"I also think it’s extremely important for people to know their rights so they have an understanding of how the judicial system works."
Adina Pollan is chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association Judicial Relations Committee.
Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer? I took a business law class in college and did extremely well, so the professor asked if I’d ever considered going to law school. I hadn’t, so I followed her (very good) advice.
Someone who inspires me: People who know me know that my life is inspired by my paternal grandparents. They met in Auschwitz and survived the Holocaust, then had a family and had long, fulfilling lives. They are a constant reminder to me that tomorrow always will be better, which I think of whenever I feel down or lost.
How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law? I was a business major, which plays a role every day in commercial litigation and bankruptcy.
How did you decide your practice area? And why have you chosen that? I had the honor and privilege of clerking for U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Jerry Funk right out of law school. Learning from his honor, his permanent law clerk and the lawyers that came into his courtroom really motivated me to continue with bankruptcy in my legal career.
What has been the biggest change in your practice area since you passed the Bar? There have been significant changes since the Bankruptcy Act was passed in 2005, and with how bankruptcy courts have had to respond to the Great Recession.
What do you think will be the next biggest change in your area of law? It will be interesting to see how the continuing effects of the economy affect bankruptcy in general.
If I could change anything in the legal system, I would: Make access to justice easier for everyone. I also think it’s extremely important for people to know their rights so they have an understanding of how the judicial system works, and have realistic expectations during their cases.
What community service have you pursued and why that? I have become very involved with the Jacksonville Bar Association and the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar, and have continued my involvement with the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar, and the Jury Instructions Committee-Contract and Business Cases. I also make sure to participate in the pro se clinic in conjunction with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid at least twice a year.
What’s your advice for new lawyers? Get involved with the JBA, a section of The Florida Bar and at least one special interest Bar association. That will provide a wealth of resources and you will gain not only insightful information but lasting friendships and wonderful experiences.