Wet Suits: Scuba diving lawyers
Of Counsel - Florida Law
David Black was 7 the first time he saw someone
pull on a wet suit and jump into the Atlantic Ocean. Right then, scuba
diving became his dream. Whenever someone asked him what he wanted to do
when he grew up, Black said he planned to move to the Caribbean and
become a diving instructor.
Oh, and he also wanted to be a lawyer.
Black followed through on both ambitions. After college, he moved to
Grand Cayman and taught diving for a year before returning to the U.S.
and enrolling at the Boston University School of Law.
Now a 32-year-old associate at Berger Singerman in Fort Lauderdale,
Black still dives — as many as three times a month — and usually with
fellow members of DiveBar, a 2-year-old south Florida-based group that
calls itself the “first underwater Bar association for legal
In May, DiveBar organized a trip to Belize, where attorneys dove with
whale sharks. There was a trip to the Bahamas this year, too, along
with numerous diving excursions closer to home, from Jupiter to Key West
“For lawyers who have very little free time, it’s a very efficient
use of our free time,” says Black, DiveBar’s president. “DiveBar allows
us to have a lot of fun pursuing our passion of diving, but it also
allows is to do good at the same time.”
Last summer, for example, DiveBar attorneys helped a research team
from the University of Miami’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program
catch, tag and release sharks off the coast of Islamorada. DiveBar also
partnered with Nova Southeastern’s National Coral Reef Institute to help
care for and transplant live coral to a coral reef off the coast of
Fort Lauderdale. DiveBar’s involvement, apart from relieving the
researchers of grunt work, includes covering some of the expenses.
DiveBar also supports the Diveheart Foundation, which teaches
disabled people to dive, and raised $3,000 last June during an American
Cancer Society’s Air and Sea Relay for Life. The event required
participants to dive off the coast of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea rather than
walk around a track.
“Our philanthropic activities are never boring,” says Jennifer
Rosinski, an associate at the Coral Springs-based Weinstein Law Firm.
Rosinski, 31, joined DiveBar two years ago when she was still
attending Nova Southeastern University’s law school. She says her
involvement has made her a better diver — DiveBar offers diving
education classes to its members — and has helped her embark on her new
“I met a lot of people who have provided me with professional
guidance that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she says. “It has opened
up a lot of opportunities.”
For Black, DiveBar has led to new business.
“I’ve gotten referrals through friends I’ve made at DiveBar because
they get to know who I really am,” he says. “When you go to some
networking event, where you meet people for a cocktail after work, you
don’t necessarily share anything in common with them, and you really
don’t get to know them. But when you’re on a dive boat with someone or
you’re on a trip for a long weekend, you get to know people in such a
more substantial way. As a result, they come to trust my judgment and
will refer a client to me much more so than if they just met me for 45
minutes at a networking function.”