Miami Law Students Intern at Third District Court of Appeal


For the past three years, the judges of the 3rd DCA have come to Miami Law to hear oral arguments in several real-life cases, exposing 1Ls to real-life appellate cases. This summer, several Miami Law students headed to the Third District Court of Appeal as interns, an experience which provided the students with an invaluable opportunity to view the inner workings of the judicial process.

3L Corey Gray interned over the summer with the Honorable Judge Thomas Logue. "The experience was fulfilling because Judge Logue established set times in our schedule to observe oral arguments," said Gray. "By observing, I was able to get a feel for what aspects of the law the judges were focused on. At the conclusion of oral arguments the judge met with the interns and his clerks to discuss our observations."

As a graduate student at Florida State University, Gray enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps and reported for active duty to the United States Army 10th Mountain Division. He served two deployments in Iraq before attending law school. "My 3rd DCA internship provided an environment that reinforced the level of responsibility lawyers have in our justice system," said Gray. "The lessons I learned in this internship will help me reach the goals I have set for my legal career."

Second year law student Christopher Noel interned with the Honorable Leslie B. Rothenberg.

"I can say that it was a wholly beneficial experience," explained Noel. "The insight into judicial decision-making and legal opinion writing that I gained while at the Court is something that I think added greatly to the classroom knowledge that I got from my 1L year. Also, being able to observe such a high number of oral arguments was invaluable for me because of my goal of becoming a litigator after graduation. Over all, the exposure to the judges on the court, the behind-the-scenes role of judicial staff, and the collegial attitude of everyone involved in the appellate process really proved to be a great way to spend the summer."

Noel is already a two-time 'Cane with undergraduate and graduate degrees in business. Prior to attending law school he served as a member of Romney for President Western Hemisphere Affairs Working Group, where he co-authored Romney's foreign policy agenda for the Western Hemisphere.

Rafael Yaniz, 2L, also interned with the Honorable Thomas Logue. "It was a privilege to work for Judge Thomas Logue and his law clerks this summer. I could not have started my legal career at a better place than the 3rd DCA. The legal skills I gained this summer serve as the invaluable building blocks for the rest of my career," said Yaniz. Yaniz, who graduated from the University of Florida, is currently serving as a law clerk this semester at the United States Attorney's Office in the Major Crimes Division.

Miami native Karla Albite, a current 2L, interned with the Honorable Barbara Lagoa this summer.

"While every judge and every chamber functions differently, in my chambers, the expectation was that I become an expert on the record on appeal," said Albite. "Therefore, for every case I was assigned, I needed to go through all the lower court documents and develop a clear and detailed understanding of what had occurred before. Afterwards, I would write a recommendation memo explaining to the judge how I thought she should rule and my legal analysis as to why - this was much like theLComm memos students write their first year of law school."

Albite graduated from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in political science and economics. She was a Teach for America Corp member in Nashville, Tennessee teaching middle school Spanish and language arts. At Miami Law, she is a member of the University of Miami Law Review, a Dean's Fellow, and the Vice-President of the Hispanic Law Student Association.

"Internships in judges' chambers provide students with an unparalleled opportunity to develop their legal research and writing skills," explained Amy Perez, Student Development and Judicial Clerkships Director. "The relationship that an intern forges with her/her judge is one that can last a lifetime. Judicial internships have also become a gateway to highly sought-after post-graduate clerkship positions in judge's chambers."