Bar Leadership Institute

Applications for the next BLI cohort open May 1  

Please check back to apply for the 2019-2020 class.  

 Program Overview

The Bar Leadership Institute (BLI) is a nine-month professional development program whose mission is to foster the professional growth and enhance the leadership skills of a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers.

The BLI has three components:

  • Training and Education - Nine leadership training and legal practice education sessions beginning in September. May qualify for up to two years of CLE credit.
  • Community Service Project - The class prepares and executes a community service project. Time will be set aside during the sessions for completion of most of the project, but participants may need to communicate or meet outside of the sessions.  
  • Service - Upon completion of the BLI, participants commit to one year of service in a State Bar section, committee or working group, or other professional association or community organization.

Program Requirements

To be considered for the program applicants must:

  • Be an active member in good standing with the State Bar of Arizona.
  • Admitted to practice law in a U.S. jurisdiction for at least two (2) years.  Eligibility is based on date of bar admission.
  • Commit to attend all sessions
  • Commit to one year of participation in the State Bar, through membership in a committee, section or special appointment and/or participate in an affinity bar association or community organization.

Here's what graduates say about the BLI: 

"This program was an incredible opportunity to meet a wide variety of leaders in the Arizona legal community.  What other program can offer you the leadership training and opportunity to network with Supreme Court Justices, general counsels and prosecutors in an intimate setting."

"There is nothing else like it. It expands our vision beyond our immediate work to remind/inspire us to consider ourselves not just as attorneys but as community leaders."

"The information and experience was invaluable. I have had many leadership doors opened because of this experience."

BLI in the News

Congratulations to Doreen McPaul, Class of 2013, and Gaetano "Guy" Testini, Class of 2010, who were appointed to the State Bar Board of Governors to fill vacancies for southern Arizona and Maricopa County respectively.

Bar Leadership Institute Turns 10 - Arizona Attorney Article

Congratulations to Benjamin Taylor, Class of 2010, Jessica Sanchez, Class of  2013 and Pouria Paknejad, Class of 2016, who were elected to the State Bar of Arizona's Board of Governors.

Jessica Sanchez, Class of 2013 and Freddy Saavedra, Class of 2017, have been selected to receive the prestigious "HNBA Top Lawyers under 40" Award by the Hispanic National Bar Association.  This award honors accomplished lawyers who have demonstrated professional excellence, integrity, leadership, commitment to the Hispanic community and dedication to improving the legal profession. Congratulations Jessica and Freddy!

Laine Sklar, Class of 2015 was appointed Town Magistrate for the Town of Marana. Sklar is Marana's first female Town Magistrate. 

K Royal, Class of 2008, received the Member of the Year Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel.  K was selected from from more than 40, 000 fellow members for her exceptional contributions and dedication to the Association. 

Alison Bachus, Class of 2010, was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court by Governor Doug Ducey.

Diandra Benally, Class of 2010, was named General Counsel for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the first woman ever appointed to that position. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2017-2018!


The Bar Leadership Class of 2018-2019 is thankful to the following sponsors: 

Partner Sponsor

Perkins Coie

Bronze Sponsor

Bryan Cave Polsinelli
Fennemore Craig
Advocate Sponsors
Osborn Maledon, P.A.
Host & Reception Sponsors
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite Fennemore Craig
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A. Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Summit & Reception Sponsor
Rose Law Group
Supporting Association Sponsor
Arizona Black Bar

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