The Moral Leader



SLN #: 76675
Course Prefix: LAW-691
Course Section: 003
Credit Hours: 2
Instructor(s): Cabot

Course Description:
The successful lawyer will be presented with moral and ethical choices throughout his professional career. This innovative course is designed to encourage students to confront those fundamental moral challenges, to develop skills in moral analysis and judgment, and to come to terms with their own definition of moral leadership and how it can be translated into action. The course is based on the leadership course, The Moral Leader, brought by Professor Robert Coles, an educator and psychiatrist, to Harvard Business School in the 1980s. Since then it has been taught to thousands of students at Harvard’s schools of business, law, medicine, architecture, politics, design, divinity and education. Drawing on the inspiration of major literary and historical figures such as Machiavelli, Truman, and Achebe, and based upon an impressive array of literary sources, including novels, plays, history, and biography, the seminar-style setting of the course requires students to be thoroughly prepared for each session, willing to participate in rigorous analysis, continual dialogue, and intensive discussion.

The focus of this course is not on morality versus immorality, but on leadership, moral decision-making, and action. The course is comprised of three modules: (i) Moral Challenge, in which students explore fundamental moral problems and the strategies used to come to terms with them; (ii) Moral Reasoning, in which students are introduced to methods and modes of "moral reasoning" that help in justifying, or not justifying, decisions made in complex situations; and (iii) Moral Leadership, in which students confront examples of moral leadership per se.

In 13 sessions each two hours long, with readings in a multiplicity of settings ranging from ancient Greece to contemporary America, students learn to identify moral problems, to address them systematically, and to develop skills that aid them in their professional and personal lives.

Forty percent (40%) of the grade for the course is based on class participation and sixty percent (60%) on a paper, roughly 15 pages in length.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 2
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes
Skills Requirement: No
Limited Enrollment Number: 15
Final Exam Given: No
Paper or In-Class Presentation: Paper - 60% of grade
Participation Points: Yes, 40% of grade
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Online Course Site: None