March 25, 2023


Equality opinion

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

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

Nevertheless, adjust is in the air . . . personally, I am psyched to see how the up coming chapter of my lifetime reads [and] I seem ahead to handing off the baton and heading for the mountains.

Dean Douglas Blaze

University of Tennessee College or university of Law

As I method retirement just after approximately three many years at UT Regulation, I have been considering about what I acquired and what has meant the most to me. The legislation faculty has been a incredibly specific put for a prolonged time. Our sturdy feeling of local community, our shared mission to educate future legal professionals properly and comprehensively, and our determination to provide and boost our profession and local community sets us aside. But how and why? How has the regulation college managed to preserve people characteristics for so lengthy?

For me the answer is that the regulation faculty enjoys a exclusive culture of management. But not leadership vested in a solitary leader or collection of leaders. Instead, a culture of management that is a system, not a situation. A management approach in which all the faculty are fully engaged. And, most important, a culture grounded in a particular variety of management – servant-leadership.  

The idea of servant-management has been around for a long time, but it received renewed notice by way of an essay by Robert Greenleaf posted in 1970 [1]. According to Greenleaf, a servant-leader focuses mostly on the expansion and very well-currently being of people and the communities to which they belong. The servant-leader shares electricity, places the wants of other individuals to start with, and aids persons build, conduct, and realize their prospective. Servant-leaders, as reflected in the phrase buy, are servants very first and leaders second. Their assistance is how they lead.

When I feel of my colleagues above the several years – people today like Dick Wirtz, Jerry Black, Carol Parker, and Tom Galligan – I acknowledge quite a few shared features.  

First, they cared and shown a kindness and worry for their colleagues, students, staff members, and clients.  Each of them actually valued all members of the law school group. 

2nd, each of them promoted the legislation university and others, not them selves. Each individual of them experienced egos to be guaranteed, but their egos did not get in the way of their management. Their egos were being channeled into institutional achievement and accomplishment and recognition of the achievement and accomplishments of some others.  

3rd, every single of them was reliable thoroughly. They were, in their individual personal way, genuine and dependable. They experienced everyone’s again and absolutely everyone understood that they did.    

Fourth, they were seldom sure and commonly shared their uncertainty. So, they willingly listened and certainly required to learn from other people. Their approach served them far better have an understanding of what was wanted and how to obtain it.

But most vital, their main objective was to make the legislation college the very best it could be. That purpose and the tone it established – shared by so lots of of their faculty colleagues, staff, and even students – aided make and retain a tradition of servant-management. They served generate an atmosphere of mutual acceptance and regard. I have been blessed to be portion of it.

Yet, improve is in the air. Quite a few senior school and team are retiring. Individually, I am enthusiastic to see how the upcoming chapter of my lifetime reads. I glimpse ahead to handing off the baton and heading for the mountains.

But most of all, I am psyched about the future of the establishment that suggests so much to me. All of the variations deliver new problems and refreshing alternatives. I am confident the college will satisfy the problems properly and take complete gain of the possibilities. As I appear about at my colleagues, I know the shared culture of servant-leadership will continue on. The future is pretty vivid. And it will be enjoyable to enjoy.

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