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LDA Class 6 applications due Nov. 7

Monday, October 17, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Susan Ferrer
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Lawyer members of the Indiana State Bar Association who have been in practice 15 years or less are invited to apply to the ISBA’s Leadership Development Academy. The LDA empowers and develops lawyers to be informed, committed and involved so that they may fill significant leadership roles in local and state bar associations, Indiana communities and organizations, and serve as role models in matters of ethics and professionalism.


LDA graduates are recognized across Indiana as up-and-coming leaders in their communities, the legal profession and the state as a whole. Successful candidates will spend five sessions learning actively from Hoosier leaders, including Indiana Supreme Court justices, Indiana appellate and trial court judges, state and local government officials, business leaders and recognized lawyer leaders from across the state. The program broadly focuses on service to the legal profession, to the community and to oneself.


Successful candidates will be required to attend and participate in all sessions. Remembering that the topics at any session are subject to change and/or variations, here is what the successful candidates can expect out of LDA 6.


Session 1: Jan. 19-21, Fort Harrison State Park, Indianapolis

Session 1 begins with an informal reception on Thursday evening at which class members will meet each other and key members of the LDA faculty and committee. The real work begins Friday morning as class members focus on developing relationships with each other – a necessary component of leadership. Intense activities guided by professional leadership training facilitators will educate class members on servant leadership, consensus building, and recognizing and respecting different learning styles. This sets the tone for the remaining  sessions in the program as the class travels the state to see examples of leadership in action and learn about timely issues affecting Indiana communities.


Session 2: Feb. 13-14, Statehouse, Indianapolis

The class returns to Indianapolis for a session at the beautiful Indiana Statehouse, where class members will learn how to navigate through conflict from a justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, members of the Indiana General Assembly, and other top federal, state and local officials. Through active exercise, panel discussions, interactive group discussions and informal meetings, LDA class members will begin to recognize how the use (or lack thereof) of consensus building and learning styles affects progress and leadership. Students will also learn how to effectively deal with crisis management from a member of the media and other experts in the field. Finally, the class members will learn about the unique role of attorneys when serving on nonprofit boards and how to navigate the potential ethical issues.


Session 3: March 9-10, Valparaiso

In Session 3, LDA 6 travels north to Valparaiso, where these future lawyer-leaders will focus on issues relating to economic development from both city and university leaders. Beginning with Mayor John Costas, the class will hear about how setting a vision can bring about positive changes to a community. The class will also hear about the practical economic realities of implementing that vision. Finally, the myth of parks and arts being a financial drain will be dispelled by city leaders as they present the economic case on how these directly contribute to a community’s bottom line. As the session concludes, the students will learn from Valparaiso University leaders on how a vibrant educational institution can serve as an effective partner in transforming a community.


Session 4: April 20-21, Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Butlerville

Often cited as a highlight of the Leadership Development Academy, the class will rough it in bunk-like facilities at the urban training center in Butlerville. The class sometimes shares the facility with military units or government agencies training to protect our nation, with all the bells and whistles (or choppers and bombs) that go along with it. Session 4 includes an interactive tour of the base and the opportunity to discuss military and disaster readiness with people on the front lines. The class will hear from leaders establishing veterans courts and other specialized courts across the state. Class members should be prepared to get up early for a typical (read: watered down) PT (physical training) session, led by retired army colonel Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven H. David.


Session 5: May 18-20, Bloomington

The final session of LDA 6 will be held in Bloomington. With a focus on biotechnology and health care, the class will learn from business and community leaders how these industries have become an economic driver for the state and our nation. In addition, the class will have an opportunity to explore Bloomington and see firsthand how the university and business community contribute to its uniqueness. After five intense sessions of LDA programming, the class will be treated to dinner and a graduation ceremony, where many of the LDA faculty and committee, as well as representatives from the ISBA and Indiana Bar Foundation, will be on hand to congratulate this ascending group of Indiana leaders.


Class project

As part of the LDA, class participants will develop and carry out a class project that will continue their work together even after graduation. Each of the aforementioned five sessions will include time for intense group discussion and planning in which leadership skills learned through the LDA experience are given practical application.



“The Leadership Development Academy played an important role in my development as a lawyer. I was able to build friendships with attorneys I did not previously know who continue to refer me cases. More importantly, I had an opportunity to meet federal judges in addition to appeals court judges and every state supreme court justice on the bench. Just two years after I graduated from LDA, I had my first oral argument in front of the Indiana Supreme Court, and I felt a sense of relief, knowing that I had already had a familiarity with the justices on the bench. Individuals such as Jeff Hawkins, Justice David and ISBA Executive Director Tom Pyrz helped show me the importance and value of what it means to be an ISBA member. I credit the growth of my practice and professional development to the LDA.” – Russell Cate, LDA Class 2


“Participating in the LDA was one of the wisest investments of my time! I find myself applying the lessons I learned during the program, from both the presenters and my peers, on a daily basis. Without a doubt, the LDA prepared me to become a better leader in both

my profession and my community.” – Cyndi Carrasco, LDA Class 3

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