Thanks to the efforts of Membership/Diversity Chairs Samantha Vacciana and Prya Murad, FACDL has been awarded a Florida Bar Diversity Leadership Grant to produce a summit featuring a series of lecture webinars focused on criminal defense practice for underrepresented groups.
Criminal defense attorneys stand as a wall between the individual and the Government's efforts to deprive the individual of their freedom. Unfortunately, even the best-intentioned attorneys may struggle to navigate unfamiliar territory when dealing with clients with different racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, religions, or other distinguishing characteristics and beliefs. FACDL's goal is to ensure that the criminal defense bar is prepared to serve every individual accused of a crime by the Government. With the proper education, training, insight, and exposure to a range of experiences, lawyers will be better equipped to diligently represent a wider range of clients. This grant by The Florida Bar allows us to create content for our members that will be focused on serving clients of every race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and religious persuasion.
The summit sections will be designed to inform criminal practitioners about the people comprising the various groups and characteristics, but they also will address unique challenges facing those people. The training will provide the knowledge and skills to recognize and explain those challenges to others in the criminal justice system who often are not open to new ideas and evolving approaches to justice.
While we work on finalizing plans for this summit, FACDL is already set to present its 2nd diversity webinar panel on February 1, 2022. Details at https://bit.ly/FACDLdiversity2