The Importance of Leadership

The Chicago Bar Association understands that in the legal profession, “The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better.”  (Tony Dungy) The CBA developed the Leadership Institute to increase leadership skills among excellent lawyers and to enhance business development strategies which are essential in the ever more demanding practice of law.  

Leaders are essential to a law firm; they make the workplace better, attract clients and guarantee good work product.  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)  The Leadership Institute is directed at emerging leaders within Chicago's legal profession. 

The Institute features dynamic presenters on business generation, the importance of networking, critical thinking and provides opportunities to interact with other leaders, similarly situated in the legal profession. Leadership is a sought after talent; a quality not everyone has, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)  

About the Institute

The Leadership Institute uses a small cohort model and includes professional development sessions featuring dynamic faculty, interactive skill building exercises and networking opportunities. Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a graduation certificate. A complete list of meetings and topics for the 2019 program is listed below.

We are excited to announce the following confirmed faculty members for the 2019 program:

  • Ann Chen, Senior Counsel, Social Media & Digital Assets, Abbott
  • Regine Corrado, Managing Partner, Baker McKenzie 
  • Irina Dashevsky, Associate, Locke Lord
  • Margaret Egan, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Steven Elrod, Partner, Holland & Knight
  • William Farley, Associate, Holland & Knight
  • Angel Gomez, Angel Gomez Consulting
  • Ryan Holz, Partner, Locke Lord
  • Colby Anne Kingsbury, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels
  • Tasneem Khokha, Growth Play
  • Olivia Luk Bedi, Partner, Neal Gerber & Eisenberg
  • Michael Martinez, Managing Partner, K&L Gates 
  • John Mitchell, KM Advisors
  • Judge Thomas R. Mulroy, Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Tanvi Patel, Associate, Neal Gerber & Eisenberg
  • Ross Silverman, Partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP 
  • Jessie Spressart, Growth Play
  • Andrew Vail, Partner, Jenner & Block
  • Diane Webster, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
  • Additional faculty to be confirmed

How to Apply

Information about the 2020 Leadership Institute Program will be posted soon. Contact for more information. 

2019 Institute Agenda


Session I: What Kind of Leader Are You?
April 10, 2019, 2:00pm-7:30pm 

Session II: The Foundations of Effective Leadership
April 24, 2019, 8:00am-12:30pm

Session III: Leveraging Your Network for Career Success
May 8, 2019, 2:00pm-7:30pm

Session IV: Advanced Business Development Strategies 
May 22, 2019, 8:00am-12:30pm

Leadership Institute Graduation Reception
June 5, 2019, 5:30pm-7:30pm

The Chicago Bar Association Annual Meeting
June  20, 2019, 11:30am (reception), 12:00pm-1:00pm (luncheon)
Location: The Standard Club, 320 S Plymouth Ct, Chicago, IL 60604 

"The Leadership Institute allowed me an opportunity to step back and reevaluate myself and various aspects of managing teamwork, conflict, and leadership.  Participating in the course at this stage in my career was invaluable because I had the relevant context to apply the tools that we are being provided and to network with peers at similar stages in their careers." 

--Tanvi Patel, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, 2018 Leadership Institute Class


"The CBA Leadership Institute was a practical forum with interactive sessions that were designed to spark participants’ growth in team leadership, development of  a network, building a strong professional reputation and growing a book of business."

--Dan Buoniconti, Reed Smith, 2018 Leadership Institute Class