PREP Celebrates 20th Anniversary Discussing Legal Ethics + Social Media with Alumni

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Vincent Calarco, Luisa Andonie, Haley Moss, Dean Patricia White, Elizabeth Gil, Justin Boyd, Jan L. Jacobowitz

Miami Law’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program recently kicked off its 2016-2017 CLE ethics presentations at the Law Alumni Association’s Miami-Dade Judicial Reception and the 20th anniversary celebration of the Center for Ethics and Public Service and the Children and Youth Law Clinic.

Led by PREP’s Director, Jan L. Jacobowitz, PREP Fellows Elizabeth Gil and Vincent Calarco presented a CLE ethics program at the Miami-Dade Judicial Reception. The program, “Social Media Savvy: The New Normal,” addressed social media evidence, attorney advertising, and lawyer referral services.

“Presenting to such a distinguished group of Miami Law alumni was amazing,” said Calarco. “Our alumni were interactive throughout the presentation, participating in the conversation about the hottest topics in legal ethics.”

Gil also had high praise for the event. “It was a great experience presenting before such knowledgeable attorneys and judges. I enjoyed updating them on hot-button ethical issues regarding social media.”

Gil, along with Justin Boyd, PREP Fellow, and PREP interns Luisa Andonie and Haley Moss gave a two-hour presentation at the CEPS & CYLC 20th anniversary celebration. The program, “Back to the Future: Exploring Legal Ethics Then and Now,” covered current ethical issues and dilemmas relating to attorney advertising, social media evidence, electronic communications etiquette, and the outsourcing of legal work.

 Andonie noted that "it was truly satisfying, after having researched the issues from a scholarly perspective, to engage in a live dialogue about how the rules impact an attorney's practice. We were fortunate to have had our alumni share their stories and opinions, as it reminds us that these rules are very much alive."

Presenting in both of the trainings, Gil “truly enjoyed presenting for the CEPS & CYLC celebration. The attorneys were so engaged and interactive. The presentation allowed us the opportunity to discuss how legal ethics has changed in the past 20 years."

Moss shared Gil’s enthusiasm. "It was an amazing experience getting to present to our alumni, and have meaningful conversations with them about relevant ethical issues. We were able to engage them directly and use their individual stories and questions to help guide the conversation and reach best practice answers to ethics questions that attorneys frequently experience."

After discussing the ethical implications of outsourcing legal work overseas, Boyd said that “the alumni’s willingness to share their knowledge and experience made the presentation especially interesting because they raised issues that were not a part of the hypothetical.”

PREP is an award-winning program, which develops continuing legal education ethics training for the legal community. 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. During trainings, students are often able to make a positive impact on attendees by prompting them to consider and reconsider their approaches to some of the toughest ethical dilemmas that may arise in the practice of law.

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 blog posts regarding the nation’s newest ethics opinions. The blog, Legal Ethics in Motion, can be found here