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.
Greetings and welcome to The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Law Student Division. My name is Amanda L. Decker and I am so honored and delighted to serve as the 2017-18 Law Student Division President.
The legal job market is very competitive and it is critical for law students to understand the difference between the study of law and the practice of law. Likewise, it is imperative that law students today are exposed to the realities of the practice of law before they enter the legal field. It is the Law Student Division’s mission to prepare law students for the true rigors of practicing law and help them become a successful attorney after graduation. With firm connections to The Florida Bar and The Young Lawyers Division, the Law Student Division offers elevated resources that allow law students to connect and work closely with legal practitioners here in Florida. This year the Law Student Division will debut its new hands-on Workshop program implemented in all Florida law schools. The workshops will provide law students practical experiences and opportunities to develop the critical skills that are not taught in school, but are necessary to become a successful first year associate.
Over the last year, the Law Student Division has continued to grow its noble reputation for community service, mentorship, and active engagement with the legal profession. With the help of its forever thriving relationships with attorneys and judges throughout Florida, who are dedicated to the success of law students, the Law Student Division is known for its ability to provide students with distinguished networking, mentoring, professionalism, and pro bono service opportunities.
I am very passionate about the Law Student Division and all we have accomplished. I look forward to building our reputation, expanding our membership, and leading our Board of Governors so we can help better prepare law students for the rigors that lie ahead as they advance their legal careers. Please visit your school’s Board of Governors page on our site and please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Law Student Division President