Masimba Mutamba, a third-year student at Miami Law, has been awarded an apprenticeship with the trial and appellate practice of Waller Lansden's Schola2Juris program. As part of the apprenticeship, Mutamba will receive a $10,000 scholarship and be eligible for a full-time position after graduation.
"I am honored and humbled to receive this wonderful opportunity," Mutamba said via e-mail from Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany, where he is studying this semester. "After having met with the trial and appellate practice group at Waller and a lot of other attorneys from the firm, I feel privileged to be part of what I am sure is the most practical method for providing a graduating law student a glimpse into what working for a firm will be like. The fact that they have graciously allowed for me to participate from Germany is a testament to the spirit of the people at this firm."
Originally from Zimbabwe, Mutamba said he has always been interested in international law. When he was a child, his mother, a dietitian working in micro-nutrition, exposed him to the impact international aid can have on a small community, as well as the dynamics involved. He recalls helping his mother type letters for submission to government agencies on behalf of non-profit organizations and other groups. It was then that he realized how much of a need there was for international legal advocacy.
His desire to make a change would later push him to attend Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn., where he received bachelor's degrees in English and Psychology. He then went to the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he began his legal education. He came to Miami Law in 2009.
Last summer, Mutamba worked at the World Service Authority, a Washington, D.C.-based NGO dedicated to serving people whose civil and human rights have been violated. He has also participated in international moot court competitions, and was named last spring as one of the top oralists at the Super Regional Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
As a Schola2Juris apprentice, Mutamba will work closely with a mentor, an associate and partner at the Lansden firm, in its trial and appellate practice. He will work on a training module that contains components specific to that particular area of law and which provides a unique look into real client work. Most of his training will take place via a virtual conference center.
"With my first assignment in hand," he said, "I am eager to learn and take advantage of a program that has already proven to be so supportive."