Letter of Overture

Dear Fellow New Tax Lawyer:

On behalf of the Florida Bar Tax Section (the ‘Tax Section’), the Committee for New Tax Lawyers extends an invitation and encourages you to become an active member of the Tax Section this year. Each of us have shared many remarkable career-building experiences with the Tax Section and believe your involvement would provide you with similar rewarding experiences and opportunities.

One of our primary goals is to increase participation of new tax lawyers at the annual meetings. These meetings include the Fall Meeting at the Tampa Marriott Waterside, the Spring Meeting in Bonita Springs, and the 4th of July Celebration at Amelia Island Plantation. At each of these events, we have planned more opportunities to integrate the new tax lawyers such as happy hours honoring our new tax lawyers and family fun for those attending meetings with their spouses and/or children. It has been our focus to provide new tax lawyers numerous opportunities to get to know other Tax Section members. We believe these early relationships can have long lasting influence on your career.

Another one of our goals is to provide more learning opportunities for new tax lawyers. There is now a basic skills tax CLE, so all new tax lawyers should have the option to sign up for a basic skills CLE that is relevant to our respective practices. Every lawyer should have the opportunity to learn both technical and business development skills. With the intent to provide these opportunities to our fellow tax lawyers, we have made a concerted effort with point people located throughout Florida to organize regular tax lunches and other events. Each point person for their local city has broad discretion to organize these events. There is diverse mix of attendees, including seasoned practitioners, young tax attorneys and LL.M. students. These events have included formal presentations on technical tax issues or business development and more casual social gatherings to provide networking opportunities. We believe your participation in these events would help you cultivate your technical skills in addition to expanding your network of tax practitioners.

We also aim to continue providing new tax lawyers with opportunities to work on Tax Section projects. These projects have included drafting an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, commenting on proposed regulations, or submitting comments in response to a notice issued by the Internal Revenue Service. By working on these projects, a new tax lawyer gains exposure to different projects they may not otherwise and may achieve statewide, or even nationwide, recognition for their contribution to the project. Many of these projects are exceptional experiences on a resume whether reviewed by a future employer or potential client. In addition to these opportunities, there are many leadership roles for new tax lawyers within the Tax Section. After attending some of the meetings, you may find a more active role desirable. The Tax Section is always looking for new members that will strive for excellence and provide new ideas to the section. If there are any leadership opportunities that we have not yet thought of, please let us know and we would enjoy crafting a special leadership role for you.

We believe the Tax Section can open the door to unparalleled experiences and opportunities for your career development. We encourage you to attend an event and meet some of the Tax Section’s remarkable members. We are confident that after attending you will appreciate the many benefits of membership.

If you have first meeting jitters, feel free to contact one of us to let us know you are coming. We gladly will help you meet other Tax Section members. We hope to hear from you soon! Sincerely,

Micah Fogarty & Daniel Bensimon

Fellowship Program

The Fellowship Program was created to assist New Tax Lawyers with the opportunity to experience the Tax Section first hand by providing a subsidy for costs to attend the Tax Section meetings and become an active participant in other Tax Section activities. The fellowship program will award a maximum of three fellowships per year to New Tax Lawyers. Fellowships are provided for a one-year term. Each fellow will receive a subsidy of up to $2,000 per year (not to exceed actual out-of-pocket expenses) to help defray the cost of attending Section meetings and participating in Section activities. Fellows selected for the one-year term will automatically be considered and will have preference for the Fellowship Program the following year assuming the Fellows fulfilled their commitment to the Section. View the Fellowship Letter. To apply, CLICK HERE FOR THE FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION PROGRAM.

Mentorship Program

The Florida Bar Tax Section (“Section”) is pleased to announce the creation of a Mentor Program to provide assistance and guidance to new tax lawyers. The Mentor Program is designed to assist in the transition to the legal profession, whether in public or private practice.

Participants in the Mentor Program will be paired with a senior member of the Section who will be matched based on area of tax practice, location and similar backgrounds (i.e. law school, previous career, hometown). The Mentor will be available for advice and counsel on such things as building relationships outside of the participant’s law practice in the community, developing a client and referral base, and to generally discuss tax issues in a stress-free, non-working environment. The participant will also be afforded the opportunity to develop an expertise and enhanced reputation by becoming more involved in the Tax Section. Involvement in the Tax Section provides the opportunity to undertake speaking and writing projects, be involved with the Tax Section’s legislative activities, socialize with the finest tax professionals in the State of Florida, and establish a commitment to the ideals of professionalism promoted by the Tax Section and the Florida Bar.

The Mentor Program is open to all lawyers who are members of the Section and have been admitted to the Bar for fewer than 6 years. Fill out the Mentor Application to become either a mentor or mentee.

Please email all Applications to James Schmidt at jas@schmidtlawoffice.com