Lily McCarty Gonzalez obtained her Juris Doctorate from Florida State University in 2003. Prior to Law School, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Florida Honors College, where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology.
While in law school, Ms. McCarty Gonzalez worked as a Research Assistant for Professor Meg Baldwin, assisting with conducting legal research and editing scholarly articles. Ms. McCarty Gonzalez interned as an Attorney Ad Litem representing foster care children through the Children’s Advocacy Center under the supervision of Professor Paolo Annino. She also donated pro bono hours to the Innocence Project of Florida, an organization that fights for the exoneration of the falsely accused and incarcerated.
Ms. McCarty Gonzalez began her career as an attorney with the Hillsborough County Public Defender’s Office. In her career as a Public Defender, Ms. McCarty Gonzalez represented clients on all charges, ranging from Misdemeanor charges, DUI, Sexual Battery, and First Degree Murder. Her specialty and passion is litigating serious charges and difficult cases. While at the Public Defender’s Office she became a Senior Attorney specializing in representation of Juveniles charged as adults. In 2010, Ms. McCarty was awarded a Davis Productivity Award from the State of Florida Tax Watch for significantly reducing the amount of Hillsborough County juvenile cases charged in adult court. Ms. McCarty Gonzalez has been involved in over 100 trials, and actively litigates her cases. She is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law, one of the highest recognitions a lawyer in Florida can receive. Only seven percent of attorneys in Florida are board certified.
Ms. McCarty Gonzalez is an Adjunct Professor at Stetson University College of Law, and has been a guest speaker for the University of Tampa, Florida Technical College, the Hillsborough County Great American Teach Inn, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Hillsborough County School District School Resource Officers. She has participated in the Hillsborough County Juvenile Task Force and Juvenile Alternatives to Detention. Ms. McCarty Gonzalez has presented a Florida Bar Certified Continuing Legal Education courses on Suppression of Juvenile Confessions, Sentencing, and Direct Filed Juveniles.
Ms. McCarty Gonzalez is the current President of the Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and actively involved within the Criminal Defense Community.
In her spare time, Ms. McCarty Gonzalez enjoys spending time with her husband and family, her dogs, and participating with Big Brothers Big Sisters.