A Rising Tide Raises All Ships.

Author:Stewart, John M.
Position:President's page

"The idea that you would affect evolution is a very profound thing."--Jennifer Doudna

In my speech at the General Assembly at the Bar's Annual Convention, and in my first President's Page, I discussed the waves of change currently affecting the legal marketplace. These changes are part of a natural evolution that, at times, feels unnatural simply because the pace of change is not in tempo with the evolutionary cycles previously affecting our profession. I discussed our responsibility in protecting the public and benefitting our members, which means that we must be the architects of this change while protecting the core fundamental values of our profession.

Since its establishment 70 years ago, The Florida Bar has been a trusted, reputable, and financially sound organization that has served the people of Florida and its members well. The Bar historically has been a national leader when it comes to applying innovations to meet the demands of the profession and the needs of clients. The unified Bar, under the active oversight and management of the Florida Supreme Court, understands the profession better than anyone else. We have always been trailblazers, and we're now forging ahead with a critical mission: To facilitate the profession's evolution.

Through mandatory membership, The Florida Bar effectively and efficiently unites diverse attorneys across the state in a shared mission to ensure high ethical and educational standards, consistent lawyer regulation, advocacy for a well-funded judicial branch, and the promotion of access to justice for all.

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the first meeting of our now 107,000-member Bar, we can't simply look back with satisfaction and pride at our accomplishments, but must instead look forward to designing an architectural plan for this evolution.

Part of this plan includes making sure Florida citizens who need lawyers and lawyers who need work get connected. Every resident of Florida should have access to the legal system, and we know that a person's access is enhanced by the assistance of a qualified lawyer. But Floridians often encounter difficulty in identifying and locating lawyers who are willing and qualified to consult with them about their legal needs. This necessary connectivity is greatly enhanced through the Bar's Lawyer Referral Service, which now uses artificial intelligence to instantly connect users from their computer or mobile devices with participating Florida Bar members for...

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