Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program

2013-2014 Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program (“Keystone Program”)

The Law School is launching the third year of the Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program, a professionalism and leadership program designed to help students prepare for their legal careers.  The name of the Keystone Program derives from the concept of a “keystone.”  When an arch is built, the keystone is the last piece placed during construction and locks all of the other stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight.  Similarly, without professionalism and leadership, one’s professional career cannot ascend to the heights it is capable of reaching.

Last year, more than 80 programs qualified for the Keystone Program and more than 70 students completed the program and were recognized at a luncheon sponsored by Skadden and featuring remarks by Dean Michael H. Schill, Dean of Students Amy M. Gardner, and Chuck Smith, ’87, a partner at Skadden who also serves as the Attorney Development Partner for the Chicago office of the firm.

The 2013-2014 Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program continues to build upon the success of the program over the past years and will once again include special programming and/or priority for special programs for 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Special Keystone Programs for the 2013-2014 Year

Although the schedule has not been finalized, the Law School anticipates that the following  Keystone programs will be offered during the 2013-2014 year.   Some of these events will give priority to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2012-2013 academic year:  

Oral Advocacy Boot Camp (Oral Communication)
This program, which will be co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students, Jenner & Block, and the Law Women’s Caucus, is designed to provide an intensive introduction to techniques for making an effective oral argument.  Priority for this event will be given to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Lunch with the Law School Visiting Committee (Learning from Leaders in the Profession)
Each year, students are given an opportunity to have lunch with members of the Law School's Visiting Committee.  The Visiting Committee is made up of prominent Law School alumni who work closely with the Dean and advocate for the Law School.  Priority for this event will be given to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2012-2013 academic year.  

Making the Most of a Mentoring Relationship (Managing & Building Your Career)
This program helps students understand how to build and maintain a relationship with a mentor. 

How to Make the Most of a Professional Meeting over a Meal (Managing & Building Your Career)
This program centers on how to handle a business lunch or dinner and tackles questions such as who orders first, what to order, whether to offer to pay the check, and other tricky questions.

Hallmarks of an Effective Leader (Managing & Building Your Career)
Everyone likes to think of himself or herself as a leader, but one can only lead if others are willing to follow.  This program will highlight the characteristics of an effective leader.

Improv Communications Training  (Oral Communication/Interpersonal Skills)
This program is designed to teach participants improv, leadership tools, and creative communication strategies for the career, the courtroom, or the conference room.  Priority for this event will be given to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Mocktail Reception (Oral Communication/Interpersonal Skills/Managing & Building Your Career)
This program is modeled after a Booth program that all first-year MBA students are required to attend, and it recreates a cocktail reception so that students can be made aware of how to handle the basics (what to hold in your hand, what to drink, how to enter and leave a group, etc.), as well as the substantive (topics to avoid, how to introduce yourself, etc.).  First impressions are important, and this program is designed to ensure that students always create a positive impression at networking receptions.  Priority for this event will be given to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Perfecting Your Professional Image (Managing & Building Your Career)
This program takes place at Macy's State Street store and features personal shoppers who will put together business and business casual outfits appropriate for the workplace.  Priority for this event will be given to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Inter-Generational Differences and How They Affect the Workplace (Interpersonal Skills/Managing & Building Your Career)
Multiple studies confirm that different generations have different approaches to the workplace—differences that can create conflict in a workplace within which multiple generations are represented.  This program will make participants aware of the differences in how individuals from different generations think about the workplace.

Receiving Constructive Feedback & Evaluations (Interpersonal Skills/Managing & Building Your Career)
This program is designed to let students know what to expect from the evaluative process and when they are given constructive feedback. 

How the Keystone Program Works

As with last year, the program will operate much like the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs licensed attorneys participate in throughout most of the United States.  If you decide to complete the program during the 2013-2014 academic year, you will be eligible to list your participation on your résumé, will be eligible for special recognition at the end of the year, and students who earn the highest number of points will be eligible for a special lunch in recognition of their achievement.

For information on how the Keystone Program works, please go to http://www.law.uchicago.edu/2013Keystone.

If you have any questions about the Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program, please contact Dean of Students Amy M. Gardner or Student Affairs Administrator Katie Burns.