Welcome to MDK Stories! MDK Stories highlight the events, adventures, talents or life lessons that have shaped our staff. In this edition, we will feature Cynthia David, an attorney in MDK’s Orlando office.
Becoming an Attorney
Cynthia has always wanted to be an attorney. Her first memories of court disputes come from the shows that her nanny used to watch after picking her up from daycare. Her parents also shared this dream with her, as they always dreamed of careers in medicine or law for their children to ensure a prosperous future in the USA.
Cynthia has vivid memories of disputes with her parents regarding things she was not allowed to do because she was, as her parents would say, “just a girl.” She always believed in equal treatment for her and her older brother and took every opportunity she could to present her beliefs. Cynthia was, and still is, ambitious in ensuring her presence was felt and her thoughts were heard.
Law school remained her lifelong dream throughout her schooling. Cynthia participated in class trips to congressional offices and student government opportunities. While studying at Seton Hall University, Cynthia maintained a full course load while participating on the university’s cheerleading team, working two jobs, and eventually studying for the LSAT. In 2007 she graduated cum laude from Seton Hall University. Although Cynthia knew she was a great student and very capable of succeeding in law school, she just could not shake the fear of potentially not achieving her dream.
Cynthia’s first attempt at the LSAT was not as successful as she had hoped. This was the catalyst to Cynthia’s doubts regarding law school. Simply put, she got scared. At the advice of her parents, Cynthia joined a law office in Manhattan as a corporate paralegal in order to explore the legal field further. It would be at that law firm where she gained a better feel for a lawyer’s life.
As a paralegal, Cynthia’s nonstop efforts in research, summarization of legal cases, drafting and proofreading motions, and identifying legal patterns did not go unnoticed. Cynthia’s supervising attorney encouraged her to put aside the fear and go forward with law school. She was absolutely capable. At that point, she decided to take the LSAT again and her dream of being an attorney was reignited.
Florida A&M University College of Law
At Florida A&M University College of Law Cynthia realized she was a natural networker. However, she was disappointed to learn that even though her the university was surrounded by law firms, there wasn’t a strong local alumni base to assist new students with their careers. Cynthia’s ambition kicked in and she decided to take matters into her own hands by joining Phi Alpha Delta to create a committee that focused on networking events.
At her first law school event, Cynthia met an established Orlando attorney who shared her dedication and passion to grow and give back. This attorney shared his personal network and helped to make her first mixer a success. As the series of networking events became more sophisticated, and the guest list more impressive, she was happy to see the evolution of her vision. Thanks to her events many established attorneys were getting more involved with the law school and mentoring students.
Cynthia hosted seminars that covered etiquette, handling stress of the law school, and marriage. To promote mental health and support students’ relationships outside of work, she invited a professional therapist to discuss relationships and managing law school stress. Cynthia laid a foundation for the student body to become strong young professionals. To this day, the law school still hosts many of the events that Cynthia developed while in attendance in addition to many new wonderful programs. Cynthia still goes back to her law school whenever she can to attend the student-based events to help continue the growth and success of these programs.
The “Showing Up” Lawyer
Cynthia’s passion for creating a stronger community is truly inspiring. She graduated law school with a strong reputation in the local legal community through a passion for networking and creating opportunities for others. She continued the pursuit of her interests by joining bar organizations such as Paul C. Perkins and Virgil Hawkins Bar Associations. Cynthia participated in the curation of membership drives, mentoring programs, and fundraising events, just to name a few. Building a strong community is something Cynthia wants a part of her life. When asked “why did you decide to put so much energy into bringing people up?” – the simple response was: “because why not?”
While working at MDK, Cynthia continues to contribute to the community. Currently she serves on the board for the Orange County Teen Court, a program that provides a voluntary diversion from juvenile court or school suspension. Young offenders are offered a structured environment to explain their offenses and be evaluated by a jury of peers their age. The program also promotes community service for all young individuals involved. Cynthia also participates as a judge in local mock trial and moot court competitions, assisting young students with their development and dream of becoming an attorney.
In her own words, Cynthia has “ambition that is hard to contain”. She accomplishes everything she puts her mind to, whether it be at work or in the community. Cynthia hopes to use the ambition she has carried with her throughout her life to make MDK successful in Orlando and the state of Florida.
tags: Team MDK