Florida Bar scholarship winner Jaclyn BlairJaclyn Blair is being presented with the Florida Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Scholarship Award. This award is presented to one student from each Florida law school whose excellent performance and demonstrated interest show promise of achievement in a labor and employment law career. The scholarship award will be accompanied by a plaque from the Section, a feature in the Section newsletter, and an invitation to the Section’s annual meeting to meet the Executive Council.
 
Jaclyn grew up in southeast Nebraska where she dreamed of becoming a lawyer after participating in mock trial as a high school student. However, life took a different turn and she ended up studying broadcasting and film at the University of Nebraska. After graduation, she packed up her Mazda Millenia and drove cross-country to L.A., to soon realize that she could not “make it” in the film industry.  So, she reluctantly took a job as an assistant waiter on a cruise ship, which ended up changing her life forever. Jaclyn traveled the world as she worked in the food and beverage industry as a manager and director for nearly a decade onboard cruise ships and in hotels.
 
While working in Charlotte, Jaclyn started to get bored of her career and became heavily involved in local issues and politics. She volunteered with groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest Food Bank, Safe Alliance Battered Women’s Shelter, Junior Achievement, and Girl Scouts. She was even appointed by the City Council to Keep Charlotte Beautiful, where she served as Secretary and Vice Chair, and by the County Commissioners to the Women’s Advisory Board of Mecklenburg County. In 2013, Jaclyn was awarded a fellowship with the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership, which became the turning point for her career; that experience inspired her to finally become a lawyer. At 34 years old, Jaclyn took the LSAT and decided to embark on an entirely new career.
 
Throughout law school, Jaclyn decided to take every opportunity that was available to her, starting with experience. She held four different internships throughout the past two years: a federal judicial clerkship with the Honorable Marcia Morales Howard, an intern position with the Air Force JAG Corps, an intern position with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Counsel, and an intern position with the State Attorney’s Office. She also worked part-time as a law clerk with the prestigious personal injury firm of Pajcic and Pajcic, and as an expert witness with a Miami law firm specializing in cruise ship employee worker's comp claims.
 
Jaclyn also became heavily involved with extra-curricular activities. She was invited to join Law Review, where she was chosen to serve as the Executive Editor for the past school year. As the EE, she was tasked with overseeing the entire editing process of Articles for three different journals. Her own Article entitled “Sugar, Politics, and the Destruction of Florida’s Natural Resources” was even chosen by a committee for publication in the Fall 2016 journal. Jaclyn was also invited to join the Moot Court Honor Board, where she participated in five competitions all as an oral advocate. She advanced to quarterfinals in three competitions and has been awarded a "Best Advocate" accolade on three different occasions for preliminary rounds. She was also a member of the Environmental Law Society, where she served as President, Secretary, and Pro Bono Chair, the Academic Honors Program, Board of Elections, Women’s Law Student Association, and International Law Society. Finally, she was a pupil member of the Chester Bedell Inn of Court, and most recently, the Robert E. Williams Inn of Court.
 
She continued to volunteer her time for numerous community service projects including trash pick-ups, oyster roasts, sea oat plantings, silent auctions, the Clean Water Music Festival, the Jacksonville Science Fair, and Rethreaded. She also helped plan and execute two of the last three Northeast Florida Environmental Summits, and assisted with the planning and execution of the National Conference of Law Reviews, which hosted 100+ law students from around the country. Because of her extensive participation throughout the past three years with both legal and non-legal pro bono, she is graduating with over 600 hours of pro bono. She is also graduating with honors, as she finishes her law school career within the top 8% of her class.
 
Congratulations, Jaclyn!