PREP Breaks New Ground Presenting Webinar for Florida Legal Services


Front row: William Golden, Carlos Alvarez, Matthew Dennison, Paige Comparato, back row: Jan L. Jacobowitz, Nicole Comparato, Daniel Celaya

The Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program interns went digital in March—and they are just getting started. In a new step for the program, PREP presented a live legal ethics CLE webinar with Florida Legal Services and Bay Area Legal Services, titled “Online and On the Line: Exploring Ethics & Technology Issues Confronting the ‘Hot Line’ Attorney.” The PREP team presented to more than 100 attorneys who tuned in across the state on issues surrounding the formation of the attorney-client relationship, cultural competence, the attorney-client privilege, client capacity, technology, and cybersecurity.

Under PREP Director Jan L. Jacobowitz, six interns worked on the collaborative project, including Carlos Alvarez, Daniel Celaya, Nicole Comparato, Paige Comparato, Matthew Denison, and William Golden.

“It was a unique opportunity because we created the presentation specific to the needs of a webinar—carefully crafting every detail and repeatedly practicing the delivery of the material to get the timing just right,” said Comparato, a 3L intern.

Many of the interns found the new platform exciting. “This was my first time doing a webinar and I learned a lot,” said Golden, 3L. “It was a challenging, rewarding, and fun experience with my fellow classmates.”

The wide and encompassing range of subjects contributed to the webinar’s success as well. “It seemed only fitting to be discussing how advances in technology have changed the lawyer’s role, especially to a group of lawyers sitting behind a computer screen,” said Comparato, whose portion of the presentation covered technological competence.

Valory Greenfield of Bay Area Legal Services said the presentation was terrific and suggested planning further webinars with PREP. Celaya, a 2L who will be returning next year as a PREP Fellow, plans to spearhead the effort to create more webinars.

“This is just the beginning,” Celaya said. “Webinars allow us the opportunity to reach more attorneys and take PREP to wherever those attorneys have Internet access.”

In 2012, PREP was recognized by the ABA with its E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award —the leading national award recognizing programs and projects contributing to the understanding and advancement of professionalism among lawyers and judges. In addition to presenting ethics trainings, PREP students publish posts regarding the nation’s newest ethics opinions and cases on its blog, Legal Ethics in Motion