Barristers Female Presidents – Let’s acknowledge and celebrate! Posted April 1, 2017 by Tallahassee Bar Association


As Women’s History Month comes to an end, the Tallahassee Barristers Association would like to pay tribute to all of the organization’s female Presidents, both past and present.  We are thankful for the service of the female Presidents and honor them for their continued support in the community and within the organization.


Marva Davis

MarvaDavisPast President (1982-1983)

J.D. : Florida State University College of Law

Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1977

One of the first Associate General Counsels for the Floria Commission on Human Relations

Believed to be the first Black woman attorney from Quincy, Florida

Principal of Marva Davis P.A. Attorney at law established 1980



Carolyn D. Cummings

CarolynCummingsPast President (1988-1990)

J.D.: University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law

Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1982

Recipient of the Second Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono Award in 2013 by the Florida Supreme Court

2015 Silver Star Award for over 21 years of Pro Bono Services to the Tallahassee Senior Citizens Center.

Campaigned as Candidate for Leon County Judge which helped pave the way for other minority candidates to campaign for judicial positions.

“During the two years of my Presidency of the Barristers, we focused on social ills, including the lack of diversity in the Second Judicial Circuit, which at the time never had a Black on the County or Circuit Bench. We presented a plaque to Rosa Parks during her visit to Tallahassee and we sponsored a well attended reception that raised $5,000 to support Federal Judge Alcee Hastings’ defense of impeachment proceeding against him. We were fortunate to have Judge Joseph Hatchett, Chief Judge of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Leander Shaw, of the Florida Supreme Court as active members of the Barristers. Both Judges encouraged members to seek judicial positions and both made lunch presentations to the Barristers that had been approved by the Florida Bar for Continuing Legal Education credit. 

We continued to support BALSA and maintained a Barristers’ loan fund, from which FSU Law Students were able to apply for financial assistance through the Barristers’ Association. Attorney Thornton Williams became the Barristers’ First Loan Officer and he was instrumental in forming a strong laison with BALSA and providing financial assistance to FSU Law Students, through the Barristers” 

Jeraldine Smith

Jeraldine SmithPast President (1993-1994)

J.D.: Florida State University College of Law

Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1982

The first Black to graduate from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida

Worked in South Africa as a business consultant and journalist writing about the country’s recovery from apartheid

Principal of Law Offices of Jeraldine Smith

Ava L. Parker

Ava L. ParkerPast President (1994)

J.D.: University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law

Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988

First General Counsel of Edwards Waters College

2015 First Female President of Palm Beach State College


Bernadette Norris-Weeks

BernadettePast President (1994- 1996)

J.D.: Florida Sate University College of Law

Admitted to the The Florida Bar in 1992

Former Staff Director and Staff Legal Counsel for the Florida House of Representatives

Former Senior Civil Litigation Attorney for the Attorney General’s Office and in-house counsel in the insurance industry

Litigation partner at Austin Pamies Norris Weeks, LLC

“Above and Beyond” Award from the American Bar Associations Section of Litiigation

“I look back on my term as President with great honor for the work we did.  We worked hard and played harder.  We had substantive CLE’s featuring lawyers and judges such as the late Florida Supreme Court Justice Leander Shaw and the late Federal Court Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson.  We held picnics and parks inviting FSU law students and made efforts to mentor said students throughout the year; we held amazing judicial receptions at the homes of local lawyers, such as Roosevelt Randolph, Esq.  We kept the lines of communication open between the bench and the bar.”

Lola Swaby

LolaSwabyPast President (2001-2002)

J.D.: University of Miami School of Law

Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1996

Diverse legal experience in various areas of law such as administrative, insurance defense, and general corporate



Kathryn E. Price

KathrynPricePast President (January 2003 – June 2003/ 2004-2005)

J.D.: Florida State University College of Law

Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1990

Chief Attorney at Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Servers as Deputy General Counsel at Department of Health 2007-2010


“I look back on my years as President of the Tallahassee Barristers Association as years of growth of the organization. I am honored to have served such a vital organization.”


Sherrie Barnes

SherrieBarnesPast President (2005- 2006)

J.D.: Florida State University College of Law

Admitted to The Florida Bar in 1998

Founded the Black History Bootcamp to help kids in the Juvenile System in Broward County, Florida

First Attorney in Regional Counsel Agency history to be promoted to the position of Juvenile Division Supervisor