Leadership Academy | The American Association For Justice

Leadership Academy

The purpose of the Leadership Academy, an initiative of AAJ’s Diversity Committee, is to give AAJ members the skills and techniques needed to make them effective leaders in professional settings, in AAJ, and in their communities. AAJ’s Leadership Academy trains AAJ members who are interested in developing their leadership roles within AAJ.

AAJ is dedicated to ensuring high levels of leadership among its members, and, in particular, among those who are underrepresented within the Association. The Leadership Academy is made up of 14 to 16 plaintiff trial lawyers representing various backgrounds and practice areas. The group attends three sessions held in conjunction with AAJ meetings and conventions. Among other topics, workshops focus on developing emotional intelligence, increasing self-awareness, and the changing nature of leadership for lawyers.

Tuition for those accepted to AAJ’s Leadership Academy is $500. Scholarships are available to those who qualify. 

List of Past Participants

Sample Leadership Academy Alumni Testimonials

  • “I cannot recommend Leadership Academy highly enough. Not only did I learn critical skills on how to lead and manage others, the intimate structure of the class created lifelong friendships with my fellow Leadership Academy graduates and AAJ staff.” – Joseph Gates (Class 5) Paul Byrd Law Firm, PLLC
  • “In order to attain a level of peak performance in your chosen practice of law, it is of utmost importance that you are able to relate well with your staff, manage your time efficiently, manage the inevitable stress in a healthy fashion, and obtain a work/life balance that will keep you thriving as you continue zealously representing your clients. The AAJ Leadership Academy arms you with these vital intangibles, and unlocks your true potential to succeed.” – Nicholas Johnson (Class 4) Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PPLC
  • “I have a newfound sense of confidence in my ability to be an effective leader. I made powerful friendships that I know will last a lifetime and am excited to use all the knowledge I gained during the Academy to help AAJ meet its goals.” –​ Vanessa Cantley (Class 1) Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger, PLC
  • “The things I learned about myself and the tools I acquired through the Leadership Academy helped me to become a better person, which in turn made me a better attorney and advocate for my clients.” – Kye Walker (Class 2) The Walker Legal Group
  • “AAJ Leadership Academy was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I learn invaluable leadership skills, but I met people that I will consider close friends for the rest of my life. It was such a rewarding experience.” – Lindsay Cordes (Class 5), Thomas Law Offices

For more information on Leadership Academy, please contact Durete Thompson at durete.thompson@justice.org or 202 684 9584.


Eligibility/Selection Criteria

  • AAJ member in good standing (Required)
  • Members of underrepresented groups within AAJ are encouraged to apply. 

Mandatory Training: 3 two-day sessions

  • Session A: Spring Board of Governors Meeting - Wednesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 19, 2018 (New York, NY)
  • Session B: 2018 Annual Convention - Thursday, July 5 and Friday, July 6, 2018 (Denver, CO)
  • Session C: Fall Board of Governors Meeting - Wednesday, September 26 and Thursday, September 27, 2018 (Washington, DC)

 

Session A

DAY ONE: MAKING THE CASE

Leadership Academy Overview
Changing Nature of Leadership for Lawyers
Expectations and Discussion of Learning and Engagement
Defining Leadership for Lawyers
Values, Ethics and Professionalism

DAY TWO: LAWYER AS VISIONARY

Communicating for Impact as a Lawyer
Increasing Self Awareness and Personal Effectiveness at the Individual Level for Lawyers including Myers-Briggs Type Inventory Self Assessment
Experiential Activity to Illustrate Behavioral Preferences and the Impact of Preferences on Individual Behavior
Authentic Leadership for Lawyers
Creating a Clear and Compelling Vision

Session B

DAY ONE: LAWYER AS COLLABORATIVE LEADER

Experiential Activity to Predict Team Performance in a Lawyer-Influenced Culture
Leading a Group of Lawyers: Awareness at the Team Level including FIRO-B Self Assessment
Introduction to Feedback Model
Effectiveness Factors for Successful Collaboration
Experiential Activity to Illustrate Effective Collaboration Practices

DAY TWO: LAWYERING AND QUALITY OF LIFE

Lawyer Effectiveness and Quality of Life
Managing Stress
Impact of Diet and Exercise on Lawyering Effectiveness

Session C

DAY ONE: LAWYER AS INFLUENCER

Influence Tactics for Lawyers
Emotional Intelligence for Lawyers
Fundraising
Introduction to Leadership Legacy Project

DAY TWO: PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE

Developmental Networks
Creation of a Development Plan for Lawyers (Individual Development Plan)
Leadership Legacy Project
Summary of Leadership Academy process and Re-Entry into the Workplace

 

If you would like more information regarding AAJ's Leadership Academy, please contact Durete Thompson at durete.thompson@justice.org or 202 684 9584.