Editor’s Note: In preparation for her assumption of the role as President of MSJDN, we sent our President-Elect Eleanor Vuono to participate this year’s American Bar Association Bar Leadership Institute to learn best practices and enjoy some excellent networking and professional development. Here are just a few of her thoughts on the experience:

Three days of bar leadership training in Chicago this week have “Ignited my Leadership Journey” for MSJDN. A big thanks to MSJDN for sponsoring my attendance at this annual conference hosted by the American Bar Association for new bar presidents-elect. I spent my time at the conference listening, learning, networking, and advocating for our membership. I am inspired and excited to share the lessons and ideas with MSJDN as we grow and improve our programs in 2015.

The speakers and sessions focused on three themes: Open Leadership, Strategic Thinking, and Effective Advocacy. I heard creative ideas for effective engagement with our membership, use of technology to improve our communications, and tools for better strategic planning.

The speakers were fantastic, but the time spent sharing drinks with fellow bar presidents from across the country was probably the most valuable part of the event. I thanked everyone I met from the 12 state bars with licensing accommodations for military spouse attorneys. But I focused on finding the bar presidents in the other 38 states without military spouse licensing rules. I returned home with a huge stack of business cards and a long list of state bar presidents interested in making spouse licensing a priority in their state next year!

I look forward to working with our membership and leadership to make 2015 a year of success and opportunity for military spouse attorneys and their families.