Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Alison Smith, a partner at the law firm of Weiss, Serota Helfman, Cole and Bierman, is the new president for the Broward County Bar Association (BCBA), becoming the first Black woman to lead the association in its 97-year history.

Smith, 42, who is of Jamaican descent, was elected president in 2021 and recently was sworn in to make it official during the group’s annual installation gala at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

Previously the president of the Caribbean Bar Association, Smith was joined by past presidents of the CBA to celebrate her appointment and milestone.

"I want to do the best job I can to make everyone proud that a woman is there, a minority, an immigrant," Smith said. “I’m beyond excited and consider it to be a privilege and an honor to represent the BCBA. As the first woman of color to hold this position in our organization’s history, I take this position with the utmost seriousness and am humbled to lead BCBA."

As the new president, Smith, who earned her law degree at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law, supervises 400 members of the organization.

The association has 19 practice sections and 19 committees and ties to the Association of South Florida Mediators and Arbitrators, Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida and North Dade Bar Association.

“Alison Smith is a smart, thoughtful and energetic leader who understands the business and service aspect of the balance that a Bar Association has to manage,” said Braulio Rosa, executive director of the BCBA. “I have known Alison for almost a decade and always have enjoyed working with her to develop good services and products for the BCBA and those we serve."

“Broward County lawyers will be well served by the commitment and passion that Alison brings to BCBA leadership,” said Mitch Burnstein, the firm’s managing director. “Those of us who work with her see that same level of commitment and passion with her clients.”

Smith, previously a deputy city attorney for the City of Miramar, also made history as the first CaribbeanAmerican partner in the law firm when she was 33 years old.

She served as BCBA secretary and treasurer, chairwoman of the Government Law Section and co-chair of the Bench and Bar Convention.

Smith spearheaded the Ignite Your Passion program which focuses on pairing minority students with professionals and encouraging them to reach their career goals.

She practices labor and employment law, municipal, appellate and administrative law and regulatory legal issues, and represents public and private sectors in connection with lawsuits brought pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Florida Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Smith also acts as outside counsel to local cities on labor and employment, handling collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations and providing training and counseling on harassment, discrimination, anger management, unconscious bias and conflict resolution.

Smith has received awards from the Broward County Bar Association, Miami Herald, South Florida Business Journal, Daily Business Review, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Legacy Magazine.