Mentoring Reception for Florida State University School of Law
The Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation, joined by Nancy Benavides, the Dean of Students, the Black Law Student Association, the Cuban-American Bar Association, Muslim Law Student Association, the Multicultural Law Students Association and the International Law Students Association of FSU Law School, hosted a student mentoring event on October 22, 2020.
Marlon Hill, a KMMF Board member, Miami-based corporate lawyer and FSU Law School alum (JD. 1995) made the opening remarks and encouraged the students to find mentors, to learn how to network and to keep positive. The 35 participating Judges and lawyers, many of whom were FSU alumni, were divided into four breakout rooms ( Public Interest, Government, Civil Litigation and Corporate Law) and the 46 minority law students were able participate in 25-minute meetings in two of the four breakout rooms, where they were repeatedly encouraged to reach out to alumni for support and to answer questions about succeeding in law school and with their job search. KMMF Board members Mark LaPointe and Lisa Trueba Roberts led the breakout rooms for Civil Litigation and Government. Mark is also an FSU Law alum ( JD 1999). Lisa is the Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mo Roberts ( FSU JD 2012) and Ast. Public Defender led the other. The three judges Jessica Costello, Laura Cruz and Stephanie Silver were alumni and especially enthusiastic and helpful.
We concluded the program with some encouraging and inspirational remarks from John Kozyak, KMMF's Foundation Founder. He encouraged students to continue to complete the mentee applications on the KMMF website. Our hope is that these matches will develop into lasting and meaningful relationships that will benefit students in their legal careers. There are many "mentoring works" testimonials on the website and it was clear that many more good stories were developing during the reception.
Dean Benavides has been helping students at FSU law school for the past 20 years and when a student shared that it was her birthday 80 out-of- tune lawyers, Judges and students greeted her with a powerful rendition of “Happy Birthday”. It was obviously sung with love. We do not believe it was recorded, but few will complain.
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