Executive Director's Report, 0320 ALBJ, 81 The Alabama Lawyer 116 (2020)

PositionVol. 81 2 Pg. 116


No. Vol. 81 No. 2 Pg. 116

Alabama Bar Lawyer

March, 2020

Phillip W. McCallum phillip.mccallum @


Nurturing the Next Generation of Leaders

"It was about four years ago that my Leadership Forum classmate, Wyndall Ivey, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack," said Circuit Judge Jim Hughey III.

"I write to his mother every year to let her know that I still remember him; I still value the things that we shared together; and I still value what he meant to me," continued Judge Hughey."Not just because he was my dear friend, but because we grew up together as lawyers."

His message that day, as Judge Hughey spoke to a room of Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum alumni, was that "who you eat lunch with determines the future of our profession." He challenged those in the room to honor the memory of his late friend and get out of their comfort zone-break bread and build real friendships with someone who is different from you.

Judge Hughey's remarks were made this past April during a series of "Ed Talks" hosted at the state bar, named for longtime Programs Director Ed Patterson, who successfully led the Leadership Forum during its first 14 years. Upon Ed's retirement, the forum took a year off to focus on its alumni and the future of the program. During that time, three summits were held for alumni to reflect, reconnect, and re-energize.

While all of the"Ed Talks"given by forum alumni were impactful, I found Judge Hughey's message to be particularly insightful, perfectly capturing the experience Leadership Forum provides its participants.

What program participants learn during their time in the Leadership Forum provides a strong foundation for the rest of their lives. Not only do those in the class grow as dynamic leaders, they cultivate deeper and more meaningful connections, making them better prepared to propel the profession forward.

From the program's inception in 2005, it has produced more than 400 graduates equipped not only to influence the bar but to shape the future of this state. These leaders become models of ethical and professional behavior, both within and outside the legal community. In addition, the Leadership Forum has illuminated a pathway for other state bars...

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