Pettis says Minority Mentoring Picnic a ‘must attend’ event

Published: January 6th, 2014

Category: Feature

2013Minority Mentoring Picnic 2At the center from left, Circuit Judge Peter T. Fay (JD 56), Florida Bar President Eugene K. Pettis (JD 85), former Florida Bar President Benjamin H. Hill III (JD 65) and Federal Judge Paul C. Huck (JD 65), stand Nov. 9 among law students at the 10th Kozyak Minority Mentoring Picnic at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. Each year this event gives minority law students across the state a chance to receive valuable career advice from lawyers and judges.

“The Minority Mentoring Picnic has developed into a ‘must attend’ event for minority students across the state of Florida,” Pettis told The Florida Bar News. “It is the single place where you can come and network with lawyers and judges from throughout South Florida in a relaxed and fun-filled atmosphere. It has been a pleasure to watch this event grow each and every year. In truth, I think the lawyers and judges who attend, in order to develop mentoring relationships, are getting as much out of it as the law students. That is by definition a win-win.”

Miami lawyer John Kozyak grew up in a segregated community and attended high school when the 1964 civil rights legislation was put in place. He is the founder of the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation, which he created to fulfill his commitment to promote diversity in the profession. The picnic is the organization’s most notable event, drawing more than 3,000 lawyers, judges and attendees in 2012, according the Kozyak Foundation website. UF Law is a big supporter of the event, providing a bus that transports students to the picnic each year.