and chair of all the Circuit
Vice-Presidents. In 2015,
Judge Bachus was appointed to the Maricopa County
Superior Court bench.
Judge Bachus credits the
BLI program with an advancement in the bar’s diversity of leadership, but she
believes there is still a long
way to go, as women and
people of color are still not
Nicholle applied to the BLI to get more involved with the State Bar and gain insight
into its inner workings. BLI graduates recommended the program to her.
The BLI helped advance her career by
broadening her horizons and exposing her
to different types of practice. Since the program Nicholle, has moved from the public
sector to the private sector, where she is currently a partner at Gust Rosenfeld.
For her, the greatest benefits derived from
the program were empowerment, knowledge and encouragement. The BLI provided
for networking both within the class and with
other graduates. At the last reunion happy
hour, Nicholle reconnected with elementary
school friends who also went through program. She has referred colleagues to the program.
Nicholle was recognized by Arizona Business Magazine in 2015 as one of 40 under
40 in the “Generation Next”
category, and in 2016 as one of
the “Most Influential Women in Arizona
Business” and “Top Minority Business Leaders.” She serves as the President-Elect of the
Arizona Black Bar and as a member of her
firm’s diversity committee.
Nicholle believes the program has made
an impact by empowering a diverse group of
attorneys. While the profession continues to
need more diversity, the State Bar, through
the BLI program, is doing its part for diversity within the legal field.
May Lu, 2012
May is currently a shareholder at Tiffany &
Bosco in Phoenix as a transactional attorney.
She applied to the BLI at the suggestion of
her mentor, Jim O’Sullivan.
“Being a graduate of the BLI and put-
ting it on my firm’s website has added some
leadership credibility to my resume.
Meeting the people in the group has
really built a helpful network. My
firm sponsors a reception for the
BLI each year, which has helped me
keep in touch with the program.
Also, I am on the board of the Asian
American Bar Association, and we
promote our members to apply for
the Leadership Institute.”
She says that the BLI benefits its
participants by “exposing less expe-
rienced attorneys to career attorneys
who may later become their men-
tors.” In addition, “Many of these
younger lawyers would not be able
to be involved in the State Bar Sec-
tions and committees without the
help of the Bar Leadership Institute.”
May has been recognized as
one of the Super Lawyers South-
west Rising Stars for 2012 through 2016 in
the area of mergers and acquisitions. She is
currently involved on the Board of Directors
and pro bono General Counsel of ACLU-
Arizona and volunteers with ASU’s Business
Legal Assistance Program, for which she was
awarded the 2011 Outstanding Volunteer
Lawyer. May is also in her second term on
the ARIZONA ATTORNEY MAGAZINE Editorial
In terms of diversity of the bar, she says
there is “still a lot of work to be done,” because “in big firm culture, the decision makers can tell a lot about you by your extracurricular activities. A lot of decisions are about
who you know and how you know them.”
May observes that for minority lawyers in law
firms, “a large percentage don’t ever make
partner.” May feels that even the concept
of diversity needs to be reexamined and
Jessica Sanchez, 2013
After receiving encouragement from numerous Los Abogados mentors, Jessica decided
to apply for the BLI. She credits the Bar
Leadership Institute with enriching her legal
experience, encouraging her in becoming
more involved in State Bar activities, and
demonstrating the importance of such involvement.
The program provided guidance on how
the State Bar works, thereby illuminating
opportunities that were available. This, in
turn, allowed Jessica to become a more effective advocate for diversity.
Since completion of the BLI, Jessica was
awarded the Emerging Leader Award from