LaDray Gilbert, 28, will open a law office in Marianna on Jan. 23.
The former high school athlete and scholarship winner’s entry into the local law community will make him the only African-American lawyer in private practice in Jackson County.
The Gilbert Firm will specialize in family, criminal and injury law.
A 2000 graduate of Malone High School, Gilbert earned his law degree at the FAMU College of Law, Orlando, in May of 2008.
Gilbert said it was his father who helped him realize that opening an office here was a better idea than moving back to Orlando to practice.
“By the time I got to the point of thinking about going back, I’d become really involved in my church and re-established a lot of relationships with people that I cherish,” Gilbert said. “It was that, and my dad also told me, ‘They need you here a whole lot more than in Orlando,’ and I realized that maybe I could make more of a difference here.”
Gilbert also holds a B.A. degree in business administration. He earned that at FAMU’s School of Business in Tallahassee. It was in his sophomore year there that he decided to enter law school.
“Daryl Parks at the Parks and Crump law firm in Tallahassee gave me a job at Christmas break,” he recalled, “and it blossomed from there. Until then, I’d always figured that I’d work for a big accounting firm and work behind a desk for 30 years. It was something I knew I could make good money at, but being in a law office, I was able to see more opportunity and more meaning in law.”
Read the full article here in the Jackson County Floridian.