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President’s Video Message, October 2013

Hello. I am Eugene Pettis, President of The Florida Bar. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight three programs that are timely and relevant to all Bar members, and ask for your involvement.

First, The Florida Bar’s new William Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy --which kicked off in June-- is well underway with 59 fellows participating.

This multi-session training program is designed to assist a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers in becoming better leaders within our profession and communities through enhancement of their leadership skills.

Already, the academy has held three of the six sessions, participating in a curriculum tailored to strengthen their professional development, knowledge base and experience. They are also attending Bar events and special educational programs.

Applications for the next class of Academy fellows will be available December 1st through January 15th. I encourage all interested Bar members to learn more about this important program and submit an application.

Please visit for more information.

Another most important initiative is Vision 2016. We just kicked off this commission that will determine what the legal profession needs to do to adapt and advance to meet the needs of the modern marketplace.

A three-year comprehensive study of the future of the practice of law, VISION 2016 is The Florida Bar’s opportunity to look thoroughly at four areas:

Legal Education, Technology, Bar Admissions and Delivery of Legal Services/Pro Bono.

I have appointed 68 individuals from the legal profession, public sector and the business community to work to advance the practice of law and functions of our judiciary, while maintaining the cornerstones of access to justice and equality for all.

You will see frequent reports in the Bar News and on the website about VISION 2016’s progress. I hope every Bar member will be fully engaged in the study is most important.

Finally, I ask for your consideration to become an active member of The Florida Bar. We must become the architects of our future and the future of our profession.

The rewards of Bar involvement are many. But it is undisputed that service to the Bar strengthens a lawyer’s skill-set, establishes a broader network, and is a great way to give public service.

In addition, through committee appointments and full membership engagement in sections, divisions, and voluntary bars, we can achieve full diversity and inclusion of all members across the full spectrum of our profession.

GET INVOLVED today and consider Bar committee service in December when forms for committee appointments become available on the website.

Thank you.

[Revised: 01-30-2014]