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Akerman supports a diverse group of men and women in their professional development as lawyers. We strive to foster a supportive and inclusive environment that provides opportunities for advancement through partnership and leadership roles within the firm and the communities in which we practice. Our diversity committee is co-chaired by Joseph W. Hatchett and Michael B. Chavies. Joseph Hatchett was the first African American to serve on the Florida Supreme Court, and the first African American to serve as a Chief Judge of a federal appellate court in the southern United States. Michael Chavies was appointed to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in Miami by Florida Governor Lawton Chiles in 1992. Prior to his appointment, he was an accomplished trial lawyer, both as an Assistant Public Defender and in private practice.