Adam White2020-21 PRESIDENT
It is the honor of my career to serve the young lawyers of the great state of Florida as President of the Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”). The YLD represents the future of the Florida Bar, and that future is bright. While the times young lawyers are in today are challenging and make the practice of law difficult, young lawyers are particularly equipped to overcome these challenges. Young lawyers are used to being given problems that no one else wants to solve, or that are too difficult to figure out, and we always find a way to get the job done. That is what the YLD will do during my tenure this year, as we reaffirm our title as the “Workhorse of the Florida Bar.”
This year, the YLD will continue to advocate, educate, and serve young lawyers. First, the YLD has always made a conscious effort to ensure that our activities, our programming, and our initiatives include diverse speakers and participants, focus on a wide array of practice areas, challenge the status quo, and promote inclusion. In addition, our profession, as a whole, has recognized the importance of diversity and inclusion. But surveys of our membership confirm that such recognition is not enough.
This year, we will take steps to transform recognition into measurable action. The YLD’s Inclusion and Equality Committee will implement the new #YLDisMe initiative, where the YLD will highlight its diverse members in an effort to foster inclusion. These highlighted members will provide examples to our membership that attorneys come from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, physical appearances, and physical abilities. These members will explain why they chose to become an attorney, what struggles they faced to achieve their goal, how they have overcome those struggles, and the barriers they have encountered as an attorney. Highlighting these members will not only bring awareness to members of the Florida Bar, but to the public at large. Along those same lines, we will re-energize diversity and inclusion programming held by local voluntary bar affiliates and empower those affiliates to host diversity and inclusion programming that continues the discussion in their local legal communities.
In addition, the YLD is going to take a hard look at the online resources it offers young lawyers, such as webinars, CLEs, and other educational materials, to ensure those resources are relevant to the current times we are in today, where the ability to work remotely has become the new normal. In that vein, the YLD will work with the Florida Bar on developing a social media quick reference guide for practitioners, to help them better understand the rules governing lawyer communications online.
Next, the YLD will partner with the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism to develop and maintain long-term professionalism and ethics programming for Florida law schools and Florida young lawyers. This programming is made possible through an award from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and it will be aimed at impressing upon lawyers, and soon-to-be lawyers, the requirement of professionalism in the practice of law.
Finally, the YLD will continue its work focusing on health and wellness. The YLD’s 2018 campaign #StigmafreeYLD is still very much in progress and will continue to be advanced this year. If you find yourself over-stressed, burned out, anxious or just wanting to speak to someone about issues you are working through – seek help. Getting help has made me a better father, a better husband, and a better lawyer. Remember, it takes strength to ask for help and stamina to work hard to improve yourself, and you too will be better for it.
The YLD will, as it always has, continue to support young lawyers in every capacity and will remain the primary resource for young Florida lawyers. I encourage you to become involved with your local bar affiliates and The Florida Bar, and to reach out to your Circuit representative(s) for opportunities to get involved. If you do not know which local affiliates are in your area, please visit our Find an Affiliate website at www.flayldaffiliates.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will help you get connected. Finally, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I look forward to working this year to improve our profession, and I hope that our resources will provide you with the tools you need for a successful transition to the practice of law.
Adam J. T.W. White