Florida man who turned his life around after time in prison becomes a lawyer

Attorney visits client to tell him he has been admitted to Florida Bar

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

Raymond Burns (left) celebrates passing the Florida bar with his former defense attorney Brian Tannebaum.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Palm Beach County man who turned his life around after serving time in prison has been admitted to the Florida Bar, his attorney said.

Raymon Burns' story has gone viral after his lawyer, Brian Tannebaum, posted about the milestone on Facebook. Tannebaum represented him in the Florida Bar admission process.

"He spent some time on the other side of the law and on the other side of some bars, causing him to have to give up custody of his son," Tannebaum said.

When Burns was released from prison, he wanted to work at Sports Authority but he was worried his past would prevent him from getting what at the time was a dream job. 

"He filled out the application and told them about his past and assumed he wouldn't get the job, so he left with his mother and went and applied at Burger King where he heard he may have a better chance," Tannebaum said.

As Burns was leaving the Burger King, the sporting goods store called him back with good news.

While at Sports Authority, his manager encouraged him to go back to school. Burns earned an associates degree, then a bachelor's degree from Florida Atlantic University, and finally a law degree from Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad College of Law.

Tannebaum, who works in the Miami area, drove up to Palm Beach County on Monday to tell Burns that he had been admitted to the Florida Bar.

According to his Facebook page, Burns started a new job with the Palm Beach County Public Defender's Office in October.

The Florida Bar Association shared Tannebaum's post on Twitter on Tuesday.

"Congrats to this young man. Truly," the group wrote. 

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