Celeste Higgins

Adjunct Faculty, J.D. Program

J.D. University of Miami School of Law
B.B.A. in Finance, University of Miami

Celeste Higgins graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration for Finance from the University of Miami and a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law. While at law school, she was a member of the Moot Court Board, of the Student Bar Association as class representative, and was an Articles and Comments Editor for the Entertainment and Sports Law Review. She represented the law school as a member of the state and regional trial team. In addition, Higgins was named to the Order of the Barristers and was a recipient of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer scholarship for excellence in litigation skills.

Upon graduation, she clerked for the Hon. Federico A. Moreno, U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Immediately thereafter, she was hired at the Offices of the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Florida where she worked for over 25 years. During that time, Higgins was a supervisory attorney for over 10 years and tried nearly 100 federal criminal cases to jury in various areas of law including: narcotics, firearms, immigration, crimes on the high seas, terrorism, civil rights violations and various areas of fraud (tax, mortgage, health care and securities).

In addition, Higgins has worked extensively in Rule of Law Initiative programs throughout Central and South America private organizations such as the American Bar Association, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), Conference of Attorney’s General (CWAG), and government programs sponsored by USAID. She teaches law and trial advocacy in Spanish to Spanish speaking international law students, practicing lawyers, judges, and professors.

She is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a past-president of the South Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and past secretary of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Higgins is also on several committees for the Southern District of Florida.

Area of Expertise

  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Trial Advocacy and Practice
  • Federal Criminal Defense