Lester recognized as Top 40 Under 40

40 under 40, Lester, featured
Bridgette Lester

 

BY Dexter McCree, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — Bridgette Lester greets with a glowing smile as fashionable as the stylish outfits she wears. She’s as fun loving as she is attractive. But, don’t let the good looks fool you. When she takes the stand as a defense attorney, she’s as aggressive and prepared as a hungry lioness hunting its prey.

Lester has spent the past three years stalking the law books and statues to defend her clientele, and her actions have not gone unnoticed.

The National Trial Lawyers organization has recognized Attorney Lester as a Top 40 Under 40 Lawyer within the State of Florida. With the recognition, Lester becomes part of a professional organization composed of top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40. This invitation-only organization recognizes attorneys based on peer reviews, reputation, influence and skill in the legal profession.

Growing up, Lester had the opportunity to see the world through her travels as her father served this country as a proud member of the United States Navy. She had the chance to travel to England, Germany, Spain, just to name a few, but it was the time she spent living in Italy where she ultimately graduated high school that gave her the real perspective on the journey.

“Living in Italy was the first time that I realized the true possibilities this world had to offer,” said Lester. “It was such a culturally-rich experience that it evolved my mindset, most of all, to know that there were no such thing as limits. The constitution calls for fairness and justice for all people. Traveling helped me to see that everyone should have great life experiences. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always hold true.”

Lester serves as a senior associate with the firm of Trevena, Pontrello & Associates where she primarily focuses on criminal law matters such as DUI, felony and misdemeanor offenses. She also works within the community on civil rights matters and post-conviction relief.

One of the accolades that caught the organization’s attention was her service as the president of the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association here in Pinellas County. The organization is home to more African-American attorneys and members of the Judiciary than any other bar association in the county.

Under Lester’s leadership, the organization has nearly tripled in membership, used its platform to help the community and established a mentoring program. One of the areas they are impacting is the schools that have been featured as most needing of support.

The program provides mentors to students in Pinellas County Schools primarily focusing on Melrose, Fairmount Park, Campbell Park, Lakewood and Maximo Elementary schools, the five schools identified by the Tampa Bay Times as “Failure Factories.”

The members also find time to support and mentor law students at Stetson University College of Law. Each year the organization recognizes one outstanding student. This year the student received a scholarship that covered the cost of her bar study.

Lester has been instrumental in providing free legal advice to the community through venues such as the Annual Law Fest and the annual Clearwater Bar Legal Fair.

Prior to becoming a senior associate with her current firm, she served as an assistant public defender with the Sixth Judicial Circuit where Lester was honored as “Best Advocate” for her trial skills and the recipient of the coveted We Are the Hope Award.

Lester was an educator with Pinellas County Schools for five years at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School while she also attended Stetson University’s part-time program. As an educator she was the advisor for the Girlfriends program that mentored young ladies and held them accountable.

“I believe that giving back is the key to success,” said Lester. “I believe in life, it’s important for those that have been blessed to be a blessing to others.”

Lester continues to bless friends and foes with a glowing smile and her fashionable attire.  Her fun-loving ways and attractive appearances increase as she continues stalking legal preparation for her next trial and the opportunity to help someone with a great life experience.  If you meet her in court, don’t let her smile fool you.

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