After being sworn in as the 2014-15 president of The Jacksonville Bar Association, Troy Smith said he plans to maintain the mission of the association, continue the work begun by his predecessors and propose a few changes.
Just a few days into his term, he’s also maintaining somewhat of an air of mystery.
Smith, a board-certified construction lawyer and shareholder at Rogers Towers, said he will propose to the JBA board of governors the creation of some new committees, including one he calls “the committee that shall not be named” – at least not right now.
“It’s top secret. I’ll probably reveal it in one of my columns,” he said, referring to the president’s column published in The Bar Bulletin in the Monday editions of the Daily Record.
The committee he would talk about will focus on sustaining the association’s financial position, increasing membership and developing more sponsorships, Smith said.
The Finance Committee will
monitor the association’s fiscal activities year-round.
“I think it would be better to have a committee meet once a month and really understand the budget,” Smith said.
Membership activities would include growing the association’s reach in the legal community and continuing to develop the JBA’s relationship with Florida Coastal School of Law.
Smith said he supports a special membership category for third-year law students. Such a membership can help future attorneys understand the benefits the association provides to the legal community, he said.
He’d also like to explore an internship program for Florida Coastal students who could gain experience at local firms before they take the Bar exam.
An internship might even lead to a job after graduation.
“I’d like to help Florida Coastal students be in a position that they don’t have to hang up a shingle when they get out of law school,” said Smith.
Another area of interest will be the association’s monthly meetings.
Smith said he’d like to consider — at least once in a while — getting away from the standard “rubber chicken and guest speaker” format.
Meetings could be combined with gatherings at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville during a Suns game or a visit to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, he said.
Smith said he appreciates the experience the association’s past presidents have and make available. He has close professional relationships with past President Ray Driver and immediate past President Braxton Gillam.
If he needs advice that goes further back, Smith knows where to turn.
“We have four JBA past presidents here at Rogers Towers,” he said.