Debbie M. Orshefsky is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Fort Lauderdale office. She practices in the areas of land development and environmental law with specific experience in land use planning, infrastructure planning and financing, zoning, subdivision controls and community redevelopment, as well as state, regional and local roles in land use decision-making.

Ms. Orshefsky represents private developers and landowners in all aspects of the development approval process and has extensive experience permitting complex multi-jurisdictional developments. In addition, she is a frequent speaker at state and national seminars on the land development process, as well as infrastructure planning and funding.


  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D.
  • Washington University in St. Louis, B.A., Urban Studies, summa cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • City of Fort Lauderdale Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, Member, 2015-2019; Chair, 2018-2019
  • Nova Southeastern University, Real Estate Development Advisory Board, Master of Science Real Estate Degree Program, Member, 2010-Present
  • Urban Land Institute, Member, 2002-Present; National Transit Oriented Development Product Council, Member, 2007-Present; Women's Leadership Initiative, Founding Member, 2010-Present
  • Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean District Council, Member, 2002-Present; Chair of the District Council, 2007-2009; Governance Committee, Member, 2010-Present; Executive Committee, Member, 2002-2018; Infrastructure Committee, Chair, 2008-2011; Curtis Program Statewide Transportation Initiative: "Connecting Florida," Founder and Member, 2008-2013
  • Florida Charter Foundation, Board Member, 2015-Present
  • Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Board Member, 2015-Present; Executive Committee, Member, 2017-Present
  • South Florida East Coast Corridor Coalition, Member, 2008-2010; Business Community and Local Government Committee, Chair, 2008-2010; Subcommittee Chairs Roundtable, Chair, 2008-2010
  • North Broward Hospital District Comprehensive Cancer Center, Community Advisory Board, Chair, 2004-2006
  • Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association, Chair, 1992-1994
  • Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Governmental Affairs Task Force, Chair, 1988-1990
  • The Florida Bar, Environmental and Land Use Law Section, Executive Council, Member, 1981-1984
  • Florida Association for Women Lawyers, President, 1981-1983
Honors & Awards
  • Top Lawyers in Broward County, Land Use and Zoning Law, Ft. Lauderdale Illustrated, 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Fort Lauderdale Land Use and Zoning Law Lawyer of the Year, 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Environmental Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, Real Estate Law, 2006-2023
  • Top Lawyer: Environmental Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, Fort Lauderdale Illustrated, 2020
  • Holland & Knight PCS Pro Bono All-Star, 2019
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Fort Lauderdale Environmental Law Lawyer of the Year, 2019
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, 2004-2022
  • The Legal 500 USA, Real Estate and Construction: Land Use/Zoning, 2011-2014, 2016 
  • Top Lawyer, South Florida Legal Guide, 2005-2021
  • Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2006-2010, 2012-2019
  • "100 Heavy Hitters in Commercial Real Estate," South Florida Business Journal, 2011
  • Lawdragon 3000, "Leading Lawyers in America," 2010
  • "Influential Business Women of 2010," South Florida Business Journal, 2010
  • "Women in Law," South Florida Legal Guide, 2010
  • "Top Women in Florida Commercial Real Estate," Florida Real Estate Journal, 2008
  • Best of the Bar, South Florida Business Journal, 2003
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


Speaking Engagements