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- 2013 - April - 8th -
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Lawyer Snapshot: Rachael Zeitz Ardanuy

Age: Old enough to know better than to reveal my age.

Family: Husband, David.

Pets: Two crazy cats and some tropical fish.

Education: Bachelor of Science in business management and real estate from Florida State University, Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law.

Admitted to the Bar: 2012

Employed by: Law Office of Imani Boykin, P.A.

Field of practice: Probate, guardianship, estate planning and family law.

Professional organizations: The Jacksonville Bar Association, Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association, Jacksonville Lawyers Roundtable, IMPACTJax – JAX Chamber.

Community involvement: Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Advanced Directives Pro Bono Project, presenting estate planning educational seminars at Jacksonville area senior centers. I recently helped raise more than $35,000 for the Donna Foundation through Jacksonville Jazzercise. I also have signed up to join the JALA Bankruptcy Pro Bono Practice Group, which helps low-income clients in need of the services of a bankruptcy attorney.

How did you become involved?

Pro bono work is a major value at my firm. I am encouraged to provide pro bono assistance whenever I can and so I have reached out to the City's senior centers to provide educational presentations on estate planning, probate and guardianship to our local seniors. This provides an educational service to the community, while I gain experience in public speaking and interacting with the community. Likewise, participating in the JALA Advanced Directives Project provides assistance for those clients we prepare the documents for, while I gain experience in client-counseling. For a newer attorney like myself, it's a win-win.

How can someone else become involved?

If you wish to participate in a Jacksonville Area Legal Aid project, Kathy Para always is looking for pro bono attorneys to offer their time and take on a case and it always is gratifying to work with JALA. Although an afternoon of counseling members of the community at a pro bono event may not feel like a big deal, the individuals who benefit from the counsel are wholly grateful.

What have you learned/achieved through the experience?

There are a lot of misconceptions about the legal system. The preamble to the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct includes that a lawyer should further the public's understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority. I strive to further the public's understanding of this major function in our country through my pro bono endeavors.

What was the last book you read or are reading?

George R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones," the first book in the series.

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