By Annie Butterworth Jones
After years of planning and preparation, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division has launched their “Mentoring with the Masters” program, a complimentary web-based curriculum designed to provide new Florida lawyers with helpful information about the Bar and Bar membership.
Mentoring with the Masters is an hour-long online program produced by the YLD’s Transition to Practice committee. The curriculum includes videos on a wide variety of topics ranging from board certification to jury selection.
“We recognized that most young lawyers enter practice with very little guidance as to how to confront the tough challenges of the legal profession,” said YLD President Sean Desmond of Tallahassee.
“During those first years of practice, it is clear that the development of good habits and the making of good decisions are so critical.”
As ideas for a more formal mentoring program began to develop, YLD board members decided to approach several former Bar presidents for their advice, said Desmond.
“As we listened, we were amazed by the quality of the advice we were receiving. It became clear that one of the ways to help young lawyers was to simply record those messages and make them available to our members online.”
Now, video clips for the program are presented by a “who’s who” of Florida Bar leaders: former Bar Presidents Kelly Overstreet Johnson, Miles McGrane, and Alan Bookman; Bar President-elect Gwynne Young; former YLD board member Cristina Alonzo; and Lauren Detzel, a shareholder with Dean Mead. The videos answer frequently asked substantive and practice area questions, covering topics including mediation, estate planning, Bar activity involvement, and work-life balance.
YLD board members say the program is vital to young attorneys’ development, giving them access to the guidance they need to succeed in legal practice.
“Watching the video clips is time well spent because many of the topics and situations addressed are things that attorneys are confronted with on a daily basis,” said Adam Myron, chair of the YLD Local Bar Affiliates committee, which has helped to promote the program.
“I would recommend all young lawyers in Florida take the time to watch them,” said Desmond. “The messages are an invaluable tool to any young lawyer as they deal with the challenges and constant changes of the legal profession.”
More information about the YLD and its various mentoring programs can be found online at the YLD website, www.flayld.org/mentoring. The Mentoring with the Masters videos are available through the online CLE catalog, www.legalspan.com/TFB/catalog.asp, under the Young Lawyers Division. The curriculum is offered as both an online seminar and a downloadable podcast.
CLE credit for the Mentoring with the Masters program is pending.