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YLD recognizes 36 young lawyers for professionalism excellence

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'The YLD received an overwhelming number of nominations, generating an impressive and competitive pool of candidates throughout the state'

YLD 36 under 36 Professionalism Award Winners

The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division recently recognized 36 young lawyers for exemplifying “the highest standards of professionalism and ethics, whose character and integrity remain unwavering even in the most trying times, and whose dedication to raising the bar in the legal profession is unmatched” with its new 36 Under 36 Professionalism Awards. Chair Haley VanFleteren said the division received more than 200 nominations that were extensively vetted and the 36 winners were recognized at the YLD’s February Affiliate Outreach Conference in Orlando.

The Young Lawyers Division recently highlighted 36 members under the age of 36 who were recognized for their professionalism.

Aligned with the YLD’s theme of “Professionalism in Practice,” President Anisha Patel of Tampa said the division created a series of programing and initiatives to ensure young lawyers are equipped with the necessary tools, education, and resources to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and remain out of the disciplinary system. In pursuit of this goal, Patel initiated discussions to broaden the scope of existing young lawyer awards, placing a heightened emphasis on the professionalism endeavors of young legal practitioners throughout Florida.

“While the YLD considered different ways to achieve this, my planning meetings with Judge Santo DiGangi, who is a YLD past president, and our subsequent YLD Long Range Planning session, led to the creation of the YLD’s 36 Under 36 Professionalism Awards,” said Patel, who practices with Hill Ward Henderson.

In recent years, Haley VanFleteren, chair of the 36 Under 36 Professionalism Awards, noted a significant rise in the prioritization of professionalism as a critical issue demanding attention and proactive measures.

36 Under 36

“With President Patel’s focus this year on professionalism in practice, the YLD has created a lot of momentum in that movement,” said VanFleteren of Moore, Hill & Westmoreland in Pensacola. “To capitalize on that, the YLD continued to explore ways to elevate the quality, content, and programing provided in this area and, as a result, the YLD’s 36 Under 36 Professionalism Awards were met with widespread enthusiasm. The YLD received an overwhelming number of nominations, generating an impressive and competitive pool of candidates throughout the state.”

VanFleteren said the rigorous selection process involved meticulously vetting over 200 nominations. This entailed thorough committee evaluations followed by consideration from the entire YLD board, ultimately resulting in the identification of the top 36 award recipients.

“It was truly an honor to be a part of the inauguration of these awards, and I hope others find these recipients as inspiring as we did,” VanFleteren said.

The recipients of the award were recognized during the YLD Affiliate Outreach Conference in Orlando in February, and include:

  • Kevin R. Albaum of Clark, Campbell, Lancaster, Workman & Airth in Lakeland
  • Stephanie Andrade of Marshall Dennehey in Ft. Lauderdale
  • Loune-Djenia Askew of Askew & Associates in Lauderdale Lakes
  • Sean Patrick Bevil of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Tampa
  • Annie L. Blanc of The Leach Firm in Winter Park
  • Beau Blumberg of Deutsch Blumberg & Caballero in Miami
  • Alexa M. Cline of the Florida Office of the Attorney General in Tampa
  • Nicole M. Gehringer of Harris, Hunt & Derr in Tampa
  • Jessica Gopiao of Reed Smith in Miami
  • Lisa Gabrielle Harvey of Siemens Energy in Orlando
  • Margaret W. Hassan of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer in Tampa
  • Catherine R. Henry of Henry Defense in St. Petersburg
  • Kevin Huguelet of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, in Ft. Myers
  • Marcus Isom, Jr., of the Office of the State Attorney in Jacksonville
  • Patrick Iyampillai of Hale Law in Sarasota
  • Roger L. Johnson of Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel in Orlando
  • Christian N. Katchuk, a senior staff attorney13th Judicial Circuit in Tampa
  • Amanda Singh Keller of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur in Tampa
  • Lexie Revord Larkin of Larkin Law in Tampa
  • Kimberley Leonard of the Office of the Public Defender in Jacksonville
  • Mallory Lizana of Longwell Lawyers in Orlando
  • Daniela E. Mendez of Tampa General Hospital
  • Michelle T. Nguyen of Meador & Johnson in Pensacola
  • Valeria Obi of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida in Tampa
  • Hershley Ogé of The Law Offices of Athena Thanos in Plantation
  • W.J. Lee Owen of Luks, Santaniello in Jacksonville
  • Quinn Ritter of King, Blackwell, Zehnder & Wermuth in Orlando
  • Carly Robbins Moncrief of the FEMA Office of Chief Counsel in Washington, D.C.
  • Jesus M. Rosas of Brijbag Law in Spring Hill
  • Kandace E. Rudd of Waldoch & McConnaughhay in Tallahassee
  • Natasha Selvaraj of Berlin Patten Ebling in Sarasota
  • Sabrina Marcos Smith of Fisher Tousey Leas & Ball in Jacksonville
  • Vladimir R. St. Louis of the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service, in Coral Springs
  • Vincent L. Sullivan of Chiumento Law in Palm Coast
  • Erin J. Tilton of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff in Tallahassee
  • Danielle Weaver-Rogers of Qualfon Data Service Group in Highland Park, MI

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