Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms, is pleased to announce the creation of the Leadership Training Academy, an initiative of the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. The Academy was established to serve and inspire the next generation of Florida attorneys by providing them with substantive leadership, legal training and mentorship opportunities while they are law students.
On Friday, April 9, Gunster hosted a virtual event with more than 60 attendees for the half-day session. In order to serve an inclusive group of law students drawn from around the state, the firm invited each law school in Florida to nominate up to five students to participate in the inaugural Leadership Training Academy (LTA).
The theme for the event was “Building a Career of Influence and Purpose” and it featured “A View from the Federal Bench” session with United States District Judge Roy K. Altman and a “View from a Trailblazer” session with the Honorable Simone Marstiller, Secretary of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration and a Gunster alumna. The day included various panel discussions moderated by Gunster attorneys and featured a robust group of panelists drawn from a variety of backgrounds from across Florida.
“It’s important to me to mentor and share my experience with law students and young lawyers so they are aware of the diverse opportunities available to them as they build their legal careers,” said Marstiller. “I applaud Gunster for creating the Leadership Training Academy which provides a great forum for discussion that will change the landscape of the legal industry in a positive way.”
“As I listened to all of the well-accomplished panelists, I was inspired to be involved more in the legal community and achieve more throughout my career. Each panelist strived for more and became a prominent figure in their respective firms and communities and that really resonated with me,” said Cameron L. Perkins, a student at Stetson University College of Law. “I learned there are so many different career options with my law school education. LTA did a great job of including a wide variety of panelists who had diverse backgrounds and careers.”
“The inaugural LTA brought together an incredible array of speakers from around the state, who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and service throughout their careers,” said Jonathan K. Osborne, Gunster shareholder and DE&I committee member. “Our committee was humbled by the enthusiasm with which the speakers accepted the invitation to participate and are incredibly grateful to the students for attending and providing us invaluable feedback about the experience.”
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of Gunster is committed to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion both within the firm and beyond. It anticipates hosting the Academy annually and to remain connected with the participating students and law schools in the interim through “Lunch & Learn” and other mentorship meetings.
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Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With over 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.