Published February 2013
by London Ott
The Professionalism Committee has recently created the “New Attorney Subcommittee.” Chaired by Amy Borman, General Counsel for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, the subcommittee is designed to provide resources for attorneys who are either new to the Florida Bar or new to Palm Beach County. The idea for providing support and resources for new attorneys was a result of the tough job market which has forced new attorneys to hang up a shingle and begin practicing law without training and supervision from more senior attorneys. While the subcommittee cannot replace the training and development that is part of a larger law firm, it is trying to fill in some gaps to help new attorneys navigate the legal practice in Palm Beach County.
The subcommittee has already put together two events. In conjunction with the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, the subcommittee hosted the Second Annual New Attorney Breakfast. Over 75 newly-admitted Palm Beach County attorneys attended the event, at which various Palm Beach County judges offered tips and advice for practicing in different divisions. Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga attended the event, and emphasized the importance of professionalism. The attendees also had an opportunity to tour the Palm Beach County Courthouse and network with each other as well as with members of the local voluntary bar associations.
The second event was the first of three free seminars for new attorneys. Amy Borman explained the local rules and administrative orders for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. The presentation covered everything from uniform motion calendar (“UMC”) hearings (including a short video clip on how to sign in for a UMC hearing and what not to argue at a UMC hearing) to emergency motions and use of the court’s website. The next seminar will be in early 2013 and will offer information on practicing with civility and professionalism. The subcommittee is also planning a seminar on drafting proposed orders and motions.
Additionally, the subcommittee is in the process of constructing a webpage on the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s website where new attorneys can go to access information relating to the practice of law in Palm Beach County. The webpage will offer links to local rules, administrative orders, as well as the standards of professional conduct. If you are a new attorney and would like more information about the programs being offered, please contact Amy Borman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*London Ott is a law clerk to Chief Judge Melanie G. May at the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach.