Annie Blanc, Esq., 27, is a native of Miami, (Dade County) Florida and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Annie currently lives in Altamonte Springs, Florida. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2013 with a bachelors of arts degree in criminal justice. In high school, she was enrolled in a Dual Enrollment program that allowed her to transfer in college credits from Miami-Dade College. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Annie then went on to law school at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, GA and later transferred to Florida A & M University’s College of Law. She graduate from Florida A & M in 2017 with her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. She is currently a Dependency Attorney for a government agency that was created by the Florida Governor to alleviate the overwhelming caseload handled throughout the state regarding certain legal issues. These offices are broken down into districts and she works for the office located in Central Florida. As an attorney, she handles Dependency and Guardianship matters for the agency. She represents parents in legal actions brought on by the Department of Children and Families and she also represents incapacitated persons by making sure their interests are protected from those seeking to make permanent life decisions for them. One fun fact about Annie is she is currently on a fitness journey. She’s lost a total of 40 pounds in her process. Another fact is she loves to dance. She says, “Performing puts me in a different space, which is needed for the type of work I do.”
Talk about what you do as a Dependency Attorney? As a Dependency Attorney, I represent parents in legal actions brought on by the Department of Children and Families. I ensure that their due process rights are protected and that my clients get the services they need to keep their families together.
How did you become interested in this role? In reality, this type of law was not my first choice. My office handles criminal matters as well and that’s what I originally applied for. My boss, however, gave me a chance when no one would at the time so I was gracious to take the opportunity as it’s office policy to start new attorneys in Dependency.
What inspired you to begin studying law? Wow. Where do I begin? I come from an area of Miami that was not the richest so to speak. There was a lot of activity that my parents tried to shelter me from, being that I was Haitian, the youngest of four and the only girl. But sadly, they couldn’t keep the world and everyone in it from showing me its true colors. In my lifetime, I have seen and endured a lot. AND I MEAN A LOT. By the age of twelve, I found myself wanting to save people and to keep bad things from happening to them so they wouldn’t have to suffer because I was so sure the concept of suffering was something that could be changed. For me that meant changing the environment and changing the way society worked for people…My People. And what better way to start than with the criminal justice system and the law.
What pressures, if any, do you believe you face as a Black female attorney? As a black female attorney, I often feel as if I have something to prove. I mean, African Americans make up about 5 percent of the attorney population here in the United States. Black female attorneys make up even less than that. When I walk into a courtroom, when I’m speaking to a client, or when I’m sitting at my desk prepping an argument for a motion hearing I am representing every black woman who ever got a chance to step foot in this country. That’s because when they see me, they see you, they see my mother, they see Cyntoia Brown. I acknowledge it. I understand it. Most importantly, I am not ashamed of it. Why? Because I try my best to represent the black woman in a light that screams “WE ARE IT”.
What are some challenges and triumphs that come with your line of work? Some of the challenges I face usually come from being probably one of the few people who truly understand what clients have been through and how they perceive the world. It can get frustrating attimes because I can’t force people to see that the world just doesn’t hand a life free of problems. Some people are just born into situations that is damn near impossible to get of, hence why we have situations that are bred from cycles. This can get frustrating when it seems as if the State is condemning your client for something you know stemmed from centuries of generational curses.
My triumphs, however, come from the same fact that I am one of the few people who truly understands. Because of this I feel like I connect with my clients on another level. I am able to advocate for them from their prospective but in way aligns with the law because I went to school to speak legalese. This is what makes it all worth it.
Why is it important for Black people to understand law, politics, and policies? It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for Black people to understand law, politics, and policies because these three concepts determine our very existence in this country as a people. Everything that has affected us culturally, from slavery to integration in public places to the stand your ground era, has been deep rooted in law, politics, and policies. We as a people need to pay close attention to what makes this society function, as we do not want to be on the losing side of history again, when we have the opportunity to actually mold them to our benefit. Many people have this misconception that we don’t need to understand these concepts because “it doesn’t work for us”. But the gag is, it can work for us. Only if we understand how to make it work.
What advice do you have for young, Black people who may want to become a lawyer? Do it! We are in dire need of more black attorneys, so I am here for it all! There is nothing that can stand in your way. Your thoughts create your reality so if you believe that you have what it takes, then you have what it takes. This is coming from a Haitian American girl who grew up in a part of Miami where the palm trees and sandy beaches were not part of her reality.
Do you see yourself working in this area of law long term or do you have other career goals? If you have other goals, how will you take what you’ve been doing in this role to your next position? No. Not at all. I’m the type of person who believes that purpose is comprised of a series of life tasks that are meant to be conquered. There is nothing earthly that should take hundred percent of your life’s work. I plan on influencing society in a number of ways and this chapter of my life will push me forward and carry me through the next.
Anything else you want readers to know? YES! Follow my Instagram blog page @legallyinspired2. I have a few projects coming out this year and I would love for everyone to be a part of this journey with me ! Looking forward to this new year already
! Thank you for letting me apart of this HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!
Follow Annie on Instagram at @she_inspires2 and @legallyinspired2