March-April 2014

The bar leader as facilitator

FEATURES

The bar leader as facilitator

If you’re in line for bar presidency, it’s natural to think about what you want to do during “your year.” But for the long-term success of the association, everyone needs to participate and be heard. Here, leadership expert and ABA Bar Leadership Institute speaker Jeffrey Cufaude offers a way to do just that: facilitative leadership. “Facilitation is a skill that any individual can master,” he says. Are you ready to learn how?

With student debt skyrocketing and law school applications plummeting, it’s no secret that there’s a crisis in legal education. But did you know that it imperils the progress made in diversifying the profession—and that bar associations can play an important role in turning things around? At its 2014 Midyear Meeting, the National Conference of Bar Presidents focused its opening plenary on this critically important issue.

New lawyers who plan to open their own firm need practical experience. And people whose incomes are too high for legal aid but too low for most lawyers’ fees often have legal needs that go unmet. Attendees at the 2014 Midyear Meeting of the National Conference of Bar Foundations learned about the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project, which aims to bring the two together in order to help launch successful careers while closing this gap in legal access.

Want to start a diversity effort at your bar association? It’s not as simple as holding one luncheon a year or putting a statement on your website. That’s according to an expert panel at the 2014 Midyear Meeting of the National Association of Bar Executives. Find out how to use strategy and collaboration to make your work in this important area as effective as possible—and why even diversity programs should be subject to sunsetting if they’re not working as well as they should.

Just in time for the ABA Bar Leadership Institute, Bar Leader has launched a new project called Life of a Leader. We’ll follow along as a few presidents-elect learn and prepare for the big year that awaits them. Find out what bars our first two correspondents are from, and how you can keep up with this exciting new series.

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