Kelly-Ann Gibbs Cartwright rose from a summer associate to become first black woman to lead Holland + Knight office
Longtime Miami resident Kelly-Ann Gibbs Cartwright joined law firm Holland & Knight straight out of the University of Florida's law program in 1991 and has never looked back.
She takes pride in the firm's commitment to diversity — and personifies it.
After joining the local branch as one of only four back lawyers more than 16 years ago, Ms. Cartwright last month became the first black woman to run a Holland & Knight office as its executive partner.
With goals to continue the growth of the local office while enhancing its practice areas, Ms. Cartwright plans also to continue handling a client load as a labor and employment practitioner. She says she "fell into" the specialty after the Civil Rights Act of 1991 passed, giving employment discrimination cases the right to a jury trial.
Once the vice chair of the Employer-Employee Relations Committee for the American Bar Association, Ms. Cartwright now serves on Holland & Knight's Directors Committee, the firm's policymaking body made up of 24 partners from across the country. She measures her success not in accolades, she says, but in client satisfaction.
Ms. Cartwright was interviewed in Holland & Knight's Brickell Avenue offices by Miami Today staff writer Risa Polansky.
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