Learn more about the MBA Leadership Academy

Thursday, Jul. 14, 2016
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The Massachusetts Bar Association is currently accepting nominations and applications for entry into the inaugural MBA Leadership Academy, a 12-month program designed to develop future bar and civic leaders, which will run concurrently with the MBA membership year, starting in September.

MBA President-elect Jeffrey N. Catalano and Vice President Christopher A. Kenney -- the Leadership Academy co-chairs -- have put together answers to some frequently asked questions to shed some more light on what the Leadership Academy is, and what it means for participants.


Q. Who may apply to the Leadership Academy?

The Leadership is for active MBA members in good standing who have been practicing between three and 10 years.

Q. What is required for a completed application?

  • A written nomination by an MBA member other than the applicant
  • Two letters of recommendation supporting the candidate's professional and personal qualifications, MBA experience and commitment, and potential for future leadership at the bar
  • A completed application
  • A resume

Q. What is the deadline?

All materials must be submitted by Aug, 1, 2016.

Q. Is there any cost to participate?

No, there is no fee associated with the Leadership Academy.

Q. What is the purpose of the Leadership Academy?

The purpose of the Leadership Academy is to develop and nurture future leaders within the MBA who will continue to give back to the bar and the greater community. The Leadership Academy will help participants understand how to lead from many perspectives, including how to lead from behind, and how to be compassionate, open-minded and thoughtful leaders.

We wish to increase the number of these kinds of leaders in private, non-profit and governmental organizations, and at the local, state and national levels of government. At the same time, we are seeking to grow and encourage more diversity within bar leadership. Now more than ever we believe the bar needs lawyers from a variety of backgrounds with integrity, character and compassion, who share the desire to be leaders at their firms and in their communities, give back to the profession and the world around them, build coalitions, and inspire others to act.

Q. What type of candidates are you looking for?

Ideally we're looking for lawyers who have a passion for leadership who have already, in some way, demonstrated leadership or taken on responsibilities through volunteer work at bar associations or in the community. We are seeking lawyers who have aspirations of leadership not only at the bar and in their firms, but also people who want to be engaged civically. The Leadership Academy is ideally suited for individuals who really want to give back to society in important ways, such as becoming members of a board of directors or creating new pro bono programs.

Q. What will I get out of the Leadership Academy?

The Leadership Academy will teach important skills and cultivate traits that today's leaders need. For example, it will include a focus on practical skills, such as public speaking, media relations, how to motivate other people and how to run a meeting. But it will also involve elements on the philosophy of leadership, such as how to be a thoughtful leader who listens well and builds bridges and coalitions. The Academy will employ a mix of individual and team learning to encourage collaborative leadership.

After successful completion of the academy's curriculum of educational programming, class projects and mentoring, MBA Leadership Academy graduates will be better prepared to assume leadership roles at the bar, in their firms or organizations, and in government.

Q. What is the expected time commitment?

There will likely be five to six meetings over the course of a year with additional reading materials to review and get familiar with in between. The Leadership Academy offers an amazing opportunity and there will be a certain expectation that Leadership Academy members budget their time and dedicate themselves to the process to make it a worthwhile program. However, we do not expect the time commitment to infringe upon anyone's ability to do their job.

Q. How will I know if I am selected?

A member of the Leadership Academy Steering Committee will contact all applicants with their decision at the beginning of the MBA's 2016-17 year in September.