MIAMI — Holland & Knight partner Marilyn Holifield will be honored with the 2019 David W. Dyer Professionalism Award, the highest award given by the Dade County Bar Association, on June 16 at the Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building in Miami.
The David W. Dyer Professionalism Award was established in 1997 and is given to a lawyer or judge whose conduct reflects the “integrity, humility, compassion, and professionalism” displayed by Judge David Dyer.
“Marilyn is an outstanding lawyer, a model of civility and a mentor to many successful lawyers,” said Steven Sonberg, managing partner of Holland & Knight. “Like Judge Dyer, Marilyn has shown honor and bravery in confronting desegregation and discrimination. This honor is a wonderful tribute to everything she has accomplished in her life and career.”
Holifield practices in the general litigation area, with a specific emphasis on representing corporate clients. Her practice includes employment, business litigation, corporate governance, trade secrets, covenants-not-to-compete, class action and intellectual property litigation.
Holifield has a storied legacy of leadership in the Miami community and has dedicated much of her life to the cause of social justice. After working for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, she was recruited personally by Holland & Knight’s legendary founder, Chesterfield Smith. She was named a partner in 1986, becoming one of the firm’s first minority partners and the first black woman partner of a major law firm in Florida.
Holifield is a recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Jurisprudence Award and the National Bar Association’s Gertrude E. Rush Award. She was recently elected to the prestigious Harvard University Board of Overseers. Ms. Holifield also serves on board of trustees of the University of Miami and board of managers of Swarthmore College. Additionally, she is currently leading the effort to build the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora.