Changing Up the “Man Rules” in the Law

A Program to Help Men Become Happier, Healthier, and Better, More Inclusive Leaders

Men as a group have enjoyed more power than others. Yet many men in the legal profession are struggling at work and beyond. 

Many men are unhappy, stressed, and unsure of how to find their way in today’s conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Men socialized to be stoic, calculating combatants can find contemporary calls to embrace compassion, collaboration, and equity confusing. The long-overdue reckoning over privilege in the profession can feel like yet another source of stress--one mixed with shame. And older men are often at a loss for how to relate to and motivate younger colleagues who expect emotional expressivity and an egalitarian culture. 

Many attorneys who are men also find it hard to build positive bonds with their families, thanks to long hours on the job and the difficulty of shifting from an adversarial mindset at work to a more affectionate one at home.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

It's time to recognize that traditional masculinity harms men too. Time to offer to help men evolve in ways that help them and everyone around them. Time to weave male attorneys into conversations about DEI for healthier, more effective workplaces--where everyone belongs and can flourish.   

The Program

Based on a successful pilot project, the three-month virtual program explores the way a conventional, “confined” version of manhood contributes to a hyper-masculine legal profession–one that looks down on vulnerability, lionizes rugged individualism and promotes excessive aggression. The program helps men develop a “liberating” masculinity that frees men and everyone around them to thrive at work and beyond.

The Institute for an Inclusive Legal Profession (IILP) is offering this program in partnership with Ed Frauenheim, co-author of the book Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection and Ellen Ostrow, Ph.D., PCC, CMC, Founding Principal of Lawyers Life Coach LLC.

Program Details: 

  • Changing Up the “Man Rules” in the Law invites male attorneys to read Ed’s book and practice the “5Cs” designed to help men evolve their beliefs and behaviors: Curiosity, Courage, Compassion, Connection and Commitment. 

  • Men in the program will join a cohort of up to 10 other male attorneys in a facilitated group experience. The curated, collective design enables men to find wisdom and inspiration from peers, take risks in a supportive community and accelerate their learning.

  • Participants will meet twice monthly as a cohort with facilitators over Zoom. They will discuss progress in challenging and evolving deep-seated expectations for men. They will practice skills such as authentic communication, vulnerability and self-compassion. And they will explore how to integrate conventional and emerging versions of masculinity for greater personal happiness, improved performance and more inclusive leadership.

Program Options:

Changing Up the “Man Rules” in the Law is offered in two formats:

  • Individual Attorneys Option
    • Cohort includes men from different organizations (either self-funded or organization-funded).
    • Maximum of 10 attorneys per cohort.
    • The group meetings and support described above.
    • Option for 1:1 coaching.
    • Option to join ongoing call with participants from other cohorts after program ends.
    • Investment: $1,650 per attorney. IILP’s Visionary Partners, Partners, and Allies receive a discounted rate of $1,400. 
    • Register now for Fall 2024 Cohort (Virtual Kick Off Meeting, September 10). 
  • Organizational Option
    • All men in the cohort come from the same legal organization.
    • Minimum of five and maximum of 10 attorneys per cohort.
    • In addition to the group meetings and support described above, program facilitators will host a company-wide webinar in which cohort members share their experiences and takeaways for wider learning across the organization.
    • Option to spread the program over the course of six months with monthly instead of twice-monthly meetings.
    • Option for 1:1 coaching.
    • Option to run additional cohorts at organization at discounted rates.
    • Option to continue facilitated cohort meetings/check-ins.
    • Investment: $20,000. IILP’s Visionary Partners, Partners, and Allies receive a discounted rate. Email for more information.

Comments from Pilot Program Participants:

Participating in this Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession cohort and panel has been one of the most wonderfully humbling seasons of my life where I have been challenged to relearn masculinity in ways to make me a better leader in both my professional and personal spheres of influence.

Daniel L. (DL) Morriss, Partner, Diversity & Inclusion Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

“Engaging with my team from a place of compassion was revolutionary…My personal happiness increased.”

–Ethan Scapellati, Counsel, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program, which was unlike any training program I have ever done. Thank you Ed Frauenheim, Sandra Yamate, and the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession for deploying such thoughtful programs that tackle the root causes of the problems that plague our profession.”

–Jeremiah Chan, Director and Associate General Counsel at Meta


Ed Frauenheim is about reinventing masculinity, workplaces and society--and connecting the dots among the three for a more soulful world. He is a writer, speaker and consultant who has focused on workplace, technology and culture matters for more than 25 years. His stories have been featured in USA Today, Harvard Business Review and Fortune. Ed spent several years as director of research at Great Place to Work, the global consultancy that produces the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list. He’s co-written four books, including A Great Place to Work For All and Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and ConnectionEd lives in San Francisco. He is the father of two adult children and husband to artist and educator Rowena Richie.

Ellen Ostrow, Ph.D., PCC, CMC is a psychologist, certified coach, strategic talent advisor, and Founding Principal of Lawyers Life Coach LLC who brings particular expertise in coaching, training and advising lawyers and the law firms and corporations that employ them. Since starting her firm in 1998, Ellen has coached hundreds of attorneys throughout the world at all levels of experience and seniority in law firms of all sizes, corporate legal departments, government, not-for-profits and the judiciary. Ellen’s articles have been published in outlets including the New York Law Journal Magazine, Perspectives and The Woman Advocate. Ellen lives in suburban Washington, DC. with her husband and two cats, remotely parents her adult children in Las Vegas and Bel Air and adores her two grandchildren.

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