The Bar Leadership Institute is a nine-month program designed to foster the professional growth and enhance the leadership skills of a diverse group of Arizona attorneys. The purpose is to increase participation and visibility in the State Bar and the community-at-large among historically under-represented groups, with an emphasis on racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability and geographic diversity. In 2009 the Bar Leadership Institute was selected by the American Bar Association to receive its prestigious Partnership Award.
Since its inception in 2007, the Bar Leadership Institute has prepared more than 75 diverse attorneys for leadership positions within the Bar and the community-at-large. Each participant in the class of approximately 15 students receives:
- Up to two years of CLE credit;
- Leadership and related education and training in an experiential and mentoring learning environment;
- Opportunities to foster relationships with the State Bar of Arizona, minority, women, diversity and specialty bar associations, the judicial, legislative and executive branches of state government, and community leaders.
Participation in the program is limited to attorneys licensed with the State Bar of Arizona with an "active" status. There is a $150.00 fee to participate in the program. The State Bar of Arizona offers fee waivers to assist attorneys who are financially unable to pay the participation fee. Following the program, graduates must commit to one year of participation in the State Bar in some capacity (be it on a committee, section, or by special appointment), and/or participation in another bar association or community organization.
Program sessions cover a variety topics ranging from leadership development, ethics and career development, to conversations with judges, government attorneys, in-house counsel and executives, to name a few. Sessions occur monthly starting with an overnight, kickoff retreat in September.