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  • WisBar News
    July 18, 2016

    Become a Leader: Apply for State Bar Leadership Academy by Aug. 15

    The G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy, a new State Bar of Wisconsin program, aims to give lawyers skills, strategies, and resources to become effective leaders in the profession and community. Apply by Aug. 15, 2016, to be included in its inaugural class.

    July 18, 2016 – It’s your opportunity to improve your ability to resolve conflicts, communicate more effectively, hone time management skills, and manage difficult conversations – and to learn how to have an influence on your own community.

    You can learn these skills and more at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s first-ever G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy, a multisession training program to enhance the leadership skills, inspire leadership involvement, build professional networks, and foster the professional development of Wisconsin’s lawyers.

    The goal of the Leadership Academy is to improve the leadership skills of lawyers who are interested in becoming leaders in their local community and bar associations, state or local government organizations, or with the State Bar.

    About the G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy

    The program aims to give lawyers skills, strategies, and resources to become effective leaders in the profession and community.

    When: Nov. 4-5, 2016; Feb. 3, 2017; and April 28-29, 2017

    Where: State Bar Center, Madison

    Apply by: Aug. 15, 2016

    Cost: $250

    The program will be submitted for CLE credit; participants will be notified of the number of credits available when approved.

    Hone Leadership Skills

    The Leadership Academy will create opportunities for lawyers to build relationships with other lawyers as well as with their communities – and improve their professional development, confidence, and satisfaction.

    Learning leadership skills and taking up a position in an organization has been a great boost to State Bar President Fran Deisinger’s career. “Looking back, I wish I had gotten started in leadership much earlier in my career,” says Deisinger.

    The Leadership Academy is something not to miss, no matter where you are in your career, encourages Deisinger.  “My advice is don’t wait. The G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy is a tremendous opportunity to learn valuable communication and organizational skills for leadership positions of all kinds – in State Bar and legal associations, in the community, and even in your own workplace.”

    “Leadership positions require commitment and dedication, but serving as a leader is very rewarding,” says Rhinelander attorney Amy Ferguson, who volunteers with the State Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, her local bar association, the local YMCA, and with the high school mock trial program. “It is a great way to give back to your community, meet new people, build connections, and make friends. Many of us became lawyers to help others solve their problems, so we should use our training and talents to help others by filling local leadership positions.”

    Benefits Your Practice

    Holding leadership positions can be a great boost to your practice, according to lawyers around the state.

    Medford attorney Courtney Graff said holding leadership roles has put her more in touch with her community. It also establishes connections within her community – consequently generating more referrals. “It allows me to relate better to my clients, who are also part of this community,” she said.

    Be a Trailblazer for Change

    Lawyers are trailblazers for change, said Beloit attorney Lindsay Healless, who is a coach for a self-esteem program for girls in the third through fifth grades. She encourages all lawyers to step outside their comfort zones and become a leader.

    “By being involved, one truly learns what’s going on in the community and what challenges the community is facing,” which allows you to better serve your community, Healless said.

    Benefits to Community

    Communities need leaders – and being a community leader creates exposure and credibility in the community when dealing with clients, said Wausau attorney Dean Dietrich, currently president of the Wisconsin Public Radio Association. Dietrich has also served in leadership positions with a local hospital, a youth hockey association, and with a coalition helping parents successfully prepare their young children for education.

    Such leadership allows those serving to have a beneficial impact on the community, Dietrich said.

    “I would truly encourage other lawyers to get involved in their community through participation and leadership in community organizations.  This type of involvement is recognized by many and helps support the economic growth and viability of your community,” Dietrich said.

    The Leadership Academy: Honoring G. Lane Ware

    G. Lane Ware

    The program honors G. Lane Ware, one of the greatest leaders of the State Bar, and someone who was passionate about the future of this organization. Throughout his career, Lane was a leader and mentor in his community, the state, and the legal profession.

    As a former State Bar president (1989-90), Wisconsin Law Foundation president (1998-2000), and Leadership Development Committee chair (2003-07), Lane’s commitment to leadership development is the foundation for the creation of the G. Lane Ware Leadership Fund within the Wisconsin Law Foundation. Through a contribution bequeathed in his will, and through the generosity of so many of his friends, a designated fund continues Lane’s focus on leadership development programs. A secure donation to the fund can be made online.

    Learn from Leaders in their Fields

    The 2016-17 Leadership Academy takes place in three sessions, held at the State Bar Center in Madison, in November, February, and April. Topics to be covered include public speaking, interpreting financial documentation, community leadership, and networking.

    Speakers include:

    • Dr. George Mavroulis, adjunct professor of educational leadership at Viterbo University, discussing the key traits of leaders;
    • Natalie Fleury of Marquette Law School, discussing conflict resolution tips and techniques;
    • Christina Plum, speaking on effective communicating in a professional setting;
    • Hon. James Peterson, discussing the seven objectives of effective public speaking;
    • Gary Bakke, providing insight into interpreting financial documentation;
    • Sarah Rohne of the University of Minnesota Law School, giving tips about having a solid networking plan;
    • Michael F. Moore, covering time management skills for successful leaders; and
    • Dr. Julia Persike, a licensed clinical substance abuse counselor and doctor of psychology, discussing active listening and managing difficult conversations.

    Lawyers participating in the academy must attend these sessions:

    • Friday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    • Friday, Feb. 3, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Friday, April 28, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, April 29, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    How to Apply

    Applicants who wish to become more involved in leadership with a state or local bar, their community and/or the legal profession are encouraged to apply. State Bar members should feel free to encourage qualified lawyers to apply. A selection committee will review applications submitted.

    Tuition for the 2016-17 Leadership Academy is $250. There are a limited number of scholarships available. Tuition includes meals. Participants are responsible for their travel expenses and accommodations.

    Consider the following timeline when applying:

    • Aug. 15, 2016: Applications due
    • Sept. 15, 2016: Applicants notified of selection outcome
    • Oct. 1, 2016: $250 tuition fee is due

    To Apply:

    • Read the application instructions on
    • Complete the online application form before Aug. 15, 2016
      • Email the application to Beth Drake at org bdrake wisbar wisbar bdrake org; or
      • Mail to State Bar of Wisconsin, ATTN: Beth Drake, 5302 Eastpark Boulevard, Madison, WI 53718

      Direct questions about the program to Leadership Development Committee Chair Renee Nawrocki or staff liaison Annette Ashley.

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