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Kamilah Perry: Florida Super Lawyer

kamilah PerryTampa attorney and Stetson alumna Kamilah Perry received top accolades from the Florida Super Lawyers magazine in 2013 for her work in Employment and Labor Law. She was also recognized by the magazine as a “Rising Star” for the past five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013. 

Super Lawyers recognizes the top five percent of attorneys in a state or geographic area who have been voted on by the legal community and vetted through independent research for professional achievement, excellence in the practice of law, and a high degree of peer recognition.

Perry currently serves as an attorney for Phelps Dunbar, a regional firm based in New Orleans with an office in Tampa, Fla. She represents employers in civil court litigation and administrative proceedings regarding claims involving employment discrimination laws, family and medical leave laws, union-management relations, employee benefits, and various employment-related torts. Her experience also includes insurance coverage and white collar criminal defense and public utility matters.

In 2012, Perry and Phelps Dunbar associate Jason Pill were chosen by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as Tampa’s “Up & Comers” out of 500 applicants. They were honored because of their commitment to their profession as well as their engagement with the Tampa community. She has served on the Stetson Lawyers Association Advisory Council, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s Election Protection Local Legal Coordinating Committee, and the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections’ African-American Advisory Board.

With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication from Samford University in 1999, Perry graduated from Stetson University with an M.B.A. and a J.D. from Stetson College of Law in 2002. She is currently a member of the Stetson Lawyers Association.

For Perry, Stetson’s influence played a major role in this honor as well as her numerous other achievements as an attorney.

“Stetson gave me the foundation to be a great lawyer and helped me navigate through the process of legal practice,” she stated. “I had a lot of classmates who became my colleagues. Stetson sets a high bar for its students.”

Perry’s family is a legacy at Stetson and in the state of Florida. Her mother, Adrienne Perry, Ph.D., is former associate professor and chair of Stetson’s Teacher Education department. Her father Justice James E.C. Perry was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Charlie Crist and took office in March 2009.

“My dad at the time I attended Stetson was a lawyer for 25 years and a community activist,” she stated. “He taught me that much of being a lawyer is effectively communicating with people and being able to explain yourself. Law and politics change, but effective communication will always be necessary.”

Perry discussed how she and her family believe in giving back to the Stetson community.

“Since I am a part of the Stetson Lawyers Association, it enables me to keep up with what’s going on in the school,” she said. “I receive up-to-date information on other law schools and give my input to help Stetson be the best in the community. Stetson continues to play an important role in my family.”

In addition to her academic and career accomplishments, Perry serves an important role in community service. She works with a number of Tampa-area civic organizations, including serving as a member of the City of Tampa’s Mayor’s African-American Advisory Council, a board member of the Tampa Bay Academy of Hope—a non-profit organization focused on underprivileged and at-risk youth, and she is co-founder of the Tampa Bay chapter of The National Black MBA Association.

She received the 2008 Volunteer Leadership of the Year Award from the Tampa Bay Academy of Hope and the 2005 President’s Award from the George Edgecomb Bar Association.

By Maurie Murray