Farewell, UT Law – A Culture of Servant-Leadership – Leading As Lawyers


Yet, adjust is in the air . . . personally, I am fired up to see how the next chapter of my life reads [and] I look ahead to handing off the baton and heading for the mountains.

Dean Douglas Blaze

College of Tennessee Higher education of Legislation

As I approach retirement right after virtually 3 decades at UT Law, I have been imagining about what I learned and what has meant the most to me. The regulation college has been a extremely special spot for a very long time. Our powerful feeling of neighborhood, our shared mission to educate long term lawyers successfully and comprehensively, and our motivation to provide and improve our occupation and local community sets us aside. But how and why? How has the law school managed to maintain those people characteristics for so extended?

For me the respond to is that the law university enjoys a exclusive tradition of management. But not management vested in a solitary chief or series of leaders. Alternatively, a society of management that is a procedure, not a posture. A management system in which all the college are thoroughly engaged. And, most important, a lifestyle grounded in a unique sort of leadership – servant-management.  

The thought of servant-leadership has been about for a extensive time, but it acquired renewed notice via an essay by Robert Greenleaf published in 1970 [1]. According to Greenleaf, a servant-chief focuses principally on the development and well-staying of men and women and the communities to which they belong. The servant-leader shares electrical power, places the wants of others very first, and will help people today build, perform, and realize their potential. Servant-leaders, as mirrored in the phrase purchase, are servants to start with and leaders 2nd. Their company is how they guide.

When I feel of my colleagues more than the a long time – people like Dick Wirtz, Jerry Black, Carol Parker, and Tom Galligan – I acknowledge various shared characteristics.  

Very first, they cared and exhibited a kindness and worry for their colleagues, students, team, and clients.  Each of them definitely valued all customers of the law school group. 

2nd, each of them promoted the legislation school and other folks, not themselves. Each individual of them experienced egos to be sure, but their egos did not get in the way of their leadership. Their egos have been channeled into institutional accomplishment and accomplishment and recognition of the accomplishment and achievements of others.  

Third, just about every of them was trustworthy totally. They ended up, in their have person way, genuine and dependable. They experienced everyone’s again and every person realized that they did.    

Fourth, they were almost never particular and conveniently shared their uncertainty. So, they willingly listened and definitely required to understand from some others. Their approach helped them far better recognize what was essential and how to reach it.

But most vital, their key purpose was to make the legislation school the pretty greatest it could be. That objective and the tone it set – shared by so several of their faculty colleagues, workers, and even college students – assisted make and retain a culture of servant-management. They assisted generate an atmosphere of mutual acceptance and regard. I have been blessed to be portion of it.

However, adjust is in the air. Many senior faculty and employees are retiring. Personally, I am energized to see how the following chapter of my life reads. I glimpse ahead to handing off the baton and heading for the mountains.

But most of all, I am fired up about the upcoming of the institution that suggests so considerably to me. All of the alterations deliver new problems and fresh new prospects. I am self-assured the faculty will fulfill the troubles efficiently and choose entire benefit of the options. As I search all over at my colleagues, I know the shared tradition of servant-leadership will go on. The long run is extremely bright. And it will be enjoyment to watch.

[1] Robert K. Greenleaf, The Servant as Chief (1970).


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