President’s Welcome Message

Todd Baker
2021-22 PRESIDENT

It is with incredible pride and great honor that I get to serve the young lawyers of Florida as President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”).  The YLD has always been affectionately referred to as the “Workhorse of the Florida Bar” because young lawyers bring an unrivaled passion and excitement to their practice.  This year, we want to channel that passion and excitement into helping young lawyers develop professionally and personally in a way that improves their practice and the profession. A primary focus for the YLD this year will be on our local voluntary bar Affiliates.  The YLD is comprised of some of the hardest working young lawyers in Florida, but we can only do so much.  By assisting our Affiliates with their programming, increasing their membership, and providing countless other resources, we can help educate young lawyers, inspire them to get involved in their communities, and make an even greater impact.  Our Affiliates are already doing incredible things and the YLD is here to help promote these endeavors and encourage young lawyer participation.  When we work together, we can accomplish more.  Our signature event, the Affiliate Outreach Conference (“AOC”), was virtual for the first-time last year, and it allowed us to experiment with the programming we provide to our Affiliates.  This year, the AOC will have an even greater educational component to help Affiliates with their recruitment, engagement, and communications.  We hope to see you there.  If you are already an Affiliate, I hope you are as excited about this as we are.  If you are a local voluntary bar association that is not yet registered as an affiliate, we hope you will consider becoming an affiliate.

Our #YLDisMe campaign is incredibly successful, and we want to evolve that campaign to focus on our diverse voluntary bar associations across the state.  Many marginalized communities rely on our diverse affiliates to promote inclusion and equality and ensure their voices are heard within our profession.  There are far too many incredible organizations for me to list them all, but we want to make sure we recognize these organizations, share their mission, and highlight their programming for the year.

We also want to work on forging stronger relationships with the Florida Bar’s Sections.  Many young lawyers are already taking advantage of the educational opportunities section membership affords. We hope to increase participation through our partnerships with the Sections, reduced pricing for young lawyers, and community service projects.  Our young lawyers will bring a fresh perspective to the Sections that will undoubtedly improve the quality of programming for all Section members – young and old.

The success of our #StigmaFreeYLD campaign has blossomed into a major focus on health and wellness.  The YLD Health and Wellness Olympics was a phenomenal success and will be an annual, ever-evolving, program to get lawyers engaged in healthier habits.   In addition to the Wellness Olympics in May, we will also have a variety of monthly challenges leading up to that.

Lastly, in addition to our focus on physical and mental health and wellness, we will be unveiling a financial health and wellness series for young lawyers, law students, and those considering going to law school.  With the various financial challenges facing our young lawyers and students today, the YLD’s commitment to our prospective and young lawyers is more important now than ever before. Financial stress can be crippling and can impact all aspects of life.  We want to help young lawyers better prepare for changing jobs, starting their own firm, major life events while building a practice, and managing student loans in the early stages of their career.

We have lots planned for 2021-22 and we cannot do it without you.  If you are reading this and wondering how you can help or get involved, please reach out to me at tbaker@injurylawyers.com and I will do the best I can to find a place where you can make an impact.

Sincerely,
Todd Baker
President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division 2021-22