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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Feb. 6, 202005:15 AM EST

The Marbut Report: A mentor is like having a ‘legal life coach’

Lawyers can find a path to boost their careers at The Jacksonville Bar Association Mentoring Boot Camp on May 7.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The Jacksonville Bar Association wants to help new lawyers connect with seasoned practitioners who can help them learn some of the fine points of the profession that can’t be taught in law school.

“It’s like having a legal life coach. I’d like for every lawyer who has been practicing for less than five years to have a mentor,” said Duval County Judge Gary Flower, chair of the JBA Mentoring Committee.

For less experienced attorneys, a mentor can be a source of knowledge in areas such as networking into the local legal community, navigating office politics, communicating effectively with clients and developing business.

A longtime mentor, Flower said the commitment is spending about an hour a month with a mentee, plus a few phone calls and emails.

“Every one of us has had someone in their career who helped guide them. Being a mentor gives us the chance to give that back,” Flower said.

The JBA offers a free one-year membership to attorneys who sign up for a mentor before they leave the courtroom where they are sworn in to the Bar.

Flower said there are about 60 mentors in the program, but more are needed.

The association will present a “mentoring boot camp” noon-2 p.m. May 7 at the JBA office at Wells Fargo Center.

Flower said several “distinguished members of the Bar” have been invited to share their experiences as mentors and offer advice to attorneys considering taking on the role.

“We’ll show mentors how to ensure a successful relationship,” Flower said.

Registration will be available at

Don’t miss your court date: There’s an app for that

The Duval County Clerk of Courts has a way for people to register to receive alerts of upcoming criminal court events by text or email.

The new system is accessible at and is intended to keep people informed about their required attendance in court.

Defendants and other interested parties who sign up for the service choose how they will get alerts – by email, text or both – and the timing of the reminders, choosing any combination of 14-day, seven-day or day-ahead notifications.

Studies in jurisdictions where electronic alerts have been implemented show significant reductions in “failures to appear,” or instances in which defendants miss their court events. Failure to appear for a court event can result in a warrant being issued for the arrest of a defendant.

Bradley Bodiford

Bodiford joins Terrell Hogan

Former federal and state prosecutor Bradley Bodiford joined the Terrell Hogan law firm, where he will represent consumers injured by defective products including medical devices, consumer products, professional uniforms and tobacco.

A graduate of Florida State University College of Law, he was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2010.

Gunster promotes two attorneys to shareholders

Lauren Vickroy Purdy was promoted to shareholder in the Gunster law firm’s Jacksonville office.

Lauren Vickroy Purdy

Purdy advises clients in business disputes in state and federal courts. Her practice is focused on commercial litigation, transportation and professional liability matters at the trial and appellate court levels.

Purdy received a J.D. from Florida State University College of Law and was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2011. She joined Gunster in 2013.

Jason Van Lenten

New Jacksonville shareholder Jason Van Lenten’s practice focuses on probate, trust, guardianship and fiduciary litigation, as well as fiduciary risk management and counseling professional fiduciaries.

Van Lenten received a bachelor’s from Rutgers College and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law.

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