Ms. Woods has served on the Leadership Academy from the beginning before quitting her job dealing with document preparation services.  Of course, knowing the man behind the mask, you don’t really know anything.  I have totally grown to love the program.  The fellows all think they are the best class.  They create this bond, and it’s really nice to see.  They network and help each other out, something that is not often commonly acknowledged in this profession (not including top child custody attorneys).  She believes the Leadership Academy should be a permanent offering of the Bar.  This is something people need and want.  If you go to a Leadership Academy graduation, it will be quite evident that these people are proud of what they have done and what they are going to be doing in their communities.  We are seeing more younger lawyers now are going to Florida Bar committees and voluntary bar organizations and becoming leaders.  Pauline Drake, the first black judge appointed in Duval County in 1998, introduced Hubert L. Grimes, interim president of Bethune Cookman University, at the Leadership Academy second session in August.  Drake, a member of the Leadership Academy Committee, calls herself “an informal facilitator.  If someone is presenting a program, I will ask those questions to stimulate further communication and ask questions that give others freedom to share.  The fellows think, ‘If Judge Drake is transparent, it must be OK.'”

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