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Professionalism Resources

Center for Professionalism logoWhether it’s the Professionalism Handbook, best practices guides (and there are many, from electronic communication to professional conduct), quick tips or codes of trial conduct, you’ll find it here.

#ProTips

Quick snippets of professionalism advice.


John Calhoun Bales: What mentorship means


Sarah Morris: When do you have a duty to correct?


Joseph Bovino: Practice cultural competence


Steve Lesser: Maintain confidential communication with your client


Ita Neymotin on the importance of mentoring


Kalinthia Dillard on managing client expectations

Watch previous Pro Tips

2023 Professionalism Case Law Summary (shared with permission of Tim Chinaris)

So, You Want to Become a Lawyer?

This Law School Handbook is intended to help high school and undergraduate students who are interested in going to law school or are considering law as a career. It covers what to expect on your educational path in pursuit of a law degree, as well as the career opportunities that may be open to you once you obtain your law degree.

So You Want to Become a Lawyer? Law School Handbook
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Professionalism Handbook

This handbook includes a collection of professionalism resources designed to help attorneys and students at Florida law schools learn the importance of civility and professionalism in the legal profession. This guide embodies and reflects the substance of the professional identity, personality, character, and fitness to practice law that each member of the Bar should exemplify.

Also see, Resources For Young Lawyers

Best Practices for Remote Proceedings

This guide was produced by the Florida Bar Board Technology Committee.

Other Remote Proceedings Best Practices

The Supreme Court Workgroup on Continuity of Court Operations and Proceedings During and After COVID-19 Best Practices developed best practices on the following topics:

  • Facilitating Pro Se Litigants with Remote Appearance Technology
  • Representing Yourself and Using Remote Appearance Technology with the Courts
  • Management of Evidence in Remote Hearings in Civil and Family Cases
  • Out-of-County Inmates
Best Practices for Remote Court Proceedings

Best Practices for Professional Electronic Communication

Lawyers use multiple forms of communication on a daily basis to diligently advocate and are in a constant state of communication with clients, opposing counsel, the court and colleagues. This guide provides best practices for the most popularly used forms of electronic communication.

Best Practices for Professional Electronic Communication PDF cover
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Legal Professionalism in the Electronic Age

With the shift to video conferencing, it is crucial to uphold the expectation of professionalism and civility within the legal profession. This guide provides some best practices and recommendations for practicing with professionalism virtually.

Legal Professionalism in the Electronic Age guide
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Bounds of Advocacy: Goals for Family Lawyers in Florida

Developed by The Family Law SectionBounds of Advocacy is a tool to guide Florida family lawyers through the quagmire of professional and ethical dilemmas that are unique to the practice of family law. The intent is to suggest a higher level of practice than the minimum baseline of conduct required by the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, and the goal is to elevate professionalism in the practice of family law.

Bounds of Advocacy Goals for Family Lawyers guide
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TRIAL LAWYERS SECTION GUIDELINES FOR PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

Guidelines for Professional Conduct by the Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar were developed as part of a continuous effort increase the level of professionalism in trial practice in Florida.

WELL-BEING TOOLKIT FOR LAWYERS AND LEGAL EMPLOYERS

This Well-Being Toolkit, created by Anne M. Brafford for use by the American Bar Association, offers reasons for prioritizing lawyer well-being as well as information, strategies, and resources for implementing a plan for positive change.

See Resources for Students for more videos.

CIVILITY INITIATIVE

The American College of Trial Lawyers Civility Initiative Project (February 2020) featuring Eugene K. Pettis, past president of The Florida Bar.

American College of Trial Lawyers Videos

Code of Trial Conduct

Annotated Code of Trial Conduct: A Manual for Trial Practitioners and for Use as a Teaching Aid, published by the American College of Trial Lawyers, 2005.

Code of Pretrial and Trial Conduct, published by the American College of Trial Lawyers, June 2009.

ABA

ABA issues ethics guidance on a lawyer’s use of listservs, particularly for pending matters

The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released a formal opinion that provides guidance for when a lawyer can seek advice on a listserv, noting that model rules in most cases forbid posting questions or comments relating to a representation — even in hypothetical or abstract form. Formal Opinion 511 cites Rule 1.6…

Chief Judge Corrigan

Chief Judge Tim Corrigan wins William M. Hoeveler Judicial Professionalism Award

Chief U.S. District Judge Tim Corrigan was in his Florida room in 2013 when an assassin’s bullet splintered a window and lodged in a wall 1.6 inches above his head. A disgruntled former criminal defendant, armed with a .30-06, was later apprehended, and ultimately sentenced to 343 years. “Some might think this harrowing experience would…

Pixel figure on an abstract background.

Florida leads ethical AI adoption — New York Bar follows suit

Following in Florida’s footsteps, the New York State Bar Association has adopted guidelines for the ethical use of artificial intelligence. The New York State Bar Association’s governing board approved a taskforce’s recommendations, including that New York lawyers notify clients if they use AI to prepare their case. The report notes that California lawyers received the…

The Professional, once a triannual publication, is now a blog!

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