Jennifer Leonard


Chief Innovation Officer, University of Pennsylvania


Jennifer Leonard is Penn Law’s chief innovation officer and executive director of the Future of the Profession Initiative (FPI). Jen advances educational and thought leadership projects that integrate an evolving understanding of the skills and knowledge lawyers need to thrive in a rapidly changing professional landscape. She and her colleagues also develop projects that engage Penn Law students and creative thinkers from other disciplines in designing solutions that make civil legal systems more accessible.


Jen teaches Modern Law Firm Business Strategy, a course that explores the many trends contributing to an unprecedented era of change in the legal industry. She also teaches Innovation in Practice: Design Thinking for Legal Professionals. This experiential class teaches law students how a client-centered mindset and powerful problem-solving frameworks can generate new solutions to intractable legal service delivery challenges.


Jen previously served as Penn Law’s associate dean for professional engagement and as director of the Center on Professionalism. Jen was chief of staff to the City of Philadelphia Law Department from 2008–2013. She also practiced as a litigator with a Center City law firm and worked as a judicial law clerk.


Jen’s work promotes greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession, including through her service on NALP’s Driving Inclusion in the Legal Industry Task Force. She also focuses on improving the health and well-being of the legal community. She and her colleagues design various activities, including a Professional Responsibility module on the connection between attorney well-being and ethical obligations to clients, that support law students in understanding and responding to the pressures of practice. She has also served on the ABA Law Practice Attorney Well-Being Committee.


Jen received Penn’s Beverly Edwards Memorial Award for Excellence in Leadership. Her community service includes her role as vice president of the board of directors for The Caring Center, an exemplary early childhood education center in Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood.


Jen graduated from Penn Law School in 2004 and Penn State University in 2000. She lives in the Art Museum area of Philadelphia with her family.