FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
David B. Wilkins

David B. Wilkins

Harvard Law School
Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, Faculty Director of the Center on the Legal Profession
Cambridge, MA, USA


Professor Wilkins is the Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, and Faculty Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. He is also a Fellow of the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, a Senior Research Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a International Research Fellow of the Novak Druce Center for Professional Service Firms at Oxford University’s Said School of Business.

Professor Wilkins has written over 80 articles on the legal profession in leading scholarly journals and the popular press and is the co-author of several books, including The Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization (forthcoming 2016), Diversity in Practice (forthcoming 2015), and Problems in Professional Responsibility for a Changing Profession (5th edition 2009).  His current scholarly projects include Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies (where he directs over 50 researchers studying the impact of globalization on the market for legal services in rapidly developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe); Disruptive Innovation in the Market for Legal Services (where he works with leading scholars and innovators to document and evaluate the forces shaping the legal profession in the twenty first century); After the JD (a ten-year nationwide longitudinal study of lawyers' careers); The Harvard Law School Career Study (examining, among other things, differences in the experiences of male and female graduates and the careers of lawyers who do not practice law); and The New Social Engineers (charting the historical development and current experiences of black lawyers in corporate law practice).

Professor Wilkins teaches several courses on lawyers including The Legal Profession, Legal Education for the Twenty-First Century, and Challenges of a General Counsel. In 2007, he co-founded Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Program, where he teaches in several courses including Leadership in Law Firms and Leadership in Corporate Counsel.

Professor Wilkins has given over 45 endowed lectures at universities around the world and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and law firm and corporate retreats.  His recent academic honors include the 2015 Scholar of the Year from ESADE University in Spain, the 2012 Honorary Doctorate in Law from Stockholm University in Sweden, the 2012 Distinguished Visiting Mentor Award from Australia National University, the 2012 Genest Fellowship from Osgoode Hall Law School, the 2010 American Bar Foundation Scholar of the Year Award, the 2009 J. Clay Smith Award from Howard University School of Law, and the 2008 Order of the Coif Distinguished Visitor Fellowship.  Professor Wilkins is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Spanish Royal Academy of Doctors.

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