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Young Lawyers Division launches webpage to assist law grads interested in the Supervised Practice Program

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'Our soon-to-be colleagues are missing out on valuable experience and we need to help them'

Adam J. WhiteThe Young Lawyers Division has launched a webpage to assist the estimated 3,000 recent law school graduates who have been unable to take the bar exam in finding attorneys who are willing to participate in the new Supervised Practice Program.

“Our soon-to-be colleagues are missing out on valuable experience and we need to help them,” YLD President Adam White said. “Since the announcement of the Supervised Practice Program, the YLD has been creating a webpage where potential supervising attorneys can be listed, by geographical area and practice area, so that Bar applicants can contact them and participate in the new program.”

Bar applicants will be able to use the page to determine the attorneys, law firms, and organizations (“potential supervising attorney”) that are willing to supervise Bar applicants, as permitted pursuant to Supreme Court of Florida Administrative Order No. AOSC20-80.

The potential supervising attorney will be able to add information to the website for Bar applicants to review. It will be the responsibility of each Bar applicant to contact a potential supervising attorney to obtain the approval and supervision required by the Supreme Court to participate in the Supervised Practice Program. The webpage also contains links and resources to explain the Supervised Practice Program and links to required forms.

The webpage will be updated frequently.

White said his office has taken on one of these Bar applicants, “and I have heard of others on our boards doing the same.” Bar President Dori Foster-Morales has also promised to recruit an applicant to work at her firm and is urging Florida lawyers to follow her lead.

“Please lend a helping hand to our recent law school graduates who have been unable to take the bar exam due to the pandemic,” Foster-Morales posted on her Facebook page. “Thank you, YLD, for taking the lead.”

To qualify, a 2020 Bar applicant must meet a number of requirements, including graduating from an ABA-accredited law school, not having taken a bar examination in Florida or another jurisdiction before February 1, 2020, and receiving a letter of clearance as to character and fitness from the Bar Examiners.

Supervising attorneys will assume professional responsibility for all services provided by the supervised practice participant, and for the quality of the practice participant’s work, and must assist in the practice participant’s preparation to the extent the supervising attorney considers it necessary, according to the Supreme Court order authorizing the program.

The supervising attorney also must enter an appearance in any matter in which a supervised practice participant enters an appearance and is required to be present “at all critical stages of the proceeding” in any case in which the graduate represents a person who has a right to appointed counsel.

On August 28, the Bar Examiners approved the first 63 applicants for a supervised legal practice program, which will last until 30 days after the results of the February 2021 bar exam are released.

The YLD and the Bar Examiners hosted a free webinar  September 2 to explain how the recently approved supervised practice program for law graduates and participating lawyers will work.

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