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Monday, July 24, 2017  


                           Contact: Holly Lipps, Executive Director

                              Sarasota County Bar Association





The Sarasota County Bar Association, Inc. (SCBA) Diversity Committee is pleased to announce that law students Alexis Turner Garris and Tiffany Coleman are the recipients of the 2017 Richard R. Garland Diversity Scholarship of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc.  

The Diversity Committee aims to increase diversity and inclusion in the Local Bar so that the Bar will reflect the demographics of our County and our State.  Each year the Committee selects qualified law students of under-represented minorities, who have an interest in practicing law in Sarasota County upon graduation, and provides an opportunity for summer employment in both private law firms and governmental/judicial agencies in Sarasota County.  Upon satisfactory completion of the 10 week summer employment program, each law student receives up to a $5,000 scholarship to their school.  Since 2007, the Committee has provided over $100,000 in law school scholarships.

Summer Law Clerk Alexis Turner Garris, who attends Stetson College of Law, was selected to work at Maglio, Christopher & Toale, a private Sarasota law firm. Turner stated “This experience has provided me the confidence to engage attorneys and ask questions.  As a result of my summer employment at Maglio Christopher & Toale, I am much more confident in my ability to complete research assignments, meet deadlines, and work as an effective team member in a law firm.” 

Tiffany Coleman, a Sarasota County resident and student at Florida Coastal School of Law, was selected to work at Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc., and is focusing on the new legal-medical partnership with Sarasota Memorial Hospital.  She expressed “This opportunity has provided me with invaluable work experience and networking opportunities that I would not otherwise have had.  I am able to meet different people and gain experience in many different practice areas. I now have a better understanding of the areas of law that I want to pursue once I graduate.”


Direct Quotes:

Alexis Turner Garris

“My experience at Maglio Christopher & Toale has opened a world of possibilities. Looking particularly to my upcoming transition from school to practice, the skills I have acquired while at the firm have given me a confidence I would not have achieved with classroom instruction alone. I am challenged to research and strategize with new complex litigation issues every day, and the firm—attorneys and paralegals—made me feel like a contributing member of the team. They were warm and encouraging like many of Sarasota’s legal professionals and community leaders I was privileged to meet this summer.  I am so grateful to the Sarasota County Bar Association for providing me with this opportunity to learn and engage with the community, and I look forward to a future here.” 

Tiffany Coleman

The Scholarship Program is a great opportunity that has given me a chance to transition from law school into legal practice. Throughout my experience, the SCBA has helped with networking opportunities to form mentorships as well as creating opportunities to explore the many fields of law. My experience at Legal Aid of Manasota has opened an interest of public service for the underrepresented in Sarasota. Being that I am from the local area, it has been a great experience to give back to the community that I am so fond of. The local legal community has been very collaborative in its efforts to help the underrepresented. Now that I have had the opportunity to network with the attorneys and judges with the help of Diversity Scholarship Program, I would definitely want to work in Sarasota. In total, the internship has provided me an experience of the rewards of helping those who cannot help themselves.”  

For more information about the SCBA and its programs, contact Holly Lipps, Executive Director, or visit www.sarasotabar.com.

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