From High School Teacher to Judge

The Making of a Miami Dade County South Florida Judge

Caryn Canner Schwartz always wanted to be a doctor from a young age starting in elementary school. However, when college came along, she attended to University of Maryland for Psychology. Still unsure of what her profession would be, she traveled back home to Washington. There her parents set her up on dates in hopes to make her stay in Washington become more extensive. After awhile, she met Lawrence Schwartz. She recalls that only after a few dates, she knew was going to marry him. Nine months later, they went through with the plan and did get married.
Lawrence, who was an elementary school teacher at the time, suggested she try becoming a teacher as well. Residing in Florida, Caryn attended Florida International University to get a teaching certificate and landed a job position as a Biology teacher at Miami Beach Senior High School before graduating university.
The two found themselves in California a year later. Lawrence, now enrolled in law school, and Caryn still teaching. She says that watching him study law persuaded her to give it a try. Her talent was in tax law. At the time of this discovery, her husband was already graduated law school and worked as a Sacramento Deputy District Attorney. Later down the road, Caryn would achieve her law degree and thereafter, Lawrence would encourage her to get her LL.M in tax law at the New York University to enhance her career. At this time, the two had a five year old son and still resided in California. Seeing that New York was too expensive for a family of three, Lawrence assured his wife that upon leaving for New York, he and his son would stay in California and wait her return.
Caryn went on to gain her degree and thereafter, landed a job at a prestigious law firm in California. However, she was miserable and after a year, another law firm recruited her and she loved it.
The family later moved back to South Florida to be with Lawrence’s mother after his aunt passed away. There, he worked for a Miami-Dade state attorney’s office and Caryn worked for Steel Hector & Davis.
Three years afterwards, Lawrence ran for the county court judge and got elected with the help from his wife’s campaign support. It was suggested that she run for judge by two other election members and with that, she did and worked with Lawrence on the bench in 1993.
Caryn found her niche within the court room and lived to fight for the justice of others. Still today, she says, “None of it would have happened without Larry.” The two have served more than 20 years on the bench together.

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