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Business Law Section runs diversity program

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Business Law Section runs diversity


To further its charge of fostering a more inclusive environment to young lawyers in the Business Law Section, its Diversity Committee launched a Diversity Fellowship Program in 2013.

This program provides a two-year subsidy to qualified applicants who express an interest in becoming active in the substantive work and leadership of the section. The fellowship is open to current members of the section who have practiced for fewer than 10 years or are younger than 36 years of age, and demonstrate a substantial portion of their practice in the area of business law.

During their participation in the Fellowship Program, selected fellows receive leadership training and work closely with attorneys in the business law field.

In its inaugural year, the section received 20 applications and awarded fellowships to three recipients.

Here is quick spotlight on the first class of the Business Law Section’s diversity fellows, who are all serving from January 2014 to December of this year.

Xinning Shirley Liu
Liu “Serving as a fellow of the section has been an eye-opening experience. The wealth of knowledge and amount of substantive work that happens at the various committees is immense. I greatly admire the exemplary professionalism and selfless service shown by the members and aspire to similarly give back with my involvement through this fellowship and beyond.”

Liu is president of XL Law and Consulting P.A., where she concentrates her practice on higher education, business, and international law. Born in China, she is fluent in Mandarin and Fujianese. She has been involved on the section’s Inclusion/Mentoring/Fellowship Committee and the Corporations, Securities, and Financial Services Committee. Liu’s substantive law mentor is Stefan Rubin and her academic chair is Professor Stuart R. Cohn.

Zana Scarlett
Scarlett “encouraging and facilitating active participation in the Business Law Section, the fellowship has given me an amazing opportunity to use my legal training to give back to the community, while simultaneously receiving invaluable mentoring and professional guidance from Business Law Section members.”

Scarlett was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. After practicing law in New York City for two years, Scarlett relocated to Miami to be closer to family. She currently practices bankruptcy law and resides in Miami with her husband and two young children. Since receiving the fellowship, she has been a regular attendee at the Business Law Section meetings and has concentrated her time and efforts on working with the Business Litigation Committee. She said she has been most struck by the high level of camaraderie among the Business Law Section members and their dedication to the section.

Cherine Smith Valbrun
Valbrun “The fellowship provided the perfect opportunity for me to initially explore the section and eventually identify the committees in which I want to be actively involved. The members of the section are very welcoming and my assigned mentors, Jodi Cooke, Jude Cooper, and Peter Valori, have been very supportive. I am very appreciative of the fellowship and I am looking forward to my continued involvement after the fellowship.”

Valbrun practices complex commercial and tort litigation at the Ft. Lauderdale-based Kim Vaughan Lerner, LLP. As a fellow, she has been involved with the Business Litigation and Proceedings Supplementary Task Force. Valburn was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica.

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