Miami Law Dean Patricia D. White has been selected to receive the 2012 Equal Justice Leadership Award by Legal Services of Greater Miami. The award, which will be presented to Dean White on May 17, recognizes excellence in protecting the rights of South Florida's most vulnerable individuals and families.
Dean White, who became Miami Law's eleventh dean in July 2009 after a decade as dean of Arizona State University's law school, has been instrumental in expanding the clinics offered at Miami Law. The ten clinics give students practical, hands-on lawyering skills while helping needy and under-represented individuals in Miami and its surroundings.
Also under Dean White's leadership, Legal Corps was created. It is a postgraduate fellowship program that has been extremely successful at filling the gaps at understaffed public agencies by providing them, for a six-month period, with paid attorneys who have recently graduated and passed a bar exam.
A nationally-recognized leader in legal education, Dean White was educated at the University of Michigan, where she received degrees in philosophy and law. She began her career in Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., and then moved to Caplin & Drysdale. Dean White joined the Georgetown University law faculty in 1979, and in 1988 joined the faculty of the University of Michigan. While at Michigan she was of counsel to several area law firms. During this period she also served for a year as Tax Advisor to the Economic Study Committee of Major League Baseball. In 1994 she joined the law faculty at the University of Utah, and was of counsel to Parsons, Behle & Latimer.
Across her career, Dean White has worked in the areas of tax law, the legal profession, torts, bioethics, philosophy of law, and trusts and estates, and has published in prominent law and bioethics journals. She has won many awards, including the Judge Learned Hand Award for distinguished public service by the Arizona chapter of the American Jewish Committee.
The 2012 Equal Justice Leadership Award will also be presented to United States Circuit Judge Rosemary Barkett. The 3rd annual "Heart of Giving" celebration and judicial reception is open to the public and tickets cost $100 per person. Proceeds will benefit Legal Services of Greater Miami, the largest provider of broad-based civil legal services for the poor in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.