Ashlea Edwards, an associate attorney at GrayRobinson, was elected without opposition for the 4th Judicial Circuit’s Seat 1 on The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division board of governors.
She serves on The Jacksonville Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section board of governors and the Florida Coastal School of Law alumni board of directors.
When Edwards isn’t practicing law, she’s the director of engagement for TEDxJacksonville and she’s an editor of The JBA’s monthly Bar Bulletin.
Who or what inspired you to become a lawyer?
I didn’t have any lawyers in my family, but had plenty of role models between my parents and grandparents to show me the importance of being self-sufficient and driven.
One person (other than your spouse or partner) who inspires you?
I am lucky enough to still have both of my grandmothers. They have sacrificed throughout their lives in different ways and are some of the strongest women I know.
How do you relate your undergraduate degree to your practice of law?
One of my undergraduate degrees is in psychology. As an attorney, I am able to act as a counselor by listening to clients and co-workers and identifying important issues in the case.
How did you decide your practice area? And why have you chosen that?
I am a general civil litigator with a focus in bankruptcy and commercial litigation. I always knew I wanted to be a litigator and as a general civil litigator, I am able to explore and assist with all types of litigation.
What has been the biggest change in your practice area since you passed the Bar?
The one consistent in my practice is civil procedure. There have been some recent Florida decisions that move away from the usual strict compliance (in certain scenarios) when interpreting the validity of offers of judgment or proposals for settlement.
If I could change anything in the legal system, I would ...
Try to instill the importance of mental and physical health while still being dedicated to work.
What community service have you pursued and why?
I have participated in some pro bono events with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. I also do my best to stay involved in the local legal community, which includes being a mentor to a high school student. Over the almost three years as her mentor, I think she’s taught me more than I’ve taught her.
What’s your advice for new lawyers?
Work hard and immerse yourself in the profession, but stay true to who you are.