FAWL at Thomas M. Cooley Law School - Tampa Bay Student Chapter
Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) is a statewide organization that promotes gender equality and the advancement of women in the legal profession and community. It also focuses on furthering the common interest of its members by encouraging camaraderie and learning. As such, it extends its philosophy and services to law schools within the state.
During the Hilary 2012 term, FAWL at Thomas M. Cooley Law School - Tampa Bay Student Chapter was established. The officers are Jocelyn Paiz, President; Mao Lee, Vice President; Feleshia Henderson, Treasurer; and Michal Brown, Secretary. Katherine Gustafason serves as the Faculty Advisor.
This semester, as one of our first events, we partnered up with the Ethics Center and PFAWL (Pinellas Florida Association for Women Lawyers) to host a "speed mentoring" event. The primary purpose was to provide students an opportunity to network and gain insight about various legal professions. FAWL’s president-elect and patent attorney, Brittany J. Maxey, along with several attorneys from Pinellas County attended the event and served as mentors: Elizabeth Pytlik, lobbyist for state and federal legislative affairs; Alexandra White, practices general community association law, creditor rights and probate; Amber Hill, criminal and family law attorney; Kyleen Hudson, insurance defense attorney; and Regina Kardash, practices criminal defense, family law, local government law, probate and estates and appellate law.
Students were divided in groups of 3 or 4 and paired with each mentor for 10-minute sessions and rotated until the students met all the mentors. During these sessions, students inquired about each attorney’s law school experience, choice in legal profession, day-to-day operation and practice, pro-bono work, and anything pertaining to that attorney’s area of practice or other questions. Afterwards, a small reception followed where students were given another opportunity to further engage with the attorneys on an individual basis.
Although timing was limited, the event proved to be effective and beneficial to all who attended. It was a great success; students and attorneys were very pleased.