A message to the membership from President-elect Foster-Morales
The online portal is now open for electronic Bar fee payments, including an installment payment plan option
Dear Fellow Florida Bar Member:
These are the most uncertain of times. While we all recall difficult times, none compare to the way in which this pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our lives and will require true resilience and reliance on our support systems in equal measure. It is my prayer that you weather these times by focusing, as best possible, on the needs of your family, friends, colleagues, and clients.
Perhaps now more than ever, The Florida Bar is here to help you. In these uncertain times, here is what you can expect from The Florida Bar:
- Unwavering advocacy for the legal profession and the Third Branch;
- Staunch protection of access to justice;
- Prioritizing and supporting your mental health and wellness with resources that will soon include a 24/7 confidential helpline for crisis intervention with referral to a licensed mental-health professional to provide free mental-health sessions remotely. Additional mental health and wellness resources are available at floridabar.org/member/healthandwellnesscenter, including a coping with COVID-19 page with links to videos, articles, and other sources to support your well-being;
- Excellent, free accessible continuing legal education not only to help you during the pandemic, but year-round including many free programs to complete the ethics, professionalism, and technology CLE requirements. The recent free webinar on the CARES Act, drew more than 1,700 live participants and, like many others, a recorded version is posted at LegalFuel.com along with dozens of practice resources and the assistance of on-staff advisers by chat, email, and telephone;
- Direct support with personal assistance via the Ethics Hotline and programs like Lawyers Advising Lawyers; and
- Discounts and member benefits that will immediately save on expenses and provide you with what you need, especially as you practice remotely.
Today marks the beginning of membership renewal in our mandatory Bar. As long as I have been a Florida Bar member, our leadership has increasingly focused on enhancing member services and running an efficient organization that meets the mission of promoting professionalism, protecting the public, and pursuing justice. Florida’s annual Bar fees remain among the lowest among other states’ licensure and bar association costs and we have not had a fee increase since 2001.
Understanding that these are also difficult financial times for many, The Florida Bar is providing an installment payment plan option that needs to be elected no later than August 15.
The online portal is now open for electronic fee payments, including voluntary section memberships and voluntary contributions.
Section membership and involvement is an excellent way to access current information and education on practice areas and to develop a network of diverse and like-minded practitioners across the state with opportunities for business relationships and referrals. Sections provide great opportunities for leadership experience that can help you grow personally and professionally while working collaboratively to improve the practice of law.
Through the fee statement, you also have an opportunity to financially support the work of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, The Florida Bar Foundation’s Children’s Legal Services program, and Florida Lawyers Association for the Maintenance of Excellence (“FLAME”), which advances our profession.
My heartfelt thoughts go out to you in these challenging times. I hope you are finding some opportunities among the many challenges COVID-19 is creating. Along with your other Bar leaders, I am committed to doing everything we possibly can to help you. Please visit FloridaBar.org/covid19 for the latest information, resources, and services.
2020-21 Florida Bar President