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.