Why the 2023 Annual Florida Bar Convention Message Matters
By Aaron H. Wallace, Esq.
We love a good theme.
That’s why we’re participating in Well-Being Week in Law for the third year in a row (today’s theme, appropriately: connection).
It’s why we launched a new annual “Halloween for Florida lawyers” tradition last year.
And it’s why we went all in on “Back to the Future” at last year’s Annual Florida Bar Convention. (Did you see our glow necklaces? Cassette tapes? Rubik’s cubes? Totally. Tubular.)
But today I want to talk about this year’s Annual Florida Bar Convention. The designated mantra is: “Ready… Set… Connect!”
As lawyers, there are so many kinds of connection that matter to our everyday lives.
Networking helps us to grow our practices, meet mentors, identify resources, and feel less alone in “the jungle of law.” Studies show that our “weak ties” — the kinds of interpersonal connections fostered by networking — are the most valuable to our careers in the long-term (and the pandemic dealt them a real blow).
Technological connection ensures that we’re able to meet our clients where they are in the 21st century. Knowing that we have (and understand) law firm cyber security gives us peace of mind and protection from the wolves of the internet, who see in lawyers prime meat.
There’s also the notion, recently argued in Duke Law School’s Judicature journal, that in societal design, lawyers play an essential role as “community connectors” — “interstitial figures” responsible for connecting people to resources in a way that moves problems toward solutions.
Of course, it is often our connection with clients that makes our work personally fulfilling and of value to others. Those connections are governed by ethics standards and may be inherently transactional in nature, but they can also be authentic, personable, and deeply rewarding. Indeed, one of the functions of Well-Being Week in Law is encouraging lawyers to consider whether and how their personal values are in alignment with their service to clients.
Disconnection can be important to lawyers too. In an earlier article, I wrote about the value of a “Do-Nothing Day” for Florida lawyers. Taking a break, as it turns out, is hard work — a good sign that it’s also worthwhile.
But ultimately, lawyers aren’t so different from everyone else. The kinds of connections we really need are deep down at the soul level: close, intimate relationships with friends, family, and — for those who hold spiritual beliefs — faith.
In fact, after Harvard University followed hundreds of people for most of the 20th century and part of the 21st, the one inescapable conclusion that came forward about human behavior was this: “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”
Granted, the Harvard study wasn’t specific to lawyers, but that hits at one of the central tenets of Well-Being Week in Law, and I know it isn’t easy to hear: we lawyers are human too. We must accept our humanity. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. And demand that the profession does the same.
7 Ways That Lawyers Benefit from Meaningful Human Connection
Looking Ahead to the 2023 Annual Florida Bar Convention
Florida Lawyers Mutual is proud to return as the exclusive presenting Diamond Sponsor of the 2023 Annual Florida Bar Convention in Boca Raton, Florida. Be sure to stop by our booth for:
- Fun “Ready… Set… Connect!” swag
- Candy (including our famous full-size Florida Lawyers Mutual chocolate bars)
- Free lamination for your business cards
- Cyber security resources
- Cost-free law practice tools
- And more!
And for those who want a quick, no-obligation indication of premium cost for their practice, our “Traveling Underwriter” will be “ready and set to connect” too!
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