Oklahoma Bar Journal

The Search for Future Bar Leaders Is Underway

By Linda S. Thomas

I am proud to announce the Oklahoma Bar Association will host its sixth OBA Leadership Academy, one of the association’s premier programs designed for Oklahoma lawyers who want to learn more about bar leadership and may be at a point where bar leadership is a way they can give back to our association. The academy focuses its programming in areas that prepare participants to serve our profession, our bar and our citizens in a variety of leadership roles. It is the perfect forum to promote the goal of recognizing and celebrating lawyers who volunteer, serve and give of themselves.

In 2007, at the direction of then OBA President Stephen Beam, the OBA hosted a two-day Leadership Conference, and from that event the Leadership Academy was born. Since then, five leadership classes have graduated from the academy – 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2015-16. The Leadership Academy fosters the development of tomorrow’s bar leaders, and many of today’s bar leaders are graduates of the academy.

The next Leadership Academy will begin in September 2017 and run through April 2018. There will be four training sessions throughout the year with the graduation ceremony taking place in April. After review of all applications, up to 25 qualified candidates will be chosen by a selection committee for academy membership.

Participants will learn core principles of effective leadership, together with the importance of servant leadership and will leave the academy with better communication skills, a more in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of the OBA and the services offered and a sincere motivation to succeed, not only in their legal career, but also in service to professional, political, judicial, civic and community organizations. To review the programming offered, look for agendas at www.okbar.org/members/Leadership.

Any Oklahoma lawyer in good standing with the OBA may apply. We are looking for a diverse group of lawyers who have a sincere interest in leadership and invite ALL interested OBA members to apply.

There is a $40 nonrefundable application fee, and you are responsible for your own travel expenses. The OBA picks up the costs for all programming, food and, for participants living more than 60 miles away, hotel accommodations.

You must submit your application by July 1.

The sessions will take place in Oklahoma City with the exception of the November session that will take place in Tulsa during the 2017 OBA Annual Meeting, Nov. 1-3.

The personal and professional benefit you will derive through this unique experience will be immeasurable. You will meet and interact with bar leaders and some of the most accomplished legal and community leaders. You will also be exposed to the legislative and judicial systems; you will interact with high-level state and local officials and judges and meet many attorneys from the private and public sectors.

For more information and for a copy of the application, go to www.okbar.org/members/Leadership. Questions? Call or email OBA Educational Programs Director Susan Damron at 405-416-7028, SusanD@okbar.org.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal OBJ 88 pg 983 (May 20, 2017)