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Barbara Joan Pariente

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Barbara Joan Pariente

Barbara Joan Pariente (1948- ) was born and raised in New York City. While she majored in broadcast journalism at Boston University and volunteered for various organizations, Pariente met many people who needed help to understand their rights and to secure basic needs such as housing. She completed her education at George Washington University Law School, graduating fifth in a class that was six percent women.

After serving a two-year judicial clerkship in Fort Lauderdale, in 1975 Pariente joined the West Palm Beach civil law firm of Cone, Wagner and Nugent, and in 1983 formed the firm of Pariente & Silber, P.A. During her years in private practice, Pariente was a founding member of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers in Palm Beach County, a mentor to children through Communities In Schools, a volunteer judge in Palm Beach County Youth Court, and an organizer of the county's first Bench-Bar Conference.

In 1993 Pariente was appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, and in 1997 she became the second woman to be appointed to the Florida Supreme Court; she served as chief justice from 2004-06. Pariente continued to focus on children and families as chair of the Supreme Court's Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Courts and as a mentor through Take Stock in Children. She helped to organize the first statewide conference on drug courts and was liaison to the Supreme Court’s Task Force on Treatment-Based Drug Courts.

Among Pariente’s many honors are lifetime achievement awards from the Florida Justice Association, the Florida Association of School Social Workers, the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, and the Palm Beach County Jewish Federation. In 2007 she was inducted into the Legislature’s Florida Women's Hall of Fame. When asked why she sought a judgeship, Justice Pariente said, “I just wanted to do more within the profession, for the profession, and for people.”

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