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Bar News - April 16, 2014

Leadership Academy: Leadership Academy Offers Connections, Perspectives


For me, the NH Bar Association Leadership Academy provided the chance to meet a lot of different people in a short amount of time, all of whom shared an interest in professionalism.

I moved to New Hampshire after graduating from law school and practicing in Virginia. I did not fully realize until I got here that in addition to mild winters, I left behind all of my daily professional relationships. The clerks and bailiffs did not recognize me here, and I no longer had a group of colleagues to turn to about “first” experiences when the inevitable “what do I do with this?” moment came along.

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.
Application Deadline:
July 18
Aug. 29
With the changing economy, those moments started happened more regularly, as my job began shifting to unfamiliar practice areas. When that happens, the most valuable resources for any attorney are his or her fellow attorneys.

Leadership Academy brings together a motivated, diverse group of attorneys from a variety of practice areas from every corner of the state, all with faith in, and respect for, the legal profession. Participants are, in turn, introduced to past classes of the Leadership Academy and to past and present bar association leaders, all familiar with the mission of the Leadership Academy to promote leadership in and outside of the bar association.

I remember being very flattered to have highly respected, local professionals call to congratulate me on being selected to participate, and it opened the door to future conversations.

On a regular basis, the learning sessions in the Leadership Academy curriculum offer the opportunity to meet people in a variety of fields. You have the chance to meet judges and lobbyists, business leaders, media professionals, and nonprofit volunteers. The organizers also incorporate the opportunity to make professional connections at the mid-year and annual bar association meetings, and to reconnect after the academy year concludes.

I am still in a small practice in the Lakes Region, but through Leadership Academy, I have become acquainted with attorneys from Lincoln to Portsmouth to Manchester.

I had a recent case where the opposing counsel also participated in the NHBA Leadership Academy program. What a nice feeling to put our common core of professional skills to the test; I truly think both sets of clients benefitted as a result. Most of all, it was a defining moment for me to feel truly connected to my New Hampshire legal practice.

Suzanne McKenna

Suzanne McKenna grew up and attended law school in Virginia. After practicing for three years she came to New Hampshire with family and currently practices at Martin, Lord & Osman and enjoys every season in the Lakes Region (especially “baseball season”).

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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