Arán takes charge of Board of Bar Examiners

first_imgArán takes charge of Board of Bar Examiners Associate Editor Cuban-born Fernando Arán of Coral Gables, the first Hispanic to chair the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, pledges to help increase minority access to the legal profession. C. Jeffrey McInnis, of Ft. Walton Beach, was recently elected vice chair of the board and will become chair in October 2001. The Florida Supreme Court also has appointed Dr. Larry C. Carey, of Tampa; J. Bert Grandoff, of Tampa; Gloretta Hankins Hall, of Palm City; and Paul J. Schwiep, of Miami, to the board. Having served as president of both the Cuban American Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association, Arán plans to visit organized bar associations and talk about the importance of increasing opportunities for minorities. His ideas include offering stipends for bar review courses and scholarships so minorities don’t have to work while studying for the bar exam. “I want to focus on the fact that if they really want to increase minority participation in the profession that they, as voluntary bars, have a role to play to encourage minorities to apply, beyond scholarships and mentoring,” Arán said. In addition, he said he will expand the Board of Bar Examiners’ outreach to all law school students and personally speak to student minority bar associations with hints toward increasing their chances of passing the bar. He said he wants to make sure law students are taking the proper courses that will help them pass the bar exam, as well as giving them tips on going through the application and background investigation process. “Nowadays, students who may want to go into entertainment law show up in the bar review course and do not realize that family law is one of the subjects that will be on the exam,” he said. Last year’s move to raise the bar exam passage rate should not be at odds with his top goal of bringing more minorities into the legal profession, he said. “I supported raising the passage rate,” Arán said. “I went through the process to evaluate whether we should raise the pass-fail line. I participated in the exam evaluation and grading conference we had in Orlando. I actually sat down with five other members of our profession, including professors and judges and lay folks. I realized that a lot of exam questions I thought I failed or barely passed had a score that would have passed.” In addition, he said, “Our expert, the person we hired to do the study, was emphatic in demonstrating by his data, based on other jurisdictions, that raising the exam pass-fail line by five, six or seven points would not have disparate impact on minorities. Yes, less will be passing, but statistically as many non-Hispanic whites will be failing.” To make sure that raising the pass-fail line does not work against minorities, Arán said, he also voted in favor of collecting demographic information so Florida will be able to accurately track whether there is any impact on minorities taking the bar exam. “In an effort to make sure raising the pass-fail line doesn’t work against minorities is why I voted to keep the statistics on minorities. Now we can evaluate what impact we are having,” Arán said. When the next bar exam is offered in February, racial information will be gathered as part of the application for the first time, he said. “Prior to this, we had to improvise and had to send out questionnaires to obtain the information or obtain it from fingerprint cards.” Vowing to pick up where former Chair Randy Hanna of Tallahassee left off, Arán further vows to demystify the Bar admissions process. He describes the role of the Board of Bar Examiners as the bridge between law school students and the practicing members of The Florida Bar, with a duty to protect the public. For the future, Arán pledges: “We must educate those affected by the Bar admission process to earn their trust and to instill confidence.” Arán said he is also sensitive to providing timely access to the legal profession. Due to improved technology and efforts of the Board of Bar Examiners, the length of an average background investigation has been reduced to four and a half months, a decrease of six weeks since 1995. He said he hopes to continue this downward trend in completing more bar applications in less time. Describing himself as a “mentor to today’s youth and tomorrow’s future,” Arán is an Eagle Scout, a troop leader and vice president for operations for the South Florida Council of Boy Scouts, as well as a father who makes sure he divides his time fairly and camps out with his Indian Princess daughter. Born in Havana, he immigrated to this country in 1962 when he was four years old, with his parents, who were both lawyers. “They did not revalidate their bar exam here, though,” he said with a chuckle. Arán received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami in 1978 and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1981. He practices mainly in the fields of admiralty and maritime law and in construction and commercial litigation. He serves as a member of the Bar’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and was chair of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee “J” Division for Dade County. C. Jeffrey McInnis C. Jeffrey McInnis, a shareholder in the firm of Anchors, Foster, McInnis & Keefe, of Ft. Walton Beach, was elected as vice chair by his fellow board members. His will become chair after October 31, 2001, and serve through October 31, 2002. McInnis attended Okaloosa-Walton Junior College, where he received his Associate of Arts degree; Florida State University, where he received his under- graduate degree; and Stetson University College of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1985, he served as a member of the board of directors for the Okaloosa-Walton Bar Association, as president of the Florida School Board Attorneys Association and as a member and chair of the District Board of Trustees for the Okaloosa-Walton Community College. He is a former board member and past president of the Niceville-Valparaiso-Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association and board of trustees of the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. He is a lifetime member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He lives in Ft. Walton Beach with his wife, Katherine, and their three children. Larry C. Carey Larry C. Carey, a professor of surgery at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, has been appointed to the Florida Board of Bar Examiners by the Supreme Court to succeed retiring public member I. Martin Ford of Orlando. His term runs through October 31, 2003. Dr. Carey was born in Coal Grove, Ohio, and attended Ohio State University, where he received both his undergraduate degree and his doctorate of medicine. He holds active medical licenses in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and he is still in active practice. He was chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of South Florida College of Medicine from 1990 to 1999. He is a member of numerous professional organizations, including: the American Board of Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, The American Surgical Association, the Southern Surgical Association, The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the American Gastroenterological Association and the Gamma and National Chapters of Alpha Omega Alpha. He lives in Tampa with his wife, Christina, and their daughter, Elizabeth. J. Bert Grandoff J. Bert Grandoff, a member in the Tampa firm of Allen, Dell, Frank & Trinkle, has been appointed to the board to succeed retiring member Franklin Harrison of Panama City. His term will extend through October 31, 2005. Born in Tampa, where he still lives, Grandoff attended the University of Florida, where he received his undergraduate degree and Stetson University College of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1965, he is a founding fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers, is a past member of the Bar Board of Governors and chair of a Bar Grievance Committee. He is past chair of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, and he has served as Hillsborough county attorney. Gloretta Hankins Hall Gloretta Hankins Hall, a partner of the Stuart firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, et al., has been appointed to membership on the board to succeed retiring member Karen Coolman Amlong of Ft. Lauderdale. Her term of office will extend through October 31, 2005. Hall was born in Louisville, Georgia. She attended Florida Atlantic University, where she received her baccalaureate degree in nursing, and the University of Miami School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1991, she is a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the Martin County Bar Association and the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers. She lives in Palm City. December 15, 2000 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Arán takes charge of Board of Bar Examinerscenter_img Paul J. Schwiep Paul J. Schwiep, a shareholder in the firm of Aragon, Burlington, Weil & Crockett, of Miami, has been appointed to the board to succeed retiring member Irwin Block of Miami. His term of office will extend through October 31, 2005. Born in New York City, Schwiep attended Abilene Christian University, where he received his under- graduate degree, and the University of Oregon School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor. Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1989, he is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Schwiep lives in Miami.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *