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YLD launches its Legal Accelerator

Associate Editor Regular News

YLD launches its Legal Accelerator

Associate Editor

Legal Accelerator graphic “What can we help you find?”

That’s the question The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division wanted to emphasize when they developed the Legal Accelerator, now accessible to Florida Bar members when they login to their member portal on the Bar’s website.

The Accelerator functions similarly to the Google search engine. A question is typed into a search field, and any number of mentoring videos that answer the question appear on screen.

Over 1,000 videos created by lawyers are available for viewing, and the tool is ideal for less-experienced lawyers in their first few years of practice.

YLD President Zack Zuroweste sat at a Starbucks over a year ago, sketched out the idea, and has been working on it ever since.

“One of the biggest challenges that lawyers face, especially when they transition from law school into the practice of law, is to find a really good mentor,” he said. “If you’ve been practicing for 20 years, maybe this isn’t something you would use every day, but maybe your associate would, or a young lawyer that you mentor should know about.”

Zuroweste said he would have been pleased if the Legal Accelerator — which is not an open source on the internet, but within the secure Bar member portal — contained just 250 videos. The YLD Transition to Practice Committee Chair Santo DiGangi, and Co-chair Andrew Pickett, wanted to push those numbers, and were instrumental in filming hundreds more videos by Bar Board of Governors members, Bar section leaders, and lawyers from major law firms across the state. The nearly 1,000 short videos within the Accelerator cover topics ranging from professional development and ethics to health and wellness and specific practice area questions.

When Zuroweste graduated from law school at Stetson University and started practicing, he says he was “fortunate” to have a mentor and the best advice he received was “to find a mentor, not just a job.” The YLD president said Robert Persante of Clearwater, a partner at Persante Zuroweste, made him “a better lawyer” and “a better person.”

“A lot of new lawyers go at it alone,” Zuroweste said, adding the Legal Accelerator helps mentor young lawyers virtually. If they’ve got a phone or a laptop, they can get answers to basic questions that all lawyers have in their first few years of practice, he said, without having to scroll through hundreds of website pages.

“What the Legal Accelerator does is: You just type in your question and we provide it to you, just like Google does.. . . It’s all in one place,” Zuroweste said.

When Bar members login to their secure member portal, the clickable link to the Accelerator will be available on the left hand side of the page. More videos will be added as time goes on, Zuroweste said, “And everything we do, we are going to put into the Legal Accelerator so they can be accessed forever.”

Voluntary bar associations, Zuroweste noted, are challenged with making themselves relevant to lawyers in their communities, and one way to be relevant is to provide resources and information that assists lawyers in their professional development and careers.

“Young lawyers especially have a lot of questions,” Zuroweste emphasized. “I think lawyers really want to do well, but sometimes they’re not really sure where to get the answers. I am so proud of the Legal Accelerator website. I think that it is going to be one of the best resources for lawyers in our state.”

To access the newly launched Legal Accelerator, login to the secured members portal at www.floridabar.org.

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