New director named to lead ICLE


 David R. Watson, formerly executive director for the New York State Bar Association, has been named executive director of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the education provider of the State Bar of Michigan. He started in the position Jan. 3.

He replaced Lynn P. Chard, who had served as ICLE director since 1993.

“We are pleased to announce David’s appointment,” Lawrence Shoffner, chair of ICLE’s Executive Committee, says.

“We are excited about the leadership he brings and have the utmost confidence in his vision for the organization.”

“With so many new challenges facing lawyers today, David’s strategic planning, management skills, and financial acumen will be vital as ICLE continues to set the standard for cutting-edge education,” he added.

As head of ICLE, Watson will oversee day-to-day operations and help implement short- and long-range strategic objectives.

He will also be charged with financial management, administrative policies, and representing the organization to external audiences.

Watson brings a wealth of experience to ICLE.

As head of the New York State Bar Association, he oversaw 125 employees and a budget of $25 million.

Watson spent 10 years at Lexis-Nexis, where he rose to the position of senior director of production support.

He was executive director for the Commercial Law League of America, DRI, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

He was also a solo practitioner in Ohio for nearly a decade and a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with the incredible team of staff and contributors at ICLE,” Watson said. “Lynn Chard has done an amazing job of running this wonderful organization. I hope to follow in her footsteps and continue to serve our partners with outstanding programming, products, and world-class service.”

Watson is a 1985 graduate of Kenyon College and earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1988.

The Institute of Continuing Legal Education was established in 1959.

ICLE serves the State Bar of Michigan, The University of Michigan Law School, Wayne State University Law School, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and Michigan State University College of Law.