In March, 16 University of South Carolina School of Law students received their certificates of completion from the Konduros Leadership Development Program. The intensive and highly selective program gives students a unique opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills that are in addition to their legal education.
“We’re committed to providing a cadre of future leaders here at UofSC Law. The program furthers leadership development by equipping students with the creativity, strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills necessary to assume leadership positions within an increasingly complex and evolving environment,” says Jill Kunkle, the associate director of career services who manages the program.
Over the course of eleven weeks, students selected to participate learned about the nature of leadership; how to develop their leadership, interpersonal and communication strategies; and the importance of ethics in leadership. The program culminated with each group presenting a plan to help solve a societal issue.
One group worked on a project that raised public awareness and assistance on the expungement process. Another worked on ways to overcome barriers to practicing law by proposing a grant program to help law students with bar preparation and application fees. The third group focused on better ways to help veteran facing legal issues in South Carolina, surveying more than 30 law schools across the nation on how to establish a veteran’s legal clinic.
Students say the experience was invaluable to their law school career, pushing beyond the classroom into real world experiences.
“This program allows us to take the knowledge and skill sets we’ve learned in law school and apply them to a situation or problem in the community,” says third-year student Matthew Zackon. “For me, it stressed the importance of giving back to different demographics in society who cannot afford legal services. From my experiences in this program, I know I will be devoting my time post-graduation to veterans who are in need of free legal services.”
Throughout the program, in addition to hearing from UofSC faculty and staff, students also learned from prominent leaders of the legal community, including:
- Lindsay Joyner, Associate, Gallivan, White & Boyd, PA; President-Elect, SC Bar Young Lawyers Division
- William Witherspoon, Sr. Litigation Counsel, U. S. Attorney’s Office; President, SC Bar
- Michael Wright, Associate, Savage Royall & Sheheen, LLP; President, Kershaw County Bar
- Kathy Helms, Office Managing Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
- Tommy Preston, Director, National Strategy & Engagement at The Boeing Company
- Brad Stratton, Director, Center of Business Communication at Unniversity of South Carolina
- Luis Sierra, Leadership Coach, USC Leadership and Service Center
- Nathan Strong, Director of Organizational and Professional Development at the University of South Carolina
- Charles Appleby, Chief Counsel, SC House Legislative Oversight Committee
- Salley Elliott, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, SC Department of Corrections
- Allison Sullivan, Partner, Bluestein Nichols Thompson & Delgado, LLC
The sessions were led by:
- Duncan Alford, associate dean for the law library and professor of law
- Robert Bockman, senior legal writing instructor
- Emma Dean, chief counsel, SC House Judiciary Committee
- Henry Deneen, executive director of the Center for Global Strategies and of counsel for Murphy & Grantland, PA
- Susan Kuo, associate dean for diversity and inclusion and professor of law
Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley (1967) was the keynote speaker at this year’s certificate ceremony. He reflected on the importance of leadership, especially during two of the most difficult times of his forty-plus year tenure as mayor: Hurricane Hugo and the Charleston Shooting. It was those moments, he said, that made him the leader he is today.
Congratulations to the 2017 Konduros Leaders:
J. Hunter Reams
The Konduros Leadership Development Program was established in 2015 by Jim Konduros, a 1954 law alumnus, who made a generous gift to the School of Law to provide students with scholarships, fellowships and leadership development. Konduros credits the law school for helping him develop the strategic thinking and counseling skills that guided him through a rewarding career, and created the program as a way to give back to current and future students at the School of Law.