Arthur Hernandez, Hispanic-American member of the Jacksonville Bar Association, spoke to us at our last YLS Board meeting about the need to improve diverse participation in Bar activities at all levels. First thoughts regarding diversity probably lean to ethnic or racial diversity, though from a broader perspective, diversity carries a multitude of connotations. Art’s words, coupled with this broader perspective, have spurred me to consider in a new light the existing representation on the YLS Board, as well as YLS member participation in our community outreach projects. In addition to racial and ethnic diversity, we can further achieve diversity by seeking the involvement of all types of lawyers in Bar and YLS services and activities. Consider the following categories of lawyers (and related subcategories): Solo practitioners; transactional lawyers; pro bono lawyers; law school professors; litigators; state attorneys; public defenders; government lawyers; in-house lawyers; judges; federal and state clerks; and private firm lawyers. Such lawyers surely possess differing perspectives on the current issues facing the Bar and on the community projects in which YLS is involved, and sharing these differing perspectives with one another can only strengthen our Bar and make it better.
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On Jan. 26, YLS will host a holiday party for foster children under the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Through the Holiday in January Project, we try to make the holidays a little brighter for these children. The festivities usually include an appearance by Santa, holiday sweets and, of course, gifts for all. In support of the Holiday in January Project, YLS solicits donations from local firms and lawyers and uses the money to purchase toys from local stores. Additionally, we can always use toys that are no longer being used in your household and clothes your kids might have outgrown. The marquee event in the Holiday in January Project is the raffle for bicycles donated and refurbished by the Sheriff’s Office. If you would like to help us with the Holiday in January Project, please call Ray Driver (353-2000) or Troy Smith (398-3911).