The Hillsborough County Bar Association Chester H. Ferguson Law Center held a diversity networking event aimed at educating the attendees about the benefits of embracing professionalism and inclusion in the legal profession.
Sponsors of the event provided law students with opportunities for future networking, internships, and employment.
The Florida Bar provided a diversity grant for the event in order to provide financial assistance to law students who wished to attend.
Arnell Bryant-Willis, The Florida Bar diversity initiatives manager, was in attendance and said, “This was the first networking event where there was a cross-section of presenters from all of the local voluntary bar associations, who were able to give the law students and lawyers a complete picture of how voluntary bar associations function.”
Leading the efforts were HCBA diversity co-chairs, Victoria McCloskey and Luis Viera. A panel presentation, moderated by Caroline Johnson Levine, provided the attendees with an education about the importance of a diverse profession and the ongoing professionalism efforts of the voluntary bars in the Tampa area. The panelists included Victoria Cruz-Garcia, of the Tampa Bay Hispanic Bar; Cory Person, of the George Edgecomb Bar; Jason Liu, of the Asian Pacific American Bar; Christine Derr, of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers; Navin Pasem, of the South Asian Bar; Kim Byrd, of the National LGBT Association; and Ric Asfar, who is working to create a bar for persons of Middle Eastern and North African descent.