Miami Law Students Connect with Alumni as They Conduct Training Sessions


University of Miami Law students from the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program (PREP) recently expanded their programming to conduct interactive CLE training sessions for the Law Alumni Association.

Under the supervision of Director Jan Jacobowitz, PREP Program Fellow Brandon Spivack and Interns Kyle Marshall, Kelly Rains, and Gray Rifkin presented to Miami Law alumni in West Palm Beach, Florida, in the courtroom of Judge Paul G. Hyman Jr. JD '77, at the United States Bankruptcy Court. The students drafted and presented hypotheticals designed to facilitate the discussion of cutting-edge legal issues arising from the use of technology in the practice of law.

Rifkin began the conversation by discussing the ethical implications of attorney advertisements. Marshall continued the conversation by discussing client confidentiality in the context of emerging technologies. Finally, Rains discussed the use of social media as a litigation tool.

A week later, Program Fellow Benjamin Carter and Interns Daniel Casamayor, Jill Martignetti and Jan Williams, presented a similar program to Miami Law alumni in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the courtroom of Judge Martin J. Bidwell, JD '90, at the Broward County courthouse. The students presented hypothetical ethical dilemmas that lawyers may encounter when using Facebook, LinkedIn, and other internet social media outlets. Topics included advertising and social media, client confidentiality, Facebook "friendships" between judges and attorneys, and the ethical implications of discovery and Facebook.

"Facebook and other social networking websites have become one of the most popular ways to stay in touch with personal and professional contacts," said Casamayor. "Presenting our hypotheticals to legal practitioners allowed us to take a 'hands on' approach, and apply issues discussed in the classroom. Judges and lawyers face these issues every day, and the hypotheicals are designed to help them handle potential problems."

"The students from the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program were a welcome addition to our Broward and Palm Beach receptions, adding topical CLE as well as providing an opportunity for students to meet alumni," said Jerry Markowitz, past President of the Law Alumni Association.

The Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program was established in 1996 as part of the Center for Ethics and Public Service to provide the local legal community with analysis on cutting-edge ethical issues that attorneys face daily. The program has dedicated countless student hours to public service and has educated thousands of members of the Florida bench and bar. As the students teach, they learn and strive to make a difference, prompting organizations to pause and reconsider their approaches to some of the toughest ethical dilemmas.