harvard Law School Executive Education, which provides unrivaled, intensive, business-school style leadership programs for law firm, in-house and government/public sector lawyers from all over the world. He also collaborates with HLS colleagues and other Harvard faculty to design and teach custom programs for law firms, law departments, government/public sector and other legal-related organizations. He focuses his Executive Education teaching and writing on leadership and teams, design thinking and innovation, the motivation and development of professionals, fostering diversity and inclusion in legal organizations, and strategy and organizational alignment from a talent development perspective. Professor Westfahl is a strategic advisor to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and a Founding and Advisory Board Member of The Purple Campaign to prevent workplace harassment.
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 lawyers and staff, focusing on organizational and leadership development, feedback, mentoring, career progression, diversity, professional skills training, lawyer and staff integration and transitions and alumni. 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 lawyer assignment system and database called iStaff, which effectively ties lawyer work assignments to their professional development needs. Prior to his work at Goodwin Procter, Professor Westfahl spent six years leading professional development for the Washington, DC office of McKinsey & Company, and ten years practicing business and regulatory law with Foley & Lardner’s Washington, D.C. office.
Professor Westfahl frequently lectures, consults and comments upon leadership, talent development and design thinking and innovation 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). He is also the co-author of a groundbreaking proposal for a collaborative model of lawyer professional development, appearing in the Stanford Law Review: Westfahl, Scott A. and Wilkins, David B., The Leadership Imperative: A Collaborative Approach to Professional Development in the Global Age of More for Less (August 3, 2017). Stanford Law Review, Vol. 69, No. 6, 2017; HLS Center on the Legal Profession Research Paper No. 2017-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3013150