Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy
Training Today. Leading Tomorrow.
The Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy is a multi-session training program designed to assist a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers in becoming better leaders within our profession, in their chosen path, while enhancing their leadership skills. 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's Mission is to identify, nurture and inspire effective leadership within the Bar and the legal community.
On This Page:
Mission and Goals
Becoming a Fellow
2016-2017 Academy Fellows
2016-2017 Academy Meetings
News & Photos
2017-2018 Leadership Academy Applications are now available. Applications must be submitted by January 13, 2017 by 5:30pm. Incomplete applications cannot be accepted and late applications will not be accepted. Please read the instructions on the application thoroughly.
1. Mission and Goals of the Wm. Reece Smith, Jr Leadership Academy
The mission of the Academy is to enhance the skills of a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers selected from across the state that will enable them to become effective leaders throughout the Bar, our profession and the greater community.
The Goals of the Academy include:
· To enhance leadership skills of a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers;
· To identify, nurture and inspire effective leadership within The Florida Bar and the legal community;
· To enhance the diversity of leaders within The Florida Bar;
· 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
2. Becoming a Fellow
Who Should Apply?
Applications to become a Fellow of the Academy are open to all Florida Bar members who are in good standing. Applicants with some history of leadership or involvement within The Florida Bar, their community, offices, and/or the legal profession are encouraged to apply.
Voluntary and specialty bar associations, Florida Bar sections and divisions, members of the judiciary, law firms, and bar members are also encouraged to nominate Fellows to the Academy.
Why Should I Apply?
As a Fellow you will be part of a select group of leaders who are provided the opportunity to:
1. Develop and enhance leadership skills important to your future in the legal profession.
2. Network, interact, collaborate, and build relationships with state and national bar leaders.
3. Get an insider's look at important role the Bar plays within our legal system, while exploring your role in the legal profession.
What Should I Know Before I Apply?
Attendance and Commitment Policy: Participation in the Academy as a Fellow requires a commitment of time and resources. Meetings typically will be held on Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon at various locations. Attendance at meetings is mandatory and Fellows may be dropped from the program for non-attendance. Fellows who complete the program will graduate and receive CLE credit for their participation.
The Academy meets approximately every other month for a total of six meetings, plus graduation. These meetings include meeting during The Florida Bar's Annual Convention in June, the September Fall meeting, and the January meeting of the Board of Governors in Tallahassee. The three other meetings are at various locations around the state. At the conclusion of the program, Fellows will participate in graduation at The Florida Bar's Annual Convention. While there is no tuition fee to attend the Academy, Fellows will be responsible for their travel expenses and accommodations while at meetings. Full and partial scholarships are available for those with financial need.
When Should I Apply?
2017-2018 Leadership Academy Applications will be available December 1, 2016. Applications must be submitted by January 13, 2017 by 5:30pm.
Why Should My Employer Support My Application?
Fellows need to obtain the approval of their employers to participate in the Academy given the commitment required. With the invaluable leadership skills Fellows will learn from state and national bar leaders, employers can be assured that the business development possibilities and state wide networking opportunities are limitless for Fellows.
3. Scholarship Opportunities
Scholarships for travel and accommodations are offered to Fellows on the basis of financial need. To be considered for scholarship from The Florida Bar, applicants should fill out the Scholarship Assistance Application and Certification within the application. Selection of Fellows is determined without consideration of financial need or scholarship interest.
Additionally, some sections and divisions, and other associations will offer scholarship opportunities to their members to participate in the Academy. Inquiry regarding those scholarship opportunities should be directed to those entities.
2016-2017 Academy Fellows
Photos of the Fellows
2015-16 Academy Fellows
2014-15 Academy Fellows
2013-14 Academy Fellows
Annual Convention, Orlando (June 17-18)
Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference (July 15-16)
Fall Meeting, Tampa (October 20-21)
Jacksonville (November 18-19)
Board of Governors, Tallahassee (January 19-20)
Miami (March 17-18)
The Leadership Academy Committee is charged with overseeing the activities of the Academy, the Fellows and their activities. Review the Leadership Academy Committee page for the 2016-2017 members.
Juliet Murphy Roulhac, Chair
Melanie Shoemaker Griffin, Vice Chair
Kevin Anthony McNeill, Vice Chair
News & Photos
Florida Bar News Articles:
- 07/01/15 - Leadership Academy welcomes third class
- 01/01/15 - Wm. Reece Smith, Jr., Leadership Academy accepting applications
- 03/15/14 - Leadership Academy formally dedicated as the Wm. Reece Smith, Jr., Leadership Academy
- 01/01/14 - Board Agrees to Expand Leadership Academy
- 11/01/13 - Applications for Second Bar Leadership Academy will be Available in December
- 10/15/13 - The Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy met in Tampa
- 07/15/13 - Bar Leadership Academy is Underway
- 07/11/13 - Three TBA Attorneys selected as Fellows to The Florida Bar Leadership Academy
- 07/01/13 - Leadership Academy Named for Smith
- 06/01/13 - Bar Names 59 Leadership Academy Fellows
- 03/15/13 - Deadline for Leadership Academy Applications is Quickly Approaching
- 03/01/13 - News Release: Florida Bar Now Accepting Applications for New Leadership Academy
- 03/01/13 - Bar Leadership Academy Applications Available
- 02/15/13 - Bar Academy Aims to Develop Young Leaders and Inspire Lawyer Unity
Questions regarding the Academy or becoming an Academy Partner should be directed to