It’s flashback time for me every year when SFBW hosts its Legal Awards event. I left the profession behind not long after I graduated from NYU Law and went through the agony of bar review. It’s a good thing that I passed the New York and New Jersey bar exams on my first try, because I could never go through the rigors of that hard-core studying again. In those days, we had to write down everything the instructor said—by hand—three or four hours at a stretch. My handwriting was never the same; that’s why my signature is illegible.
But a funny thing happened a couple of months ago. I was in New York, around Washington Square Park, and I decided to walk into Vanderbilt Hall, home to NYU Law School. Same atrium, same sweeping circular staircase, same courtyard—I heard the echoes of the authoritative voices of the legal titans John Sexton and Stephen Gillers. Saw shadows of John F. Kennedy Jr., also taking night classes—he didn’t like getting up early, either. And being there felt good. In many ways, the Village will always be home to me, and Vanderbilt Hall is part of that history.
For the past two years, when we’ve held our Legal Awards (at the Museum of Discovery and Science), I’ve been reminded of the discipline a legal education instills, the sharpening of critical thinking, the refinement of cogent argument, and gaining an understanding of the way the world works.
Accordingly, it was a spirited evening at MODS when we commended the achievements of our legal honorees—lawyers like Louis Reinstein, our Best Mentor honoree; and the honorees for Legal Innovator, Rebecca Rodriguez, Michael Elkins and Daniel Novela. During this time of South Florida’s dynamism and the influx of newcomers to our region, attorneys like these are essential to sending the elevator back down and rejuvenating the practice of law, helping us navigate everything from taxes to estate planning to real estate development to employment.
Our sponsors at last year’s event—including presenting sponsor Daszkal Bolton and gold sponsor The Coaching Network—were there with bells on, as were all our partners and everyone involved in the nominating process. The evening’s revelry was well-earned.
This year, we’ll be celebrating our top legal eagles in our December issue, which will feature expanded coverage of the profession and professionals in this essential industry. For more information, contact Steve Lederman at email@example.com or 954.778.3558.
Photo by Eduardo Schneider