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Jax Daily Record Monday, Feb. 17, 201412:00 PM EST

New Year's resolution evaluation time

by: Michael Lockamy

Dear young lawyers (or those young at heart):

We’re almost two months into the New Year, so hopefully you’ve paid off that last Christmas purchase.

You’ve shaken off the depression that follows the end of football season (thanks for the head start, Coach Muschamp).

And you’ve survived Valentine’s Day (turns out it’s not the thought that counts).

Now that these distractions are behind you, it’s time to get serious about the New Year’s resolutions you made.

Undoubtedly, you resolved to get more involved in your legal community, to get out of the office and get to know your colleagues, maybe even work with other attorneys to do some good in the community.

Good news. Unlike continuing that juice diet — which has cleansed only your will to live — or hitting the gym every day, this resolution is easy to keep, and you still have time.

The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) kicks into high gear this time of year, so it’s the perfect time for you to get involved. To help you fulfill your resolution, below are some of the upcoming events that will help you get to know your colleagues and positively impact our community:

Chili Cook-Off — Think you’ve got the best chili recipe anyone has ever tasted? Or do you just want to enjoy an adult beverage with good company? Join the YLS and celebrity judges at 3 p.m. March 1 at Florida Coastal School of Law on March 1 for the annual Chili Cook-Off benefiting Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. Contact Eric Roberson at [email protected].

Charity Date Auction for JALA — I have it on good authority that this is the only time it is socially acceptable to pay someone to date you. Take advantage. Join the YLS and the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association for their 2014 Charity Date Auction benefitting Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. This year it will be held at the Hyatt on Thursday, April 17. Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres and bid on date packages and great gifts, including vacation getaways, spa packages, golf outings, sports memorabilia, and much more. Contact Renee Maxey at [email protected].

Citizenship Day — Spend a Saturday making another person’s dream become reality. Help an immigrant complete the paperwork needed to obtain U.S. citizenship. Your lack of experience with immigration law is no excuse; a CLE web video produced by JALA will teach you all you need to know. The event will be held on April 5 at Florida Coastal School of Law. Contact Kathy Para at [email protected]

Law Day – So many activities it should be re-named Law Month, Law Day celebrates the rule of law and its significance to our society. This year’s theme is “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.” The Law Day Committee will coordinate several events throughout the month of April emphasizing the importance of each citizen’s right to vote. Get involved with this important community outreach project by helping with one of the following events:

• Rendezvous on the River: On April 24, join other young professionals at Fionn MacCool’s restaurant at the Jacksonville Landing to eat, drink and support Dreams Come True, a locally based nonprofit that’s dedicated to granting dreams for children with life-threatening illnesses.

• Elementary School Poster Contest: Teach students at local elementary schools about the importance of the Rule of Law and why every vote matters; then watch in amazement as the students use their creativity to illustrate what they’ve learned.

• Art Supply and Toiletries Drive: Help coordinate and collect art supplies and toiletry items from law firms throughout town. The art supplies benefit the elementary students participating in the poster contest while the toiletries are donated to Downtown Ecumenical Services.

To learn more about these and the other Law Day events, contact Beau Baker at [email protected]

Judicial breakfasts — Watch the JBA Bulletin or log-on to the YLS’s website at for information about upcoming judicial breakfasts. These events allow young lawyers to interact with the judiciary in an informal setting.

Find an event that interests you, e-mail the contact person and then revel in the satisfaction that comes from keeping a New Year’s resolution.

That makes for a Happy New Year.

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