Alumna Realizes Non-Traditional Career Path Dedicated to Student Development

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Triple 'Cane Alexis Martinez, B.A. ’01, J.D. ’04, and M.S. ’06, can’t get enough of working with students and helping them to grow as they navigate their careers. Formerly the Assistant Dean for Students at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NY, she recently relocated back to South Florida to take a position as the Assistant Dean of Student Development at Nova Southeastern University.

Alexis Martinez, B.A. ’01, J.D. ’04, M.S. ’06

Martinez knew that she wanted to keep working with students after graduating from Miami Law. “I wanted to give back to the legal profession by putting students in a position to have a meaningful law school experience and increasing opportunities for them,” said Martinez.

Martinez has dedicated herself to bringing increased programming and improved opportunities to students through the positions she has held at the University of Miami, Syracuse University College of Law, Elon University School of Law, St. John’s, and now Nova.

Born in Miami, Miami Law was Martinez’s first choice for law school. Although she was not sure exactly as a 1L how she wanted to use her law degree, her extensive involvement in the law school community made her realize that she had a passion for working with students. To fully understand the theory behind higher education, she went straight from law school to attain a Master of Science in Education from the University of Miami. Her desire to continue learning did not stop there -- she is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership & Policy program at Vanderbilt University and expects to graduate in May 2017.

Martinez was incredibly active during her time as a student at Miami Law. She was a member of Miami Law Women, involved in HOPE pro bono and community service activities, a law school representative on the Rathskeller Advisory Board, Chair of Hurricane Productions, and SBA Liaison with the undergraduate school.

Martinez was also the law school representative for Fun Day and some other volunteer programs. She was a member of Bar & Gavel and organized the Barrister’s Ball as a 3L. She ran orientation as a 2L and assisted as a 3L. Martinez spent her summers as a law clerk at Florida Justice Institute and working as a research assistant for Assistant Dean Marni Lennon.

Among the many activities Martinez had a hand in during law school, running orientation sticks out to her as one of the most memorable. This experience allowed her to gain an inside view of the role of a law school administrator -- working and coordinating with law students and faculty. “Working with other law students to make a positive change for future students was very important to me and set the tone for me. Being in a position to give advice or suggestions on how a program could change, evolve, or grow was awesome because it put me in the position of thinking about what happens after my three years. It helped me as an administrator later on by helping me know how to push my students to think beyond graduation.”

Martinez has taken what she learned during her time as a student at Miami Law to help transform the student experience at other schools. “I have been very fortunate to start the pro bono programs both at Syracuse and at Elon and I formalized the programs so that they are now part of the institution. I was able to bring so much of the good that I saw at Miami Law to different schools,” said Martinez.

To any law students considering a non-traditional career path, Martinez’s advice is, “Don’t be intimidated by whatever everyone else is saying or doing. There is a reason you are looking into a non-traditional path. Pursue it. There is a growing community of individuals who use their legal education every day but not in a traditional manner. It just means you are applying your education to solve different problems.”