Aronovitz: Dignity in Law has made a difference

first_img July 1, 2003 Regular News A year ago, Bar President Tod Aronovitz launched the Dignity in Law program, saying he wanted to tell Floridians the whole story about lawyers and the legal system.At the Board of Governors’ May 30 meeting in Key West, he wrote the end to what he hopes is the first chapter of that tale.Dignity in Law had a successful initial year, Aronovitz said, surpassing its goals in many areas and garnering strong support from lawyers and judges. And, he added, the Bar can build on that success in the future. The effort has been approved to continue in the 2003-04 budget, but with reduced funding as Bar staff performs some functions this year that were done previously by rbb Public Relations of Coral Gables, who helped the Bar design the program.The goal of the program was to increase positive stories about the legal system in the media by 50 to 100 percent. At the beginning of the year, only 7 percent of news stories were positive, and 30 percent were negative, Aronovitz said. the end of the year, 19 percent were positive and 11 percent were negative (the rest were judged neutral).The Bar hoped to increase reporting on pro bono activities by 50 percent, and instead got a 200 percent rise, he said, and coverage on judges and what they do rose by 150 percent, well above the 15 to 25 percent initially hoped for.The program also created an online media center that is regularly used by journalists and the public, he noted.Through Dignity in Law, Aronovitz said the Bar was able to publicize, assist, or help sponsor a number of good projects by lawyers and bar associations, including a mentoring program by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, various celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, and a number of individual good works by lawyers.The program also initiated highly creative graphical e-mails for legislators, and those were just recognized with a Bronze Anvil Award by the Public Relations Society of America.Improving the public perception of the legal system is key with helping the Bar in its legislative activities, Aronovitz said. He noted that a state representative recently announced a constitutional petition initiative aimed at capping all contingency fees in tort and workers’ compensation cases at $75,000.“There are so many people out there right now who want to attack our profession,” he said. “To help our legislative team, to help our next president and our successor next president, I say this program is essential and helps all lawyers in the state.. . . “Keep believing and keep talking about the good things we do. We now have a stepping stone from which to go forward.” Aronovitz: Dignity in Law has made a differencecenter_img Aronovitz: Dignity in Law has made a differencelast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *