Courtney Handy, a 2L here at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, is one of three children. From a young age, Courtney knew that she wanted to become a lawyer. This passion ensued from observing law enforcement in her community.

Courtney expressed, “From as young as elementary school, I noticed how encounters with the criminal justice system could completely change the trajectory of someone’s life and I wanted to find a way to help.”

Courtney’s drive is reflective of her inspiration, her mother. She inspires to be as bold and as fearless has her mother, who taught in lower-income schools throughout her childhood. Courtney emphasizes her mother’s dedication for teaching and helping her community, which she says was evident in everything she did. Remarkably, Courtney is the current 2018-2019 President of the Black Law Students Association, a member of the Florida Trial Team, and a Teaching Assistant for Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy.

When asked about coming face to face with adversity, Courtney shared with us that one of the greatest adversities she has had to overcome is learning to be comfortable about being her true authentic self in unfamiliar spaces. She voiced:

“As a Black woman, there are a variety of pressures and expectations that others place on you in professional settings, and in the legal field in particular. Being adaptable, while also maintaining my individuality and voice, is a constant work in progress.”

Courtney’s passions include, working to correct the disproportionate effect of the criminal justice system on Black people; creating opportunities for youth, particularly underprivileged minority youth; and public service and a commitment to high-quality legal representation for everyone. After graduation, Courtney would like to start her career at the Public Defender’s Office so that she can achieve all of her goals.

This piece was researched and written by Alexis Moore, SBA 1L Representative