FEB 22: “Lawyering in the Era of Sustainability, Stakeholders and Social Justice”

December 18, 2023

David Wilkins. Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School.

Professor Wilkins, a prominent speaker of the event, addressed the transformation in the legal sphere following the crisis caused by COVID-19. He noted that this situation has generated a considerable volume of new work, ranging from the creation of laws and programs to the redesign of institutions, along with a surge in public-private collaboration. This context has challenged the traditional notion of lawyering, demanding new skills and responsibilities beyond the provision of legal services.

The evolution of the legal profession isn’t exclusively due to the pandemic, as it is driven by multiple challenges such as the climate crisis, economic instability, and the increasing importance of sustainability, stakeholders, and social and racial justice. The professor highlighted gender disparity in leadership positions in the sector, despite of the fact that the majority of current law students are women.

The legal ecosystem experienced substantial change with the entry of new providers who compete and contribute to reshaping the boundaries, norms, and practices of the legal profession. This change requires lawyers to recognize the need to adapt, with the transformation of individuals, especially the millennial and Gen Z generations, being one of the greatest challenges.

The session facilitated extensive debate on the crucial topics raised by Professor David Wilkins, stimulating discussion among legal professionals from diverse institutions and encouraging reflection on the fundamental changes underway in the legal world.