The Young Lawyers Division recently launched a new lunchtime webinar series.
The initiative aims to offer education and CLE opportunities on topics of particular interest to young lawyers in a convenient format, said YLD President Melanie Griffin, of Orlando, and technology committee Co-Chair Zack Zuroweste, of Clearwater.
“This year we decided one of the best ways to meet the needs of young lawyers who may not have one-on-one mentoring or may not have developed the skills they need to practice is through this series,” Griffin said. “Our idea is to offer a webinar bimonthly or monthly on topics such as technology or transitioning to practice.”
The webinars are free and offered during the lunch hour.
The division’s next webinar, Social Media Ethics: 10 Potential Ethical Pitfalls for Florida Legal Professionals Using Social Media, is set for noon on September 25.
The program allows lawyers to earn one general and one ethics CLE credit.
Concepts to be covered include legal ethics regulations governing social media, the Rules of Professional Conduct that apply to professional or business activity on social media, and practical considerations lawyers should consider when using social media.
Lawyers interested in registering by may do so by visiting the division’s website at www.flayld.org, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/floridayld, or Twitter account @flabaryld.
Zuroweste said the program, which launched in August with a webinar on using technology to prevent malpractice claims, has been well-received by young lawyers.
“Our goal was to exceed 100 people and the first registry had more than 900,” he said. “We’re very excited about that. What it told us is that this is something our members want, and so we are now even more motivated to provide meaningful content.”
Griffin said she hopes the webinar series can assist young lawyers as job opportunities for new lawyers shrink.
“A large percentage of recent graduates are having significant trouble finding jobs and mentors,” she said. “One thing they’re having to turn to increasingly is hanging out their own shingle. We’re advertising job opportunities when we can, but one of the best things we can do for those who have to open their own practices and hang out their own shingles at early points in their careers is provide them with the education they need to succeed.”
Zuroweste said the webinars are designed to apply to a wide range of young lawyers, whether at large or small firms or starting their own practices,
“There are a lot of things out there that can get young lawyers in trouble,” he said. “Part of the initiative is to provide content to help those starting out on their own, but the same principles also apply to any young lawyer.”
Griffin and Zuroweste said the program is part of the division’s larger initiative to lead the way in incorporating new technology into the practice.
“In the last 12 to 24 months, we’ve been tasked with helping to lead the Bar on technology,” Griffin said. “It seemed like an amorphous concept at first and we didn’t know exactly what it meant. With our recent social media campaign, this webinar series, and e-newsletters, we’re really taking tangible steps this year to start actually implementing the technology that’s out there and available to young lawyers and making it meaningful.”
“The practice has changed a lot over the last few years,” he said. “It’s clear technology is going to become an everyday part of the practice of law. It changes the way lawyers talk to each other, interact with each other, and communicate with clients. We think technology is something our group, young lawyers, has an advantage on. We grew up with technology and know it really well. I think we can provide the medium and resources to help young lawyers in the state with the technology that’s out there that can benefit them.”