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The Florida Bar headquarters building and annex are located in Tallahassee on a five-acre site just three blocks from Florida's capitol.

The 47,000 square-foot, three-story headquarters building is patterned after the architecture of Colonial Williamsburg. Its design is highlighted by Flemish bond brick work and six large columns at the front entrance. The nearby annex provides an additional 60,000 square feet of available space, in a four-story red brick facility complementing the Bar headquarters architecture.

The headquarters building includes offices for Bar administrative staff and support services; the annex houses the Legal Division, including one of the Bar's five regional disciplinary offices, CLE Publications, a large conference room, and commercial tenants. The Bar's other branch offices are located in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Ft. Lauderdale.

Conference rooms in the Tampa branch office are available for various Bar meetings and other law-related functions. Attorneys and groups seeking to reserve space at this location should contact the Bar's Meetings and Convention office in Tallahassee at (850) 561-5830.

Officers and Governing Body--The president conducts meetings and serves as official spokesperson for the Bar and the Board of Governors. All committees are appointed by the incoming president and approved by the Board of Governors.

The executive director is selected by the Board of Governors and devotes full time to directing the overall administration of The Florida Bar. The executive director also performs the task of treasurer of The Florida Bar and publisher of The Florida Bar Journal and News.

The governing body of The Florida Bar is its Board of Governors. The 51-member Board consists of the president and president-elect, the president and president-elect of the Young Lawyers Division, representatives elected by members of the Bar from each of the state's 20 judicial circuits, four out-of-state representatives elected by Florida Bar members who reside outside the State of Florida, and two public members appointed by the Supreme Court. All Board members serve without pay, although the public members can be reimbursed for most of their travel expenses.

The Board of Governors has exclusive authority to formulate and adopt matters of policy concerning the activities of the Bar, subject only to limitations imposed by the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. The full Board of Governors meets bimonthly. Committees and sections or members of the Bar may submit topics to the president for inclusion on the agenda for Board meetings.

Divisions, Sections, and Committees--All Bar members are invited to become involved in activities of one or more of The Florida Bar's sections, divisions, or committees. These various volunteer groups, along with the governing Board, do much of the work of The Florida Bar.

Through section and committee membership, lawyers can focus their involvement in an area of the law that interests them the most. Membership offers concentrated information and education and a group of other lawyers who share similar interests in a specific legal field. Over 30,000 of The Florida Bar's 70,758 members belong to one or more of the Bar's substantive law sections, while over 18,000 belong to the Young Lawyers Division. Nearly 11,500 out-of-state members may take advantage of membership in the Out-of-State Practitioners Division.

In addition to the 12 Board of Governors committees, there are 62 standing committees of the Bar on which more than 1,900 members serve.

Membership and participation in any Florida Bar division, section, or committee can be a stimulating and rewarding professional experience.

Special Committees--As a service to our membership and the public, special committees or commissions or task forces are appointed as necessary to study and make recommendations in response to issues of significance to the legal profession or system of laws in Florida.

Bar Staff Organization and Responsibilities--The Florida Bar headquarters office has five divisions: Legal, Programs, Communications, Administration, and General Counsel. All of the Bar's programs fall under one of these divisions to ensure continuity and effectiveness.

Each division director reports to the executive director, who in turn reports to the Board of Governors.

Departmental responsibilities are created to support programs and activities described elsewhere in this presentation. Each committee, section, and program is assigned at least one staff liaison. An experienced staff of professionals provides strong support for Bar activities.

Financial Organization--The Florida Bar's 2002-2003 operating budget is $28.6 million. Membership fees account for only 65 percent, or $18.5 million, of that amount.

The additional revenues come from nonfees sources, generated by various Bar programs and member services such as: continuing education fees; sale of ad space in The Florida Bar Journal and News; rental of exhibit space at Bar meetings; and through Florida Supreme Court orders directing disciplined lawyers to pay prosecution costs.

A breakdown of the 2002-2003 General Fund budget reflects all Bar programs costs, including support services and overhead.

In keeping with applicable law regarding certain uses of mandatory membership fees, the legislative program is funded entirely from member fees. The legislative budget of $434,701 divided by the July 1, 2002 members in good standing of 70,758 gives a cost per member of the legislative program of approximately $6.14. A portion of this pro rata amount is subject to possible rebate under pertinent Bar rules.

The Florida Bar was the first state bar association to implement a cost allocation system for its various programs and activities with all costs other than General Administration, Board and Officer, and Research, Planning and Evaluation being allocated to the end users based on the best available measure of usage. With a watchful eye toward expenditures and efficiency, Bar leadership and staff have implemented the system to monitor program expenses carefully. Prior to final adoption by the Board of Governors, the proposed Florida Bar operating budget is printed in The Florida Bar News. In addition, members are provided an opportunity to comment on the proposed budget at statewide hearings scheduled by the Bar's Budget Committee.

An audit of all Florida Bar finances is conducted at the end of each fiscal year by an independent accounting firm, under the supervision of the Audit Committee, and a report is published in The Florida Bar News for members' review.
The Florida Bar
General Fund Revenue
Fiscal Year 2002-03

Annual Fees 62.3%
Other Fees 4.7%
Investments 2.4%
Other Income 1.8%
Cost Recoveries
 Lawyer Regulation 1.5%
Sales (CLE, Books, etc.) 18.6%
Lawyer Referral 2.6%
Advertisements 6.1%

Note: Table made from pie chart.
The Florida Bar
General Fund Total Expense
Fiscal Year 2002-03

Regulation of Law 41.5%
Other 1.2%
Legislation 1.5%
Administration 6.3%
Communications 15.3%
Client Security Fund Contribution 4.9%
Public Service 3.2%
UPL 4.6%
Cost of Sales (CLE, Books, etc.) 21.5%

Note: Table made from pie chart.
The Florida Bar
General Fund Use of Fees
Fiscal Year 2002-03

Legislation 2.2%
Administration 9.0%
Communications 12.8%
Client Security Fund
 Contribution 6.9%
Public Service 0.8%
UPL 6.5%
Cost of Sales (CLE, Books. etc.) 3.2%
Regulation of Law 57.0%
Other 1.7%

Note: Table made from pie chart.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Florida Bar
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Publication:Florida Bar Journal
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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