Firm/Employer: City of Riviera Beach – Office of the City Attorney
Law School: Univerisity of Miami School of Law 
Year admitted to practice: 2014
Year joined PBCBA: 2013

Denise Mutamba

This year, the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion has launched a “This is What We Look Like” campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to display and highlight the diversity within the Palm Beach County Bar Association. Oftentimes, there is a perception of what an attorney should look like. Generally, that perception does not reflect the diversity of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and disability of our members in the Bar Association. As a young, Black, female attorney, I have been the recipient of many “you don’t look like an attorney” comments and stares. As the Chairperson for this campaign, I am excited to champion a venture that challenges people’s preconceived notions about just what an attorney looks like.

Please provide a short bio of your background:

Before law school, I worked in Human Resources for a Fortune 500 company. After graduating from law school, I worked for The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc. fighting housing discrimination. 

What adversity have you faced because of your diverse characteristic and how did you overcome it?

As a Black woman, I am often the only person of color in the room. As a result, I’ve been mistaken for a court reporter or a defendant. it is rare that someone has correctly assumed that I was the attorney. I’d like to say that I have overcome this, but I’m not sure if this is something I can overcome. With education and confronting others’ biases, I hope I am helping reduce this occurrence for other Black women. 

Why is diversity important to the practice of law in Palm Beach County?

Diversity breeds diversity. When people bring their diverse perspectives to an issue, it creates innovative solutions and thought processes. It also creates cultural awareness and understanding, which helps reduce and eliminate unconscious bias.