Please see our “Upcoming Events Calendar” for information about local CFAWL programs and luncheons.
This space will be for information about FAWL specific events/news and Voluntary Bar Events taking place in the Orlando Area.
FAWL Seeks To Share Your News
Hello, FAWL! I am Tiffany Love McElheran and I am very honored to serve as your Public Relations Director this year. have been an attorney with Bush Ross, P.A. since 2011 in our Community Associations Practice Group and am a long time FAWL member. I previously served as co-chair of the webinar committee as well as a member of the Awards Committee and Development Committee.
I have immensely enjoyed learning and sharing with so many wonderful women across the State. FAWL has helped me to become more confident, to be inspired to make a bigger difference by pursing more leadership opportunities, and become a better mentor to other young attorneys. I am very passionate about uplifting one another and promoting confidence and skills to help others discover their value. To achieve success, it is imperative that individuals feel that they are supported, valued, recognized for their contributions, and connected. Therefore, I am very excited to share in all of your success and accomplishments over the next year and highlight the amazing members of this incredible organization. If you have events, updates, and content to share and promote, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com so we can recognize and appreciate our accomplishments and stay connected, focus on leadership opportunities and continued mentorship to help empower our lawyers and to encourage early involvement. On behalf of all of the FAWL Leadership Team, we appreciate your support and commitment, and are looking forward to an incredible year!
FAWL Members Present Oral Argument on Proposed Rule Change
Michelle Coughlin, Susan Warner, Jennifer Shoaf Richardson, Lara Bach, and Kyleen Hinkle presented Oral Argument to The Florida Supreme Court on August 27, 2019.
On August 27, 2019, the Florida Supreme Court considered oral argument in support of proposed Rule 2.570 to the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration which would allow for mandatory continuances, with client consent, for timely filed requests from lead counsel, unless substantial prejudice may be demonstrated and with exception provided for criminal, juvenile, and cases involving sexually violent predators. Jennifer Shoaf Richardson, former president of FAWL, along with The Florida Bar President, John M. Stewart, Susan Warner, Lara Bach, and Michelle Coughlin, artfully presented argument to The Florida Supreme Court in support of the proposed rule and addressed questions raised by the Justices regarding the need for a formal rule on parental leave. FAWL maintains that, the rule is necessary to provide certainty, confidence, and promote efficiency. Absent substantial prejudice, parents should not have to forego lead counsel opportunities or risk losing clients; spouses should not have to risk not being present for the birth of a child; clients should not have to be unduly burdened or have to pay for a new attorney to learn their case; the role of women lawyers should not be diminished; and protections must exist to prevent an inequitable result when addressing parental leave. Mrs. Richardson asserted in argument that “The advancement of women as professionals is directly implicated by this rule and by these denials.”
Interestingly, those opposed provided comment that the rule forces delay based on an “individual decision of one attorney to take time away from work.” Opponents also argue that the system is not broken and “works already.” They assert that a mandate unfairly shifts the burden to the nonmoving side and takes discretion away from trial courts. However, numerous examples were presented to the Court identifying the significant obstacles that exist for many seeking parental leave and indicate that solutions should be considered to offer remedies not solely based on equality, but on equitable factors. While opponents appear to overlook the professional adversity faced by many parents with regard to parental leave and family planning, including: the undervaluing of contributions, underrepresentation in firm leadership, unconscious bias, and gender pay gaps, the proposed rule would provide an equitable remedy for those negatively impacted. There is no question that parental leave affects women lawyers vastly different from their male counterparts and yet, ensuring equity in these matters continues to be debated.
The Florida Bar Board of Governors unanimously recommended adoption of the rule as proposed twice. Mr. Stewart explained that the enactment of the rule “advances the Bar’s mission one, in promoting diversity and advancement of the diverse professionals in our profession, and second, as the rule, as proposed, advances the bars mission to encourage health and wellness and to encourage work life integration as physically and mentally healthy lawyers better serve their clients.” Justice Alan Lawson commented that “Everybody recognizes that we have a serious problem that causes serious problems for practitioners in this State” and that this issue has “already been punted once”, he posed the suggestion that a “sunset provision” be implemented to allow an opportunity to reevaluate after gaining experience under the rule. While various arguments in support and in opposition to the proposed rule were presented at oral argument this morning, parties on both sides acknowledged that cause for concern and address of parental leave within the legal profession is crucial. In the meantime, The Florida Bar, FAWL, as well as many voluntary bar associations, will be anxiously awaiting the response from The Florida Supreme Court.
Photos from FAWL Annual Awards and Installation
Greetings from FAWL’s New President
We have a busy year planned, and our committees have some very exciting projects in the works! If you have not already done so, please complete your committee preference form to get involved.
Thank you to all that helped plan the Annual Awards and Installation Celebration. It was very well-attended by our members across the state, several of our past presidents, and many members of our Florida Bar Board of Governors. We received positive feedback, and a great time was had by all!It was lovely to see several of our local FAWL chapter leaders at the Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference in Tampa. The conference provides a wealth of information to our leadership and allows us to mix-and-mingle with other voluntary bars around the state. It is designed for all levels of leadership, but we encourage our chapters to send their president-elect and president to the conference that takes place every July. The conference is put on by the Florida Bar’s Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee, and is hosted in the hometown of the conference chair each year.
The Board of Governors also held their first meeting of the year in July. The Bar President appoints the FAWL President to serve as a non-voting liaison to the board each year. This provides us the opportunity to address our concerns and share our opinions with the BOG on issues that fit into our mission. This coveted liaison seat is priceless, and FAWL does not squander the opportunity. The FAWL President attends all six BOG meetings annually, and participates in committees.
We have been informed that the BOG will be auditing all the liaison seats this year in a special committee. We will cooperate with the BOG in this process, and are hopeful that due to our statewide status and consistent engagement, our liaison seat will remain intact next year.
On behalf of the FAWL Executive Committee and committee chairs, thank you for the support, and we look forward to hearing from each of you with your ideas this year.
Recap of the FAWL Board of Governors’ July 2019 Meeting
The Board of Governors discussed whether it is misleading and otherwise a violation of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar for a lawyer to continue to use a birth surname, which was the advertising lawyer’s original official bar name, as part of the law firm when the lawyer’s current official bar name is the hyphenated birth name and married name of the lawyer. The relevant rules (4-7.21(b) and 1-3.3(b)) essentially say that advertising cannot be deceptive or inherently misleading information about the law. The Board of Governors found in this particular instance wherein the lawyer’s maiden and married names are unique that the use of the maiden name only in the firm name was not deceptive. The board did not go as far to say that law firm name changes would not be required in similar situations in the future; however, this review by the BOG will give bar staff guidance when faced with similar situations. Thank you for the chapters that provided feedback on this issue on very short notice.
Past Bar President, Greg Coleman, has requested that we download and share the app “Access to Courts” that is available in the App store for free, on our websites and on social media. The app is a project of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, and aids pro bono litigants in the process of litigation. Please direct any questions regarding this project to me, and I will direct you to the proper parties (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Update on last name search on Florida Bar Website: The request to allow Bar members to be searched by maiden, hyphenated and married names is in the que. The bar has heard our repeated requests to update the database and make it easier to locate attorneys that change their names. The delay is due to a five-year project to update all databases, including the grievance cases database, which ends in 2020. The bar has expressed that due to this all-encompassing project, they do not have the IT Staff to address expanding the search options until completion of the database updates. They anticipate being able to address our request in the in six to 12 months. We will continue to follow up on progress.
FAWL Journal Spring/Summer 2019
NAWL Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon
The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) is hosting the 2019 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon, which takes place on Thursday, July 18 at the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central in New York City. FAWL is a partnering organization for this event and our members receive 10% off registration!
Since 1899, NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession, cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support, and collective success. NAWL’s mission is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law.
In addition to morning and afternoon programming featuring candid conversations on diversity, overcoming professional challenges, and how to break into emerging markets, the Awards Luncheon will celebrate leaders in our organization and profession.
If you are interested in receiving the promotional code, contact Kyleen Hinkle. For additional information about NAWL and our 2019 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon, please visit NAWL’s website. If you have any questions, please reach out to Asha Smith, NAWL’s Administrative Coordinator, at email@example.com or 312.988.6186.
Dear FAWL Members
As I write this final message to you, I cannot help but have great pride in what you accomplished this year. You have worked hard to open lactation rooms in courthouses across the state and inspired national progress in increasing access to courts for parents. You have shared your experiences in seeking continuances for parental leave, supported the proposed rule’s progress through the Board of Governors, and you will be heard on this issue on August 27th in the Supreme Court of Florida. You have successfully supported fellow members seeking appointments to Judicial Nominating Commissions, trial courts, District Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Florida. The opportunity to lead this organization has been the honor of a lifetime and I thank you for granting me this privilege.
As we reflect on the 100th anniversary of Congress’ passage of the 19th Amendment in this month, we are reminded that battles worth fighting are often lengthy and complex. We must weather the ups and downs and persevere. On March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband imploring him to include women in the Declaration of Independence. She cautioned, “[i]f particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” The Mission of FAWL is ultimately about equal representation in all branches of government and our community. As we learn about the movement in the coming year, we should remain cognizant that the battle for suffrage was not complete in 1919 or 1920, as women of color were excluded until passage of the Voting Rights Act 45 years later in 1965. We continue to confront sometimes difficult truths at the intersection of race and gender today. We can only change what we are able to recognize.
I hope to see many of you at our Awards and Installation Reception where we will be Celebrating Suffrage on June 26th. Whether you are there in person or in your office that day, we encourage you to wear white in solidarity with and memory of the suffragettes who fought for these rights that we hold dear.
FAWL ANNUAL MEETING
In accordance with the Bylaws of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Inc. (“FAWL”), notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of the Association will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time in Grand Ballroom G at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, 501 East Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432. Please note that we expect the Annual Meeting to be brief and, as required by our Bylaws, we will hold a vote to approve the slate of officers and directors. Our Annual Awards and Installation Celebration will begin at 6:30 in the Camino Hall ballroom. We hope that you will be able to join us for both!
Meeting rooms are subject to change – please check the hotel event board postings to confirm meeting room locations.
PROJECT H.E.L.P. Reception
Project H.E.L.P. offers free clinics once a week on Tuesday nights at Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. Please come to learn more about the project, and how you can get involved.
Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres with judges, members of the legal community, and supporters of the homeless.
Personal appearance and special message of support from Florida Bar President Michelle R. Suskauer.
Please RSVP to Beth McArthur at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book tickets by clicking here.
FAWL Awards & Installation Ceremony
Click here for more information.
Tips, Take-A-Ways, and Tea
A free webinar for FAWL members
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Noon – 1 p.m. ET
May is Health and Wellness Month and National Women’s Health Month, so we invite you to get comfortable, pour a cup of tea (or coffee), grab a (healthy) snack, and join us for a wonderful discussion on career transitions, wellness, and mentoring with Kristen Adams, Interim Dean and Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law.
Click here for more information.
Call for Webinar Presenters & Topics
FAWL’s Webinar Committee is seeking guest speakers and topic ideas to present during future FAWL webinars. Do you have a unique idea for a webinar topic and presentation regarding issues affecting women attorneys? Is there any area you would like to see us delve into? Would you like to be a speaker? Send your suggestions and recommendations for consideration to email@example.com.
FAWL in Love with GAL
7 Hours of Free CLE for FAWL Members
Includes 2 Hours of Ethics and 1 Hour Bias Elimination Credits
7 Hours Certification Credit: Juvenile Law; Marital and Family Law
Get ready to FAWL in Love with GAL (Guardian ad Litem) by participating in an upcoming one-day training for volunteers at multiple locations throughout the state. The full training outline is available here.
Upcoming Training Dates and Locations
- West Palm Beach Register
- May 2, 2019, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Fourth District Court of Appeal, 110 S. Tamarind Ave.
- Fort Lauderdale Register
- May 3, 2019, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Broward County Courthouse Jury Room, 201 S. 6th St.
- Tampa Register
- May 6, 2019, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Hillsborough County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd, 26th Floor, Conference Rooms A&B
- Tallahassee Register
- May 24, 2019, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- First District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr.
Every day a mentor changes someone’s life. You can too.
The training is free but only open to FAWL members who volunteer to serve as a mentor for the FAWL in Love with GAL project.
GAL is offering scholarships which will reimburse travel-related costs such as hotel, mileage/car rental, meal allowances, and perdiem (less any meals provided as part of the training) pursuant to state travel policies. For more information visit here.
If you are interested in hosting a training, or are interested in being a presenter, please contact Thomasina Moore, GAL Board Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org
FAWL Get a Member Contest
The second monthly winner will be drawn on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The deadline to receive eligible referrals for this drawing is Tuesday, April 30.
FAWL Free WEBINAR
Paths to the Judiciary: Lessons from Candidates for Election and Appointment
Friday, April 26, Noon – 1 p.m. ET
Advance registration required – click HERE
This one-hour course covers the legal and practical aspects of both running for, and seeking appointment to, judicial office. Join Leon County Judge Nina Ashenafi-Richardson, judicial candidate Suzanne Van Wyk, and applicants for appointment Sara Peacock and Monique Scott for an informative lunch and learn.
Speakers will individually discuss each subtopic generally, and then panel members will follow up with their additional insight and experiences. Discussion topics will take place as follows:
Judicial Candidates – 30 minutes
- Governing Statutes and Rules
- Canons of Judicial Conduct
- Know Why You Are Running
- Selecting Your Team
- Raising Money
- Spending Money
Applications for Appointment – 30 minutes
- Deciding When to Apply
- Preparing Your Application
- Application Process and What to Expect
- What do I do next…?
Advance registration required – click HERE
FAWL Lobby Days – 2019
Our very own Lauren Millcarek is chairing the Lobby Days event for FAWL this year.
As you can see from the attached schedule, FAWL has put together an incredible lineup of speakers, including former U.S. Representative and candidate for Governor Gwen Graham, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, the first woman Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice Simone Marstiller, 1st DCA Judges Lori Rowe and Kem Thomas, and Representatives Anna Eskamani, Fentrice Driskell, Erin Grall, and Margaret Good.
They have also put together a great list of bills members can help in lobbying for, including a bill that will speed up the time to permanency for adopted children and one that will help domestic violence victims get custody of their pets to help them leave abusive situations sooner.
FAWL Journal Fall/Winter 2018
Click here to sign in to FAWL and read the latest edition of FAWL Journal.
CFAWL and Florida Bar
The power of women, y’all. #runtheworld #girls
Come Out with Pride 2018
Join #CFAWL this weekend for a joint #VBA event led by Central Florida Gay and Lesbian Law Association (CFGALLA) as we celebrate the annual #ComeOutWithPrideOrlando! See you all there ?#CFAWLconnects #CFGALLA #Pride #DiversityandInclusion #OrlVBA
Join CFGALLA and members of other local voluntary bar associations for our first annual joint voluntary bar event for Come Out with Pride Orlando 2018.
Registration is free for all members of local voluntary bar associations, law students, and members of the judiciary.
Light refreshments will be provided by CFGALLA.
We have a single tent and limited chairs, so feel free to bring any lawn chairs, coolers or tents you wish to have.
Find us at: The Closing Agent, 11 N. Summerlin Ave., Orlando
Please contact Christian C. Walters, at Christian@BarryMillerLaw.com if you have any questions. Thanks!
New Member Month
It’s finally October, which means it’s #NewMemberMonth here at #CFAWL! Our annual Members Reception is next week on October 11 at 6:30 pm at the Eola office of Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed? CFAWL members: make sure you come, and bring a friend who should become a new member this month – everyone is welcome! ?♀️
CC: Florida Association for Women Lawyers; The Florida Bar; The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division; Orange County Bar Association — celebrating our members with L.M. Bedwell, Heather McDonald Kolinsky, Bob Leblanc and 15 others at Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed.
FAWL President’s Message
As I reflect on an incredible weekend with many of you at the FAWL Summit, my faith in the future for women in the legal profession is restored and renewed. In our CLE programs, we heard advice on becoming rainmakers or increasing our rainmaking skills at our firms from panelists working in firm environments ranging from solo to non-traditional to regional to AmLaw 100. We also discussed how and why women in government and in-house roles can help to encourage gender equality in law firm environments. We heard from women who were denied requests for continuance of trial or faced fierce opposition when they sought a continuance for parental leave. We were encouraged to embrace imperfection and lift up others by Spread Your Sunshine. Finally, we heard a candid analysis of intersectional issues from women who are thought leaders in this area. If you could not make it to Summit, fear not! These CLEs will be posted and available for FAWL members on our website.
A true highlight of Summit was our opportunity to celebrate women on the Supreme Court of Florida and draw attention to the importance of maintaining or increasing the number of women on that court. Justices Pariente and Quince gave dynamic and inspiring remarks that left all those in attendance wanting to be better lawyers and reach their highest professional goals. We are in the midst of history, as three new justices will soon join the Supreme Court of Florida. Only three women have ever been appointed in the court’s 172-year history. Seven appointments have been made in the past twenty years, all of them men. In this moment, five out of the nine Supreme Court JNC members are women. In this moment, the public is keenly aware of and interested in how judges are appointed and who they want to decide matters of greatest and lasting importance in our state.
This effort to maintain or increase the number of women on the Supreme Court is the natural product of years of work that FAWL has been doing through our Membership Advancement and Promotion Committee, Chaired by Jennifer Sullivan, JNC Oversight Committee, Chaired by Adrienne Rabinowitz, and Informed Voters Project, Chaired by Vivian Fazio. I am especially appreciative of our chapters who have provided so much education and outreach on this goal.
I would encourage our membership and the public to spend time sharing what they value in a Supreme Court Justice with the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates, as those individuals seek our votes in advance of the November election. The candidates should answer questions related to the criteria they would use in the appointment of judges in the debates and forums of the next month.
Perhaps the most special part of Summit for me is seeing friendships new and old flourish after the event is over. Whether through handwritten notes, comments on photos, or new referrals, the relationships we have with each other are without doubt the best benefit of FAWL membership. I cannot wait to see many of you at Lobby Days in Tallahassee March 10-12, where we will have an opportunity to be engaged in the legislative process.
HEY OUT THERE CFAWL PEOPLE
Don’t forget to feed us content. We enjoy not having to make things up for our website and social media (CFAWL – Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers and @CFAWLOrlando (on Twitter)).
And if you have CFAWL event pictures don’t forget to send them on to email@example.com.
FAWL President’s Message
Call for Sponsors!
The FAWL Journal is directly mailed to over 3,000 FAWL members and available online to over 75,000 The Florida Bar members. Don’t miss the opportunity to get your message and business in front of the best legal practitioners in Florida! For more information contact Journal Director Ingrid Osborn at firstname.lastname@example.org or Executive Director Kevin Hudson at email@example.com.
FAWL Call for Committee Members
Call Me Mother!
The FAWL Journal Needs YOU! Women in law, with businesses large and small, if you are interested in sponsoring FAWL Journal – our umbrella organization’s statewide publication – then contact Ingrid Osborn, FAWL Journal Director (at firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
President’s Message – September 2018
Call for Webinar Presenters & Topics
President’s Message – August 2018
We had a busy first week of August. We thank Amanda Sampaio Bova, CFAWL’s Backpack Project Chair. CFAWL partnered with YLS Chairs (also CFAWL members) Hillary Jenkins and Brittany Melendez.
The Backpack project happy hour had 102 people in attendance, the raffle was a huge success, the school supply pile was substantial, and although donations are still being collected, we have come close to achieving the $6,000 goal.
The committee will meet this week to stuff backpacks full of supplies and then deliver them to the kids at Rock Lake Elementary.
Our August Luncheon speaker, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, was a big success!
We’re looking forward to what #CFAWLCONNECTS brings next.
– Arti Ajit Hirani