The Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section ("JBA/YLS") is composed of area young lawyers who are 35 years old or younger or who have been practicing less than five years. The JBA/YLS has a large and enthusiastic membership and a very active and committed Board of Governors. JBA/YLS is dedicated to providing a diverse array of programs and projects designed to benefit young lawyers, all members of the bar, and our community.
JBA/YLS conducts many recurring and outstanding projects created by our Board. JBA/YLS is also responsible for staffing and conducting numerous other projects in our area created by The Jacksonville Bar Association and The Florida Bar, such as The Florida Bar's Christmas in January project (to aid foster children in Duval County). JBA/YLS, as an organization, also volunteers on behalf of numerous charitable groups, such as the Special Olympics.
JBA/YLS provides a variety of social activities for young lawyers. The section conducts a sports league which includes basketball, football and softball. JBA/YLS also has after-work social gatherings for area young lawyers.
PROJECTS WHICH PROVIDE A SERVICE TO THE BAR:
Judicial Breakfast Project
Young lawyers are provided the opportunity to interact with judges in an informal, yet professional setting. The breakfasts take place before the judges' calendars begin. The project’s objective is to encourage interaction between young lawyers and the local judges before whom they appear, and to promote professionalism and civility among lawyers just beginning their practice.
The program addresses the need for greater communication between the bench and the bar to identify and solve problems that result in better service to the public. The project is managed by the YLS Judicial Relations chair, who coordinates the event with the judges in advance to maximize judicial participation. The breakfasts are advertised in The Jacksonville Bar Association's newsletter.
The Jacksonville Bar Association has one of the most active sports leagues in the state. Each year teams comprised mostly of lawyers, law clerks, and judges compete in football, basketball, golf, softball, kickball and bowling. Although numbers vary, each league usually includes 8 to 12 teams. The JBA/YLS sports leagues provide lawyers of all ages an opportunity to build friendships and professional relationships outside of the office. In addition, judges and other professionals are allowed to participate in the leagues. More importantly, the sports leagues are used to obtain volunteers and promote our many community projects. The sports leagues also provide a healthy outlet to relief the stresses frequently experienced by young lawyers in a demanding profession.
The YLS annual meeting is held each summer and is one of the section's most popular programs. The meeting features a presentation by a prominent speaker from the legal community. Speakers have included the Chief Justice of the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida and the Mayor of Jacksonville. Topics have included professionalism and the role of lawyers in our society.
In addition to the presentation by the speaker, the election of members to the YLS Board of Governors takes place at the luncheon, as well as the swearing in of the new President and other Board officers. A brief moment is also taken to inform those attending about YLS and its projects and programs and to encourage all to become involved. Recently, the annual meeting has been paired with the YLS Noon in June event, which provides summer clerks an introduction to the City’s legal institutions.
All young lawyers and summer law clerks are invited to attend the annual meeting, regardless of whether they are YLS members. The annual meeting is free of charge.
James F. Bailey, Jr. Scholarship
The Bailey Scholarship is given annually to a first or second year law student attending a Florida law school who intends to practice in the Jacksonville area following graduation.
The scholarship is sponsored by the Financial News and Daily Record, a local business newspaper which is very active in the legal community and often publishes articles on legal affairs, as well as legal notices. The scholarship is intended to help defray law school tuition and related expenses.
The YLS advertises the award and distributes applications at all Florida law schools. Applications normally are solicited at the beginning of spring each year. The applications are then reviewed by members of the scholarship committee of the YLS and the publisher of the Financial News and Daily Record. Applicants are judged on such criteria as law school achievement and character, as well as need.
The scholarship funds are presented to the recipient at The Jacksonville Bar Association's annual meeting where the recipient, together with his or her family, are honored guests.
This program was jointly created by the Fourth Judicial Circuit and The Jacksonville Bar Association and has been implemented with the support of the YLS. The focus of the mentoring program is to enhance the degree of professionalism in the legal community to provide better legal services to clients and generally improve the effectiveness and perception of young lawyers. By completing an application, a young lawyer will be assigned to a mentor who will best serve his or her needs.
The Fourth Judicial Circuit Trial Bulletin
The Trial Bulletin provides weekly e-mail updates advising members of The Jacksonville Bar Association of trials being held in the state and federal courts during that week. Every Monday morning an e-mail update is sent to participating JBA members advising them of civil and criminal trials in the state courts and trials in federal court.
PROJECTS WHICH PROVIDE A SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC:
Holiday in January
The Holiday in January project is designed to insure that each child placed in a foster home over the holidays receives a holiday gift. The project is coordinated with the Northeast Florida Paralegal Association. Law firms and vendors are asked to make donations during the Fall and volunteer attorneys and paralegals purchase and deliver the toys. In the past, children have also been given bicycles and riding helmets. This has been a tremendously successful project for the Young Lawyers Section and personally rewarding for our volunteers
Run for Cover! 5K Race
Run for Cover! is one of several races around the state of Florida that are run in memory of Alan C. Sundberg, Jr., who died of skin cancer in 1998 at the age of 33. Alan is the son of former Florida Supreme Court Justice Alan C. Sundberg and the brother of Tallahassee lawyer Bill Sundberg, who is one of the founding members of the Florida Skin Cancer Foundation. Founded in 1996, the Florida Skin Cancer Foundation is dedicated to educating Floridians about the dangers of prolonged exposure to the sun.
All proceeds from the Run for Cover! 5K support the Florida Skin Cancer Foundation. At the Run for Cover! 5K, runners, volunteers and spectators can participate in free on-site skin cancer screenings offered by the Jacksonville Dermatology Society. Over the past four years, dozens of local racers have been helped by the early detection of skin abnormalities as a result of this race.
This year, YLS announced the first annual 2011 “Super Chili Bowl Charity Cook-Off” to benefit a local charity. Our goal for the Super Chili Bowl Charity Cook-Offis to provide an entertaining and delicious day for the Jacksonville legal community complete with musical entertainment, local celebrities to judge the different teams and, of course, plenty of good chili!