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Coral Messina

Lawyer snapshot: Coral Messina

From Staff

Name: Coral Messina

Age: 31

Family: Husband, Brian; son, Parker (8 months)

Pets: Tropical fish

Education: B.S. University of Florida (public relations) and J.D. at Florida Coastal School of Law

Admitted to the Bar: 2008

Employed by: Office of the Public Defender Matt Shirk

Field of practice: Criminal defense

Professional organizations: Chester Bedell Inn of Courts, JBA Judicial Relations Committee and FCSL alumni board of directors

Community involvement: As a new mother of an infant, I admit my community involvement has recently slowed. However, I’m proud to be affiliated with the following: Girl Scouts (lifetime member); Junior League of Jacksonville (sustainer); Guardian ad Litem (past); and PD Office Pro Bono Legal Service Nights at Sulzbacher Center.

How did you become involved?

My mom (Merrilea Bilik) taught me the importance of community service at a young age and I have sought such opportunities since grade school.

How can someone else become involved?

Nonprofits love volunteers. If there’s something that genuinely interests you, simply ask someone who is involved.

What have you learned/achieved through the experience?

“Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” Compassion and humility are two important qualities I’ve learned through my public service as APD and my extra-curricular efforts.

What was the last book you read or are reading?

I’m reading several books, including “Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges” by Antonin Scalia and “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood” by Jennifer Senior. (The latter is far more humorous.)

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