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Bar News - November 19, 2010

Putting Our Future in Good Hands: Bar’s Leadership Academy Launched

Leadership Academy members apply their new skills in brainstorming ideas for service projects. (L-R) Attorneys Patrick O’Day, Lisa Wolford, Rachel Goldwasser, Donald Sienkiewicz, and, speaking, Patrick Taylor.

Sarah Mattson (at left) chats with Rachel Goldwasser and Cathryn Vaughn at Leadership Academy retreat.

NHBA President-Elect Jennifer Parent, who helped speerhead the charter Leadership Academy with past president Richard Uchida, addresses the Leadership Academy Class of 2011.
Sixteen attorneys from throughout the state and a variety of practice settings form the charter class of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Leadership Academy. The program began this month with a fast-paced retreat that provided participants with training on leadership skills and the opportunity to immediately apply them to create service projects.

The NHBA Leadership Academy is a yearlong project that includes workshops and events nearly every month to expose participants to people and institutions in the state. The program kicked off with a two-day retreat featuring Michael Brandwein, a lawyer and national speaker on organizational effectiveness and leadership, on Nov. 5-6 in Meredith.

The Leadership Academy program aims to identify, inspire and train emerging leaders of the legal profession in New Hampshire. The Academy was open to NHBA members with 3-to-10 years’ legal experience, and attracted a strong field of applicants. A steering group headed by NHBA President-Elect Jennifer L. Parent and Past President Richard Y. Uchida developed the program, and selected the applicants.

"The interest shown in the application process is a good sign for the future, and the diverse group of ‘charter’ Academy participants is an inspiration," said NHBA Executive Director Jeannine McCoy. "The Bar members who have worked to first determine if, and how, to do a Leadership Academy in New Hampshire, and then to develop the program, are themselves examples of how leaders in the legal profession give back to their community."

In addition to receiving skills and exposure, the Academy participants, working in three small groups, will create and implement a service project this year.

In evaluations, some participants seemed almost overwhelmed with how much was accomplished during the retreat, which began on Friday and ended before lunch on Saturday. "Unbelievably broad, useful and invaluable," commented one. "Extremely well-thought-out and executed," wrote another participant. "Not a minute felt wasted. I felt privileged to be here from start to finish."

Participants or their firms paid $500 each to participate in the Class of 2011 Leadership Academy, although financial assistance was available to some participants. More than a dozen past presidents of the NH Bar Association have contributed money to support the Leadership Academy initiative.

The first monthly program takes place on Nov. 30 and will focus on nonprofit governance issues, with presentations and panel discussions. The Academy participants also will further discuss their service project plans.

Visit our Leadership Academy web page for a list of participants and continuing coverage of the Leadership Academy.

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