The Jacksonville Bar Association is about more than just lunch and CLEs.
If you have heard me speak recently, you know I credit the role the Jacksonville Bar Association has played in my various career choices and successes.
In the past 19 years, I transitioned jobs, opened my law firm and will be elected to the Circuit Court without opposition, in part because of the relationships I made through the association.
I didn’t know it when I first joined this organization 15 years ago, but the JBA would ultimately help me achieve my dream and career goals. Being part of the leadership has afforded me the opportunity to give back to this profession I so love.
It is my hope that this year I can repay some of that debt.
As I take the helm of the JBA from Immediate Past President (best title ever) Tad Delegal, I am excited about what the JBA has to offer.
So what can you expect from your Bar association this year?
In addition to the interesting lunch speakers, new CLEs, opportunities for leadership and to be published in the Bar Bulletin, look for:
A renewed focus on committees
Many lawyers realize the value of their JBA membership through the networking opportunities and the substantive information provided by our many committees. We are dedicated to making sure that every committee meets regularly and that your needs are met.
A focus on health and wellness
We want to help you enjoy this profession again.
Lawyers are among the worst in achieving a work-life balance, as is reflected in the fact that a recent survey by The Florida Bar showed 70 percent of lawyers would choose a different career today.
Lawyers, by definition, help solve other people’s problems. There is a stress level associated with that dynamic that perhaps separates us from other professions and industries.
I recognize that there is a certain amount of privilege in having the luxury to even talk about work-life balance or to use it as a factor in our career choices. We are privileged; we are fortunate; and we have worked hard to attain success.
But we now are asking, at what cost? The JBA will help to identify solutions to the unique challenges faced by our profession.
Provide opportunities to see the world with a different perspective
In this time when it seems our society spends so much time talking past each other instead of to one another, it is perhaps more important than ever that we attempt to see life through someone else’s eyes.
As lawyers, we know better than most that there usually are two sides to a story; that each side highlights facts favorable to its position; and that there is probably room for compromise.
We should put that knowledge into practice.
Through our race study circles initiative and other programs, we want to be part of the solution and help our members approach and consider the various issues facing our community through a more informed lens.
Address issues relating to women in the profession
I am only the sixth woman to lead this organization in its 120-year history. Real progress will be made when that is not something we still count.
The JBA wants to help further the discussion and to ensure that women have equal opportunity for professional growth and advancement.
But this year will be about more than just these initiatives and goals.
At its core, the JBA is about more than dues, CLEs and lunches. It is about lawyers who support each other, who perform community service together, who help each other find new jobs and who help each other through hurricanes. We are connected to each another through this organization.
This is an exciting time for the Jacksonville Bar Association, and I am honored to be leading a talented group of lawyers dedicated to making the practice of law just a little easier for our members and to having an impact in the community.
I hope you will be a part of this experience with us.