Legal Aid

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Lawyers in Florida have a new leader - Michael Higer, a South Floridian has taken over as the Florida Bar's 69th president.

Higer is in his first month of a one-year term leading the 104,000 lawyers in the Florida Bar.

The Bar regulates the lawyers licensed to practice in Florida and provides training and services for its members. 

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How many people in South Florida represent themselves in court? How many people don’t have access a lawyer?

The short answer is we don’t know, but an effort by the Florida Bar Foundation is trying to change that with an initiative called Everyone Counts Day, which will be held on Monday in Miami-Dade County.

Throughout the day, lawyers will fan out to courtrooms across the county and count:

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If you walk into Legal Services of Greater Miami on any given weekday morning, there are rows of plastic chairs filled with people looking for help with legal issues. Over the past couple of years, though, it’s been the various legal service and aid providers themselves that have needed help -- financial help.

To make up for significant loss of funding in recent years, Florida Legal Services, the umbrella organization, is floating an idea to get more money. Through the Florida Supreme Court, it will ask the Florida Bar to up its dues -- to have lawyers pitch in more.