Introduction to Problem SolvingProblem-solving for lawyersThis course develops tools for solving problems and creating opportunities. It describes and teaches skills that professionals often develop only from decades of experience. Drawing on examples from public policy, business, and technology, and with a strong emphasis on team approaches to complex problem-solving, we will explore:- Risk: ways that innovators, entrepreneurs, and seasoned problem-solvers necessarily triage and manage risk when dealing with complex problems. How can legally trained professionals move beyond issue spotting and become partners in navigating difficult situations? Given that we live in a world where risk cannot be eliminated, but also given that risk-laden situations are frequently the best places to create opportunity, how should we think about risk in ways that will best serve clients and colleagues?- Teamwork: team approaches to problem solving. While lawyers are trained extensively to analyze problems by themselves, many assignments encountered in practice are necessarily multi-disciplinary and require working in teams. What are the best practices and essential skills of successful teams? How do we as professionals develop systematic, effective approaches to solving complex problems working in cooperation with others?- Managing problem-solving: how do we manage ourselves, manage chaos, and create solutions when conditions are challenging and the stakes are high?- Innovating and creating: how do we foster creativity and innovation? How do we best prepare ourselves to generate creative solutions?The course includes a wide variety of readings, projects, and exercises and will include experiential and project-based assignments. Goals include preparing students to work effectively with innovation, entrepreneurship, and problem-solving, and as leaders of strong, cross-functional teams.
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