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Miami Law News Headlines: January 2012

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Students at the Public Interest Fair

Public Interest Fair Highlights Passion for Advocacy

Miami Law hosted a Public Interest Fair on Monday for students interested in public interest and experiential learning opportunities. The event, which featured students and faculty from Miami Law's clinics, the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center, the Center for Ethics and Public Service, STREET LAW, Legal Corps, and the Externship Program, was held on the Bricks at midday.

Professor Sandra Babcock of Northwestern Law School

Lecture Shines Light on Death Penalty's Place in American Criminal Justice System

Last September, the execution of Troy Davis – a Georgia man convicted of murdering a police officer in 1989 – reignited debate over capital punishment and its place in the American criminal justice system. To help explain contemporary issues relating to the death penalty, Miami Law welcomed Northwestern Law School Professor Sandra Babcock yesterday to present her lecture "The Death Penalty: Law, Politics and Morality."

Craig Trocino and Sarah Cardone

Innocence Clinic Adds to Stellar Team at Miami Law

The Innocence Clinic, which is dedicated to rectifying wrongful convictions and combating injustice, has two new faces on its team – Practitioner in Residence and Associate Director Craig Trocino and Legal Assistant Sarah Cardone.

Workshops Steer Students Toward Great Grades

First-year law students needing a little help with their grades – and who doesn't? – now have a place to go for inspiration. On the evenings of Jan. 31, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, workshops titled "How You Can Make Your Grades Work for You" will get underway for 1L's. About 150 students have signed up for the two-hour workshops, and space remains.

Catharine Skipp

Pulitzer Prize Winner Joins Miami Law's Communications Office

Catharine Skipp, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with a long career in the national news media, has joined Miami Law as Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs. The law school's dean, Patricia D. White, said Friday she was "delighted" with the appointment.

Professor Jules Coleman

Jules Coleman, Miami Law's First University Distinguished Scholar, Introduces Himself

Jules Coleman, a preeminent scholar and the Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Philosophy at Yale Law School, has joined Miami Law's faculty for much of this spring semester as the first University Distinguished Scholar in Residence.

International Moot Court Board Fosters Competitive Spirit

A group of students interested in pursuing careers in international law, or otherwise hoping to improve their legal research, writing and advocacy skills, gathered Wednesday to learn about Miami Law's International Moot Court Board. The session was hosted by the IMCB's director, Paula Arias; its student president, Lauran San Roman; and Brittany Young, the student vice president.

Kamal Sleiman and Tom Headley

Miami Law Students Conduct Ethics Training for State Attorney's Office

Garrett Lorentz and Kamal Sleiman, second-year students from Miami Law's Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program, conducted an ethics training session recently for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. Under the supervision of the program's director, Jan L. Jacobowitz, and Fellow Kelly Rains, Lorentz and Sleiman focused the discussion on cutting-edge ethical issues relevant to the practice of the modern prosecutor.

Human Rights Students Benefit From International Training

Miami Law joined forces last week with Florida International University's School of Law and the human rights clinic of the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia, to present the first Human Rights Training Week, a collection of presentations from an array of leaders in the Miami and Colombian human rights community.

Internet Copyright

Internet Copyright Issues Take Center Stage

Amid the fierce backlash against a pair of proposed bills in Congress, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, issues of copyright law have risen to the forefront of national discussion. With the controversy surrounding the bills as a timely backdrop, the University of Miami School of Law hosted a talk last Thursday by renowned copyright law expert David Nimmer.

Teresa J. Verges

Miami Law Launches Investor Rights Clinic

Inspired by the financial shenanigans of brokers and investment advisors like Bernie Madoff, the University of Miami School of Law this month launched a live-client legal clinic designed to help victims of such abuses. The Investor Rights Clinic provides a resource to investors who may have claims against their brokers but who cannot find a lawyer who will represent them. Funded by Miami Law and a grant from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's Investor Education Foundation, the clinic will not charge attorneys' fees.

Steven Mariano

Triple-Degree Program Donor to be Honored

When Steven Mariano turned down a scholarship from the University of Miami School of Law some 25 years ago to pursue a career as an entrepreneur, he remained an admirer of the school for the positive impact it makes on the Miami community and beyond. Next month, Mariano – the CEO and chairman of Patriot National Insurance Group Inc. – will return to the UM campus to receive the law school's thanks for his pledge of $1.5 million to name a first-of-its-kind triple-degree program.

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Consortium Launches at Miami Law

This spring semester, under the auspices of the Miami Consortium for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the University of Miami School of Law and Florida International University are co-hosting a four-part lecture series titled "The Professions of Law in Latin America: A Social and Comparative Perspective."

Gretchen Bellamy

HOPE's Bellamy Connects Students With American Bar Association

It's no secret that landing the perfect legal job or internship can be difficult. Legal applicants of every sector are realizing that it takes more than good grades and a couple of extracurricular activities to get your foot in the door. Now, more than ever, having a competitive application can be more about who you know, rather than what you know.

Local Foundation Donates Gift to Miami Law

The Alma Jennings Foundation, a private foundation located in Coral Gables, has awarded the University of Miami School of Law a $100,000 grant to manage and maintain the student lounge at Miami Law, which serves as a central hub for law students. The grant requires Miami Law to match the endowment funds contributed by the Foundation.

Miami Law Students Write Comprehensive Analysis of Landmark Lenahan Abuse Case

Averil Andrews and Jenny Khavinson, students in Miami Law's Human Rights Clinic, are the authors of an article in the current issue of Domestic Violence Report about the case of Jessica Lenahan, a Colorado woman whose three daughters were killed in 1999 after they were abducted by her estranged husband. Lenahan's case was ultimately taken up by the Miami Law Human Rights Clinic and that of Columbia Law School, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union.

PREP Students Present Ethics Training to the Coral Gables Bar Association

Michael Greenfield and James Lechter, two student interns in Miami Law's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program, recently presented a CLE ethics training for the Coral Gables Bar Association.

Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning Wraps Up Friday

ORLANDO – Thousands of estate planners, attorneys, trust officers and wealth-management professionals are swarming a resort hotel here this week for a conference – the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, a division of the University of Miami School of Law – that is likely the largest such gathering in the world.

Charles Haskell

Student Wins Miami Herald Journalism Contest With Haiti Article

Miami Law student Charles Haskell has been declared the winner of a Miami Herald scholarship contest that sought articles from students about the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12.

Tara Lovings

Miami Law Student Receives $3,000 Diversity Scholarship

Tara Lovings, a second-year Miami Law student, has been chosen to receive the Constangy, Brooks & Smith Diversity Scholars Award for the Southern region. The award, which recognizes law students who have demonstrated academic achievement and a commitment to diversity in their community or school, will provide Lovings with a $3,000 scholarship.

Justin Ortiz and Christopher Hopkins

Miami Law Students Conduct Ethics Training for Palm Beach County Bar

Justin Ortiz and Matthew Friendly, two students in Miami Law's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program, recently presented an interactive ethics and technology session for the Palm Beach County Bar Association's Technology Practice Committee's Program.

Legal Writing Conference Provides Tools for Practice

Miami Law recently hosted a national legal writing conference featuring 17 speakers from law schools around the country. Professor Alyssa Dragnich worked with the Legal Writing Institute to bring the one-day training workshop to the law school campus, where legal writing experts shared best practices and innovations in teaching legal writing, persuasion, and research.