Miami Law faculty, students, and alumni are transforming communities, lives, and careers. Some, such as 2017 Miami Law graduate Sawyeh Esmaili, have found a calling in tackling reproductive rights issues on a national and international level. Others, such as Miami Law alumnus David Humphreys, are stepping up to rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters, and investing in educational opportunity in his local community. Kele Stewart, Professor and Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and others involved with the First Star Academy, are working directly with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society, and helping them build ladders to success.
Two decades before he became the 43rd Judge Advocate General of the Navy, Crawford, LL.M. ’92, spent one year at the University of Miami School of Law earning a Master of Laws degree in Ocean and Coastal Law, newly rechristened as the LL.M. in Maritime Law.
Patricia A. Redmond, B.A. ’75, J.D. ’79, is an expert, business restructuring practitioner. She has stayed closely connected to Miami Law throughout her professional career. She enjoys teaching bankruptcy courses as an adjunct professor, coaching the bankruptcy moot court team, and helping students deliver life-changing legal services through the school’s bankruptcy clinic.
William P. VanderWyden, J.D. ’84 and Assistant Dean of Professionalism, has passion—from his shepherding of Miami Law students, to his work in his church, to his dedication to his family, to his love of travel and music, to his engaging in political discourse. Even looking from the wrong end of the telescope, his passage makes perfect sense.
As a scholar and Harvard Law graduate, Dawson has studied the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as applied not only to businesses but also to cities. “Bankruptcy law” he said, “is ultimately about solving complex problems that may cut across various legal fields as well as political boundaries.”
In high school, 3L Brittany Thomas thought she had it all figured out. She loved singing and dancing in school productions—she played Tina Turner in “The Wedding Singer”—and thought she had found her passion. Then her father was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to almost eight years of federal time.
After graduating from Yale Law and practicing as a commercial litigator, Campos was drawn to scholarship. He enjoys challenging the accepted wisdom. “I like to take something that is considered common sense and take a fresh look at the concept,” he said. “I’m also a great believer in the power of creativity—in students, lawyers, and the courts—to find appropriate remedies for civil disputes.”
With two careers in his wake, Doug Gaston appreciates that his LL.M. at Miami Law “gave me a broad perspective on the issues I’m concerned with—such as sustainable fishing, marine protected areas, and the effects pollution and rising sea temperatures are having on our oceans and fisheries.”
After attorney George “Rocky” Harper passed away in early 2017, members of his firm, friends, and family established an endowed scholarship at Miami Law as a tribute to Harper’s deep commitment to his alma mater.
Former Miami Mayor and Miami Law graduate Manny Diaz, J.D. ’80, is giving back to the school that helped launch his career—in the hopes of doing the same for others. It’s a gift based on personal experience, with a view toward the future.
“Climate change involves risks not just to insurance companies, but also to other firms exposed to climate-related risks plus to other financial firms that lend to and invest in climate-exposed businesses,” says Caroline Bradley, Professor of Law. Bradley has written widely on matters of British and European financial law. She teaches courses in European Community law, United States securities regulation, international finance, contracts, and business associations.
“The United States’ detention of children and their mothers raises the issue of human dignity in stark terms, as it overrides humanity’s usual protective stance towards children,” comments Rebecca Sharpless, Professor of Clinical Legal Education & Director of Miami Law’s Immigration Clinic. Sharpless researches and writes in the areas of progressive lawyering, feminist theory, and the intersection of immigration and criminal law.
Joy Purcell, J.D. ’08, and her husband Kevin Roach, J.D. ’08, have many things in common. Both found their legal calling while earning their degrees at Miami Law. Now, both attorneys work for the federal government and are committed to making a difference through public service.
Judge Adalberto “Bert” Jordan, J.D. ’87, believes in the importance of lifelong learning. Throughout his distinguished career in private practice and public service, including his current role on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Jordan has shared his insights and experience with Miami Law students.