There are over 100,000 members of The Florida Bar. What an incredible honor it was for Jennifer's contributions to the profession to be recognized on a state-wide level when she received the Judge Walter S. Crumbley Award!
Service. It is a simple word, isn't it? Comunity service isn't for everyone but we think we've shown you that service is core to Jennifer's being - she is truly a public servant - not only in her job, but in the role she plays in our community.
These photos were taken over the years as Jennifer volunteered as an Early Learning Matters ("ELM") reading volunteer.
Here are a few pictures of Jennifer serving lunch out at the Boy's Ranch open house - it is a service project that Jennifer has been participating in with Rotary for many years - she didn't just start doing community service because she is running for judge - she's been doing it for years.
Why would Jennifer be asked to join a prestigious panel of judges from around the state to help educate lawyers? Because she has EXPERIENCE ON THE BENCH! Jennifer served our circuit as the hearing officer and magistrate for TWELVE YEARS. In that time, she presided over more than 20,000 trials and hearings. With experience in front of and behind the bench, the choice is clear -
Even as a young child, Jennifer wanted to help her family by working on the house. To this day, Jennifer uses the valuable life skills that she learned as a child. It's just another thing that makes Jennifer a well-rounded person suitable for being the people's judge.
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Jennifer took an Oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and that includes the Second Amendment!
"... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Jennifer strongly believes in our Constitution. Jennifer has repeatedly gone into our local schools - from Elementary through High School to help educate our youth about the Constitution. The photo on the left is speaking to high school students in 2014; the photo right is of her speaking to all of the fifth-grade students at Suwannee Pineview Elementary in 2021. There have been many classes in between!
"In Appreciation for Dedicated Service and Outstanding Leadership..." Jennifer has served on the Executive Council of the Solo & Small Firm Section since 2013. She worked her way up on the leadership track and chaired the section in 2018-2019. That means she led a section of approximately 2,000 lawyers!
Yet another way to SERVE the profession that she loves.
Even as a young lawyer herself, Jennifer knew the importance of seeking out help if you didn't know how to handle a case for a client. So what did she do? She took the lead in filming, producing, and editing approximately 50 mentoring videos.
This is what she said back then: "Too often, attorneys do not have a person to turn to when they need help. The Mentoring with the Masters video series will help bridge the gap between law school and practice. Each video addresses a different topic area that contains helpful hints, tricks and practical information that every lawyer needs to know to have a successful career."
To watch some of the videos, visit here: https://flayld.org/.../mentoring-with-the-masters-video.../
"Purple Pinkie" - it has a ring to it, doesn't it? But the purpose behind it is tremendous. In an effort to help eradicate Polio, Rotary Club of Live Oak, FL, goes into our local schools to raise awareness and to raise funds. With only two endemic countries remaining, the worldwide effort is paying off.
Jennifer has always volunteered in the school system. But it was not until this past year that she took on the role of a parent volunteer (her daughter was in VPK). Happy to help in any way she can, Jennifer is part of Suwannee Pineview Elementary's APT.
One of the highlights of Jennifer's career was receiving the Kathy Bishop Most Distinguished Board Member Award for her dedication and involvement in community and law-related activities. The Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors is comprised of the State's leading young lawyers. To receive such an award was - simply put - an honor without words.
If you have a friend or family member that applied to law school, then you know how hard it is to get a scholarship, especially to the highest-ranked law school in Florida. But with Jennifer's well-rounded academics and service, she did just that.
When Jennifer went through orientation at UF Law, all students had to read A Civil Action. Later in her career, Jennifer wanted to create the criminal law equivalent. Being a person of action, she did just that - she wrote, Deadly Escape, which has been used by Stetson Law as a criminal law coursebook for many years.
The Federalist Society is "founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be."
It is not a judge's role to make the law, but to enforce it. Jennifer is a strong believer in the separation of powers and the role of the judiciary.
The Florida Bar Journal is published and delivered to over 100,000 attorneys. It was quite an honor for Jennifer to have her article not only printed, but featured as the cover story!
Jennifer has always tried to better the legal profession. One way of doing that is by giving back and sharing her experiences, and knowledge - even in technology!
Much of a judge's job involves writing. It's a good thing Jennifer has a demonstrated history of excelling in that area!
You may recognize this hero - Ronald E. McNair. "After his death in the Challenger Space Shuttle accident on January 28, 1986, members of Congress provided funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. Their goal was to encourage low-income and first-generation college students, and students from historically underrepresented ethnic groups to expand their educational opportunities by enrolling in a Ph.D. program and ultimately pursue an academic career."
Jennifer was very fortunate to be selected as part of this exclusive program while attending USF.
Community service is and always has been an important part of Jennifer's life. So when the Rotary International President, Ian Riseley, issued a challenge for every Rotarian to plant a tree, as local Rotary Club of Live Oak, FL President, Jennifer accepted. It was a great day of fellowship and showing our kids the value of community service - even baby Kendall!
While her friends were on vacation during spring break in high school, Jennifer was at home laying tile - why? She's not afraid of hard work and that continues through to the present day! Big shout out to young Kendall for learning the value of hard work at a young age.
"Law Day" -The Day includes a mentoring component and a program wherein attorneys and judges focus on teaching elementary school students about the United States Constitution and the judicial system.
Jennifer believes strongly in the Constitution, the judicial system, and educating our youth - she seeks out every opportunity possible to educate our youth about the Constitution!
In the photo on the left, she was giving a tour of the State Attorney's Office to students. In the photo on the right, she was participating in a courthouse tour, which included checking out the basement in the Clerk's Office, where official records were stored.
Most recently, Jennifer conducted a Law Day for sixth grade students at Melody Christian Academy.
There is no requirement to participate in things like this to get your undergraduate degree - but this shows yet another way how Jennifer is willing to go above and beyond in everything she does.
Jennifer has the heart of service. That service includes bettering the legal profession. What better way to do it than to serve the Third Judicial Circuit as the Young Lawyer's Division Board of Governor's representative?
Jennifer presented, "Etiquette for the Courtroom – Ethical and Practical Tips in a Digital World" at the 2019 Annual Ethics Update. Jennifer believes all lawyers should follow the rules that they took an oath to follow. Contributing to a CLE (Continuing Legal Education) like this is just one way to serve and better the legal profession.
"Mortar Board is a national honor society recognizing college seniors for their exemplary scholarship, leadership, and service."
Do those traits sound like the ideal traits for a judge? Jennifer didn't just start exhibiting those traits because she wants your vote - it is who she is to her core.
Jennifer is a Florida Bar Foundation Fellow - no other candidate is. "Fellows are life members of The Florida Bar Foundation; core supporters who believe in the value of justice and the importance of the Foundation’s leadership and charitable programs."
"One Profits Most Who Serves the Best" - that is the motto of Rotary but it is also a standard by which Jennifer has lived her entire life. Jennifer has been on the Rotary Club of Live Oak Board since 2014. Her service includes: Service Chair 2014-15; President-Nominee 2015-16; President-Elect 2016-17; President 2017-18; Secretary/Treasurer 2018 - the present.
The photo is of a service project during the year Jennifer was president. Being a brand new mom didn't slow her down - she used it as an opportunity to show then-baby Kendall the importance of community service.
Jennifer is a frequent legal speaker - why? Because she is passionate about the law! Just this past November, Jennifer spoke locally at the Third Circuit Pro Bono Breakfast and Recognition Ceremony.
"In Sincere Appreciation to Jennifer Kuyrkendall for OUTSTANDING SERVICE to the University of South Florida." Jennifer didn't just start serving her community because she wanted to run for judge - it is what she has been doing all along.
Literacy and helping our youth are very important to Jennifer. Jennifer took that desire to help our community and has led Live Oak Rotary in the Dictionary Project for eight years.
Jennifer didn't just start doing community service because she is running for Judge - she's been serving our community for many years because she cares.
Have you ever seen a lawyer's ad and thought to yourself, that can't be allowed, can it? Well there are rules to follow and unfortunately, not all lawyers follow the rules.
The grievance committee reviews complaints, similar to the role of a grand jury. After a case is submitted to them by bar counsel, the committee decides whether there is probable cause to believe a lawyer violated the professional conduct rules imposed by the Supreme Court of Florida and whether discipline against the lawyer appears to be warranted.
Jennifer didn't just start service projects because she is running for judge. She's been serving for many years.
Anyone involved in the then-called "School Advisory Council" knows it has always been a struggle to get volunteers. Jennifer saw the need for community members to be involved and joined. Not only did she join, but she kept coming back year after year and even became the chair! Jennifer doesn't just say she cares about our community - she always has and always will.
Jennifer disqualified herself from the man's case and tutored the man for an entire year! Jennifer doesn't just say she cares - she shows it in everything she does.
Jennifer is a proud graduate of The University of Florida Law School. As the highest-ranked law school, they only accept the crème de la crème. Jennifer excelled and graduated with Honors!
Jennifer is the only candidate that can say that!
Jennifer has an extensive service history to The Florida Bar and to the local bar because she wants to make the profession better.
Jennifer chose to attend USF because she received enough scholarships to cover the entire cost of attendance. Academically, she excelled and was admitted to the Honors Program, an exclusive program at USF.
We showed you a sneak peek of Jennifer playing the clarinet at Christmas time but she used to play at a nearly professional level - she even made a recording with the principal clarinetist of The Florida Orchestra! This picture is from when she was in high school - even then, she was big on community service in our schools. Fun quiz - who recognizes which library she is in?
The Inns is a group of lawyers and judges that host Continuing Legal Education (CLE) presentations focused on promoting the highest level of professionalism in the practice of law.
Every lawyer has to complete 33 hours of CLE credit every three years. Jennifer is a frequent CLE speaker, both locally and state-wide.
No other candidate can say that!
And of course, being a bit of a techy herself, Jennifer shared her knowledge with the legal community to help better the profession.
As a former prosecutor, Jennifer recognized how difficult the examinations could be for a child victim. Doing what she could to improve the system, Jennifer served on the Board of Directors for the local Child Advocacy Center.
When the pandemic hit, Jennifer didn't miss a beat with keeping up with her trials and hearings as our Circuit's General Magistrate. Jennifer is quick with technology and immediately started utilizing Zoom so that her dockets would not fall behind. But not everyone knew how to use Zoom. So what did Jennifer do? She contributed to The Florida Bar, Legal Fuel's, library of how-to videos. Want to watch it? https://www.legalfuel.com/how-to-schedule-a-meeting-or.../
Jennifer has been a leader for many years. Her leadership skills, combined with her heart of service and involvement led to her receipt of the Outstanding Leadership and Involvement Award while at USF.
Jennifer has a long history of service to the school system. She served on School Advisory Councils for twelve years, was the chairman for seven of those twelve years and now serves on the District Advisory Council.
Jennifer is the only candidate that can say that!
Jennifer is passionate about the law - she has ALWAYS focused that passion on improving the profession and educating the public. While on the YLD Board of Governors, she led the project, "Mentoring with the Masters." She coordinated and filmed nearly fifty videos over a two-year period and then helped in the editing process too! She doesn't get paid to help improve the legal profession - she does it because she cares.
No other candidate has participated in such a tremendous project!
Read the full article here:https://www.floridabar.org/.../yld-youtube-videos.../
There are many sides to Jennifer - we bet you didn't know this one! Back in the day, Jennifer was accomplished in TaeKwonDo. She made it all the way to a Red Belt, just one belt shy of a black belt.
Jennifer is the only candidate that attended the highest-ranked law school in Florida - the University of Florida. While there, she not only graduated with honors, but she booked TWO classes - that's the highest grade in the whole class! No other candidate can say that either!
Jennifer dreamed of going to college and worked very hard from a young age to make it a possibility. Just like in high school, she excelled academically throughout college.
Every lawyer is required to complete Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses. Not only does Jennifer attend CLE's, she is also a frequent CLE speaker and has been for more than a decade.
The court system is comprised of both State and Federal courts. Jennifer is licensed to practice in both!
When seeking insight from local legal leaders, it is no wonder Jennifer was quoted in The Florida Bar News.
Jennifer saw an opportunity and seized it. Prior to 2009, our Circuit did not have a Young Lawyer's Section. So what did Jennifer do? She founded one! During her tenure, she applied for and received many grants to conduct relevant legal programming - Afternoon at the Courthouse, Bench Bar Breakfast, and CLE's.
Not only did Jennifer graduate as #1 in her class, she also had the highest grade in nearly all of her classes.
Jennifer for Judge
Copyright © 2021 Committee to elect Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin for Suwannee County Judge. Paid for and approved by Jennifer Kuyrkendall Griffin, Nonpartisan, for Suwannee County Judge - All Rights Reserved.
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