New Facebook page launched for Florida’s voluntary bars
With almost 300 voluntary bars in Florida, it’s hard to keep up with all the great work they’re doing within their communities and the multitude of legal events they hold regularly.
Well, now there’s a Facebook page for that.
Two weeks ago, The Florida Bar launched the Florida Voluntary Bars Facebook page, with the goal of highlighting the activities and events of Florida’s local and specialty bar associations through sharing their posts and/or creating original content that spotlights their happenings.
The page was the brainchild of the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee, chaired by Orlando lawyer Kimberly Lopez. The committee at a recent meeting proposed the idea of starting a Facebook page specific to local voluntary bar associations (VBAs) to raise the visibility of all the work the bar associations are doing.
“Our leaders consistently share that they thrive when learning from other voluntary bars,” Lopez said. “The best-known resource for any VBA is other VBAs, and the Facebook page provides access to such resources 24/7. Our VBA leaders and members no longer have to wait for annual conferences to share ideas, lessons learned, and valuable insight. In short, our ‘bar junkies’ and ‘bar geeks’ — as some affectionately call themselves — finally have a (social media) home.”
Jeff Doran, manager of Bar Services and staff administrator for the Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee, agreed.
“Growing awareness of the awesome work of Florida’s voluntary bars is the primary reason why our Voluntary Bar Committee leadership created the new Facebook page,” said Doran, who will help oversee the page.
By posting many of these happenings to a public Facebook page, Doran said, there is a greater chance more people will view the content as it gives VBAs of all sizes a larger platform.
“In addition to the regular posts on events and activities, we will also be sharing helpful association leadership tips and basic skill-building info to help newbie and future bar leaders,” Doran said.
Earlier this year, Doran formed a private Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Leaders Facebook Group that has since grown to 233 members. The group “serves as a bulletin board for group communication and sharing common interests and expressing opinions,” Doran explained.
Peer-to-peer conversations are the focus of the group forum for VBA presidents, executive staff, and past leaders to discuss association experiences and challenges.
Florida Bar President Michael Tanner, who has been a member of the private group since it was formed, said he is excited to see the public page grow.
“Voluntary bars across Florida provide critical resources to Florida attorneys including discussions about significant local legal issues, networking and mentoring connections, and important legal education opportunities,” Tanner said. “This Facebook page will only grow and enhance those opportunities, while putting a much deserved spotlight on all of the incredible work local bars do to support their members.”
To date, the new Facebook page already has over 50 posts and plans to share and/or post original content two or three times a day.
“Highlighting bar activities is a service we provide to share ideas on outreach, health and wellness, charity, community service, diversity, etc., to put the spotlight on the VBs and the creative things ongoing within the VB community,” Doran said. “Voluntary bars, after all, are run by volunteers. They are busy people. Sharing success stories is a great thing we can do to boost voluntary bar membership, leadership, and bar service.”
For years, The Florida Bar has compiled a monthly electronic newsletter in the Florida Voluntary Bar Center on The Florida Bar’s website highlighting Florida’s VBAs. It first debuted as the “Bar-To-Bar E-News,” but was later revamped into “The SideBar.” Now that the Florida Voluntary Bars Facebook page has arrived, The SideBar page will instead re-direct readers straight to the new Facebook page.
“This new social media hub provides the opportunity for all Bar members to tune-in to what’s happening in the voluntary bar world statewide,” Doran said. “We hope you’ll give the page a follow!”
To see or interact with any of The Florida Bar’s entities that are currently using social media, visit the Bar’s dedicated social media page here: FloridaBar.org/SocialMedia.