Written by National Association of Women Judges|September 08, 2016|News
NAWJ announces this year’s recipients of the Florence K. Murray Award will recognize Elizabeth M. Hernandez, Esq. and Akerman LLC. Ms. Hernandez has been an NAWJ Resource Board member since 2015, though successfully leading NAWJ’s Friends Committee campaigns since 2012, where she was Friends Committee Co- Chair for NAWJ’s 2012 Annual Conference in Miami. The Florence K. Murray Award was instituted by its namesake, the Honorable Florence K. Murray, for presentation to a non-judge who, by example or otherwise, has influenced women to pursue legal careers, opened doors for women attorneys, or advanced opportunities for women within the legal profession.
Elizabeth M/ Hernandez, Esq. is an experienced trial attorney representing clients in commercial and civil litigation matters as well as administrative trials. Ms. Hernandez is board certified by The Florida Bar in City, County, and Local Government. A large focus of her practice includes all aspects of local government law, including contract disputes, land use and zoning, elections, ethics as well as Florida Constitutional Law. She previously served as Chief Legal Officer for the City of Coral Gables for 16 years, handling all types of matters and overseeing the risk management and insurance needs of the City. In this capacity, she also served as the City's Chief Prosecutor on all Code Enforcement matters and trained other agencies on enforcement of their codes. Ms. Hernandez was also instrumental in drafting legislation in enforcing municipal codes and has been a key speaker on enforcement matters. In addition to handling a variety of cases in house, she worked with co-counsel on multiple complex litigation and commercial real estate matters for the city. Ms. Hernandez re-wrote the city's codes and charter. She served on the County Charter Task Force and Chaired the Miami Dade County Ethics Commission Task Force. During her tenure as City Attorney, she earned the distinction of City Attorney of the Year by the Florida League of Cities in 2005.
Ms. Hernandez has been recognized among the top government attorneys by both South Florida Legal Guide and Florida Trend magazine. She is also the recipient of the Torch award, Florida International University's top alumni award, and the Paul S. Buchman award, the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association's highest honor.
Akerman has a long history of public service and corporate citizenship that stems from a deep commitment to serve as allies and advocates in our communities. Their philanthropic efforts focus on causes we feel are important, worthwhile, and vital - particularly in the areas of education and youth development. The firm addresses critical social issues through community partnerships, employee volunteerism, pro bono service, and by collaborating with clients to expand the reach of shared purpose-driven initiatives. Learn more about the firm’s work in the community here, and their efforts in diversity and inclusion here.