It can help your career and the community.
By Tim Miller • JBA Young Lawyers Section Board of Governors
As the holiday season and the end of another year approaches, I often take a moment to think about those things for which I am most grateful.
In regard to my legal career, I think about how fortunate I have been to be involved with the Jacksonville Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Section. Going back to when I was a brand new assistant state attorney in 2012, no single decision has made me feel more a part of the legal community than deciding to attend my first YLS event.
As I have remained in the criminal law field, it has been an asset to become friends with lawyers that I would not have met on my path in the halls of the Duval County Courthouse.
My Bar experience has been one that has given me respected colleagues to bounce ideas off of and trusted friends with whom to celebrate.
For all of the benefits I have received by being active in the JBA, the greatest of all is knowing that my colleagues and I have made a difference in the lives of others.
From the YLS golf tournament in October that benefited Learn to Read to the Chili Cook Off that will in February benefit the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech, there are events that allow attorneys to see the difference their participation can make in the community in which we live.
It also has been my experience that the Bar is always willing to listen and lend a helping hand for any initiative an attorney might have or a cause that they hold dear to their heart. Let the organization be your platform if you have something you would like to see done in the community or a cause that you deem needs attention.
With the number of lawyers that participate in the Bar, you can find like minds just waiting to help you in whatever way they can.
I encourage anyone who thinks themselves to be too busy or wonder if becoming more involved would be worth it to them either personally or professionally to get involved.
Take that first step, set aside time to attend your first happy hour, charity event or board meeting. You will be welcomed with open arms by a group of folks who care about their community and care about the experience its members have.
If you have been sitting on the fence about joining the JBA, or perhaps just getting more involved, please reach out to me or any other board member. We are happy to help you meet any goals you might have, and most important, I can promise you it will be worth it.
Tim Miller is an associate at Robert Shafer and Associates and practices criminal defense.