Akerman Senterfitt has announced a new partnership with the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Law School, one of Florida’s oldest historically black universities, to promote diversity in the legal profession.
The project is led by Joseph W. Hatchett, former Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and current Chair of the Appellate Practice Group and Diversity Committee at Akerman.
Fewer than 3% of lawyers throughout Florida are minorities. The program seeks to overcome this disparity by focusing on the entire spectrum of education, from kindergarten to law-school and bar admission, looking to encourage diverse candidates toward the legal profession.
Judge Hatchett, a FAMU alumnus who received his JD from the Howard University School of Law, made history in 1975 when Governor Reuben Askew appointed him to the Supreme Court of Florida. He became the first African-American elected to the highest court in the state in 1976.
Akerman Senterfitt was founded in 1920, and has grown to become one of the largest law firms in the United States. In 2008, the National Law Journal ranked the firm as 92nd largest in the US by number of attorneys, and the second-largest Florida-based firm.