On the 8th day of March, 2019, the Broward County Bar Association (“BCBA”) in partnership with the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit and The Broward County Women Lawyers’ Association will be celebrating its first Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. We will be honoring the women pioneers of the Broward County legal community. As a practicing attorney in Broward County for 24 years, I have been fortunate enough to know many of these pioneers. Whether it was through the Stephan Booher Inns of Court that I joined while in law school, litigating in front or through my practice or through the BCBA, all of these women have lead by example.
When I graduated law school 24 years ago 50% of our class was women. However, when I would go to Motion Calendar many times I would be the only female litigator in chambers. As a member of the Young Lawyers Association, we always had a few women on the board; with many becoming president of the Young Lawyers. When I was elected to the “Big Board of Directors” the large majority of the directors were men. I am happy to say times are changing. There have been 93 presidents of the Broward County Bar Association and I am the 9th woman president. Since I joined the BCBA there have been 7 female presidents. Our current Board of Directors nine out of twenty-three of the directors are women. In 2022 and 2023 there will be two more women presidents with Jamie Finizio-Bascombe our current secretary and Alison Smith who will become secretary in July. Within the last five years, I have noticed more women attorneys at Motion Calendar and at depositions.
My first job out of law school was working at a firm with my father and two sisters Paula and Andrea. I was fortunate to be mentored by my sisters on how to be argumentative with class and grace. They expressed the importance of joining the BCBA and becoming involved within the Broward legal community. Although my father’s advice and teachings are still instilled in me, having sisters in your profession that at the time was dominated by men is irreplaceable. They have always been there to provide advice and encouragement. I was never intimidated to ask any questions, not even ones I knew were probably easy. Although Andrea is no longer with us, I still bounce questions, legal arguments, or just vent about another attorney with Paula.
Some upcoming events to look forward are the Judicial Jaunt Series with The Honorable Sandra Perlman on Friday, March 15th at noon, the Family Law Section “Raising the Bar”, which will take place on the 5th day of April 2019, from 8:30am to 5:00pm at the Bahia Mar on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Some of the topics include: discussing the local rules and procedures, tax deductions and business valuations, a view from the family law bench and pet peeves, how to preserve your appellate record, and a legislative update. This event normally sells out; therefore, I would suggest you reserve your spot as soon as possible. Save the date for the Law Day that will be held on the 3rd day of May 2019, at the Bahia Mar on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Our annual installation gala dinner, which will be held on the 22nd day of June 2019, at Pier 66. This year’s theme will be James Bond so, start your planning now!