An American Flag hanging from a balcony.

Public Interest Leadership Program

Public Interest Leadership Program meeting.
Public Interest Leadership Program members.
Public Interest Leadership Program reception.

Applications for the 2024-2025 year are now available!

Empowering Exceptional Young Leaders in Boston Law

Each year, the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program welcomes a select group of talented and highly-motivated lawyers to participate in a year-long program designed to provide intensive leadership and professional development training. Participants learn from and connect with leaders in Boston’s public and private sectors to gain the critical skills and tools needed to grow as an effective leader and voice in the community.

Boston Copley.

What Our Members Say

Ying Wang headshot.

PILP was a window into all the different ways that I could make a difference and have an impact as an attorney in Boston. PILP encouraged me to get out of my swim lane by building connections with other civically engaged and community-oriented attorneys practicing in different areas.

2019 PILP Class Member, Ying Wang Assistant Vice President and Associate Counsel, State Street Bank & Trust Company

What Our Members Say

Patrice Dixon headshot.

The activities presented during the organizational leadership module emphasized the connection between lawyering and leadership. Effective leadership skills are critical for every attorney, whether they advance from an associate attorney to a law partner; a corporate counsel to a business leader; or attorney to political official.

2021 PILP Class Member, Patrice Dixon Associate, Jackson Lewis, P.C. | President, Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys Association

What Our Members Say

Katherine Stark headshot.

From our talk with local board leaders, to our lesson on best practices regarding board service, the charitable board service module was a reminder that there are plenty of options and opportunities available for attorneys at any stage in their career who are passionate about helping others.

2021 PILP Member, Katherine Stark Associate, Troutman Pepper

The Experience

Those who apply and are selected for the program will benefit from monthly training sessions incorporating education, discussions, debriefing sessions and participation in monthly BBA steering committees. In addition to these modules, participants will be invited to attend several programs, events and meetings connecting them with legislators, judges, non-profit executives, and corporate leaders throughout Boston.

The Network

After completing the program, graduates will enter a growing network of more than 250 accomplished alumni who embody the drive, passion, and diversity of our community. Program alumni have gone on to serve as elected officials, chair boards of local nonprofits, take on managing partner roles within their law firms, serve on the BBA and Boston Bar Foundation boards, and play key roles in Boston business and community initiatives.

The Program

Class members will participate in: 

Applying for PILP

Applications for the 2024-2025 year are now available!

The BBA seeks applicants within their first ten years in practice (although preference will be given to applicants with at least five years experience). Rising leaders from law firms, in-house legal departments, affinity bars, government agencies and non-profits are all encouraged to apply for this year-long program. Organizations are also invited to nominate a promising candidate to participate.

Applicants must complete an application and provide a statement of interest and a commitment letter/letter of recommendation from their employer or sponsor.

If you have any questions on the program or application process, please contact Chloe Morse at cmorse@bostonbar.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Boston Bar Association Public Interest Leadership Program?

The Leadership Program is a selective leadership development program for attorneys within their first five to ten years in practice. The program recognizes and engages newer lawyers who have demonstrated leadership in their practice and community and represent rising stars who embody the professionalism, drive, commitment, passion and diversity of the bar. 

Why should I apply for the Leadership Program?

Selected applicants to the Leadership Program become part of a tight-knit alumni network of successful and engaged leaders in Boston law. Participants will take part in monthly sessions, featuring exclusive guest speakers, unique training modules, interactive sessions with business and philanthropic communities, discussions, networking events and more. 

Why should we support an applicant from our office?

The BBA Public Interest Leadership Program is a long-standing program with a proven track record of generating successful leaders Program alumni have gone on to serve in leadership and executive level roles at their firms, chair boards of local non-profits and serve as elected officials.   

Participants build critical skills and receive training in key areas, as well as participate in unique opportunities to extend their networks in the legal and business communities in order to help them succeed throughout their careers   

What is the selection process and criteria?

Applicants must be BBA members within their first five to ten years in practice. The Selection Committee will evaluate the application pool based on a number of important criteria, including: (a) the extent to which applicants have demonstrated leadership in their community; (b) the extent to which applicants are willing to commit time and energy to the future good of the profession; and (c) the extent to which the incoming class will reflect personal, professional, and legal practice diversity, in keeping with the BBA’s mission. Only one applicant from each firm or organization may apply per year. 

When is the application due?

We ask that you submit all materials (including the commitment letter from your employer) by Friday, May 10th at 12:00pm.  

Public Interest Leadership Program meeting.
This program is supported in part by the Boston Bar Foundation.