Law Professor Kirsten Davis appointed to Florida Bar committee on professionalism


Stetson University College of Law Professor Kirsten K. Davis has been appointed by the new president of The Florida Bar, Mike Tanner, to serve on a newly created statewide Special Committee for the Review of Professionalism in Florida.

The Florida Bar, through its Board of Governors, approved and created this Committee to develop specific recommendations to the Board and to The Florida Supreme Court for: 1) any necessary changes to the definition of professionalism or to the current professionalism standards; 2) improvements in how and when professionalism is taught during the course of a lawyer’s career; and 3) improvements to how professionalism standards are enforced, including greater emphasis on the use of the local professionalism panels.

When Tanner was sworn in last month, he said the committee will be “a complete top-to-bottom review of the professionalism” in Florida, according to The Florida Bar News.

“We’re going to look at how we teach it, how we define it, when we teach it, how we enforce it, how we promote it, what its relationship is to mental health and wellness,” he said, with the goal of creating “suggestions to the court for improvements in these areas.”

Davis has devoted much of her career to the topics of attorney ethics and professionalism. In addition to being the director of Stetson Law’s Institute for the Advancement of Legal Communication, she teaches courses on professional responsibility. She also served on The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism for six years, including as chair from 2019-2020.

Florida Bar logo“Questions about what professionalism means – what the standards should be and how those standards should be enforced – is a question that is being explored by state bar organizations and state supreme courts all around the country,” Davis said. “The work to revisit and refine the meaning of professionalism is important work. The practice community’s sense of professionalism is meaningful not only to licensed lawyers but also to law students in forming their professional identities.”

The Florida Bar is the governing organization of the more than 100,000 lawyers licensed to practice law in the state. It works to ensure the highest standards of legal professionalism and protects the public by prosecuting unethical attorneys and preventing the unlicensed practice of law.