By: Kimberly Brimm
Students from the Tampa Bay campus chapter of BLSA attended the Minority Mentoring Picnic hosted by the Kozyak Foundation on Saturday, November 9, in Hialeah, Florida. The picnic, which is its 10th year, aims to pair law students with judges and lawyers in the field. Students and attorneys from all over the state gathered at Amelia Earhart Park to share in food, fun and networking.
The goal of the annual picnic is to match law students with seasoned lawyers and judges. Students in need of a mentor were given "I need a mentor" stickers. One BLSA member, Adrianette Williams was having a tough time finding a mentor before coming to the picnic.
"What I want to do with my legal degree is so specific and it as been difficult finding someone who is doing what I want to do. I have reached out to people and it has been hard trying to find a mentor. My goal when I came to the picnic was to find someone and I did."
Amongst the great food and entertainment connections were made. BLSA Secretary, Marla Garland connected with the the Minority Corporate Counsil Association an organization dedicated advocating for the expanded hiring, retention, and promotion of minority attorneys in corporate law departments and the law firms that serve them.
"I have been on the email list since college but never got a chance to go to any of their events. I was so excited when I saw they had a booth at the picnic. I was able to get some information about events they are doing here in Florida and to actually speak to a actual person about the organization."
Bar Associations, law firms, accounting services and law schools were on site giving picnic goers information, prizes and to connecting with students. One tent was dedicated to giving law students advice. Four different panels were assembled to give law students guidance on interview etiquette, how to become a law clerk and business attire ettigquet.
Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis was a part of a six person panel that discussed career paths, job search and finding a mentor. President Pettis offered students great advice and encouraged them to believe in themselves, have confidence and commit time to becoming the lawyer you want to be.
"I'm considered a non-traditional law student since this will be my second career. To hear the panel speak on ways to use that to my advantages was uplifting," said BLSA member Anthony Preston.