Attorney James Bilsborrow is one of a dozen lawyers from around the nation chosen to participate this year in an American Association for Justice (AAJ) training academy to develop promising new leaders of the legal profession.
Bilsborrow will attend the AAJ’s Leadership Academy between May and October — at sessions first in Dallas, then in Montreal, and finally in the District of Columbia.
“This is a tremendous honor and I’m excited to participate,” said Bilsborrow, an associate in W&L’s Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection Unit.
“The Leadership Academy will be a great opportunity for me to develop my strengths and emerge better equipped to advocate for our clients and our causes,” he added.
Bilsborrow Among AAJ’s Best, Brightest
Each year the Leadership Academy selects up to 16 plaintiffs’ lawyers with diverse personal and professional backgrounds.
The participants are invariably among the AAJ’s best and brightest members, the law firm notes.
Leadership Academy consists of three two-day workshops, each designed to cultivate in younger attorneys the qualities possessed by seasoned movers and shakers at the top tiers of the field of law.
Among other topics, the workshops cover how to develop emotional intelligence, increase self-awareness, and adapt to the changing nature of leadership itself, according to the law firm.
W&L said that, in the first workshop, Bilsborrow and his colleagues will — among other things — explore how to be a truly powerful communicator as well as how to create compelling strategic visions that others can enthusiastically rally around.
In the second workshop, the emphasis will shift away from the individual to the team. Specifically, Bilsborrow and the others will work on honing their collaborative skills, the law firm said.
The final workshop will help the participants improve their prowess as influencers — an especially valuable skill for attorneys who go to bat for their clients in court, as Bilsborrow often does.
Joined W&L in 2011
Bilsborrow’s experience as an advocate for his clients is noteworthy, said the law firm, particularly his work as second-chair to Robin Greenwald representing plaintiffs against petroleum giant BP, the British corporation responsible for the devastating 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently, Bilsborrow is representing innocent consumers against General Motors Corp., which is being sued for a dangerous ignition-switch defect that affected millions of automobiles.
Admitted to practice law in New York, Bilsborrow joined W&L in 2011 after earlier clerking for Hon. Christopher C. Conner of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, and then for Hon. D. Brooks Smith of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bilsborrow studied at William & Mary School of Law and distinguished himself by graduating second in his class.
In addition to belonging to the AAJ, Bilsborrow is a member of the American Bar Assn., New York Bar Assn., and the American Constitution Society.