It’s safe to say Miette K. Burnstein knows a little about overcoming challenges. The Hungarian-born octogenarian, whose parents fled to South Florida in 1939, was the first woman circuit judge in Broward County and the first and only Broward woman chief judge, serving from 1985-1991.
When asked what advice she’d provide to young female lawyers, Burnstein shared one word: “Persevere!”
Recently, the Vi at Aventura resident was honored along with nine other esteemed female judges and attorneys during the Broward County Bar Association’s inaugural Celebration of Women in the Legal Community: Broward’s Women Pioneers Award Ceremony.”
“This is a big honor because it means the Broward Bar has recognized my dedication and commitment,” Burnstein said. “It feels good.”
To celebrate the achievement, Vi at Aventura hosted a champagne toast for Burnstein and her friends. Vi’s Executive Director Renee Garvin presented Burnstein with a signature Vi judicial robe and gavel.
"We were thrilled to celebrate International Women’s Day by acknowledging Miette, a woman who has broken her share of glass ceilings and paved the way for so many great women to follow in her footsteps,” Garvin said.
Burnstein grew up in Hollywood with dreams of becoming a judge. She graduated from South Broward High School in 1954 and University of Miami Law School in 1961. Burnstein said she can relate to challenges Ruth Bader Ginsburg faced as a young Jewish woman trying to make inroads in a male-dominated field. Yet, Burnstein credits several men throughout her career, including former Broward Chief Judge John Farris, who supported her election for Chief Judge.
Today, Burnstein enjoys visiting friends throughout Aventura, playing mahjong and swimming in Vi’s indoor swimming pool.
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