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The MCBA is committed to fostering growth and leadership among Its members

By: Special to The Daily Record , Cassandra Rich//November 10, 2023

The MCBA is committed to fostering growth and leadership among Its members

By: Special to The Daily Record , Cassandra Rich//November 10, 2023//

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Under Langston McFadden’s leadership last year, the MCBA set out to strengthen its leadership role in our community as well as create opportunities to foster growth and leadership among our members.


The inaugural (and very successful) 2023 Leadership Academy was developed as a way to meet those goals. We unveiled the Leadership Academy last year at an introductory rate with a strong response from the legal community, resulting in a fantastic inaugural class of future legal and community leaders. Employers have commented that they could see the growth in their young leaders in terms of poise and confidence.

Given the success of last year’s Leadership Academy, we’re continuing with it this year and hopefully for years to come. I am excited by the feedback given by the first class of leaders and their active role in modifying the programs for the coming year to dial up the portions everyone enjoyed and connected with and reimagine the presentations that were data heavy to allow for more interaction. The first cohort of leaders specifically called out the amazing networking opportunities with their peers, the steering committee, and presenters as well as the comprehensive overview of issues facing our community and the actions being taken to address them. Being aware of what is happening in the community is eye-opening and allows for more and deeper engagement with the community – both personally and professionally.

The MCBA Leadership Academy serves to identify and grow the next legal leaders in the Greater Rochester area. These new leaders will be selected from law firms of all sizes, from the largest firms to small legal offices and solo practitioners, as well as public sector attorneys. They will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with current community leaders in small group sessions. The programming expands the minds and experience of our talented young attorneys, by connecting them with prominent leaders from the City of Rochester and New York State in the fields of healthcare, education, local government, business and economic development, the criminal justice system, the courts, and legal services.

The MCBA is seeking a broad and representative class of participating attorneys to experience the Leadership Academy. The MCBA has a firm commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and encourages applications from all racial, ethnic, and religious communities. The Academy Committee will also consider DEI factors, such as LGBTQ= status, in its review of applicants as it seeks to create a class that truly, and accurately, reflects Monroe County’s broad and diverse community.

Here are just a few of the positive comments we received from participants in last year’s Leadership Academy.

Kelly Gusmano, from Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP, shared:

“The Leadership Academy really opened my eyes to the issues facing the City of Rochester and the Greater Rochester Area. Every session focused on the amazing groups and organizations working to address the issues and how we, as future leaders, have the power to reshape the destiny of this City. It was both a challenging and rewarding experience that I would recommend to all of the future leaders of our community.”

Solo practitioner Gregory Silverman said:

“The Leadership Academy provides a tremendous opportunity to meet and build lasting relationships with your peers, all while learning from a wide-ranging set of leaders in our community. Not to be missed!”

Stephanie Fedorka, from Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, shared:

“The Leadership Academy was a truly unparalleled opportunity to get to know fellow colleagues in the bar. The thoughtful and intentional programming that revolved around opportunities to meet and pose questions to renowned leaders from our community was incredibly valuable. I graduated from the program feeling like my network of connections among community and bar leaders grew ten-fold and with a renewed passion for serving the Rochester-area community.”


Anne Modica Eich, from the Modica Law Firm, shared:

“The Leadership Academy was a great way to meet other local young attorneys that I likely would not have otherwise gotten the chance to know. It also provided a unique opportunity to meet community leaders, learn more about important issues in Rochester, and contemplate ways we could make a difference. “

There is still time to apply! And, if you know of someone who would be great for our Leadership Academy, encourage them to apply. We also have scholarships available for legal service providers and/or solos for whom the fee might otherwise be a barrier. So, to all those who are concerned about the funding, please apply, and reach out to Kevin Ryan and/or me: don’t let that concern stop you from taking advantage of this opportunity.

For more details, testimonials, and the application, visit here: Applications will be accepted until Monday, November 13. Please contact Kevin Ryan at [email protected] with questions.

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