Career Spotlight: Elizabeth Hernandez (JD 83)
UF Law alumna Elizabeth Hernandez (JD 83) is now leading one of the largest minority bar organizations in the United States, the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA). The organization includes judges, lawyers and law students of Cuban and Cuban-American descent, as well as those interested in issues affecting the Cuban community. “We are the advocates who ensure equal access and 13opportunity to all,” said Hernandez. “It is exhilarating.”
During her presidency, Hernandez hopes to “expand on the basic premise that motivates the organization, which is to complete diversity in all of its firms, not just at the bottom, but at the board level as well.” The group provides yearly scholarships to all Florida law schools and runs a pro bono clinic providing free legal services to hundreds of qualified low income minorities.
Hernandez has served as chief legal officer for the City of Coral Gables for more than 10 years, during which time she has tackled more than a few hurdles.
“My most challenging role is to be able to ignore the political storms of a given moment and persevere in advising and representing my clients in the appropriate manner. Sometimes the negativity that motivates a reporter or malcontent permeates the atmosphere, and we need to rise above personal attacks to properly advise and represent our client,” she said.
Even with her demanding job as city attorney, Hernandez said she stays active in organizations such as CABA because of the opportunities to mentor young attorneys and encourage them to become active in public service.
“I am very fortunate in that my job is my passion.”