Frequently Asked Questions


What is the MSBA Leadership Academy?

The Maryland State Bar Association Leadership Academy is a 12 month program designed to assist lawyers in becoming better leaders and offering opportunities for future leadership roles in the MSBA.

Each year (up to) 15 Fellows are chosen from applications submitted to the MSBA. During their term, the Fellows will spend time attending MSBA events, developing and implementing a public service project, as well as, attending special programs on public speaking, media relations, interviewing skills, conducting effective meeting, budgeting and many other related areas. Fellows establish a relationship with past Bar Presidents and current bar leaders to learn more about the MSBA and to enhance leadership skills.

Team building is a significant part of the Academy, wherein the Fellows develop relationships that will last long after the Academy. The skills the Fellows learn will benefit the MSBA, the local or specialty bar associations and the public as a whole.


What is the application process?

Individuals may submit an application which is available online at In addition, many local and specialty bar associations also have copies of the application.


What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for the 2018-2019 Leadership Academy Class is Monday, April 30, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.. Applications received after April 30th will NOT be considered. Applications should be saved to your device (laptop/desktop) and then emailed to:


Maryland State Bar Association
Attention: Wanda A. Calvin Claiborne


What is required on the application?

  • Contact information including an email address and current firm/employer.
  • Resume
  • A short, 150 words or less, description, on why you believe you should be chosen to participate in the program. (PLEASE NOTE: Any application with a description over 150 words will NOT be considered.)
  • A list of all organizations in which individual has participated.
  • Two personal/professional references with contact information.


Do you really count the words in the description to make sure there are only 150 words?

Yes, in order to be considered it must 150 words or less.


Do you have to be an MSBA member to participate?

Yes. If you are not currently an MSBA member, you can join online.


What is expected of Leadership Academy Fellows?

There are three components to participation as a Leadership Academy Fellow.

1) The Fellows, as a group, create and implement a public service project to serve the Maryland community. Each class of Fellows develops its own project independently of previous classes. The project is limited to the duration of the Fellowship year. Some of the past projects are available by visiting the MSBA website –

2) The Fellows will be required to attend monthly meetings/programs on topics to develop leadership skills.

3) The Fellows will be asked to participate with one section or committee during the course of the year.


Will the Fellows receive guidance on their Public Service Project?

The project is to be developed by the Fellows. They will present their ideas to the Leadership Academy Committee at the Bar President’s Conference in September/October. However, the project is the sole responsibility of the Fellows.

The Fellows will be responsible for assigning duties for the project and meetings if necessary to make certain all tasks are completed.

The MSBA will provide the Fellows its own private Email List to communicate with each other on the project.


Must my employer be told of my participation?

No, you do not need to inform your employer, however, you will be expected to attend evening meetings as well as, two overnight events which will require you to be out of the office so it is highly recommended.


Who can we contact if we have questions after being selected as a Fellow?

Each Fellow will be assigned a mentor who is a member of the Leadership Academy Committee. The Committee oversees the Fellows and the activities. Each Committee member is responsible for one of the programs throughout the year. In addition, there is an MSBA staff person (Wanda A. Calvin Claiborne) who is assigned to the Leadership Academy Fellows to answer questions.


When and where are activities held?

Meetings are usually held in the evenings at locations throughout the state. However, there are a number of meetings that are held on Saturdays. In addition, you will be required to attend the Bar Presidents’ Conference in the fall from a Thursday-Saturday and the 2019 Annual Meeting in June from Thursday – Saturday.


Will I be expected to pay for any events?

No. The MSBA pays for all expenses and meals but DOES NOT pay for travel expenses to any of the events.


What programs/activities will I be expected to attend?

There are programs/activities each month which are designed to provide skills to help develop leadership skills. Please click here for the schedule


Will I be able to bring a guest to any of these events?

For the overnight events, you may bring a guest at your own expense.


Is attendance mandatory?

While emergencies will always happen, your attendance is expected at all events. You will be given ample notice for dates. You need to make a commitment for attendance for the 12 month period.


Can I be dropped from participation for poor attendance?

Yes. We do this very reluctantly but it is not fair to the other Fellows.


What happens at the end of the 12 months?

Two members are invited to be a member of the Committee. We encourage and recommend MSBA Committee participation.


Is there an opportunity to meet with former Fellows or Committee Members to get more detailed information?

Listed on the website are the names and contact information of all past Fellows. You are free to contact any of them for additional information.


Will there be an opportunity to learn more about the Leadership Academy before I apply?

There will be three information Sessions held. The Information Sessions are not mandatory for applicants, but they are suggested. It is also a great opportunity to interact with members of the Committee that will select the Fellows from the pool of applicants.