The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

YLD YouTube videos provide mentoring advice

Associate Editor Regular News

As a blind snow-skiier, attorney John Sutton of Miami heeds directions to travel left or right from a guide in Vail, Colorado, where he enjoys the dynamic sport.

Sutton went blind in both eyes when an attempted murder in his home several years ago left him severely incapacitated before recovering enough to return to practice law. An interview in which he shares his views on quality of life was captured on video for the Young Lawyers Division Mentoring with the Masters online library.

Jennifer Kuyrkendall Jennifer Kuyrkendall of Live Oak, chair of the YLD Transition to Practice Committee, filmed 39 YouTube presentations this year, which are posted on the young lawyers webpage, on a variety of topics.

She said Sutton’s survival story caught her attention before asking him to sit for an interview.

“He has a great story. He’s very inspirational,” she said, noting that the mentoring videos are intended to offer guidance.

“Primarily, the videos are geared toward young lawyers; however, I think they are beneficial for anybody, at any stage of their career. I had someone approach me, for instance, who was going to federal court for the first time, and was Googling ‘what to do in federal court,’ and came across one of our videos last year…he approached me about it, and said, ‘that was really helpful,’” Kuyrkendall explained.

“It’s sad, but it’s true, that oftentimes a lot of people will hang their own shingle, and not have a mentor. At least this is a resource if they aren’t able to reach out to an individual, to at least have a good start.”

On the subject of quality of life for lawyers, the YLD’s May Health and Wellness Month raised awareness about the mental and physical stress often associated with the practice of law, but work-life balance education in law schools had been underway since the fall of last year. The YLD had teamed up with The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism and the YLD Law Student Division to host lunchtime panel discussions on “Balancing Life and Law,” which have been successfully executed at every law school in the state. Legal professionals who spoke to students about the realities of the profession sat on the panels.

Jeremy Korch Jeremy Korch of Miami, chair of the YLD’s Professionalism Committee, said the program’s aim was to help educate students about life beyond the bar exam.

“The habits you have in law school are going to carry over into your law practice,” he said. “There’s a lot of pressure to do well, and to be the best in what you’re doing. The stress of the legal profession begins in law school, so law students need to start learning how to effectively deal with that stress and channel it into productivity.”

Korch said questions raised were: What’s a typical day like? How do we manage stress? How do we work on prioritization of tasks?

“This gives law students an idea on what our techniques are in how we balance a very demanding career with the fact that everybody needs a little time to engage in things that make them personally happy,” he said.

“The program was rolled out in the fall of this year. The Young Lawyers Division began really focusing on quality of life issues in the spring of this year. They did go on dual tracks, but the nice thing is, they have now intersected,” Korch said. “It’s our hope that next year, the Young Lawyers Division along with the Latimer Center will continue the snowball effect of this dialogue on quality of life.”

When it comes to educating members on technology, the young lawyers have completed several projects this Bar year.

The Technology Committee, led by Margaret Good of Sarasota and Zack Zuroweste of Clearwater, has released all videos in “The Florida Bar’s Social Media and Technology Series.” The three-part webinar series was viewed in several countries worldwide, including the Czech Republic, Spain, and Romania. The third and final presentation, “Apps for Florida Lawyers,” presented by Christopher Hopkins of West Palm Beach, was released in March. The professionally videotaped webinar covers more than 50 smartphone apps that lawyers can use in depositions, mediations, special set hearings, and trial. New apps that lawyers may have never heard of are covered in the online presentation.

The committee also hosted a webinar in April entitled “Fourth Amendment Update: Cell Phone and Computer Searches of Your Life,” presented by Ian M. Comisky, William Ridgway, and Gina M. Spada, which was a follow-up to last year’s highly attended webinar regarding the latest trends and law regarding cell phone and computer searches.

Meanwhile, the main YLD webpage received a make-over. Its brand-new modern appearance has been launched featuring a separate technology page containing tech resources for Florida lawyers. Led by Margaret Good, the Technology Webpage Subcommittee worked together to finalize content. Highlights include links to all courtroom technology administrators for every Florida state and federal court, as well as some of the most helpful technology blogs and reviews of resources available to practitioners. The page contains topics on e-discovery and computer assisted review; courtroom and trial technology; law practice management; and social media and marketing.

News in Photos