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  • August 03, 2022

    'An Awesome Experience:' Sign Up for the G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy

    Interested in gaining more tools and skills to help you succeed, and a network of colleagues to support you? The G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy helps you do just that, say its graduates. Apply for the 2022-23 Leadership Academy by Sept. 12.

    Shannon Green

    Julie Spoke

    Julie Spoke, Office of Lawyer Regulation Deputy Director – Intake​, offers ​comments during a session of the G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy in January 2020.​

    Aug. 3, 2022 – Lawyers in society are often looked to as leaders and decision-makers. This includes government lawyers, often in positions that put them at the center of attention and scrutiny – such as the lawyers who lead the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR​).

    Knowing that, Timothy C. Samuelson, director of the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation, applied for the State Bar of Wisconsin G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy in 2021.

    The Leadership Academy is a multisession training program – with three, two-day sessions in November, February, and April – that fosters leadership skills in Wisconsin lawyers.

    Attending the Academy in 2021-22, Samuelson said the Leadership Academy showed him how to give back to the legal profession, “which in turn makes me more effective at my job. By becoming more involved in the statewide legal community, I expanded my network and continued developing my skills, both of which make me better at doing my job,” Samuelson said.

    In addition to expanding his professional network, Samuelson realized another benefit: “My time management is much more intentional than it had been before I attended the Academy,” Samuelson said.

    Kathryn Galarowicz

    Kathryn Galarowicz (far right) participates in a small group discussion during the Leadership Academy session in April 2022.

    Many Benefits

    Samuelson isn’t the only lawyer at the OLR to attend the Leadership Academy. The Office of Lawyer Regulation Deputy Director – Intake​, Julie M. Spoke, and Trust Account Program Administrator Travis J. Stieren, both attended the Academy in 2019-20. ​ Kathryn Galarowicz, OLR's lead intake investigator, attended in 2021-22.

    As government lawyers, all four recommend the Academy as a career builder.

    “The Leadership Academy is an excellent opportunity for all lawyers to gain essential leadership skills in their daily practice, to meet other attorneys in Wisconsin from all different walks of life, as well to learn about and become more involved with the State Bar,” said Spoke. “Attending was an awesome experience and learning opportunity.”

    Shannon Green Shannon Green is communications writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. She can be reached by email or by phone at (608) 250-6135.

    “The Leadership Academy focuses on many nonacademic skills lawyers need that often aren’t addressed in law school,” said Stieren. “These range from interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and networking, to self-help areas such as time management and mindfulness. Every attorney, regardless of practice area, can benefit from visiting (and revisiting) these types of skills.”

    “I highly recommend the Academy to any attorney who is looking to hone their communication skills and become more engaged in Wisconsin’s legal community,” said Galarowicz. “The Academy provides an excellent opportunity for government lawyers to engage with and learn from government lawyers in other organizations and lawyers in the private sector.”

    The program helps lawyers build skills they need.

    Galarowicz says that, in particular, the training on how to make meetings productive. “I really benefited from the presentation on Making Meetings Magical. I have put into practice tips from the presentation when leading committee meetings in my office, which has made them more productive and also conveyed to my colleagues that I respect and value their time.”

    “Since I attended the G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy, I have become more confident in my abilities as a leader in Wisconsin,” Spoke said. “I have taken on many speaking opportunities on behalf of my agency and become involved in the State Bar of Wisconsin committees. I have gained the confidence to put myself out there and to share my passion, talents, and abilities with other attorneys, especially in the area of attorney well-being.”

    Stieren, who manages the OLR’s Trust Account program – a task that involves providing training and guidance on trust account rules and investigating overdraft matters and grievances – said the Academy helped him meet lawyers in a variety of practice areas, and engage with them about their concerns on ethical issues. “Hopefully, I was able to convey that the Office of Lawyer Regulation is here to serve attorneys as well as other members of the public,” he said.

    That goal is also important to Samuelson, as OLR director. He joined the Academy increase his opportunities for networking with lawyers, especially nongovernment lawyers from outside of Madison. “The Leadership Academy experience not only met but exceeded my expectations” for those goals, he said. “My professional network has been significantly expanded, most notably beyond my local community. My contacts have opened doors for me, and I have speaking engagements across the state that have directly resulted from attending the Leadership Academy.”

    It isn’t only Stieren’s professional skills that were boosted by the Academy. “I was somewhat surprised by the focus on self-care and personal skills. But it stands to reason that before you can lead others, you have to be able to understand and lead yourself in healthy and effective ways.”

    OLR Director Tim Samuelson

    OLR Director Tim Samuelson gives a presentation during the final session of the G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy in April 2022.

    Apply by Sept. 12

    Samuelson’s advice? Apply today. “It’s never too late to get involved with the State Bar. As a lawyer who’s been practicing for 24 years, I was pleasantly surprised that other lawyers of my age and with my level of experience were part of the program. The Academy wasn’t limited to new or young lawyers, either in terms of programming or focus,” Samuelson said.

    In particular, he urges government lawyers to apply. “As a government lawyer based in Madison, I have regular opportunities for informal, positive interactions with others in my local community but fewer of these contacts with professionals in other parts of the state, particularly if they practice in different areas,” he said. “The Leadership Academy connects lawyers to professionals in different communities, including those in different practice areas and locations – and it helped me better connect with lawyers outside of my local community.”

    “Government lawyers should strongly consider attending,” said Spoke. “It provides them with essential tools they can use in their daily practice in a variety of areas from organizational skills to public speaking to legal writing to attorney wellness.”

    Another reason, Samuelson said, is that the Academy provides opportunities to build new skills and refine existing skills in a positive, supportive environment. “The Leadership Academy faculty and attendees were remarkably generous with their time and insightful with feedback, both of which helped me develop and improve my existing leadership skills,” Samuelson said.


    Travis J. Stieren (standing) speaks during a session of the Leadership Academy in January 2020, as Julie Spoke (seated center) looks on.

    About the Leadership Academy

    The Leadership Academy is a comprehensive leadership development-training program created by the State Bar’s Leadership Development Committee. It is specifically designed to empower participants with the skills, strategies, and resources to become effective leaders in their careers, communities, local and state bar associations, and the profession itself. The presenters are highly regarded national and regional speakers in their respective fields.

    The Academy is a multisession training program with two-day sessions held in November, January, and April. These sessions enhance leadership skills, inspire leadership involvement, help build professional networks, and foster the professional development of a diverse group of lawyers.

    The course teaches you how to:

    • develop your time management skills to enhance productivity and efficiency;

    • polish your public speaking to build your reputation and win over your audience;

    • deal effectively with conflicts and turn disputes into opportunities for growth and teamwork;

    • build active listening skills that promote straightforward, competent dialogue; and

    • use effective written and oral communication to connect with others and build trust and respect within your organization.

    The next session of the Leadership Academy begins in November, and Wisconsin lawyers are encouraged to join the program – the deadline to apply is Sept. 12, 2022.​ To apply: Review the application instructions and submit your application by Sept. 12. Applicants will be notified of selection by Oct. 7, 2022.

    Apply by Sept. 12 for 2022-23 G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy

    Apply by Sept. 12 for 2022-23 G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy

    Join the program that gives lawyers skills, strategies, and resources to become effective leaders in the profession and community. Learn more about the G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy​.

    Topics include: effective written and verbal communication, time management, public speaking, conflict resolution, active listening, community leadership, and networking. The program will be submitted for CLE credit.

    • When: Two-day sessions on Nov. 4-5, 2022; Jan. 20-21, 2023; and April 21-22, 2023. Attendance at all sessions is required.

    • Where: State Bar Center, Madison

    • Apply by: Sept. 12, 2022 (space is limited)

    • Cost: $325. A limited number of tuition scholarships are available on the basis of financial need. For more information, review the application instructions.

    To apply: Review the application instructions and submit your application by Sept. 12. Applicants will be notified of selection by Oct. 7, 2022.

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