Each Leadership Academy class is tasked with completing a project that not only relates to the legal profession or community but promotes the leadership skill building of the Fellows, while assisting in helping to improve the legal profession for Florida attorneys and citizens. Class IX’s project aimed to highlight the importance of pro bono service in our profession and exemplify the spirit of servant leadership by setting a strong example for others to follow.

As part of our class project, Class IX committed to dedicating 500 service hours to pro bono, reduced-fee legal work, and general activities that improve Florida’s legal system, profession, and communities. Class IX also set out to prepare and produce a guidebook for statewide distribution highlighting attorneys who have exemplified pro bono service across the state, as well as listing pro bono opportunities within each judicial circuit for attorneys’ ease of reference. To complement these efforts, Class IX formed a public relations committee aimed at publishing articles on various service-related topics in News and other publications to encourage others to engage in pro bono and other service opportunities throughout Florida. The last — and most important — component of Class IX’s class project was community engagement through the support and involvement from attorneys throughout the state.

With Class IX’s graduation approaching on June 24, we are incredibly proud to share our accomplishments over the past year. As a class, we doubled our group service goal, completed the service guidebook which is on its way to distribution, published five articles in News and other publications, and engaged with Leadership Academy alumni and voluntary bar association leaders throughout the state of Florida to participate in service activities and/or make charitable contributions to local organizations. We sought out to make an impact in Florida and, together, we did.