Section 1. Eligibility.
(a) Members of The Florida Bar. Any member of The Florida Bar in good standing who is interested in this section is eligible for membership on application and payment of this section’s annual dues. Any member who ceases to be a member of The Florida Bar in good standing will automatically be removed from this section.
Section 2. Affiliate Membership. The executive council (council) may enroll affiliates as defined below, on request and on payment of the prescribed dues as affiliate members of the section (referred to as “affiliates”).
(a) Law Professor – Affiliate Membership. Any law professor employed as a faculty member of a law school offering a juris doctorate (JD) degree that qualifies graduates to take the bar exam in at least one state is eligible for affiliate membership on application and payment of this section’s annual dues for law professors; provided; however, if a law professor meets the requirements of Section 1(a) above, the law professor may, at his or her election, be a member of the section.
(b) Students of Accredited Florida Law Schools – Affiliate Membership. Any student in good standing of a fully accredited Florida law school interested in the purposes of this section is eligible for affiliate membership on application and payment of this section’s annual dues for student affiliate members established for student affiliate membership. Any student affiliate member who ceases to be a student in good standing of a fully accredited Florida law school, for any reason other than graduation, will be automatically removed from this section. On graduation and receipt of the J.D. degree a student affiliate member may continue as a student affiliate member of this section for 1 year after graduation or until the affiliate member is admitted to The Florida Bar, whichever occurs first.
(c) Florida Legal Assistants/Legal Administrators – Affiliate Membership. Any Florida legal assistant or legal administrator interested in the purposes of this section is eligible for affiliate membership on application and payment of this section’s annual dues for legal assistant/legal administrator affiliate members. For the purposes of this section’s bylaws Florida legal assistant means:
(1) a person who is qualified through education, training, or work experience and who assists a lawyer in the delivery of legal services involving the performance of specifically delegated work under the supervision and direction of a lawyer who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar, and requiring a sufficient knowledge of legal concepts that the lawyer would perform the task absent the legal assistant; and
(2) who has satisfied the following minimum requirements:
(A) Successful completion of the certified legal assistant or paralegal (CLA/CP) examination of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.;
(B) Graduation from an ABA-approved program of study for legal assistants or paralegals;
(C) Successful completion of a course of study for legal assistants or paralegals that is institutionally accredited and that requires not less than the equivalent of 60 semester hours of classroom study;
(D) Graduation from a course of study for legal assistants or paralegals, other than those set forth above, plus no fewer than 2 years of in-house training as a legal assistant or paralegal, and whose lawyer/employer attests that the person is qualified;
(E) A bachelor’s degree in any field, plus no fewer than 3 years of in-house training as a legal assistant or paralegal, and whose lawyer/employer attests that the person is qualified; or
(F) Seven years’ continuous employment as a legal assistant or paralegal, and whose lawyer/employer attests that the person is qualified.
Florida legal administrator means any person employed by a law firm, corporate legal department, government, judicial or legal agency, or other entity devoted primarily to the practice of law, regardless of the title by which the person is classified, if the person devotes the majority of his/her working time to the performance of managerial and administrative duties connected with the entity.
(d) Renewal of Affiliate Membership by Florida Legal Assistants/Paralegals. Every application by a Florida legal assistant or paralegal for renewal of an affiliate membership in this section must be accompanied by evidence satisfactory to the section of completion by the legal assistant or paralegal of the minimum number of continuing education credits required by the National Association of Legal Assistants and an attestation of continued employment as a legal assistant or paralegal by the legal assistant’s or paralegal’s lawyer/employer.
(e) Restrictions on Affiliate Membership. Affiliate members may not vote or hold any section office, except that an affiliate member may serve in a special advisory nonvoting capacity that the council may establish at its discretion. Otherwise, affiliate members may enjoy all the benefits and privileges accorded full members of the section. The number of affiliates may not exceed one-third of the section membership.
(f) The word “member” wherever used in these bylaws includes both full members and affiliate members, subject to the restrictions applicable to affiliate members.
Section 3. Administrative Year. The administrative year of the section runs concurrently with the administrative year of The Florida Bar.
Section 4. Annual Dues. The annual dues are fixed by the council subject to approval by the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar. No annual dues will be prorated. On becoming a member, dues are payable in advance of each membership year. Any member whose dues are in arrears for a period of 3 months ceases to be a member of the section.