All Bar Conference to focus on Dignity in Law program

first_imgBar leaders: Mark your calendars by placing a large red circle around January 16. Or for the legal tekkies out there, punch the date into your electronic organizer for the 2003 All Bar Conference.Bar President Tod Aronovitz is requesting your participation in this special meeting to review the Dignity in Law campaign and engage in lively dialogue about the need to increase public awareness about the important role lawyers play in society.“Most lawyers and judges are proud of our profession and are dismayed by unwarranted attacks,” Aronovitz said. “It’s time to draw a line in the sand and to state that we comprise a unique profession and that we won’t accept unjustified criticism any longer.”The conference will be held in conjunction with The Florida Bar’s January15-18 Midyear Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. In early November, invitations will be sent by the president to Florida Bar leaders including the Bar Board of Governors, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers board, voluntary bar leaders, section and standing committee chairs, members of the board of The Florida Bar Foundation, and the judiciary.Dignity in Law is a public awareness campaign designed to promote dignity in the profession, as well as emphasizing the need for a fair and impartial judiciary by applying an intensive, consistent communications effort. The plan also is designed to complement existing Bar public information efforts.The daylong program tentatively includes media spokesperson training and a media panel discussion that will address the merits of the program and provide suggestions on how to improve the profession’s public perception. Only Florida journalists will appear on the panel.There also will be brainstorming sessions for all attendees to critically analyze communication techniques with legislators, media, bar members, and consumers.Aronovitz said the erosion of respect for the legal profession stems from its commercialization, promotion by advertisement, emphasis on profit and financial gain, as well as fast-paced competition with clients’ demands and the pursuit of legal excellence. Bar polls consistently show most Florida lawyers view journalistic attacks as unfair and ask Bar leadership “to take a stand to tell our story.”More than $250,000 has been contributed by Bar members and sections to support the Dignity in Law program, according to Toyca Williams, of the Bar’s Public Information Department. Aronovitz said he is satisfied with the program’s success so far and hears about it on a daily basis from lawyers, judges, and the public.“I can’t go to a courthouse, restaurant, or a public event and not be stopped by lawyers and judges who are proud of The Florida Bar’s effort to tell the whole story,” Aronovitz said. “We are getting the message out to all Floridians about the great work lawyers and judges do every day for their clients, in the courtrooms, and in the community.”Aronovitz recalls recently being recognized by a lawyer and his family in a pizza restaurant. The lawyer thanked Aronovitz and The Florida Bar for taking up the charge to tell a more complete story about lawyering in Florida.Williams said the message also has spread nationally and garnered support outside Florida. Other legal organizations have asked Aronovitz to speak to their members about Dignity in Law.“Contrary to the sensationalized criminal cases that the public most often associates with the legal profession, most legal work is essential and goes largely unnoticed,” Aronovitz said. “From buying or selling a home to preparing a will, Floridians rely on attorneys to ensure that their rights and best interests are protected.” All Bar Conference to focus on Dignity in Law program November 1, 2002 Regular Newscenter_img All Bar Conference to focus on Dignity in Law programlast_img read more