NTCA Director for Training & Development, Mark Marion, Carlos Alvarez, Nicole Comparato, Jan L. Jacobowitz, Paige Comparato, Daniel Celaya, Joshua Seidermann, NTCA Vice President for Policy
Every semester, students in the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program and Director Jan L. Jacobowitz visit various nonprofit organizations and local bar associations to present legal ethics CLE programs. On November 1, PREP was once again able to expand its reach by presenting to a national audience at The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (“NTCA”) 2016 Legal Seminar.
PREP 3L interns Paige Comparato and Nicole Comparato, and 2L interns Carlos Alvarez and Daniel Celaya presented a three-hour CLE regarding “Current Topics in Legal Ethics” to more than 100 attorneys from around the country who encompass the NTCA Rural Broadband Association.
The diverse training topics included preserving attorney-client privilege in the boardroom, e-discovery, behavioral ethics, and cyber security. Attendees enthusiastically commended PREP for its presentation. In fact, after the presentation, several attendees approached PREP students to further discuss legal ethics issues.
“To get this particular group of attendees to laugh, discuss, think deeply about legal ethics issues, and even to meditate takes a tremendous amount of poise, confidence, and preparation, which the four of you clearly have in spades,” said Mark Marion, NTCA Director of Training and Development.
The Miami Law students enjoyed the experience just as much the attendees, if not more. “I did not anticipate just how engaged the crowd would be with our presentation,” said Celaya. “It was that welcoming environment from all the members of the NTCA that made the presentation a success.”
Comparato said the learning experience was also extremely valuable. “Between gathering the research on these new topics, working diligently with the PREP team to perfect our performance, and then presenting the actual training, I feel even more prepared to practice law ethically and spread that knowledge to others.”
Alvarez said that the attendees’ excitement surrounding behavioral ethics was also enlightening. “One of our greatest defects is our ability to notice others’ ethical missteps when we have difficultly seeing our own. But the NTCA’s enthusiasm about discussing mindfulness shows how important it is, and how even though it is not a traditional CLE topic, it can be extremely helpful.”
PREP develops customized CLE ethics trainings thereby providing an opportunity for students to explore diverse areas of the law and interact with attorneys practicing in those areas regarding the ethical challenges that confront today’s legal profession. The program combines the attributes of an ethics institute and an ethics clinic, and has dedicated hundreds of student hours to public service and has educated thousands of members of the Bench & Bar.
In 2012, PREP was recognized by the ABA with its E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award —the leading national award recognizing programs and projects contributing to the understanding and advancement of professionalism among lawyers and judges.
In addition to presenting ethics trainings, throughout the semester PREP students publish posts regarding the nation’s newest ethics opinions and cases on its blog, Legal Ethics in Motion.