Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2012 (Revised June 2013)

The Levees Repaired, a System Still Broken: Post Katrina Turnaround at the Orleans Public Defenders (A)

by Rosabeth M. Kanter and Olivia Leskinen

Abstract

Law Professor Ronald Sullivan was asked to lead a turnaround of the Orleans Public Defenders as a one-year assignment following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The office was underfunded and had perverse incentives embedded throughout the system. Sullivan's new vision to rectify the challenges was not readily accepted by judges and lawyers who benefitted from the flawed system and put up resistance. The case follows Sullivan and his team in their efforts to bring about positive systemic change to the Orleans Public Defenders and at a minimum live up to the principles provided by the American Bar Association.

Keywords: innovation; Management; New Orleans;

Citation:

Kanter, Rosabeth M., and Olivia Leskinen. "The Levees Repaired, a System Still Broken: Post Katrina Turnaround at the Orleans Public Defenders (A)." Harvard Business School Case 313-026, November 2012. (Revised June 2013.)