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She Is The First Black Woman To Be Elected President of Florida’s Broward County Bar Association

She Is The First Black Woman To Be Elected President of Florida’s Broward County Bar Association

She’s the perfect woman for the job!

Alison Smith is making history as the first Black woman to be elected president of Florida’s Broward County Bar Association (BCBA) in its near 100-year-history, the Jamaica Observer reports. 

Smith was born in New York and raised in Jamaica since she was a month old. In 1996, Smith migrated back to the United States, going to law school and becoming valedictorian at Nova Southeastern University. She graduated magna cum laude from the Shepard Broad College of Law at the university, working her way up as attorney. 

Due to her hard work she became the first Black woman named partner at Weiss, Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, a leading law firm in government, business, and law matters. Now, Smith has been appointed as president-elect of the BCBA, making history as the first Black woman to hold the title since its founding in 1925.

“I’m beyond excited and consider it to be a privilege and an honor to represent the BCBA...As the first woman of color to be president in our organization’s history, I take this position with the utmost seriousness and am humbled to lead BCBA,” Smith said. 

In her new role, Smith will lead the organization, which is made up of 4,000 members, 19 practice sections, 19 committees, and three affiliate organizations including, the Association of South Florida Mediators and Arbitrators, the Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida, and the North Dade Bar Association. Smith also currently serves on the board of directors for legal aid and as a member of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. 

When she’s not serving in the courtroom, she spends a lot of time helping her community. 

“I am extremely proud of my heritage, and everyone who knows me knows that I am an unofficial ambassador for Jamaica...I spend a lot of my time giving back to the community and am especially concerned and interested in programming that benefits the Caribbean-American community. I am a past president of the Caribbean Bar Association and have created mentorship initiatives to benefit the minority student community,” Smith said.

BCBA executive director, Braulio Rosa, spoke highly of Smith, calling her “a smart, thoughtful and energetic leader who understands that a bar association must manage a balance of business and service.”

Mitch Burnstein, managing director of Smith’s law firm, echoed those sentiments, saying lawyers will benefit significantly from Smith at the BCBA.

“Those who work with her [have] seen her...commitment and passion when serving her clients,” Burnstein said.

Smith is set to step into her new role in 2022.

Congratulations Alison!

Photo Courtesy of Weiss, Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman