It is an extraordinary privilege to serve the young lawyers of Florida as President of the Young Lawyers Division. I am both humbled and moved by this opportunity to lead the organization that represents the future of The Florida Bar. The YLD Board of Governors has long been looked upon as the “Workhorse of The Florida Bar” for good reason and we will continue to lead in that capacity.
The most important function of the YLD is to assist young lawyers in the transition from law school to the practice. In addition to the Practicing with Professionalism seminars and Basic CLEs the YLD administers, we have developed vast resources to educate new lawyers on topics ranging from substantive areas of the law to practical issues affecting the practice. We will continue to develop even more content in this regard.
The YLD is also dedicated to helping young lawyers develop a healthy lifestyle within the practice of law. We will be working with The Florida Bar on many initiatives focused on improving the collective mental health of lawyers in our state. Our profession needs to start looking at attorneys focusing on their own mental health as a sign of strength and not weakness. We must remove the stigma of taking care of your mental health as it is imperative that we take care of ourselves in order to take care of our clients and our families.
The YLD is also at the forefront of effectuating change in our profession and advocating for young lawyers. For example, the YLD’s diversity efforts earned national attention as its Pipeline Initiative Diversity Symposium – which seeks to motivate, encourage, and help high school, college, and law students enter our profession – received a national award from the American Bar Association.
Recently, the YLD impressed upon The Florida Bar Board of Governors the importance of the proposed Parental Leave Continuance Rule for all young lawyers. With our assistance, that groundbreaking rule was passed by the Board of Governors with unanimous support. Prior to that, the results of a poll conducted by the YLD’s Women in the Profession committee – which revealed that 43 percent of female lawyer respondents had experienced gender bias – garnered national attention and fueled a YLD effort to support and recognize the achievements of women in our profession. This effort continues today and will continue to lead to positive changes for women in the legal field.
The YLD simply will not stop helping young lawyers in any capacity and will continue to be the primary resource for young lawyers of our state. I encourage you to reach out to your Circuit representative(s), and visit our website at Flayld.org for more information on the YLD and for opportunities to get involved. I also invite you to become involved with one or more of your local affiliates. If you do not know what local affiliates are in and around your area, please 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. We hope that these resources will provide you with the tools for a successful transition to the practice of law.
Thank you for this honor!