In this edition, I want to talk with you about your membership in the Appellate Practice Section. For those of you who are reading this message, but who might not regularly attend the Section's committee or Executive Council meetings, please take just a moment to reflect on your membership. Consider what belonging to the Section has done for you and why you should be selling it to your colleagues. My goal is for all of our members to feel proud to be a part of the Section and, as a result of that, to be eager to encourage others to join.
If you do not think Section membership has benefitted you — and if we are being honest, there are probably a few of you out there with that thought — we need to work on changing that. So let's talk about the benefits of membership. The Section offers many benefits (and many reasons to promote the Section to other lawyers), but because I am limited to about 500 words here, I'll try to cover a few of the big ones:
- Great CLEs. Every Bar section puts on CLEs, it's true. But the Appellate Section does it better than most, with top-notch programming every year. For those of you who are aiming for board certification, you can obtain all of the advanced CLE credits that you need just through our Section. And for those of you who are looking for a time-efficient way to gain credits and exposure to important appellate issues, the Section offers telephone CLEs, which are a wonderful members-only benefit. The telephone CLEs are refreshingly relaxed and candid, and their informal nature allows for easy question and answer sessions. Even better, these CLEs are very inexpensive: you can, over the course of the year, earn ten credit hours for less than the cost of most eight-hour CLE courses.
- A Chance to Really Get Involved. The Appellate Practice Section is one of the only Bar sections where you can raise your hand, say you are interested in contributing, and find yourself in charge of a substantial project within a month or two. All you have to do is ask. And once you take on this higher level of responsibility, you will find that you are provided with invaluable networking opportunities (and the chance to meet and work with an all-around great group of people). Ultimately, being involved is not just good for the Section; it is good for your law practice.
- You Can Publish. Publishing is another way you can easily become involved. The Section offers many opportunities to publish and welcomes submissions from everyone. The Section's publications offer important, timely information on a variety of appellate topics and are a tremendous resource for all of the Section's members. And, in terms of personal benefit, publishing is good for you and your career. Again, all you have to do is raise your hand.
I'll leave you with a final note that is clichéd, but also true: what you get out of the Section largely depends on what you want to put into it. I hope you decide to take advantage of the Section's opportunities. If you do, I promise that you will reap the benefits.
— Ceci Culpepper Berman
Brannock & Humphries
100 S. Ashley Drive, Suite 1130
Tampa, FL 33602