Young Lawyers Section

YLS Introduction

The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) is comprised of more than 750 attorneys practicing in a variety of areas of law throughout Central Florida. Members of the YLS must be under the age of 35 or practicing law five or fewer years. As a new lawyer, the YLS is a valuable resource because it offers an array of opportunities for relationship building, charitable service, and professional growth. Whether you choose to attend a monthly luncheon, volunteer for a charitable project, or chair our next big event, the YLS is the gateway to enhance your career. Get involved!



The YLS's mission is to meet the unique needs and interests of new lawyers by (a) providing a forum for exchanging ideas and offering assistance regarding concerns common to the new lawyer; (b) offering opportunities to enhance their professional skills and knowledge, and ethical development; (c) providing opportunities for career and leadership development, mentoring, and relationship building; (d) offering opportunities to serve on public service committees and charitable projects; and (e) encouraging their interest and participation in the YLS, the Orange County Bar Association, the legal profession, and their communities.

Meeting Time & Location

YLS typically meets for lunch the third Friday of the month at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. Check-in: 11:30-11:55 a.m.; lunch: 12:00-1:00 p.m. RSVP online here, or to if you are paying cash.


YLS Member-at-Large Board Appointment

One YLS Member-at-Large board appointment is available for a term ending May 31, 2019. To be nominated, and to be a signatory on the petition, you must be a YLS member. Criteria are on the nominating petition. Petitions must be received in the OCBA offices no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, June 23. For details, download the nominating petition.



YLS Save-the-Dates - And Keep Your Eyes Open for Upcoming Email Blasts!

May 14 -  Brown Bagging with the Bobs "Discovery Depositions Part 1: Planning and Preparation"

June 11 - Brown Bagging with the Bobs "Discovery Depositions Part 2: The Taking of a Deposition"

Cindy Brown at


For a description of events or to volunteer to chair a committee, please see below.

This page has not been updated yet.



YLS Officers

Keshara D. Cowans, Esq.

The Florida Bar
1000 Legion Place
Ste. 1625
Orlando FL 32801
Ph: 407-425-5424
Contact by email

Jill D. Simon, Esq.

President Elect
Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe, P.A.
315 E. Robinson St., Ste. 600
Orlando FL 32801
Ph: 407-574-0544
Contact by email

C. Andrew Roy, Esq.

Winderweedle, Haines,
Ward & Woodman, P.A.

P.O. Box 2809
Orlando FL 32802
Ph: 407-423-4246
Contact by email

Joey M. Chindamo, Esq.

Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, P.A.
315 E. Robinson St., Ste. 550
Orlando, FL 32801
Ph: 407-505-4680
Contact by email

Jennifer A. Smith, Esq.

Communications Coordinator
Southern Trial Counsel, PLC
205 S. Eola Dr.
Orlando, FL 32801
Ph: 407-422-6100
Contact by email


Brett Renton, Esq.

Immediate Past President
Shutts & Bowen, LLP..
300 S. Orange Ave., Ste. 1000
Orlando FL 32801
Ph: 407-835-6791
Contact by email







Board Members


Stephanie N. Alcalde, Esq.
The Orlando Family Firm

Michael D. Barber, Esq.
The Umansky Law Firm

Denise Beamer, Esq.
Office of Attorney General.

Eric R. Elms, Esq.
Fisher, Rushmer, P.A.

Brock A. Hankins, Esq.
Allen, Dyer, Doppelt & Gilchrist, P.A.

Heather M. Meglino, Esq.
Meglino Morse Law, LLC

Rafael O. Rodriguez, Esq.
Law Office of Deborah N. Hartwell

Brandon M. Sapp, Esq.
DSK Law.

Charity J. Tonelli, Esq.
Office of the Public Defender

Connor S. Kelly, Esq.
Kelly Law, P.A.



Florida Bar YLD Board of Governors Representatives
Ninth Judicial Circuit

Eric R. Elms, Esq.
Denise K. Beamer, Esq.
Jennifer A. Smith Thomas, Esq.


Volunteer to Chair an Event!

Serving on a committee is a great way to meet new people, while having the opportunity to serve the OCBA and your community. Time commitments for committees vary, so please be sure to consider your upcoming schedule when you apply. All committee members must be members in good standing of the Young Lawyers Section of the OCBA. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Keshara Cowans.

Description of YLS Events

2017-2018 YLS Committee Chairs - To Be Updated


Committee Chairs are needed for the following events:


Backpack Project: The Backpack Project Committee raises money to purchase backpacks and school supplies for the students and teachers at Rock Lake Elementary School. Rock Lake is one of Central Florida’s most economically disadvantaged schools. The YLS partners with A Gift for Teaching to provide the backpacks. Each year a happy hour is held at the end of July or the first week in August to raise  money  and  collect  school  supplies. The  happy  hour  serves  as  the  fundraiser  for  the project. Committee members are responsible for attending and assisting with the happy hour. Additionally, the committee will meet at A Gift for Teaching to fill the backpacks with school supplies and is responsible for delivering the backpacks to Rock Lake Elementary on the Friday before the first day of school.


Community Service: Due to our membership’s increased interest to volunteer with community organizations and get their “hands dirty,” this committee will focus on planning a couple of service events at local charitable organizations, which will allow Young Lawyers to give back to the Central Florida community. This is a new committee, and all ideas are welcomed.


Evening with the Judiciary: Evening with the Judiciary is a mid-week cocktail party that occurs in late February, and its invitees include lawyers and judges. In a social atmosphere, which is generally themed, lawyers get the chance to mingle with judges and colleagues while enjoying small plates, appetizers, and drinks. In past years, attendance has ranged from 250-475. Duties of the committee include: finding and negotiating an appropriate venue, planning a theme, hiring a caterer, managing a budget, choosing and providing beverages, entertainment, and name tags, sending invitations to all local judges, publicizing the event, managing rsvps, assisting with set-up and clean-up of the event, and other miscellaneous tasks. Planning the Evening with the Judiciary requires commitment and service several months in advance and is significantly time consuming in the few months leading up to the event.


  Scholarship: Each year, the YLS recognizes one outstanding High School Senior from Orange County and awards
  a scholarship to Valencia College. The Committee is responsible for distributing scholarship applications to the
  schools, reviewing applications, and interviewing select applicants, coordinating disbursement of funds and
  monitoring student progress. The selection process runs from February through June.


Social: The Social Committee’s duties include planning and carrying out general YLS social events throughout the year, including, but not limited to, YLS-wide happy hours after work and social events with other organizations such as the young CPAs. We try to plan some form of after work or other happy hour event once every couple of months. YLS is looking to expand the social committee to include activities in addition to Happy Hours. The monthly time commitment is usually 3-5 hours per month.



(Note: You may be recorded and/or photographed at any OCBA/YLS event. By speaking at or attending events, you consent to your image and voice being recorded and/or photographed by the OCBA, and you consent to the OCBA publishing, reprinting, reproducing, distributing and/or creating derivative works utilizing your image or voice.)