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The Bar Bulletin
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Sep. 5, 201905:10 AM EST

From the President: JBA is pathway to involvement in The Florida Bar

Here’s what some of our members have to say.

Elizabeth Ferguson • JBA President

As president of the Jacksonville Bar Association, I spend much of my time talking with members and potential members about all the ways the JBA can benefit attorneys practicing in the 4th Judicial Circuit.

We offer CLEs, networking events, community outreach projects, practice-specific committees and social events.

What you may not realize is that the JBA also offers something else: A pathway for attorneys to get involved on the state level.  

Many of our members are active in The Florida Bar, serving on the board of governors, chairing committees and participating in the sections and divisions.

Many of those opportunities arose through friendships and relationships they developed in the JBA. I reached out to several of our members who also serve on The Florida Bar to get their insight about why dual involvement is so important.

Christian George recently completed his term as president of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. When I asked him to reflect on why involvement at the state level was important, he said, “It’s good for your own mental health as a litigator. I’ve met so many great people that I end up litigating against as a result of service. It is much easier when you know someone across the table.”

George also found his service on The Florida Bar rewarding as it helps maintain and improve the status of attorneys in the community.

Another former YLD president, Michael Orr, now serves as one of our 4th Circuit representatives to The Florida Bar. He said involvement in The Florida Bar provides “a tremendous opportunity” to grow a lawyer’s practice and knowledge of the law.

“The lawyers and judges involved in The Florida Bar collaborate on pressing issues facing the profession and that provides a rare opportunity for lawyers who may work on opposite sides of cases or transactions to work on the same team.  Practice enhanced, professionalism promoted,” Orr said.

I too am lucky to serve on several committees and co-chair the Construction Law Review Course. I have met and gotten to know many attorneys in the 4th Circuit, as well as attorneys throughout the state.

Those relationships helped me to learn more about The Florida Bar, how I could get involved and who to contact to find the right involvement for my goals and practice.

If you are interested in getting involved in The Florida Bar, contact our 4th Circuit representatives: Michael Orr ([email protected]) and Mike Tanner ([email protected]) or former YLD President Christian George ([email protected]).

Elizabeth Ferguson is a shareholder with Marshall Dennehey 

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