Three judges of Florida's First District Court of Appeal – Chief Judge Joseph Lewis, Jr., Judge L. Clayton Roberts and Judge James R. Wolf, JD '75 – heard oral arguments in several real-life cases last week at the Storer Auditorium on UM's Coral Gables campus. Miami Law students observed the judicial process in action as three workers compensation cases were argued.
"The arguments were fascinating," said Peter Nemerovski, Professor of Legal Writing, who helped organize this event. "The quality of the oral advocacy was top-notch. This was a tremendous opportunity for our students to see the justice system in action and to learn about an area of law—workers compensation—that first-year law students are not usually exposed to."
After the arguments, a reception was held, which was co-sponsored by Miami Law and the Florida Workers' Advocates, a group of attorneys who represent workers in workers comp cases. Miami Law students were able to meet these practitioners from across the state during the reception.
"The students here were just great; they were incisive, they were excited; a very bright group of students here at the University of Miami," said Miami Law alumnus Judge Wolf. "I was very, very impressed."
Judge Wolf came back the next day to his alma mater to speak to Professor Nemerovski's Legal Communications and Research skills class.
"I think students, when they get into law school, have a tough time connecting the intellectual with the reality of what is going on," said Judge Wolf after the class was over. "I think that practitioners and judges coming in can tell them the way it is in the real world, get their attention, and can revitalize them in their studies. Law school has to prepare you to be a lawyer but it's definitely not like the real world. I think an important part of legal education is to have interactions between practitioners, judges, and students."