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Home/Ida Abbott, Former Practicing Attorney and Consultant on Optimizing Legal Talent
About Ida Abbott, Former Practicing Attorney and Consultant on Optimizing Legal Talent
Ida Abbott has been helping employers develop, manage and retain legal talent since 1995. She also serves as a mentor and coach to high achieving individuals seeking professional success. Her clients are located throughout the world. They include firms and companies of varying size and complexity, from small and mid-size local offices to global law and accounting firms.
In recognition of her leadership in the fields of mentoring, leadership development and professional development, Ida has been elected a Fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and the College of Law Practice Management. She is Vice Chair of the California State Bar Mentoring Task Force, serves on the Executive Committee of the National Legal Mentoring Consortium, and is a founder and former board member of the Professional Development Consortium, where she now serves as a Trusted Advisor.
Internationally, Ida is on the Board of the UK-based Institute of Mentoring, the Editorial Board of Modern Legal Practice, and the Advisory Board of TITLI (Training in the Legal Industry), based in India. She has served as Special Advisor to the International Bar Association’s (IBA) Law Firm Mentoring Program and was Vice-Chair of the IBA's Academic and Professional Development Committee. Through the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, she worked with lawyers from the Middle East to design and implement a mentoring program for criminal defense lawyers in their country. She is also a Mentor to student teams in Law Without Walls, a worldwide multi-disciplinary law school program seeking to accelerate innovation in legal education and practice.
For many years, Ida has been at the forefront of efforts to promote women in the legal profession. She is co-founder of the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where she is also a Faculty Fellow. She established and co-chaired the Bay Area chapter of Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) and has served on the California State Bar Committee on Women in the Law and on the Advisory Boards of the New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia.
Before starting her consulting firm, Ida practiced law for 20 years. She specialized in complex litigation at Heller Ehrman LLP, where she also ran the firm's professional development and pro bono programs. She often served as a judge pro tempore in the San Francisco Superior Court and as a private and court-appointed mediator and arbitrator. She has also served on many non-profit boards and is currently on the Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves.
Ida is a prolific writer and a popular speaker at local, national, and international conferences. You can see her books, articles and all issues of her newsletter, Management Solutions, on this website.
Ida received her J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, M.A. from the University of Miami, and A.B. from Smith College.