February Spotlight: Adrienne Holland (JD/MDR '14)
The month of February is designated as Black History Month, which honors the achievements of African Americans and is a time to recognize the rich culture of African Americans, and the broader African Diaspora. Recognizing that only 4.9% of attorneys identify as Black, Pepperdine Caruso Law is honored to spotlight one of those attorneys this month: alumna Adrienne Holland (JD/MDR '14).
Holland currently has her own law practice, Holland Family Services, where she serves as a mediator, collaborative attorney, guardian ad litem, and parenting coordinator to individuals, families, and businesses in the Tampa Bay area. Holland is a Tampa, Florida native and graduated from Florida A&M University cum laude with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Upon receiving her bachelor's degree, Holland joined the US Air Force as a commissioned officer in 2005. After retiring from the Air Force, Adrienne made the decision to attend law school with a mission to continue serving individuals, families, and businesses through alternative dispute resolution.
Holland provided updates and insights on the legal landscape and her thoughts to the future lawyers at Caruso Law. In describing her “why” of what keeps her motivated as a lawyer, she explains, “My why is to support families at this particular crisis point in cases related to paternity, divorce, and adoption." Holland continues, “The cornerstone of strong communities is strong families. My why is preserving the bridge for families in family courts."
Holland takes a holistic approach to addressing the family’s needs during crises. Additionally, her goal is to attempt to preserve the family in spite of the legal crisis they are facing. She shared that while it wasn’t easy, she has learned quite a bit about how to manage her own business, and sees that as a real value to the industry.
As a former president of the Black Law Students’ Association at Caruso Law, Holland is invested in the support and thriving of Caruso Law’s Black students. She offers the following advice to first year students: spend more time in office hours! Holland says, “I would have spent more time in office hours for Civil Procedure, and taken advantage of the wealth of knowledge provided by the professor."
Despite all of her success, Holland is no stranger to imposter syndrome, a phenomenon that occurs when high achievers often attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability, and fear that others will eventually unmask them as a fraud. Holland explains that she deals with imposter syndrome all the time, but she has learned to enjoy even the small wins and not second guess the moment of her success. Holland offers advice to any student who is experiencing imposter syndrome to ask themselves, “Who are you to tell the Universe that you are not supposed to have the things you have?”
The accomplishments of Holland represents of the value of increasing the diverse voices in the legal field. As we observe Black History Month, the Office of Diversity and Belonging encourages the law school community to join in fellowship by participating in the various events that will take place throughout the month.