Prestigious Women Awards Honorees: Alison Smith
Alison Smith is of counsel at the law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole and Bierman. She focuses her practice on labor & employment and municipal matters. She is currently Treasurer of the Broward County Bar Association and sits on the Board of Governors of the Nova Law School.
Favorite quote: You cannot pour from an empty cup.
Fun fact: I have been a vegetarian for 24 years.
How do you unwind after a long day of work? Watch Lifetime—my guilty pleasure! I’ve seen basically every movie they have made in the last five years.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? As a woman, an immigrant from the island of Jamaica, and a young person, I have had to assert myself to ensure that I am heard and not overlooked. In order to do so, just like the game of Survivor, I have formed allegiances with persons in my firm who have clout and can advocate on my behalf.
What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? Becoming a partner at the age of 33 is my greatest professional accomplishment. My greatest personal accomplishment was being given an award for a Mentorship program I created at Miami Dade College called “Aspire to Inspire.”
Who are your role models? My grandmother, the kindest, dearest lady, one of the loves of my life, who is almost 99 years old!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? Self-care is important. Don’t be a wounded healer.
What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? Work-life balance is extremely important. Time flies by so spend time having fun and enjoying what life has to offer. Work will always be there!
How does being a woman has impacted your career? Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is not always easy. It is easy to be perceived as the court reporter or support personnel, as opposed to the attorney, so I have had to rely on advocates who are more senior and sometimes who are male, to advocate on my behalf.