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Jamaican American Attorney Alison Smith Sworn in As First Black Female President of Broward County Bar Association

Jamaican American attorney Alison Smith made history on June 18 when she was sworn in as the first Black woman President of the Broward County Bar Association (BCBA) in Florida.

Smith is the first woman of color to serve as the organization’s president in its nearly 100-year history.

The Jamaican American is currently a Partner at Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, where she practices labor and employment law.

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She has been on the board of the Broward County Bar Association since 2014 and is also the former president of the Caribbean Bar Association.

Smith was born in New York but at one-month-old was taken by her parents, Fay and Donald Smith, an attorney who practiced in Black River, St Elizabeth, to Jamaica, where she grew up with her sisters, Meisha Smith-Coulter, also a lawyer and Jessica Smith, a doctor.

After graduating from Manchester High School in Mandeville, Smith returned to the United States, where she settled in Miramar, and followed her father’s footsteps by pursuing a law career.

She attended Nova Southeastern University in Florida, where she was valedictorian of her class, and graduated magna cum laude from the Shepard Broad College of Law at the university. Before law school, she earned a BSc in psychology with a minor in legal studies.

“This historic moment is not lost on me,” said Smith during her acceptance speech at her swearing-in as president.

Alison Smith says her Jamaican heritage has “significantly influenced” her principles, morals, values, and her law practice.

“I am proud of my Jamaican culture and my Jamaican accent. Although Jamaica has its challenges, I fiercely defend it, and am proud to see other Jamaicans in the spotlight.  It’s my aim to occupy the spotlight in a positive way, reflecting on Jamaica and Jamaicans,” she noted in a previous interview.

The swearing-in ceremony was part of a gala staged by the voluntary Broward Bar Association at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Ft Lauderdale Beach.

 

 

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