Growing Lawyers, Growing Leaders

Now more than ever, new attorneys are going into practice for themselves, or are entering workforces with the expectation that they will “hit the ground running.” These lawyers need practical, well-designed and accessible tools and training to aid in their professional development, to help them become more successful in their practices and to become more effective as leaders of the legal profession and throughout society. Meeting their needs and supporting their professional development are crucial to the future of the profession.


A new membership initiative from the ABA Young Lawyers Division in partnership with the Law Practice Division, recognizes this need and strives to create dynamic opportunities to allow young lawyers to develop leadership and management skills, as well as master the art of cultivating strategic relationships, regardless of their practice setting.

Growing Lawyers, Growing Leaders is a collaborative, progressive training module designed to help young attorneys develop business and leadership skills. The initiative comprises online and in-person activities, progressing throughout the 2016-17 ABA bar year. The initiative includes a dynamic online community with a progressive approach to training and developing leadership among young attorneys. YLD and LP recognize that their strengths are unique within the association to develop an intentional, collaborative relationship. YLD and LP each have resources that touch on the identified tracks (leadership and business development); together, the collaborative project develops new material and resources and provides a dynamic experience for young attorneys.

The curriculum is progressive, with each segment building on prior ones. Participants will have a full complement of training and experiences at the end of the bar year, encompassing clearly articulated learning outcomes for each segment.


Topics for each track include:

Business Development/Relationship Development Skills

  • How to make the ask
  • How to close the deal
  • How to be in the right place, at the right time
  • Cultivating and maintaining relationships
  • Identifying and playing to your own strengths
  • How to market yourself to be the lawyer you want to be
  • The holistic approach to business etiquette
  • Social media “how-to”
  • Implicit and explicit biases and how to leverage diversity

Leadership/Management Development

  • Public speaking/being quick on your feet
  • Self-promotion
  • Delegating skills
  • Managing up
  • Working with difficult people
  • Saying no/getting to yes/negotiation skills
  • Navigating office politics
  • Personnel management—hiring, firing, and evaluating
  • Managing risk
  • Finances

More information on the initiative will be available soon on the Young Lawyers and Law Practice division websites. Growing Lawyers, Growing Leaders strives to improve the profession by developing better trained, more confident young attorneys and young leaders. This initiative offers new attorneys better preparation for success in the workforce (across many settings), and as future leaders in the profession.

About the Author

Anna M. Romanskaya is a partner with Stark & D’Ambrosio, LLP in San Diego and is the chair-elect of the ABA Young Lawyers Division.

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