Monday, December 11, 2017
Business

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.

Comments
Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

TAMPA — With the Republican tax bill poised to eliminate the opportunity, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority on Monday said it had refinanced a big chunk of its debt to save money in the future.The authority borrowed $152 million from the bo...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
JW Marriott Clearwater Beach project still on target despite some bumps

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach project still on target despite some bumps

CLEARWATER BEACH — While Tampa is excited about its first JW Marriott hotel, plans are moving ahead for a $130 million JW Marriott property on Clearwater Beach, despite some hiccups. "We’ve done really well in our opinion," Uday Lele, developer of t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
HSBC says U.S. will dismiss criminal charges against it

HSBC says U.S. will dismiss criminal charges against it

HSBC said Monday that U.S. authorities were preparing to dismiss criminal charges against the bank, five years after it reached an agreement to avoid prosecution related to lapses in its money-laundering controls.In 2012, the bank, one of the world’s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Major auto manufacturer offers longer hours, incentives to fix airbags

Major auto manufacturer offers longer hours, incentives to fix airbags

TAMPA — With nearly 200,000 people around Tampa Bay still driving around with defective airbags that could kill them, a major automaker is trying to dramatically cut that number down this week.Fiat Chrystler Automobiles U.S. has launched Airbag Recal...
Updated: 3 hours ago
This 6-year-old kid made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube

This 6-year-old kid made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube

When most people think back on the child celebrities of their time, they likely think of child movie actors, the well-trained stars of showbiz. For some, these were stars like Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, or Macaulay Carson Culkin from "Home Alone." F...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Ticket-fighting firm hires former Florida Bar president to sue the Bar

Ticket-fighting firm hires former Florida Bar president to sue the Bar

Times Staff WriterWell, this is awkward. A company that is suing the Florida Bar has hired a former Bar president to represent it. Ramon Abadin has joined the legal team of TIKD, a company that expedites the process of fighting traffic tickets in Pin...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

TAMPA — Hundreds rallied near the University of South Florida on Friday night to protest President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that the United States will recognize the divided city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.The protest was organize...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Duke outage leaves 7,700 without power near Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — Up to 7,700 customers across Pinellas Park, Lealman and Kenneth City lost power in a Thursday night outage, according to Duke Energy.The outage impacted a cloverleaf-shaped area of customers, with pedals extending in the cardinal dire...
Published: 12/08/17
Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

TAMPA — Drivers on the Veterans Expressway will gain an extra lane from Gunn Highway to Hillsborough Avenue starting Saturday.But there’s a catch: Once drivers enter the lane, they won’t be able to leave it — not until a designated exit about six mil...
Published: 12/08/17
St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

Times Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — What started more than five years ago as an exploratory conversation among a handful of business leaders blossomed Friday into a full-blown community discussion of how to nurture business while working to make sure ...
Published: 12/08/17