By Diversity Access Pipeline, Inc.'s Journey to Esquire
A resource for students and lawyers alike providing the best ways to promote diversity, create access, and feed the legal pipeline with lawyers who will lead, mentor and inspire. The format will vary between interviews, tutorials, recordings of live events and individual stories from legal professionals in the Tampa Bay Area. This podcast is a project of Diversity Access Pipeline, Inc. a Florida nonprofit corporation and 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The podcast is run by students and alumni in the Journey to Esquire: Scholarship & Leadership Program.
Welcome to another bonus episode featuring Journey to Esquire: An Oral History.
In this episode, we pass the mic to Donald R. Odom. Born May 7, 1950, in Saint Petersburg, Florida, Donald R. Odom always knew he would be a lawyer. He spent his formative years in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, during which he became an admirer of Judge Thurgood Marshall. He recalls reading about Judge Marshall’s accomplishments during the 1950s and 60s, including his nomination to the United States Supreme Court in 1967. Interestingly, Mr. Odom did not meet a lawyer until he attended Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he met African American pioneers I. W. Williams, Fred Minnis and James Sanderlin.
Following graduation from Gibbs High School, Mr. Odom enrolled at the University of South Florida in 1968. He majored in political science, was active in campus politics, and served as President of the Black Student Union. Mr. Odom graduated in 1972 with a B.A. degree in Political Science. Thereafter, he was admitted to the University of Florida Law School in 1974, when the school operated on the quarter system, which allowed him to complete his studies in two years and one quarter. The Honorable Stephen Mickle was one of Mr. Odom’s Professors at Florida and Mr. Odom also clerked part-time at Judge Mickle’s law firm. Mr. Odom graduated from law school in June 1976 and was admitted to practice law on November 18, 1977.
From 1985 to his retirement, Mr. Odom has worked at the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office in Tampa, Florida, first as an Assistant County Attorney, then as a Chief Assistant County Attorney, and since 2005 as the Deputy County Attorney. His areas of practice have primarily been utilities law and local government law. Prior to his tenure with the County Attorney’s Office, Mr. Odom worked in the firm of Williams and Milton in St. Petersburg and the firm of Tindall, Trybus & Odom in Tampa. Mr. Odom served as the first African American Assistant City Attorney with the Saint Petersburg’s City Attorney’s Office, and the first African American Assistant District Counsel with the District V office of the Florida Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services. Mr. Odom has participated in numerous proceedings that have had a significant public impact, including his successful defense of the City of St. Petersburg’s Human Rights Ordinance.
Welcome to the first full interview of the Journey to Esquire: Oral History Project. In this episode, we pass the mic to Delano Stewart who had a stellar career as a criminal and civil trial lawyer. He served as the first president of the George Edgecomb Bar Association from 1982 to 1983. Stewart was elected as the first African American on the Hillsborough County Bar Association Board of Directors. He continued his community and political activism by running for the Florida House of Representatives in 1966 and Tampa City Council in 1970. Undeterred by these unsuccessful races, he continued to spend his Saturdays registering African American voters. Stewart is a Founder of the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs (1980), and the first African American member of the Rough Riders civic organization, of which he is a life member. He is also a member of the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame. Lawyer Delano Stewart was born on November 9, 1935, in Tampa, Florida to Beatrice Hill Stewart and Garland V. Stewart. He went on to earn his B.A degree in political science at his father’s alma mater, Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. From there, he attended Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., during which time he attended the March on Washington in 1963. He also served in the U.S. Air Force. Upon graduating in 1964, Stewart returned to Tampa, Florida, where he became the first African American board member for the Hillsborough County Young Democrats. After graduating from Howard’s Law School, Stewart returned to Tampa to enter private practice with Francisco Rodriguez and S.J. Kenneth Rogers. Stewart also became the first African American Assistant Public Defender for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County. Stewart expanded his law practice to add fellow Howard Law graduate George Edgecomb and Arthenia Joyner, the first African American female to practice law in Hillsborough County. Edgecomb became Tampa’s first African American assistant state attorney and county court judge. The local George Edgecomb Bar Association bears his name and awards the Delano Stewart Diversity Award annually. In 1970, Stewart became the first attorney to head an integrated law firm in Florida.
In honor of Black History Month, Journey to Esquire: The Podcast would like to share a glimpse into the beginnings of an oral history of African-American Pioneering lawyers in Tampa Bay. Featured speakers are Delano Stewart, Arthenia Joyner, and Donald Odom.
Special thanks to Ricky Roberts and Ricky Roberts Photography www.rickyroberts.com, and Dr. Peter-Christian Aigner Director of the Gotham Center, www.gothamcenter.com for their assistance and support in this project.
For the full video visit our YouTube Page and the website www.journeytoesquire.com/oralhistory.
Judge Daryl M. Manning is a County Court Judge in Hillsborough County and currently assigned to the county civil division. He was a practicing attorney in Tampa with the Office of the Florida Attorney General for sixteen years prior to his appointment by Governor Scott in 2015.
Judge Manning obtained his LL.M. from the Army Judge Advocate Legal Center and School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, N.Y. and his B.A. from the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, S.C.
Judge Manning was a Judge Advocate (JAG) Officer in the United States Army and served several tours in support of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2015. On the local level, Judge Manning was a member of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and served as chair from 2013 – 2015. He served on a Florida Bar Grievance Committee in Hillsborough and is a certified Guardian ad Litem.
Fun Fact: 10+ years ago, he appeared on Comedy Central!
As WMU - Cooley Law School Tampa Bay's campus director, Daniela Mendez is responsible for term course schedules and provides campus supervision and support.
Daniela is a magna cum laude graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School and before serving as a public defender worked as a legal intern with the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project. She was a paralegal with Catania & Catania, PA and served as a legal assistant with Stolbert & Townsend, PA, both in Tampa, Florida.
Daniela has been involved as a volunteer with several Tampa area organizations including, Palabra De Vida Church Ministry, Everyday Blessings, Trinity Café-Dining with Dignity, and A Kid’s Place. In addition to her law degree from WMU-Cooley, Mendez earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida.
For more information on the programs mentioned in this episode check out: http://www.thesunnycenter.com https://www.cooley.edu/academics/experiential-learning/innocence-project http://crossroadsfloridakids.org/
Fun Fact: I have a twin brother, who is 6'2 and looks nothing like me. I am married to my high school sweetheart and love to spend time in escape rooms and having fun with friends.
Board Certified in Appellate Practice, Sarah Lahlou-Amine practices in all areas of state and federal appellate litigation. In addition to handling all types of appeals and original proceedings, Sarah is frequently retained for the strategic focus she brings to trial court litigation, helping clients and trial lawyers create records suited to both protect favorable rulings and document grounds for reversal in the event of an adverse outcome.
Sarah served as Chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar and has been consecutively recognized in the Florida Super Lawyers magazine since 2010. She has garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings, and has been repeatedly recognized for her dedication to pro bono service. Sarah is also a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Tampa Bay (APABA).
Contact: email@example.com @SLahlou_Amine (Twitter) @sarahlahlouamine (LinkedIn)
Fun fact: In her spare time, Sarah enjoys writing and is an avid Florida farm enthusiast and agritourist.
Joann Grages Burnett serves as the Associate Director of Career and Professional Development at Stetson University College of Law. Burnett specializes in employer engagement, professional development, and readiness for students and alumni. Burnett co-chairs Stetson Law’s award-winning Campus to Career Professional Development Conference. Burnett previously served as an assistant public defender for the 6th Judicial Circuit. Burnett received her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law after graduating with honors from the University of Florida.
Burnett serves as the Lactation Room Task Force Chair of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She previously served as the Member Resources Director for the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division where she led the division's professional development and wellness initiatives. She is active with the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and a member of the Stetson Lawyers Advisory Council. Burnett lives in Gulfport with her husband Andy and their daughters Charlotte and Eleanor.
Links: https://www.stetson.edu/portal/law/ https://www.stetson.edu/law/career/ https://www.fawl.org/
Fun Fact: Once fan-girled out meeting David Gergen!
Vanessa Ferguson is a Florida native and was born near Orlando, Florida. She is currently an attorney and the managing director of Ferguson Legal, PLLC. Ferguson Legal, PLLC is a law firm that focuses on general Business law, Data Privacy, and Intellectual Property. Ms. Ferguson also serves as the secretary of the George Edgecomb Bar Association and is a Certified Information Privacy Technologist.
Ms. Ferguson obtained her Associate’s degree and her Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, with a minor in Legal Studies, from the University of South Florida St Petersburg. Ms. Ferguson attended the University of Dayton School of Law and graduated in two and a half years with a certification for her Intellectual Property concentration.
Links: VFerguson@Ferguson-legal.com and www.linkedin.com/in/vnessaferguson
Fun fact: I am one of 5 girls and I have 7 nieces and nephews.
In this episode, we speak to Jared Krukar about his journey to esquire and his work in diversity, inclusion and equity as an ally for minority attorneys and his work incorporating diversity into the appellate law practice in Florida.
Jared M. Krukar is board certified by The Florida Bar as a specialist in Appellate Practice. He practices exclusively in the areas of appellate practice and civil litigation support.
Mr. Krukar has a wide range of appellate experience, beginning with his early roles at the Florida Second District Court of Appeal as a Central Staff Attorney and then as a Senior Staff Attorney to the Honorable Darryl C. Casanueva. In private practice, he has successfully represented business and individuals in cases before the Federal Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Florida, all five of Florida’s District Courts of Appeal, and several Florida Circuit Courts’ appellate divisions.
Fun fact: Jared is a former certified Les Mills BodyFlow instructor.
John Schifino is a trial and appellate lawyer experienced in handling diverse cases in the areas of business litigation, labor and employment law, and environmental law. John is a member of Gunster's General Commercial Litigation group and represents public and private companies, and their officers and directors, in a variety of business related matters. He is the Past-President of the Hillsborough County Bar Association and a member of the Florida Bar's Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.
Contact: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-schifino-66708b9/ twitter - @JohnSchifino
Links: https://www.floridabar.org/about/diversity/, https://www.hillsbar.com/default.aspx
Fun fact: There's nothing I've enjoyed more that coaching my children's youth sports teams.
In this bonus episode, we share some reflections from the students in the Pilot Program which became the Journey to Esquire: Scholarship & Leadership Program. Assita Toure, Luis Aleman, Brielle Tucker, Jemima Pierre Zetrenne, Brittney Lainez, and Tiffany Colon share their words of wisdom as they complete their third year of law school. This presentation was originally aired at the George Edgecomb Bar Association Scholarship Banquet in April 2019 as part of its partnership with Diversity Access Pipeline, Inc. to pilot the program.
In this bonus episode, the students in the Class of 2019 present on their takeaways from the pilot program and what they hope to achieve in their careers. The presenters in this first part are Luis Aleman, Tiffany Colon, and Brittney Lainez with an abridged keynote presentation by Deanna Singh, JD MBA. This event was recorded live in March 2019 at the Portico Cafe, in Tampa, Florida.
Check out our YouTube page for the full video; https://youtu.be/WoDNQ2iZ6a8
In this bonus episode, the students in the Class of 2019 present on their takeaways from the pilot program and what they hope to achieve in their careers. The presenters in this second part are Assita Toure, Brielle Tucker, and Jemima Pierre Zetrenne with a short speech by founder Joseline Hardrick. This event was recorded live in March 2019 at the Portico Cafe, in Tampa, Florida.
Check out our YouTube page for the full video: https://youtu.be/WoDNQ2iZ6a8.
Andres N. Oliveros is a two-time president of the Highlands County Bar Association and the immediate past president of the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association.
His law practice is exclusively focused on personal injury law, with offices in Tampa and Sebring. A graduate of Duke University and the George Washington University Law School, Andres joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a judge advocate immediately after law school, and served as trial counsel overseas in Japan and as an operational lawyer in Iraq soon after the 2003 invasion.
Upon being honorably discharged, Andres returned to his hometown of Sebring and later opened his law practice in 2008 after settling in Tampa, where he now lives with his wife and two children. Andres' practice consists entirely of the prosecution of motor vehicle negligence and premises liability cases.
Links: www.thba.org, www.highlandsbar.com, www.oliveroslaw.com
Fun fact: I almost quit law school to go to culinary school.
Haley Moss is a South Florida native who was diagnosed with autism at age three. Upon receiving her autism diagnosis, her family was told that she would be fortunate to make a friend, graduate high school, or obtain her driver’s license.
Haley has defied the expectations set forth within her initial diagnosis.
Today, she is an attorney, author, artist, and autism advocate who writes and speaks publicly about her journey and gives hope for other autistic people and their families and friends.
Haley attended the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology & Law as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2015. She completed both degrees in an impressive three years. Following her undergraduate studies, Haley was fortunate to graduate from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was a Miami Public Interest Scholar committed to promoting access to justice for all. Haley was the Student Commencement Speaker at her law school graduation in May 2018. She passed the bar exam and is a member of The Florida Bar. Today she is one of a handful of openly autistic attorneys.
Links: https://haleymoss.net/books/ https://haleymoss.net/ ; Article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/10/17/hiring-neurodiverse-people-like-me-can-give-companies-competitive-advantage/ ; Podcast: https://www.differentbrains.org/spectrumly-speaking/
Fun fact: I love checking out group fitness classes. It's something I got excited about during law school.
Born and raised in Tampa, Danielle Martin, Esq. is a graduate of Stetson University College of Law. Prior to law school, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a minor in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of South Florida, graduating Summa Cum Laude and a King O’Neal Scholar. While in law school, Danielle received the Highest Grade Award for Employment Discrimination, William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award and served as Teaching Assistant to Dean Bruce Jacob.
Danielle Martin is an Assistant City Attorney for the City of St. Petersburg where she practices Labor and Employment law. Danielle is licensed to practice in all Florida state courts and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Danielle serves on Florida Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion committee. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Also, she volunteers as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. Danielle has been recognized as the 2017 Rising Star, 2018 Member of the Year Award for Minnis.
Bridge to Practice: https://www.stetson.edu/law/career/memorandum-of-understanding.php
Fred G. Minnis Bar Association https://minnisbar.com/
In this episode, Joseline J. Hardrick, founder and President of Diversity Access Pipeline, Inc., the nonprofit organization behind this podcast, shares part of her interview with the AfroLAWtina Podcast to discuss her journey to esquire and her experience in a federal judicial clerkship.
Joseline is a native of Brooklyn, NY and has called Tampa Bay home for the last decade. She graduated from Florida State University College of Law in 2009, worked for a large Tampa law firm practicing commercial litigation for almost four years, and clerked for two local federal judges for five years total. She is now a Visiting Assistant Professor at WMU-Cooley Law School's Tampa Bay campus teaching Constitutional Law and Criminal Law. She is also a children's book author.
For more information check out www.joselinehardrick.com and www.journeytoesquire.com.
To hear the full interview, please visit the AfroLAWtina Podcast on Apple Podcasts and other platforms. Visit https://afrolawtina.wixsite.com/content for more information on Gidget Benitez, foundr of AfroLAWtina and make sure to check out her new app "The Network" at afrolawtina.mn.co
In this trailer, we pass the mic to the two people behind this podcast: Joseline J. Hardrick, Esq. and Ray C. Petty, Jr. Joseline is the founder and President of Diversity Access Pipeline, Inc. which runs the Journey to Esquire: Scholarship & Leadership Program and this podcast. Then we pass the mic to Ray C. Petty, Jr., a second year law student at WMU- Cooley Law School and an intern with the program. On this podcast we some great attorneys and judges who will share their "journeys to esquire" and offer useful information about law school and the practice of law. Listen to find out more! Special thanks to our JD Level Sponsors- U.S> District Courts Middle District of Florida's Bench Bar Fund and Agape Christian Bar Preparation services, Inc. Also thanks to WMU-Cooley Law School for providing the podcasting equipment and recording space and Dr. Peter-Christian Aigner for his assistance.