John Akula

Senior Lecturer, Law


John Akula is a Senior Lecturer in Law at MIT Sloan, where he has primary responsibility for the business law curriculum. His courses focus on the law-sensitive skills needed by managers in both young and established companies, and the legal framework of entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, and finance. John has also taught in the Biomedical Enterprise Program of the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

John earned a PhD at Harvard, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow, and where his research focused on the evolution of effective legal commitments. After post-doctoral work and earning a law degree, both also at Harvard, he clerked for a Justice of the highest court in Massachusetts, and then spent 15 years practicing law. He was a partner at Herrick & Smith until that firm dissolved in 1985, and then joined Goodwin Procter, one of the nation’s leading law firms, as a partner in its business law department. As a practicing lawyer, he worked with senior managers and boards in a broad range of industries, including banking and health care. His typical role was as managing partner for clients for whom the firm was general counsel, and so he was involved in a great variety of matters. He had a substantial trade association practice, and was heavily involved in the drafting of legislation and regulation.

He left the practice of law in 1991 to return to the academic world. He divided his time between teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and MIT Sloan, and is now full-time at MIT Sloan, where he is also heavily involved in the school’s executive education and international programs.

Faculty Media

  • John Akula: Keeping abreast of the law

    In today's fast-paced, global business environment, senior executives need to stay up to date with key areas of the law that are evolving rapidly. MIT Sloan School of Management's program,...

  • Social Media @ Work Additional Resources

    Additional resources for the Social Media @ Work webinare on November 1, 2012. Includes Collections of company social media policies and other background materials; An unusually good law firm...

  • The Importance of Legal Literacy for Executives

    Lawyers, like doctors, tend to be cautious in their advice says John Akula, Senior Lecturer in Law at MIT Sloan. This is not bad; one would not want ones lawyer or doctor to be cavalier, but it...

  • Law - A Strategic Tool for Leaders

    PROGRAM NEWS: Professional legal advice is not a substitute for informed judgment and leadership, believes John Akula, Senior Lecturer in Law at MIT Sloan. The Washington Post reported last...


Contact Information

Office: E53-309
Phone: 617-452-3619
Fax: 617-253-2660
Support Staff
Name: Patricia Curley
Phone: 617-715-4798

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