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CSU|LAW Dean’s Leadership Fellows Program

Lee Fisher w/Students


A limited number of first year law students are chosen for the Dean's Leadership Fellows Program through the law school admission process. Selection into the Dean’s Leadership Fellows Program is competitive and based on outstanding academic achievement, leadership qualities and potential, a commitment to active participation in the Program, and a commitment to our values of Learn Law. Live Justice. Those 1L students selected to join the one-year program are known as Dean's Leadership Fellows.


Core leadership skills transcend occupational lines, and these skills can be learned through study and practice. The legal profession supplies a large portion of people who take up leadership positions in government, business, nonprofits, and law firms, but law students and lawyers typically receive little training in leadership characteristics and skills.

By participating in the program, each Fellow has the unique opportunity to build on their skills and talents to become an effective leader, counselor, and manager in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. The program has a particular emphasis on using law as a vehicle for social, organizational, and business change, and helps prepare students to become leaders in a fast-changing environment.


Our Dean's Leadership Fellows Program equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to address important public policy and social challenges and to lead in their communities and beyond. Fellows have the unique opportunity during their 1L year to interact with prominent community leaders to explore issues in leadership and the law and to receive leadership training through special programming planned at the law school.  We are very mindful that academics come first, so the Dean's Leadership Fellows Program is purposely tailored so it is not a heavy time commitment, but participation, while not for academic credit, is important and expected.   


  • Gain insight into the characteristics, strengths, and styles of leadership, and their impact on organizations and other people.
  • Understand personal strengths and the effectiveness of various leadership styles, examining how those styles may affect professional relationships and what other characteristics must be developed to become an effective leader.
  • Develop an understanding of the leadership challenges facing lawyers, and articulate a personal theory of leadership and the values lawyers must embody in leadership roles.
  • Identify essential soft skills for lawyers, methods to strengthen those skills, and develop ways to incorporate these skills in everyday interactions.


  • Personal Leadership Strategic Plan
  • Leadership Self-Assessment
  • Group Discussions, Exercises
  • Leader Conversations
  • Leader Interviews
  • Guest Speakers
  • Special Events 
  • Individual Presentations
  • Group Project Presentations
  • 2L Leadership and Law Course Opportunity
  • 2L Dean’s and Associate Dean’s Research Assistant Opportunities