Skillful supervision and management is an essential ingredient of a high-quality, effective legal aid delivery system. To build stronger and more effective organizations, legal aid and public interest law providers must institute supervision and management systems that encourage innovation, nurture talents, support diversity and reward hard work. Supervising for Quality & Impact provides an introduction to the skills and organization systems necessary to guide the work of legal aid providers and staff. 

Learning objectives: In your role as supervisor, you will be able to:

  • Identify three primary roles of supervisors and competencies and skills related to each;
  • Recognize at least four systems necessary to support effective performance management of supervisees;
  • Work effectively with supervisees across a broad range of differences;
  • Match the development needs of supervisees with the appropriate style of supervision;
  • Delegate effectively;
  • Provide effective constructive feedback;
  • Develop a plan for strengthening your supervisory skills in selected areas.

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Offered through the Shriver Center’s online campus: 

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Constructive Feedback
  • Delegation
  • Developing Supervision Systems
  • Effective Workgroups & Teams
  • Introduction to Supervision Systems
  • Managing & Resolving Conflicts
  • Performance Review & Motivation
  • Professional Development Planning
  • Supervising Across Differences
  • Supervision Stages and Cycle
  • Supervision Tips & Problem-Solving

David Cruickshank is a Partner with Edge International. He advises law and other professional services firms on practice management, strategy, governance, leadership development and talent retention strategies. He works with managing partners, professional development directors and partners, and hiring partners to convert training to a strategic advantage of the firm. David creates customized programs on leadership, legal project management (LPM), time management, delegation, feedback and business development skills.

David has also worked on partner development in AmLaw top 50 firms. He has designed customized partner-level courses for many AmLaw 200 firms. He has worked as a training consultant in top firms in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States since 1990. David has run “trainer the trainer” programs in more than 30 law firms, law schools and legal services organizations. He is well known academically in the field of legal skills education. He currently teaches as an adjunct at the Pepperdine Law School master’s program and is a frequent conference speaker.

David was recently a consultant at KermaPartners and before that, Director of Professional Development at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in New York. He has a master’s degree in law from Harvard Law School. His law degree and B.A. were earned at the University of Western Ontario. David is based in New York City.


Ellen Hemley, Shriver Center Vice President of Training, oversees the Center's Training Department which provides a full range of education, training and leadership development that support legal aid and public interest advocates capacity to obtain justice for the clients and communities they serve.  Prior to joining the Shriver Center, Ellen served as executive director of the Center for Legal Aid Education (CLAE). Previously, Ellen was Director of Training at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. She also served for many years as an independent consultant serving legal aid networks, bar foundations and justice-related programs across the country.


Ada Shen-Jaffe is an independent consultant and coach focusing on strategic thinking, race equity, organizational change and leadership development. As a Professor from Practice and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Seattle University School of Law from 2005-June of 2014, she taught “Lawyering for a Just & Humane World”, “Advanced Civil Equal Justice”, “Poverty Law” and “Advanced Lawyering: Equal Justice Leadership & Advocacy” using frameworks for inclusion, diversity and cross-difference competence as a justice imperative, multiple dimensions/multi-forum advocacy, community engagement, and the Sargent Shriver National Poverty Law Center’s “Seven Core Leadership Capacities” model. From 1986 to 2005, she served as statewide Director of Columbia Legal Services and Evergreen Legal Services. Ada was instrumental in the achievement of mission-based statewide restructuring to preserve and protect the overall statewide capacity of the equal justice movement to engage in full-range client community-based advocacy. She played key roles in securing state funding, creating Legal Aid for Washington Fund (LAW Fund), the Endowment for Equal Justice, and in the creation of the WA State Access to Justice (ATJ) Board. At the statewide and national levels, she has served on numerous boards, committees and task forces such as the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid & Indigent Defendants (SCLAID), Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service, the Clinton Administration’s Legal Services Corporation Transition Team, Institute on Race & Poverty, National Center on Women & Family Law, Center on Law & Social Policy, ATJ Nominating & Leadership Committee, Conference Planning Committee and Equal Justice Coalition, Minority & Justice Commission and many others.