Leadership Academy

The ISBA Leadership Academy’s mission is to enhance the professional careers of young, diverse members of the Illinois Bar. The program aims to serve the next generation of legal professionals by providing training to become effective leaders in the community.

Members of the Academy will be selected from a pool of nominations from ISBA members as well as self-nominations. In its inaugural year, 25 candidates were selected.

Now in its second year, the Academy will welcome new class members for a hybrid virtual and (hopefully) in-person sessions. To achieve diversity among the participants, qualified individuals will be sought from different backgrounds; large, small, and solo firms; private and public sectors; different practice area; and different areas of the state.

All ISBA members within 3 to 10 years of practice are eligible to participate. Each selected candidate will be required to attend all sessions in their entirety. Upon graduating, each member of the Academy will be appointed to a section council or committee of their choice.

Class members will be notified of their selection by early May 2021. A tuition fee of $750 for each participant will be expected. A limited number of scholarships may be available.

The 2021 Academy will meet six times beginning in June of 2021 and concluding in December of 2021. Below are the following dates and descriptions for the 2021 Leadership Academy.  

Session 1: Welcome & Orientation
June 2021
Virtual Event

Session 2: Laying the Foundation for a Successful & Fulfilling Legal Career
August 2021
Virtual or Chicago  

Session 3: Practical Perspectives & Skills  
September 2021
Downstate, IL  

Session 4:  Diversity, Equity & Inclusion  
October 2021
Chicago, IL

Session 5: The Court & the Legislature  
November 2021
Springfield, IL

Session 6: Graduation
December 2021
Chicago, IL  

Many courses will receive MCLE and PMCLE credits (subject to final approval). Due to the pandemic, courses may be held virtually.

Applications will close on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 4 pm.

Please email Melissa Burkholder at mburkholder@isba.org if you have any questions