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Hemans receives the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award

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Tremaine L. Hemans

Tremaine L. Hemans

When Tremaine L. Hemans walked into her first class at Florida International College of Law, she was one of only three Black students in her section of more than 70 students and initially “wrongly decided” she did not belong there.

Not wanting anyone else to ever feel like she did that day, the experience launched Hemans’ journey into pro bono work, mentorship, and immigration law.

Now just three years into her legal career, Hemans is the recipient of the 2022 Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award.

Hemans was born in Moneague, St. Ann, Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States where she is passionate about advocating for the rights of immigrants seeking their American dream, the same dream she had when she entered the U.S.

“It was not until I became an active member of our Black Law Student’s Association, where I met Jeremy Thompson, who was the first of many persons who took me under their wing at FIU Law, that I learned how to network and go outside of the four walls of school to interact with others and to be confident in who I was,” Hemans said. “I was able to meet businesspeople, attorneys, judges, and other individuals who were so willing to take time out of their busy schedules to sit and talk with me.. . . ”

Hemans, managing attorney and CEO of the Hemans Law Group, P.A., based in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, has provided pro bono work on Violence Against Women Act cases, helping victims of domestic violence obtain permanent residency without their abusive spouse or parent. Hemans is currently working on a pro bono political asylum case in immigration court.

As a leader who has charted the path for first-generation Black law students, Hemans serves as a resource and beacon of inspiration to high school and undergraduate students who come from low-income backgrounds. Her goal has always been to increase the number of Black students attending and succeeding in law school, and she accomplishes this through her mentorship program, Legally Trem, which offers mentorship for any college student facing the pressures of undergraduate and graduate education, who may be struggling with the demands of school and need help with study habits, managing anxiety, testing skills and networking skills.

Hemans has reached over 200 high school, college, and graduate students through Legally Trem, and she has helped six candidates pass the Florida or New York bar exams.

“I dedicated my summer to Black law students sitting for the bar exam, providing them with spiritual guidance and tools I learned through my own journey and started the Legal Trem mentorship program during the pandemic where the morale of the students I spoke with was at an all-time low,” Hemans said. “These efforts in serving others allowed me to reach so many more students across the United States and across the world that I am continually astounded by the effect of simply having someone to talk with has had on these students.”

The same is true for her domestic violence clients.

“As I am new at practice, taking on low bono and pro bono cases are scary as I’m growing myself,” she said. “However, Professor Juan Carlos Gomez at FIU Immigration and Human Rights Clinic taught me how you can change a person’s life by lending your gifts to their case. He also showed me that we, as lawyers, are servants, and that small white card can be a megaphone to amplify the voices of so many who are afraid to speak for themselves.”

Hemans said Legal Trem is the most important thing that she has done in her short legal career and hopes that it inspires others “to be good stewards of the gifts we have been given and to reach back to others and treat the mentorship of young lawyers and pro bono services as an act of service that we owe to the public and the field itself.”

Hemans also thanked her mother who came to this country “and worked more hours that God allows” to ensure she and her sister had all the opportunities her mother never did when she was in Jamacia “to make sure we became the lawyer and nurse that she did not know how she was going to make happen in Jamacia.”

YLD President-elect Iris A. Elijah said Hemans has shown others it is acceptable for lawyers to live authentically.

“You unselfishly share your time and talents to ensure the legal profession is accessible to as many people who seek to join us,” said Elijah. “You truly embody the best of what the YLD has to offer our profession.”

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