The Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy is a multi-session training program designed to help a diverse and inclusive group of 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.
Mission and Goals
The mission of the Academy is to enhance the skills of a diverse and inclusive group 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.
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.
Academy Fellows are required to pay a $500 participation fee, due in full prior to the first session 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.
As a part of the curriculum, the Leadership Academy Fellows are tasked with completing a project every year that relates to the legal profession or community that allows the Fellows to build skills and assist in helping improve the legal profession for Florida attorneys and citizens. Projects are available to the public upon completion at the end of each program year.
Class IX Project: Pro Bono Guidebook
Class VIII Project: Limited Liability Leadership Podcast
Mental Health Toolkit (PowerPoint)
Florida Bar News Articles on Leadership
The Florida Bar will train 29 “fellows” for future leadership roles within the legal profession as part of the latest class of the Wm. Reece Smith, Jr., Leadership Academy. The goal of the academy is to reach out to lawyers from across the diverse state of Florida and help give them the skills and resources to become leaders…
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Questions regarding the Academy or becoming an Academy Partner should be directed to Arnell Bryant-Willis.