March-April 2013

Changing times, changing leadership academies: Bars focus on connection, community, careers


Changing times, changing leadership academies: Bars focus on connection, community, careers

Bar association leadership academies are usually thought of as a great way to encourage members—often relatively new lawyers who are selected with an eye toward diversity—to take on leadership roles in the bar. That’s still true, but the economy and other factors are prompting many bars to sharpen their focus on helping participants be leaders within their law firms and their communities as well.

“Diversity is being invited to the party, but inclusion is being asked to dance.” That’s according to Vernā Myers, an author and expert on diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Myers advised attendees at this year’s BLI on how to overcome the biases that each of us has in order to make sure the bar association is as welcoming and inclusive as it can and should be. Do you know what your own biases are, and how to avoid the “fish in water” problem?

Just because a bar association has a small staff—or no staff at all—doesn’t mean it can’t make big plans. But the question is, who will do the work? At BLI this past March, a panel of past presidents of unstaffed or minimally staffed bar associations shared how they collaborated with other bars, kept their volunteers on task, and otherwise made smart use of their time and other resources. Elizabeth M. Derrico, associate director of the ABA Division for Bar Services, highlighted some ways the division can help.

Here are the sponsors who gave their generous support to this year’s ABA Bar Leadership Institute.

Will there ever come a time when an iPad or other tablet can be your main—or only—mobile computer? Possibly. Until that day comes, there are a number of apps, tips, and tools that can help you do more with your iPad and leave your laptop at home. In a fast-paced workshop at the NABE Midyear Meeting in Dallas this February, technology consulant Tom Mighell highlighted some of his favorites.


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