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. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Government

    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  2. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  3. Gov. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business in Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miami. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  4. Superior Uniform Group reports $65.6 million in sales for second quarter

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — Superior Uniform Group Inc. reported sales of $65.6 million in net sales for the second quarter, up a percentage point from the same quarter last year, the Seminole-based company reported Thursday.

    Superior Uniform Group Inc. saw a sales increase for the second quarter, the company reported Thursday. Pictured is Michael Benstock, CEO. | [Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Air bag inflator ruptures, driver killed in Pasco County

    Autos

    DETROIT — Automaker Honda says a driver from Pasco County died in a crash earlier this month that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator.

    Honda says a driver near Tampa has died in a crash that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator. 
[Associated Press]