Business Leadership for Law Firm Executives

Business Leadership for Law Firm Executives is an exclusive ten-month transformational development program for law firm executives, including Managing Partners, Practice Group Leaders, and Office Leaders.

Join colleagues from the largest law firms for this program jointly offered by the Cox School of Business and the Dedman School of Law. One morning per month, you will gain essential skills and tips to help your firm thrive. You will learn the five practices of exemplary leaders, how to apply strategy to everyday challenges and the difference between ordinary and outstanding leaders. You will learn the essential skills to manage cash flow and statements and create a financial roadmap for success, as well as how to win together in a dynamic workplace and spark a fire in the hearts of others. You will learn how to use trust as a specific business strategy, how to delegate tasks and empower others, as well as challenge the status quo.

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  • Dates


  • Format

  • Location

    In person on the SMU Campus

  • Price

    To learn more about the program, contact Sheri Moore at 214.768.9113 or

  • Topics

    Executive Leadership



    Pam Van Dyke


    Learning Objectives:

    • Introduce the five practices of exemplary leadership
    • Receive feedback on your leadership behaviors
    • Understand the 10 key commitments for effective leadership

    Participants will be able to take an honest look at themselves and their leadership behavior. This module will help them identify strengths in the area of strategic and visionary leadership, as well as suggest areas for improvement.

     Strategy & Planning

    Simon Mak


    Learning Objectives:

    • Understand Traditional Strategic Thinking Frameworks
    • Learn Emerging Strategic Frameworks
    • Identify Impact of New Strategies to Existing Business Models

    This session will provide students a basic understanding of the tools used for strategic thinking in business, including SWOT, Porter's 5 Forces, and the Business Model Canvas. These tools will teach students to formally think about what to do, why you should do it, and when you should do it. The session will be very interactive and will conclude with the Business Model Canvas.

    Emotional & Social Intelligence



    Jeff Strese


    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn how to build greater emotional intelligence attributes
    • Learn how increased emotional intelligence fosters a culture of trust and accountability

    This session helps managers become more effective with the growing demand to achieve outcomes at a strategic level through effective communication and heightened emotional intelligence.

    Team Building & Consensus



    Jeff Strese


    In this session, you will:

    • Learn the principles of effective delegation that equips and empowers the professional to take on increased responsibility with confidence.  

    Successful leaders surround themselves with talented professionals they can depend on to perform and execute their tasks and responsibilities. 

    Introduction to Financial Statements

    Hemang Desai

    In this module, you will:

    • Understand the role and importance of accounting or financial reporting in capital markets
    • Understand the core principles underlying financial reporting, as well as why these principles are important and how they affect information conveyed in financial statements
    • Learn about key financial statements: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flow statement, as well as what insights managers can learn from each
    • Perform "hands-on" analysis of how business transactions are recorded and then build financial statements from ground-up
    • Discuss limitations of financial statements and some techniques for overcoming them

    Authentic Leadership



    Neena Newberry

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn to powerfully shape your leadership message to maximize understanding and spark a fire in the hearts of others
    • Explore how communication has the power to de-motivate and how to strategically avoid leadership communication pitfalls

    As work becomes more complex and collaborative, the ability to build trusting relationships distinguishes those who flourish from those who falter. We are often required to achieve results with groups and individuals well beyond where our formal authority lies. Learn to leverage influence to create more productive and even more enjoyable relationships with your boss, peers and employees.

    Budgeting & Forecasting



    Gauri Bhat

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn to use "Opportunity Cost of Capital"
    • Discover capital budgeting decision rules (NPV, IRR, Payback) and how to use these tools to make value-maximizing decisions
    • Understand relevant cash flows
    • Understand the importance of investments in working capital

    Leading Change and Innovation



    Patti Johnson

    Learning Objectives:

    • Understand how leading change is different than leading an ongoing project or process
    • Learn the habits & behaviors of successful change leaders and how common leadership practices can undermine you in times of change
    • Learn how to create a plan around your change and make visible progress
    • Understand the communication strategies and actions that will help build commitment

    Organizational change is dynamic and cannot be fully predicted. Leaders must adapt, be more agile and learn to be successful in ambiguity and uncertainty. We will discuss how to still be effective and move the organization forward by becoming an effective change leader. In this interactive session, we will explore real-life scenarios and help participants identify strategies and actions to use in their organizational change whether they are leading it or playing an influencer role.




    Jeff Strese

    Learning Objectives:

    • Understanding the principles of effective delegation

    Successful leaders surround themselves with talented professionals they can depend on to perform and execute their tasks and responsibilities. You will learn the principles that equips and empowers the professional to take on increased responsibility with confidence.

    Trust, Influence and Accountability

    Jerry Magar

    Learning Objectives:

    • Learn to use trust as a specific business strategy to increase speed of execution and decrease cost
    • Learn to expand your influence with your direct reports, peers and bosses and leverage influence across organizational boundaries
    • Learn to use a diagnostic process and apply specific behaviors and strategies to restore and enhance trust

    The module challenges the age-old assumption that trust is merely a soft, social virtue and instead demonstrates that trust is a hard-edged driver that makes organizations more successful, people more promotable and relationships more energizing.

  • Who Should Attend?

    This program is developed for Managing Partners, Practice Group Leaders and Office Leaders at AM-Law200 firms across the Metroplex. Classes are limited to 25 to ensure that group discussion is valuable and professors can answer questions posed. 

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Next Steps -

Questions? Not sure which program fits your needs? Reach out to our team.