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Battlefield Next Podcast Episode 5: Interview with Mr. Donald Polden

Battlefield Next Podcast Episode 5: Interview with Mr. Donald Polden

March 23, 2020

On today’s podcast we have an is an interview of Mr. Donald Polden, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at Santa Clara University, by Brigadier General Joseph B. Berger, the commanding general of the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, and Colonel Jerrett W. Dunlap, Dean of The Judge Advocate General’s School. The podcast is an addendum to a lecture on “Legal Leadership” given by Mr. Polden to the students of the 68th graduate course.

The episode begins with an introduction of Mr. Polden by COL Dunlap. The discussion addresses why leadership is important in the legal profession, and what makes leadership different in the legal profession. It also addresses the importance of leadership to innovation and leading change, cross-generational challenges in the legal profession, principled counsel, and the future of legal leadership.

Below is a timeline of some of the subject-areas discussed during the episode:

00:00 Episode introduction

00:56 Biography of Mr. Polden

02:20 The importance of legal leadership

03:08 The importance of leadership in the legal profession

04:10 The balance of competition with coordination, cooperation, and collaboration in the legal profession

06:19 The importance of leadership to innovation and leading change

08:19 Cross-generational challenges in the legal profession

11:08 Humility in leadership 

13:20 Principled Counsel

16:55 The future of legal leadership

17:58 Leaders on risk and failure

19:18 Closing remarks


If you’re interested in learning more about some of the topics covered during this episode, we recommend the following additional reading and resources:


Lawyers, Leadership, and Innovation”, by Donald J. Polden.

Leadership Matters: Lawyers' Leadership Skills and Competencies”, by Donald J. Polden.


For more information related to FCD you can follow us on Twitter @jagfcd or by visiting our webpage. If you have recommendations or suggestions about future topics or guests, please send us an email, or you can leave us a comment by signing in below. Finally, if you like what you hear, please leave us a review on iTunes and subscribe to "Battlefield Next" on your favorite podcast app. While this is a podcast created by US Army Judge Advocates from Future Concepts Directorate, our goal is to reach other judge advocates and lawyers across the DoD, law students, and members of academia. Your reviews help make this possible.

For more information about the US Army JAG Corps, you can go here. If you’re interested in joining the Army JAG Corps, you can get more information by contacting the Judge Advocate Recruiting Office (JARO) or by visiting their webpage.

*Music by Joseph McDade

**The views expressed on the podcast are the views of the participants and do not necessarily represent those of The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, the Army, the Department of Defense, or any other agency of the US Government.


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