Bar News - May 21, 2014
Leadership Academy: I Was Surprised to Learn...
By: Anthony Augieri
I came to the Leadership Academy after having practiced for nearly 10 years, both in Boston and at the two largest law firms in New Hampshire. That made me skeptical of what I could learn by applying to be part of the Leadership Academy’s inaugural class of 2011. As it turned out, I learned more than I could have imagined. I took away not only general leadership principles, but also specific practice tips that I continue to use today.
As part of the judicial module, I was assigned to spend a day on the job with Circuit Court Judge Paul Moore. He could not have been more gracious and took the role of mentor seriously. My day featured a particularly busy docket for Judge Moore. I went into this module with preconceived notions that the courts were overworked, lacked resources, and struggled to maintain dockets. While this is true, I came away amazed at how efficient the court system is and how simple techniques can increase efficiency and allow all parties to be heard, at least on the day I observed.
Leadership Academy 2015
The next Leadership Academy class will be admitted in September 2014. Until then, some graduates are taking to the pages of Bar News to reflect on their Leadership Academy experiences. Read more about Leadership Academy.
“Less is more” is the most important piece of advice Judge Moore gave me. As litigators, we are trained to identify all possible issues and to cover them sufficiently. While a number of issues in a dispute may need to be addressed, he told me to try to make my argument in two pages. And once I have drafted my pleading, revise it again, concentrating on making my argument even more concise.
I also discovered that Judge Moore uses dictation to start drafting his orders immediately after court hearings. I found this to be extremely efficient, but also surprising, given the perception that the courts lack resources and modern technology. I was so impressed that I now use dictation software in my practice today. In fact, this article is being dictated using dictation software.
Other elements of Leadership Academy continue to resonate. We learned practical ways to participate in volunteer organizations, heard first-hand about the history of the Manchester business community joining together to face economic challenges, and learned from Statehouse insiders about how the state budget is put together – there were many memorable Leadership Academy experiences.
I strongly recommend applying to the Leadership Academy. You will be surprised at what you learn; and those lessons and experiences will stay with you as you continue in your career and community pursuits.
Anthony Augieri practices with the Augieri Law Group in North Andover, Mass., concentrating on litigation and appellate law, particularly in employment law and business disputes. He is chair of the Bar News Editorial Advisory Board and is active in his community, serving on the executive board of the Atkinson Youth Baseball and Softball League.