On Friday, March 7th at the Palm Beach County Bar Association announced that they had re-named the Bar’s Professionalism Award the "Sidney A. Stubbs Professionalism Award" after Sid who has been an outstanding leader at our firm and in the legal community for nearly 50 years.

The first-ever recipient of the award was Jones Foster’s Scott Hawkins, who is the former President of the Palm Beach County Bar as well as The Florida Bar.

A proud day for everyone at Jones Foster – congratulations to both of these very fine men.

A Legacy of Legal Professionalism

By:  Larry B. Alexander, Chairman
Jones, Foster, Johnston & Stubbs, P.A.

A southern gentleman, Sid Stubbs is the epitome of our profession at its highest level.  I proudly call him my friend and colleague, and am delighted that his legacy will live on through the award which now bears his name.

As the first recipient of the Sidney A. Stubbs Professionalism Award, Scott Hawkins is also a highly principled man.  He has been privileged to work with Sid for over thirty-one years, so it is no accident that he too has become a respected professional.  I say this with no disrespect to Scott’s parents who instilled in him a strong faith, a powerful work ethic and an unbreakable code of personal conduct.

I have worked closely with Scott since he first became a lawyer.  With every step in his career, Scott’s emphasis has always been on the importance of elevating our profession to a higher level for the benefit of the clients and communities we serve.  From the beginning, his life has reflected his dedication to the ideal that lawyers should act at all times in a respectful manner.

When Scott was President of the Palm Beach County Bar he summed up his philosophy on professionalism in an piece he wrote entitled:  “What is your legacy?”  I’d like to share that article, with this side note:  Years after this article ran in the Bar Bulletin when Scott was running for the Board of Governors, he received a call from United States Immigration Court Judge Phillip J. Montante, Jr. (New York).  The Judge, who Scott has never met, moved from Palm Beach County but was still a member of the Bar.  After reading that Scott was running for the Board of Governors, the Judge called to wish him well and to advise that he hands a copy of Scott’s “legacy” article to every lawyer who appears in his courtroom, and he urges them to read it.

In Scott’s article he asks:  “Will your actions today elevate or denigrate the esteem in which our profession is held?”  The answer for Scott came in that phone call from Judge Montante.  

Here is this year’s Sidney A. Stubbs Professionalism Award recipient, in his own words: 

What is your legacy?

President's Message by Scott G. Hawkins
 (September 2000)

Our tendency in this culture of modern America is to focus on the "here and now.”  As busy lawyers, we occupy our minds and energies with those demands that are most pressing, most urgent.  Our everyday actions and thoughts are dictated by the force of expediency.

The problem with this approach to living (and practicing) is that it detracts from the perspective that one's actions create one's legacy.  If your actions are dictated by the urgent, that pattern of behavior will form your legacy - like it or not.

To create a legacy is to leave in others, including children, families, law firms, colleagues, organizations, and those you influence, the contributions of one's core values and spirit.  A senior partner may leave a legacy of integrity.  A mother may leave a legacy of caring.  A father may leave a legacy of "family first" in all things.

All of us will leave a legacy as the result of our actions and words.  Some will regret the legacy they leave by demonstrating little concern for others and little commitment to core values and institutions.  Others will leave behind legacies rich with demonstrations of commitment to enduring values and principles.

There is no question that what you do in the present will influence in the future the persons and institutions you serve.   The future of our bench is influenced by the judges of today.  The future of our law firms is influenced by the actions of today's partners and how they respond to today's challenges.  The future of the Bar and our profession will be influenced by our actions as lawyers today.  Will your actions today elevate or denigrate the esteem in which our profession is held?

Obviously, it is your choice what legacy you choose to leave behind.  Make no mistake, all of us will leave one. Think today about your actions in the context of what others will think tomorrow of your legacy.

Measure your actions today against the legacy you will leave tomorrow.



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