UF Law’s FAWL named Outstanding Chapter of the Year

Published: March 31st, 2014

Category: News

FAWL Balance

From left, Alexa Taylor (2L, UF FAWL secretary), Stephanie Carusillo (2L, UF FAWL treasurer), Melanie Griffin (panelist – Associate at Dean Mead, President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division), Susan Goffman (director of Legal Services UF Foundation), Jeanne Singer (Chief Assistant State Attorney 8th Judicial District), Denise Ferrero (Alachua County Court Judge 8th Judicial Circuit), Jo Thacker (Partner at Broad and Cassel), Celeste Thacker (2L, UF FAWL President), Cristina Delgado (2L, UF FAWL Vice President)

The Florida Association for Women Lawyers selected the UF Law chapter as the 2014 Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year.

According to a letter announcing the award: “FAWL has taken notice that the University of Florida Student Chapter of FAWL has developed innovative ways to build its membership, including by providing programs and services which specifically encourage and assist members to become leaders in the profession and in the community.”

The UF FAWL chapter successfully increased membership and expanded programming to promote FAWL’s values, said UF FAWL President Celeste Thacker (2L).

Thacker said the focus of this year was “Bigger and Better.” The organization boasts more than 60 registered members and the executive board worked to recruit, create innovative programming, and build relationships within the law school and in the community.

During the past year, FAWL hosted: “Balancing Life and Law: A Woman’s Perspective,” “Feminism and Conservatism,” the PACE Center for Girls Donation Drive, a Habitat for Humanity build, “Meet and Greet,” mixers with CGAWL, bowling, potlucks, UF DiscoverLaw and participated in the Multicultural Fair.

Additionally, UF FAWL actively supported CGAWL events with promotion and attendance. UF FAWL is planning two upcoming events “Dine like a Lady” and the “Lean In” panel discussion. These events have allowed UF FAWL to reach out to the community by serving, educating and networking.

FAWL’s mission was most evident in the “Balancing” event, Thacker said. A panel of six women from various legal backgrounds answered questions about being a woman in the legal community, balancing family life with demanding work schedules, and becoming leaders within the legal community.

Attendance included deans, professors, and students of UF Law and local attorneys. Those present were inspired by the speakers to achieve success in all avenues of life while maintaining happiness, Thacker said.

A donation to PACE was made in honor of the speakers and the event encapsulated FAWL’s mission to encourage leadership, promote diversity and connect law students to the legal and local communities.