Volume 3, Number 1 • November 2004

Unlocking Your Potential, or Deciding Which Fork in the Road to Take

 By Alfreda D. Coward

As lawyers, we often wonder whether we are choosing the right paths for our careers. This year’s ABA Young Lawyer Division (YLD) member service project, entitled “Unlock Your Potential,” is designed to aid us in that assessment. “Unlock Your Potential” will focus on the various career paths available to young lawyers and will provide programming designed to highlight various career options. The program’s focus this year will be to assist young lawyers in evaluating whether solo practice is the path best for them. In “Hanging Out Your Shingle,” young lawyers will receive materials designed to assist them in exploring the various facets of forming and developing a law practice. The program will also offer suggestions regarding financing and marketing a solo practice.

The program kicks off at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Salt Lake City. Our keynote speaker will by Jay Foonberg, author of How to Start and Build a Law Practice. Written materials will be distributed at that meeting. We will also give out key chains bearing the logo for the “Unlock Your Potential” program. In connection with the program, monthly features of career-related subjects are available on the ABA/YLD website. Lastly, we are also developing a resource guide for all those who are interested in going solo.

Although the focus for this year will be to assist young lawyers in transition to solo practice, resources and programming will be available for those young lawyers who are interested in pursuing other career paths. One such resource will be the unveiling of a new and improved career resource section of the ABA/YLD website.

It is our hope that “Unlock Your Potential” will provide young lawyers with the keys to finding the career paths that are right for them.

Alfreda D. Coward is the Coordinator of the ABA YLD’s “Unlock Your Potential” program. She and her sister, Kimberly D. Coward, are partners of Coward & Coward, P.A., a law firm in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida that handles, among other matters, capital litigation.

Coward recently started a not-for-profit organization called One Voice Children’s Law Center. One Voice represents “crossover” children in Broward County, FL. Crossover kids are defined as those kids that have pending matters in the dependency (abuse and neglect) and delinquency (criminal) courts. These children will also qualify if they have pending matters in the education system that may require legal advocacy.

For more information about the “Unlock Your Potential” Program, contact Alfreda at Coward & Coward, P.O. Box 25487, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33320, e-mail: alfreda@cowardlaw.com; phone: 954-653-0880, fax: 954-485-0150.

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