Justin Elegant Takes the Initiative

Donald and Lisa Pliner help bring back the twenties

Young professionals are those enterprising men and women under the age of 40 who are working hard to prove their worth in a competitive world. They are driven – active in both business and social activities – and now more than ever, young professionals are going that extra mile to serve their communities.

Miami Beach’s very own Justin Elegant is one such person, a leader who demonstrates the commitment and character necessary to make a difference. In 2001, Justin, a civil trial lawyer with the law firm of Petros and Elegant, co-founded and designed the Dade County Bar Young Lawyers eMentoring Program. This award-winning program, which has been duplicated in Florida and elsewhere, allows lawyers to enhance a student’s education by providing individualized academic, motivational and emotional support via email on a weekly basis and at periodic group events. The program is run in conjunction with the Legal and Public Affairs Magnet Programs at Miami Senior and Miami Carol City High Schools for accelerated students interested in careers in law and public affairs.

Justin, a graduate of The University of Miami School of Law, is very proud of the program’s success. “The most rewarding aspect for me,” he said, “is the feedback we get from students. They write letters thanking us for the guidance we provide. It’s really great to know that we make a difference.”

In addition to his leadership in the community, Justin is also a leader at home. This father of two works hard to be a positive role model for his boys, Luke (6) and Hudson (3). “We raise our boys to value education and to respect others,” he said. “The kids see me and my wife Jennifer participating in the community, and they learn the importance of giving.”

Justin’s wife, Jennifer, is the VP of Fundraising for the National Council of Jewish Women, an organization that lobbies for the rights of women and children. “We work hard to do good deeds,” she said. “I’m very proud of Justin and the initiative he has taken with eMentoring. It inspires me to do more. He’s a good man and has made a big difference in South Florida.”

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