In spite of the rainy weather, Miami Law’s class of 2020 continued the annual tradition of beginning the law school experience with a day of community outreach. Miami Law’s HOPE Public Interest Resource Center organized the event, coordinating service projects for approximately 325 students who participated in HOPE Day of Service.
Returning students welcomed the incoming 1Ls as they prepared to volunteer at 20 different sites across Miami-Dade County, including Lotus House, Paws 4 You Rescue, Camillus House, and the WOW Center. Students provided meals to the homeless, sorted back-to-school donations for disadvantaged children, and bathed and socialized dogs, among many other activities.
Sharon Booth, Assistant Director of Public Interest Programs with HOPE, oversees and coordinates the countywide effort. “HOPE Day of Service provides incoming students with a unique opportunity to give back to the community while getting to know their new classmates. This annual event shows Miami Law’s commitment to making a difference, and it is a wonderful way to start the school year,” said Booth.
2L and 3L students played a critical role in organizing and coordinating the set-up for the day to ensure it went smoothly for both students and the community agencies. “I knew I wanted to help plan HOPE Day of Service because it was one of the most memorable days I had during my time as a 1L and I wanted to help make it memorable for the incoming class,” said 2L Tanya Krimus who assisted in securing the participation of community agencies. “Also, I enjoy planning an event and seeing it come together!”
Forty 2L and 3Ls volunteered as site leaders, guiding the service groups and helping 1Ls get to know the Miami Law community. “HOPE Day of Service was a wonderful way for me to kick off my 1L year by giving back to the local Miami community through direct services," said 2L Miami Scholar Katrina Tomas. " I appreciate that Miami Law understands the importance of cultivating the pro bono spirit among its students. As someone passionate about public interest work, I wanted to serve as a site leader for HOPE Day of Service this year to help motivate the next generation of Miami Law students to engage with the community through pro bono and volunteer efforts."
HOPE works to instill a pro bono ethic in every student who enters Miami Law. Beginning law school with a day of service reinforces to both students and the Miami community that service and pro bono work is a fundamental part of the law school experience.