About the 2021 ABA Bar Leadership Institute

Registration has closed for BLI 2021.

Program Highlights

Wednesday, March 3

  • 3:00 PM | Start Your Journey: Making the Most of Your BLI Experience

Wednesday, March 17  

  • 10:00 AM CST | Programming begins
  • Welcome from ABA President Patricia Lee Refo and SCOBAS Chair Jonathan Cole
  • Finding Your Voice as a Bar Leader: An Interview with Valerie B. Jarrett
  • You Are Here: Understanding the Path Forward
  • ABA Executive Director on the National/State Partnership
  • Decision-Making in the New World Order
  • Drink Local! (Networking Event)
  • 3:00 PM CST | Programming ends

Thursday, March 18

  • 10:00 AM CST | Programming begins
  • Welcome from SCOBAS Chair
  • Motivation and Engagement in Challenging Times, with Daniel Pink
  • Strategy Sessions/Facilitated Discussions (concurrent)
    • Strategy During a Dumpster Fire
    • We Belong: Fostering a Member-Centric Mindset
    • Understanding Bar Finances (Even if You Were an English Major): Guidance & Tactics for Bars of all Sizes
    • Discussion with ABA President Patricia Lee Refo and ABA President-elect Reginald M. Turner, Jr. and on leadership as a team sport.
    • Making the Most of this Moment: 40 Tips for Bar Leaders
    • End of Day/Show us your Service reminder
  • 2:45 PM CST | Programming ends

Friday, March 19

  • 10:00 AM CST | Programming begins
  • Welcome from SCOBAS Chair & Raffle
  • Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Al Tillery
  • Facilitated discussions/small groups by bar size & type
  • We Are All Content Creators: Understanding Today's Media Landscape
  • Engage & Impact: Bar Associations and the ABA House of Delegates with Barb Howard, Chair of the ABA House of Delegates
  • Facilitating Better Discussion, Decisions & Results with Jeffrey Cufaude
  • Skill Building Workshops (concurrent)
    • Presidential Communications
    • Storyteller-in-Chief: Effective Messaging for Bar Leaders
    • Sparking Joy: Cleaning the Bar’s Cluttered Closet
  • Preparing to Lead: Closing Remarks with Jeffrey Cufaude
  • 3:15 PM CST | Programming ends

Mission of the ABA Bar Leadership Institute

The ABA Bar Leadership Institute (BLI) is the American Bar Association’s premier leadership program. Through it, the ABA seeks to advance the legal profession and justice system by supporting the work of state, local, and specialty bars and their leaders.

We do this by:

  • Developing the leadership capacity of elected bar leaders and executive staff,
  • Exploring leaders’ complex roles and responsibilities, and promulgating exceptional organizational practices,
  • Illuminating emerging trends among bar organizations, the legal profession and the justice system, and
  • Encouraging inter-bar cooperation.

Who Attends?

Presidents-elect, other officers on the leadership ladder, and executive directors/CEOs from:

  • State and local bars
  • National, state and local diversity bars
  • National, state and local women’s bars
  • National, state and local specialty bars

Chairs-elect, other officers on the leadership ladder, and staff directors from:

  • ABA sections
  • ABA Young Lawyers Division
  • State and local bar young lawyer affiliates

If you have a question about whether the ABA Bar Leadership Institute is the right program for you, please contact our registrar, Katie Binhack.