Affiliate Outreach Conference (AOC)
The Affiliate Outreach Conference (AOC) is an annual two day meeting of the leaders of the sections, divisions and committees of young lawyer voluntary bar organizations throughout the state , as well as of the Law Student Division. The purpose of the conference is to share information about public service programs, membership programs and various projects, establish a liaison among the various young lawyer groups throughout the state, as well as a liaison between the Law Student Division board members and the leaders of our young lawyer groups. The conference is an opportunity for attendees to exchange ideas, present projects and compete for monetary grant awards. The conference usually occurs in early spring of each year. Every young lawyer affiliate and Law Student Division board member that attends the conference is eligible to receive a sizable stipend to cover the costs of their lodging and transportation.
The Annual Convention Committee makes the necessary arrangements for the Division’s events at The Florida Bar’s Annual Convention. These events typically include the YLD Fifty Year Members’ Luncheon, which honors all members who are celebrating their 50th year of practice in law, and the YLD Past President’s Dinner, which thanks those Presidents of the past and welcomes in a new year of success. The Florida Bar YLD is a major sponsor of the Bar’s Annual Convention.
Seven Awards given per year:
- Outstanding Member Service Project
- Outstanding Public Service Project
The Most Outstanding Public Service Project and the Most Outstanding Member Service Project are presented to a young lawyers group whose project must serve the public and community, enhance the relationship of young lawyers to the public and community, and be innovative. The member service project should internally serve young lawyers, provide for membership enrichment, and be innovative.
- Affiliate of the Year
- Pro Bono Award
The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Pro Bono Award is presented annually in a ceremony at the Florida Supreme Court with all seven justices in attendance. This award recognizes public service or legal aid performed by a young lawyer who provides outstanding contributions to those in need of legal services. The purpose of this award is to encourage more Florida young lawyers to freely contribute their time and expertise in providing legal services to people in their community, who cannot otherwise afford those services. In some instances, this will include legal services to charitable organizations that serve the needs of the poor. The awards are intended to provide recognition to young lawyers who have made an outstanding contribution in this area. The emphasis of these awards is on legal services to the poor.
- Quality of Life
The Michael K. Reese Quality of Life Award recognizes a person and/or entity that, through humanitarian respect advances the balance and fulfillment in lawyers’ lives by redefining current work habits and schedules to provide more flexibility and a more meaningful existence. The YLD makes a monetary donation to the recipient’s charity of choice. Last years award was a $2500 donation.
The Diversity Award recognizes a person and/or entity that demonstrates the highest morality and respect for all persons and diversity, for efforts and allegiance to creating diversity, and promoting a more diverse workplace. Along with the award, the YLD makes a monetary donation of the recipient’s charity of choice. Last years award was a $2500 donation.
- Most Productive Young Lawyer
The Lynn Futch Most Productive Young Lawyer Award is given to a Florida young lawyer who is not a member of the YLD Board of Governors, who has worked most diligently in the past year in Bar activities and/or law-related public activities and who has an excellent reputation for legal abilities and integrity.
- Outstanding Jurist
The Outstanding Jurist Award is given to a judge with an excellent reputation for sound judicial decisions and an unblemished record of integrity as a lawyer and judge and who demonstrates concern for and willingness to assist young lawyers and respects their abilities.
The Budget Committee prepares and oversees the budget for the Division and monitors all financial aspects of the Division. With a budget of approx. $600,000 annually, the allocation of resources is essential to the proper working of the Division.
The Bylaws Committee continually reviews the bylaws to insure they are current, relevant, and reflective of the Division and is responsible for providing suggested interpretation of bylaw application and drafting amendments for presentment to the YLD Board.
Commission on Women
The mission of the YLD Commission on Women is to assess the current status of women in the legal profession, to identify quality of life issues that impact women, and to break down barriers faced by women in their legal careers.
- The Newsletter sub-committee is responsible for writing, editing and publishing the YLDs ‘Across the Bar’ newsletter, which is an award winning quarterly publication distributed to young lawyer affiliates across the State. Committee members contribute and edit articles every quarter, either by writing the articles themselves or by soliciting articles from other young lawyers.
- The Website sub-committee is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the YLD website, which can be found at www.flayld.org. The website serves as a location in which all 20,000+ members can be kept up to date on the Division’s activities and projects along with useful information on CLE’s and information to help members in their practice.
Continuing Legal Education (CLE)
The Committee selects a steering chair for each course, who is then responsible for recruiting the faculty for the course and for the course presentation. The basic format and outline are already developed and are generally followed in the presentation of the courses. The purpose of each course is to provide information necessary for new lawyers to gain the basic knowledge and understanding for the particular area of law presented. Additionally, YLD Board members are required to serve as moderators when needed.
On April 21, 1988, the Florida Supreme Court in The Florida Bar Re: Amendment to Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, Rule 6-12.1 (Basic Skills Course Requirement, 524 So.2d 634 (Fla. 1988), mandated that all attorneys admitted to The Florida Bar after October 1, 1988 attend the Practicing with Professionalism seminar and delegated the implementation of the seminar to The Florida Bar YLD. As of January 1, 1998, the Supreme Court of Florida approved a change to the rule which stated that in addition to attending Practicing With Professionalism, new lawyers must attend two “basic” level substantive continuing legal education courses presented by the YLD. Since then, the Florida Supreme Court changed the requirement to three “basic” level substantive continuing legal education courses presented by the YLD.
On February 4, 2010, the Florida Supreme Court approved amendments to the Basic Skills Course Requirement (BSCR), which will affect all newly admitted attorneys in Florida. Under the amended rules, newly admitted attorneys will now be permitted to satisfy the BSCR by watching the Basic CLEs online, self-reporting their credit and retaining a copy of their certificate of completion for auditing purposes. The Bar’s 24/7 online CLE provider will then cross reference the self reported credits with the certificate of completion roster.
The Diversity Committee promotes diversity in the legal profession by facilitating and sponsoring events and programs highlighting diversity throughout the state for lawyers and law students alike. The Committee also promotes a dialogue of diversity-related issues in order to foster and encourage the legal profession’s awareness and advancement of these issues. To that end, the Committee works with Affiliate Bar Associations across Florida to support and implement diversity initiatives on a local and statewide basis.
The President, with the approval and consent of the YLD Board, may appoint an Executive Committee consisting of the President, President-Elect, and at least five and no more than 10 other members of the YLD Board to provide insight and advice to the President on issues facing the Division. The Executive Committee by two-thirds vote may exercise the powers of the YLD Board during any period when the YLD Board is not meeting, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by the YLD Board.
The Law Schools Committee serves as a liaison to Florida’s eleven law schools, and disseminates information to law students about various YLD and Florida Bar programs on issues including professionalism, mentoring, admission to the Bar and transition into the practice of law. This Committee is responsible for overseeing and providing guidance to the Law Student Division Board of Governors. The Law Student Division Board of Governors, modeled after the YLD BOG, has three governors from each law school (a 3L, a 2L and a 1L), which are elected by the student body of the particular law school. The LSD has two meetings a year in conjunction with the YLD (AOC and Annual Convention) where they are invited to join the YLD BOG at its meetings and social events. The Law Schools Committee and the Law Student Division Board of Governors work together to improve communication between the Florida Bar, practicing attorneys, and the law school community. The Law Schools Committee assists in promoting professionalism, diversity and quality of life training in the law schools for the benefit of the entire profession.
The Legislative Affairs Committee works with The Florida Bar to review legislative actions that may impact the Florida Bar or those that will directly impact young lawyers. The Committee also considers proposals for legislative or political action by The Florida Bar, confirms whether such action is within the scope of the YLD Board’s authority, and recommends whether a position should be formally adopted or recognized by the YLD Board. The Committee’s activities may include the reviewing and drafting of legislative or political concepts which may or should be the subject of legislation, appropriate lobbying efforts to support recognized positions of The Florida Bar and increased efforts to build relationships with all YLD Board Members and various legislators and governmental authorities. The Committee also serves to educate young lawyers about significant legislative or political activities.
Local Bar Affiliates
The Local Bar Affiliate Committee improves communication among local young lawyer groups and the YLD BOG, and acts as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of information to young lawyer affiliate organizations throughout the state. This Committee stays in close contact with young lawyer affiliate organizations throughout the state and is available to assist with formation of any local affiliate. This committee is also responsible for working with the American Bar Association Florida Bar District Representative to communicate information to Florida young lawyer local bar affiliate organizations regarding available ABA benefits and programs and opportunities to exchange information with other young lawyer organizations around the United States.
Long Range Planning
The Long Range Planning Committee, chaired by the Divisions President-Elect, is responsible for determining issues and goals which face young lawyers throughout the state and to ensure that the activities of the Division are consistent with the goals of The Florida Bar.
Moot Court/Law Related Education
The Moot Court/Law Related Education Committee organizes the annul Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition. All eleven accredited Florida law schools participate in this program, which provides law students with an opportunity to sharpen their oral advocacy skills prior to commencing their practice. The competition culminates in oral arguments held during the Annual Convention of The Florida Bar in June, with the final arguments being made before the Florida Supreme Court, en banc. All the materials and rules are posted on the YLD’s website for distribution to the participants. Members of the YLD Board of Governors grade the briefs. First round is argued in front of county and circuit judges and the second round is argued in front of appellate judges from the various District Court of Appeals. This committee also acts as a liaison for Florida Law Related Education initiatives.
Practicing With Professionalism (PWP)
The Practicing with Professionalism Committee is responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the PWP Seminars throughout the year. The Committee implements the PWP Seminar live at 21 locations around the State of Florida for more than 3,000 new attorneys each year. One of the primary functions of this Committee is to review and revise the format of the seminars to insure that the highest quality of material is being presented to the attendees, in compliance with the directives of the Florida Supreme Court. In addition, the Committee is also responsible for monitoring feedback from the attendees and insuring that the seminars remain responsive to the audience. Furthermore, this Committee is charged with providing insight and long term visions for making sure that the PWP Seminars continue to remain financially profitable and educationally beneficial to the attendees. Each seminar has a program chair, who is responsible for selecting the speakers, and providing local publicity for the seminar. In addition, YLD Board members are required to serve as moderators when needed.
ProBono and Community Service
The Pro Bono and Community Service Committee strives to encourage young lawyers to provide meaningful pro bono services and community service in their respective communities. The committee achieves this by (1) promoting statewide opportunities such as Florida Attorneys Saving Homes, the ABA FEMA Disaster Relief Assistance Program, and the Florida Supreme Court Justice’s efforts to assist foster children aging out foster care, (2) recognizing and highlighting young lawyers who provide pro bono services and community service, (3) creating an on-line library of videotaped CLE and tutorials to train pro bono lawyers and eliminate the perceived barriers of accepting pro bono cases outside one’s areas of expertise, and (4) identifying creative and alternative ways to encourage Young Lawyers to provide pro bono and community service.
The Professionalism Committee works as a liaison for the YLD Board with Professionalism organizations such as the American Inns of Court and the Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism. It is responsible for promoting professionalism efforts throughout the state with a focus on young lawyers.
The Public Relations Committee prepares and oversees official messages and announcements of the YLD Board of Governors to the young lawyers of The Florida Bar and to various media outlets. The Committee is responsible for drafting, editing, and publishing the Circuit Reports, which report the most recent activities of the YLD Board of Governors to our constituent young lawyers in each judicial circuit. The Committee also drafts, edits, and submits press releases and similar formal announcements to media outlets concerning the many contributions of the Board of Governors and of individuals Governors.
Quality of Life
The Quality of Life Committee explores means for enhancing and promoting the quality of life for young lawyers, and creates projects to promote opportunities for young lawyers to enhance their quality of life.
The Sponsorship Committee is responsible for developing sponsorship opportunities for various vendors who provide services to the legal profession to become involved with the projects and programs put on each year by the YLD. In exchange for providing financial assistance to enable the YLD to provide even more effective programs and services, the vendors will be able to reach countless young lawyers and law students throughout the State of Florida and beyond with regard to their products and how they benefit the profession. Ranging from securing financial support for our large events such as the Affiliate Outreach Conference to providing additional assistance to continue developing programs directed at young lawyers, law students and promoting diversity, the Sponsorship Committee’s mission and purpose is to create win-win relationships that benefit not only the YLD but the entire profession.
Transition to Practice (T2P)
The Transition to Practice Committee works with our newest lawyers during their transition into a successful practice. It implements programs such as ‘Mentoring Matters’ and will help with our newest project ‘Mentoring with the Masters’.
The Technology Committee is responsible for: 1) educating young lawyers about the technological issues that affect the legal profession; 2) highlighting technology tools to assist young lawyers in their practice; and, 3) keeping young lawyers up-to-date with the latest news and events relevant to their profession. The Committee also assists with implementing technology initiatives of The Florida Bar.