Category Archives: Leadership

Expanding the Curriculum to Build Better Lawyers — Best Practices for Legal Education

Just finished reading a fascinating piece in the Journal of Legal Education by Pamela Bucy Pierson, Bainbridge Mims Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law. Her article, Economics, EQ, and Finance: The Next Frontier in Legal Education, describes the results of her survey of how law schools are covering the topics […]

via Expanding the Curriculum to Build Better Lawyers — Best Practices for Legal Education


Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World

By Don Tapscott (McGraw Hill:NY) 2009.

Don Tapscott believes that the Net Generation processes information and behaves differently than older generations in aptitudes, attitudes, expectations, and learning styles that reflect the environment in which they were raised.   The Net Generation (post-Generation X) is parented by Baby Boomers and these generations differ on numerous levels, especially in ways they communicate and how they perform work.  Tapscott believes that “Net Geners” are smarter, quicker, and more tolerant than their predecessors.  He argues that “The Net Generation is in many ways the antithesis of the TV generation.”

According to Tapscott, there are four key themes of the “New Generation Gap”:

  • The older generations are uneasy about the new technology (which Net Geners are embracing).
  • Older generations tend to be uneasy about new media (which are coming into the heart of youth culture).
  • Old media are uneasy about the new media.
  • The digital revolution, unlike previous ones, is not controlled by only adults.

The Net Generation creates information rather than just consuming it.  The shift from broadcast to interactive is the cornerstone of the Net Generation.  They want to be users and not simply viewers or listeners.  While past generations subsisted with the telephone and television, the Net Generation has grown up with information technology.  They are well-versed in the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging, online communities, media (video and music) downloads, the use of cellular phones, and video games from the very beginning.

Tapscott identifies ten themes of Net Generation culture:

  • Fierce Independence
  • Emotional and Intellectual Openness
  • Inclusion
  • Free Expression and Strong Views
  • Innovation
  • Preoccupation with Maturity
  • Investigation
  • Immediacy
  • Sensitivity to Corporate Interest
  • Authentication and Trust

Characteristics of the Net Generation include being curious, independent, contrarian, intelligent, adaptable, confident, focused, and globally conscious.  The Net Generation is defined by their reliance on and use of technology, their penchant for multitasking technologically and their ability to utilize various media to communicate with the world.  These communication technologies are incredibly different from the ones that previous generations grew up with.  Previous generations have had to learn how to use technology, whereas the Net Generation was raised saturated in technology.  They don’t use it, it just simply is.

Why Hire an Executive Coach?

An experienced Executive Coach with proven expertise in working through life transitions that will help individuals acquire knowledge, motivation, and accountability necessary for achieving transition goals.

Executive Coaching is a unique relationship and process with a strategic partner who is committed to your personal and professional development. Stephen P. Gallagher is an executive coach with over 25-years of experience in working with attorneys in a variety of leadership roles. As your Executive Coach, I will:

  • help you and your firm adapt to change, build a sustainable profitable law firm and support you in achieving balance in your professional and personal life;
  • challenge and support you in attaining the results you desire and deserve in your business, career, and personal life;
  • help you clarify and focus on living life with purpose, passion and integrity;
  • support your behaviors that forward action and progress toward your desired outcomes; and
  • serve as consultant and practice management mentor, offering specific advice about business, leadership, communication, strategy, and maintaining life balance.

    Women's Peloton at Curve off Main 2010
    Manayunk Peloton Main Street turn

Understanding the War for Talent – Off-Ramps and On-Ramps

Sylvia Ann Hewlett is an economist and the Director of the Gender and Policy Program at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. Her most recent book, Brainpower (2014) contains a wealth of valuable research showing how the old career model – particularly for women – just does not work. Hewlett reports that, “fully 60 percent of highly qualified women have nonlinear careers. They take off-ramps and scenic routes and have a hard time conjuring up continuous, cumulative, lockstep employment—which is a necessary condition for success within the confines of the white male competitive model.”[1] For too many talented women this model doesn’t work, which is why many companies find it difficult to attract and retain female talent, just when the need for the broadest talent pool is greater than ever.”[2]

Off-Ramps & On-Ramps Revisited
Off-Ramps & On-Ramps Revisited

Sylvia Ann Hewlett points out that, “Despite the fact that women these days are highly credentialed (49 percent of law school graduates and 36 percent of business school graduates are female), they are not being promoted or advanced at a rate commensurate with their weight in the talent pool.”[3] More than half of all professional and graduate degrees are now awarded to women. [4] According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of women with graduate and professional degrees is projected to grow by 16 percent over the next decade, while the number of men with these degrees is projected to grow by a mere 1.3 percent.[5]

In the forward to Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book, Off-Ramps and On-Ramps, Carolyn Buck Luce, Chair of Hidden Brain Drain Task Force[6] made reference to closing comments made during the 2005 launching of the task forces research studies at the House of Commons in London. Patricia Fili-Krushel serves as Chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, task force co-chair, came up with a powerful image that has loomed large in task force conversations: “These women who leave or languish, are, in effect, the canaries in the coal mine, the first and most conspicuous of an out-dated, dysfunctional career model.” Fili-Krushel then went on to enumerate some of the other casualties: “58-year-old baby boomers who don’t want to retire but are no longer willing to put in 70-hour weeks; and 28-year-old Gen X and Y men who want to be better, more involved fathers than their dads were, and need flexible work.”[7]

[1] Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2007) p. 1.

[2] Ibid. p. 4.

[3] American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, “A Current Glance at Women in the Law,” Catalyst, “Quick Takes: Women MBAs”,

[4] National Center for Educational Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics Tables and Figures 2005, table 246, “Degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions, by level of degree and sex of student: Selected years, 1869-70 through 2013-14,”, Data is for academic year 2004-2005.

[5] National Center for Education Statistics, Projections of Education Statistics to 2012. Data projected to 2012. Calculation by the Center for Work-Life Policy.

[6] In February 2004, Sylvia Ann Hewlett (Center for Work-Life Policy and Columbia University), Cornel West (Princeton University and Carolyn Buck Luce, the Global Pharmaceutical Sector Leader at Ernst & Young LLP, founded the Hidden Brain Drain Task Force. The idea was to persuade corporations to become stakeholders in an effort to fully realize female talent over the life span of their careers. The mission of the task force is to identify, develop, and promote a second generation of corporate policies and practices that support women’s ambition, work, and life needs. By June 2006, the task force had grown to thirty-four global corporations, representing 2.5 million employees, operating in 152 countries around the world.

[7] Remarks made at House of Commons, London, February 24, 2005.

Transition is a Life-long Process

Clare's spiritual advisersIn addition to coaching lawyers, Stephen is an adjunct faculty member in the Marketing department at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia as well as an adjunct in Professional Studies at Neumann University in Aston, PA.. As such Stephen has acquired a wide range of professional and life experiences that have proven to be of value in working with accomplished professionals.

Stephen believes that teaching young adults helps him gain a greater appreciation for the challenges high level attorneys are facing in trying to sustain and grow a law practices in these trying times especially while trying to maintain a balance between work and family responsibilities.

Stephen has written extensively in areas as diverse as The High Performance Lawyer, Yesterday’s Strategies Rarely Answer Tomorrow’s Problems, and Winding Down the Law Practice, and Planning for Retirement. He has designed and facilitated numerous bar association and law firm retreats dealing with the changing nature of law practice. The National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) published Stephen’s two part article on Bar Associations in Transition (Part 1Part 2).

High Performance – ABA New Model – May 2005

ABA – Gallagher-Rethinking