On January 20-21, 2012, the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) hosted its annual Affiliate Outreach Conference in St. Augustine, Florida. The conference also coincided with meetings of the YLD Board of Governors and the Law Student Division Board of Governors. The conference provided an opportunity for young lawyers from across the state to gather together, share ideas, and apply for grants for community and member service projects. Katherine Hurst Miller, the 7th Circuit Representative on YLD Board of Governors, was the conference's co-chair and oversaw the grant application and presentation process.
The Young Lawyers Division received 29 grant applications, for projects that varied from a fundraising fishing tournament and a 5K race to direct service with youth, high school graduates, and at-risk new mothers. Some of the most innovative projects included an entire Law Week of activities that the Dade County Young Lawyers Section will be hosting, and a documentary video on civil rights "Before the Law Was Equal" that the Hillsborough County Young Lawyers Division will be co-producing. Overseeing the grants made Ms. Miller proud to be a young lawyer. She said, "In terms of service to the community and the profession, the things that young lawyers from across the state are accomplishing are truly outstanding." The grant applicants will receive more than $36,000 in funding from the Florida Bar.
In addition to grant application presentations, the conference featured tours of historic St. Augustine, dinner and dancing, and special guest speakers, including 7th Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza, Florida Bar President Scott Hawkins, and Florida Bar President-Elect-Designate Eugene Pettis. Other special guests at the conference included St. Augustine's Vice Mayor Leanna Freeman, Florida Bar President-Elect Gwynne Young, and several circuit and county court judges.