Interview with Tiffani G. Lee, J.D. ’97 – Holland & Knight’s Next Deputy Managing Partner

Tiffani Lee has spent her 26+-year legal career at the global law firm.
Interview with Tiffani G. Lee, J.D. ’97 – Holland & Knight’s Next Deputy Managing Partner
Tiffani Lee, Miami Law student Diego Troncoso Breton, and Professor Charlton Copeland

Holland and Knight, which now has approximately 2,200 lawyers and other professionals in 34 offices worldwide, announced Tiffani G. Lee as the firm's Deputy Managing Partner this summer, effective April 1, 2024.  In addition to her litigation experience, Lee has held various leadership roles within her firm, community, and the University of Miami School of Law.

Lee began her legal career at Holland and Knight in 1997 and spent 18 months working directly with the firm's founder and former American Bar Association President, Chesterfield Smith. "Chesterfield was the perfect mentor, sponsor, advisor, and role model," said Lee. "He created unique opportunities for me to learn and grow, made key introductions inside and outside the firm, and gave great advice that has guided me throughout my career."  

After working with Chesterfield Smith, Lee concentrated her practice in complex commercial litigation, handling contract disputes, corporate dissolution actions, securities fraud class actions, shareholder derivative actions, and actions alleging various business torts. Numerous publications have recognized Lee's success, including South Florida Business Journal, Top 40 under 40; Daily Business Review, Top 10 Women in Law; Florida Trend, Florida Legal Elite; and Super Lawyers magazine. 

Since 2008, Lee has served as the firmwide Diversity Partner. She leads Holland & Knight's Diversity Council and serves on the firm's Practice & Operations Committee and Firmwide Partner Compensation Committee. 

"As a woman of color in a profession where we are not significantly represented, I know how important it is to work at a place where you have a sense of belonging, have meaningful opportunities, and can have a path to long-term success. As Diversity Partner, I have worked with other leaders to ensure that Holland & Knight continues to prioritize DEI in all aspects of the firm."

Lee looks forward to continuing her leadership journey at Holland & Knight as its Deputy Managing Partner. "Having started my career at the firm working with one of its founders, and then having served in a firmwide leadership role for the past 15+ years, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve in this new role. The firm has enjoyed tremendous growth over several years while maintaining its unique culture, and we have great momentum."

Lee, who grew up in the panhandle town of Baker, Florida, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida and worked in South Florida for two years before starting law school. She became interested in Miami Law because of its night program. However, after applying, she was awarded the prestigious Soia Mentschikoff Scholarship and a scholarship from the Minority Participation in Legal Education Program; these awards allowed her to be a full-time day student. 

While in law school, Lee was active in several organizations, including the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Phi Alpha Delta, and Society of Bar and Gavel. She was president of the Honor Council, writing and research editor of the University of Miami Law Review, and elected to the Order of the Coif. During her third year in law school, Lee and two other law students worked with Professor Anthony Alfieri to establish the Center for Ethics and Public Service, which has provided training and experiential learning about ethical judgment, professional responsibility, and public service in law and society for more than 27 years.

"Miami Law provided me with plenty of enriching experiences inside and outside the classroom."

Lee has been recognized for her leadership and service. In the community, she is a member of the Orange Bowl Committee, on the board of the Florida Justice Institute, and a member of the Greater Miami (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. In 1997, she was inducted into the Iron Arrow Society, the highest honor attainable at the University of Miami. In 2021, the BLSA presented her with the William Harold Long, Jr. Alumni Leadership Award in 2021. The CEPS presented her with its Lawyers in Leadership Award that same year. She continues to serve the Law School by sitting on the Law Alumni Association Executive Committee as Vice President of Activities and Homecoming Co-Chair. 

"I think it's important to give back to UM Law because it gave me the foundational knowledge, experiences, and relationships to become a successful lawyer and leader," said Lee. "I want to pay it forward to the next generation of lawyers."