David B. Wilkins
Lester Kissel Professor of Law; Director, Program on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School
Professor Wilkins is the Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, the Lester Kissel Professor of Law, and the faculty director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. He is also a senior research fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a faculty associate of the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. Professor Wilkins has written extensively on the legal profession in leading scholarly journals and the popular press and is the co-author (along with his Harvard Law School colleague Andrew Kaufman) of one of the leading casebooks in the field.
His current scholarly projects on the profession include: After the JD, a ten-year nationwide longitudinal study of lawyers’ careers, the Harvard Law School Career Study, a quantitative and qualitative examination of how corporations purchase legal services, an empirical project on the development of “ethical infrastructure” in large law firms based on a series of focus groups with leading practitioners and regulators, an examination of the practice of “offshoring” legal work to India, and over 200 in-depth interviews in connection with a forthcoming Oxford University Press book on the development of the black corporate bar.
Professor Wilkins is a frequent speaker at academic institutions and conferences, bar organizations, and law firms and other professional service organizations in the United States and around the world. He has received numerous honors and awards, including being selected as the 2009 Commencement Speaker at the University of Iowa College of Law and the 2008 Distinguished Scholar by the Order of the Coif. In 2012, he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.