Orlando attorney Bruce B. Blackwell will take office as president of The Florida Bar Foundation. His one-year term begins July 1, 2007. Blackwell is a Fellow of The Florida Bar Foundation.
Blackwell is a third-generation Floridian. He was born in Gainesville and raised in Marion County. There, he was his high school’s valedictorian, and went on to Florida State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1968. He received numerous leadership honors and awards, including Hall of Fame, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, Gold Key, and founding Chair of the first Student Alumni Association.
After graduation, Blackwell served as an officer with distinction in the U.S. Air force, and initiated the first Interracial Council on any USAF base in the United States. In his last two years of active duty, Blackwell served as the protocol aide to Vice Admiral Walter H. Baumberger, Commander, United States Taiwan Defense Command in Taipei.
In 1972, Blackwell returned to Florida State University to pursue a law degree, and worked as an administrative aide to the Comptroller of the State of Florida, and later clerked for two Tallahassee law firms during his second and third years of law school. During law school, Blackwell received a number of American Jurisprudence book awards signifying the highest academic average in his class, and graduated with honors.
Blackwell is a partner with King, Blackwell, Downs and Zehnder, P.A. in Orlando, and is a frequent lecturer at seminars on legal ethics and substantial trial-related seminars within the profession. He is presently the Counselor and Master to the First Central Florida Inn of Court, a legal society dedicated to promoting professionalism and civility in the practice of law.
Previously, Blackwell served on the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar from 1994-98. He co-chaired the Board of Governors Disciplinary Review Committee, and was the liaison for the Practice Management Section and The Equal Opportunities in the Profession Committee. Blackwell was previously appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to its Pro Bono Services committee overseeing pro bono services statewide.
Blackwell has served on the board of The Florida Bar Foundation since 1998. He has chaired the Legal Assistance for the Poor/Law Student Assistance grant committee and the Budget and Finance committee; he is a member of the Foundation’s Executive Committee and the Development Committee, and, for several years, Blackwell chaired the Administration of Justice grant committee. “I consider the work of the Foundation to be the most rewarding of my legal career,” Blackwell said. “I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and the Foundation staff to provide access to justice for thousands of Floridians who live in poverty.”
The Florida Bar Foundation (flabarfndn.org) is a statewide charitable organization established in 1956 to foster law-related public service programs on behalf of Florida’s legal profession. The Foundation is the only statewide funder of civil legal services for the poor. Other Foundation programs include grants to improve the justice system, public service fellowships for law students, and loan repayment assistance for attorneys at its legal aid grantee organizations. Principal support for the Foundation’s charitable activities comes from the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) Program implemented by the Florida Supreme Court in 1981. Additional support for the Foundation comes from gifts by Florida attorneys, law firms, corporations, foundations and from other individuals.