Holifield earns Miami-Dade lawyers’ highest award

Marilyn Holifield


MIAMI – Holland & Knight partner Marilyn Holifield will be honored with the 2019 David W. Dyer Professionalism Award, the highest award given by the Dade County Bar Association, on June 16 in Miami.

The award was established in 1997 and is given to a lawyer or judge whose conduct reflects the “integrity, humility, compassion, and professionalism” displayed by Judge David Dyer.

Experienced lawyer

Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,300 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices throughout the world. Holifield practices in Holland & Knight’s general litigation area, with a specific emphasis on representing corporate clients.

Her practice includes employment, business litigation, corporate governance, trade secrets, covenants-not-to-compete, class action and intellectual property litigation.

History of activism

Holifield has a legacy of leadership in the Miami community and has dedicated much of her life to the cause of social justice.

After working for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, she was recruited personally by Holland & Knight’s legendary founder, Chesterfield Smith. She was named a partner in 1986, becoming the first Black woman partner of a major law firm in Florida.

Holifield is a recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Jurisprudence Award and the National Bar Association’s Gertrude E. Rush Award. She was recently elected to the Harvard University Board of Overseers.

She also serves on board of trustees of the University of Miami and board of managers of Swarthmore College. Additionally, she is currently leading the effort to build the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora.


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