The Florida Bar

Leadership Academy

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Training Today. Leading Tomorrow.

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The Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy is a multi-session training program designed to help selected lawyers become better leaders. Each year a select group of participants are selected from applications submitted to The Florida Bar to become Academy Fellows.

During their one-year term, Academy Fellows follow a curriculum tailored to enhance their professional development, knowledge base and experience, including attending The Florida Bar events and special educational programs. Academy Fellows are given the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the Bar and their role in the legal profession, while enhancing their personal leadership skills.

The Academy is administered by the Leadership Academy Committee and the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Academy is to enhance the skills of lawyers selected from across the state to help them to become effective leaders throughout the Bar, our profession, and the greater community. Goals include:

  • To enhance the leadership skills of lawyers,
  • To identify, nurture, and inspire effective leadership within The Florida Bar and the legal community, and
  • To raise the level of awareness and engagement among lawyers regarding issues facing the legal profession through the study of ethical, professional, and public service issues.

Who Can Apply

The Leadership Academy is open to all Florida Bar members in good standing. Qualified individuals will be sought from different backgrounds, large and small law firms, the private and public sectors, different practice areas, and different geographical areas of the state.

Read the Leadership Academy FAQ.

Fellow Obligations

There will be seven required meetings, which include up to 14 business days throughout the year including graduation at The Florida Bar Annual Convention. Continuing legal education credits are awarded for most sessions.

Tuition Requirement

Academy Fellows are required to pay a $500 participation fee, due in full prior to the first session in June. Fellows are also responsible for their travel expenses and accommodations while at meetings. Limited financial assistance is available with a demonstration of financial need upon completion of a scholarship application. A request for financial assistance will not affect an applicant’s eligibility for participation in the program. Email the program administrator for a scholarship application.

Contact Us

Questions regarding the Academy or becoming an Academy Partner should be directed to Rebecca Bandy.