College of Law alumna Iris A. Elijah ’11 recently became the first African-American attorney in the history of the State University System of Florida’s Board of Governors. Ms. Elijah, assistant general counsel to the Board, is also the youngest attorney in the Board’s history.
Ms. Elijah serves on the Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy standing committee, Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, Big Bend Cares Board of Directors and Second Judicial Circuit’s Professionalism Panel. She is also the Chair of the Young Lawyers committee for the Florida Association of Women Lawyers.
“The State University System of Florida has the brightest and most innovative students and I want to ensure they have the tools necessary to succeed during matriculation and after graduation,” said Elijah.
Before joining the Board of Governors, she worked as Assistant General Counsel for Florida A&M University and as an Attorney Fellow in FIU’s Office of the General Counsel.
Ms. Elijah attributes her career path to her participation in the FIU Office of the General Counsel’s Summer Internship Program and Attorney Fellowship Program. “FIU College of Law emphasizes the importance of practical experience. Experiential learning is essential to developing an excellent lawyer, and the opportunities for experiential learning are abundant in the Miami-Dade community and the College of Law,” said Elijah. “The experience and relationships I developed in higher education law while serving in FIU’s Office of the General Counsel are unparalleled and an excellent foundation to serving the State University System of Florida.”
Ms. Elijah earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics as well as Africana Studies from the University of South Florida. She was named the University of South Florida 2017 Outstanding Young Alumna, Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals 2017 Golden A.C.E Award and received Tallahassee Women Lawyer’s 2014 Community Engagement Award.