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Leadership Academy

Bring Your Leadership Skills

Full Circle 


Academy Calendar for the 2021-2022 Year:

Kickoff: Thursday, September 23, 2021
Monthly Sessions are typically held on Thursdays, with the exception of the Annual Meeting
Graduation: 15th Annual Meeting, June TBD, 2022

For questions, contact Academy Coordinator, Director of Board and Leadership Development, Melanie Farrell by email or by phone at (440) 479-2703.


Click here to apply for the 2021-2022 class!  Applications due July 30, 2021.  


We know lawyers.  We know leaders.

The CMBA's 10-month, selective and highly-regarded program provides leadership and professional development for anyone with a minimum of 5 years legal experience.

Candidates must have a demonstrated passion for the profession and civic engagement, a genuine commitment to expanding leadership development, and an excitement for building relationships with a broad cross-section of lawyers and leaders in greater Cleveland.

In addition to meeting with and learning from some of the most accomplished lawyer leaders in greater Cleveland, our Leadership Academy includes partnerships with Cleveland’s leading professional development firms  and individuals, which will provide Academy participants with customized individual consultations and group sessions.

What’s included with the Leadership Academy experience?

Aside from the priceless value of honing your leadership skills and expanding your professional network, the Leadership Academy delivers:

  • Individual leadership and emotional intelligence assessments, with one-on-one follow-up
  • Goal-setting exercises, with individual coaching opportunities
  • Hands-on instruction from local industry experts in leadership and professional development
  • Exposure to legal and community leaders
  • Opportunities to serve the community through special pro bono projects
  • Project work: developing and presenting, as a small group, a project specially chosen to help enhance the CMBA & legal community 
  • A minimum of 12 hours of CLE

 Please contact Melanie Farrell for more details.

Monthly sessions will kick off in September 2021 and will conclude in June 2022:

  • September 23, 2021 - afternoon session
  • October 21, 2021 - midday session
  • November 18, 2021 - morning session
  • December 16, 2021 - midday session
  • January 20, 2022 - midday session
  • February 24, 2022 - afternoon session
  • March 24, 2021 - morning session
  • April 28, 2022 -  morning session
  • May 19, 2022 - afternoon session
  • June 2022 - Annual Meeting 

Examples of topics covered at Leadership Academy sessions include:

  • Lawyers as Leaders 
  • Leadership Essentials
  • Difficult Conversations
  • Building Your Healthiest Brain
  • The Inclusive Leader 
  • It's All About Change
  • Your Potential Realized 



Joseph T. Burke,
Partner, Polito Rodstrom Burke LLP - Leadership Academy Class of 2020-2021

I found the CMBA Leadership Academy to be a rewarding experience and I highly recommend it.  The candidates were diverse, their legal backgrounds unique and the program offered a good mix of seasoned and newer attorneys.  Each program offered a wide array of exceptional leaders and speakers which challenged the candidates to critically examine how leaders can motivate and empower others.  Throughout the program, I learned some things about myself but learned so much more from my colleagues.


Our 2020-2021 Leadership Academy Class:

  • Lon'Cherie' D. Billingsley - Stark County Prosecutor’s Office (previously employed by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland)
  • Joseph T. Burke - Polito Rodstrom Burke LLP
  • Kristen Cavin - Giffen & Kaminski, LLC
  • Monica L. Frantz - Roetzel & Andress, LPA
  • Linda M. Gorczynski - Hickman & Lowder Co., L.P.A.
  • Christopher M. Greene - Christopher M. Greene, Esq., LLC
  • Ashley L. Jones - Ashley Jones Law
  • Brian F. Kampman - Ziegler Metzger LLP
  • Justine L. Konicki - Swagelok 
  • Melissa A. Laubenthal - Old Republic National Title Insurance Company
  • Yao Liu - Cavitch, Familo & Durkin Co., LPA
  • Christina E. Niro - Frantz Ward LLP
  • Magistrate Erin M. O'Toole - Eighth District Court of Appeals
  • Thomas R. Peppard - Tucker Ellis LLP
  • Irene A. Rennillo - Rennillo Law LLC
  • Ellen M. Roth - Solo Practitioner
  • Jessica L. Sanderson - Roetzel & Andress, LPA
  • Raymond Seiler - Ulmer & Berne LLP
  • Christine Snyder - Tucker Ellis LLP
  • Sean H. Sobel - Sobel, Wade & Mapley, LLC
  • Janet R. Stewart - Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP
  • Magistrate Anjanette C. Arabian Whitman - Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court
  • Aaron Mark Williams - Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
  • Stephanie Williams - Dinsmore & Shohl LLP



Our 18-19 Class! 



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