Bar Leadership Institute

Developing leaders within the Bar, Foundation, community, and profession since 2002

Program Overview

Participation in the Bar Leadership Institute (BLI) includes 15 hours of CLE credit, two hours of individual coaching with BLI Facilitator Sharon Reed, and a weekend retreat in Hickory, NC.  It also includes networking opportunities and exposure to Bar, civic, and community leaders over the course of seven evening sessions, along with a complimentary ticket (and a plus one) to the annual Bar Leadership Dinner. 
PROGRAM details
The primary focus of the BLI is to identify and develop leaders for the Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) and Mecklenburg Bar Foundation (MBF). The goal of the BLI program is to provide an opportunity for participating attorneys to: 
develop their personal leadership potential and skills to become a leader in the Bar/Foundation;
become aware of leadership opportunities with the Bar/Foundation and the greater Charlotte community; 
consider pressing Bar and community issues with peers and presenters of the highest caliber; and 
develop a spirit of lasting collegiality with their fellow participants.
The BLI will begin with a kickoff dinner and volunteer-recognition event, followed by a mandatory weekend retreat.  The retreat is designed to provide you with an in-depth look at leadership.

During the BLI program, you will be guided by a facilitator, but your growth will come from this unique opportunity for both introspection and insight from your classmates. Following the retreat, participants will have opportunities for individual coaching by the facilitator and will attend a series of seven evening discussion sessions featuring special guests. Past presenters have included Bar and civic leaders, law professors, and judges. 
A final session will encourage you to reflect on the BLI experience and to consider potential avenues of leadership in your Bar/Foundation, your organization, and your community.  In an effort to further participants’ impact on the Bar/Foundation, each member of the class will be expected to meaningfully engage in the work of the Bar or the Foundation (through, for example, committee membership, section leadership, etc.) beginning the upcoming fiscal year.

Please Check Back for Updated information in Fall 2020

Selection Criteria

Application to the BLI is open to members of the MCB who have been practicing attorneys for at least three years. Approximately 15 to 20 lawyers will be selected for participation in the next class.  
The BLI Committee will look for potential participants who demonstrate the following criteria:
• Commitment and motivation to serve in positions of leadership;
• A record of public service and service for charitable organizations;
• A minimum of three years practicing law; and 
• The ability to attend all sessions, including the weekend retreat, and the willingness to engage meaningfully in the work of the Bar or the Foundation beginning the upcoming fiscal year.  
This is a competitive selection process. In choosing potential participants, the BLI Committee will review and evaluate all portions of your application and attachments. Additionally, the BLI Committee is committed to seeking a diverse and dynamic class of participants in an effort to obtain representation from a cross-section of the Bar.

2021 Program Dates
Before you apply to the BLI Program, please check back here for the 2021 dates expected to be announced in Fall 2020.


Program Fees

All qualified MCB members are encouraged to apply. The total tuition for participation in the BLI is $1,100 of which $100 must be paid by the participant. The remaining $1,000 may be paid by the participant or by his/her employer. If accepted, payment is due before the program kicks off and may be paid by credit card online or by check (payable to the Mecklenburg County Bar). Financial assistance may be available, but is limited and awarded at the discretion of the BLI Committee.  If you are interested in financial assistance, indicate in the application the amount you are requesting.


Continuing Legal Education

It is expected that 15 hours of CLE credit will be awarded to BLI participants who complete the program.


Contact MCB Associate Executive Director Shannon Reid at with any questions.


Bar Leadership Institute Graduates