Attorney at Law Magazine Palm Beach Publisher Rhenne Leon sat down with Tequisha Y. Myles to discuss her career and her hopes for the future.
AALM: What was the beginning of your career like? How has it evolved over the years?
Myles: After I graduated from law school, I started as a staff attorney in a small legal services office. Today, I am a supervising attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County Inc. I currently supervise 18 staff members in four programs that serve the people of Palm Beach County – Fair Housing Project, Elder Law Project, Consumer Advocacy Unit and the Veterans Advocacy Project.
AALM: How are you involved in the legal community and the local community?
Myles: I am Past-President of the F. Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association, Past-President of the Board of Directors of Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, and Past Chair of the Trustee Board of the Mt Hermon AME Church. In addition, I have served on numerous Florida Bar and Palm Beach County Bar Association committees, including the Diversity and Inclusion and Consumer Protection Law Committees of the Florida Bar.
I am continually grateful for the support of Executive Director Bob Bertisch, who encourages me to seek out and serve in leadership positions in professional and community organizations. Being able to make a difference in my community has been a great privilege for me, and I look forward to continuing my services.
AALM: What case most defined or redefined your practice?
Myles: In 2007, the City of Lake Worth conducted a nighttime eviction of a 16- unit apartment complex. My office stepped in to assist the displaced residents who were of Guatemalan-Mayan ancestry. They had been given 30 minutes to collect their belongings. I was part of the litigation team that sued the city for violating due process and the Federal Fair Housing Act. We were able to get our clients a substantial financial settlement, so they could repair their lives.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future? Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
Myles: My vision for the future is for a community that treats the elderly with respect and does not exploit them because of their vulnerabilities or disabilities. I hope for a community where people have access to safe and decent housing free from discrimination. I hope for a community where people do not lose their homes due to courts or lenders not following the established rules of procedure and laws. My ultimate goal is to ensure access to legal counsel for low-income people when they have been wronged. I push my staff attorneys and paralegals to provide the highest level of representation to our clients regardless of the clients’ income. I will always continue to fight for these principles everyday as a lawyer, through my professional associations, and leadership positions at various social service organizations.
AALM: Tell us about your motto and its meaning.
Myles: I have always believed in the motto, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” As an attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, I have the privilege of being able to achieve my motto every day and the opportunity to stand up for the clients that are underrepresented and underserved in our justice system.