Miami Law Teams With Dade County Public Defenders Office For Pro Bono Training


The University of Miami School of Law, in partnership with the Miami Dade Public Defender, will present a two-day "college" on March 16 and 17 to train volunteer attorneys to represent indigent South Floridians charged in misdemeanor cases. Co-hosted by UM's School of Law Litigation Skills Program, the curriculum will feature training, lectures and discussions at the Coral Gables campus of UM.

The training will consist of a full-day training seminar, titled "Defending a County Court Case," conducted by the Public Defender and his senior training attorneys. The second day of training will be a Litigation Skills Workshop, conducted by Professor Laurence Rose, Professor Emeritus and Director of the Litigation Skills Clinic.

"The justice system requires effective representation of the defendant as well as the government," Professor Rose said. "Our program's goals are to teach ethical and effective advocacy skills. We are proud to assist the Public Defender's Office and these volunteer lawyers in their necessary and important role."

The collaboration between the two organizations is one of the kick-off events to the Public Defenders Office's yearlong "Gideon at 50" initiative, which commemorates equal justice and the right to counsel.

"We are very pleased to work with UM's Law School in providing this great training and pro bono opportunity to our legal community," said Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez. "It is an opportunity to learn litigation skills and apply them to represent an indigent client in County Court."

The training is free, although attorneys are being asked to take on at least one pro bono misdemeanor case through the Public Defender's Office.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. CLE credit approval is pending.

For more information, please contact Assistant Public Defender Sarah Wood Borak at