Carla Erskine has been accepted into the 2019-20 Leadership Palm Beach County Engage program, providing the McDonald Hopkins attorney one more opportunity to help children in the community find the drive to push through roadblocks and recognize they may be “crazy enough” to achieve their most ambitious goals.
“Crazy enough” could be considered a mantra for the 29-year-old Erskine, who left her parents and the country she called home at age nine to come to the United States and chase her educational and athletic dreams. She went on to compete on the Junior US Tennis Association circuit and graduate from high school at 16. At 20, she graduated from Villanova University, having served as the captain of their Division 1 tennis team. By age 23, she had started her career as an attorney.
Even while working as an associate in the Business Department in McDonald Hopkins’ West Palm Beach office, Erskine still finds time to compete in pageants and NPC bodybuilding events and recently represented Florida at the Miss United States 2019 Pageant.
Erskine’s greatest passion beyond her legal career, however, is community service and being an inspiration to children in South Florida who may not be aware of all they can accomplish.
Leadership Palm Beach County unites and educates the most promising leaders in the Palm Beach area. As part of LPBC’s class of 2020, Erskine will take part in a community project implementing a Business Partnership Program with Path to College – an organization devoted to developing leadership qualities, enriching social and emotional support, and increasing academic rigor to catapult the competitiveness of its students in college admissions.
The project aligns with Erskine’s typical community involvement, including a visit to Palm Beach Lakes High School, where she spoke with a group of seniors in the Suits for Girl’s Program about their perception of attorneys.
“I quickly learned that none of the young women in that room had ever met an attorney, much less knew one personally,” says Erskine. “Their only concept of lawyers was through the eyes of the criminal justice system and what they see on television. Experiences like that motivate me to continue to give back and do work in the community, so students like this can associate a face that looks like them with a career they may have never considered possible until they spoke to me and learned what I do.”
Erskine’s practice is focused on land use and zoning, real estate and general business counseling. Her commitment to community service includes recruiting, training and promoting young progressive leaders as the former co-director of the New Leaders Council Palm Beach and promoting the personal and professional development of black legal professionals as the secretary of the F. Malcom Cunningham Bar Association. In 2019, she was recognized by Legacy South Florida Magazine as one of the “40 under 40: Black Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” honorees in South Florida.