Make us your home page
Instagram

Hundreds of Florida attorneys seek help through new mentoring program

Hundreds of lawyers are seeking guidance from their more experienced peers in the first weeks of a new program launched by the Florida Bar and its Young Lawyers Division.

At the receiving end are more than 500 lawyers who have volunteered to mentor early-career attorneys on issues ranging from unfamiliar legal areas to marketing small firms.

"What we're trying to create here is a virtual hallway," Bill Schifino Jr., Tampa-based president of the Florida Bar, said. When he began his career 30 years ago, "it was easy for me to walk down the hall and sit in someone's office" to kick around ideas on cases.

But such collaboration can be tough for many Florida lawyers today. A 2016 survey by the Florida Bar found 35 percent of Florida lawyers operate a solo firm — a one-lawyer shop. That means they need to curate their own professional network for advice, which is challenging for those just starting out. Another 30 percent of attorneys surveyed work in a firm with two to five attorneys. This makes collaboration easier, but can mean the number of areas of expertise within a firm is limited.

That's where Lawyers Advising Lawyers comes in. Attorneys seeking advice are matched up with a lawyer who is experienced in particular area of law. Mentors are required to have a minimum of five years experience with the subject they will advise on. Currently, the mentors have expertise in 50 areas of law.

Mentees aren't the only ones who benefit from mentorship. Interacting with young lawyers can help senior attorneys stay in touch with young lawyers' needs and learn how the next generation of lawyers operates. Additionally, it earns each mentor five credits annually towards the Florida Bar-required 33 continuing education credits every three years.

Zack Zuroweste, a Clearwater-based lawyer and the president-elect of the Young Lawyers Division, is a mentor with the program. He enjoyed coaching a recent law school grad on a probate case.

"We've all been new to this very challenging field," he said. "It's just nice to be able to give back to our profession."

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com. Follow @malenacarollo.

Hundreds of Florida attorneys seek help through new mentoring program 03/20/17 [Last modified: Friday, March 17, 2017 6:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. Citigroup agrees to pay nearly $100 million fine for Mexican subsidiary

    Banking

    NEW YORK — Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering.

    Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering. 
[Associated Press file photo]

  3. Goodbye Tampa Bay Express, hello Tampa Bay Next; but toll lanes aren't going anywhere

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Express is dead.

    But its replacement — Tampa Bay Next — will likely include many of the same projects, including express toll lanes on the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. DOT officials say there are still re-evaluating the most controversial aspect of the old TBX plan: spend $6 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area highways - Interstates 4,75 and 275 - that are currently free of tolls. But TBN will keep the plan to add express toll lanes to the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  4. Trigaux: Tampa Bay lands on Forbes 2017 ranking of best places for young professionals

    Working Life

    Consider this one more notch in the belt of Tampa Bay starting to win serious attention from millennials as a place to live and build a career.

    Mike Griffin is a senior managing director in Tampa for Savills Studley Occupier Services, which provides integrated real estate services. He is also chairman for 2017 of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the first of the next generation of leadership emerging in this metro market. [Courtesy of Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce]
  5. Leaders of Tampa Bay's top workplaces share insights, suggestions

    Business

    TAMPA — Nearly 300 people gathered at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday morning to hear tips and insights from leaders of the highest-ranked workplaces in Tampa Bay.

    Bays Florida associates (From left) Robert Patterson, Amanda Boser, and Kellly Banchak talk during the reception before the start of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces Live! program at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]