• Jeanne Singer

    Jeanne Singer

    Chief Assistant State Attorney, Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida

    After receiving her law degree from the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin School of Law, Jeanne Singer practiced law as an assistant state attorney. After joining the prosecution team of a homicide case, Singer specialized in the prosecution of crimes involving women and children and has since been promoted to Chief Assistant State Attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Singer has been honored for her work with victims of sexual abused and has been recognized as Prosecutor of the Year for the State of Florida. Female-based organizations, such as PACE Center for Girls and the Girl Scouts Gateway Council, have commemorated Singer for her ability to make a difference.

    Singer quoted Albert Einstein, “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” She said, “My ‘success’ has been the happiness I have experienced knowing that I have made the community a little better and a little safer for others.”

    What does it mean to be fierce?

    To me, being fierce means having a relentless commitment to those things that are most important to me: my family and my community. I don’t see myself as “strong” or “aggressive.” I see myself as bold and intense; being unafraid to meet challenges with courage and compassion.

    What does success, achievement and accomplishment mean to you?

    Albert Einstein said: “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” My “success” has been the happiness I experience knowing that I have made the community a little better, a little safer for others.

    What motivates you in the morning?

    The cool breeze (even in the summer) and a strong cup of coffee.

    What or who is inspiring you right now?

    My children (and now my grandchildren) constantly inspire me to do the best I can professionally and personally.

    What was best decision you’ve made? What’s the worst?

    My best decision has been to marry my best friend and share all of life’s experiences with him and the children we share.  What was worst decision?  While I know I have made poor decisions in my life, as I look back all of the decisions I have made have brought me to where I am right now, so, I really can’t say any of them were life changing in a negative way.

    How do you address negativity in your life and in business?

    I would call myself an optimist which means I don’t see a lot of negativity in my world; even with the work I do. But, when “negativity” looms, I examine the reasons for the negative feelings and make a plan to attack the issues that are causing them. Getting to the “work” of dealing with a problem often makes the problem seem less overwhelming. If a problem is particularly difficult, I seek out other trusted people to help me; asking for advice and feedback

    Is there a particular instance or occurrence that you credit for building your confidence and self-esteem?

    My parents were hardworking people who survived the depression and World War II, to go on and live the “American Dream.” Their goal was to see my sister and I become people of character who would find happiness pursuing a worthy purpose. It was their life example that gave me the confidence to go forward and reach my goals. To this day, I rely on much of the advice given to me by my parents, especially the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.

    How do you empower other women?

    Having practiced law for over forty years, I have been very fortunate to work with so many talented women who began practicing law as prosecutors. I have tried to empower these women by continuing to make a path for them in the legal profession and, by offering myself as a mentor as they progress through their professional and private lives. It has been surprising to me how many women have asked my advice. It’s been terrific.

    What change do you want to see in your industry?

    All lawyers take an oath to pledge fairness, integrity and civility in their practice. In the last ten years, there has been significant erosion in civility both in the legal practice and in our society. It is truly disturbing. We all share this world. It is essential that we respect and honor each other at home; in the workplace and in the community.

    Do you have any advice for young women as they try to achieve their goals?

    1. Be true to yourself.
    2. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
    3. Patience is a virtue.
    4. Listening is much better than talking; even though those who know me know I love to talk.
    5. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts. If it feels right to you, it probably is.
    6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s no need to “remake the wheel.”
    7. Be grateful.

    What do you want to be remembered for?

    I don’t have an overwhelming need to be remembered. I do hope that my spirit is reflected in my children and grandchildren as they travel through their lives.

    How do you defy the current stereotypes, stigmas and double standards that women have today?

    I began practicing law at a time when there were few women lawyers. The “rules” were much different then, and I learned to have a “thick skin” and a sense of humor. With my own history, I have learned to look beyond stereotypes in all situations, especially in working with victims seeking help through the criminal justice system. I have found, in my case, that my hard work and determination helped others overcome their stereotypical beliefs. I’m thrilled to see that my profession has caught up with me; there are more women practicing and in positions of leadership than I could ever have imagined when I started practicing in 1977.