News and Updates | March 2021
Women's History Month
Celebrating Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich
By: Beatriz M. Miranda (Co-Chair Staying in the Game)

As we commemorate Women’s History Month, we are fortunate to look around our Chapter and see so many trailblazing women. One pioneer of women in the legal profession that immediately stands out is United States District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich (affectionally known as “Judge K”). Originally from Canton, Illinois, Judge Kovachevich has blazed a trail for women lawyers in the Tampa Bay Area and beyond. Judge Kovachevich attended Stetson University College of Law and was the only woman in her class. She graduated in 1961, second in her class . Read on
2020 Essay Contest Winner: Han Minh Nguyen (St. Petersburg High School)
Women’s Suffrage and the Importance of the Right to Vote
The lawyers and judges of the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, through the Middle District Bench Bar Fund, and the members of the TBCFBA invited students in grades 9 through 12 in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties in the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida to participate in an essay contest. Over 210 entries were received. We are excited to celebrate and share the winning essay, which was submitted by Han Minh Nguyen (St. Petersburg High School)

The Nineteenth Amendment turns 100: Why is the right to vote still important?
The first form of democracy in the United States dates back to the colonial era with the formation of the House of Burgesses in Virginia. However, there were many limitations to this framework as it favored the wealthy and women were not able to vote. Although highly flawed, this would be the start of democracy in America. Nearly three hundred years later, most women in the United States were still unable to vote. Although limited success toward women’s suffrage was achieved in some western states, no federal law had allowed for all women to vote.
Leadership Spotlight - Sarah Gottlieb
President's Award Winner 2020
By: Lauren Pilkington-Rich (Immediate Past President of TBCFBA)

The TBCFBA’s 2020 President’s Award Recipient was Sarah Gottlieb. Sarah received this award virtually during the TBCFBA’s Annual Meeting in December 2020. The President’s Award is an annual award chosen by the Chapter’s President and reserved for a member of the Chapter who has exceeded expectations and gone over and above in contributing to the Chapter and its mission. 2020 was Sarah’s first year on the TBCFBA’s Board of Directors, but she was involved in various Chapter committees and initiatives for several years. Sarah served on the Board as the Chapter’s Co-Liaison of the Law Student Division and Co-Chair of the Staying in the Game Program.
Mentoring Update
On Wednesday, February 17, the TBCFBA kicked off its 2021 mentoring program with a webinar titled: How to Make the Most of Your Mentoring Relationship, Even in a Virtual World. The program featured a panel of three accomplished attorneys, who have each taken on active mentorship roles, including Brielle Bell, associate at Bush Ross, Jason Mehta, partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, and Melanie Griffin, of counsel at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick. The panelists discussed their own experiences both as mentees and mentors, tips for balancing mentorship relationships amidst a demanding workload and other life responsibilities, and their approach to mentoring during the pandemic. Thank you to our panelists and attendees for an engaging and informative program!

The deadline to sign up to be a mentor or mentee has been extended to Wednesday, March 31. Applications can be found here and submitted to Michelle Moretz-Smith at and Soma Nwokolo at You must be an FBA member to participate.
"So You Think You Want to Be a Judge?" Event
March 12 at 12:15
Hosted by J.J. Hardrick (she/her)

Meeting number: 160 404 9966
Password: B3SSJwb2

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0001 US Toll
Access code: 160 404 9966

Virtual Town Hall Meeting
We need you!
We would love to engage more of our members! We are in particular need of assistance with our Community Outreach and Staying in the Game Committees. For more information on Community Outreach, please contact Ellen Lyons or Erin Jackson. For Staying in the Game, please contact Mamie Wise or Beatriz Miranda.

Questions about joining our Leadership Team? Click here.
For questions or to submit announcements or other content,
please contact Erin Jackson or Erik Johanson.