December 11, 2020

Business Law Fellows

The mission of the Business Law Fellows Committee is to encourage the participation of diverse lawyers in Section activities, provide a springboard to leadership opportunities and develop future leaders of the Section.

Building the future leaders of the Business Law Section today!

Because of my decision to apply, I now have connections with legal experts known all around the world. I can speak to genuine experts on any legal topic and I know that I only have that kind of network because I participated in the Business Law Leadership Fellows Program.

Jason Goitia

(2010-2012), Lawyers with Disabilities Subcommittee Chair

About the Program

For over 20 years, the Fellows Program has represented the ABA Business Law Section’s commitment to encouraging the participation of diverse lawyers in Section activities. Through the Fellows Program, young lawyers, lawyers of color, lawyers with disabilities and LGBT lawyers are provided a springboard to substantive leadership roles within the Section through unique leadership roles, mentorships and subsidized attendance at Business Law Section Meetings.

  • Leadership Experience
    Participants in the program are provided a path to Section Leadership though unique leadership positions within their substantive committees and the Business Law Fellows Committee. Additionally, Fellows are introduced to the Section’s structure and opportunities for leadership.
  • Mentors
    Current Fellows are assigned program alumni mentors and substantive committee mentors. Mentors are expected to help Fellows navigate the Section and the Business Law Fellows Program and to identify and maximize the opportunities for participation within the Section.
  • Meeting Attendance Subsidy
    Meeting attendance is critical to Section Leadership growth. To assist Fellows in attending each meeting, program participants are reimbursed, consistent with the Section policies, for their attendance at the Business Law Section Spring Meeting, Business Law Section Annual Meeting, and one stand-alone meeting per year, for their term.  A total of 6 meetings will be reimbursed for each Business Law Fellow.
  • Liaisons to Diverse Bar Organizations
    In addition to the Business Law Fellows Program goal of increasing participation of Diverse Lawyers, the Section also hopes to build stronger relationships with diverse bar organizations. Fellows are expected to enhance knowledge about the Section among members of other diverse bar organizations.
The Fellows program is designed to provide opportunity, support, training, camaraderie, and encouragement. I am extremely proud of the Business Law Section; its leadership, action, and vision over the years; and its sincere commitment to its members and to the profession.

Pat Clendenen

(2000-2002), Business Law Section Chair-Elect

Facts and Figures

  • Since the program’s inception, 228 Fellows have participated in the Fellows program.
  • To date, 65% of former Fellows are actively involved in the Section.
  • 31% of former Fellows currently hold leadership positions within the Section.
  • 10% of Section Committee Chairs are Fellow alumni.
The Fellows Program helped me to gain an understanding of the structure of the ABA and our Section. I could speak with program-specific mentors who would further my understanding but also, help me to determine my goals within the ABA.

Anne Gwal

(2012-2014) Business Law Section Council Member

Application Process

Applications for the 2021-2023 Business Law Fellows must be submitted via online form by Friday, May 7, 2021. Applicants will be notified of the status of their submission in July 2021.

All application materials are due Friday, May 7, 2021. All applicants must have demonstrated leadership involvement within the ABA, Business Law Section, and/or a bar organization committed to one of the following areas:

  • Young lawyer (under 40 years of age or in practice for less than 10 years)
  • Lawyer of color
  • LGBT lawyer
  • Lawyer with a disability

Ideal candidates will be in at least their 5th year of practice or higher.

To learn more about the program, review the Fellows Essential Information. Contact Gina Dickinson at (312) 988-5316 or with any questions.



  • Hon. Mac R. McCoy
  • Cara Bradley