UF Law SBA is committed to enhancing and celebrating a full spectrum of diversity at UF Levin College of Law. Throughout the year, we’ll share stories of students whose backgrounds and experiences contribute to diversity in the legal community.
Have one conversation with Harold Lemoine, 2L, and you’ll know instantly why he held a successful career in sales in recruitment for nearly 2 decades before coming to law school. Smart, charismatic and relational, Lemoine embodies a genuine “client-first” mentality that will be an asset to those he one day represents.
But law school was not always part of the plan for Lemoine.
“[T]here are people out there that dream of getting a professional degree but never do because they think they’re not good enough,” he said.
“I was one of those people.”
As a student recruiter, Lemoine challenged countless students to pursue their dreams, a passion he says was driven by his own desire to continue his education, but bridled by the fear he wouldn’t be as successful in academia has he had been in business.
During the course of his professional work, Lemoine earned a degree from Florida International University, a success that empowered him to take a step forward in pursuing his legal education.
“With my wife’s encouragement I let go of [my former career], looked in the mirror and told myself ‘I am good enough for UF Law,’” said Lemoine.
Lemoine entered UF Law in 2016 as part of what was, at that time, the most diverse class ever admitted. During his first year, he brought not only the insight and experience of a seasoned motivator to the classroom, but also an informed desire to embrace diversity with a philosophy of integration.
“When I started law school, I was asked by a fellow Hispanic student why I wanted to put an emphasis on being Hispanic by joining the Latino Law Student Association. The answer is, being fully Hispanic and fully American are not mutually exclusive,” said Lemoine.
Embracing diversity as “syngery” and not “assimilation,” Lemoine has seen the value of appreciating his full spectrum of cultural knowledge and experiences. This appreciation, he believes, is a superpower that he hopes to share as a leader in the Latino Law Student Association in the coming year.