In or around 2006, an ambitious and creative few from The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) Board of Governors came up with the idea of creating a law student division within The Florida Bar. The law student division would be comprised of and run entirely by Florida law students, under the guidance of the YLD. Leaders of this think tank included Renee Thompson (YLD President 2010-2011) and Sean Desmond (YLD President 2011-2012). Seven years later, what began as an idea has now grown into one of the largest and most successful law student divisions across the nation.
Like the YLD, the Florida Bar YLD Law Student Division, is governed by its own President and Board of Governors. The Law Student Division’s board is comprised of six elected and/or appointed representatives from each of Florida’s twelve law schools. These representatives serve as the liaisons between The Florida Bar and Florida law students.
The mission of the Law Student Division is to assist the YLD in furthering the goals of The Florida Bar. The Law Student Division is designed to encourage interest in, and participation by, Division members in the purposes of the YLD. The Law Student Division connects law students to YLD members through a variety of activities and projects designed to be of interest and assistance to Division members, and engages in such activities that tend to further the best interests of the legal profession.
The Law Student Division, in conjunction with the YLD, coordinates activities for law students by providing discussion and free interchange of ideas relative to the duties, responsibilities, and issues faced by members of the legal profession. The Law Student Division and YLD also provide mentoring opportunities, which provide professionalism training in order to enhance the integrity and reputation of the legal professional. The Law Student Division is encouraged to aid the YLD in serving the public, particularly those persons outside the legal profession, through state-wide and local community service projects and pro bono service. As a liaison between law schools and the YLD, the Law Student Division promotes diversity in all areas of the study and practice of law. The Law Student Division stimulates and encourages the interest and participation of law students in the YLD and The Florida Bar.
Hello and welcome to The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Law Student Division. My name is Lolia Y. Fernandez and I am incredibly honored and humbled to have been selected to serve as the Law Student Division President for the 2016-2017 academic year.
In today’s legal profession, it is absolutely critical that students step outside of the four walls of their law school and actively engage in and with the practice of law. With a mission to bridge the divide between the study of law and the practice of law, the Law Student Division offers the opportunity to not only meet and learn from actual practitioners and attorneys here in Florida, but also the opportunity to advocate in decisions surrounding the Florida Bar that will directly impact students’ lives. The Law Student Division maintains a collegial forum of mentorship, discussion, and service, and I have personally witnessed the tremendous growth of its student membership and events. We are constantly looking for new projects, new members, and new ways for students to become involved with the practice of law.
Over the last year, the Law Student Division has continued to build on its outstanding mentorship program by growing its relationship with attorneys throughout the state, who are dedicated to the success and development of law students. This year, our focus is on service and fostering a strong sense of community. We strive to provide every law student in Florida with outstanding mentorship, networking, professionalism, and pro bono opportunities.
I am proud of the work that the student Board of Governors has accomplished since its founding and I am incredibly excited and optimistic about all of our accomplishments yet to come. Thank you very much for your interest and please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lolia Y. Fernandez
The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Law Student Division President
Lolia Fernandez is originally from Caracas, Venezuela and is currently a 3L at the Florida State University College of Law. Lolia holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Florida Microbiology and Cell Science and a Master’s Degree from the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions. Before beginning law school, Lolia worked as a training coordinator for the Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center where she facilitated. Since beginning at the Florida State University College of Law, Lolia has served as a Student Governor for the Law Student Division, a designated mentor for incoming first-year law students, and president of the Women’s Law Symposium. She is a member of the Florida State University Law Review; president of the College of Law Trial Team; a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Society, and continues to volunteer in various projects throughout the school. Lolia serves on the Legal Aid Foundation Tallahassee Board or Directors and the Tallahassee Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Board of Directors. Lolia hopes to practice in South Florida where she will specialize in criminal litigation, family law, and advocate for those without a voice.